There are, I know, people who struggle to know how to pronounce the West Yorkshire town of Mytholmroyd.
The poet Ted Hughes was born there, and when Hollywood made the biopic of Hughes’ life with Sylvia Plath the actor playing the poet at one stage mentioned that he came from (deep breath) mith- om – m – royd. Cue the sound of tittering at every cinema showing in West Yorkshire.
It’s migh- zhum –royd, with the emphasis on the first and third syllables.
Why am I telling you this? Because I will be giving a talk at the Mytholmroyd Community Centre this Friday on Joseph Greenwood and the Hebden Bridge Fustian Manufacturing Co-operative Society, in my opinion one of the most important co-operatives in Britain during the later years of the nineteenth century. The talk is hosted by the Mytholmroyd Historical Society. I am sure they would not turn away visitors.
Having written All Our Own Work last year, the book on early productive cooperatives where the cooperative pioneer Joseph Greenwood was the central figure, I’ve been delighted to get an email through which tells me that his grave in Hebden Bridge’s Sandy Gate cemetery has been restored.
The gravestone had toppled over on to its front, leaving the grave unidentified. That’s now been remedied. My photo shows members of CROWS (Countryside Rights of Way Service), itself a cooperative, hard at work.
Joseph Greenwood is buried a very short distance from another important early co-operator, Jesse C. Gray. Gray, originally employed at the Hebden Bridge fustian cooperative, went on to become the Co-operative Union’s General Secretary at a key time in the movement’s development. His grave is marked by a marble monument funded by the movement.
Greenwood’s and Gray’s graves are included on an e-trail of radical and cooperative Hebden Bridge, available for downloading as a mobile phone app from http://www.pennineheritage.org.uk/Pennine-Trails. The trail is also available in booklet form from the local Tourist Information Centre.