This month sees the 700th anniversary of our Charter. Sadly the original document is ‘long gone’ but the granting of the charter by King Edward II to John de Eland and his heirs forever permitted Elland to hold a market and two fairs annually. Of course forever has not meant forever. The annual street market lasted until the time of the Black Death (although we’ve seen weekly markets in Elland for many years). The fair (not fairs) has continued although lapsed during times of war, economic uncertainty and indifference. For a century or two our town was a place of significance, a hive of activity, a prosperous settlement but as places go up they alas can fall. Elland’s decline saw Halifax’s growth. Had history followed a different path we would now be awaiting the grand opening of the regenerated Elland Piece Hall, our new library and railway station redevelopment in the Borough of Ellandale!
Shall we dance?
January 1891 – ‘the members of the Elland Cycling Club held a most successful ball in the Town Hall on Tuesday evening, there being over 100 couples present. The hall on this occasion was most splendidly decorated, the decorations having been carried out by Mr James Lumb, he being assisted by the brothers Townsend, Southgate and Mr Sam Milnes. The M.C. for the occasion was Mr T. Savage. At 8.10pm Mr and Mrs Savage led off the dancing, when the following programme was gone through:- 1. polka; 2. quadrille; 3. waltz; 4. schottische; 5. lancers; 6. mazurka; 7. another waltz; 8. another quadrille; 9. cotillon; 10. another schottische; 11. another lancers; 12. saraband; interval; 13. the waltz again; 14. quadrille repeated; 15. another mazurka; 16. waltz; 17. lancers; 18. schottische; 19. waltz; 20. quadrille; 21. the final waltz; 22. lancers; 23. saraband and 24. Circassian circle. Mr B. Armitage’s Harmonic Band rendered the music for the evening. Mrs Briggs of Southgate provided the refreshments. It is said that the Elland Cycling Club is at the present time in a very good condition, and the success which has attended their efforts on this occasion will tend to strengthen their position, and when the cinder track that is being laid down by the Elland Cricket Club is finished this will also lead to an increase of members of both clubs. The dance was continued until 4am on Wednesday.’
The funeral card of Jonathan Moore of Stainland, died aged 72, January 1883
Though he liv’d long, the old man’s gone at last;
No more he’ll listen to the huntsman’s stirring blast;
Though fleet as Reynard in his youthful prime,
At length he yielded to the hand of time.
The Norcliffes, Hawks and Bradleys did see him at the meet;
Woodhouse, Thornton, and the Hirsts he cheerfully would greet;
To chase poor puss while here it was his choice,
Hills, dales and woodlands echoed to his voice.
But oh! Death came, worn out, and full of years,
He died in peace, amidst his offspring’s tears;
With fortitude he paid stern nature’s debt,
And death with humble resignation met.
David J. Glanfield
Greater Elland Historical Society