Brook Lane, Hackenthorpe, 1848

Brook Lane in the mid 20th Century.

In 1848, the village of Hackenthorpe was quite literally shook. It was in the early hours of the first Saturday in October, when the inhabitants of Hackenthorpe were rudely woken by a violent explosion on Brook Lane. It is easy to imagine the commotion in the village that morning, inhabitants from Main Street and Brook Lane rushing from their homes on hearing the loud explosion, and the sound of glass shattering.

The home which was soon discovered to be the scene of the crime, was the home of Alfred and William Lee, where an attempt to blow up their home had failed. The makeshift explosive was created using a piece of Iron pipe which had been charged with gunpowder. The pipe was then thrown through one of the low windows, however the shutters obstructed it from entering causing it to rebound back to the exterior pavement. When the device exploded it caused damage to the stone pavement as well as a number of neighbouring windows on Brook Lane.

The Lee family were sickle-makers employed by Thomas Staniforth, they were targeted for agreeing to work for reduced pay. Many other workers from the time had refused to work and had been striking for over a month.