Aspects of Waterfront History

Aspects of Waterfront History

PLEASE NOTE: All articles and images on the pages below are the Copyright of the authors and/or Wakefield Historical Society and are not to be copied in any medium without explicit written permission.

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An Interesting Case in Wakefield  Court House – 1841, by Jo Heron
A fascinating tale of deceit and lies in Wakefield Court House.  This case was very interesting in that as well as highlighting the abuses to the system and defrauding His Majesty’s Custom and Excise, it also gave us details of  the process of the malting of grain, used in brewing, vinegar production and other products.

“By Water to Wakefield”
The canal network – and its fascinating history – was revealed in a series of talks on 16th, 23rd and 30th April  by eminent local historian John Goodchild. Notes on these talks follow:
Introduction and the Aire and Calder Navigation 
The Calder and Hebble Navigation
The Barnsley Canal

Shopkeepers in Thornes Lane Fined, by Kate Taylor
It is unusual to find any report of the happenings at the 19th century Courts Leet.  The reporter for the Wakefield Express clearly thought that readers did not know much about them even at the time as he carefully explained how the fines were determined.  There were only two Waterfront shops involved and they were both on Thornes Lane.

History of Christ Church, 1876-1926 by Samuel Baines (notes by Dorothy Clayton)
The notes that follow are copied from “Christ Church Wakefield, 1876 to 1926”, a handwritten book by Mr Samuel Baines, a member of the Christ Church congregation and at some time Church Warden, on the occasion of the
Church Jubilee, April 19th 1926. 
(Please note: the river was made navigable in 1704 not 1698, Richard Hodgson was not a ‘Rev’ and the London Gazette  was probably the publication where notice of the new parish was issued rather than the ‘Church Gazette’.)   

A Walk down Thornes Lane in the Nineteen Forties by Dorothy Clayton 
Dorothy Clayton describes in detail the Thornes Lane area that she knew so well.  Living on Wellington Street, she ‘walks’ the area  describing the houses, the streets, the buildings, the shops and the inhabitants.

Wakefield and the D-Day Landings by Paul Dawson Photo Gallery
The Wakefield waterfront played a part in the testing of landing craft which were built in Wakefield and were in service on D-Day, 6 June 1944.

Jolly Boating Weather…   Wakefield Amateur Rowing Club, 1846 – c. 1876  by Anthony Dawson
Anthony Dawson describes the background to the founding of the Wakefield Amateur Rowing Club, and the regattas that were held on the River Calder at Wakefield and also in Leeds.  The growing popularity of rowing as a sport is detailed, the types of boats that were used, and the spectacle of the regattas that were watched by large crowds.

Christ Church, Thornes by Paul Dawson     Christ Church Photo Gallery 
Paul Dawson describes the building and establishment of Christ Church C.E. on Mark Lane, and its consecration in 1876, aided by a substantial endowment by Mrs Disney Robinson.

Photographs and videos of the Waterfront

A visit to the Wharf 1959, by Horbury Bridge C.E. Junior & Infant School  Photo Gallery

Double TWO Shirt makers  Double TWO 

Portobello mill                     Photo Gallery

West Riding Marine           Photo Gallery

Lithart Springs,  Tootal Street, made leaf springs for car and commercial vehicles  Photo Gallery

View original 1933 British Pathe footage of the opening of Wakefield Bridge: Yorkshire’s Great New Gateway
Did you work in the buildings in the background? Would you like to find out more about them?  Please contact us and tell us your memories.

A video of the Waterfront area from the air appears on YouTube:  Aerial Footage of Tootal Street Mills Wakefield – Video By

The banner at the top of this page is based on an engraving of Wakefield by Samuel Buck: view original
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