All you ever wanted to know about the history of St George’s Square in a single day
A history day focusing on St George’s Square is to be held in Huddersfield.
It’s hosted by Huddersfield Local History Society and will be held at Brian Jackson House on New North Parade on Saturday, November 4 from 9.30am to 4.15pm.
The packed programme features talks and a book launch full of stories from the square called Meet Me At Harold Wilson written by Christine Verguson and Beverley Norris.
The speakers are David Griffiths on A Contested Space: Struggles over the Square; David Wyles on Building the Square: The Power and the Glory; and Susan Major - The Million go Forth: Early Victorian Railway Excursions.
The charge for the day is £10 (free to HLHS members) plus £11.50 for two-course lunch. Anyone is welcome to attend the book launch at 3.30pm.
To book please complete the form below by Monday, October 30 if booking lunch. Cheques payable to Huddersfield Local History Society.
The University of Huddersfield is an example of modern architecture
Huddersfield Civic Society talk
Thursday, October 19 at 7pm: Huddersfield Modernism: From Art Deco to Brutalism New North Road Baptist Church,New North Parade, Huddersfield, HD1 5JU
Join Huddersfield Civic Society and Huddersfield Modernists for a talk by Eddy Rhead from the Modernist Society and a panel session aimed at answering these very questions — and a few more from the audience. In his 2021 book, Modern Buildings in Britain: A Gazetteer, Owen Hatherley observed that “modernism is now a century old and its consequences are all around us, built into our everyday lived environments.”
Indeed, from the bold colours and geometries of art deco and style moderne to the glass and concrete functionalism of Bauhaus and brutalism, modernist architecture and urban planning defined the 20th century.
But what is modernism? Why was it so popular? Where can you see it on the streets of Huddersfield and the surrounding valleys? Does it make sense to use the same term to describe structures as diverse as the library and art gallery, Farnley Hey and Emley Moor mast? And what happens when modernist buildings are no longer modern? Can, or should, a modern building or structure be preserved?
Admission: Free to members of Huddersfield Civic Society or the Modernist Society. Donation of £5 per person requested at the door from non-members.
Talk on Kingsgate redevelopment Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 7pm
Kingsgate shopping centre manager Jonathan Hardy is to give a talk about its ongoing redevelopment.
The former House of Fraser store has been stripped out and is going to be turned into a leisure complex including a six-screen cinema operated by The Light.
There will be six cinema screens and 10 bowling lanes alongside what is described as “a variety of other leisure activities and food offerings” which will be revealed in the lead up to the opening scheduled for early autumn 2024.
It’s the largest investment in the town centre since Kingsgate opened 21 years ago.
Jonathan will reflect on how and why Huddersfield’s premier retail venue came into existence, the changing landscape of town centre retailing over the years and the challenges faced post Covid, Brexit and the cost of living crisis.
The talk, organised by Huddersfield Civic Society, will be at 7pm on Thursday, September 7 at New North Road Baptist Church on New North Parade in Huddersfield town centre.
Entry is free to Huddersfield Civic Society members with non-members asked for a donation of £5.
Those attending and wishing to become an HCS member will be given the opportunity to join for an extra £5 on the night.
Huddersfield Civic Society annual trip - Barnsley Saturday, July 22, 2023
Having enjoyed an evening tour of Halifax last year, now is an opportunity for our members and friends to explore another of our increasingly popular and fascinating regional towns – Barnsley.
We are delighted to be hosted by Barnsley Civic Trust who will lead the morning’s tour of the town with the afternoon free for those who wish to discover more.
Because of the ease of getting to Barnsley by train or car, those booking will either be met at Barnsley Railway Station at 10am or at the Cooper Gallery at 10.15am where we will all gather for tea/coffee for a welcome from the Mayor of Barnsley MBC and an introduction by members of the Civic Trust.
The itinerary will include a visit and introduction to the Miners’ Hall, not generally open to the public, to appreciate the heritage and memorabilia of the coal mining industry.
Numbers are limited to 25 maximum so if you’re interested in attending please ensure you book by July 14 at the latest by contacting HCS Treasurer, Michael Barron, telephone: 01484 537080; email: email@example.com by Monday, July 1, in order for us to confirm numbers with Barnsley CT.
Peter Womersley, Architect, 1923 -1993. Talk: ‘The Best House in Britain’
Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 7pm to 8.30pm at New North Road Baptist Church, New North Parade Huddersfield HD1 5JU
This lecture shall explore Womersley’s architecture, moving from houses to medical and governmental buildings, sports stadia and office buildings, including the Midland Bank (HSBC) in Huddersfield.
Although his output was limited, Womersley was highly regarded in his day and nine of his buildings are now listed – six in Scotland and three in England. The lecture coincides with the publication, by the Twentieth Century Society, Historic England and Liverpool University Press, of the first book on Peter Womersley, authored by the speaker. It is hoped that copies will be available for purchase at a discounted price at the lecture.
Neil Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Liverpool and a Past-President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.
Tickets are free to members of societies sponsoring this event: - Huddersfield Civic Society - Huddersfield Modernist Society - Twentieth Century Society £5 donation at the door from non-members please.
Bookings can now be made via Eventbrite by clicking here.
Woodsome Hall. Photo by Tony Hisgett.
The women and men who made Woodsome: from Baldwin Tyas in 1236 to Elizabeth Kaye in 1726
Tuesday April 18, 2023, 7pm to 8.30pm at Woodsome Hall Golf Club.
An evening talk by Philip Sands. Over 20 people have already booked but a few places remain. If you would like to attend contact Sylvia Johnson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07910 729381.
Huddersfield Civic Society's AGM 2023
The meeting will take place online on the evening of March 28, 2023, starting at 7pm.
Because we have realised a number of our members are unable or reluctant to attend in person we felt that it would be more convenient for members to be able to participate from the comfort of home so we are holding on the meeting on Zoom.
AGM business is expected to only take 30 to 40 minutes but we are following this with a 30 to 45 minute question and answer session in order for you to ask any questions about our initiatives, activities or issues affecting the town centre and wider borough area.
If you would like to submit any question before the evening please email them to email@example.com
The meeting will last no more than 1.5 hours.
The chairman's report for the meeting is below.
Phil Brown, Professor of Housing and Communities at the University of Huddersfield
Joint Huddersfield Civic Society and University of Huddersfield annual lecture
Retrofitting existing housing – Demystifying Net Zero
March 7, 2023 at 7pm
You are welcome to attend this event in the Heritage Quay building at Huddersfield University at 7pm on Tuesday 7th March 2023. It is free and see below for booking details.
Recent publicity regarding challenges faced by homeowners, social housing and private landlord tenants along with cost pressures on both private and social landlords plus soaring energy prices make achieving net zero targets appear all the more challenging.
While discussions around climate change, net zero and housing have often focused on new buildings, in order to achieve net zero targets we must also look to existing housing, an area Huddersfield University’s School of Human and Health Sciences and Business School have been researching.
In the 2023 University of Huddersfield and Huddersfield Civic Society public lecture, speakers will consider issues including the role of retrofitting and its links with net zero, the opportunities to change perception and behaviours around how we manage our homes efficiently and how our homes can positively impact our wellbeing.
We will consider how transitioning to low-carbon homes can be just and viable, given the investment required and how this affects everyone.
Phil Brown, Professor of Housing and Communities at Huddersfield University, will introduce and discuss the subject followed by speakers from both private and public sectors covering issues such as how to make buildings more efficient.
Ariba Rashid, Project Manager (Better Homes Hub), West Yorkshire Combined Authority will discuss its work and how it can support businesses and communities. This includes a video interview by Gideon Richards, Huddersfield Civic Society and Commissioner in Kirklees Climate Commission.
Martyn Broadest, Executive Director, Connect Housing will discuss the complications and complexities for social landlords. With more than 3,500 homes, Connect Housing has to maintain, improve and build social housing that is efficient, futureproofed and also consider their tenants’ wellbeing. Leading the Climate Emergency workstream for the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership (14 larger West Yorkshire social housing providers) gives Martyn a strong understanding of the overall market and challenges.
Chris Herring, Co-founder and Director of the Green Building Store, will present ideas on deep retrofit, including the EnerPHit PassivHaus standard and the issues surrounding such projects.
Claire McCamley, Senior lecturer in Marketing at Huddersfield University and a specialist in behaviour change and stakeholder management, will then lead a panel discussion and invite questions from the audience on the range of practical, financial, and behavioural issues to be tackled to lead us on the road to net zero in our country’s existing homes.
Talking about ways to improve cycling and walking in Kirklees
A conference about improving cycling and walking is to be held in Huddersfield early next month.
The event called Improving Your Local Walking and Cycling Networks will be at New North Road Baptist Church on New North Parade, Huddersfield, from 10am until lunchtime on Saturday, November 5.
The free event has been organised by Huddersfield Civic Society and Cycle Kirklees and the full agenda is in the document below.
There are currently several potential road and cycling improvement schemes being proposed around Huddersfield and, with the recent formation of a new government organisation called Active Travel England, there is now substantial funding available to local authorities who want to improve walking and cycling in their areas.
This conference will discuss Active Travel initiatives in and around Huddersfield and how these can best be provided in the coming years.
Speakers will talk about Meltham Greenway, Fenay Greenway, developing a new community-led walking route and Kirklees Ramblers will talk about the need for a better deal for walkers in Kirklees.
Geoff Hughes from Huddersfield Civic Society said: “Kirklees needs more accessible, dedicated walking and cycling routes. Join us and help debate about how to make a better place to live and work.”
Exhibition in Huddersfield reveals tragic search for the missing after the Holocaust A major exhibition about the agonising search for the missing after the Holocaust is coming to Huddersfield.
The exhibition called Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust will be at the Holocaust Centre North which is in Schwann Building in the University of Huddersfield from November 9-23.
The exhibition has been organised by the Wiener Holocaust Library in London, home to the UK’s International Tracing Service Digital Archive which holds millions of documents related to the Holocaust and Nazi era.
This exhibition tells the remarkable, little-known story of the search for the missing after the Holocaust. It considers the legacy of the search for descendants of those affected by World War Two and the impact of those who fate was never known. By the end of the war millions of people had been murdered or displaced by war and genocide. Families and communities were torn apart. Many were missing and some people’s fates remain unclear to this day. Despite immense logistical challenges, a number of charities such as the British Red Cross Society and the Jewish Relief Unit attempted to help find missing people and reunite families. Their efforts came together what became known as the International Tracing Service. The exhibition is free and anyone is welcome to see it.
On Wednesday, November 23, there will be a family history workshop at Holocaust Centre North from 3.30pm to 5.30pm to give people advice on how to navigate the International Tracing Service Digital Archive and explore how use it for your own research. It will be led by The Wiener Holocaust Library’s ITS archive team manager Elise Bath and Holocaust Centre North’s archivist Hari Jonkers.
Immediately after this event at Holocaust Centre North there will be a talk from 6pm to 8pm by Dr Christine Schmidt and Professor Dan Stone who curated the exhibition Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust.
Repaired west window at Rotherham Minster helped by a grant from the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust
Talk about the work of Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust
Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 7pm at Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Huddersfield, HD1 4DT
This illustrated presentation by Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust will look at the help for the county’s fragile churches.
The Trust, formed in 1988, provides grants to Christian churches of any denomination or age, listed or unlisted, and used for public worship within Yorkshire.
Trustee Dr Jane Crease and Grant Committee chair Sylvia Johnson will talk about the work of the Trust and how it operates.
There will be a short introduction to the Ecclesiastical Exemption which covers five Christian religious groups or denominations in England. This means they are exempt from certain provisions of the planning acts, including the need to apply for listed building consent, for ecclesiastical buildings. This will be followed by a couple of interesting case studies.
The evening begins with a cup of tea or coffee served from 6.30pm and a welcome to Holy Trinity Church by their architect Stuart Beaumont, of One 17 Design.
There will be an opportunity for questions and answers and the evening is expected to finish by 8.30pm. The presentation will be of interest to anyone who is keen to discover more about the region’s historic churches and will cost £3 per person for Huddersfield Civic Society members and £5 for non-members. Payment can be made directly to Huddersfield Civic Society: Account Number 50525022; Sort Code 20-43-04; Ref: YHCT and your surname.
Alternatively, you can pay at the door on the evening.
Guided tour of Woodsome Hall in Almondbury
Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 2pm
Woodsome Hall at Woodsome Hall Golf Club in Almondbury is a Grade One listed building with a history stretching back 800 years.
We have arranged a visit for the afternoon of Sunday, October 30, starting at 2pm which will be led by Philip Sands.
The story begins at the time of the Domesday Book but it was not until the 13th century that the Tyas family built a fortified settlement on roads leading to the district’s main centre at Almondbury.
In the 14th century the manor passed to the Kayes, whose history became closely interlinked with the development of Huddersfield. As well as owning the manors of Farnley and Slaithwaite, they were major wool cloth makers and merchants and used their wealth to build a new hall in about 1450 which was extended in 1600. During the 1500s the Kaye family kept a diary of major events which gives us a detailed account of developments within the hall.
In the early 1700s another John Kaye MP modernised the hall to fit his status as part of the county gentry. The rear of the building became the front with a new entrance, terrace and formal gardens in the new Dutch style to become the hall we see today.
The final generation of the Kaye family, Elizabeth, married the Earl of Dartmouth in 1736 and Woodsome Hall was let out to tenants. Over time part of it became partly derelict until refurbished in 1860. Today it acts as the clubhouse to Woodsome Hall Golf Club. Our tour will uncover some of the stories and lives of the great families who lived here for over 800 years. The tour is free to HCS members and one guest but numbers will be limited to 30. To book, contact Michael Barron via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01484 537080.
The full address is Woodsome Hall Golf Club, Woodsome Road, Fenay Bridge, Huddersfield HD8 OLQ.
Historian David Griffiths will be leading The Villas Of Edgerton walk and has written a book about them which is available via the Huddersfield Civic Society website.
Here are some great ways to explore Huddersfield’s history
People can discover Huddersfield’s history … by walking it.
The guided walks reveal the town’s history from its spooky past to its outstanding architecture.
The 20 walks have been produced by the Discover Huddersfield partnership and each is led by an expert in the town’s history, culture or heritage.
Walks include the intriguing Lion Hunt, the Halloween themed ‘Shuddersfield’ and strolls around Edgerton, Birkby and Lindley, as well as new themes including Surprising Springwood, a family discovery walk and a couple of walks around Marsden organised with Marsden History Group.
The first of this season’s walks called The Irish in Huddersfield will be on Saturday, March 19, followed by a free film showing the first ever St Patrick’s Day event in the town.
The next walk will be The Villas of Edgerton on March 27, 2022, led by historian David Griffiths. He has written a book about them which is available via the Huddersfield Civic Society website by clicking here.
There will also be free four walks organised as part of the Heritage Open Days festival in September.
The walks’ programme 2022 leaflet is now being distributed to information points and libraries around the area as well as the Hello Huddersfield shop in Market Avenue and selected shops and cafes around the town centre.
Discover Huddersfield is a community led, non-profit company and also has a series of trails which people can explore for themselves from leaflets packed with information.
Two new free trails, the Textile trail and the Greasepaint and Limelight trail which focuses on the town’s cinemas and theatres are now available, adding to the 16 free leaflets already available. The Discover Huddersfield walks programme and trails have been supported by Historic England's High Street Heritage Action Zone programme.