(Photo by Graeme Blackwell and used with permission)
Visitors to Huddersfield Parish Church have found links in the grounds to their ancestors, a family of some note within the town.
It was a pleasure to welcome Angela and Paddy to St.Peter’s as they searched for more information about Angela’s relatives, the Learoyds, founders of the firm of Learoyd Bros and Company. Ltd., renowned manufacturers of worsted fabric.
Angela and Paddy had been on the hunt for Learoyd gravestones having learned that family members had been buried at the parish church, only to discover upon arrival that the graveyard had been emptied in the 19th century and the gravestones laid around the exterior of the church building.
Undeterred, Angela and Paddy went on a hunt around the grounds, eventually finding the specific gravestone that they had hoped to see on the east side of the church near to Lord Street.
Following their visit to St.Peter’s Angela and Paddy were then on their way to Trafalgar Mills, the mills having been designed by Mr. A.E. Learoyd of Learoyd Bros and Co.
According to C&J Antich & Sons Ltd’s History of Weaving in Huddersfield: “The mills were built in 1896 and its basic layout was so modern in concept that, apart from the introduction of new types of machinery, no changes were necessary to maintain its reputation as one of the best planned mills in the industry.
“This sound planning, combined with the use of the best machinery available and the high standards of the workers employed, enabled the company to establish itself as a manufacturer of some of the finest worsteds in the world.
“The company produced some 7,000 pieces of cloth per year, of which 80% was exported and a further 15% was exported indirectly.”
A.E. Learoyd was also a Half Back in Huddersfield’s rugby team, the first to play on the new Fartown ground on the 26th October, 1878, beating York by 2 goals, 5 touchdowns, one dead ball and one touch in goal to one touchdown.
As the Huddersfield Examiner noted at the time: “Huddersfield played an exceedingly agreeable and exciting game in the presence of a large number of spectators, who took an immense interest in the play.”