Holdsworth Bridge, Halifax

Holdsworth Bridge, Halifax

Dryclough Between Holdsworth Bridge and Dryclough Junction
Halifax, 1952

Picture 1, the South Yorkshireman, emerging from the cutting between Holdsworth Bridge and Dryclough Junction. The Locomotive is a Stanier Black 5 No 45219.

John Holdsworth & Co Ltd's Shaw Lodge Mills site occupied all the land to the right of the cutting as one approached Halifax, and the photo was taken from the path which started at the west end of the main weaving shed towards the iron bridge that crossed the railway line that accessed Huddersfield road via Spring Hall Lane at the side of Spring Hall. (Recently this road was re-named Mansion Lane by the local authority for no good reason.) The path has long gone but the bridge is still there, known as the Donkey Bridge, whether that is it's official name we are not sure.

The photo was taken circa early 1950's by the reverend Eric Treacy who was the Arch Deacon of Halifax and who later became the Bishop of Wakefield, and MBE. He took many railway photographs and had books published, the Lure of Steam and the Portrait of Steam being his early well known ones. He was known as 'The Railway Bishop.'
Kirsten Holdsworth had the privilege of being christened by Archdeacon Eric Treacy at Arncliffe Church in 1953. A photograph of Eric Treacy at Scargill House, Kettlewell after the event is available here.
Graham Tomlinson was also forunate enough to be christened by Eric Treacy, on this occasion at Halifax Parish Church in 1946.

Contributed by Graham Tomlinson

Holdsworth Bridge Approaching Holdsworth Bridge
by Graham Tomlinson, Halifax, Sept 1986

The train approaching Holdsworth Bridge, in Picture 4, is a Summer Saturday only service from Bradford to Weymouth via Halifax, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Nottingham and Oxford being the main stations. At this time it was the only passenger service using the Dryclough Junction to Greetland Junction section which closed two years later.
The line fell into quite bad disrepair, but fortunately was left in sutu. In the late nineties, with road traffic having increased dramatically it was decided to reopen this section along with Brighouse Station and restart a Bradford to Huddersfield service. The line reopened in 2000 with all the infrastructure being updated including brand new track and signaling. There is now an hourly service between Wakefield Westgate and Selby in both directions calling at Huddersfield, Brighouse, Halifax, Bradford and Leeds.
In the picture, part of Holdsworth Bridge can be clearly seen and that part would have been the exact location where the photograph of the South Yorkshireman would have been taken.
The lines around Halifax at this time were controlled by colour light signals by Halifax East Signal Box with Dryclough Junction, Holdsworth Bridge and Halifax West signal boxes gone by 1970.
The train is being pulled by a class 31 diesel Locomotive 31260 which is a medium powered locomotive which was used on varied duties. As the train approaches the signal you can see a row of white lights pointing to the left, this is known as a feather and indicates to the driver that the route is set for Greetland Junction at Dryclough Junction.

Contributed by Graham Tomlinson

Holdsworth Bridge South Yorkshireman, passing
Holdsworth Bridge Signal Box, Halifax, June 1958

Holdsworth Bridge Signal Box was situated by the rail bridge taking Shaw Hill Lane across the railway tracks, just above John Holdsworth & Co Ltd's 1822 Shaw Lodge Mills, Halifax.

Picture 2, taken from Holdsworth Bridge in June 1958 shows the South Yorkshireman, then a direct train to London's Marylebone Station via the Great Central Line which now has mostly gone.

The locomotive is an ex LNER class B1 4-6-0 of mixed traffic classification, a regular on this train along with the Stanier Black Five class also a 4-6-0 mixed traffic locomotive introduced by William Stanier in 1934 of which 842 were built between then and 1951; 12 of them are still preserved.

The Signal on the right of the gantry is indicating that the route is set at Dryclough Junction a mile further on for Greetland and onward to Huddersfield, Penistone, Sheffield Victoria and then London.

Contributed by Graham Tomlinson

Dryclough Dryclough Junction from Haig Lane
Halifax, Summer 1964

Picture 3, taken from Haig Lane later in the summer of 1964 as steam was beginning to decline; the location is Dryclough Junction.

Saint Mark’s Church, Siddal is clearly visible along with the chimney of Alfred Goodall & Company Limited's 1874 Chemical Works at Farrar Mill Dye Works, Salterhebble, although this may have closed by this time.
John Holdsworth & Co Ltd's chimney and part of Shaw Lodge Mills can be seen further in the background.

The train is the 3.58 Halifax to Stockport taking the line for Greetland to get to Stockport via Huddersfield; in the foreground is the line to Manchester Victoria via Sowerby Bridge.

The Locomotive is an ex LMS 2-6-4 Fairburn Tank regularly used on short trains. This class of steam locomotive was designed by Charles E. Fairburn for the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). 277 of these locomotives were built between 1945-1951 of which two locomotives survive in preservation on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.

Contributed by Graham Tomlinson

Crossley Hill Bridge DMU, taken from Crossley Hill Bridge
Halifax, Winter 1985

Picture 5, taken in the winter of 1985 from Crossly Hill Bridge near the General Hospital at Salterhebble, Halifax, not far from Dryclough Junction.

The tower of Saint Mark’s Church, Siddal is visible on the right of picture.
John Holdsworth & Co Ltd's prominent chimney and their Shaw Lodge Mills can be seen in the background on left of picture.

The locomotive is an early generation of Diesel Multiple Unit class 110 known as the Calder Valley Units as they where mainly used on the Leeds, Bradford and Halifax corridor to Lancashire via the Calder Valley. This unit was on a Leeds to Preston service.

Contributed by Graham Tomlinson

© 2024 David W. Holdsworth  

Please send questions, updates, additions to:
Middle Pasture, Halifax, HX3 0AG, UK
Tel: +44 1422 322500