Ackworth & District Heritage Group

About the group


1. TITLE _ Ackworth & District Heritage Group .2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The group aims to promote, preserve, and protect the historical buildings, monuments, and environs of Ackworth within any legal constraints.


Membership shall be open to any person completing an application form and payingthe current annual subscription fee.
All members shall be admitted to all normal functions free of charge.
However, functions shall not take place under the group name without prior approval of the Committee. All members will be eligible to vote at each Annual General Meeting.

Thefinancial yearshallbeginandsubscriptionsshallbecomedueonthedateofeachAGM Membership shall be deemed to have lapsed if outstanding fees remain three months after the AGM.


Theaffairsofthegroupwillbeconductedbyacommitteeofthirteen competent persons, comprising of ten members elected by the membership and three nominative members appointed by the following bodies:

1. Ackworth Parish Council
2. Ackworth United Charities

All committee members will be appointed for a three year term of office at each appropriate AGM Upon the occurrence of a vacancy the committee shall have the authority to elect a member to complete the term of office of an elected member. In the case of it being a nominative member, then notice shall be given to the proper appointing body to fill the vacancy. The committee shall at the first ordinary meeting after the AGM elect a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer from their number

and will be responsible for keeping accurate accounts of the group’s financial affairs and a minute book recording all the meetings.
Maintain a bank account in the group’s name with a minimum of two unrelated cheque signatories. Thecommitteewillmeetaminimumoffourtimeseachyear.

The committee shall have the power to co-opt up to four members to advise or help with specific tasks.


The Chairman and Vice-Chairman will be elected at the first ordinary meeting after the AGM each
The Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall always be eligible for re-selection. If at any meeting the Chairman and Vice-Chairman are not present within ten minutes of the appointed time of a meeting, the committee shall choose one of their number to be chairman of the meeting.

There shall be a quorum when five committee members are present at a meeting.


Everymattershallbedeterminedbythemajorityofvotesofthecommitteememberspresent. Inthecase of equality of votes the Chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote, whether he or she has or has not voted previously on the same question. No member in other circumstances shall give more than one vote.


The annual accounts of the group shall be independently audited by a suitably qualified person and presented to the AGM by the treasurer.


Proposed changes to the group constitution must be notified to the committee in writing at least four weeks prior to the AGM and include signed statements by proposer and seconder. Proposed amendments will be voted upon at the AGM, and determined by a simple majority.


In the event of the group membership falling below six members, the committee shall wind up its affairs donating remaining funds to Ackworth United Charities.


Founder Members Jean Coppack, Pauline Lockett, Jim Lamprey.

Current Committee

  • P.S. Lockett – Chairperson
  • G. Atkinson – Vice Chairperson
  • P. Ventom – Secretary
  • D. Lamb – Treasurer
  • M. Utting
    C. Jevens
  • G.Tune
    D. Pearson
    P. Richardson
  • E.Astel
  • W. Wigglesworth
  • Honorary Member – J Lamprey

Previous Committee Members

  • Jean Coppack – Chairperson 
  • Stephen Carlisle – Treasurer
  • David Myers – Treasurer
  • Denis Fricker – Treasurer
  • Margaret Jubb – Treasurer
  • Harry Miles – Photographer
  • Peter Gallagher
  • Des Waites
  • Sylvia Jones
  • Chris Meaby

All events held at the Parish Rooms, Bell Lane at 7.30 pm

The Programmes

The Group was formed as a result of a number of concerned citizens getting together to raise funds for the repair of the Preaching Cross on the Village Green following the Cross being damaged by vandals.

As part of the fund raising two postcards were produced:

  1. A picture of the Cross.

  2. Four views of Ackworth.

W.R.E.N was contacted to see what grants towards the repairs were available.

The Group continued with its fund raising activities for the repair of the Preaching Cross on the Village Green. An Auction at the Brown Cow on 9th November raised £1720.50.

W.R.E.N confirmed that a grant was available and this together with the funds raised by the group was sufficient for the work to be commissioned.

M.Lamprey, Builders was appointed Contractor and work commenced.

In 2001 the Group had raised sufficient funds together with a grant from W.R.E.N for the repairs to the Preaching Cross on the Village Green to be commissioned.

The repaired Cross was unveiled at a Ceremony in July by Reverend Paul Hartley, Vicar of St. Cuthbert’s. The Service of Rededication was performed by the Leader of Churches together with all local churches represented.

In keeping with this the Finger Post on the Village Green was also repaired and re-painted.

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Having spent 2003 on developing plans for future activities 2004 saw them coming to fruition with two major activities inaugurated.

The first was the start of the monthly meetings, each with a guest speaker. The first meeting was in February with the guest speaker Ron Gosney with a talk on Maritime Knottingley. This was followed by a further seven meeting in the year.

This series of eight meetings per annum continues today.

The second was the Village Green Fete on 6th June to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of D Day.

The Fete was opened by Mrs Sylvia Jones who was born in Low Ackworth and had served in the RAF during the war.

Whilst we didn’t hold a Fete in 2005 it has become an annual event from 2006.

We started fund raising for the repair of the Obelisk at the top of Station Road by publishing “Miles Around Ackworth” featuring photographs supplied by Harry Miles. The profits from the sale of the book going to the repairs fund.

Beaufort Farm which occupied the land on the corner of Lee Lane and Station Road was developed as a small residential estate. After discussions with the developer it was agreed it should be named Beaufort Mews rather than the originally proposed name of Carrington Gardens.


February – Ron Gosney, Maritime Knottingley

March – Janet Niepokcyczcka, Packhorse Days

April – Monsignor Bradley, Ackworth Grange

May – Barbara Weatherall, Our lovely Country

September – Eric Houlder, Loos

October -Mr Brown, Mining

November AGM, David Newbould, Painting Demonstration

December – Roy Young, Minding Someone Else’s Business

This was a quiet year. The programme of regular meetings continued together with fund raising for the repair of the obelisk.

Talks were held with Wakefield MDC regarding the availability of grants and they agreed a grant.

A Stone Mason, Colin Beal was commissioned to carry out the repairs.


February 24th – David Downham – The Universe Around Us Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

March 31st – Janet Niepokojczcka – Those Mysterious Stones

April 28th – Simon Tomson- Mediaeval Gardens

May 26th – Bob Brown – Local Mining (Continued)

June – Evening Visit September 29th

Eric Houlder- Excavations at Saint Aidan’s

October 27th – Philip Baker – Excavating the Mary Rose

November 24th – AGM – Richard Collier – A tour of Yunnan, China

Dec 15th – Michael Leach- European Organs

The programme of regular meetings continued.

A Fete was held on the Village Green on 4th June and was opened by Paul Hartley, the Rector of St. Cuthbert’s Church. The Fete has now become an annual event.

The Obelisk at the top of Station Road was successfully repaired.

February – Janet Niepokojczcka, Yorkshire Links

March – Mrs Tucker, Life in a Tudor household

April – Mrs Tweedle, I’ve got one of those

May – David Newbould, Portrait Painting

September, Eric Houlder, Exploring Roman Roads

October – Simon Tomson, The Woodhall Excavations

November AGM – Stephen Carlisle, Luke Howard

December – David Wilder, Castleford Pottery

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The programme of regular meetings continued.

A Fete was held on the Village Green on 3rd June and was opened by Phylis Asquith. For many years Phyllis had been the Post Master at the High Ackworth Post Office.

A raffle of a painting of the Howard School given by David Newbould paid for the purchase of a Blue Plaque commemorating the building of the School by Rachel Howard in 1833.

February – Jan Scrine, The Milestone Society

March – Janet Niepokojczcka, Past Times in Cartmel Vale

April – Nigel Hunston, Listed Buildings in Ackworth

May – Mrs Tweedle, Kill or Cure remedies

September, Simon Tomson, Roman Castleford

October – Richard Shepherd, Development Campaign of York Minster

November AGM – Paul Ventom, Ackworth Quarries

December – Ken Humphries, Music Halls

The programme of regular meetings continued.
A Fete was held on the Village Green on 1st June and was opened by Ada Pritchard.

Ada was born in Ackworth and was a long term parishioner and supporter of St. Cuthbert’s Church. She assisted in the reprinting of “Historical Antiquities of Ackworth” by W.A. Green


January 24th  – Open Evening

February 28th – Michael Leach A taste  of Iceland

March 27th – David Curtis  History of S.John Ambulance

April 24th – Roy Young Desert Island Antiques

May 29th – Sir Thomas Ingleby Bart  Ripley Castle

June 21st – Outing to Beamish

September 25th – Simon Tomson Rosslyn Chapel, Da VinciofDoom

October 23rd – Janet Niepokojczcka Magical Island of Colonsay

November 20th (A G M) – Stephen Carlile Luke Howard

December 18th – Norman Dale Hidden Pontefract


The programme of regular meetings continued.
A Fete was held on the Village Green on 7th June and was opened by Edith Cosgrove.

Edith was a very old resident of Ackworth and a long term parishioner and supporter of All Saints Church.

January   – Open Evening

February  – Brian Hall, Parlington Hall

March  – Janet Niepokojczcka, Yorkshire People

April  – D Cook, The Middleton railway

May 29th – B King, Rogers and Hammerstein Musicals

September 25th – Simon Tomson, Roman Tunisia

October 23rd – Amy Stark, Nepal

November 20th (A G M) – Mr A Marshall, Maundy Money

December 18th – C Tweedle, Nativity Plays


The programme of regular meetings continued.

A Fete was held on the Village Green on 6th June and was opened by Harry Miles who has created a photographic records of the village over his lifetime.

In the summer we presented the Parish Council with a series of framed photographs taken by Harry Miles of the local quarrying businesses.

In the spring a party of volunteers from the Group painted the Railings around John Gully’s Grave.

January  – Mrs Harris, Horse Therapy

February  – Michael Bradford, Fountains Abbey

March – John Whittaker, Charles Waterton

April – Ian Clayton, The Featherstone Riots

May  – John Heath, When did WW1 start?

September  – Leader Brothers, Rockingham Pottery

October  – Mr F Wirght, Life as an Auctioneer

November  (A G M) – D Cook, Sundials

December  – Elsie Walton, Chevet Hall


The programme of regular meetings continued.
A Fete was held on the Village Green on 5th June and was opened by Bridget Meloy.

Bridget was born in the village and for many years delivered milk to the households of the village. In 1935 her father helped to build Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

Stephen Parker discovered three Tenter Poles on Constitution Hill. They were removed and re-sited outside Ackworth Cemetery. The poles fitted with fitted with horizontal bearers were used to dry animal skins when fellmongered.


The programme of regular meetings continued.
A Fete was held on the Village Green on 3rd June and was opened by Russell Devy.
97 year old Russell had been the village policeman for many years.
The Group was more active this year with a number of events.
It was agreed with the developer of Our Lady of Lourdes site to be named Lourdes Grange. The Milestones in Ackworth were repainted.

The Gravestone of Sara Grice was repaired and re-lettered. Sara was the first head teacher of the Howard School and is buried in the Plymouth Brethren Cemetery which is in the grounds of the School.

Paul Ventom assisted in the erection of a Blue Plaque to John Fowler on a house in Barnsley Road.

The programme of regular meetings continued.
A Fete was held on the Village Green on 2nd June and was opened by Nora Carlisle.

Nora, a keen hockey player and teacher was Captain of the Yorkshire Ladies Hockey team and was a head mistress when she retired.

It was agreed with the developer of the site of Lampreys Nursery for the development to be named Lamprey Gardens.

January – Harry and Peter Miles, Low Ackworth past and present

February – Brian Dalton, Wentworth castle, history and restoration

March – Graham Darysmith, Towton Battlefield

April – Michael Britton, The Tempest Family

May – John Walsh, Antiques Roadshow

June – Outing to be arranged

September – Dr Richard Shepard, Restoration of the Great East Window in York Minster

October – Pat McLaughlin, Hardwick Hall old and new

November AGM – Louise Cook, An Archaeological Landscape

December – Elsie Walton, Other People’s Rubbish

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The programme of regular meetings continued.

A Fete was held on the Village Green on 1st June the 70th Anniversary of the start of World War One and was opened by Ken Stephenson.

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Ken aged 91served in the Parachute Regiment comes from a family with a military background. His father served in the Army during the 1914-18 war and his Grandson John is currently serving in the Army.

The Group arranged for the book “Old Ackworth in Pictures to be re-printed.

January – Harry and Peter Miles, Views of Moortop and Brackenhill

February – Janet Niepokojczcka, Through Lakeland by stagecoach

March – Pat McLaughlin The Knights Templar

April – Helen Cox, Battle of Towton

May – Kate Taylor, Cinemas

June – Sunday Village Green Event

July – Outing to Eyam, Derbyshire

September – Simon Towson, Pontefract’s Black Friars

October – Eric Houlder, the Black Death

November AGM – John Hodgkins, Gold Mining

December – Leader Brothers, Mystery Box

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The programme of regular meetings continued.
A Fete was held on the Village Green on 5th June the and was opened by Eileen King.

Eileen was born in Bath. After a spell teaching in Southern England she moved to Ackworth where she began her 33 year stay of teaching at the Quaker School. Eileen a supporter of Charitable Activities is a long term member of the Heritage Group.

The Group agreed with the Developers of the Green Lane Estate that the roads would be named after the Quarry Owners.

Funds were raised to create a Memorial to the men that died when working in the quarries at Ackworth. The memorial was unveiled in a ceremony on 25th April by Mrs. Pauline Lockett, Chairperson of the Group.

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January – Colin Stalgis, Finding an ancestor’s war grave

February – Janet Niepokojczcka, Robin Hood

March – Michael Britton, Magna Carta

April – Dr Phillip Judkin, First World War over Yorkshire

May – Pat Osbourne, Anne Lister of Shibden Hall Halifax

June – Summer Outing to Nantwich Cheshire

September – Simon Tomson, WWII Defences in Loch Ewe

October – Pat McLaughlin, Exploring Ancient Churches

November AGM – Helen Cox , Everyday female lives in Medieval England

December – David Wilcox, Pontefract’s hermitage


January – Roger Ellis, Robsons of Pontefract

February – Chris Helm, A week in May

March – Amy Downes, Hotch Potch of Hoard and Haberdashery

April – Pat McLaughlin, Saxon and Viking England

May – David Cook, This New Fangled metre

June – Excursion to Warwick

September – Peter Higginbottom, Workhouses

October – Helen Cox, Everyday female lives in mediaeval England

November AGM – Janet Niepokcyczcka, The Packhorse in Art and Literature

December – Keith Barber, 40s, 50s, 60s

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