TREASURE OF THE WEEK. No. 3   FUDGE; or, The Bradford Oracle

In the basement of Bradford’s Local Studies are collections of nineteenth century pamphlets (and some of earlier date). Ranging from sermons and programmes of royal visits, to reports, articles, obituaries and regulations, they are a treasure-trove of local history. What follows is an account of one of these treasures. To consult any of these items please ask the staff. Card catalogues of these collections are located in the Local Studies Libraries. 

JND 187/12 (Please quote this number if requesting this booklet) 

FUDGE; or, The Bradford Oracle. A School Board Discussion. c.1880. 20 pages.


The striking title ‘Fudge’ and the delightful Shakespearean quote on the title page: ‘I am Sir Oracle, and when I ‘ope my lips let no dog bark’, immediately whet the appetite. What on earth is this? Presented in the form of a dialogue between Smith, a retired Bradford merchant, just returned after ten years’ absence abroad, and Fudge, President of the Board School, at the date of this pamphlet (not stated but probably c. 1890) a relatively new institution, this slim pamphlet gives a spirited exchange on the subject of the cost and success (or otherwise) of the newly established Board Schools. No date, printer or author given, but a manuscript note (probably by journalist and historian William Cudworth) reads: Mr. Hanson (Fudge) is tolerably well drawn in some parts of this brochure but here and there is a little too much politeness and suavity of manner accorded.


This text is in the form of a play script, with the scene set in Market Street near the School Board Office.  It opens:

SMITH, Why bless me if that isn’t Fudge, looking as wise as Solomon! Weighed down with all the cares of Bradford! (aloud) Mr. Fudge (F. does not or will not hear, but continues his onward shuffle) Mr. Fudge!

FUDGE. Ha! Who’s that? (sees Smith) Oh Smith, is that you? Pardon my abstraction. How are you after your long absence?

  1. Very well, thanks, and right glad to see the old place again. How have you been? You seem quite bent with age or the rheumatics. Which is it?
  2. Ah, well my dear friend, I’m not a young man any more it is true, but care, care, that’s killing me!
  3. I’m sorry for it. Why what’s up?
  4. Well you know that for the last forty years I have been devoted in all manner of ways to the great cause of education, but the last three or four years of daily strife in its behalf has indeed subdued my natural hilarity, and imparted to me an appearance partaking somewhat I fear in a cross between a philosopher and an undertaker.
  5. Nay, nay, you are still in spite of your cares, a fine and handsome-looking man, Fudge. You’re not on the Scholl Board, I suppose!
  6. (In indignant surprise) Not on the School Board, my dear Sir! To be sure I am! Whatever can you be dreaming of? Why whatever would become of the Board, what of education at all, if I were not a member? Education, sir, particular Higher Grade Education, is, I humbly submit, my forte!
  7. Oh, I beg a thousand pardons. You see I’ve been so long abroad, and only occasionally had the luxury of seeing an English Paper.
  8. And what paper was that, my dear Sir?
  9. Oh, the Standard.
  10. Ah, no wonder you are behind hand. Had you consulted the Daily News, sir, or better still the Bradford Telescope, or the Woollen Observer, you would have been up to the mark.
  11. (takes out pocket book) Daily News or Bradford Telescope.
  12. Good! Mind not the Standard or Night Wail.

After this opening skirmish the discussion turns a touch political, with Fudge extolling the virtue of the new Board Schools compared with the Denominational and Voluntary Schools (which the Board Schools were replacing) and boasting of the money spent on producing superior scholars, while the retired merchant Smith querying both the cost and the attainments of the pupils. Clearly Fudge, as the name implies, believes only what he wants to believe, while the realist Smith is highly sceptical.

The dialogue reflects much of the opinion of Bradfordians of the time, yet can be read today, not only as a window on events over a century ago, but for some pointers today! It is certainly well constructed and fun to read. Who, I wonder, was the author?

Stackmole (Library Volunteer)


Bradford in its Hey Day – A day school

On Saturday 15th October, Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society, in partnership with Bradford Local Studies Library ran a day-school entitled “Bradford In Its Hey Day – The Late Nineteenth Century”.

This was a very well attended event at the Bradford Club in Piece Hall Yard. Speakers included George Sheeran (A New Generation – Bradford Architects and Architecture 1880 – 1914), David Pearson (Railways In Bradford), Alan Hall (Notable Bradfordians) and George Ingle (The Textile Trade In Bradford). During the lunch break, attendees were also offered the chance to join a short tour of the historic Bradford Club.

The Local Studies Library provided a stall highlighting many items of our stock relating to the period, including Trade Directories, maps and illustrations and a selection of bound volumes of material originally published by associations and institutions active in Bradford during the latter part of the nineteenth century.


The stall attracted a good number of people during the day, many of whom were unaware of the resources the Library holds. We hope to see many of these people visiting us in the coming weeks following up on the research questions they were asking at the event.

All in all this was a very successful, enjoyable day all round.

Bradford Artist Geoff Latz


The Battle of Verdun

This poignant piece of artwork which is on show now at Bradford Local Studies Library, depicts a trench scene from The Battle of Verdun in France. It has been created by Geoff Latz who is a Bradford based artist.

Geoff is an ‘Upscaling’ artist and creates artwork mainly from unwanted or reclaimed materials. He works predominantly in various metals, i.e. copper, steel, wire etc, but uses whatever materials are necessary to create his work, as is the case with this particular piece. He has a passion for history and takes much inspiration from this when creating his work. He likes to make things that have an educational value, to inspire people of all ages, to catch the imagination and tell a story. You can see more of his work at

Earlier this year he created this piece of artwork to commemorate the First World War, which depicts a trench scene from The Battle of Verdun in France. This was longest single battle of WW1, fought between the French and German armies from 21th Feb to 18th Dec 1916. It was nick-named “The Meat Grinder” as it was so bloody and resulted in a magnitude of casualties and deaths, an accurate figure of which will probably never be known.  The impact of the battle on the French Army was a primary reason for the British starting the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, in an effort to take German pressure off the French at Verdun.

The artwork is set in a box display frame approx L85cm x H52cm x D15cm, with a toughened glass front and LED lights. It is a mixed media piece, painted in acrylics. The detailed scene has been created using various materials including stones, twigs, sand, metal and wire. The sandbags are made from jute shopping bag handles, the cenataph from glass & granite tiles and the crosses from matchsticks. The soldiers are made from copper wire, one has been shot. The numbers at the top right corner signify the estimated total casualties and deaths as a result of this battle, at the time of Geoff’s research.

The Battle of Verdun is on loan to Bradford Local Studies Library at the Margaret McMillan Tower building until Friday, October 21. It will then be going on a tour of libraries in the district. Next it will go on display at Bradford’s City Library in City Park until November 4 when it will move out to the district to go on show at Keighley Local Studies Library, coinciding with a screening of the Imperial War Museum’s film The Battle of The Somme on November 19 by the Men of Worth project.

Map of the week: Leeds Road and Market Street

This current example of a map from the Local Studies Library’s reserve collection is taken from a sepia plan which shows the eastern part of Bradford some years before it became a borough. Firstly it would help if we could establish a date. It is far earlier than the first OS map of 1849. The ‘new road’, running diagonally across the centre of the map, later became known as Leeds Road. This dates the map to later than c.1825-30 during which years this new turnpike to Leeds was constructed by the Leeds & Halifax Turnpike Trust. The pattern created by the other ‘new roads’ portrayed also exists on the Bradford plan of 1830, so we are probably looking at a map from the late 1820s.


A coal staithe is a place adjacent to a highway from which merchants can collect a supply for subsequent delivery to their customers. The staithe here is marked J.S. & Co. Clearly this represents John Sturges (or Sturgess) & Co. which was the company that operated Bowling Iron Works. There were two original partners of this name, father and son, but they were presumably dead by the time this map was created. The ‘new rail road’ drawn is in fact a mineral carrying tramway bringing coal in trucks to the Eastbrook staithe, by rope haulage, from the iron works. Bowling Iron Company owned and operated many collieries and ironstone mines. The trucks may have been returned filled with limestone, needed for iron smelting, which would have arrived at the nearby canal basin from the quarries at Skipton. The tramway was closed in 1846 and the area is marked as an ‘old staithe’ in the first OS map of the area.

Let us look at some other roads. Wakefield Road, Bridge Street, and Hall Ings are in their present positions. ‘Dead Lane’ has subsequently been renamed Vicar Lane. Leeds Old Road is now Barkerend Road. As far as I can tell the numbered areas represent fields. Trees are growing west of the first section of Leeds Road and a rather larger wood is mapped there in the 1800 Bradford plan. There is second coal staithe (or stay) at the junction of Well Street and Hall Ings. This is evidently operated by J.J. & Co. whom I cannot identify. At the opposite end of Wells Street is another ‘new street’ which had been in existence for some years and has evolved into Market Street. Behind this is a rather sketchily drawn Bradford Beck. The surveyor of the map was evidently interested in the owners of property between Market Street and the beck and has added some names. You probably won’t be able to read these names, and in fact they are not easily legible even on the original map. As far as I can make out, reading from top to bottom, the names are: Green, Cowling or Crossley, Bradford, Wilkinson, Bank, Armytage, L Lumb, and Hustler.

There are directories listing Bradford business in 1822 and 1834. Plausible identification of most of these names in Market Street can be made from these directories although it is impossible to be sure.

  • Thomas Green, grocer and tea dealer 1834
  • David Crossley, attorney 1834
  • Bradford – uncertain
  • James Wilkinson, cabinet maker 1822
  • Thomas Jowett Wilkinson, cabinet maker 1834
  • Bradford Commercial Bank Co. 1834
  • Samuel Armitage, plumber & glazier 1834
  • John Lumb, straw hat maker 1822
  • Ann Lumb, pawn broker 1822
  • Thomas Lumb, pawn broker 1834

The name Hustler is more difficult. The famous Quaker wool-stapler and canal promoter, John Hustler, had died 1790. I believe he left two daughters. The fact that Market Street boasted two wool-stapler partnerships carrying his surname cannot, surely, be a coincidence. The two partnerships were Hustler & Blackburn and Hustler & Seebohm and I have confirmed the existence of both in other sources. I know that the Seebohms were another Bradford Quaker family. Can anyone fill me in on the exact relationships?

Derek Barker, Local Studies Library Volunteer

Keighley’s Ian Dewhirst

Keighley’s Ian Dewhirst …

A Pennine legend in his own lifetime – man on a train.

For a scholar who never wanted to become a teacher, Ian Dewhirst MBE has proved to be one of the most memorable on the subject of local history. Informative, enthusiastic and entertaining, his talks are renowned and what’s more his scholarship and wit stay in the memory with a lingering delight – and so we are taught.

However, Ian Dewhirst, native of Keighley and pupil of Keighley Boys’ Grammar School, did not know what he wanted to become when he eventually graduated from the University of Manchester in 1958, with Honours in English. He was instead, directed towards librarianship by the National Service he undertook shortly following his graduation. Having already worked part-time for a mere 6 weeks in Keighley Public Library, the Army decided to make him a sergeant-instructor in the Royal Army Educational Corps and put him in charge of an army library at Deepcut on the Surrey/Hampshire border. He was Garrison Librarian no less, serving military personnel and families as well as civilians. Ian must have enjoyed the work, because he joined the library service in Keighley when he left the Army in 1960.

… and you see, here is where the other part of the legend begins, for Bradford Library Services’ staff and Yorkshire customers alike, that of  Ian Dewhirst, the helpful, enthusiastic and enviably knowledgeable Reference Librarian who, in 2016, still bestrides Keighley Librarianship like a colossus. I can’t count the number of times I have been eagerly asked if Ian Dewhirst, the Librarian, is available and uncomfortably witnessed the looks of disappointment when I told them he was not and, I have to admit, that when new to both Keighley town and library, I did weary of yet another common comment, “Ian Dewhirst would have known…”, when I didn’t know, followed by that look of   bewildered frustration when I also commented that Ian had long been retired. This was then followed by drooping shoulders, heavy sighs and knowing nods, from myself included. Where was this giant, this legend? I soon met the man and many times since have made a beeline for him myself to ask for advice, pointers or just plain “Help!” Always he has been patient, generous spirited, knowledgeable and yes, encouraging. If the Beatles had known of this guru, they would have written a different album, and maybe sported some book based fashions as well.

Ian puts his local history knowledge down to his ultimate employment as Reference Librarian in Keighley Library which had a growing local history collection, but also the fact that it dovetailed with his own love and enthusiasm for that subject. The one benefited the other. In the last 50 years, he has also made between 80-200 appearances a year all over the country, speaking about Keighley and Yorkshire history and literature, always with learned references to the wider national historical context and his wit and humour have even outclassed the likes of Jeremy Beadle when at the height of national popularity. Locally, he is affectionately known as Mr Keighley and has even seen his name on the side of a Northern Rail 158 diesel travelling the Airedale line and throughout the North for 4 years. Ian has written books, journal and newspaper articles and continues to write for the Keighley News with his informative Down Memory Lane slot and regularly appears on radio. For some time, he also appeared on ITV’s The Dales Diary, covering topics from Yorkshire history.

Ian has seen many changes in the library service over the years. He says that he worked during a “Golden Age” of librarianship when education was more essentially and enthusiastically library centred and book stock based and he has witnessed important developments brought about by the publication of controversial works such as Lady Chatterley, but the biggest change that still shocks him is that of the Internet and the proliferation of those machines in libraries.  He still counts himself fortunate in that during his career, he was able to continue working, as he puts it, as basically, “…an Edwardian Reference Librarian“, but, probably because Ian continues not to be on Facebook and because we can’t get him by email, we continue to benefit from the comforting and inspiring presence in the flesh of this Keighley Library champion and for now, hurray for that!  Happy 80th year, Ian, and long may you continue to be a shining light on the actual pages of local history, Keighley’s in particular.

Gina Birdsall, Keighley Library


Ian Dewhirst in 1967


In the basement of Bradford’s Local Studies Library are collections of nineteenth century pamphlets (and some of earlier date). Ranging from sermons and programmes of royal visits, to reports, articles, obituaries and regulations, they are a treasure-trove of local history. What follows is an account of one of these treasures. To consult any of these items please ask the staff. Card catalogues of these collections are located in the Local Studies Library.

JND 245/4 + 5 (Please quote this number if requesting these booklets)

C.F. and W.F. A Ramble on Rumbald’s Moor among the dwellings, cairns & circles of the Ancient Britons in the spring of 1868. Part II Counterhill & Castleberg.
20 pages. (Wakefield: W.T.Lamb, Printer and Publisher.)

C.F. and W.F. A Ramble on Rumbald’s Moor among the rocks, idols & altars of the Ancient Druids in the spring of 1869. Part III. 26 pages. (Wakefield: H.Kelly, Printer and Publisher.)

What delightful titles have these two pamphlets! Sadly the first of these three ‘parts’ is missing, though since only one hundred copies were printed this is no surprise. This, their age, and the fragile nature of the paper they were printed on, must make any remaining copies pretty scarce.

Our first pamphlet opens: “Who, after rambling among British dwellings, cairns and circles on that part of Rumbold’s Moor which extends from Burley Wood Head to Ilkley, could hear reports of Roman Camps on Counterhill and Castleberg, and not wish to visit them?” As indicated by the titles, these slim volumes give an account of early relics of past peoples, though an account of Addingham fills much of the first volume. A newspaper cutting inserted into the second volume here makes the point that the authors “drew attention to the sculptured rocks … recently discovered on Ilkley Moor.”

And who were C.F. and W.F.? A newspaper cutting inserted into the second volume here gives the authors as Charles Forest and William Grainge.


Charles Forest

Some of the early historians, or ‘antiquarians’ as they were often called, have a bad reputation for making unsubstantiated assertions and promoting theories in the face of contradicting evidence, but not C.F. and W.F., according to the newspaper account, an obituary of Forest. It makes the point that he was careful in his research, and the text of these pamphlets bears this out, for the authors were often critical of other antiquarians.

There are a number of line drawings. These pamphlets are an early account of these remarkable relics on the moors. Though do take care if using them, else these scarce ‘relics’ will crumble to dust, unlike the relics they describe!


Map of the Week: Allerton Stone Extraction

The minerals exploited within Bradford were ironstone, coal, fireclay and sandstone. At one time there was also a small lime industry, in Bingley and elsewhere, based on the excavation of glacial limestone deposits brought by the ice from the Dales. After the Shipley to Skipton section of the Leeds-Liverpool canal was opened in 1774 there was a more direct means of access to the Skipton limestone quarries.  Ice movements would presumably have left substantial quantities of hard stone on the surface. This would need to be removed before ploughing in any case, but in regions where drystone walls were the traditional field boundaries there must have been a ready use for such material. Elsewhere resistant outcrops of rock protruded through the top soil from which potential wall stone could be removed with a hammer or crow bar. On some common land, or waste, local people may have had the right to remove such surface stone deposits. In Northcliffe Wood in Shipley there are a number of undated shallow excavations by means of which a band of sandstone called Stanningley Rock was accessed.

In many parts of Yorkshire it would have been possible to rob a Roman fort or the ruin of a dissolved monastery to obtain building stone, but not here.  In Bradford ‘delvers’ could obtain a good quality, honey coloured, sandstone. Quarrying is thought to have begun in this area in the seventeenth century and continued until the twentieth. The need for stone was perhaps greatest in the period 1860-1900 although the walls of many stone buildings in that era would have had an inner skin made from locally produced brick, which was cheaper. Stone winning processes are illustrated in these two plans of Allerton from the LSL’s reserve map collection.

The first plan is of Allerton Grange Quarry. The dated workings are from 1875-76. Towards the bottom of the plan you can see an extraction track. On the full map the track leads to Grange Lane. This name has been crossed out and ‘Dog Lane’ substituted in pencil. Dog Lane it remained until the post-war housing development of the area. The quarry seems to be marked as Upper Grange in the second OS map of the area (surveyed 1891). In 1905 a cricket pavilion was sitting on the site but by the 1930s it was fields again.


The second plan shows an area south of Allerton village & Allerton Road, east of Hill Top Lane and north of Dog Lane. An extensive area of stone exploitation is indicated which not present on the first or second OS maps, but is present on the 1908 map. This plan was drawn by J Hindle, a well-known Bradford surveyor in partnership at various times with Charles Gott and Thomas Dixon. It is undated but is probably from the last decade of the nineteenth century. The important feature is that this is a stone mine, not a quarry. You may just be able to make out four ‘old shafts’ and a single ‘present shaft’. The pink areas represent stone already won or ‘got’, and evidently the land-owner has imposed a strict boundary to the exploitation. Good stone was not infrequently mined. Recently I was shown round some old mining sites in Shropshire where limestone was obtained in this way.


What rock was exploited in Allerton? The local geological guides record Elland Flags being mined there. This is a sandstone stratum consisted of several bands of varying thickness and quality which were located under the Better Bed coal seam, itself extensively mined in south Bradford. The maps include no evidence of ownership although nearby Allerton Grange Farm was on Atkinson-Jowett land. Contemporary trade directories list many stone merchants situated in Allerton any of whom could have been involved with these sites.

Derek Barker, Local Studies Library Volunteer