Unity Plaque unveiled at Town Hall's Greenwood Room
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Hebden Bridge has a long history of involvement in The Cooperative Movement and this was remembered recently when the Mayor, Pat Fraser, unveiled a plaque in the Greenwood Room at the Town Hall. Hebden Bridge is still the home of many local cooperative initiatives and several of these were represented at the event, which was hosted jointly by the Community Association and the Local History Society.
The Greenwood Room, which was originally the Committee room of HB Council Offices, had recently been refurbished by the Community Association with a grant from the Hebden Royd Town Council.
Joseph Greenwood, after whom the room is named, was a founder member and long-term manager of the Hebden Bridge Fustian Manufacturing Company. The plaque was from “Unity’, the steam engine that began service at Nutclough Mill, the home of the company, in 1916. It was rescued when the engine was demolished and has been donated to the Hebden Bridge Local History Society.
As last year was the centenary of the starting of the engine it was felt it would be appropriate to mount it in the Greenwood room. Joseph Greenwood was also a long-term member of Hebden Bridge Urban District Council.
The following are some excerpts from the Halifax Gazette on April 21st, 1916
Starting of the New Engine
Another link in the interesting chain of the history of Nutclough Society was added on Saturday, when an important extension of the works, viz, a new engine and boiler house, was formally opened. The remarkable progress of the Hebden Bridge Fustian Manufacturing Society is one of the wonders of the cooperative movement. The history has been written again and again, but it always forms interesting reading.
The starting of the new engine was a big affair in its way. There were over 150 delegates and friends present to witness the ceremony, and it will rank as one of the events in the long history of the society.
The president started the engine saying:-
We have called the engine ‘Unity’ because without unity we could not have succeeded as well as we have done and without unity we cannot go on to further success.
The article went on to list all the specifications of the new engine in great detail. Such was the interest in new technology at the beginning of the century.
The unveiling of the Unity Plaque to celebrate the refurbishment of the Greenwood Room at the Town Hall. The Unity Plaque was the name plate of Nutclough Mill's steam engine. The unveiling was performed by the Mayor, Pat Fraser and Barbara Atack of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society. In this photo L-R: Graham Mynott, Jane Scullion (Deputy Mayoress of Calderdale) , David Fletcher, Pat Fraser (Mayor), Barbara Atack, Andrew Bibby, Christine Bampton-Smith , Hilary Darby.
Photo After Alice Project