Martin Mitchell began his long association with the pub trade by learning his skills as the tenant landlord at the GUERNING DOG, which was situated at the bottom of Butcher Hill at the turn of the 19th century.

He began to see there was more to be gained by owning and running a pub of his own, as opposed to being a tenant with the profits all going to someone else, when he himself had the knowledge and wherewithal, to enable him to become his own master. So he set about building his own premises on the opposite side of the road to the Guerning Dog and in September of 1832 he proudly obtained the licence to sell ales and spirits in his newly built pub, which he named the Greyhound Inn.


The Sun Inn, now a private house

Martin was the son of John Mitchell and Martha Bottomley and also had connections to the Waggon and Horses at Walsden; through both his own Mitchell family and his wife’s Hill family. His brother Ogden was also in the trade and at one time had kept a beerhouse at Calderbrook and later moved to the SUN INN at Walsden

Shortly after the opening of the Greyhound, the Ancient Order of Druids was formed and held their meetings at the Greyhound Inn right up until they dissolved in 1885, 52 years after their inception. At the last meeting the members stood at 80 and each received the sum  £4-10s.

For some time Martin used to attend the Thursday market at Wakefield and would arrive back in Todmorden at noon on Friday with a letter giving the report of the markets. Jon Scholfield, known as Jack o’Steens, the son of Stephen of Cliviger, would meet the coach, Martin would give him the letter, and Jon would then set off for Manchester. He would take it to the newspaper offices, stay there overnight, collect the papers next day and set off back for Todmorden with the heavy load of newspapers which would then go on sale in the town.

Martin and his wife Sally ran the Greyhound until Martin’s death in 1845. Shortly before his death, Martin had competition from his old adversary at the Guerning Dog in the form of Samuel Fielden, the licensee of the Guerning Dog, who decided to build another pub right next door and in direct competition to the Greyhound. This was the WHITE LION. Both pubs seemed to thrive, and each would have their own particular loyal clientele.

Martin died at the White Lion and was possibly running it as well as his own pub until a new landlord took over. His widow Sally took over the running of the Greyhound after he died and was helped out by Jacob Cryer. Sally was the daughter of Old Thomas Hill of Reddyshore, and her brother Thomas married JINNY HAIGH of the Waggon and Horses at Walsden.

Later on, Sally’s son in law, John Bentley, the husband of her daughter Hannah, assisted her in the running of the pub. John had moved to the Greyhound from the Waggon and Horses in Walsden to help his mother in law, and shortly after Sally died in 1855, he and his wife Hannah moved to Redwaterfoot in Stansfield and kept the Waggon and Horses there.

Waggon & Horses Walsden


After Sally’s death in 1855, the pub passed into the hands of James Sutcliffe in the July of that year.

Succeeding James Sutcliffe was William Midgley who in 1861 was running it along with his wife and a female servant to help, and had three lodgers at that time. William’s father Richard of Kebcote had succeeded Samuel Hanson as landlord of the White Hart so he wasn’t altogether a stranger to the life.

William had been a tailor in York Street, living next door to the Peacock and seeing how successful it was he may have thought that a better living was to be made from the pub trade than from his tailoring business, so when the opportunity came to become a landlord at the Greyhound, he took the chance.

William eventually went back to tailoring after trying his hand for a few years at the Greyhound, and moved to Halifax to once again take up life as a tailor. Obviously he preferred the more genteel occupation of sewing to that of running a busy pub.

By the mid 1860’s Abraham Law had become the landlord. Abraham’s trade was a grinder and when he and his wife Elizabeth moved to the Greyhound they were in their 40’s and had seven children, 6 girls and one son Charles. It would have been quite a change for them. Their eldest daughter Amanda helped out in the pub and son Charles was a stonemason. Three other daughters, Fanny, Emily and Alice were weavers and the two youngest, Mary and Martha were still at school.


The Dusty Miller is now a private house

Abraham also took in lodgers and in 1871 they had four who were all moulders, probably working in one of the foundries nearby. He died in February 1872 and his widow remarried to John Roberts, who was the landlord of the Dusty Miller at Square, Walsden.

On the 28th of April of 1872, a bit of trouble broke out with one of the customers. A young man of 22, Richard Nally, who was a lodger at one of the many lodging houses at Butcher Hill, refused to leave the premises when asked. He was drunk at the time and probably making a nuisance of himself. The case was taken to the Petty Sessions at Todmorden, where Richard failed to appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He no doubt got his due punishment for the trouble caused when he was found.

For a short time after Abraham’s death, James Howarth took over the licence and held it until about 1876.

By 1881 Helliwell Scholfield was well established as the licensee and lived there with his wife Sarah and son Robert. Helliwell was new to the trade, having grown up as part of a large family in the Shade area.  His father Robert was a carrier on the canal and Helliwell became a mechanic before becoming a landlord.

Unfortunately Helliwell died in 1886 aged 46, but his widow Sarah carried on with the running of the pub assisted by her son Robert, until her death in 1896. Both she and Helliwell are buried in Christ Church graveyard along with their son Robert.

Robert stayed on at the pub until a new landlord was installed, by the name of

James Hazeltine, a local man who had also lived in the Shade area for most of his life. He exchanged his life in the cotton mill for one as a licensee. He and his wife Sarah, along with the help of Sarah’s spinster sister Fanny Thomas, made a great effort of making a success of their new business.

One of their enterprises was the introduction of a May Day Show, which was instituted on the 1st of May 1899 and proved a great success. May Day was traditionally the day when the horses of the area would be trimmed up with ribbons, garlands, bells, rosettes and bows and groomed to perfection with their hooves polished, manes braided and tails brushed. The winner would be awarded with a trophy, which they would keep for a year along with some prize money.

Unfortunately the weather was not kind, on that particular day, but a good number of 28 horses were judged by Mr. Percy Green of Halifax. The following year only 24 horses attempted to vie for the prize money of £3-17s-6d. The prize money would probably find its way back into the landlord’s pocket, so a good investment in the long run and worth the effort required by him.


Photo by courtesy of Roger Birch

This is a photo of “Jock” in 1950 on May Day with George Sunderland. Jock was a draught horse and worked delivering coal for James Mitchell, coal merchants and George was responsible for his care and always followed the tradition of the May Day dressing.  Jock was put out to grass at Stoodley in 1956.
James also advertised his establishment as offering first-class accommodation as well as catering for dinners and teas.
After James left in the early 1900’s, Miles Ingham took over the running of the Greyhound. Miles came from Burnley and had kept the New White Horse in Hammerton Street shortly after his marriage to a Todmorden girl, Alice Sutcliffe. He had replaced his father Samuel as the beer seller there, although old Samuel still kept his eye on his young son and would help out when needed.
Whilst Miles was the landlord of the Greyhound, a trip was organised to Blackpool on the “Haberghan” which was a very early double decker bus from Burnley. Thirty-four people set out with picnic lunches and arrived in Blackpool over four hours later and no doubt the words “bone shaker” would have figured in the conversations.

A later landlord was Samuel Crossley Butterworth. Samuel was a Walsden man, who could trace his family back to his great grandfather in 1754. Future generations of this early Butterworth family lived and worked in the Woodbottom and Henshaw area. Samuel appears to be the only one of his family to be involved in the pub trade although way back in 1836, by some strange coincidence, his great uncle, also named Samuel Butterworth, whilst on a trip from his home in Whitworth to his club at the White Lion at Wadsworth Mill, which was next door to the Greyhound, was found drowned in the dam at Butcher Hill. Samuel had recently had words with an engineer and it was suspected that his drowning was not altogether an accident.

Samuel left the Greyhound around 1936 and died in 1942, followed a year later by his wife.

The last landlord of the Greyhound was John Thomas Fielden and on the 2nd of February 1939 the pub was referred for compensation under the 1904 act, and it was paid on the 23rd of December 1939. The premises were closed on the 30th December 1939 after over a hundred years of trading leaving its competitor, the White Lion to carry on serving the locals and probably the loyal Greyhound clientele found that the White Lion wasn’t so bad after all.