Feature Town – Meltham
Meltham is a town in West Yorkshire. It lies in the Holme Valley below Wessenden Moor some 41/2 miles SW of Huddersfield and a further 3 miles SW brings you to the Pennine Way – the Peak National Park boundary is close-by to the west. They had a population of 8534 at the 2011 census.
Meltham Walkers are Welcome was formed in early 2013 and they still have one of their original founders active today. The have eight active committee members and hold monthly free guided walks. A significant highlight for them was to be one of the host towns for the visit of a Japanese group of walkers in 2019.
They are proud to be able to say that in nearly eight years they have only had to cancel one walk. Their website www.walkingmeltham.co.uk contains 12 documented and waymarked walks with free downloads plus 2 trails.
One of their walks takes in the local famous Folly Dolly Falls which is spectacular when in spate. Their Blue Plaque Trail takes visitors round the rich architectural history of Meltham while their Olde Ale Trail (dry sadly) takes you around the town to buildings (or sites) that were formerly pubs or beer houses. Their thanks go to Dave Pattern for his help in identifying more than 30 in their small town. One of the Blue Plaque buildings is Durker Roods the former home of Sir David Brown of both tractors and Aston Martin DB fame. His tractor factory was situated in Meltham Mills about a mile from the centre of town. Prior to tractor production the site was a Silk Mill complex owned by Jonas Brook & brothers and employed over 1000 people in the 19th century.
Meltham valley has been inhabited since pre-historic times and there are two Iron Age sites on the hills above the town as well as a stone tool sharpening workshop high on the hills.
They are proud to have a young suffragette in their history. 16-year-old Dora Thewlis was arrested in London, sentenced to two weeks in prison and served one week. She emigrated to Australia and died in 1976.
If readers are considering visiting the area Meltham Walkers are Welcome will be happy to help with walk suggestions. They have a good array of walker friendly pubs, cafes & restaurants.