CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
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.
The Society is supportive of the approach, vision and ambition incorporated in the Huddersfield Town Centre Blueprint Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
The types of change, areas of focus and sites identified for re-purposing represent a cogent strategy, with an appropriate mix of deliverable and aspirational elements, to give focus and direction for the town centre for the next 10 years.
By Chas Ball
HCS has submitted counter proposals to the Leeds Road (A62) Smart Corridor consultation on Phase 1 from Huddersfield Railway Station to Fieldhouse Lane.
The Society's response says that the proposed route does not provide a continuously safe cycle despite the Council’s proposal to “upgrade the existing cycle provision to include separate cycle ways and on-road cycle lanes”.
In its evidence, HCS says that the scheme fails to achieve the aim of encouraging more cycling because “it is severely compromised by designing cycling to take place in close proximity to heavy traffic.
By David Wyles
I start by thanking colleagues on the committee and our members for their contribution to the many and various events we organised over the year. The range of work, from speaker events to the town centre clean up, from environmental workshops to participation in partnerships such as Discover Huddersfield, has demonstrated that HCS is a strong and influential ‘voice’ for the town.
Sadly, one of HCS’s leading members, former President Richard Ward, who had been instrumental in driving, guiding and initiating many elements of our work over many years, passed away in September 2019.
HCS members are invited to a seminar next month at Leeds University: 'Traffic Removal in Leeds: Reshaping the City for People'.
The event is organised by the Traffic Removal UK network, the Institute for Transport Studies at University of Leeds and Act TravelWise.
Speakers include expert practitioners who are leading initiatives to reclaim space from motor vehicles. Some of these efforts are under development in the city centre and in new residential neighbourhoods.
The Changing Face of Birkby was due to be the first guided walk in the new season arranged by Discover Huddersfield.
However, given the worsening situation with Coronavirus and the age of many of our support team and walkers, we feel we must cancel this and the next three walks of the season.
A pop-up climate emergency hub is being run for six days from March 9 in a vacant shop in The Piazza, opposite Huddersfield Library.
It is being organised for Kirklees Culture Declares Emergency, part of a global movement.
People are invited to 'look, listen think and do in a week of activities'. They include pop-up art, books, music and video installations, craft demonstrations, poetry, upcycle fashion and public discussions.
Further details may be found on the Creative Kirklees website.
Our March 3 meeting will take the form of a lecture by the influential architect Alex Whitbread at the University of Huddersfield's Charles Sikes Building.
Alex, above, is a Partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, a national architectural and urban design practice which has considerable experience in designing for education, housing, masterplanning and urban design as well as places for art and the creative reuse of historic buildings.
The greening of a town can come about in surprising ways – perhaps none more so that in the video above.
A wet and windy February day may be apt time to remind ourselves of the sunny grand finale of the 2014 Yorkshire Festival that celebrated the Tour de France's Grand Départ.
Overnight, St George’s Square was turned into a French rural idyll, complete with animals, flowers, fruit and vegetables plots. And the reaction was overwhelmingly positive...
A visualisation of the paving and road materials to be used in the transformation of Cross Church Street. Licence has been taken in the depiction of buildings.
A pavement is the skin of a town and an expression of its evolution. For such a shallow surface, it can say much about the values of those who provide and use it.
Pavements as we recognise them began to appear in smart squares in Georgian London, affording an alternative to the filth and squalor of the roadway. Voltaire, visiting in the 1720s, saw them as a method of democratising the city.
Barbara Hepworth would have been amazed to see the huge glass-enclosed space and dramatic stairway on the new building which carries her name at the University of Huddersfield.
Over twenty members of the Civic Society – plus an unexpected bewigged member, pictured above – were privileged to enjoy a guided tour of the newly completed £30 million showcase building created for the students of the School of Art, Design, Architecture and Fashion.
Full story and pictures.
There was a competitive edge to our well-attended pre-Christmas social at the Head of Steam pub in St George's Square.
Our chairman David Wyles had compiled one of his celebrated quizzes and members broke into groups to test their knowledge of the town and its history.
Only one group managed 100 per cent – but others came close with answers to questions such as:
Confident you know all the correct answers? Take the test now!
BY DAVID GRIFFITHS
Huddersfield Corporation made history in October 1919 when it agreed to buy the 4300-plus acres of the Ramsden estate for £1.3 million.
The estate comprised nearly half the land within the Borough boundary and the whole of the town centre. The deal was struck via locally-born entrepreneur Sam Copley and finalised on September 29, 1920.
To mark the centenary, Alderman Clifford Stephenson’s classic account of events, The Ramsdens and their Estate in Huddersfield: the Town that bought itself has been republished on our website.
Stephenson, who chaired the Corporation’s estates committee, published his booklet in 1972. It follows the story of the Ramsdens in Huddersfield from their purchase of the manor in 1599 to the sale in 1920.
Its re-publication begins a year of activity by Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire Archive Service, Huddersfield University and local societies to mark the historic centenary. The main focus will be in September and October 2020, when events will include:
Cllr Robert Walker, Kirklees Council's Cabinet lead for Culture and Environment says: "Huddersfield may not be an ancient settlement but it has a fascinating history."
"We are graced by a strong community of local historians who do a great work in exploring and presenting this story. Huddersfield University has a vibrant history department and I am very pleased that students are involved in presenting the story of the momentous events 200 years ago that shaped or town’s future."
The story of Sam Copley and ‘the town that bought itself’ is already commemorated by an information panel in Huddersfield Town Hall and a blue plaque on Copley’s home at Berry Brow.
Concern has been expressed by the society over a planning application by Huddersfield Parish Church to create a small car park in St Peter's Gardens.
Parking for 14 vehicles is proposed on the north side of the building for clergy, volunteers, disabled drivers and those attending funerals.
The former Vicar, Simon Moor, said last year: 'We have lost our car park at the rear of The Parish Pump pub ... so we need to develop this area for car parking for our staff and to enable the day-today running of the church.'
Our reservations are given more fully on the planning page, but the essence is that the gardens provide an important green 'lung' and setting within the conservation area.
The Council's Blueprint for the town centre indicates that Kirklees will 'support the enhancement of the gardens ....and make the most of the green space'.
Using part of this space for parking, which would also require access on to a pedestrianised street, would appear contrary to this aim.
Here is a plan of the scheme by Architects One17.
A one-day conference on waste and resources in Kirklees, will start the debate on how we manage waste in the next few years and the implications for our local economy.
The issue of waste, litter and fly-tipping was addressed at a recent Civic Society Environment Workshop.
The low recycling rate in Kirklees, currently around 30%, was highlighted in the declaration of a climate emergency adopted by Kirklees Council in January 2019.
A waste neutral economy has potential to contribute to future employment opportunities and reduce the financial and environmental burdens of waste on the community and for corporate waste generators.
One session will focus on how community and voluntary sector initiatives that promote new approaches to waste and to recycling activities.
'These projects can be increasingly important as contributors to waste minimisation and re-use', said Kim Warren, waste projects co-ordinator for Environment Kirklees. 'We hope to see more support for the third sector in the future waste strategy in Kirklees.'
Our Waste – the Future? is being held on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield. The full programme can be downloaded at www.kwrnet.org.uk
The conference is organised by Environment Kirklees Ltd, a not for profit company, with the support of the SURGE, a research group at the University of Huddersfield Business School.
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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