It is no longer possible to buy the booklet ‘When was Ripley Ville built? by post.
It is out of date and out of print.
That people are still finding and coming to the rediscovering Ripleyville blog is both gratifying and at the same time embarrassing, since I haven’t posted anything to it in 8 months. To me the layout now looks tired, the way the blog operates clunky and a lot of the content on the Victorian industrial village of Ripley Ville needs up-dating.
I also have a duty to those leaving comments which I have not been fulfilling – apart from approving them so they can be seen by visitors.
I wish that I could say that all this is going to change. The long silence has been because I couldn’t see how exactly I was going to get back on top of things. Since October last year (2016) a slight worsening of a chronic heart condition means that I have had to curb some activities and go at some others more slowly. For a number of months I did little rRV work.
Stabilisation of my condition means that I am, now, continuing to research both the history Ripley Ville and what came before – in early Victorian Bowling and Bradford. I am pursuing much of the finer details of the story of the industrial model village itself and of this earlier story. I have begun again to write about these topics off-line, off-blog.
That, I’m afraid, is what will be happening into the foreseeable future.
I will still approve comments you leave. There is no intention, as things stand, to make changes to the blog as it stands.
More background to water-supply in Bradford in the 1850s and on the ‘Water Dispute’ 1852 -1872 (Messrs Ripley v the Bradford Corporation) : introducing and setting out the sequence for a series of linked posts
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2017. All rights reserved.
Introduction & Sequence : A Series of Linked Posts
The Water Dispute 1852 – 1872: Messrs Ripley v the Bradford Corporation
The dispute in summary
In the ‘Water Dispute’ H W Ripley, later the main sponsor for the industrial model village of Ripley Ville, sought to secure rights for himself and his heirs to supply water across a very broad swathe of south Bradford. The area stretched beyond the boundaries of what is now West Bowling, from Park Lane in the west, across to Wakefield Rd in the east and down close to Bradford town centre. Opposing Ripley and nominally, Edward Ripley, his father, was Bradford Corporation. Over the course of the dispute the Corporation acted initially to deny the Ripleys and Bowling Waterworks the right to provide water on a commercial basis either across or along public roads and, in a final legal judgement, in the soil beneath public roads. Having won the court cases that established these rights, the Corporation through a council committee then negotiated with H W Ripley to limit the use of the Ripley’s water-resources to within their own land and property.
Writing the Bradford ‘Water Dispute’ story
The Bradford ‘Water Dispute’ features in regional histories, in books describing the development of national welfare policies and in academic treaties and papers written by Bradford and Leeds University historians. It is, however, largely absent from local popular histories and from ‘folk’ memory.
The dispute was of long duration. The core events, the court cases, occurred during the ten years from 1852 to 1862. Different strands in the background stories to the dispute occurred over slightly earlier periods and periods of different duration.. The Water Dispute, itself, had implications for the water-supply and the installation of water-closets in Ripleys’ dye-works and mills and in the workmen’s dwellings and the schools building of the industrial model village of Ripley Ville. These extend the dispute’s influence into the 1870s.
The background stories are also complex. Two earlier posts looked at the preliminary skirmishes over water-supply related to Bowling Beck and the legal contests between Wood & Walkers and other upstream commercial users. This was before Wood & Walkers eventually took on the Ripleys.
A further series of posts is needed to carry these interlinked stories forward.
A Series of Linked Posts : Sequence
Next Post : Biography H W Ripley and Bradford’s elites, 1848 – 1872
The next post starts with biography and an assessment of H W Ripley’s wealth and social standing in Bradford in the early 1870s. It then moves backwards to review his commercial activities in south Bradford and his varied roles in the town’s trade and civic life from 1848 to 1858. It ends with a listing of the magistrates of the West Riding in 1850, which includes William Walker, principal partner in Wood & Walkers but also other members of Bradford’s social and political elites.
Following Post : Sanitary Reform and Town Improvement 1847 – 1857
The following post adds further context by drawing together strands of the early history of sanitary reform and town improvement in Bradford. This was shaped both by mid-century knowledge of sanitation and attitudes to this and to town improvement and through the Borough council’s fluctuating relationship with central government. Using some primary but mostly secondary sources this post covers events from Bradford’s incorporation in 1847 up to the Borough Council’s take-over of Bradford Waterworks after 1854.
Taken together the two posts aim to:-
- show H W Ripley’s somewhat anomalous early arrival among Bradford’s elites,
- place the Water Dispute within the broader picture of mid-Victorian public health legislation, sanitary reform and town improvement
- settle out those issues, practical, political and economic, related to water-supply that made it different from sewering.
Water-supply and sewering were different issues for mid-century Bradfordians, for Bradford’s ratepayers and elected representatives and for the Borough council’s officers and contractors for one or more of these sets of reasons.
Topics for Later Posts
The Condition of Bradford 1840 – 1856
Later content posted to the blog will consider the condition of Bradford in the ‘dirty’ 1840s and into the mid-1850s. It will focus in particular on police evidence of the inadequacy of Bradford’s water-supply in 1852. This was the year in which H W Ripley’s intentions to become a supplier of water in south Bradford became very clear.
From competition to Corporation ownership and compromise: Waterworks and reservoirs
The evidence for the inadequacy of Bradford’s water supply will be set against the remedies, plans and actions of the three contestants in the Water Dispute; Bradford Corporation, Bradford Waterworks and the Ripleys (Bowling Waterworks), This later blog content will show that those rival plans were simplified by the Corporation’s purchase of Bradford Waterworks, the legal limits put on the Ripleys and Bowling Waterworks and the adoption of a compromise and, in the views of some, a compromised plan for the building of new reservoirs in the late -1850s and beyond.
Water-supply and Ripley Ville
The water-supply and ‘Water Dispute’ stories need to be taken forward from the mid to late 1850s up to 1866 and the plans for the Ripley Ville and the buildings of the village’s northern site.
Other connected stories, which may or may not find their way into posts on this blog, include:-
- the sewering of Bradford, particularly south Bradford and Ripley Ville
- the series of discussions and decisions that led Bradford Borough’s Sanitary, Baths and Cemetery Committee to require working class housing to be provided with external dry privies and ash pits in preference to water-closets.
- a continuation of the Ripley Ville ‘Water-closet Controversy’ story. This needs to be moved on from the speculation and counter-speculation of previous posts. They looked at the evidence for installation of water-closets in the various buildings of the village and, most importantly, in the workmen’s houses. That installation, which appears to have been common to all the Ripley Ville dwellings, was in advance of the regional and national standard for such buildings in the mid-1860s. Contrary to what has been stated elsewhere, it then continued in defiance of Bradford Borough regulations.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2017. All rights reserved.
A previous post announced ‘the Beginning of the End’ for the rediscovering Ripleyville blog; the slow retirement of the blog while I carry on with research and writing. This post set out what comes after – A New Beginning!
Or is it?
a short post – making clear what will be happening with the rRV blog and to clear up any misunderstanding
Not retiring : retiring the rediscovering Ripleyville blog – slowly
I received one almost immediate response to my ‘Beginning of the End’ post about the rediscovering Ripleyville blog. It assumed I was ‘retiring’. For some of those who were of working age during the Thatcher years, retiring now isn’t an option, except to real or relative poverty. It is not something I will be choosing.
As I stated in the previous post;
I will still be researching the Victorian history of the area and writing about it.
… new or consolidated findings about Ripley Ville or Ripley Ville related topics will not be published on this web-site and blog.
This post announces the beginning of the end for the rediscovering Ripleyville blog and sets out some future arrangements for availability of content and keeping in contact.
rediscovering Ripley Ville blog : the Beginning of the End
110 posts and bow out?
If you have been visiting this site over the past 4 years or are visiting for the first time, you may know or notice that there has been no new post to it since May 6th – nearly 4 months.
It hasn’t been a conscious decision not to post. There are two long draft posts awaiting completion, a third has a provisional title, plans for a forth have been sketched. Things have just stopped. Holidays, other priorities, paid work, good walking weather and, when it comes down to it, a tailing off in motivation are major reasons.
I was motivated to get to 100 posts; a total achieved at the beginning of this year. I wasn’t fully satisfied because some of these posts are very short, others are about the so far unsuccessful attempt to promote a rediscovering Ripley Ville project and set-up a Ripleyville group in parallel to the web-site. They were about organisation rather than the process of historical rediscovery or research findings about Ripley Ville.
Before Ripley Ville was built. More on the Ripleys’ use of water from Bowling Beck and elsewhere from the Bowling valley in the early 1850s, the complaints of Walkers Co against them and the connections to Titus Salt and the ‘Bowling Tough’.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2016 All rights reserved.
The Ripleys’ use of the water of the Bowling valley, Titus Salt and the Bowling Tough : early 1850s
Previous post & this post
I have had a bit more time to look at the archive documents related to the case of Wood & Walkers and the Ripleys in the early 1850s. This post is a follow up to the previous one. I have updated that one from when it was first published last month on April 1st. It now conforms with the newer information. This helped to firm up the date for the original parts of the affidavit of Benjamin Murgatroyd. As Superintendent of Bowling Dyeworks, he had first-hand information about changes at the Works and their use of water and dyewares in worsted dyeing between 1830s and early 1850s; information not available elsewhere.
This post goes into more detail on;
- the grounds for the complaint and the court case of John Wood, William Walker and Charles Walker (Walkers & Co) against Edward and Henry William Ripley (the Ripleys)
- and the defense of the Ripleys’ actions as prepared by their solicitors.
Titus Salt became involved in an earlier case, a more general objection by Bradford’s worsted manufacturers to the Ripleys’ actions in 1853 and more directly in the case of Walkers & Co and the Ripleys.
The ‘Bowling Tough’, so called, played a part in the Ripleys’ defense.
Before Ripley Ville was built. In this post; a first-hand description of changes to Bowling Dyeworks and worsted dyeing from Works’ Superintendent and practical dyer, Benjamin Murgatroyd, circa 1835 to 1855 and evidence on how Bowling Beck was used and misused.
Copyright R L Walker 2016 All rights reserved
This nearly had to be a post about not doing a post. Its seven weeks since the last one. I have been reviewing archive documents for south Bradford, covering the ten years 1852-1862 and related to the ‘Water Dispute, Messrs Ripley v. Bradford Corporation’ . It has been a long slog and I’m still not finished. I was planning to post an apology explaining the silence, then on Monday last week I had a jack-in-a-box moment. From all the archive boxes and documents over the previous weeks one just jumped out at me.
Benjamin Murgatroyd & Bowling Dyeworks 1835 to 1855
The Water Dispute
The document was in a group of papers connected to the ‘Water Dispute’ but not directly involved in the Ripleys’ dispute with Bradford Corporation. The Dispute itself was about water supply in Bradford; who should have control of it and how best the town could be served. At its heart was the gap between the needs of the town and what was available.(1) The engineer J F Bateman (1810-1889), fresh from working on the water supply of Manchester, reported in 1852 that there was a twenty-fold gap. Where supply was around half a million gallons a day, from Bradford Waterworks, he calculated that between ten and twenty million gallons a day would be needed for all the town’s needs. In a series of letters he outlined the works and costs of getting to that level of supply.(2)
Affidavit of Benjamin Murgatroyd
The jack-in-a-box document was the draft of an affidavit, in manuscript form, with crossings out and additions in a second and possibly a third person’s hand.(3)
Unsigned and undated in this draft form, it’s opening paragraph – before crossing outs and additions – stated;
More information on who built Bowling Lodge in 1836, how much they were paid, other conditions and how long it took is compared with Cordingley and Peel’s contract for building a block of Ripley Ville Working Men’s Dwellings for H W Ripley in 1867.
Copyright R L (Bob) Walker 2016. All rights reserved.
Building Bowling Lodge in 1836 and a block of Working Mens Dwellings in Ripley Ville in 1867
This post expands on information in three previous posts:-
In its first part the post adds:-
- the names of the plumber, glazier and slater to the masons and the carpenter & joiner contracting to build Bowling Lodge for H W Ripley in 1836,
- the amount agreed for their payment
- some conditions to the contracts
- some stages in the work, completion dates and forfeits
The payments agreed give a probable total for the building costs of the Dwelling House, Coach-house and Stables that was being built, to drawings by the architect Walker Rawsthorne, for H W Ripley’s parents, Edward and Hannah Ripley (nee Murgatroyd). (1)
In the second part of the post, this information is compared with what we know about a single contract for building a block of Working Mens Dwellings in the industrial model village of Ripley Ville some thirty years later.
The third part speculates on the price H W Ripley was paying for a working man’s dwelling to be built in the industrial model village of Ripley Ville.
Contractors and Price for Work
The earlier post revealed that Moulsons, a firm based in West Bowling or little Bowling as it had been called, were contracted to do the Masons work for Bowling Lodge and that John Hargrave, was the contracting Carpenter & Joiner. Hargrave would have made the massive water cistern associated with the water-closet installed in Bowling Lodge, which features in the previous post on Bowling Lodge. The Moulsons work as masons included the laying of the drains. The full list of contractors and the price agreed for their part in the contract are shown in the table below. The space for the signature of the contractor for the plastering is empty in the section of the eighteen-page Specification concerning their work – so we don’t know their name – but the price is given.
rediscovering Ripleyville’s 100th post : a Heritage Matters update about Bradford Council’s Planning Policy proposal for land on Ripley Road. Your chance to help shape the council’s policy for land near to where the northern site of Bradford’s only industrial village once stood!
Heritage Matters Update
Ripley Road Planning Allocation
Just over a week ago (2016/01/08) I happened across a planning document referring to Ripley Road in West Bowling and the land across from the Edward Ripley & Son’s Laboratory building which dates from 1916 (see photos below).
The Allocation Site in 1882
The map below shows that in 1882 the land would have included;
- Ripleys’ ‘New Shed’ (NS),
- subsiding pits (SP) for Bowling Dyeworks
- and a reservoir (Res).
The eastern side of Ripley Road was used for allotments’ with the lower block of Ripley Terrace (Nos 67-85), which featured in a recent post, and the Ripley Ville schools building (Sch) beyond (see photograph).
Wider Setting of Site in 1882
The map shows the features above and the allocation site’s wider setting including Bowling Dyeworks and the rest of the northern site of the industrial model village of Ripley Ville.
Super-imposed on this in red are the outline of the site in the proposed allocation (WM2) and the words ‘Registered Historic Park’ used in the planning document to denote Bowling Park.
Site Allocation : Waste Disposal/Management Purposes
There is a proposal that the whole of this site of 2.35 hectares be considered for waste disposal/management purposes.
The link to the pdf of the planning document, which is on Bradford Council’s site is:-
You need to scroll down to pages 28 & 29 for the part relating to Ripley Road.
The grounds for the policy and allocation appear sound. The key point about the document are the conditions under which the policy and allocation might be applied i.e when an application to develop the site comes in. On this, the document includes the following paragraph under ‘Mitigation Requirements’ ;
Development proposals will need to ensure the significance (including the setting) of the Registered Historic Park to the south-east of the area is not harmed. This will need to be demonstrated through robust analysis in the heritage statement submitted with the planning application.
I was at a public consultation meeting when I was shown the document. I did at that time tell the planners attending about Ripleyville. They did not seem to know of its previous existence. It seems to me that there is an opportunity to make the planners aware of the proximity of this part of Ripley Road to;
- the northern site of Ripley Ville, Bradford’s only industrial model village
- the pedestrian paths that made and still offer links to what was the Bowling Dyework’s site and Ripley Ville
That mitigation requirement can apply to the Registered Historic Park (Bowling Park) ought to mean that mitigation requirements could be applied to the Ripleyville/Bowling Dyework’s sites. They are of equal significance. Ripley Ville was completed, with the removal and rebuilding of the Alms houses to New Cross Street on the village’s southern site, a year after Bowling Park was officially opened. They date from the same period.
Recent research, summarised in an earlier post which corrects the errors on Wikipedia, makes clear the local and national significance of the Ripley Ville Working Mens Dwellings with their water-closets in the basements.
Grants or Gains
Another possibility is that some kind of planning gain/grant application (e.g. from Landfill Tax) could be looked for. Heritage signage, minor works, path clearance and reinstatement and the planting of trees, shrubs could be used to enhance the setting of what remains of the Victorian industrial landscape and the northern site of the village after demolition and improve access routes to these.
Ripleyville is a crucial but forgotten part of Bradford’s Victorian Heritage. Make your voice heard in the efforts to promote it to its rightful place in the city’s Victorian history and its heritage.
Here’s some things you can do:-
- Tell people about this article. Copy and send them the link to this 100 Up page : Heritage Matters page; http://wp.me/p2qxEI-2hc
- Look at the planning document and in your response make sure the planners know about Ripley Ville and take it into account in future planning decisions.
- Copy & paste the 100 Up : Heritage Matters page link http://wp.me/p2qxEI-2hc into your comments to the planners.
Responses to the planning policy document can be made on-line or by other means. These are identified in page 3 of the document. Here’s the link again.
The relevant paragraphs, including the e-mail address for comments on page three, are:-