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Image: Michael de Greasley Added to website: February 2007
Saltaire people: Dewhirst families living Saltaire
Information and images contributed and researched by Pat Holland, Halifax

See also: Dewhirst Genealogy, researched by Pat Holland

Details of the Dewhirst genealogy, including some wonderful images (researched by Pat Holland, daughter of William Dewhirst, born 1914 at 26 Park Street Saltaire. More>

From: Pat Holland
To: Roger Clarke
Sent: Tuesday, 6 February, 2007 10:44:14 AM
Subject: Old residents in Saltaire

My great-great grandparents were James Dewhirst (known as Jimmy b.1810) and his wife Rhoda, who lived in Wadsworth and Hebden Bridge. In 1851 they were at 21 Commercial Street, Hebden Bridge where James was a Clogger and village Constable. All Jimmy and Rhoda’s children were born in the Hebden Bridge / Wadsworth area apart from Leonard who was born in Copley. They came to live in Saltaire with their children in 1855. It is said they travelled to Saltaire with their things on a handcart.

Jimmy worked for Titus Salt in Salts Mill as a gas fitter but was killed at the Mill in 1860 when his coat got caught in the cog wheels of a machine. He is buried in St Paul's at Shipley.

The Dewhirst family lived in Saltaire village from 1855/60 until the early 1900s. I have the census returns from 1861-1901 showing the places they lived.

I remember as a child being taken to see “the little Aunties” Rhoda and Sally who lived in Edward Street. They were both under 5` tall and always wore a hat even indoors. We used to go on the tram up to the Glen.

They worked in the mill as did my granddad James. b 1880. My grandparents always talked about Salts and the houses they lived in and the happy times they had with street parties etc, visiting the Glen and walking across the moors to Dick Hudsons.

As you will probably gather I am interested in family history and wonder whether anyone remembers the Dewhirst or Goldsbrough name - maybe their ancestors were neighbours!
I have several old photographs of the family in my possession. I am trying to find a newspaper report or more details regarding my great-great grandfather's accident and wonder if you have any details amongst the archives in Saltaire.

I am attaching more details of my family who lived in the streets in Saltaire as it may be of interest to you.

Many thanks for an interesting site.

I hope you find this interesting.
Pat Holland

Roger Clarke's comments:

Jimmy Dewhirst – died 1860 in Salts Mill accident

Pat Holland from Halifax contacted me, via the website, for help, writes Roger Clarke. She told me that her great great grandparents lived in Saltaire from 1855/60 to the early 1900’s. Pat had Census details of their addresses in the Village. She knew that the family originated in Hebden Bridge, where Jimmy Dewhirst was born in 1810. He was a clogger and the local constable and he came to Saltaire to work in the Mill as a gas fitter. Tragically, he died in a horrible accident when his coat was caught in the cogwheels of a machine. He’s buried at St Paul’s Church. Jimmy and his wife, Rhoda, lived at 19, Titus Street.

Pat asked me to find out more about his death. I researched the newspapers of the time and came up with this:-

Bradford Observer, December, 1860
“On Saturday, an inquest was held by Mr G Dyson, coroner, at the Ring of Bells, Shipley, on the body of James Dewhirst, aged 50, who met his death at the new dyehouse at Saltaire. It appeared by the evidence that the deceased was assisting to fit up the gas pipes, and had lost his hammer in the forenoon. Shortly before 2, he descended a ladder that was placed against a shaft, near to the bevil wheels. His clothes were caught in the cogs of the wheels, and he was drawn into their iron grasp. It is needless to say that his death was instantaneous.
No blame is attached to anyone but the unfortunate deceased. The jury returned a verdict of “accidental death”.
Mr Salt, with his usual liberality, is allowing the widow of the deceased 10/- per week until the youngest child (now 8) is 13 years of age, and after that time she is to be allowed 6/- for so long as she resides in Saltaire. This is not the only instance of Mr Salt’s liberality in this direction. Another widow named Pellington, whose husband was killed in a fall in the engine house last July is allowed 4/- a week and a house”.

Remembering that average wages for a spinner or weaver at this time were between 15/- and £1 per week, these allowances were very generous.

Pat also emailed a number of family photos from the turn of the Century, including a posed shot of female family members on a motor bike and sidecar on Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1926, and one of the interior of a workshop (thought to be in the Mill).
She also recollects how two of her children were in the Wibsey Brass and Reed Marching Band which performed as part of the Opera North version of West Side Story in the Mill, shortly after Jonathan took over. They played trombone and cornet.

Roger Clarke
February 2007






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