Workday Wednesday – Smith Buckley (1848-1913)

Smith Buckley is my 1st cousin 3x removed. Our common ancestors are Thomas Buckley and Henrietta Mason, my 3x great grandparents. That makes Smith a nephew of my 2x great grandparents James Buckley and Sarah Tattersall.

Smith was born sometime in the first quarter of 1848 in Bingley, West Yorkshire. He was the second of seven children to William Buckley and Mary Heaps.

Sometime in the second quarter of 1867 Smith married Margaret Day in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Over the next 21 years they had seven children.

In the 1871 census Smith is working as a “mechanic”. I know from the following newspaper article that at some point in the next eight years he started working for Geo. Hattersley & Sons as “foreman mechanic”.

On Monday 30 December 1878 Smith was involved in a very nasty accident at work. The Keighley News reported on the event on 4 January 1879.

Smith Buckley - Keighley News 4 January 1879.png

Taken from the British Newspaper Archive website


A VERY NARROW ESCAPE – A man named Smith Buckley (30), living at Spring Row, Haworth, who works as foreman mechanic for Messrs Geo Hattersley and sons, at Mytholmes Mill, had a marvellously narrow escape from being fatally injured while at work on Monday morning. The mill is partially worked by water-power, and during the recent frost a large water-wheel, which is in constant use, had been stationary. The thaw caused it to move again, the buckets being full of snow, and a segment in one of the chain of wheels was broken. While Buckley and another workman were attending to it, props were used to retain it in position, and as one piece of wood was being substituted for another, the support gave way, and Buckley was caught between the wall and one of the spokes of the revolving wheel. He managed to shift himself into a less perilous position before the next spoke came round, but he was taken round with the wheel four or five times before it came to a stand, only narrowly avoiding a fatal termination to the accident. The inhabitants of Spring Row, which is opposite, saw the whole occurrence. The unfortunate man, whose left leg was shattered below the knee in a shocking manner, was conveyed to the Keighley Cottage Hospital, where Dr. Jack, who attended to him, found amputation at the knee joint necessary. He had also sustained severe bruises all over the body, but there were no other fractures. The case is progressing favourably towards recovery. The injured man has a wife and four children depending on him.

I think it’s fair to say that life was going to be very much more difficult for Smith and his family after the accident and the loss of his leg. So this must have been a very worrying time for them.

I know from another newspaper report that Smith was a member of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE). The history of the union can be traced back to the formation of the Journeymen Steam Engine, Machine Makers’ and Millwrights’ Friendly Society, in 1826, popularly known as the “Old Mechanics”.

In 1920 the ASE was one of several unions that came together to form the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU).

Anyway, back to Smith, and life after his accident.

On the 4 May 1880 the Bradford Observer reported on a meeting the previous evening of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers.

Smith Buckley - Bradford Observer 4 May 1880.png

Taken from the British Newspaper Archive website


Yesterday evening, a large meeting was held in the hall of the Mechanics’ Institute, Keighley. The meeting was convened by the members of the Keighley Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, for the purpose of presenting Mr Smith Buckley, of Haworth, one of their members, who met with an accident which caused the loss of his leg, with the sum of £100. Mr J Summerscales, of Keighley, occupied the chair, and impressed upon his audience the necessity for rendering better support to the Cottage Hospital in the town. Mr John Burnett, general secretary to the London society, spoke of the benefit which trades unions had had in raising the position of the working classes and in improving the trade of the country. Mr D Guile, of London, also addressed the meeting. Mr Henry Mitchell, president of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, made the presentation, and spoke of the relation of England with foreign countries. The usual complimentary votes brought the meeting to a close.

Over the next thirty years Smith had various occupations listed in the census returns:-

1881 – Beerhouse keeper at the Princess Hotel, Duncan Street, Bradford. He made the newspapers again during his time as landlord for allowing drunkeness on his premises.

1891 – Furniture broker

1901 – Machine fitter

1911 – Textile fitter

I have enormous pride and respect for Smith. It seems as though he was courageous, determined and very hard working.

Smith died at the age of 65 and was buried in Utley Cemetery, Keighley on 9 July 1913.

Dick Hudson’s – Postcard #17

This is a postcard from my own collection.

The picture is of the locally famous Dick Hudson’s in Eldwick, near Bingley, West Yorkshire.

The postcard has some damage to the corners and the back, mainly from being stuck in an album and then removed. Any publisher information is obscured by the damage to the back of the card.

You can see below that the postcard has been postally used. The date is 9 March 1917. I would guess that the card has been sent to a young man fighting in WW1, although there is no postal address.

The text on the card is:-

Dear Fred

Packed your parcel tonight and hope you get it in good condition. The weather is still very winterly and bitterly cold. Had snow all the week. Hope you are keeping well considering state of affairs.

The rest of the text is not very clear. It certainly mentions father and mother but I’m not sure if it was sent by Fred’s parents or if the sender is just mentioning them.

Dick Hudson’s itself has no family connection at all. The pub is still there and I have visited several times.

Since the 17th century there has been a traveller’s tavern on what was an old pack horse trail from Bingley to Ilkley. The original tavern called ‘The Plough Boy’ was at a former farmhouse at Rattle Bank on the Otley Road. However following construction of a new road the liquor license of the old pub was transferred to a Mr Tommy Anderson at Highgate Farm – the site of the present day pub.

Back in 1809 the farm and the public house – now called ‘The Fleece Inn’ became the property of Thomas Hudson in whose family they remained until 1895. Thomas passed on ‘The Fleece Inn’ to his son Richard in 1850 and he stayed as landlord for nearly thirty years. It was during ‘Dick’s’ stewardship that the tavern became so popular with Airedale’s urban workers resulting in the more familiar name of ‘Dick Hudson’s’.

Two other members of the Hudson family subsequently ran the pub following the death of the celebrated Dick Hudson in 1878.

Towards the end of the 19th century an Austrian business man became proprietor of the inn and had great plans to commercialise the site with fountains and pleasure gardens . None of these plans came to pass but in 1900 the old farmhouse and tavern were demolished and replaced by the present day building. The first landlord of this new inn was Mr J Newsome who was succeeded by his brother in law in 1913.

If you ever happen to be in the area it’s well worth a visit – Dick Hudson’s