Christmas Special Journal 2020

As a festive treat to our members, our Journal Editor Rob Piggott has compiled a Christmas Special issue which brings together a selection of archive articles and a tinseled treasure trove of Christmas Past from the local area.

A limited number of print copies are now available for purchase.

Introduced from Cyril Pearce

We took the decision that, in the absence of our regular monthly meetings and Study Days, we should explore the possibility of a special Covid Christmas edition our Journal. Here you will find pieces with Christmas and New Year themes which colleagues have unearthed from well-known local sources. An account in the Huddersfield Chronicle for Christmas 1873 describes in Dickensian detail – not easy reading for the vegetarian – the rich variety of meat and poultry on display in the town with only a passing reference to a fruiterer. There is writing here from Linthwaite’s Suffragist Florence Lockwood’s autobiography describing New Year Eve in 1902 and 1907 with ‘Guisers’ and ‘Mummers’ singing for their suppers and, on Christmas morning the sound of ‘Christians Awake!’. There are similar stories from Ben Turner’s autobiography of door-to-door ‘Mummers’ and carol singers in Holmfirth and in John Sugden’s account of Slaithwaite at Christmas in 1905. Mrs Jagger’s reflection on Christmases in Honley in times past has the nostalgic feel of a memory of things lost – and scattered throughout are images of historic Christmas cards and mementos.

Interspersed with all of these are pieces that appeared in very early Local History Society journals. Most of them are available on-line through our website but this is Rob Piggott, the Editor’s, selection. Since he has chosen to publish one of my early pieces, I really ought not to comment further except to say that all the pieces he has chosen are well worth seeing again.

I hope you find this ‘Bumper Christmas Edition’ a really good read and up to our usual standard. My thanks to Rob Piggott and to all those members, past and present, who have made it possible.

To all the members of the Society and to those non-members reading this, my very warmest Christmas greetings and best wishes for a Covid-free New Year. Do take care. I hope to see you all in 2021.


  • Notes for a Covid Christmas Special 2020 — Cyril Pearce
  • Recruits for the Haver-Cake Lads — John H. Rumsby (1984)
  • Extract from The History of Honley and its Hamlets — Mary A. Jagger (1914)
  • Lascelles Hall — Keith Brockhill (1985)
  • ‘Never was there such a time’; Huddersfield Suffragettes in 1907 — Joyce Stevens (1989)
  • Extract from, An Ordinary Life, 1861-1924 — Florence Lockwood (1932)
  • Buying a Station — Clifford Stephenson (1991)
  • Extract from: Slaithwaite Notes: Past and Present — John Sugden (1905)
  • In the Picture (Longley Woods) — Patricia Ann Dyson (1997)
  • The Christmas Market In Huddersfield — Anon. (1873)
  • The Local Historian as Activist — Cyril Pearce (2000)
  • The Frost, the Snow, and the Wintry Woods — Cid (1895)
  • Christmas — Emma Battye (1874)
  • Yorkshire Sings: A musical and social phenomenon — Angela Griffith (2000)
  • Who’d a Thowt Theda Been A Farm Baht Osses — Ernest Beaumont (2002)
  • Christmas Fifty Years Ago — Ben Turner (1923)
  • From Builder to Architect — Brian Haigh (2009)
  • Bookshelf — Keith Brockhill (1999)
  • Book Review: Power in the Land — Christine Vergusson
  • Afterword — Robert Piggott

Huddersfield Local History Society