Over two dozen new locations will open their doors across Kirklees as part of the National Heritage Open Days Festival from September 13 – 22.
A record 68 sites and events will celebrate the area’s heritage and culture, offering an insight into places not always open to the public.
Last year almost 5,000 people enjoyed the chance to explore a range of historic places and participate in a variety of events.
This year’s programme is more widely spread across Kirklees, with ten new events in Dewsbury and Mirfield alongside well-established favourites in Huddersfield and the Valleys.
All venues and events are free, although, because of limited capacity, a small number have to be booked.
Among some of this year’s new entries are visits to Dewsbury’s oldest shop, trading since 1860 and now an intimate museum; a converted C19 piggery with Bronte connections in Mirfield; the remote Shred Mission Chapel above Slaithwaite; a walk to discover Lockwood and the history of its Spa; and a chance to explore and understand Huddersfield’s Buddhist centre in Birkby.
Other highlights are linked to this year’s national theme ‘People Power’, celebrating individuals and communities who have worked together to bring about change.
These include a talk by Georgina Hutchison, author of ‘Under the Canopy of Heaven’, a novel about Luddite George Mellor; a tour of Greenhead Park led by Thomas Denham, who set out his vision for it in 1869; and a talk at Huddersfield’s Hall of Science (now Ramsay Clay) built by followers of early socialist, Robert Owen.
Details of all 68 events and the booking process can be found in the Kirklees Heritage Open Days brochure, which is being distributed to information points and libraries across Kirklees, by going to the national web site or by downloading the file below.
Huddersfield Civic Society welcomes the launch of the Huddersfield Blueprint as the first stage in the process of re-invigorating, regenerating and repurposing the town centre.
The following is a precis of comments made by the committee of HCS. Further detailed comments will be submitted following consultation with all members of the society and its partners.
Initial Comments on Zone Proposals.
Queensgate: The Cultural Heart:
St. Peter’s Area:
Kingsgate & King Street:
The Civic Quarter:
An evening guided walk will highlight the wealth of sculptural and other public art in the centre of Huddersfield.
It will be led by Chris Marsden, former chairman of Huddersfield Civic Society and author of the recently published, ‘Huddersfield in 50 Buildings’.
The walk will start from the Harold Wilson statue in St George’s Square at 7pm on Thursday, July 18, and last about an hour and a half.
It will take in features of national importance, including the world’s largest ceramic panels at Queensgate Market and the stone figures outside the library as well as superbly carved figures to be found on the Kirkgate Buildings, Lloyds TSB and Britannia Buildings.
Chris will reveal the background and artists responsible for the works as well as the stories behind various mosaics including ‘Systematic Sequence in Line and Shade’ and ‘Development of the Woollen Industry’.
Further information about the programme of walks organised by Discover Huddersfield and a series of free trails, can be found at local information points and libraries or by visiting www.discoverhuddersfield.com.
The walks costs £3 per person but no booking is required.
A majority of businesses in Huddersfield have voted in favour of plans to create a Business Improvement District.
Those with a rateable value of £12,001 or above will pay a levy based on their rateable value, creating a pot of more than £2million to spend over the next five years.
Consequently, the town’s new Business Improvement District will come into effect on 1 October.
Vernon O’Reilly, centre manager of the Piazza Shopping Centre and chairman of the Huddersfield BID development steering group, said: "This is superb news for Huddersfield and huge congratulations must go to all the businesses which rallied and joined forces to ensure we secured today’s yes vote
An environment workshop organised by Huddersfield Civic Society looked at key areas that will affect future priorities for the town.
Waste expert Dr Elaine Kerrell introduced the recently published national waste strategy and explored its implications for Kirklees Council.
“There are expected to be new requirements for the council to separately collect food waste and garden waste”, she said.
“Achieving 50% recycling rates by 2020 from today’s rate of 27% is going to be challenging”. Elaine suggested that adding a food waste collection would help to reduce contamination of the green bins.
Coun Andrew Cooper, whose ward includes the town centre, proposed that art installations, children’s play areas and outdoor exercise facilities be used to revitalise the town centre.
He presented examples from his recent visits to Spain and Romania as part of his work as a UK member of the EU Committee of the Regions.
Chas Ball, a member of the HCS board, presented the plans for local action on air pollution.
He said that Kirklees Council’s consultation on air quality was due out soon. He described how the health effects arising from diesel vehicles caused 1,000 premature deaths in West Yorkshire.
Chas suggested that council’s draft strategy will feature work in progress to reduce congestion by improving urban traffic control.
It will also announce the installation of 17 rapid chargers (in pairs) for electric vehicles across the borough of which half will be reserved for taxi use. He said the draft strategy would also stress the importance of an effective walking and cycling strategy.
The workshop succeeded in stimulating members to consider practical and policy responses to the environmental agenda.
It follows a successful workshop in October on the 'Future of the Town'.
More than 60 Huddersfield residents took to the streets for a clean-up of the town centre over the weekend.
Go to Town – the big clean-up on May 10 - 12 was organised by Environment Kirklees and supported by Huddersfield Civic Society and Clare Hill Community Centre.
Kim Warren, project coordinator said: ‘Kirklees Council does a lot of work to keep the town centre streets clean and volunteers regularly clean up the footpaths by the river and canal – but there are still areas that get missed.
‘In Go to Town we are tackling the private land, car parks and green spaces that are often left out and contain a lot of litter. Today we have reduced that in the parts of the town centre and its gateway that let the side down.’
Volunteers, including councillors from Newsome and Greenhead wards, were issued with tools, litter-picking equipment, and hi-vis vests.
On Friday and Saturday, the north and south approaches to the town centre were targeted including footpaths on the River Colne corridor. On Sunday the work programme concentrated on the town centre.
Go to Town was supported by Kirklees Council with funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
A trail leaflet that reveals the historic centre of Almondbury has been produced by the Discover Huddersfield Partnership. The trail, the 16th in the series, follows a route through the heart of the village.
Almondbury (or Ambry) originated around 625 BC with an undefended hut settlement on the commanding viewpoint of Castle Hill. Ancient packhorse trails and later turnpikes brought London buyers via Almondbury to northern England’s sheep-rearing areas.
Edward 1 granted a market charter to Henry de Lacy in 1294. By 1475 Almondbury market’s cloth sales ranked fourth out of seventeen in Yorkshire.
King James's Grammar School received its royal charter from the King in 1608. The first National School in the area was founded in 1818 in buildings to the west of the church. It eventually became the infant school.
The trail is available from local information points, including libraries and the railway station. Others produced by the partnership include themes as varied as Public Art, the Ramsden Family, Historic Buildings, World War 1, Caribbean Heritage, Radical History, Music and Real Ale.
A programme of themed walks, including the guided walk around Almondbury in September, is available from information points or by visiting Discover Huddersfield.
You are invited to our workshop where the environmental issues that contribute to making Huddersfield a town to live, work and study in will be considered.
When: May 18, 2019, 9.45am - 1.15pm
Where: Media Centre, Northumberland Street HD1 1PL
Alternatives to the car
Waste and litter
Cherishing our green spaces
Improving air quality
Speakers and feedback
Specialist speakers will briefly introduce each topic and outline the local context before opening up the debate to members. It will take place against a background of recent developments within Kirklees Council including the declaration of a “climate emergency” and the publication of a draft air quality strategy. As with the workshop in October we will collate the verbal and written comments (using post-its) into a report.
HCS invites members and guests to attend. The event is open to non-members. There is no delegate charge but we are asking for donations at registration to cover our costs: £2 (HCS members, students, unwaged) and £5 (non-members). This will include free hot drinks.
Timetable and refreshments
Coffee, tea and pastries will be available from 09.45 and Café Ollo will be open throughout the workshop for drinks and snacks. The programme starts at 10.15 and end at 13.15. It will include a short comfort break at about noon.
Location and parking
The Media Centre is less than 5 minutes walk from the railway station and 10 minutes from the bus station. On a Saturday there is plenty of half-day pay and display car parking close by (e.g. Bath Street off-street, Broadway on street). Limited free parking will be available in Eastwood & Partners car park, Northumberland Street – if you need to park close to the venue, please book a space through the form below.
Booking in advance.
Please reserve your place via the RSVP form below or leave a message on 01484 511045. We will also have an Eventbrite site for booking places.
The annual general meeting of Huddersfield Civic Society was held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in the Reception Room of Huddersfield Town Hall. Chairman: David Wyles.
1. Apologies for absence.
2. Minutes of the 2018 AGM (download link at the foot of this page).
3. Matters arising from the 2018 AGM minutes.
4. Chairman’s Report.
5. Treasurer's Report.
6. Election of Executive Committee.
Other Committee Members:
NOTE. Membership Co-ordinator (Ex officio): Laura West
7. Appointment of Independent Examiner.
8. Any other business.
The meeting was followed by Huddersfield in 50 Buildings, an illustrated talk by Chris Marsden.
The story of Huddersfield's rise to national prominence, told through some of its finest architecture, has been published.
Huddersfield in 50 Buildings is by Chris Marsden, a former chairman of Huddersfield Civic Society, with pictures by Andrew Cavaney. Chris will speak about his book at the HCS meeting on April 2.
Among structures celebrated are the railway station, the University's Oastler Building and, perhaps more controversially, Queensgate Market. Over 96 pages, Chris and Andrew take readers on a tour of historic buildings and modern architectural landmarks.
Chris says: "Introducing and exploring the history of the town through 50 significant buildings of all ages allows new perspectives on our townscape. Buildings that we may take for granted have histories that show us what we were.
"Their secret histories link buildings together through their builders, occupants, purposes and events. I’m asked daily about the town and its buildings I hope the book will answer many questions and provoke still more."
The book also includes archive photographs that have not been seen for decades or are published for the first time.
Chris's top five buildings:
Huddersfield in 50 Buildings, Amberley Publishing, 13.49.