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Great- grandpa learns “when to say no”

Posted by on August 4, 2014

Browsing the Huddersfield Chronicle archives I came across an article that may reveal how my great-grandparents met.

Alfred John and Charlotte Fanny Liversedge in their later years

Alfred John and Charlotte Fanny Liversedge in their later years

In the newspaper of 3rd January 1874 is a report of the annual meeting of the Brunswick Street Sunday School which took place on New Year’s Day when “considerably over 300 persons sat down to an excellent tea”.   In the presentation of prizes that followed a prize of £5 for the best poem on “when to say no” was awarded to Alfred J Liversedge, my great-grandfather.  But he is not the only family member to feature, E H Liversedge, his younger brother Edwin Hugh, won the second prize of 15s in the boys’ essay writing competition, the title being “what is our true purpose in life and how to achieve it”.  The girls were asked to write on the subject “the advantages of knowledge” and here the third prize of 10s went to Charlotte F Cook who five years later married Alfred and was my great-grandmother.  Keeping literary prowess within the family the first prize in the girls’ essay competition went to Mary A Tindall who in September that year married Charlotte’s older brother Alfred.

The evening was not just tea and prizes, a number of worthies also gave addresses, including a William Haigh and these were “most agreeably interspersed with songs and glees from the choir”.  To round off the evening votes of thanks were proposed, that to the prize donors being given by Mr A J Liversedge, Alfred’s father.

Sadly the Brunswick Street united Free Methodist Church no longer exists; established in 1857 by Wesleyan reformers who seceded from the Queen Street Wesleyan Methodist Church[1] it was closed in 1949 and demolished when Huddersfield Ring Road was built in the 1960s.  It cost nearly £7,000, was built in the Roman Corinthian style and contained 1,400 sittings[2].


[1] West Yorkshire Archive Service

[2] A vision of Britain through time

2 Responses to Great- grandpa learns “when to say no”

  1. Diana Devlin

    Lovely! How old were they?

    • Barbara Selby

      At the time of the prize giving they were in their early 20s, Alfred was 20 and Charlotte 22, Mary Ann 21, Edwin is the youngest at 18. This did surprise me as they are described as boys and girls but I wonder if this tends to mean un-married. I’m guessing that the picture was taken in their 70s.

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