Ossett Pictures - Ossett Agricultural Show 1911
A group of gentlemen pictured outside Wesley House, Wesley Street, Ossett on the 10th June 1911 on the occasion of the last Ossett Agricultural Show, which was held on a large field in Wesley Street. The show had been running since 1895, but by 1911 it was was losing money because of reduced interest within the town and a much greater number of similar shows that were being held in the immediate locality. The number of entries in the different show classes, e.g. horse, cattle, dogs, poultry, etc. had dropped from 1199 in 1908 to only 889 by 1911. Despite beautiful weather in June 1911, the public attendance had been disappointing and the show receipts had been only £70, indicating a signifcant loss. In 1910, over £120 was received, but that had been insufficient for the show to pay its way and despite economies in the prize list, the writing was on the wall for the demise of the Ossett agricultural show.
The owner of the house pictured above was Mr. Edward Clay, principal of Edward Clay and Son, Mungo Manufacturers, based in Wesley Street. Several of the others in this group were also Ossett-based mungo manufacturers or were closely associated with the rag trade.
Rear: George Frederick Wilson, Albert Mitchell Langley, Bernard Brook, James Hampshire Nettleton, Harry Holmes.
Centre Row: William Muir Oddie, Charles Firth, Thomas William Wilson, Thomas Wilby Bentley, Leonard Varley, Benjamin Edward Archer, Harvey Robinson, David Brook Broadhead, Joseph Henry Fearnside.
Front Row: William Moys, Arnold Egerton Mottram, Eli Lucas, Albert Metcalfe, Harry Nettleton, Matthew Marsh.
Quite a few of the people in this picture were well-known residents of the town of Ossett and not surprisingly, the majority were involved in the rag, mungo or shoddy businesses, but with some notable exceptions as follows:
George Frederick Wilson J.P. was a mungo manufacturer and very much involved the public life of Ossett. A future mayor of the borough for a record four years during WW1, he lived at 'Heath House', Dewsbury Road.
Albert Mitchell Langley was part of the management team at Langley's Mill, Dale Street and lived at 'Lyndhurst' Station Road. Sadly, he was to die in January 1917 aged 44.
Bernard Brook was the son of cloth manufacturer Thomas Brook of Brook's Mill in West Wells. His sister Alice Brook married Ossett artist Mark Senior. Brook was one of the ring stewards at the agricultural show.
James Hampshire Nettleton J.P. was an Ossett butcher who lived at Highfield Villas in Station Road. He was deeply involved in the public life of the town, serving as mayor on several occasions.
Harry Holmes was a chartered civil engineer and served as Ossett's Borough Engineer.
William Muir Oddie lived at 'Springstone House', Dewsbury Road and was a chartered accountant and the Ossett Borough Treasurer.
Charles Firth was the Nuisance Inspector and later the Sanitary Inspector for Ossett Borough Council.
Thomas William Wilson lived at 'Stonehurst'', Dearden Street and was the Town Clerk of Ossett Borough Council between 1909 and his death in 1938.
Thomas Wilby Bentley lived at 'Elder House', Teal Street. He was mungo manufacturer and mayor of Ossett in the years 1909/10 and 1910/11, and so was mayor at the time of the photograph. He was also Chairman of Governors at Ossett Grammar School from 1905-1925.
Leonard Varley is believed to be a mungo manufacturer originating from Pudsey. He was also one of the ring stewards at the agricultural show and served on the finance committee of the Ossett Agricultural Society.
Benjamin Edward Archer lived in the West Wells area and had been an Overseer of the Poor and also Ossett's Rate Collector.
Harvey Robinson lived at 'Fairfield House', Wesley Street and was a rag merchant. He was Ossett's mayor on three occasions and was mayor at the start of WW1 in 1914. Robinson served on several WW1 tribunals and took an active part in recruiting local men into the war effort.
David Brook Broadbent was a cattle dealer and farmer with premises at High Street Gawthorpe. In 1911, he was the president of the Ossett Agricultural Society that organised the agricultural show. In Broadbent's address at the show luncheon, he correctly predicted the demise of the agricultural show as a result of falling support.
Joseph Henry Fearnside was part of the Fearnside mungo manufacturing family at Bottomfield Mills. He lived at 'Brooklyn', Dewsbury Road. He was a ring steward at the agricultural show and a member of the finance committee of organisers.
William Moys was a past manager of Ossett Gas Works and originated from Canterbury in Kent. At the time of the photograph, he was a member of Ossett Borough Council.
Arnold Egerton Mottram was the manager and engineer of the Ossett Gas Works in Healey Road.
Eli Lucas lived at Stanley Villas, Belgrave Street and at the time of the photograph was the Secretary to the Education Committee for Ossett Borough Council.
Albert Metcalfe was a mungo manufacturer with premises at Hope Mills, Spa Street, Ossett.
Harry Nettleton was a member of Ossett Borough Council and was a butcher with premises in High Street, Gawthorpe.
Mathew Marsh was a member of Ossett Borough Council and a pharmacist with a chemists shop in Ossett Green not far from Victoria Mills.
Many of the "gentleman" class of this era were skilled horsemen as evidenced by Joseph Fearnside on the extreme right of the picture, carrying a riding crop. At around this time, there was an unofficial group in Ossett called the "Giggal Hill Hunt", some of whom were keen followers of the Badsworth hounds. Mr. Alonzo Fearnside, an oil merchant of "Holme Dene", Manor Road, Ossett was a member of the "Giggal Hill Hunt" and it is known that he looked after the mounts of some of the members of the group.