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Steanard Ln
Mirfield Steanard Ln

Steanard Lane around 1910 at the junction with Boat House Lane.
Boat House Lane got its name from the ferry that was operated from the boat house across the river.
This was also the site of a locally remembered tragedy when several members of the Waddington family, owners of the Boat House Estate, were leaving home in a pony trap. The horse bolted and they were all thrown into the river which was in flood and were swept away to their deaths.

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27th August 1859


The inquest of the bodies of Mrs, Hannah Stancliffe, aged seventy two, and Mrs. Rachel Walker, aged sixty-nine, drowned at Hopton, was held on Thursday evening, at the Ship Inn, Hopton. The evidence went to show that about a quarter to eleven on Wednesday morning, Mrs. Stancliffe, who resided At Broad Oakes, and Mrs. Walker, whose residence was at Upper House, Hopton, left the residence of the former in a gig, drawn by a rather unmanageable horse. Mrs, Stancliffe intended in the first place to convey Mrs, Walker home, and then proposed calling at the Railway Station, for a daughter, whom she expected to meet there. The two ladies had only proceeded a few yards on the road, which skirts the Calder, when they met a man driving a number of pigs. The horse shied at the pigs, and Mrs. Walker called out for somebody to take hold of the horse's head. A Mrs. Hemingway courageously seized the animal by the head and tried to quiet it. Her efforts were of no effect in consequence of Mrs, Stancliffe pulling the reins so tight that it kept rearing and plunging, at the same time backing towards the river. At last the gig slipped down the bank, dragging the horse after it, and the vehicle, horse, and the two ladies were plunged into the water. The river at the part where the accident took place is 15 feet deep, and immediately after the occurrence nothing was seen on the surface of the water but the gig cushion floating about. A labourer named Schofield, and another man, were soon on the spot, and rendered their assistance. They got hold of the harness of the horse and pulled it out. The animal was dead. Mrs. Stancliffe, who appeared to be fast to the framework of the gig, was next recovered, life being quite extinct. The body of Mrs. Walker was soon afterwards found. This most deplorable accident has cast a gloom over the whole neighbourhood, the worthy ladies being much respected. Verdict, ''Accidentally drowned."

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17th March 1860


Gentlemen— You will probably remember the melancholy accident which occurred at Hopton, near Mirfield, in August last, by which two elderly ladies of the highest respectability, and universally esteemed in the neighbourhood lost their lives in consequence of a pony backing into the river Calder, at a place where there is not the slightest fence or protection of any kind, although the bank is very steep, and the water in that part of the river is at all times very deep. That part of the river where the fatal Accident occurred is close to the public road, and immediately opposite to a road leading straight to the very spot.
Now, Gentlemen, can you suppose it possible that the very part of the river side where the accident occurred should still remain unfenced and unprotected in any way, although more than six months have elapsed since the accident occurred? During that period I have frequently had occasion to pass the place, and to my utter astonishment and unspeakable disgust I have observed that month after month has been allowed to pass and yet the public safety is not provided for, although the remaining portion of the river side has been fenced off in a substantial manner, and at considerable expense. Permit me to ask, through the medium of your widely circulated paper, if there is no board of surveyors, or if there are no influential gentlemen in the neighbourhood, upon whom it devolves to remedy this strange and most unjustifiable neglect? In the district in which I reside, I am quite sure that such gross negligence would not be suffered, and that such unreasonable delay would have aroused such a storm of indignation that no gentleman would be willing to encounter. If I resided in the neighbourhood, or had any interest in the property there, I should feel that it was a matter which concerned my honour, that no such unreasonable neglect should be tolerated on any pretence whatever.
As an Englishman and as a gentleman I feel called upon to make my most earnest and indignant protest against further delay in providing for the public safety, and I trust that this letter, which is written entirely on public grounds, may be the means of calling the attention of the local authorities to this glaring wrong. The deep distress into which a most estimable family have been plunged by the late melancholy accident, and the danger which might at any moment occur to a traveller by the spot are sufficient reasons why not a single day should be allowed to pass without providing for the Public safety.
Huddersfield, March 14th, 1860.

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