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Canal 1
Mirfield Station Rd

The horse drawn barges in this picture provided the heavy transport of the day, carrying the barley and coal to the various maltings located alongside the canal.
Although little, if any, evidence remains today that Mirfield was once a major producer of malt providing this basic ingredient of beer to breweries all over Britain.
Between the early 1800's and 1990's up to some 16 malsters have operated  in the Mirfield area. This came to an end in the 1990's with the closure of Bass Maltings in Station Road.
This picture is taken from the towpath alongside Crowther's Maltings (later to be Bass) in Station Rd. The site is now occupied by housing and the Lidl supermarket.

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24th April 1858


On Thursday, Mr. Taylor, coroner for the Honor of Pontefract, held an inquest at the Black Bull Inn, Mirfield, on the body of Wm. Allen, twenty-six years of age. A little before five o'clock on Tuesday evening last, the deceased and a man named Joseph Honley, of Thornes, near Wakefield, were engaged in a keel loaded with barley, filling sacks, which were being hoisted into Mrs Eliza Crowther's malt kiln on the Calder and Hebble Canal. Honley, who had just fastened a sack on to the rope, called out to those above "Go on." The sack was then pulled up. At that time the deceased was engaged underneath filling an empty sack. When the ascending sack was about half-way up, the rope broke, and the sack of barley, weighing sixteen stones, fell on the deceased. "When released, Allen was so injured that he could not move any of his limbs, and he died the next morning at five o'clock. The rope was in a worn condition, and the deceased had previously remarked that it was not fit to work under.— Robert Barlow, bookkeeper at Mrs. .Crowther's, stated in the course of his evidence that a new rope for the hoist had been lying in the kiln for a week, and that he had heard Mr. John Frith Crowther tell William Lee, Joshua Haworth, and George Peace to get a new rope put on the hoist. Mr. Crowther was from home last Monday; but Leo, Haworth, and Peace were engaged in landing sacks.— John Taylor, of Hull, canal boatman, said a month ago, when he was at the kiln, he considered the rope bad. Verdict, "Accidentally killed; but the jury are of opinion that there was gross neglect in continuing to use a rope which was known to be deficient."

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12th January 1839


On Monday last, an inquest was held at the Black Bull Inn, Mirfield, on view of the body of Joseph Buckley, deceased, driver of a hauling horse belonging to Messrs. Thompson and Co., carriers. The boat left Wakefield on Saturday last, on its way back from Hull, and reached a bridge called Hirst's Bridge, about seven in the evening; soon after the boat had passed through, the horse got into the water. The deceased immediately jumped on to the horse for the purpose of bringing it out, when by some means or other he fell off and was drowned. He was taken out of the water in about half an hour. Verdict, "Accidentally Drowned."

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