Archive for the ‘Valley History’ Category

Th’Owd Towser in Holmfirth opens for Heritage Weekend

Copyright Humphrey Bolton

Copyright Humphrey Bolton

Holmfirthweb Exclusive

Possibly the oldest building in Holmfirth, dating from around 1600, is set to open its doors to the public during the weekend of September 8 and 9 as part of a fantasic, natiowide Heritage Open Day.

The building in question, tucked behind Brambles pub, is Th’Owd Towser.  From the outside it is an unremarkable stone building but the odly named location has been a jail, mortuary and even a fire station during its long life.

Other local venues being opened up to the public during the same weekend include St Mary’s Church, Honley; Lydgate Unitarian Chapel, New Mill; Holy Trinity Church, Denby Dale’ Colne Valley Museum, Golcar, and St Bartholomew’s Church, Marsden.

For full details of events and activities visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk

Th’Owd Towser – Potted History

Many visitors to Holmfirth first heard about  Th’Owd Towser during Gary’s popular walk n talk tours which used to regularly take place in the town several summers ago. And locals will know about its fascinating history.

Built next to the parish church it lies on land known as God’s Acre.

A spokeswoman for the local civic society, told Holmfirthweb.com: “It is such a small building and insignificant, even from the inside, but people are surprised when they hear such interesting stories.”

Prisoners chained

Although the building on Daisy Lane has been rebuilt during its history, it is believed still to stand on the original foundations.

Built on a steep hill there are two floors; the top has two bare rooms and it is the smaller of these that served as a jail.

Visitors can still see the iron ring in the floor where prisoners were chained.

There is only one tiny window and a ledge on which a candle is placed for lighting

Approached from the other side of the building is a larger single room, about 12ft (4m) by 10ft (3m).

It was here that Holmfirth once kept a rudimentary fire engine, although many of the other uses for this room are unknown.

Major Roadworks between Marsden & Slaithwaite

Almost two miles of worn-out road is to be resurfaced between Marsden and Varley Road at Slaithwaite.

Work will start on Saturday September 20 to resurface the B6107 Meltham Road and Chain Road between its junction with Manchester Road at Marsden and its junction with the B6109 Varley Road, Slaithwaite.

The work should take about three weeks weather permitting and will start at the Manchester Road end.

Holmfirth Tiger Sessions at Holmfirth Library

Holmfirth TigerEmail from Linda Smith
Hello, Patrick. I am seeking your help with an exciting project we at Huddersfield Local Studies Library are undertaking about the Holmfirth Tiger and wonder if you would be able to put details on the Holmfirth website.   You may remember that the Overend family of Holmfirth were circus performers and, on a tour of South Africa in 1939, they were asked to rear a tiger cub born of one of the circus tigers.  Shortly after the outbreak of World War II they returned home with the cub, who lived with the family for the next 10 years.  The tiger, Fenella, was often seen in the back garden of the Overends* home and on walks from the house into the surrounding countryside.  There were several amusing incidents as a result, some of them involving the people of Holmfirth.

We should love to recapture some of the atmosphere of the time and to recall some of stories that have emerged from time to time about the Tiger locally, and we feel that this is a good opportunity to record some of those memories for all time.  We are organising some get-togethers of people who remember Fenella, to exchange reminiscences and stir further memories.  We feel that these would be enjoyable social occasions and there will be an opportunity, for anyone who wants to, to have their personal story recorded, although this is entirely optional. Alternatively, anyone who wants to will be able to jot down their recollections for others to enjoy.

We are asking for your help in informing local people about the get-togethers.  They are at Holmfirth public library on Tuesday, 17th June 10am to noon and Thursday 19th June 2 to 4pm. We hope that, like us, you think this is a really good idea and worth doing, and I hope you will support us.  We just ask that anyone who wishes to come contacts us in advance just so we know how many people we might expect at each meeting.  The contact telephone number is 01484 221965. Please ask for Linda Smith, Sarah Harding or Pam Riding.Holmfirth Tiger

Thanks very much, Linda Smith

See also the Tiger Story compiled by local school children.

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