• Fishers of Briestfield – Coal Miners

    In the 1870-72 Gazetteer of England, Briestfield was described as a hamlet in Lower Whitley, situated on the edge of Thornhill parish in West Yorkshire. Also known at various times as Briestwell and Briestwistle, records show that in 1150 it was known as Brerethuisel, meaning “common or waste overgrown with briars in the confluence of two rivers”. Flint stones found nearby hark back to a much earlier occupancy and cannon balls found in the vicinity were a legacy of the Civil War bombardment of nearby Thornhill Hall. The villagers were won over to Wesleyan Methodism and a chapel was built in 1875. It is a place with which I had…

  • Professor Tom Kilburn CBE FRS – a Personal View of a Remarkable Man

    Early years I grew up knowing about Tom Kilburn. He was born at 111 Town Street, Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, on 11th August 1921, just round the corner from where I was brought up. Tom’s father was a clerk at Mark Oldroyd’s woollen mill and later became Company Secretary. An intelligent boy, Tom was educated at the Wheelwright Boys Grammar School (WBGS), but in those early years, nobody could have predicted the enormous role that he would play in the world of wartime and post war technology. In the late 1930’s he was just another football-mad teenage boy who enjoyed stamp collecting, dancing and playing the piano, which he did rather well.…

  • The Jury

    Misdemeanour, Felony and Bankruptcy

    A brief history of crime and punishment from the 17th to 19th centuries. The Wakefield House of Correction, Rothwell Debtors' Prison and York Castle Prison are highlighted. The article gives family case histories of those who skirted the edges of the law and were sometimes punished.

error: © Christine Widdall - Kirklees Cousins
© Christine Widdall