In 1881 Thomas Hudson was a woolsorter living in Ingrow with his wife Sarah Hannah and their three young children Alice 5, Ernest 5 and Matilda 30 months. They had also had a son called Smith born in 1877 who had died aged three. He is buried here with his parents.

   By 1901 the family were living in Wheathead Lane, Exley Head and Thomas was now a coal agent assisted by his son Ernest. The two girls were cloth menders. In 1911 they were living at 18 Sutton Terrace, Exley Head. Thomas was still a coal agent but Ernest was now a greengrocer.

   In 1939 his 3 children Matilda, Ernest and Alice were living at 18 Linton Street, Exley Head. Alice and Ernest were still single so presume never married. Matilda had married Robert Pickard in 1906 and the four of them were living together. The Pickards were a prominent Exley Head family. His mother was Matilda Clapham, from another prominent Exley Head family. Robert died in 1961 leaving £11k, his wife Matilda in 1968 leaving £29k.

   In 1911 Robert was a 31 year old salesman for a worsted, merino and mohair factory and he and Matilda lived at 20 Sutton Terrace, Exley Head after their marriage.

   Robert had an older sister Caroline who lived to be 83. She was a dressmaker who married draper and shopkeeper John Midgley.

  Their parents were also called Robert and Matilda and are buried in Dockroyd in the Pickard family grave at 17O, 17P, 17Q and 17R along with five of their children who died under one year old. This quadruple grave plot has both a large elaborate monument as well as a more traditional headstone. Plenty of space was needed underground as well as on the memorial stones as here are 25 members of the Pickard family – four adult couples and sixteen children who died as infants. It is this alarming number of infant deaths that probably directed the stone masons carving the memorial stone to cover the top with a shroud – an indication that the incumbents had not fulfilled their lives potential. 

   The elder Robert Pickard is also the grave owner for plot 20I which holds his mother’s sister Eliza Clapham.

   Thomas Hudson had a brother Henry whose great grandson Jonathan Hudson recalls “By gum it’s a small world. When I was young Bob Pickard taught me at Exley Head Methodists Sunday school. I remember him as a fearsome elderly man and very imposing.” Jonathan is the father of Paul Hudson who is the weather presenter for BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Clapham and Pickard: Pictured is James Pickard of Exley Head (courtesy Miss J Barker). This photo was probably taken in the 1870s (or slightly later) and shows some of his daughters-in-law. He had five sons. The eldest, Robert (1839-1920) married a Clapham, while second son John (1841-1920) had a daughter Ruth who also married a Clapham. The Pickards were farmers and tanners.