Posted by: dianesims | November 19, 2016

After the fire…


Newsome is in mourning for the loss of our mill. As I write, the landmark clock tower of Newsome Mills is still standing tall on the hillside above Huddersfield. Our four-storey mill is gone. We await uneasily for news of whether the remaining structures on the site  are sound. We’ll be issuing a statement as soon as we know. In the meantime, I know that lots of you want to help. We ask you to:

Be vigilant – These are Grade II Listed buildings and – if what remains is safe – no further demolition can take place without formal Listed Build Consent, which can only be granted by Kirklees Council. Our campaign team are in contact with the Conservation team and will share any news. No materials can legally be removed from the site. If you see any signs of further demolition or removal of materials, please take the registration details of any vehicles and call the Police. Take photos if you can.

Talk to your neighbours – It’s an understatement to say that I’m struggling to come to terms with what’s happened. But lots of us are struggling. We all need to do our best to look after each other, help each other through this terrible time and keep each other informed. Even in its violent death, our mill is bringing people together. Let’s prove that our community spirit can’t be burnt away.

Tread softly – There’s a constant stream of visitors to the mill site. We understand that many of you need to come and see for yourself, because it’s hard to believe that our mill is really gone. Please be mindful that Ruth Street is closed in both directions, and there’s no access from Naomi Road through to Ruth Street. It would really help nearby residents if you can approach the mill on foot and avoid bringing your cars onto Naomi Road.
[update: Ruth Street reopened on Friday 25th November 2016]

Tell the story – Please keep speaking out about this. A great injustice has been perpetrated on our community and on our heritage. The lives of our neighbours, friends and families have been put at risk. We are keen to help the Police in finding witnesses to the night of the fire. Do you know anyone who might have been awake in the early hours of Thursday 17th November? They could help to pinpoint the time the fire was set. And anyone who was in the village at the time could be a vital witness. Please ask around. Shift workers or others who travel to or from Newsome or nearby areas during the night can also help us to keep a watch on our clock tower now.

Police advice: “Following information from the Fire and rescue service we are investigating this as suspected arson and I would appeal to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area to contact DS Pete Usher on 101 quoting log 145 of November 17.”

Keep in touch – Helen Kingston has set up a SaveTheClock facebook group. There’s also a Newsome Mill Ponds facebook page. You can get campaign updates from this blog and by following @NewsomeForum on twitter. Also look out for twitter posts tagged #newsomemill. We will be actively gathering your photos, videos and stories of Newsome Mill for use online and in publications. We’ll share some more info soon.

I’m so sorry I couldn’t save it.


Diane Sims
Newsome Mills Campaign co-ordinator

Saturday 19th November 2016


  1. It’s a shame to c it go

  2. Well said Diane.

    I am devastated as I know we all are, I have so many childhood
    memories of Newsome Mill and site of it always told me I was home.

    I haven’t been able to bring myself to go and see it yet and I am in tears as I write this. I know you feel the same.

    I hope they NEVER get their own way and have their land taken away from them, they are not entitled to rape Newsome any further.

  3. I grew up in a house at the top of Cross Lane, which my father still owns. Our rear garden backed onto the hill on which Newsome Mill stood, and we had a well-trodden path from our house to the main track that led to the mill (just compacted earth and stones at that time). The local children used this track as a short-cut to Newsome. I used it most days to catch my bus from Newsome to town in order to catch the school bus to Huddersfield High School. Later my sister and I used it to ride our pony up and down the hill to get into Newsome or to our house from the nearby fields we rented from the council. My mum worked for the mill as a mender. There was always the smell of wet wool lingering about the mill, It was a smell I grew up wit and loved; it meant I’d arrived home, safe and sound.
    From a very early age, I remember sitting watching her delicately teasing threads out of what seemed like miles of worsted cloth, and then invisibly mending them back into the warp and weft of the fabric in front of her. I loved the sound of the clock striking the hour and the whistle sounding early in the morning to hurry the dayshift along. I was so attached to Newsome clock that I refused point-blank to move even to Lockwood Scar, as I was frightened I wouldn’t be able to see Newsome clock from there.
    When I returned to live in Huddersfield, I was appalled to see that all the hands had been removed (ostensibly for cleaning, but in all probability for scrap) and its poor old face scarred with more and more broken glass panels as the years passed. We can’t let this battered survivor to continue to go unprotected, despite its Grade II listing. The owners need to be held to account for what they have allowed to happen to this much-loved landmark during their ‘stewardship’. This has to stop here; this has to stop now.

  4. My grand mother lived in one of the bungalows opposite and we lived chestnut close and born in huddersfield, another landmark destroyed, like the pub at castle hill.

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