MEMBERS MEETING  – 11TH January 2023

We were pleased to welcome Mr Chris Morton to our first meeting of 2023.        

Mr Morton, a valued member of the Society, gave a presentation on his family, his life at Elland Hall and the various businesses started by him and his wife, and the generations that went before him.

Elland Old Hall was located on the north bank of the River Calder overlooking Elland Bridge.  In 1976, the hall was demolished to make way for the A629 Elland bypass.  The stones and the original timber frames were put into storage for the building to be reconstructed.  50 years on and this has yet to be started.

Ghosts were also seen at the Hall. Sir John Eland was said to have been seen stood at the end of a bed one night and there was a kiddies rocking chair, that rocked by itself.

Mr Morton went on to describe the various businesses he had started. He described the fire that nearly put him out of business but, with the support of his family, his workforce and his suppliers, he was able to find new premises and get the business up and running again within four days.

Yet again the concert room at the Elland Working Men’s Club was filled to capacity.  Mr Morton’s talk was enjoyed by all the members and, only the limitations on time, brought this very interesting talk to a close.



Our November meeting saw the return of Mr Vincent Dorrington, a retired history teacher, and a firm favourite of the members.  This was evident when you saw that the concert room at the Elland Working Men’s Club was filled to capacity.

Vincent gave an illustrated talk on the Shaw Family of  Holywell Green.

The talk gave an insight into the success of the business. Starting with George Shaw and his cottage weaving business and John Shaw, who bought the family’s first mill, Brook Mill at Lower Holywell Green.

 In the 1870’s the family employed over 1200 people. To further expand the business the Shaw family  built a railway to the mill. This took over 4 years to complete at a cost of £140,000.  The family were able to supply their products worldwide.

As with lots of mills at the time, John Shaw and Sons went into decline.  The company went into liquidation in 1929.  In 1955 Raymond Shaw gave the estate to the Elland District Council and the Great Mill was demolished in 1989.

Vincent Dorrington is a founder member of the Mount Community Group. Please visit their Facebook page for details of future talks and events.

Vincent Dorrington and Keith Gill,-GEHS Vice Chair


Our Annual General Meeting of the GEHS was held on 12.10.2022. Approximately 40 members attended.

A minute’s silence was held for all the members who had passed away over the last 12 months.

The Chair, Andrew Gilmour, presented the reports before the Committee stood down.  This was followed by the election of GEHS officers for the 2022-23 Committee.

Peter Lewthwaite and Doreen Rothwell gave notice 3 years ago of their intention to leave their roles as Treasurer and Secretary on the Committee. Whilst other Committee members left during lockdown, Peter and Doreen stayed in their positions and were invaluable in the setting up of the Society again after the enforced lockdown.

As you will appreciate, having given notice to resign from the committee 3 years ago, they have showed true commitment and loyalty to the Society to carry on for a further 3 years.  To this end, the Committee, with the backing of the Members, have now asked both Peter and Doreen to be joint Presidents of the Society and both have accepted the posts. Gifts of appreciation were presented to Peter and Doreen.

An Honorary Life Membership was award to David Glanfield. David has undertaken various roles with the Society over the years and, whilst not currently on the committee, he continues to support the Society in every way he can. Unfortunately, David was unable to attend the meeting to accept his award. Maureen Odhams accepted the award  on behalf of David on the night. Andrew Gilmour later visited David to present him with his certificate.

The speaker at the AGM was Susan Mitchell. Susan gave an interesting talk on Rayner Hardcastle, a local journalist in Elland.

Rayner had an office within Scotts Travel in Elland.   He was a gentleman reporter whose door was always open for local news. Rayner kept all his newspaper cuttings. These were kept in boxes stacked around his office, always accessible if he ever needed to refer to them. Woe betide anyone who attempted to tidy them up.

The press cuttings are now held in the History Room of the Elland Library. A selection of these were brought to the meeting for the Members to view.  These and further volumes, are always available to view in the History Room.  

Rayner’s work is an invaluable resource for anyone carrying out research into our local area.

MEMBERS MEETING – 14th September 2022

Brenda Astin and Gemma Redford gave a talk on the Forget Me Not Trust.

Forget Me Not was founded by Linda Senior.  Exhausted by the struggle to find support locally for her son, Russell, she created the Forget Me Not Trust.  Linda and her team of supporters, one of which was Brenda, took on the task to raise the funds to create the Hospice we see today.  

Brenda and Gemma gave us an insight into the work carried out by those involved and also into those who utilise their very caring and compassionate services.

The Hospice requires £4 million pounds each year to continue.  They are, therefore, continually looking for ways to raise funds. 

On the 27th November, 2022 they will be holding their Christmas Fayre and Afternoon Tea.  This will be held in the Revell Ward Suite, John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield at 12.30 pm.

Members Meeting – 8 June 2022

Mr Vincent Dorrington gave an illustrated talk on “Old Lindley”.

Mr Dorrington used to be a History teacher and since retirement has spent a great deal of his time doing research into the area where he lives.  Starting with Lee Hill in Old Lindley. This led to him carrying out more in depth research into the area.  His talk started way back with an Iron Age Settlement and progressed through the centuries, through Roman times,  right up to the present day. Through a variety of photos and pages of text, he recalled memories of fascinating buildings, grand old homes, public houses and breweries that existed in the area, before their disappearance to make way for the construction of the M62 motorway.

This was a very interesting talk which those in attendance thoroughly enjoyed.

Mr Dorrington is an active member of the Mount Community Group which holds regular events which have included history talks, quizzes and film nights in the past. Details of the Group’s future events can be found on the Mount Community Group Facebook Page. The Group issues quarterly newsletters providing details of forthcoming events.  These can be sent to you by e-mail. If you would like to be added to their mailing list, simply send us a request via the Contact Page on this Website.  Your request will then be forwarded to Mr Dorrington.

Members Meeting – 11 May 2022

The speaker at our May meeting was Robert Hamilton who gave a talk on “The Lady Globetrotter – Lizzie Humphries”.

Lizzie was born Elizabeth Yates and started life at Kelsey Street, Halifax in the 19th century.  She left England for a life in Canada in 1908 and it was there that she married Mr Harry Humphries and her travels and adventures began.  She, and her husband, set out to circumnavigate the world on foot.  As you would expect everything did not go quite as planned. Further details of Lizzie’s fascinating life and adventures can be found in Mr Hamilton’s book “The Lady Globetrotter”.  

Members thoroughly enjoyed the talk and many purchased a copy of Mr Hamilton’s book, which he duly signed.

Please contact Mr Hamilton direct if you would like to purchase a copy of his book. His e-mail is

Let’s hope the next drama series we see on TV is based on the life of Lizzie.

Mr Robert Hamilton with Shirley, one of the GEHS members.

Members Meeting – 13 April 2022

The speaker at the April meeting was Denise Adlard and the talk was “A semi-humorous look at OCD”   – and so it was! 

Denise gave us an insight into the ups and downs of living with, and living with someone, that has OCD.  Some of the scenarios shared by Denise did resonate with quite a few of the members during the evening.  From the sorting of pegs into colours before hanging out the washing, which of course had to be hung in a particular order, to the precise way in which a person with OCD  likes to see a  table set for an evening meal – the sitting on hands being a necessity when being invited out for a meal at someone else’s house.

Denise presented information on this very serious condition in a very humorous way which, at quite a few points,  had the audience laughing and often nodding in “guilty” agreement.


Members came out in their large numbers on Wednesday evening to hear the very popular Mr David Glover speak about the “Wittiest Vicar in Halifax”, Reverend Francis Pigou.

Reverend Pigou was born in Baden Baden, Germany to English parents.  He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and was ordained in 1855. 

Reverend Pigou held several posts in England, as well as in Paris.  He had been Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen before he was appointed the Vicar of Halifax in 1875. It was during his incumbency that the complete restoration and refurbishment of the church took place.

David’s presentation gave members an insight into Reverend Pigou’s  family life and into his life within the structure of the church.

As you would expect, the presentation was very well received and enjoyed by the members.

Members may be interested in the following future presentations by David in support of the Square Chapel, Halifax.  These will take place on Wednesdays at 2.15 pm.

28 September       Father to Gentleman Jack: Life of Captain Jeremy Lister

26 October            The Life Story of Halifax Parish Church – Now Minster

30th November     Fine Halifax Houses for Men, Small Flats for Women – and Almshouses

Tickets are £6.00 and can be booked online via the Square Chapel Website or tel  0343 208 6016

Members Meeting – 9 February 2022

Andrew Gilmour led a tribute to Brian Hargreaves, a local historian and one of the founder members of the Greater Elland Historical Society.  Andrew’s presentation gave us an insight into the life of Brian and into to the contribution that he made to both his community and the GEHS.   The presentation also included a large selection of images which  had recently been donated to the Society by Brian’s family.

 A lasting legacy of Brian’s work are the books that he published, all  of which are still available.

Volunteers from the History Room brought along various albums containing images and newspaper cuttings from the Brian Hargreaves Collection.  These, and much more, can be viewed in the History Room and the Elland Library.  The History Room is open Tuesday & Thursday afternoon 1.30 – 3.30 pm.

Andrew would like to thank David Glanfield, Maureen Odams and Richard Dyson (Richard Of York) for their valued contribution  to the presentation  and also to the volunteers  from the History Room for bringing along some of the collection for members to view.

As you would expect, the evening was very well attended and enjoyed by over 60 members and  guests.  

Members Meeting -12 January 2022

David Allen was due to speak to the Society at the January meeting but, due to a fall, was unable to attend.  The Society wishes him a full and speedy recovery and hope to see him sometime in the future.

Mr Phillip Wilkinson agreed to stand in at the last minute. Phillip gave a talk on Roman History titled “Tales of Adultery, Power and Military Might”.

The talk touched on the many different legions in Britain and around Europe, the  high levels of training undertaken by the soldiers and the high standard of the equipment and weapons they had available to them. He also detailed the number of high quality, straight, roads for which they became famous. He also provided members with details of his visit to Hadrian’s Wall and the building of the wall by the Romans.

This short and informative talk was enjoyed by the members.

The Society would like to thank Phillip for standing in at such short notice.