|Denholme Shared Church...[formally Independent Chapel]|
Many Bancroft individuals were involved with the running of the Independent Chapel, with it's social and religious matters and most of them are descendants of Thomas [b circa 1810] and Pricilla Bancroft ,who came over to Denholme from the Hebden Bridge area sometime in the late 1830’s. Thomas was listed as a ‘Bookeeper’ in the 1841 census, and was drawn by employment to the local business of 'W & H Fosters', who ran the local mill, which was expanding rapidly at that time, and was the main employer in the area.
A clue to Thomas's sense of public duty , and that of his employers the Fosters, can be found in an article in the Bradford Observer newspaper dated 14th November 1849:
It seems hard to understand today, the purpose of Mechanics Institutes, but many such establishments were set up in the 19th century to provide adult education, particularly in technical subjects to working men. They were usually founded by local industrialists to provide ultimate benefit to their business by having a workforce which was more knowledgeable and skilled. The Institutes were also used as libraries for the adult working class , and helped provide an alternative pastime to illegal gambling and drinking in public houses.
The skill of being a bookkeeper seems to have been passed down the family, because his eldest son, Thomas [Jnr] [1836-1911] also gives this as his occupation together with the similar job as ‘Mill Cashier’ at Foster’s Mill. I think that Thomas [Jnr] must have been a rather modest man when it came to describing his job on the census records, judging by his home, his standing in the local community and the family monument which still dominates the graveyard due to it’s height. I suspect that Thomas was probably one of the more important members of the management at Foster’s Mill, and today would be know as the 'company accountant'.
|Chapel Members Book|
Thomas and Hannah must have put great store in a good education for their children because all their surviving sons went on to have good careers.
|Workers at Foster's Mill|
Many of the new arrivals in the village had belonged to a church or chapel in the area in which they had previously lived and they brought with them a desire to continue worshipping at their chosen denomination.
|The Sunday School....shortly before demolition|
|Joshua, Captain of Israel|
|Christ, Calming the Storm|