The archives

Much of the archive material which is housed in the Learning Resource Centre at Crossley Heath School has now been organised into sturdy files by a small but dedicated team, but much remains to be sorted through. The fascinating material consists of old photographs, documents, ledgers and account books dating back to the early eighteenth century.

The sorting and cataloguing of hundreds of documents dating from 1594 to 1985 in the history of Heath Grammar School is progressing slowly and anyone interested is welcome to inspect the masses of fascinating material that make up the history of Halifax’s second oldest institution, Heath Grammar School.

The school used to own a good deal of land and property stretching back from Todmorden to Northowram, which provided income for the school to provide a free education. The letter dated August 17, 1837 [typed exactly below] was noticed among the correspondence and was written by Joseph Medley, who rented a farm at Ovenden Cross and failed to pay the rent. The governors were anxious to draw the arrears and set their agent to get them. He, J. Patchett, describes Medley as a slovenly, idle fellow and I should say, the sooner the governors get quit of him as tenant the better.

Russell Smith

To the Governer’s of the free Grammer scholl heath Gentle men. I write to you a few lines of my situation when i took the farm I had a hundred Pounds in Mr Haighs hands wich I laid out in that place and for six years i worked Day and Night nearly i did my work at Cropping in the Night and worked in the Land in the day time for all That I did Not make twenty pounds a year one with another I have had very bad Crops 8 years out this time and now To see the Distress my family is thrown into Seven Children some without father and mother bringing with tears in theirs eyes, Grandfather where must we sleep, I have no where to lay my head nor yours, Now Gentlemen hath toiled To toiled to get the land in good order and now is Deprived of home and habitattion and if I had my wright that I have laid out I should not owe you one halfpenny witnes To all my Neighbours but now I am willing to liver up On fair terms but not as I was Gered at the Election To agree with me one day and make Distress Another I hope you will Consider my Situation no where to ly my head

I remain your Petioner

Jopseh Medley