Old Liversedge in the spotlight

OH LITTLE TOWN: One of the pictures of old Littletown which will be at the exhibition.
OH LITTLE TOWN: One of the pictures of old Littletown which will be at the exhibition.
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ALL you ever needed to know about Old Liversedge will be featured at a special exhibition being staged in the village next weekend.

Spen Valley Historical Society is organising the event at Christ Church as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations.

Attending the two-day exhibition will be historian Jim Summerscales, who, despite living in South Yorkshire, is an authority on the area’s history.

Two years ago he helped Christ Church stage a similar exhibition, and such was its success that the Historical Society has enlisted his help for their event.

Jim has a great affection for Spen as many of his ancestors were from Liversedge. His three times great-grandfather, James Lister, was landlord of the Shears in Halifax Road when the Luddites met there to plot their attack at Rawfolds Mill exactly two centuries ago.

He has amassed a vast number of old maps, photographs, deeds and records which will be there for the public to see.

The exhibition will start on Saturday October 27 from 10am-4pm and it will also be held the following day from 11am-4pm, at both the church and its parish centre.

Visitors will be able to find their ancestors using parish record booklets, deeds, land tax returns and census, as well as looking at the collection of old photographs and maps of Liversedge, some dating back to 1803.

Jim said there was lots of material for people to peruse.

“They can find the history of named properties between 1705–1825, using the Property Index to trace the deeds and obtain photocopies,” he said.

“Are their ancestors mentioned in the 1848 Liversedge Tithe Survey? Find their names in the index, refer to the map and find out where they lived.

“They can also spot changes that have occurred over the years using a sequence of maps – same place at the five different times; see how occupations changed due to the Industrial Revolution and discover some of the living conditions using the 1842 Cholera Nuisance Survey.”

Admission is £1 which includes a raffle ticket (children free). Refreshments will be available and there will be activities for children. Proceeds will go to Christ Church.

Also present will be members of Spen Valley Civic Society. Author Barbara Lumb will be available to discuss her new book The Spen Valley Story, and Peter Fawcett of Cleckheation will pop in to discuss his book Ringing for Gold, which includes information about the Liversedge Albert Hand Bell Ringers.

Anyone with old photographs of their own is welcome to bring them along.