A GENERATION of Beardsells passed away in the 1970s and 1980s after lives spent in the 200-strong village of Holme.
Their passing was not unremarked. Each in their own way provided former journalist, amateur historian and lifelong resident of Holme Ken Denton with material for a quirky history of the village.
Ken has now published a booklet, The Anatomy Of A Village.
Ken, 81, was asked by surviving members of the two families – brothers Maurice and Arthur Beardsell, and distantly related Fred – if he wanted written material that the Beardsells had collected over the years.
“It was wonderful stuff and I was delighted to collate it,” said Ken.
The families probably felt Ken was the man for the job because he had produced a booklet called An Urban District in A Rural Setting in 2006.
This was basically an edited collection of Holme Urban District Council minutes.
The new book draws on odd source material.
Maurice Beardsell was a linotype operator for the Holmfirth Express for a living, and the local Sunday School was his passion. Maurice kept a handwritten record of village life which makes up three quarters of the material in the book.
Arthur Beardsell became education officer for the Upper Agbrigg Division of the West Riding County Council, an area of responsibility roughly the equivalent of South Kirklees.
His legacy to the booklet was in the form of written notes, published surveys and half a dozen bound volumes of newspaper cuttings.
Fred Beardsell, a textile weaver, transcribed the minutes of Holme Working Men’s Club (now Holme Village Institute) which shed light on the social and educational life of the village.
The arrival of this new material convinced Ken that a re-weaving of the village web of history through the 19th and 20th centuries was possible.
Ken is uniquely suited to this kind of task. In addition to his interest in local history, he was a trade journalist and one-time director of the Holmfirth Express.
He started work as a Holmfirth Express reporter, in 1945 and was there until 1951 He edited David Brown’s house journal from 1951 to 1961, and was the Hepworth Group’s publicity officer until 1990.
He was also the public relations officer for the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.