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…
A Dewsbury born mathematician and computer scientist, who was involved in the development of five computers of great historical significance, including the first stored-memory computer, the “Baby”, over the course of a 30-year career. Includes interviews with his pre-war friend and fellow footballer, who happened to be the author’s father. 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),…
Searching for Martha Arnold, who married Mirfield-born Thomas Sheard, turned up echoes of the Luddite uprising in West Yorkshire and a possible family connection.