Spen Valley boasted a super ratcatcher and Heckmondwike's Thomas Cassidy claimed to be world champion! Poor sanitation and filthy ashpits meant rats were everywhere. Thomas drove them out of their holes using a secret concoction, catching them with his bare hands. His record was catching 153 out of 155 rats in 13 minutes with neither dog nor ferret to assist. He achieved this feat in 1908 at a Heckmondwike factory which processed sheepskins. Thomas wasn't daft - he would leave one or two rats so his services would be required again!
You can see plaque 18 on The Green in the centre of Heckmondwike