Desperately seeking Mr Sykes

This week as I continue my quest for information about Spen Valley’s industrial past, we look at Netherfield Shed and yet another Perseverance Mill.

Thursday, 6th June 2013, 7:05 am
Netherfield Shed, taken from Spen Valley and Mirfield Illustrated
Netherfield Shed, taken from Spen Valley and Mirfield Illustrated

Between at least 1897 until 1908 a Mr Littlewood Sykes (sometimes listed as Mr Sykes Littlewood) ran a worsted spinning business bearing his name on Bradford Road, Cleckheaton.

He secured a handsome “write up” in the “Spen Valley & Mirfield Illustrated” of around 1895 which gave his address as Netherfield Shed and displayed the drawing which accompanies this feature.

It is known that Mr Sykes (or was it Littlewood?) started his business at the Fairfield Mill which stood behind (to the east of) Netherfield Mill on Bradford Road: the latter is best known as the long-time home of William Hardill, Sons & Co’s engineering works.


Against this background it seems reasonable to conclude that the large, north-lights building of Netherfield Shed was somewhere adjacent to either of the Fairfield or Netherfield Mills.

Neither of the 1894 or 1908 Ordnance Survey maps marks a building in the vicinity that resembles that depicted in the 1890s drawing.

Can any reader’s family archives tell us the whereabouts or anything else about Littlewood Sykes and his Netherfield Shed.

THE 1922 Ordnance Survey map of Scholes marks Perseverance Mill as housing a card-maker on the West side of Webster Lane (now Scholes Lane) all but directly opposite to the turning into Oddfellows Street.

The photograph which accompanies this feature shows the site as it appears today.

Whereas the map clearly marks the building, I cannot find any directory listing, newspaper article or advertisement that mentions any name of any occupant of Perseverance Mills, Scholes.

Can any reader help - which company (or companies) occupied that Mill?

What did they make? Who owned them?

Anyone with information about either Netherfield Shed or Perseverance Mill at Scholes can contact Richard at [email protected]