In 1835 Frederic Festus Kelly was appointed HM Inspector of Letter Carriers, a post that could have been quite demanding as it would have covered the build up to the introduction of the adhesive pre paid postage label – the penny black stamp. After this time Kelly applied his name to a directory listing the topographical details of every city, town and village and acquired the copyright of the title in his name. After completing the capital city he began the publication of provincial directories in 1845.
Methley information is contained in the volumes of the West Riding of Yorkshire for the years :- 1861, 1877, 1888, 1892, 1908, 1927 and 1936.
Today (2003) after more than 150 years, the company now known as Kelly & Co. Ltd.produce a business directory using the latest technology including the internet.
In each of the directory years, the entry for Methley is a listing of private residents (people of independent means) along with a list of commercial residents (tradespeople), in addition to a brief history and description of the village.
This page will display selections from those lists from time to time but it is interesting to see at the outset some comparisons of business aspects over those years and I leave it to the reader to draw comparisons with the present day.
1861 1927 1936
Farms/Mkt Gardening 27 19 11
1908 1927 1936
Retail Outlets 42 26 26
Looking at public houses (pubs) there were some long serving publicans over the years.
Crispin Teale is listed in the United Kingdom in 1861 and 1877 and then in the Rose & Crown in 1888 and 1892, indicating at least 31 continuous years in the trade. It would be his son or grandson, John Teale recorded in the Crown in 1908.
Wm (Billy) Wilson (Billy’s Field) was listed as landlord in the Royal Oak in 1892, 1908, 1927, and 1936 – at least 44 years continuous service in the same pub.
Another long serving publican was Phillip Connell who was serving ale in the Lord Nelson in 1861 and was still there in 1892.
Although the Malt Shovel, Lord Nelson and Junction Inn (closed pubs) were covered, there are no references to the Millmoor Tavern (Low Common), Rising Sun (Watergate) and The Caroline (Caroline Bridge). However the directory records a number of beer retailers which I suspect would allude to these premises – it is possible they didn’t hold full licences.
The 1927 directory tells us that the Urban District Council of Methley met in the Red House (at the end of the Parsonage) on the fourth Monday of each month at 4.30pm. It also tells us that Robert Booth, Donald Currer Briggs, Robert Bullimore and John S Richardson were up for re-election in 1928.
The manager of the CWS was GW Hopton, the Secretary of the Working Men’s Club was George H Booth, the Secretary of the Mineworkers Club and Institute was John H Oddy who was also secretary of the Church Institute (shared usage of premises). John Lunn was Hairdresser and Ben Addy was Secretary of the Junction Reading Room. Lucius Smith and Frederic Northorp were Rector and Vicar respectively. More to follow if you can keep awake.