Christmas 1914


A few extracts from the Courier – Two Elland gentlemen (identities not given but the newspaper hints that they were prominent citizens) were mistaken for German spies whilst visiting Scarborough to inspect the damage caused by the German Navy bombardment. Tensions were high in the town after this atrocity and any ‘non-locals’ were viewed with suspicion. Luckily for the Ellanders a mutual friend in Scarborough confirmed their identities and they were released from police custody.


Mrs Buckley of Sunnybank Road Greetland had the misfortune to be staying with her family in Hartlepool when the town was shelled by the Germans. She described the frightening scenes to the reporter and showed her ‘souvenirs’ of pieces of shell.


A party of 15 Belgian refugees arrived at Greetland. They would stay at cottages, provided by Messrs Waller of West Vale, in Gate Head Lane. Another party of refugees arrived at Stainland, Messrs Norcliffe and Sleath providing accommodation.


A large audience attended a performance (for charity) of Handel’s Messiah at Stainland Mechanics. The chorus numbered over 100 voices!


The children at South End Schools were said to be in a merry mood for the Christmas holiday. Oranges, donated by Councillors Garsed and Lumb, were handed to the children. The infants’ school had ‘an inviting Christmas tree’. The National School (C of E) also provided oranges as presents for the children.


Local war funds now exceeded over £2,500. The lady knitters had been very busy.  


There was good news from the front that the Allies were recapturing ground from the Germans.



January 1965 – ‘House of Lords’ demolished




The Blue Barrel Inn, Southgate Elland was pulled down as part of the town centre’s development scheme. In the old days only mill owners had been allowed in the ‘House of Lords’ room. There was an aura of grandeur about the pub. On one wall there hanged a picture of members of the Ancient Order of Froth-Blowers, motto ‘Lubrication in Moderation’, a charitable organisation that raised funds by fining members for not wearing AOFB cufflinks and so on.


Before demolition the licensee, Maurice Schofield, had discovered in an attic two minute books  dating from 1881-87 of the Elland Turkish Club (which had previously met at the Mexborough Arms in Westgate before it was pulled down many years before). Rules of the club, formed in 1881, stated that all members had to assemble at the Mexborough Arms on Monday nights wearing a Turkish fez not later than 9pm or be fined 1s for each offence.


On May 22, 1882 nine members of the Turkish Club had a supper of two bottles of brandy (11s), bottles of hock (2s), claret (1s 6d) and port (3s 4d), lamb plus vegetables, fish and cream cheese.


These minutes books are now stored at Calderdale Archives, Halifax Library. 


David J. Glanfield

Greater Elland Historical Society