Colne Bridge tragedy commemoration week comes to a close

The Colne Bridge mill fire commemoration.
Richard Heath , who is the brains behind the Commemoration events, writes:I

Following the church service on Saturday 10th Feb, many people have voiced their appreciation for a poignant and moving event marking the bicentenary of a disaster that took the lives of 17 young girls.
Whilst I truly value their comments I am keen to stress that all made possible through the mutual cooperation of many groups and individuals, the community of Kirkheaton and the many visitors who came from far and wide.
The service, which attracted nearly 200 people, was attended by the Mayor of Kirklees Cllr Christine Iredale and the Shadow Fire Minister, Karen Lee, Labour MP for Lincoln.
Karen Lee addressed the congregation and spoke of how fire safety has greatly improved over the years but added also that new lessons can be learned and improvements made. Cllr Iredale also gave an impassioned speech on the tragedy.
In the following week on Wednesday, the 14th, the precise date on which the anniversary fell, the Mayor held a minutes silence before the Council prior to the opening of business.
This occasion coincided that day with a ten strong candle lit vigil which took place at the former site of Atkinson’s mill. At exactly 5am, the lighted candles brought a comforting glow to a place as dark and lonely as it would have been on that same hour when the fire broke out 200 years ago.
Rev Ian Jones who led the Saturday service said that it would be difficult to name all those who had worked so hard to make this most memorable day, but he rightfully commended the Fire Service and the Service Band who made the occasion so special.
In the churchyard, wreaths were laid at the memorial by UNISON, and Huddersfield TUC. The Fire Service also placed one on the communal grave.
The large gravestone which bears each of the girls’ names alongside those of their parents was recently cleaned by Monumental Mason, Robert Morphet, who took great pride in making the inscriptions legible again.
As in many events, much credit is owed to those who were out of the glare of publicity.
Following the eleventh hour closure of the Beaumont Arms, caterers Tracey Sharp and Paula Priestley were drafted in and worked like Trojans early that morning to provide a freshly made buffet which was enjoyed by all.
Out in the field the conservation group CLEAR, which is a part of Community Links are working on a memorial garden on the canal towpath at Colne Bridge. This dedicated work will continue into the summer. Later in the year it will be complimented by an artwork created by the schoolchildren of Salendine Nook under the leadership of locally based, Artworks Creative Communities and Canal & River Trust.
On Saturday 17th Feb, the Colne Bridge mill fire commemoration week drew to a close with a supper and music at an enjoyable informal evening at the Royal & Ancient, Colne Bridge, courtesy of managers Craig Lloyd and Steve Jones. A plaque was unveiled by Roger Armitage of the Kirkheaton History Society.
I have no doubt that the memory of this commemoration will live on forever in the minds of those who attended. Come the Tricentenery, one hundred years’ from now, historians might look back in wonder of what was achieved by a small team backed up by great community.

Richard Heath.

Recycling Eyesore near Upper Heaton

Local residents are angry at how the the recycling point on New Road has become an eyesore. Smashed bottles, empty cartons and bags all litter the layby.
Recently much effort has gone into making the Kirkheaton area a pleasant place to be in and this hotspot really gives out an unfortunate message.

The field adjacent to the site is often littered by some of the wind blown rubbish and even things which cannot possibly blown over the wall! People in the area do go out and try to tidy it up but we all should try and help by reducing the litter in the first place by tidying up after ourselves.


Commemoration of Bicentenary of fire tragedy

Commemoration of Bicentenary of Atkinson’s cotton mill fire tragedy.

Almost two hundred years to the day approximately 200 people attended a service at the parish church to commemorate the bicentenary of the tragic mill fire at Colne Bridge on February 14th 1818 when seventeen young girls aged between 9 and 18 died. The girls had worked throughout the night and were nearing the end of the shift when a misplaced candle on the lower floor started a blaze that destroyed their workplace and took their lives.*
A plaque was unveiled by Kathy Butterworth, a descendant of one of the few survivors, Sarah Moody [11 years old when she escaped from the blaze]. It will be displayed at the Beaumont Arms, just opposite the memorial when the pub is reopened.

The event was also attended by the Mayor, Christine Iredale, original from Kirkheaton. Other speakers included Cllr Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority.

During the commemoration 17 candles were lit as the names of the victims were read out. Following the service members of the TUC laid wreaths at the Fire Memorial. An official of the Fire Brigade laid another on the headstone of the communal grave where the remains of 15 of the girls were interred.

There are a number of other ways that the bicentenary is being marked.
A group of volunteers under the leadership of Lucy Dockray of the Canal and River Trust,  are battling the weather to produce a memorial garden on the canal bank next to the site where Atkinson’s mill stood. They are hoping to complete it for the anniversary day, 14th Feb. Another plaque is due to be unveiled on the 17th February at The Royal and Ancient pub which stands on the site of the original Spinners pub where the inquests were held.

A public artwork has also been commissioned to create a lasting memorial to the 17 children. Seventeen birds have been designed by pupils from Salendine Nook High School, under the leadership of artist, Ged Walker. The birds themselves were cut from sheet steel and have been individually decorated by the children. As well as undertaking the art sessions they went on  a trip to a mill museum in order to understand the conditions that children their own age, and younger would have endured 200 years ago.
If permission is granted they will be mounted on what is the old boiler house of Thomas Haigh’s mill.  The bricked up wall to the right is where Atkinson’s cotton factory stood in 1818. The group has also adopted a stretch of canal a short distance from the site of the fire.

* Search ‘Colne Bridge fire’  to read more about the tragedy


Drastic changes to 262 bus route coming soon

Service 262  Dewsbury – Mirfield – Upper Hopton – Kirkheaton – Huddersfield:

From February 18th the route of this service is being revised. It will now serve Cooper Bridge and Brighouse but no longer operate between Mirfield and Dewsbury. Buses will be timed to meet services 78 and X78 in Brighouse to allow passengers to change between these services to reach Elland and Halifax.

Upon receiving information of proposed changes to the 262 Bus Service on 18th February 2018, the residents of Kirkheaton had a meeting at the Yeaton Cask on 31st January 2018 at 7PM. There were around 24 attendees along with others who sent their apologies.

All those who attended the meeting, along with several other passengers  are strongly against these changes and have numerous concerns as detailed below:-

A lot of attendees were disappointed that there will no longer be a direct link between Kirkheaton and Dewsbury. Many residents use this for commuting and domestic journeys. In order to get to Dewsbury, passengers will have to alight at Mirfield and catch an Arriva bus to Dewsbury. It was noted that this will result in passengers having to pay more by having to use several bus companies and  the Yorkshire Tiger Weekly ticket will not be accepted on these routes. Furthermore, if the bus does not connect with another service in Mirfield, passengers will encounter additional travel time to reach Dewsbury. It was also noted that Kirklees Council are investing money into Dewsbury Town Centre in order to encourage more people to visit – and the changes to the 262 will make this more difficult to get there.

Another key concern was around traffic congestion and delays. The proposed route of the new service will mean that once it arrives in Mirfield, it will turn left at Newgate, along Huddersfield Road to Cooper Bridge and then continue along the road to the motorway, before dropping down into Brighouse using the main road from the roundabout. It was mentioned by all attendees that they had concerns with this route due to the amount of traffic congestion around Cooper Bridge and the motorway. (Since the meeting, we have received a copy of the timetable which is available to view at which states they have allowed between 15 and 23 minutes for the bus to travel from Mirfield to Brighouse Bus Station which is completely unrealistic especially at rush hour when it can take up to 3x this amount of time to perform this journey in a car) This has caused concern with residents from Kirkheaton, as they believe this bus will be consistently unreliable and therefore will effectively take them down to only 1 reliable 262 service per hour. Some residents of Upper Hopton have also expressed extreme concerns as they will only have this bus to rely on.

Other factors noted throughout the meeting were issues around healthcare. Residents are concerned that they no longer have a direct link to Dewsbury and therefore journey times to Dewsbury District Hospital will increase, and that residents of Dewsbury no longer have a direct link to Kirkwood Hospice. There were a number of people who had concerns regarding their employment and have stated they may have to seek alternative employment, if this proposed change goes ahead.

Residents also queried the commercial reliability of this new route and argue that after Mirfield, the bus will be very unlikely to pick anyone up until Brighouse and therefore the added distance doesn’t seem to make commercial sense. They also feel very strongly as the changes to the 262 are happening as a direct result because Arriva have withdrawn their service 278 which used to serve Brighouse and Mirfield and they feel that the 262 route should not be changed to accommodate this change and thus be negatively affected.

Finally, it was noted that there are other current issues that need dealing with since the route was operated by Tiger Blue. This includes buses not stopping at Kirkheaton Terminus and Town Road before going around Kirkheaton (which should happen and used to happen when operated from Waterloo Depot) and issues with timings.

Currently the 371 has been extended to Kirkheaton Terminus, but residents are extremely unhappy with this service and do not feel it has benefited the village as much as they expected. The issues are listed below:-

The bus does not serve  the Kirkheaton Loop or Upper Heaton so is of no use to these residents.

The bus does not observe the stop opposite the current stop outside Kirkheaton Conservative Club on Town Road (despite bus stop markings being present on the highway).

Upon leaving Kirkheaton, the 371 will sit an wait time at Black Horse, Dalton for up to 10 minutes resulting in much lengthier journey times into Huddersfield Town Centre.

The 371 usually has 10/15 minutes layover time at Kirkheaton Terminus meaning that the 262 cannot access the Terminus to pick up / drop off passengers. This also results in some passengers missing the 262.  It can also cause a traffic jam if both buses try to enter the terminus resulting in buses blocking the road as the 371 refuses to move to allow the 262 in, for example – if a person with reduced mobility wishes to alight from the 262 at Kirkheaton Terminus.

The 371 clashes with the 262 leaving at :05 past the hour. Often, both buses come down following each other and it can be difficult to indicate to the 262 that passengers wish to board this bus which can result in both buses going past passengers and therefore meaning passengers have to wait another 20 / 30 minutes for a bus.

If you have any thoughts about the above please contact

CC refurbishment nears completion

The refurbishment of the Community Centre is now nearing its completion so classes and groups are getting back to normal. Come and have a nosey!

Yetty’s coffee shop is also back to operating normally
Thursdays 2.30 – 4.30pm
Fridays 3pm – 4.30pm
Saturday 10.30 – 12.30pm
Come and have a coffee and home made cakes and see what we’ve been up to!

What’s On in February

As the refurbishment of the Community Centre is almost complete  all classes and meetings are back to normal. Thank you for your patience and we hope to see you there.

Yetty’s coffee shop is also back to operating normally
Thursdays 2.30 – 4.30pm
Fridays 3pm – 4.30pm
Saturday 10.30 – 12.30pm
Come and have a coffee and home made cakes and see what we’ve been up to!

Sat 10th Bicentenary Commemoration Service of Colne Bridge Fire Tragedy 11am Kirkheaton Parish Church  and afterwards at the Beaumont Arms
Tues 13th Yetton Hub talk ‘Recycling’ 7.30pm Community Centre FREE EVENT
Thurs 15th Local History talk ‘ Colne Bridge Fire Tragedy’ by Richard Heath 7.30pm Community Centre £2.50 at the door
Tues 20th Yetton Together Forum 7.30pm Community Centre

What’s on Regulars

Art Class, Community Centre 1.30 – 4pm £6. Call Nic 07980 353 196
Mindfulness Meditation Sessions, Community Centre, 7.30 – 9pm.  Call Tim on 07837 128 611

Hatha Yoga, Community Centre 1.30 – 2.30pm £5. Call Michael Sharp 01924 510360
Tai Chi, Community Centre, 3 -4pm.  Call Nicola 07742 528052

Coffee Plus (term time only – toys, activities for children and coffee & chat for their parents/carers), Kirkheaton Parish Centre, from 9am
Chair Exercise (for people who may find difficulty going to a traditional gym – all ages and abilities welcome), Community Centre, 2 – 3.30pm. £3. Call Sylvia Longbottom 01924 525528.
Tai Chi, Community Centre, 7 – 8pm. Call Nicola 07742 528052
Senior Citizens Club (over 55s) United Church 7.15pm for entertainment, talks etc..£2.50. Call David Lock 01484 302768

Knit & Natter, Community Centre, 2-4pm just come along and join in.
‘The Health Walk’ (~1 hour) meet at the Parish Centre Car Park at 2pm followed by tea & cake in the church until 4pm.
T@2, Kirkheaton Parish Church 2pm – a hot drink and a piece of home made cake.
Local & Family History Group, Community Centre 6 -7pm.  Call Roger on 07837 412070

Children’s Story Time, under 5’s 2pm Library
Lego Club, Community Centre, 3.30- 4.30pm – restarts Friday 12th January
Krash Kids (activities and fun, term time only), 5-11 yr olds, Kirkheaton Parish Centre, from 6.30pm.  Call Claire on 01484 531449 for more info.

Creative Crafts, Community Centre, 10.30 – 12.30 learning and sharing crafting skills.  (Contact Trish 07858 223 854


1st Tuesday – Flower Arranging, Community Centre, 7pm £6.  Call Diane on 07946 400240
1st Thursday -Young at Heart (activities & discussion), Parish Centre from 1.30pm.  Call Claire on 01484 531449 if you need a lift
2nd Tuesday – Mid-Week Service (all welcome), Kirkheaton Parish Church, 10.30am
2nd Tuesday – Yetton Hub Monthly Speaker, Community Centre, 7.30pm, just turn up, £2.50 on the door.  Call Bev 07708 999 728.
2nd Wednesday – Mother’s Union (with guest speaker), Parish Centre at 2pm.  Call Jan Miller on 01484 322441 for more info.
2nd Thursday – Senior Fellowship, Parish Centre at 1.30pm.  Call Claire on 01484 531449 for more info.
3rd Tuesday – Yetton Together Forum meeting & 200 Club draw, Community Centre, 7.30pm Community Centre
3rd Thursday – Young at Heart Club (home cooked meal), Parish Centre at 10.30pm £4. Afternoon session from 1.30 £2 – includes light refreshments Call Claire on 01484 531449 for more info.
3rd Saturday – Bible Breakfast Club (for families) – toast and cereals followed by a shared story and crafts, Kirkheaton Parish Church, 9.30-10.30.
Last Monday – Kirkheaton Bookworms – reading group in Library 7.15 pm. Contact Lesley 01484 313019
Last Thursday – History Group talk, Community Centre, 7.30pm, £2.50 pay at door


Yetton Hub – 2018 Events Programme

Our printed programme (including speakers) will be delivered with the next issue of Yetton News in late February 2018 and will also be available at Kirkheaton Community Centre.  Hope you can join us for something you find of interest.  Please book early to avoid disappointment.  Give Bev a call for more information and to book.