A new book is being published about the Ramsden family who once owned Huddersfield.
The book called Poverty Is Relative has been written by Meriel Buxton and will be launched with an illustrated talk in Huddersfield on Thursday, November 30.
The book will shed light on why Ramsden Street, Byram Court or John William Street are so named.
Or why the Huddersfield Broad Canal was originally known as Sir John Ramsden’s Canal and how the station was built.
The book tells the story of the relationship between Huddersfield and the Ramsden family, culminating in the sale by Sir John (‘Chops’) Ramsden in 1920 which made Huddersfield “the town that bought itself.”
His father John William, known to the family as Jack, inherited his Victorian baronet title, two Yorkshire country estates and virtually the whole of Huddersfield at the age of just seven.
A brilliant businessman as well as an MP, he doubled his fortune by converting a failed Malayan sugar plantation into a hugely successful rubber plantation. Remorseless to those whom he considered had failed him, he was a devoted, if inconsiderate, son, husband, father and grandfather.
His son ‘Chops’, was a delightful man whom everybody loved. Generous, extravagant and without business training, he faced both world wars and the 1929 Crash and in the process allowed most of his father’s fortune to slip through his fingers, but, as his bank manager remarked, “poverty is relative.”
Meriel Buxton, author of the book, and Andrew Feilden, grandson of Chops, will be talking about the family and their Huddersfield connections and showing slides at Huddersfield Art Gallery on Thursday, November 30 at 4.30pm. No charge but names please to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 27.
Poverty is Relative costs £20 and is published by Woodperry Books.