CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
Huddersfield Civic Society has announced the winners of its 2019 Design Awards. Chairman David Wyles and former Chairman Chris Marsden judged an impressive range of projects nominated by HCS members and the public in early February 2020.
Above, President Bernard Ainsworth presents the overall winner award to hotel manager Mark Ayre of the Manor House, Lindley. Full story on our Design Awards page.
Sixteen venues or locations in Kirklees will open or offer events as part of the national Heritage Open Days festival, which runs for ten consecutive days from September 11.
This year’s selection offers an insight into places not always open to the public. Venues include John Greenwood, Dewsbury’s oldest shop and now a local history museum, High Flatts Quaker Meeting House and several Anglican churches.
There is a unique scavenger hunt around Dewsbury’s Crow Nest Park and a hidden nature trail at Oakwell Hall Country Park, both celebrating this year’s national theme, Hidden Nature.
For the first time, there are two virtual tours; Birkby Heritage Trail, Huddersfield and St Bartholomew’s Church, Marsden, which can be enjoyed from home.
Kirklees Heritage Open Days committee chair, David Griffiths, said: '‘The Covid situation has severely limited the programme of events, so we really appreciate the efforts of the volunteers who have kept Heritage Open Days alive. I hope people will take care, stay alert but, above all, enjoy participating in this unique festival’.
A biography to be published this month explores the 'mysterious and elusive' Huddersfield architect William Henry Crossland.
Crossland was born in 1835, the son of stone mason Henry Crossland, and baptised in Elland. By 1841, the family was living in Longwood.
He became a pupil of the London architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1850s and went on to set up his own practice in Halifax.
Kirklees Council has approved its own plan for three tall sculptures to be built on New Street, in spite of objections submitted by HCS.
Details of appearance or landscaping remain undisclosed but the council says approval of those matters must be obtained before development is begun.
All we know of the 'sculptural features' is that they will have a maximum height of 12 metres and be made of metal 'with an open structure to give a feeling of lightness'.
This was the text of our objection sent to the council:
Kirklees Council has given an assurance to Huddersfield Civic Society that it has 'no plans to weaken or abolish any planning committees'.
The pledge by council leader Cllr Shabir Pandor was made in response to concerns expressed in a letter from society president, Bernard Ainsworth.
Cllr Pandor writes: 'Public input into decision making is an essential element of our democracy. Our focus as an administration is on improving engagement with local people and working with them on the issues that affect them. Localised decision making on planning issues is clearly part of that process.'
By DAVID WYLES, Chairman, Huddersfield Civic Society
I was saddened to hear of the death of Joe Marsden who, with his brother John and families, contributed so much to the town over many years.
Joe epitomised what is termed ‘the hospitality industry’, with his warm welcome, generosity, humour and understanding of the people for whom the night club, bistro and hotels became their favourite venues.
Huddersfield Civic Society is working to support Kirklees Council develop plans for the Huddersfield Blueprint’s Station Gateway.
A new, west-side station entrance, with a pedestrian link from St George’s Square, would revitalise the railway warehouse and surrounding area. The square itself would benefit from the removal of vehicles accessing the station.
This week the Society submitted an outline for a suggested approach to Peter Steniulis in the Council’s Major Projects Service.
HCS has established a joint transport working group with Huddersfield Unlimited to help improve transport links in and around the town.
The group has identified five themes that are important to the economy and quality of life in the town, including digital connectivity. Initially the working group will focus on two areas:
The transport working group is also writing to Kirklees Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to offer assistance in further developing current ‘active travel’ initiatives (i.e. measures to encourage greater cycling and walking) and to improve communications with civil society.
Martin Booker, RIBA, Managing Director of Fibre Architects, gives a personal view on the future of town centres
During the lockdown I’ve mainly been working from home and on the couple of occasions that I had to visit our office in Huddersfield I decided to cycle the seven miles to work on my recently purchased electric bike.
This made me realise the great work and investment that has been made by Kirklees and Sustrans in recent times to make this type of journey much more safe and enjoyable for cyclists, and the 30 minutes it took was only a little more than the 20 minutes it sometimes takes in the car.
The George Hotel, birthplace of rugby league, is to house the sport's first national museum – a decision that has won the support of Huddersfield Civic Society.
Rugby League Cares have forged a partnership with Kirklees Council to bring the attraction to the hotel where clubs met in 1895 to agree a breakaway from the Rugby Football Union.
HCS is broadly supportive of Council proposals to upgrade the Open Market and efforts to secure Heritage Action Zone status for key buildings around St George’s Square.
However, it remains cautious about the viability of moving traders from Queensgate Market.
An online talk last night to HCS members and supporters on a possible cycling strategy for Huddersfield proved remarkably prescient.
Kirklees Council today announced that a number of roads around Huddersfield and North Kirklees are to be turned over to cyclists as it uses the coronavirus crisis to "completely rethink the way towns work".
By David Wyles
After consultation with colleagues from the Discover Huddersfield partnership, we feel there is no likelihood that walks will resume within the next few months.
Even if the government allows such things to take place, our feeling is that many of our walkers may be classed 'vulnerable' or remain sensitive to joining a group. Similarly our walk leaders and support team may feel uneasy.
By David Wyles
I hope our members and their families have stayed free of the virus but if you have been infected, I wish you a speedy recovery.
Digital committee meeting
Your committee held its first online meeting on May 18 and was pleased to receive a presentation by Karl Battersby, Kirklees Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure. Work to realise key ambitions within the Blueprint is moving ahead and you may have seen reports on our web site and in the Examiner relating to the purchase of the George and other strategic buildings.
Huddersfield Civic Society will hold its first online event next month when Richard Armitage gives a talk on bike-friendly towns.
Zoom will be used in webinar format to enable members to engage with our speaker at the meeting on June 2 at 7pm. The committee has been using this software successfully since March.
Richard, the Executive Director of the European Cycle Logistics Federation, will discuss what an ambitious cycling strategy for Huddersfield and south Kirklees might look like.
Booking for the event on Eventbrite is now open. If you register you will receive the Zoom link on June 1.
The leader of Kirklees Council has spoken of his commitment to the Huddersfield Blueprint, despite the financial effects of the Coronavirus.
Coun Shabir Pandor was asked what impact a financial hole would have on elements such as the £250m Blueprint and Kirklees' commitment to climate change.
Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement in England, has arranged a series of online In Conversation with…. interviews.
Subjects with a background or interest in planning, design or architecture are interviewed by Kevin Trickett, acting chair of Market Weighton Civic Society.
The interviews – conducted via Zoom video conferencing and about 30 minutes long – are open to all. The first took place on May 6, when planning consultant Graham Galpin was the interviewee.
Here is the schedule of coming interviews:
The Lawrence Batley Theatre invites people to collaborate with Ian McMillan on a new poem to celebrate the strength of our community in light of the pandemic.
"While we’re all staying home and getting on with lockdown, we want to recognise the community spirit found in our region," the Huddersfield theatre says.
"To get involved, we’re asking you to reflect on what Kirklees means to you. This could be what you love most about living in Kirklees, what the best thing about your community is or what sort of place you hope Kirklees will be in the future."
Banney Royd, the Arts and Crafts house in Edgerton designed by the architect Edgar Wood, is again on the market.
The Grade I Listed villa, rich in Art Nouveau features, has been described by the architectural historian John Archer as 'an exceptional house of its generation'.
He writes: 'Throughout the house the best materials were used, and room by room the detailing was originally designed, from the fireplace down to the finger plates on the doors. Various features have the elongated forms characteristic of British Art Nouveau, but the general character of the design is robust and vigorous.'
Volunteers have converted a overgrown riverside open space into an attractive place to visit.
Snow Island, off King’s Mill Lane, has been developed as a public amenity by The Greenstreams Project, led by local environmental organisation Environment Kirklees. It has improved the pathways, installed artworks at gateways, cleared rubbish and provided picnic tables, with wheelchair space, and seating.
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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