WOMEN AND GIRLS IN WORLD WAR 1

Walking on the Haworth Old Road on a sunny day reminded me how little has changed in Wadsworth over the last 100 years. Reflecting on how the community responded to the First World War, I could almost hear the clacking of clogs as women and girls hurried for their shift at the mills and of children hurrying to a part time session at school followed by a shift at the mill. Much has been written on the experiences of the young men but it really struck me how little recognition of the contributions of their mothers, sisters, wives and girlfriends made to the made to the War effort are acknowledged and commemorated.


On the Home Front women worked in the mills and sweatshops on army uniforms and equipment; they formed committees in chapels, churches, Co-op Guilds and Trade Unions to raise money and for equipping the new hospitals and convalescent homes; from bandages to sheets, night shirts and pyjamas, and then volunteering to maintain them. Ibbotroyd House became a convalescent home for soldiers, alongside new hospitals in Todmorden, Lumbutts and Cragg Vale.

Women and girls took part in St. John’s Ambulance classes and then volunteered as nurses to staff them, often going to Manchester and Leeds to qualify as Queen Alexandra nurses. As matrons or qualified and basically trained nurses and volunteers, they also served abroad, living close behind the Front at clearing stations, on hospital canal boats and ships. They also staffed the YMCA huts in Halifax and France.

From the Upper Calder Valley, Nurse Wadsworth was only 16 miles behind the lines in France, Nurse Eardley was also with the Expeditionary Forces in France.  Sister Annie Brotherton served with the Indian Expeditionary Forces and then in France and was decorated. Miss H. Ashworth from Sandy Gate and Miss C. Coad from Royd Square left for Salonika. Others worked in Serbia, France, Belgium, India, Mesopotamia, Malta and Egypt but their names are not recorded even though their letters were published in the Hebden Bridge Times. There are examples of women becoming doctors, eg. Dr. Rose, a former teacher from Sowerby Bridge who served in a hospital in Serbia.

Belgian refugees were housed, clothed and supported in Mytholmroyd and Todmorden. ‘Comfort’ parcels were created with women fundraising again, working in knitting circles to make socks and gloves etc. then  making up the parcels and getting them to soldiers, sailors and nurses abroad. A Miss G. Sheard from Old Town received a letter from a grateful corporal in the Royal Fusiliers thanking her for his warm socks. She had put a note in the heel of one of the socks wishing the receiver well.
 
They worked in munitions and engineering, took up posts in the railway stations and Post Offices and became conductors on the trams and Welfare Superintendants at the factories. Woman teachers became Headteachers of Crimsworth Council School and Colden School. Miss E. Platt became the first woman President of the NUT in the Hebden Bridge District.
 
Trades unions and Cooperatives showed huge changes in women’s political involvement. Mrs. Nancy Wheelhouse often chaired the ILP meetings in Mytholmroyd and was a key negotiator in Hebden Bridge and District Clothing Operatives. Business courses prepared women for secretarial work. Four musicians travelled to the Front to entertain the troops: two soloists, a pianist and a violinist including Miss Emily Woodward and Miss Lena Ashwell. Miss Mabel Riley joined the WRAF as her brother Arnold joined the RAF.

So I pose the question how can we recognise and commemorate the resilience and contributions women and girls made over a hundred years ago in the Upper Valley? I am very happy to meet people interested in considering these challenges, and there will be a meeting for organisations and individuals to discuss types of memorials at the Birchcliffe Centre on Monday 25th. September at 6.30pm.
Julia Maybury, Pecket Well    -   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Wadsworth Wadyacallit by email
Your local newsletter, which is paid for by the parish council, is sent to all 725 houses in Wadsworth. Most are delivered by volunteers, but 83 are posted to the more far-flung parts of the parish. Due to the rising costs of postage it has been suggested that those households who receive the newsletter by post should be offered the chance to get it by email. If you would like to do so, please get in touch via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and give your email address as well as your postal address, so that this can be removed from the postal list.

Wainsgate Chapel Events
There is a lot going on at Wainsgate over the next few months, with events to mark the Bicentennial of eminent Baptist minister John Fawcett, plus concerts and poetry readings.
2nd. September, 3pm.
Poetry reading by award winning poets Rachel McCrum and Caroline Bird, 

10th. September, 2-4pm.
Heritage Open Day

19th. September, 10.15am.
A 4 mile walk lasting about 2.5 hours, taking in the history of Fawcett at Wainsgate and Brearley.

24th. September, 9.45am.  Hope Chapel
A 2 mile uphill walk from Hope Chapel to Wainsgate, lasting about 2.5 hours. Then join in with lunch and other events at Wadsworth Community Centre and Hare and Hounds.

30th. September, 3-5pm.
The Breath, folk group, tickets on door

7th. October, 3pm.
Above the Mealy –Mouthed Sea
Poet Jemima Foxtrot’s new show, tickets on door.

For more details visit: www.hct.org.uk,  http://fawcett200.org.uk,  www.wainsgate.co.uk

Wadsworth Parish Councillors
Parishioners wishing to raise local issues are welcome to attend WPC meetings, which usually take place at the Town Hall on the last Tuesday of the month, beginning at 7.30pm. Alternatively, you could ring any of the councillors to discuss your concerns.
Mavis Ring (Chair) 842009
Steven Beasley 842701
David Bell 842597
Jon Kimber 844914
Geoff Hughes 842575
John Lynch 842066
Valerie Wade 843307
Robert Spencer 07733106590
Alan Fowler 842828


Lunch Club Needs You!
Mavis Ring, who has been running the Lunch Club at Wadsworth Community Centre for 22 years, is still looking for more volunteers to help with cooking, table laying, dishing up and clearing away.  Mavis says that those who help do not need to commit to coming every Wednesday. The volunteers are needed between 10am. and 2pm. If you can help, please ring Mavis on 842009.

WCC gigs
The new season of popular gigs begins this Autumn at Wadsworth Community Centre. Tickets for all shows are available from Derek on 07890 205980. Real ale and supper served. Doors 6.45pm.

Saturday 9th. September
Luke Jackson

Friday 13th. October
Megan Henwood

Thursday 2nd. November
Gigspanner

Saturday 2nd. December
O’Hooley & Tidow

More details can be found at:
www.wadsworthcommunity.co.uk

Wadesuurde
There was much to admire in Steven Beasley’s account of Wadsworth in the past, but some bits just weren’t right.

If I may: there were no ‘ancient druids’ as they are commonly depicted. This is a C19 concoction that has been embellished subsequently. And no evidence for any ‘bloodletting rituals’; nor was there a Roman presence, with or without a signal station; you can observe the rising and setting sun and moon at almost any time of the year from High Brown Knoll -b ecause it is so high!-but the particular alignment through the Gorple col doesn’t correspond to any of the significant solar or lunar horizon events that were, demonstrably, observed by prehistoric people. The real Wadsworth past is more complicated and interesting than this.

Across Calderdale, and within Wadsworth, there are numerous standing stones that indicate, mainly midwinter sunrise. When viewed from Robin Hood’s Penny Stone, the midwinter sun appears to rise from the unique feature of The Miller’s Grave - a symbolic representation of the birth of the new sun. High Brown Knoll and other rock outcrops of Wadsworth bear cup-marks-hemispherical, carved depressions, unusual in the South Pennines.

The ring Steven refers to at Wicken Hill is one of a number of enclosed urn cemeteries, where cremations were deposited, extending from Mereclough and Todmorden, along with other circular features, to Mount Tabor.

Huge collections of flint artefacts have been recovered from the moors, and, in short, there is evidence for a prehistoric presence in Wadsworth for some ten thousand years-from the first hunters and foragers who arrived here after the last ice age right through to the first settled farmers. Anyone interested couldn’t do better than visit the excellent prehistoric displays in Heptonstall Museum. If you look up the Prehistoric section of Hebden Bridge Local History Society you’ll see examples of our research and there is also a bibliography covering most of what has been written and placed online about local prehistory in the last twenty years.

Dr. David Shepherd
South Pennine Archaeology

What's On

 

Mondays –WCC Karate, 7-8.30pm. Contact Paul on 07931 803572

 

Tuesdays - WCC  Dancercise-Children’s dance/exercise 5.45-6.45pm. Contact Laura on 07852 971044

League Table Tennis 7-9.30pm. Contact Derek on 843088

 

Wednesdays - WCC Lunch Club, 12-1.30pm. £3. Contact Mavis on 842009.

Improver table Tennis, alternate weeks 6.30-8.30pm.

 

Thursdays– WCC Dancercise-Adult dance/exercise 6.30-9.30pm.

African Drumming workshop 8-9.30pm. Contact Iya Sako on 07930 872089

 

Fridays -  WCC Table Tennis Practice 6.45-9pm. Old Town School. (Term time only)

Old Town Playgroup 9-11.30am.

 

To book Wadsworth Community Centre please contact Derek on 07890 205980

 

WADSWORTH WI - For details contact Marianne on 01422 882819



Local Directory


Post Office, Old Town (846967):

Shop: Mon.-Fri 7-1, 2-5.30. Sat 7-12.30. PO: Mon-Fri 8-1, 2-5.30. Sat 8-12.30

 
Hare & Hounds, Old Town (842671)

Mon.-Thurs. 6pm.-close, Fri. 5pm.-close, Sat. and Sun. 12 noon-close

Also B&B. Curry and a pint of Timothy Taylors -Tues £7, Pie and a pintWeds. £9. Quiz-Thurs. 9.30pm. Live music-last Saturday every month

New vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu now available
 

Robin Hood Inn, Pecket Well (842593)

Mon-Thurs. 12-3pm, 6-11pm..Fri and Sat.12noon-11pm.  Sun 12-10.30pm. Also B&B. Quiz –Thurs.9.30pm. (Free supper.) Home made food : Sunday roasts. Steak night  Friday (£30 per couple + wine) Kids eat free on Tuesday nights! (  Accompanied by adult diner. )

 
Hebden Bridge Equestrian Centre (844021): Riding lessons, hacking, birthday parties, Full livery available

MJ Dean Electrical (07912859115): Local, registered electrician. All electrical work undertaken and guaranteed-industrial, commercial, domestic