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Welcome to Longwood Mechanics Hall

A true community building set in the Colne Valley of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD3 4UU United Kingdom. This Victorian building is held in trust by the Longwood Village Group for the residents of Longwood.

Past & Present

Our site features many articles about Longwood's interesting history over the years and also has a 'Future Events' page to keep you updated with future plans.

150th Anniversary

A view of the Mechanics Hall taken from Longwood Gate. The porch and disabled entrance were completed in 2008 to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Hall.

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Extract from
Some Annals of Longwood
by Rev. James Edward Roberts  Vicar of  Longwood Parish Church 1923


Next to the Gospel of our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ the most precious gift which can be given to any people is that of education, and in these days when opportunities of education abound for all who care to seize them, due honour should be paid to the brave pioneers in this field.

In the days when facilities for receiving education were not so plentifully provided as they are to-day, a wonderful work was done in the Mechanics' Institutes and reading rooms. A meeting was held in the Baptist Schoolroom, Longwood, on Saturday, June 13th, 1857, to consider the proposal to erect a new Mechanics' Hall. The meeting was presided over by the Rev. Charles Packer, then incumbent of the chapelry district. Mr. W. Shaw, in moving the resolution, stated that they had had as many as 50 scholars in an evening even in the summer time, which showed the desire of the young men of the village to learn. For 12 years the committee had carried on their work under the committee had carried on their work under the disadvantage of insufficient accommodation, and with a membership of 65 males and 15 females they felt justified in taking steps to provide new premises. The resolution was seconded by Mr. Charles Walker, who said that if half the members attended, their present room was crammed. The resolution was carried unanimously.

Others who spoke were Mr. G. Shaw, Mr. Samuel Kershaw, Mr. Joseph Briggs and Mr. E. Hirst. A certain Mr. Calverley,  a weaver, made the astonishing statement that he had himself learned arithmetic, grammar, geography, mensuration and history at a Mechanics' Institute, and that he was proceeding with the study of Hebrew and Latin, with the intention of reading the Old and New Testaments in the original languages.

The first list of subscribers contains some well known Longwood names, and a large number of working people gave subscriptions of £1-a large sum in those days.

As a result of this meeting the present Mechanics' Hall was opened in the October of the following year (1858), and a tremendous event it was. The local paper of the time devoted no less than four full columns to a description of the occasion, and the report of the prodigiously long speeches made on that occasion.

Our Mechanics' Hall cannot be described as in any sense a beautiful building. The reporter of the period described it as "of plain and substantial character", and we may leave it at that. But the Longwood people of the time were tremendously proud of it, as they had a right to be, having obtained it by their own self-sacrificing efforts.

The guest of honour at the opening was the then member for Huddersfield, E. Akroyd Esq., and other local notabilities present were Messrs. F. Crossley, M.P.,T.P Crosland, J.P., Geo. Armitage, J.P. Thos. Mallinson, J.P., Wright Mellor,  J.P., J. Batley, W. Moore, "constable " of Huddersfield, J.B. Robinson (Marsden), Revs. E. Mellor, D. Crumpton, J. Stocks, E. Parker, Messrs. W. Shaw, John Shaw, Charles Walker, John Taylor, J. Briggs, J. W. Shaw, W. H. Broadbent, H. Brook, John Balmford, Joseph Balmford, George Taylor, John Walker, W. S. Brook, George Walker, George Shaw and others.

All the principal people apparently spoke at great length, after announcing that they would not detain the audience any longer, and by all accounts it was a great occasion in the village, and perhaps folks were not in such a hurry to be "off" in those days. The cost of the building was somewhere about £750.

To-day "the Mechanics'" is our public assembly hall, and the place for various committee meetings. A library there carries on to-day the educational tradition of the past.

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