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Welcome to Huddersfield !
Visitors’ Book Signatures
1883 to 1973
Stanley Chadwick Huddersfield 1973
Foreword Ald. W. Eric Whittaker, J.P.
Mayor, 1972-1973 The Royal Line The Voice of Religion Homage to H.M. Forces Representatives of the People “Made in Huddersfield” Music Makers Lectures and Talks Accolade for Sport “Twinning” Twins! Round the World The Local Scene What they Said
Mayors of Huddersfield, 1883-1973
First published 1973 © Stanley Chadwick 1973 All rights reserved
10 14 24 27 35 39 43 45 47 51
During my term in office as the Mayor of Huddersfield I have spent many happy and interesting hours browsing through our distinguished visitors’ book.
It seemed to me that before Huddersfield ceased to exist as a separate authority some permanent record should be made of the wonderful history contained in the pages of this book.
It therefore gave me great pleasure when my friend, Stanley Chadwick, undertook the task of writing this in the form which is now presented in this book. I hope that the people of Huddersfield will read it with interest, and share with me the pride and joy of the history of Huddersfield through its distinguished visitors’ record.
Mayor's Parlour, Town Hall, Huddersfield.
1. THE ROYAL LINE
THE Huddersfield Borough Offices and Public Hall—the Town Hall—were erected during a period when every single item of expenditure was carefully scrutinised. This, together with the fact that the new offices “‘could easily be converted into a warehouse,” apparently ruled out any necessity for a Visitors’ Book.
The Ramsden Street building, which included the Council Chamber, was first occupied in 1878. The inauguration in 1881 of the public hall built at the rear (Princess Street) was celebrated with the holding of a three-day musical festival, but neither the conductor, Mr. Charles Hallé, nor the famous singers were able to leave posterity any permanent record of their presence.
Some two years’ later, however, the town was honoured by its first Royal visit, and this time no expense was spared to make it a memorable occasion. The Town Council placed the sum of £1,000 at the disposal of the Mayor for decorating the streets and entertaining the visitors. A special “Mayor's Visitors’ Book,’ bound in black leather with gold-edged pages, each printed with space for date, name, address and profession, was purchased and ordered to be placed in the Mayor's Parlour. Only once has the book been taken away from the building for signing by a distinguished person whose itinerary did not include the Town Hall.
During almost ninety years, from 1883 to 1973, this Visitors’ Book has been signed by a total of 5,496 persons. The famous in all spheres of national life share space with the unknown from afar, all receiving a welcome on behalf of the local citizens. In themselves the pages constitute a history of the town— the opening of public buildings, important social functions, exciting political meetings, anniversaries, sporting triumphs and the many other activities of a spirited community.
Obviously not all who merited inclusion have recorded their signatures. Some appeared at functions away from the Town Hall and had no opportunity of signing. The pages, however, are truly representative, and present a re- markable collection of names. Signatures are notably undecipherable, while often dates present problems. Every care has been taken to ascertain the reason for the visit if a public occasion. The selection for mention is wide, and only a few omissions are due to irregularities in keeping the book over such a lengthy period under different custodianship.
Let us, therefore, recall the glorious days in the life of the town, in which many now living have taken part, remember as youngsters, or described by parents and elderly relatives. Through these pages walk kings and queens; princes and princesses; dukes, lords, knights and their ladies; archbishops, bishops and clergy; military, naval and air heroes; prime ministers, statesmen, politicians and civil servants; industry and business leaders; singers, musi- cians, stage, screen, radio and TV personalities; explorers, travellers and literary figures; footballers, cricketers, swimmers and athletes; overseas and “twinning’’ guests; our own Mayors and Mayoresses; and the honours awarded those who have given distinguished services. Although the end of Huddersfield as a separate local authority is in sight, this wonderful record remains and will never be forgotten.
Nineteen Royal signatures appear in the Mayor's Visitors’ Book, repre- senting eleven individuals from fifteen visits to the town. The only reigning monarch was George V, who with Queen Mary made two visits. The Prince of Wales (1933), the Duke of York (1932) and Princess Elizabeth (1949, with the Duke of Edinburgh), ascended the Throne in 1936 and 1952 respectively. Princess Mary, declared Princess Royal on January 1, 1932, signed no fewer than five times. Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden, appears twice, and the Duke of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra once each. All are allotted a full page with the exception of the Duke and Duchess of Aibany and the Princess Royal. The first Royal names are followed by thirty-three other sig- natures, including Henry Frederick Beaumont, donor of Huddersfield’s first park.
The Duke of Albany was the fourth and youngest son of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. Although suffering from delicate health, he took a lively interest in social questions, and was a graceful and effective public speaker. Arriving in Huddersfield on the beautifully bright sunny morning of Saturday, October 13, 1883, he first visited the Fine Art and Industrial Exhibi- tion at the Technical School, and then had luncheon at the Town Hall with the Mayor and other guests. The carriage of the Royal couple headed the pro- cession to Beaumont Park, the opening ceremony being performed by the Duke, after which the Duchess planted a sycamore tree near the south side of the large lake. The tree has grown into a majestic specimen, but now the lake is only a children’s paddling pool.
Just over five months later the Duke died suddenly at Cannes. The Huddersfield Town Council sent a telegram and passed a vote of sympathy and condolence. On the day of the interment a service was held in the Parish Church, local shopkeepers closed their premises for two hours, and in the evening an “In Memoriam” service took place at the Town Hall.
The two Royal signatures, ‘“‘Helen and Leopold’, have been bracketed together in the Visitors’ Book, with a footnote to the effect that “the son fought against us in the Great War.’ The posthumous son of the Duke of Albany succeeded to the dukedom, but upon the death of his uncle became Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. At the same time he renounced his British national- ity. Deprived of his British titles in 1919, the Duke subsequently co-operated with the Nazis, and was president of the German Red Cross. He died at Coburg in 1954.
His Majesty King George V unveiled the statue of his father, King Edward VII, in the grounds of the then Royal Infirmary on July 11, 1912—the first visit by a reigning sovereign to Huddersfield. The second visit of Their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary was during the War (1918) when they toured three local works. The next Royal occasion was by their only daughter, Princess Mary, on November 15, 1923, when she opened the new premises of the Y.M.C.A. in John William Street (now site of Pearl Assurance House). As the Princess Royal she visited the Town Hall in 1946 to receive more than 100 purses and gifts from Yorkshire Y.M.C.A.’s for overseas work among men and women of the Forces. She had afternoon tea with Ald. Miss Mary Sykes, the town’s first woman Mayor.
There was a Royal party from Harewood House in the Mayor's box for the Huddersfield Choral Society’s annual performance of ‘‘The Messiah” at Christmas, 1949. The scene changes to Greenhead Park, where on July 7, 1956, the Princess Royal presented new colours to the 7th Battalion the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. Incidentally, they were the first Territorial Army unit in the country to receive new colours embroidered with the battle honours of the last war. The Princess Royal told the men that it was “‘the voluntary spirit that has made our country so This military spectacle was favoured by brilliant sunshine.
The Princess Royal's last signature in 1958 was again on behalf of the Y.M.C.A.—£59,600 subscribed towards the local development fund. She was spared to open the new St. Street building on February 3, 1965, but passed away at the end of the following month.
Two Royal Dukes—Duke of Gloucester (Prince Henry) and Duke of York (Prince Albert, later King George VI) inscribed their signatures in 1929 and 1932 respectively. The former visited the Central Lads’ Club in his capacity as president of the National Association of Boys’ Clubs, and was entertained to luncheon at the Town Hall. The Duchess of York (now the Queen Mother) was unable to accompany her husband when he laid the foundation stone of the Royal Infirmary extension.
The shortest and most informal of all Royal visits to the town was by the Prince of Wales (as he was then) when he inspected the Community Club for the unemployed in Dundas Street a few days before Christmas, 1933. He ascended the throne on the death of his father, King George V, on January 20, 1936; abdicated December 11, 1936; created Duke of Windsor; and died on May 28, 1972.
Immediately upon entering Huddersfield Town Hall on July 26, 1949, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh signed the Visitors’ Book on the specially inscribed page. The Royal couple then appeared on the balcony before the cheering crowd. During the luncheon members of the Huddersfield Choral Society sang the National Anthem, and afterwards gave a performance of Parry's “‘Blest Pair of Sirens.” The Princess accepted a set of records of the Society's rendering of “The Messiah.”’ At the Leeds Road football ground 8,000 school children gave a display, and subsequently a tour was made of Trafalgar Mills. Everywhere the people demonstrated their affection and loy- alty for their future sovereign. When, as the Queen, she again visited Hudders- field—October 14, 1971—it was officially to open Scammonden Reservoir and the M62 motorway at Milnrow (Lancs.). I
Three new schools at Salendine Nook and the Welfare and Handicapped Centre in King Street were opened by Princess Margaret on her two visits. Originally she had consented to attend a ball at the Town Hall in connection with the Parish Church Tower Restoration Fund Appeal. Because of the death of Queen Mary and Court mourning this had to be cancelled. Instead the Princess attended matins at the Parish Church on Sunday, April 19, 1953, and received a civic welcome at the main entrance in Byram Street.
A dull November morning in 1958 was given a touch of spring by a radiant Princess Margaret (Countess of Snowden) for the Salendine Nook
schools ceremony. This was the largest educational project then undertaken in the town, costing nearly £1m. and extending over sixty-five acres. After the dedication ceremony and tour of the schools, the Princess visited Colne Mills (Messrs. John Taylors, Ltd.).
The third visit of July 8, 1970, was by way of Leeds Road, with an hour's tour of the |.C.I. Dalton works. After lunch at the Town Hall, Princess Margaret walked through the new Market Hall to the £204,000 Welfare Cen- tre. At the exhibition of work in the building she selected a ‘‘Harvey’’ toy rabbit and a pair of gloves. This five-hour visit to the town was favoured by sunny weather.
The centenary of the municipal incorporation of the borough was cele- brated throughout 1968 by numerous events, including a visit by Princess Alexandra, daughter of the late Duke and Duchess of Kent. Her arrival was delayed by half an hour because of bad weather conditions, and she landed at Manchester instead of Yeadon. At the Sunny Bank Mills of Messrs. C. and J. Hirst and Sons, Ltd., Longwood, she chatted informally with the girls and selected a length of cloth from patterns. At the three-course Royal luncheon the Princess cut the town’s centenary cake.
A display was given by local school children in drizzling rain at the Town football ground. There were few spectators except in the main stand. The Princess was able to make her return flight from Yeadon, leaving her sub- jects to forget the damp weather by dancing at the Centenary Ball until two o'clock the next morning. In commemoration of this Royal visit the approach to the Market Hall and the Public Library and Art Gallery has been named “Princess Alexandra Walk.”
At the eighth annual dinner of the Huddersfield Automobile Club on March 14, 1912, the chief guest was H. H. the Duke of Teck, president of the R. A. Club. The duke was the brother of Queen Mary, and when the names of the royal family were changed in 1917 he was created a British peer as mar- quess of Cambridge. Prince and Princess Alexis Kara-Georgevitch of Serbia toured West Riding towns during October, 1917, pleading for help for their unfortunate countrymen. The Prince was of the same dynasty as King Alex- ander of Jugoslavia, who was assassinated at Marseilles in 1934.
Royal signatures inaugurated the Huddersfield Visitors’ Book, and it would be most appropriate for this historic record to be closed with a Royal signing. Now that it has been announced that Princess Anne will open the new Sports Centre on July 24, 1973, and lunch with the Mayor, the required Royal signature appears to be a certainty. And as past visits have shown, the sun does shine in the town for Royal occasions |!
2. THE VOICE OF RELIGION
THERE has always been a close affinity between the spiritual and secular authorities in Huddersfield, and this is clearly reflected in the Mayor’s Visitors’ Book. Many signatures are the result of private visits by religious dignitaries to the chief citizen of the town, while others have covered missionary appeals, local anniversaries and evangelical campaigns. In a district noted for its non- conformity such representatives might have been expected to predominate, but the established church has the ascendancy. However, all denominations, including the Salvation Army, Spiritualists and Mormons are represented.
The then Archbishop of York (Dr. Cyril Garbett) attended a meeting in the Town Hall on May 27, 1952, and gave a vivid and interesting description of his recent visit to Australasia and the South Pacific. The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Frederick Donald Coggan, the present Archbishop of York, made a pro- cessional entry at the Royal School of Church Music Choral Festival Service on July 15, 1972, and signed ‘‘Donald Ebor, Bishopthorpe, York.”’
Thirty-two years separated the first and last appearance on the platform of the Huddersfield Town Hall of the Very Rev. W. Foxley Norris. As vicar of Almondbury (1892) he was present at a lecture by the Bishop of Ripon on “Buddha: His Last Days.’’ Successively rector of Barnsley, archdeacon of Halifax, Dean of York and Dean of Westminster, he distributed the prizes at the 1924 speech day of Almondbury Grammar School. He told the boys that the most valuable thing one could learn at school was how many things there were one did not know. He also signed the book in 1898 and 1911.
The new see of Wakefield was founded by letters patent in May, 1888. The Lord Bishop of Wakefield (Rev. Dr. Walsham How) paid his first visit to Huddersfield on June 9, and again in January of the following year to discuss diocesan organisation. Successive Bishops of Wakefield have been frequent visitors to the town, particularly since 1946.
Public events have included freedom of the borough ceremonies and Mayoral banquets, Rover-Ranger conference, Huddersfield Deanery Moral Welfare Association (St. Katharine’s Hostel annual meeting), Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Mayor's annual ball. The present Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Eric Treacy (then Archdeacon and Vicar of Halifax), attended the Central (Kayes’) College Speech Day in 1954. He also gave the address at the Royal School Church Festival Service at which the Archbishop was present (1972).
Other divines received by Mayors of Huddersfield have been the Bishop of Lichfield (the Rt. Rev. Edward Sydney Woods), father of the then vicar of Huddersfield (1947), and a great-grandson of Elizabeth Fry, the prison re- former; Bishop E. J. Trapp, secretary of the S.P.G.; and the Bishop of Middle- ton (the Rt. Rev. E. R. Wickham), at a reception of youth leaders. Canon T. R. Milford, Master of the Temple and chairman of Oxfam, addressed a meeting in the Mayor's Reception Room on famine relief.
The centenary anniversary meetings of Queen Street Mission in 1919 brought to the Town Hall the Rev. Samuel Chadwick, president of the Wes- leyan Methodist Conference. Other anniversary speakers and presidents of the
Methodist Conference have been (1950) Dr. Leslie D. Weatherhead, the eminent minister of the City Temple, London. He addressed a very large audi- ence, many of whom had to stand and sit on the floor of the Town Hall. Dr. Weatherhead used green ink for his signature. The thirtieth anniversary of the Mission had the Rev. C. Ensor Walters, and the sixtieth the Rev. Dr. Leslie Davison. The world renowned evangelist, Gipsy Smith, gave his address as Cambridge when he signed after the concluding anniversary meeting of the Mission in 1929. He was in great form, and exhorted his congregation to have their cricket, tennis and football, but ‘don’t keep Jesus Christ out!’’ The collection realised the sum of £1,000 and ninepence.
Dr. Robert Bruce, the pastor at Highfield Congregational Church for over half a century, signed the Visitors’ Book in 1902, as also did his successor, the Rev. W. Griffith Jenkins, while Mayor's chaplain. A combined Congrega- tional and Baptist rally in 1936 brought together Dr. T. Howard Sommervell, a medical missionary, of Neyyoor, India, and the Rev. Edward M. Evans, of Udajagiri.
Earlier the pages of the book had received the signatures of the Rev. E. J. Peck, described as “Missionary to the Eskimo.’’ He was the chief speaker at the annual meeting of the Church Missionary Society, being described by the chairman as “‘the Nansen of the missionary world.” In 1952 the Rev. John Maung Pe, of Rangoon, inscribed his name in Burmese, his colleagues hailing from Jamaica and India.
Free Church rallies held in New North Road Baptist Church during 1964 and 1965 were respectively addressed by the Rev. D. Murray Main, president of the Federal Council, and the Rev. Nelson Gray, of Glasgow. Two elders of the Mormon religious community in the town presented the Mayor in 1965 with a volume history of the Mormon Church. Their new church at Birchen- cliffe was opened the following year at a cost of £200,000. At the luncheon following the election of Mayor in 1950, the late Dr. W. E. Orchard, a promi- nent member of the Roman Catholic Church, signed the Visitors’ Book, together with the Bishop of Wakefield and the borough member.
In bold handwriting dated July 25, 1907, appears the signature ‘’Wil- liam Booth, General, Salvation Army.’ The General’s arrival was greeted by rousing, if not exactly harmonious music, on the part of the Army’s Band, while at the Town Hall he was welcomed by the Mayor, Ald. O. Balmforth. The borough member, Mr. A. J. Sherwell, presided over this meeting, which consisted of an address on ‘The Success of the Salvation Army.”
The Mayor (Ald. A. S. Moulton) also extended a civic welcome to Air Chief Marshall Lord Dowding on Sunday, June 18, 1944, when he came to speak at a public meeting on behalf of the Ramsden Street National Spiritual- ists’ Church. Lord Dowding apologised for arriving in “’a rather ragged con- dition,’’ explaining that they had had a noisy night in the South, with suspen- sion of the train service. He told his audience that death is only separation, and said that the seats behind him were not empty but occupied by the departed.
A week’s Christian Witness Campaign was conducted in Huddersfield during August, 1947, under the leadership of Dr. Donald O. Soper. Now a Life Peer, Baron Soper was then well known for his vigorous Christian advocacy
at open air meetings on Tower Hill and in Hyde Park. He was invited to preach at the Huddersfield Parish Church on the Sunday morning, and also at Queen Street Mission in the evening. His signature in the Visitors’ Book appears at the top of a new page, the entry at the foot of the preceding one being Gracie Fields.
During a six-day visit to this country in October, 1957, the German religious leader, Pastor D. Martin Niemoller, addressed a gathering of Hudders- field Anglican and Free Church clergy and laity at Milton Congregational Church. Pastor Niemoller, president of the Evangelical Church in Hesse- Nassau, was a prisoner in concentration camps at Sachsenhausen and Dachau from 1937 to 1945.
On the whole a distinguished list for a provincial industrial town. Per- haps not without reason the motto of the borough is variously interpreted as “God helps those who help themselves.”
3. HOMAGE TO H.M. FORCES
HUDDERSFIELD has given a warm welcome to those who displayed valour in defence of the country. After the last two wars it bestowed its highest hon- our on the heroes of sea and land in the respective persons of Admiral Beatty (1920) and Field-Marshall Montgomery (1945). And in 1952 “the privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the town on all ceremonial occasions with bayonets fixed, colours flying and bands playing,” was conferred on the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.
The Mayor's Visitors’ Book contains the signatures of no fewer than four field-marshalls and seven generals; three admirals, one vice-admiral and three rear-admirals ; two Air Chief Marshalls, a Marshall of the Royal Air Force; and the bandmasters of six famous regimental bands. Military men unveiled four local war memorials. The laying of the foundation stone of St. Paul's Street drill hall, and the unveiling of acommemorative stone on the completion of the first phase—Ramsden House—of the central redevelopment were attended by war-time commanders.
At a meeting held in the Town Hall on the afternoon of May 16, 1898, Lieutenant-Colonel E. Hildred Carlile, the new commander of the 2nd Volun- teer Battalion the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment, appealed for contributions towards a new building to replace the old Armoury. A short time before he himself had promised £1,000. Just short of a year later Field-Mar- shall Earl Roberts, who won the V.C. in the Indian Mutiny and was soon to take over command of the British forces in South Africa, visited the town for the foundation stone ceremony. General Sir John French unveiled the me- morial in Greenhead Park to the local men who gave their lives in the late war. His signature revealed him as a poor writer, and only the word and date give a clue to his identity.
Three first World War memorials were unveiled by famous soldiers. The Fartown and Birkby statue consisting of a life-size bronze figure of an infantry soldier standing at ease in full fighting kit, erected in the middle terrace of Norman Park, was inaugurated by General Sir lan Hamilton. After luncheon at the Town Hall, Sir lan kicked off for Leeds in the N.U. third round cup-tie at Fartown, which was won by the home side. General Sir Charles Harington performed the ceremony of the impressive central cross and colonnade on the plateau in Greenhead Park, and Field-Marshall Lord Plumer did likewise at the Drill Hall memorial, both in 1924.
A welcome was given to seventy men of the Northumberland Fusiliers— “The Fighting Fifth’—when they visited the Town Hall (1900) for a showing of Animated Pictures” of the conflict in which they had so recently participated. The staff-sergeant and the bandmaster signed the Mayor's Book. “G. H. Douglas Pennant, Capt. is the entry for June 30, 1906, this being the trooping of the colours by the local volunteers at Longley Park before General Rundle. A whole page—twenty signatures—of men of the Navy who took part in the gallant attack on the Mole at Zeebrugge, appears in connection with their visit for Victory Loan Joy Week (July, 1919).
Saturday, July 24, 1920, is a red letter day in the annals of the town. Admiral of the Fleet, Earl Beatty, was admitted an honorary Freeman of the
borough in recognition of his distinguished services to the Empire and our Allies during the Great War. He made a visit to British Dyes (now I.C.I.) and opened the Ex-Service Men’s Club in John William Street. There was a Life- boat procession and gala in Greenhead Park, and the first two performances by the Huddersfield Thespians.
Field-Marshall Sir Bernard Law Montgomery—"‘the modern Cromwell”’ —arrived ten minutes ahead of time, due to his car having a puncture and being given a lift by Pressmen. He made a speech from the Ramsden Street balcony before being enrolled Huddersfield’s twenty-fifth freeman. Wearing his famil- iar two-badged black beret and a greatcoat, he stood in the back of his car as it proceeded along New Street and John William Street on the return journey to Church Fenton aerodrome. This visit,” unlike that of his famous predecessor, was made in wind and rain, but the cries of ‘“Good old Monty !” were no less heartfelt from the big crowd which braved the weather. A photo- graph was taken of his signing the Visitors’ Book, the page of which is neatly executed with details of the event (October 26, 1945).
The “‘privilege’’ ceremony for the Duke’s is commemorated in the book by the one signature “Philip Christison’’—General Sir Philip Christison. The ceremony took place in Greenhead Park on Saturday, September 13, 1952. The regiment has a long personal association with the town, the honour being received just a day short of the 100th anniversary of the death of the first Duke of Wellington. When the Princess Royal presented new colours in 1956, the battalion exercised their ‘‘privilege’’ by marching through the town, the salute being taken by the Mayor on the steps of the Public Library. General Sir Robert Bray, Colonel of the Regiment, and Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces, Nor- thern Europe, was shown the plaque of the granting of the “‘privilege’’ when he visited the town.
Two nautical exhibitions were organised by the Mission to Seamen during 1924 and 1929. The first was opened by Admiral Sir Reginald Tupper, and the second by Rear-Admirals Gordon Campbell, V.C. and G. R. Blount, and Lady Bailey. Rear-Admiral Campbell was famous for his exploits in the famous ‘‘Q” boats, while Lady Bailey was an intrepid airwoman.
Early in the last war the Mayor received at the Town Hall a twenty- eight-year-old Crosland Moor man who had taken part in the battle of the River Plate. Able Seaman James Cunningham was on board H.M.S. Exeter when she received the full force of the Graf Spee’s long-range guns and was crippled, with heavy loss of life. The Mayor presented him with an inscribed gold watch, and said that the town was proud of him. Modestly the recipient replied: “We only did what any other ship in the British Navy would have done.”
The 1940 War Weapons Week brought to the town Field-Marshall Sir Cyril Deverell, who commanded the Northern Division of the British Army of the Rhine in 1919, and been mentioned in dispatches seven times. Two years later—Warship Week—Vice-Admiral Arthur L. Snagge performed the opening. He had entered the Navy at the age of fourteen years and been placed on the retired list in 1936. Appealing for £14m. for a cruiser, the Vice-Admiral em- phasised that and shipping are more important today than ever they were.”
During a conversation which lasted half an hour, Lance-Sergeant Douglas Beverley, a former clerk in the Huddersfield Corporation Waterworks Office, related a thrilling story to the Mayor on April 4, 1945. He had been taken prisoner during the collapse of France in 1940, and escaped from Stalag 6a during its evacuation early in January, 1945. He looked fit and well after his long confinement.
The stand-down parade of Huddersfield Civil Defence took place on the Fartown football ground before the Regional Commissioner, General Sir William Bartholomew (June 13, 1945). And to complete this phase of the war years, on Belgian National Day—July 21—several hundred soldiers took part in an impressive ceremonial parade in the town. A wreath was laid at the War Memorial and four officers signed the Visitors’ Book.
Youth has always attracted the attention of military men, but when the hero of Mafeking, Lieut.-General Robert Baden-Powell (afterwards Lord Baden-Powell) visited the town in 1908, the Boy Scouts had only just been formed. It is on record, however, that he ‘‘closely inspected” the lads paraded outside Uppermill Drill Hall which he opened.
Plans made in Oflag 79, Brunswick, Germany, during the war, were outlined by fellow-prisoners, including Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Dunnill and “‘Bill’’ Bowes, the Yorkshire County cricketer, at a well-attended meeting in the May- or's Reception Room on January 25, 1946. An appeal was made for support, money and service for a proposed Brunswick Boys’ Club, which subsequently became part of the already existing Central Lads’ Club.
Marshall of the Royal Air Force, Sir John Slessor, was the principal speaker at a dinner in the Town Hall during 1952, promoted by the Outward Bound Trust. This body, formed in 1946, had for its aim the character-training of young people in industry. Lady Slessor supported her husband. Later this year Admiral Sir Robert L. Burnett presented anew colourto the Huddersfield Sea Cadet Corps. He was piped ‘aboard’ T.S. Nelsonin Greenhead Park. The Admiral had commanded destroyers in the Arctic during the last war. Another local Sea Cadets ceremony was the presentation of their twelfth Burgee efficiency award by Rear-Admiral J. E. H. McBeath, a former Royal Navy destroyer commander under whose command the Duke of Edinburgh once served.
On account of Court mourning for Queen Mary the Huddersfield Branch of the Royal Society of St. George did not hold their forty-seventh festival dinner in 1953 until Trafalgar Day (October 21). The chief guest was General Sir Roy Bucher, a member of the national executive. The year 1966 brought the following visitor to Huddersfield : Sir Claude Auchinleck, the former war-time Libyan Desert commander, who as chairman of the company responsible for the erection of Ramsden House, in Buxton Road, attended the official opening by the Mayor, Ald. Douglas Graham. Afterwards, at a reception, His Worship received from Sir Claude a coffee service as a gift for the town’s civic silver collection.
Next came six members of a Royal Navy presentation team, who gave two shows at Greenhead High School, while Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Elworthy was a guest at Almondbury Grammar School Speech Day. A link between the 5th Field Regt. Royal Artillery and the town was established with
the presentation by the Commanding Officer of a Spode plate bearing the badge of the regiment. Before leaving with his men for a four-week exercise in Cyprus (1971), Lieut.-Colonel J. J. Wilson paid a courtesy call on the Mayor.
Visits by famous regimental bands were once a big attraction at the Greenhead Park promenade concerts arranged by the Corporation each sum- mer. During 1908 the bandmasters of the Royal Marines, Irish Guards—local favourites, 1st Gordon Highlanders and Coldstream Guards signed the May- or’s Visitors’ Book. The officers and men of the 1st Bn. Coldstream Guards, in their scarlet tunics and bearskin caps, held a recruitment campaign in the town during September, 1961. They marched smartly from Greenhead Park to St. Paul’s Drill Hall, and afterwards the band and drums gave a free concert in the
Town Hall. The Scots Guards band also gave concerts in the same hall during 1971 and 1972.
The pomp and ceremonial of the three arms of the fighting services has played its part in the story of Huddersfield. In peace and war their leaders have
been frequent visitors, and all ranks have contributed to the roll of signatures in the Visitors’ Book.
4. REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE
THE signatures of statesmen and politicians appear on almost every page of the Mayor's Visitors’ Book. The distinction is hard to define. Once a statesman was a person skilled in the management of public affairs, with the politician re- garded as a crafty intriguer. The complexity of modern politics has so merged the difference, even if it ever existed, that today those entrusted with the affairs of state and those who seek to replace them are animated by the same motives.
Men, and not a few women, have visited Huddersfield in the heat of elections; in the calmer atmosphere of Parliamentary sessions; to open schools; and confer with the local authority. Many names are familiar, but some have had to be rescued from oblivion.
In total the 150 names (11 females) constitute a miniature ‘‘Who’s Who,” but should not be taken as a full list of all who have visited the town over the last ninety years. For instance, names missing include Labour's first Premier, Ramsay MacDonald and firebrand James Maxton; Earl Russell, H. A. L. Fisher and J. H. Whitley (Speaker of the House of Commons) ; “The Man Who Won The War’’—self-styled Mr. Horatio Bottomley; and even Lady Cynthia and Sir Oswald Mosley, the latter in both Labour and Fascist days. No political distinction has ever existed.
Nine British Prime Ministers have signed the Huddersfield Visitors’ Book. Two did so while in office; six had still to receive the honour; and one both before and after being Premier. Two Prime Ministers had local associa- tlons—H. H. Asquith’s mother was a native of the town, while Mr. Harold Wilson was born at Cowlersley (Linthwaite U.D.C.), which became part of the borough in 1937. The political count is: Conservative 5, Liberal 3, Labour 1.
The greatest crowd ever assembled in Huddersfield greeted Mr. Winston Churchill, the country’s war-time Premier, on Tuesday evening, June 26, 1945. St. George’s Square was one mass of cheering people estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000. Because Mr. Churchill could not go to the Town Hall, for the first and only time the Visitors’ Book and two pens were taken by the Mayor's secretary to St. Street.
After the Mayor (Ald. Sidney Kaye) had given the Premier ‘‘a warm welcome to Huddersfield,” and expressed the townspeople’s thanks for his “inspired leadership during the he handed him a case containing three “very special’’ Havana cigars. The Visitors’ Book was then placed on the bon- net of the car, and using his own gold fountain pen Mr. Churchill commenced to write. However, he discovered it had run dry and it was necessary to use one of the official pens.
Actually this was his second signature in the book, the first being almost thirty-nine years before at the by-election in support of the future Liberal mem- ber for the borough, Arthur J. Sherwell. Even on this occasion Mr. Churchill proved a great attraction, meetings being held simultaneously in three halls for the first time. In succession he delivered speeches at the Town Hall, Tem- perance Hall and Milton Church School. At the Town Hall the then Under- Secretary for the Colonies announced that the new Liberal Government would give—not promise—old age pensions.
The Churchill saga was completed on October 15, 1951, when, as leader of the Conservative Party, he addressed a meeting in the Huddersfield Town Hall in support of “‘his great friend’’ Lady Violet Bonham Carter. She had accepted an invitation to contest the Colne Valley Division as a Liberal. Mr. Churchill also made a brief appeal to the several thousand people in Ramsden Street from the balcony and gave the familiar “V’’ sign. Lord Layton and Sir Maurice Bonham Carter (husband) signed in addition to Mr. Churchill and Lady Violet.
Mr. James Harold Wilson, M.P., made two visits to Huddersfield while a member of the Labour Government—in 1946 and 1947—but was not invited to sign the Visitors’ Book. The first, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, was an inspection of the Bracken Hall Housing Estate, and he prom- ised to speed up the building. In 1947, now at the Board of Trade, he presented the prizes at the annual Speech Day of his old school—Royds Hall. He also addressed a May Day meeting in 1951 following his resignation from the Government.
Elected leader of the Labour Party in 1963 and Prime Minister the fol- lowing year, Mr. Wilson made his second visit to Royds Hall School Speech Day on January 14, 1966. It came after a 9,000 miles journey in twenty-four hours and four days of vital talks in Rhodesia over the illegal regime. This visit was the first made to the Town Hall by a British Prime Minister while holding office. On this occasion Mr. Wilson received a civic welcome from the Mayor and signed the Visitors’ Book for the first time. The following Saturday after- noon he addressed a Labour Party meeting from the same platform.
On March 1, 1968, in the Centenary Year of the Borough, the Prime Minister was admitted an honorary freeman. The ceremony was attended by nearly six hundred persons, his wife Mary, sister Marjorie and father J. Herbert Wilson being present. Wilson, Downing Street,’ is signed in green ink. The Huddersfield Junior Chamber of Commerce presented the new free- man with a suit length and time was found to visit Royds Hall School.
“The Old Roydsian’’ was back in his home town for an on Youth” show staged at the Town Hall on June 16, 1972. Now in opposition, he made a brief, lighthearted speech, recalling his own schooldays of forty years ago for the eight hundred children. His host, Sir Joseph Kagan, of Barkisland Hall, and ‘Bill’ Mallalieu, M.P. for Huddersfield, East, both signed the Visitors’ Book.
Mr. Wilson was present when Aldermen D. Graham, R. Hartley and C. Stephenson joined him as honorary freemen of the borough on March 5, 1973, and offered his congratulations. The Mayor, Ald. W. Eric Whittaker, presided over the ceremony.
Herbert Henry Asquith, first Earl of Oxford and Asquith, signed the Visitors’ Book six times. The first occasion was after a meeting in 1888, when the speaker was T. D. Sullivan, M.P. for the College Division of Dublin and ex-Lord Mayor of the city. Sullivan—prisoner, patriot and poet—was presented with an address of welcome from the local Irish people, and his appearance was the signal for the whole audience to rise from their seats and sing Save lIreland.’’ The next visit by “the Huddersfield schoolboy’’—a reference to
his having attended Huddersfield College as a day boy following his father’s death—was on the same platform as John Morley, the great Liberal statesman and biographer of Gladstone.
Incidentally, the retirement of Mr. Gladstone in 1894 delayed Mr. As- quith’s next visit, and it was as Home Secretary that he appeared before his audience on April 4. He denied the rumour that he intended to stand for Hud- dersfield. Both 1906 and 1918 visits were in support of local Liberal parliamen- tary candidates. The freedom of the borough was conferred on the new Earl on November 6, 1925. He visited his old school, attended the centenary tea at Ramsden Street Congregational Church, and addressed a Liberal demonstra- tion in the Town Hall. Mr. Elliott Dodds, in proposing a vote of thanks at the latter function, observed that ‘‘the profession of politics would be held in much higher esteem if every politician would model himself on Lord Mr. Asquith was Premier for eight years and eight months (1908-16). ‘’Margot,’’ his second wife and writer of a startling autobiography, signed on the last visit.
When David Lloyd George came to Huddersfield in 1914 he was the guest of Mr. (later Sir) Charles Sykes, who in 1918 became Coalition M.P. for the borough. The then Chancellor of the Exchequer addressed the meeting of the Yorkshire Liberal Federation and demonstrations in the Town Hall and Drill Hall, the latter being subject to considerable interruption. Dame Margaret first signed the Visitors’ Book after opening a bazaar for the Colne Valley Lib- erals during 1911 and this was her second entry. Sir Arthur H. Marshall, mem- ber for Wakefield, who sat for Huddersfield after the fall of Mr. Lloyd George's Government in 1922, was another signature.
The four Tory Premiers have been Arthur James Balfour (1891), Neville Chamberlain (1926), Harold Macmillan (1949) and Edward Heath (1967). Balfour at the time of his visit was First Lord of the Treasury in Lord Salisbury’s Government; the third member of the Chamberlain family was Minister of Health—brother (Sir) Austen had signed as long ago as 1894; Mr. Macmillan addressed a party meeting ; and the present tenant of ‘No. 10” was the guest- speaker at the centenary dinner of the Huddersfield Conservative Association.
The Earl of Roseberry had to delay his first visit on account of illness for five weeks in 1887, and in consequence lost the support of Mr. Asquith who had a previous engagement. The Earl was the speaker at the first annual meet- ing of the Junior Liberal Association on “’Current Politics.’ His second visit followed the defeat of his short-lived Government in the 1895 General Election. He came to Huddersfield for the National Liberal Federation meetings, and addressed a public demonstration in Rowley’s Music Hall (site of present Head Post Office) on March 27, 1896. Lord Roseberry was an Imperialist and his horses won the Derby three times.
Two Colonial Premiers also signed the Visitors’ Book—S. M. Bruce (Australia) and W. F. Massey (New Zealand). They were in this country for the 1923 Imperial Conference and toured local factories. ‘Edward Blake, Toronto,” covers the identity of an Irish-Canadian lawyer. He was Prime Minister of Ontario in 1871, and from 1892 to 1907 Irish Nationalist member for South Longford in the British House of Commons. Speaking at the by-election in support of Joseph Woodhead (1893), he gave a masterly exposition of what
Home Rule should constitute. Herbert Gladstone (later Viscount Gladstone), youngest son of the G.O.M., was also a speaker.
The list of Ministers of State and other Government members is full of distinguished names. Joseph Chamberlain and the Earl of Selborne attended a conference and meeting of the Huddersfield Liberal Unionist Association in 1889. Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Sir Winston, said he had never ad- dressed a more attentive audience (1893). The local Liberal contemporary, however, described his one hour and twenty-five minutes’ speech as Utterances !"" Sir George Otto Trevelyan came in 1889 to open the Lindley Liberal Club.
After the closing of the Huddersfield College building in New North Road it was purchased by the Huddersfield School Board and opened as a Higher Grade School for boys and girls. (Sir) A. H. D. Acland, vice-president of the Council on Education, formally opened the school on December 20, 1894. Not until after the lapse of sixty-four years did a Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Sir Edward Boyle) visit the town to inaugurate a new school—Huddersfield New College—the second of the schools to be completed at Salendine Nook (March 26, 1958). He made a return visit in 1963 while Minister of Education, to open the remodelled Greenhead High School for Girls, which cost £195,000.
Lord Eustace Percy, President of the Board of Education, was present at the 1929 Speech Day of Hillhouse and Longley Central Schools, and Mr. David R. Hardman, a former Parliamentary Secretary to the M. of E., distributed the prizes at the Central (Kayes’) College Speech Day in 1952. While holding office he attended the fourth annual soirée of the local branch of the Workers’ Educational Association. Lord Windlesham, Minister of State at the Home Office, visited the school for immigrant children at Birkby in 1970, to see whether the grant-aid was being used effectively.
Augustine Birrell and Sir Edward Grey are two famous names in Liberal politics. The former attended meetings in 1896 and 1904, the second being the inauguration of the Huddersfield Junior Liberal Association. Viscount Grey of Falloden was Foreign Secretary from 1905 to 1916, and delivered his presi- dential address to the Junior Liberals in1898.When he addressed an eve of poll meeting in 1931, it was in support of William Mabane (National Liberal). The former Conservative candidate, who had withdrawn from the contest in the national interest, was present on the platform as were other Conservatives. Viscount Grey said that Mr. Mabane was a Liberal, but the speech which he (Grey) had made might have been equally well delivered on behalf of a Con- servative candidate ! Afterwards all three signed the Visitors’ Book.
Earl Percy, M.P., Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and G. R. Lane-Fox (Lord Bingley), were speakers at a Unionist meeting in 1904. Philip Snowden, Cowling, Keighley,” is the first signature by a member of the Labour Party, being dated January 26, 1904. The future Viscount Snowden of Ickornshaw, represented Colne Valley from 1922 to 1931, being Chancellor of the Exchequer in the first Labour Government, 1924, and again in 1929-31. He signed a second time when he attended the annual dinner of the Hudders- field Chamber of Commerce in 1927, with W. G. Ormsby-Gore, Under-Secre- tary for the Colonies, and James H. Hudson, the borough’s first Labour M.P.
“Uncle Arthur’’—the Rt. Hon. Arthur Henderson—had a long and dis- tinguished rdle in world disarmament, being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934. He signed at Huddersfield Labour Party meetings in 1906 and 1909. At the 1906 gathering Mr. Henderson denied the existence of a Socialist Party in the House of Commons as the local Liberal candidate suggested. There was a Labour Party and he admitted there were Socialists among them. ‘’Person- ally he would not even object to the introduction of half a dozen Anarchists.”
Dr. T. J. Macnamara (Liberal), after speaking on the education question in 1906, made a surprise visit to Spring Grove School, where twenty-two years’ before he started his scholastic career as an assistant teacher. He sub- sequently published an article in the News” entitled, “After Many Years —In Board School.” Sir Arthur Griffith Boscawen, a future Minister of Agriculture, attended a Church meeting presided over by the Bishop of Wakefield.
F. E. Smith, M.P. (Lord Birkenhead), had an exciting time with hecklers at his two meetings in 1908 and 1909, and did not improve matters when he referred to them as ‘‘a few incoherent voices” from the gallery. Lord Haldane, who as War Minister organised the Territorial Force, distributed the prizes to the local Volunteers. He was also subjected to interruptions, but from Suffra- gettes. There were several scuffles and three persons were escorted from the building. Alexander Ure, Solicitor-General for Scotland (1908) and Lord Advocate (1913), spoke on National Insurance and Home Rule; Colonel Seely and Henry Vivian had only sparse audience” for a Free Trade gathering in 1909, but George Wyndham—a man of letters—did better with one on tariff reform.
Sir Herbert Samuel (Viscount Samuel) was a popular visitor to the town during his long public life. He was Postmaster-General in Mr. Asquith’s Gov- ernment when he signed the Visitors’ Book for the first time in 1910; the last— 1951—he was Liberal leader in the House of Lords, and spoke in support of Lady Violet Bonham Carter and Donald Wade (Huddersfield, West). In the interim he attended meetings in 1917; as chairman of the Party Organisation Committee, 1927, reporting new spirit moving in the Liberal and 1949, when aged seventy-nine, he made “a stirring call” lasting fifty minutes.
Sir John Simon (Viscount Simon) was another frequent visitor to Hud- dersfield, especially after becoming member for the Spen Valley (1922-40). He made “‘witty comments” on the Coalition quarrels and Labour's proposal for a Capital Levy in 1922, while his 1924 speech was broad- cast by loudspeakers to a large crowd in Corporation Street. A great peace demonstration was held on February 6, 1914, the chief speaker being Charles P. Trevelyan, the member for the Elland Division and Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education. Incidentally, Mr. Trevelyan survived a resolution passed by Elland Council in 1915 he be taken out and shot!”
Both Dr. C. Addison (Minister of Munitions) and Lord Leverhulme were concerned with post-war problems in lectures delivered during 1917, while lan Macpherson dealt with pensions in 1921. The majority of the visits between the two wars were party political meetings, the speakers including Sir L. Worthington Evans, L. C. M. S. Amery (First Lord of the Admiralty) and Sir Arthur (Minister of Labour), all Conservatives ; Arthur Pon-
sonby (Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs) and William Graham (Board of Trade)—Labour. Lord Parmoor (Lord President of the Council) delivered the Technical College inaugural address on “Geneva and International Relations.” The Minister of Agriculture (Noel Buxton) was the speaker at a meeting of the Yorkshire County Allotments Federation, also attended by Arnold Rowntree (York) and Ben Riley, M.P. for Dewsbury.
On January 8, 1936, Sir Kingsley Wood, the Minister of Health, arrived in Huddersfield in connection with his official tour of the West Riding. The weather was unpleasant for outdoor inspections, but the Minister visited the Thomas Street clearance area; Lowerhouses and Cross Lane (Newsome) housing estates; the Children’s Homes at Scholes; St. Luke’s Hospital; the new refuse destructor in St. Andrew's Road erected the year before at a cost of £30,000 ; and finally the Municipal Maternity Home in Greenhead Road. In the evening there was a reception and dinner at the Town Hall.
Miss Ellen Wilkinson, although small in stature, was a doughty fighter. She gave a talk at the Town Hall during the Churchill-Roosevelt discussions at sea (1941), which resulted in the Atlantic of Liberty.”” Miss Wilkin- son was Joint Parliamentary Secretary (with Mr. Mabane, the borough mem- ber) to the Ministry of Home Security. This meeting was one of a series arranged by the Ministry of Information during the war years.
“The finest example of public ownership in the British Isles,’’ was the description given by Ald. Joseph Barlow, chairman of the Finance Committee, at the dinner held on March 14, 1946, to celebrate the twenty-fifth year of the acquisition of the Ramsden Estate by the Huddersfield Corporation. The chief guest was Mr. Lewis Silkin, Minister of Town and Country Planning. In his speech he reminded the Council members that they were “‘trustees of a great heritage,’ and that this conferred great responsibilities. He urged them to use their ‘‘unique advantages” to the best purpose, and make the town “a mode! English industrial community.”
There was a tragic sequel to the visit by Mr. J. W. Belcher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, when in 1947 he took part in a production conference of employers and trade union representatives at the Temperance Hall. Some two years later, following a debate in the House of Commons on the report of the Lynskey Tribunal, Mr. Belcher resigned his seat. The report contained evidence that he had received benefits from two individuals know- ing the purpose for which they were made. Mr. Belcher, however, maintained that his conscience was clear.
Two “big guns” of the Labour Party were brought to the town in 1950 and 1951—Herbert Morrison and Aneurin Bevan. The great Londoner advised the housewives of Britain to continue their fight against overcharging. “Nye,” fresh from his resignation over the introduction of charges for spectacles and dentures, defiantly asserted that the National Health Service which he had introduced in 1948 was “‘the greatest achievement of civil government in the history of mankind.” His signature in the Visitors’ Book is akin to the callig- raphy of a doctor's prescription !
Sir Thomas L. Dugdale—he signed as ““Tom’’—Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, opened the Corporation’s £13,700 new attested cattle market
in Great Northern Street on April 8, 1953. He described it as ‘’a link between town and The purpose-built Civil Defence headquarters in Man- chester Road, costing £100,000-plus, now used by the Waterworks Depart- ment, were officially opened by Lord Stonham, of the Home Office (1966). The town’s police headquarters and new law courts brought another Home Office personage in Dick Taverne. Known as Phase 2 of the Civic Centre, the cost amounted to about £763,085. Lastly, and of more immediate interest to local residents, Julien Amery in 1971 opened a house improvement exhibition in the Old Court Room and also visited a show house in Crosland Street.
Official visits have been made by six Ministers and permanent cfficials, all of whom signed the Mayor's Book. Denis Vosper, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education, held an informal discussion of educational prob- lems; Richard Wood (Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour), visited the Employment Exchange when only seventeen juveniles were without jobs—this was in 1958. Dame Evelyn Sharp, Permanent Secretary at the Min- istry of Housing and Local Government, addressed a meeting of the General Purposes Committee (the whole Council). She said it did her a great deal of good to meet a local authority on its own ground and to be told what it feels about things. Sir Bruce Fraser's visit was part of a fact-finding tour of selected towns concerning the work of health and welfare services. Maurice Foley, of the Department of Economic Affairs, discussed the integration of Common- wealth immigrants; and Minister of Health Kenneth Robinson visited local hospitals and welfare homes.
Two further Chamber of Commerce annual dinners had Ministers as chief guests. For its centenary on May 15, 1953, Lord Swinton was the speaker, while the Duke of Devonshire fulfilled the rdle in 1964. Both at the time were responsible for Commonwealth Relations. The Rt. Hon. lain Macleod (Minister of Health), distinguished himself at a Conservative General Election meeting in 1955 when he urged his audience not to send rabble” back to West- minster. Robert Carr, President of the Council, was more temperate at a garden féte in 1972, being content to throw darts at a board with a likeness of the present leader of ‘‘the rabble’’-—Harold Wilson.
Sir John William Ramsden, fifth baronet and Lord of the Manor, signed the Huddersfield Visitors’ Book on a number of occasions. With the Marquis of Ripon, who as Viscount Goderich had once represented the borough, he attended the inaugural meeting in 1885 of the Huddersfield Technical College and Mechanics’ Institute. The next invitation was the inauguration of the Mar- ket Place fountain, Sir John’s gift commemorating the fifty years’ reign by Queen Victoria. Lady Guendolen Ramsden was present and signed the book. Afterwards a garden party was held at Longley Hall. On April 22, 1898, Sir J. W. Ramsden handed the lease of Somerset Buildings to the Mayor for the Free Library, and Lady Guendolen opened the Art Gallery.
The heir to the estate, Mr. John Frecheville Ramsden, made his first public appearance in Huddersfield when he laid the corner stone of the Victoria Tower, Castle Hill, in June, 1898. At a special meeting of the Town Council the following August, Mr. Ramsden received a vote of congratulation on his recent marriage, his father being present. The Council also on August 18, 1909, pre- sented Sir J. W. Ramsden with a casket and illuminated address to mark the
seventieth anniversary of his ownership of the Huddersfield estate. Sir John transferred the estate to his son in 1910, and he was present at the Mayor’s luncheon the same year. The Ramsden story was completed by the present baronet and son of Sir J. F. Ramsden, Sir G. William Pennington-Ramsden, when he opened the Huddersfield Centenary Civics Exhibition in 1968. Al- though no longer owner of Huddersfield, he was still a considerable owner, and as such signed the Visitors’ Book.
A long list of members of Parliament and others concerned in national affairs have recorded their names in the Mayor's Book. First is Sir John Lubbock (1883), now chiefly remembered for his passing of the Bank Holidays Act, 1871. Sir E. AShmead-Bartlett, Anglo-American politician and writer, spoke at a Conservative meeting (1893) in a style well calculated to excite hostile demonstrations from opponents, and was frequently interrupted. (Viscount) James Bryce, noted historian and traveller, delivered an address on ‘‘Com- merce” at the annual meeting of the Chamber of Commerce. To his toast “The Town and Trade of Huddersfield’’ at the subsequent dinner, Mr. C. W. Keighley responded with the words:
“We have the mills, we have the men, We have the money too.”
During the 1914-18 war Mr. Bryce was chairman of a committee which in- vestigated outrages by German troops in Belgium. Lord Milton opened a bazaar at Golcar; Louis Sinclair, M.P., lectured at the Temperance Hall on “Commercial Disabilities and the Earl of Aberdeen opened the new rooms of the Y.M.C.A. in John William Street (1904), now the Corporation Passenger Transport Offices.
(Sir) John Foster Fraser, famous traveller, lecturer and writer, probably in the excitement of his adoption as prospective Conservative candidate for the borough in 1904, badly blotted his signature. He took more care the next year when present at the Chamber of Commerce dinner. Mr. Fraser was not successful in wooing the local electors at the two contests in 1906, but re- turned as late as 1917 to lecture on ““The New
James Keir Hardie, founder of the Independent Labour Party, signed in company with Pete Curran, Jarrow by-election victor, and T. Russell Williams, borough Labour candidate at the 1906 elections. Another Labour personality, Will Crooks, attended the annual gathering of the local Band of Hope Union. E. D. Morel in 1907 addressed a protest meeting on the atrocities perpetrated against the natives in the Congo Free State. Lord Hugh Cecil addressed the Women’s Unionist Association (1913) and Lord Robert Cecil an enthusiastic League of Nations Union meeting (1921). Of the Earl of Selborne, it was stated that he “‘plunged into his subject without delay.”’
The formidable Miss Christabel Pankhurst was much in evidence at a “Votes for Women” meeting in 1911. Miss Margaret McMillan was chief speaker at a Health Week meeting for women, her concern being the care of children. A pioneer of open air and nursery schools, in 1929 she was invited to open Woodhouse residential school. Joseph Devlin, M.P. and Dr. Esmonde, M.P., in 1911 made a plea for Home Rule for Ireland, being supported by the borough member (A. J. Sherwell). John Dillon, another Irish leader and son of
a rebel, condemned bureaucratic control in a Reconstruction lecture during 1918. R. B. Cunningham-Graham was associated with Scottish Nationalism. At a ‘Workers’ Own” Recruiting Demonstration in the Town Hall on Septem- ber 25, 1915, he shared the platform with M. Emile Royer, a Belgium Socialist M.P., who spoke in eloquent French. Too old to fight, Cunningham-Graham was engaged in buying horses for the Government in South America.
The Town Hall was the scene of many big political demonstrations between 1919-30. Sir Donald Maclean, Lady Violet Bonham Carter, W. M. R. Pringle (M.P. for Penistone), Earl Beauchamp, Walter Runciman, Ernest Brown and Kingsley Griffith did their best to restore the fortunes of the dis- united Liberal Party. J. C. C. Davidson, Mrs. Stanley Baldwin—wife of the Prime Minister, who opened a three days’ bazaar in the Town Hall and de- fended ‘‘votes for flappers and the Marquess of Londonderry, represented the triumphant Conservatives. The Duchess of Atholl appealed for support for the innocent victims of the Spanish Civil War (1937). She visited the twenty Basque children given shelter at the Old Clergy House, Almondbury.
War years again, with Sir Paul Dukes, K.B.E., packing the Town Hall for “Behind the Scenes in He was the ‘“‘mystery man” known as “ST and in appearance looked the part. John Morgan, M.P., was cheered at an Allotment Week meeting when he declared that Huddersfield ‘‘could not be starved” so long as it continued to have 3,500 growers of food. Professor George Catlin spoke on Federal Union. At an Aid for Russia meeting the two M.P. speakers were Dr. L. Haden Guest and James Griffiths. Reg Groves, of London, also signed the book, adding after his signature ‘‘Revolutionary.” Per- haps this was the result of seeing the red flag, emblazoned with the hammer and sickle, covering the organ console! The object of the week’s effort was to raise £6,000 for medical equipment for the Soviet Government.
Ivor Prigorny, secretary of the Russian Embassy in London, attended the opening of an exhibition of photographs in the Art Gallery of “Seven Years’ of Czecho-Slovak Soviet Relations’ (1942). The joint openers were Mr. Frantisek Nemec, the Czecho-Slovakian Minister of Social Welfare, and his secretary, Dr. Karl Kric. The latter had been resident in England for the past three years, and described the country as “‘The Island of Kindness.’’ An Anglo-Czecho Friendship Week was also held the following year. It was China’s turn in 1944, the exhibition being opened by Mr. S. K. Chow, who embellished his signature with Chinese characters, and Sir Francis Rose, the painter.
“Amateur politician’—thus Sir William Beveridge, the day after Mr. Churchill's visit. The author of the plan which forms the basis of our present social security system was in “sparkling form’ speaking in support of Roy Harrod, the Borough Liberal candidate. Liberal Party leaders Clement Davies, K.C., and Jo Grimond, and present leader Jeremy Thorpe, signed in 1950, 1957 and 1970 respectively. Mr. Grimond returned in 1963 to be photographed in the act.
Lady Lewisham, widely known on account of her television appear- ances, made a lightning tour of Huddersfield on the last day in October, 1959, while her husband, heir to Lord Dartmouth, was undertaking one of his peri- odic estate visits. When she opened the Mayoress’s Spring Fayre in 1967, it was in her right as the Countess of Dartmouth. The Earl of Rosse, chairman of a
Standing Committee on Museums and Galleries, visited the Tolson Memorial Museum and the Art Gallery and Public Library (1961); Lord Savile opened Pearl Assurance House, the new building in John William Street occupying the former site of the Y.M.C.A., on September 23, 1963, but this was not his first signing ; Lady James, of Rusholme, opened the town’s £75,000 home for the elderly—Castle Grange, Newsome; and Lord Balneil, chairman of the National Association for Mental Health, inaugurated the new adult training centre in Swallow Street.
The wife of a second former Prime Minister—Lady Douglas Home— opened the annual Conservative bazaar in 1969, while Mr. Marcus Fox, M.P. for Shipley, and once local candidate, performed the ceremony at the 1972 effort. After a meeting on race relations addressed by Dr. David Pitt (1970) a man jumped on to the platform and was taken struggling from the hall by two plain clothes policemen. Dr. Pitt was born in the West Indies and was deputis- ing for Mr. Frank Cousins. This same year Sir Denis Blundell, High Commis- sioner for New Zealand, and Lady Blundell, made a two-day goodwill visit to the town. The Commissioner confessed that he had pictured Huddersfield as “a grey, dirty industrial town,” but was very pleasantly surprised upon his arrival. Finally, Mr. Apa Sahib Pant, High Commissioner for India, opened a three-day Festival of Indian Art at King Street Mission (1972).
While the days of mass party rallies are perhaps a thing of the past, political and other national figures will certainly continue to visit the town. The two Huddersfield Parliamentary divisions are not affected by the formation of the new 6D District Council. Incidentally, all the borough members, commenc- ing with E. A. Leatham, have at various times signed the Visitors’ Book. No doubt arrangements will be made to keep a new book at the Town Hall, which in course of time will contain signatures no less interesting and historic than those in the existing volume.
5. "MADE IN HUDDERSFIELD”
THE fame of Huddersfield as a centre of the wool textile industry was firmly established many years before the pages of the Visitors’ Book were open for signature. Naturally the majority of the first callers had business asso- Ciations with the town’s staple trade. When engineering gained prominence a fresh stream of visitors came from overseas. While this chapter is chiefly con- cerned with commerce and industry, others introduced elsewhere had similar interests, such as the speakers at Chamber of Commerce functions and ministerial visits. I
“William H. Wilson, New York, U.S.A.” and “’William Taylor, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia,” respectively signed the book on May 8 and July 8, 1884. The autumnal meetings of the Association of Chambers of Commerce took place in the town on September 11 and 12, 1894, with the Visitors’ Book placed on the table in the Reception Room. E. P. Arnold Foster, the Bradford president, accepted the invitation to sign, as also did ‘‘W. Le Quesne, Jersey.” It was originally thought this masked the identity of W. Le Quex, the British novelist of sensational crime and espionage stories. However, there is no longer any mystery, for Mr. Le Quesne was simply a Jersey delegate along with Mr. C. B. Buttfield.
A deputation representing the municipality of Rouen, France, with their engineers, inspected the Huddersfield sewage disposal works during 1895. By a majority of thirty-four votes to two, their Council had decided to adopt the chemical treatment of its sewage, and the two members opposed were pre- vailed upon to accompany the delegation. The French visitors not only made a detailed inspection of the Deighton works but tasted the purified effluent! Eleven members signed the Visitors’ Book including the Mayor, Monsieur Laurent, who at the Town Hall luncheon asked his host to accept the gift of an impression of the arms of Rouen.
During the early part of 1933 a party from Huddersfield Town Council visited Copenhagen to inspect a new method of refuse disposal originated by Danish engineers. Messrs. A. Christensen and P. A. Halberg were present at the official opening of the new plant at the Corporation Destructor Works, St. Andrew's Road, by the Mayor (Clr. Joseph Barlow), on July 13, 1936. The steam generated by the burning refuse was sold to the electricity supply station across the road from the works, which at the time were regarded as the most efficient of their kind in existence.
His Excellency T. Hara, former Japan Minister for Home Affairs, toured several local mills with two colleagues in 1908, and decorated the book with Oriental signs. Two engineers of the Taiwan Sugar Corporation of Nationalist China did likewise during 1960. Mr. C. C. King and Mr. M. S. Kao were guests of Messrs. Thomas Broadbent and Sons, Ltd., during their stay in the town.
Four visitors from what at the time (1954) constituted French Indo- China, came to study the town’s life and industry. They comprised the Laos Director of Information; the deputy director of the North Vietnam Cabinet Office; head of the Public Relations section of the Royal Cambodian Army; and a journalist, M. Ngyuen Cung Giu. This visit was organised by the British Government.
When Miss Gordon Holmes, National President of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, attended the inaugural dinner of the Huddersfield Club in 1943, it was stated to be the largest in the country with a membership of 132. The movement had flourished in America long before being introduced to London in 1938. When Miss Audrey Russell, the B.B.C. commentator, in 1954 recounted her impressions of the Queen’s Commonwealth tour, the Town Hall was crowded. Representatives were present from fourteen other Yorkshire clubs, and the Mayor (Ald. J. Armitage) was one of the few men in the audience.
The Scientific Film Association for the first time held a weekend con- ference in a provincial town (1945), and received a civic welcome by the Mayor. Geoffrey Bell, a documentary film director, addressed the members at the Technical College, and four actors signed the Visitors’ Book.
The Deputy Premier of Queensland came with a delegation representing his State’s industrial interests, being received by the president and secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. The local centre of the Institute of Bankers listened to an address by the chief general manager of the National Provincial Bank, Ltd., at Whiteley’s Cafe. Before leaving on a 10,000 mile car journey to his native Irak, twenty-six-year-old Nail Hilmi called upon the Mayor. He had just obtained his final City and Guilds diploma in engineering at the Huddersfield College of Technology, after studying for four years.
A civic welcome was also the reward for Australian Apprentice of the Year, Frank A. Argus. Employed by the Electricity Trust of South Australia, he visited Messrs. Brook Motors, Ltd., for a fortnight in 1961. Tom Wheelwright, Lions Australia’s Youth of the Year award winner, won a prize of a world trip in a nationwide competition in which 2,500 entered. When aged eight his family emigrated to Australia. Tom was therefore given a bonus of six days to visit his native town in January, 1972.
Parties from the Renault Apprentices School, Paris, have twice visited Huddersfield. In 1961 the exchange with local young people was of eighteen days’ duration; the following year the visit lasted three weeks. The twenty-six signatures on this last occasion are almost illegible.
On June 16, 1966, the Earl of Scarbrough, Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding, had the pleasant task of presenting the Queen’s Award to Industry to two local firms. Messrs. Taylor and Lodge, Ltd., worsted cloth manufacturers, Rashcliffe Mills, and Messrs. Thomas Broadbent and Sons, Ltd., engineers, Central Ironworks, were included in the first list “for their meritorious perfor- mances in the export field.’’ Miss Cheryl Kerr, selected as ‘‘Miss Huddersfield Textiles,’ had coffee at the Town Hall with the Mayor, one of the judges at her selection. Appropriately she commenced her reign during the borough's centenary year.
The South African M.P.’s who arrived during the afternoon of November 27, 1970, were the centre of a demonstration against Apartheid. A group of shouting students, some carrying banners, faced them when they left the Town Hall. The party consisted of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, two members of the Nationalist Party, as well as an economic adviser, a senior lecturer in political philosophy and the editor of the Port Elizabeth Post.”
Regrettably it has not always been possible for industrial and commer- cial leaders to call upon the Mayor during their visits to the town and district. Naturally the municipality is anxious to assist and co-operate with all who provide employment for its residents. The products of the town are world famous, while the high level of employment is one of pride and satisfaction.
6. MUSIC MAKERS
IN view of the immense number of signatures by singers, conductors and other members of the musical profession now contained in the Mayor's Visitors’ Book, it is strange that ten years elapsed before the first singer at a Town Hall concert was invited to sign. Madame Adelina Patti, the most popular prima donna for many years, did so on November 3, 1891, heavily underlining her name. Those who had made earlier appearances included Mesdames Albani and Patey, Mr. Sims Reeves, Pachmann and Paderewski (pianists), Charles Hallé and Eugene Goossens (conductors), and organists Guilmant, Saint- Saens and Walter Parratt.
All had been great occasions in the musical life of Huddersfield, but allowed to pass unnoticed by the town’s respective chief citizens. However, Ald. W. H. Jessop, the first Conservative to be elected Mayor, in quick succes- sion accorded civic welcomes to Madame Albani and Paderewski (1898).
The pattern followed is that for approximately quarter of a century fe- male ballad singers are the principal signatures. Then came a wider range after the first World War, with several radio personalities from 1933 onwards. After the second conflagration came the introduction of conductors of large orches- tras, both home and foreign; the reign of Sir Malcolm Sargent and ‘my choir’ —the Huddersfield Choral Society ; and even some who had earned fame in the new entertainment medium of television. Stage and screen make a meagre but outstanding contribution. I
Once again, a reminder that this is a long way short of being a complete record of those who have appeared on local concert platforms, the stage or before the cinema screen. There are many unexplained omissions, perhaps the most notable being Kreisler and Yehudi Menuhin, but on the whole it is a very comprehensive list. Huddersfield stands high in its appreciation of musical talent, and if the lighter side is not so well represented it is because other venues have been preferred to the Town Hall.
The Huddersfield Subscription Concerts promoted each season by Mr. John Watkinson brought most of the great singers to the Town Hall. Madame Albani, Canadian prima donna, on her fourth visit delighted a large audience with a beautifully sustained and finely expressed interpretation of Handel’s “I. J. Paderewski” is the immediate signature (1898), with a third visit in 1907 and name at head of page. Yorkshire’s own “Queen of Song’ made the following entry when she attended the eleventh musical competition
named in her honour: ‘‘Susan Sunderland, Brighouse. In her eightieth year.”’
Miss (Dame) Clara Butt first sang in Huddersfield at the Choral Society's 1895 “Messiah” concert. She was suffering from an ulcerated sore throat and was present at personal risk to herself. The rich tones of her powerful contralto voice made the contemporary music critic wonder what she could do when fit! At the concert by her party on March 1, 1904, she sang Liddle’s ‘Abide with and won all hearts. Mr. Mark Hambourg also proved himself to be a great pianist.” Dame Clara Butt’s signature is spread over three lines and almost dwarfs that of her husband, Mr. R. Kennerley Rumford. She signed again in 1907. This was the occasion when she also sang to an invited audience of school children at the Town Hall, the result of a promise made after a visit to
Spring Grove Council School two years before. A further signature was added in 1924.
When (Dame) Nellie Melba first sang at a local concert in 1897 she received a fee of £200, and seat prices had to be increased. Her visit of October 25, 1904, was a musical triumph. Nothing had ever been heard in the town before to equal her singing of Gounod’s arrangement of Bach's “Ave Maria.” A further thrill came with the encore Tosti’s ‘“Goodbye.’’ Madame Luisa Tetraz- zini was no less successful on her first appearance in 1909, making return visits in 1913 and 1919, the latter at a Quinlan Subscription Concert. The great Italian singer was a film fan, and before her farewell concert in 1934 enjoyed a visit to the former Picture House in Ramsden Street.
The name “Hans Richter’ follows the 1904 signature of Clara Butt. Dr. Richter was conductor of the Hallé Orchestra from 1899 to his retirement in 1911. While in this country he was the recipient of numerous honours, but following the outbreak of war he launched an anti-British campaign in Ger- many, selling and discarding all his English gifts. He was never an easy man to approach, and even refused to sign the Huddersfield Visitors’ Book. As the result of a manoeuvre by certain local gentlemen at the rehearsal which pre- ceded his concert in 1904, Dr. Richter not only signed the official record but also a private autograph book. Upon observing the last signature in the former book—Clara Butt—he remarked, “I think I can safely follow that name!”
The first composer to sign was Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry in 1905, when he conducted his own oratorio, “Judith,” given by the Hudders- field Choral Society. Dr. Henry Coward, the Society’s own conductor, signed along with his illustrious colleague and W. G. McNaught, London musician and composer, who was in the audience. Pianist Frederick Dawson gave a lecture-recital in the Town Hall on ‘‘Music in Shakespeare’s Time,’’ and the following year (1918) made his debut as conductor of the Huddersfield Phil- harmonic Society. Miss Carrie Tubb, a very popular concert artist in her day, fulfilled an engagement with the Huddersfield Glee and Madrigal Society (1921). The conductor of this Society, Charles H. Moody (organist of Ripon Cathedral) had previously signed at a Patriotic Concert during the war years.
M. Marcel Dupre, famous French organist of Notre Dame, Paris, re- ceived a civic welcome in 1924, but his recital took place at Queen Street Mission. The Mayor (Ald. J. Berry) handed to him improvisations on a theme for inclusion in the programme. No difficulty was experienced in obtaining the two signatures of Sir Hamilton Harty, another distinguished Hallé conductor. In 1929 he was the guest of the Huddersfield and District Organists’ Associa- tion at a concert in aid of the Organists’ Benevolent Fund. The second visit— 1931—was when he conducted his orchestra at a Choral Society concert, combining the best English chorus and orchestra in a concert version of Act Ill of “The Mastersingers” and Delius’s ‘Sea Drift.”
It was the Hillhouse Central School who first invited prominent broad- casters to distribute the prizes at Speech Days. Commander Stephen King- Hall and S. P. B. Mais came in 1933 and 1935 respectively. Derek McCulloch— “Uncle Mac” of the B.B.C.—was the guest speaker at the Central (Kayes’) College in 1958, while Robert McDermot, of “Top of the Form” and Story Club” fame, went to the Huddersfield High School in 1964.
Sir Frank R. Benson was the first stage actor to sign the Visitors’ Book, but the date is not one during which his company appeared at the Theatre Royal. He did take part in a four weeks’ Shakespearean Festival some while later. Sir Harry Lauder made no mistake over his visit (1936), and alongside his signature added a large self-caricature in tam o' shanter. During his talk with the Mayor a good deal of banter was exchanged in both broad Yorkshire and broad Scotch. In all this Joe Barlow was a ready foil. Asked what he would like to drink, Sir Harry replied, ““A glass of water,” with a magnificent rolling of “'r's.”" Draining the full contents, he commented, “The graundest drink in the world!" Charles Macdona, who with Jack Gladwin had just taken over the Huddersfield Royal, was also present and signed.
The famous theatrical couple, Dame Sybil Thorndike and (Sir) Lewis Casson, were the Mayor's guests the following year, and Clr. Barlow filmed them as they signed the Visitors’ Book. Both were interested in dialect as a result of their early acting years at the Manchester Gaiety. Their play at the Theatre Royal was ‘Six Men of Dorset,” based on the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Seventeen years elapsed before the Mayor's Reception Room was again invaded by those who walk the stage. Before opening their 1954 reper- tory season at the Theatre Royal, the whole of the company were entertained by the Mayor and deputy Mayor, leaving their signatures as souvenirs.
Sir Hugh S. Robertson is chiefly remembered as the founder and con- ductor of the remarkable Glasgow Orpheus Choir, but his visit to Huddersfield during 1935 was as one of the adjudicators at the “Mrs. Musical Competition. Delighted with his welcome, he wrote after his signature, ‘‘Here I found the heicht o’ hospitality—ask the Mayor!" And his fellow adjudicator, Dr. Herbert Howells—composer and organist—followed with the comment, “Silence is The two adjudicators at the 1950 and 1959 Competitions also signed. At the latter one lost his voice and accepted the gift of throat lozenges from the audience.
The centenary of the Huddersfield Choral Society in 1936 was cele- brated with the performance of a new work specially written by Dr. R. Vaughan Williams. He was present in the Mayor's box and appeared on the platform to acknowledge the applause.
In response to the Government's request that holidays should be taken at home, during 1941 the Huddersfield Town Council pioneered and organised its first ‘Holidays at Home’ programme. The following year’s events were on a most ambitious scale, with Town Hall Dance Competitions, three performances of a concert version of ““Merrie England,’ and engagement of Jan Hurst and his Band—a light orchestra of seventeen performers.
Mrs. Leslie Sarony was brought to the microphone to sing ‘‘Holidays at Home,” the song written by her husband and his partner, Leslie Holmes, and dedicated to the Town Council. Soloists at the different concerts included Miss Gwen Catley—first local appearance, Miss Muriel Brunskill, Norman Allin, William Parsons, Jan van der Gucht and Israel Hoffman (pianist). They en- riched the Mayor's Book with their signatures, as also did the two winners of the professional ballroom dancing competition—Mr. “Sonny” Binnick (Lon- don) and Miss Laura Dixon (Derby).
The highlight of the merrymaking was the Austerity Flitch Trial before His Honour Judge “‘Stainless’’ Stephen. Three local couples made claim for the prize worth five pounds. It was won by a Moldgreen pork butcher and his wife, married for thirteen years without falling out, except out of bed, although they confessed to having had “tiffs.” The Town Hall was crowded and many had to be turned away. “Background music’ was provided by Jan Hurst's orchestra.
In 1944 and 1945 “Holidays at Home” included operatic concerts with stars from Sadler's Wells—Linda Parker, Valetta lacopi, Elena Danieli, Margaret Eaves, Nancy Evans, Owen Brannigan, Dennis Noble and Arthur Servant. Phyllis Sellick and Cyril Smith played duets on two pianos, the latter describing himself as ‘‘Amateur.” ““The Maestro Himself’’—B.B.C. favourite George Scott- Wood—came from the Palace, but left his piano at the theatre ! The Corpora- tion Lunch Hour Concerts were inaugurated on February 9, 1943, with a pianoforte recital by Margaret Maddison. Miss Rhea Perrin gave the second recital on a rather “tinny” piano.
By special request of the B.B.C., on Sunday afternoon June 20, 1943, the Huddersfield Choral Society and the Hallé Orchestra, together with four first class principals, gave a broadcast performance in the Town Hall of Verdi's “Requiem.” The conductor was Dr. (afterwards Sir) Malcolm Sargent. His signature appears for the first time in the Visitors’ Book after the singers—Miss Eva Turner, Miss Mary Jarred and Messrs. Parry Jones and Norman Walker.
From 1943 to 1966 Sir Malcolm signed the Mayor's Book a total of forty times, all but once at concerts by the Huddersfield Choral Society—’’my choir’ as he so proudly proclaimed. Seventeen were performances of ‘The Messiah.” No other individual signed so many times, the “runner-up” being fellow conductor Sir John Barbirolli, with nine entries. At each concert the principal singers were similarly honoured, and over almost quarter of a century the musical talent of the nation is enshrined in the pages of the book.
Here are a few who gave delight to local audiences. Ladies—Kathleen Ferrier, Joan Cross, Gladys Ripley, Linda Parker, Isobel Baillie, Margaret Ritchie, Ena Mitchell, Marjorie Thomas, Elsie Morison, Jennifer Vyvyan, Joan Hammond, Erna Spoorenberg, Mary Wells, Elizabeth Harwood and Elizabeth Simon. Gentlemen—Heddle Nash, George Pizzey, Robert Easton, Tom Wil- liams, Frank Titterton, Eric Greene, Norman Walker, William Herbert, Peter Peers, Richard Lewis, John Cameron, Webster Booth, Hervey Alan, Scott Joynt, John Cameron, and John Shirley- Quirk.
Portuguese conductor, Dr. Pedro Fretitas Branco, after being enter- tained to tea by the Mayor and Mayoress, attended a rehearsal of the Choral Society, and took over the baton for a short period (1943). Christopher Stone, the famous broadcaster, acted as compere at a 1946 Christmas concert of carols, which was put on the air. Charles Groves (now Sir) conducted the B.B.C. Northern Orchestra. The latter signed a second time in 1967 following the death of Sir Malcolm Sargent. The B.B.C broadcast ‘‘The Messiah” per- formances in 1944, 1946-47-48, 1950, 1955 and 1961.
History was made during the evening of December 16, 1953, with the first nation-wide television broadcast in this country of ‘““‘The The
opening pictures showed the sculptured head of Handel himself looking down from the main entrance of the Town Hall upon those entering the building. Both television and singing were perfect. A second television presentation took place in 1956 of the first part of the oratorio, while the 1964 performance was tele-recorded for showing at a iater date.
When the members made the first recording of “The Dream of Gerontius” for the H.M.V. Company (1945), Mrs. Elgar Blake, the composer's daughter, attended the Sunday sessions. In the concert version of ‘Aida’ (1946) the verdict was that in no opera house in the world had the choruses ever been sung so brilliantly. Miss Margaretta Scott was the narrator in ‘‘King David’ (Honegger). As previously noted, the Princess Royal, with the Countess of Harewood and party, attended the 1949 “‘Messiah.’”’ The audience was punctual but few of the men wore evening dress. The Earl and Countess of Harewood were also present at a performance of Verdi's ‘““Requiem” in 1951.
Julius Harrison occupied the Mayor's box when his new work, “‘Mass in C,”” was sung in 1950. A “Festival of Britain’ concert arranged on behalf of the Huddersfield Corporation in 1951 received poor support. Presentations were made to Sir Malcolm Sargent and Mr. Herbert Bardgett (chorus master) at the concert on November 6, 1953. Each had completed twenty-one years with the Society in their respective positions. An invited guest was Eduard van Beinum, conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, whose com- ment was, “A wonderful choir.’ Mr. Bardgett’s signature appears several times in the Visitors’ Book when he conducted during the absence of Sir Malcolm.
At a special meeting of the Huddersfield Town Council held on October 14, 1961, Sir Malcolm Sargent was admitted an honorary freeman of the borough. For twenty-nine years he had been conductor of the Choral Society —''Britain’s Ambassadors of Music” as the members were described when the Council afterwards honoured them with a “‘Complimentary Resolution’ on vellum. This was the corresponding tribute for a corporate body. The resolution also commemorated the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the Society. A ‘Freedom Concert” of “The Music Makers” (Elgar) given in the evening was conducted by the new freeman and broadcast in the Home Service. Hudders- field was the first municipality in England officially to honour a body of singers and their conductor, and this unique distinction received widespread acclaim.
A new work commissioned by the Choral Society in celebration of its anniversary was given on November 24, 1961. The composer, Sir William Walton, attended this performance and expressed thanks to the singers and orchestra. For his seventieth birthday in 1965, Sir Malcolm signed the book with a thick crayon, and later in the year used green ink. He signed for the last time on March 18, 1966., but did conduct a further concert exactly a year later. His death took place in London on October 3, 1967, and at its meeting the next day the Town Council passed a resolution which “expressed profound sorrow and made reference to “his illustrious service to music in the town, country and the world.”
At the Borough Centenary concert in 1968, Miss Sylvia Darley, the late conductor's private secretary, presented back to the Huddersfield Corporation the scroll of freedom which Sir Malcolm received at the 1961 ceremony, to-
gether with a coloured portrait and one of his batons. Mr. Wyn Morris was appointed the new conductor for two seasons, and with his wife signed the book at his first ““ Messiah” concert (1969). There are no Choral signings during the next two years, the last being guest conductor Kenneth Montgomery on December 20, 1972. The story of the Huddersfield Choral Society contained in the town’s Visitors’ Book is a unique record of its kind.
John Barbirolli (knighted 1949) returned from New York in 1943 to undertake the reconstruction of the Hallé Orchestra. The ‘‘new Hallé” was en- gaged for a ‘Holidays at Home” concert in the Town Hall on August 20, 1943, with local-born Laurance Turner as leader of the string section. Pianist Solo- mon was the soloist, and signed the book along with the conductor. Sir John paid a tribute to the work of the late Arthur William Kaye, local musician and teacher of the violin, when he came to the town in January, 1945, and dedi- cated the performance to his memory. “Evelyn Rothwell” later the same year is, of course, Lady Barbirolli (oboist).
Nicolai Malko, a Russian, conducted the Hallé on its visit in 1947, and also made his first appearance in the town in 1954 as the resident conductor of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra. Sir John was back in 1958 for the Hallé centenary celebrations, and conducted Weber's overture “Der Freischutz,’’ the first item given by “Mr. Hallé’s Band” (January 30, 1858). Mr. Turner was also making a farewell appearance as leader prior to his retirement, but returned shortly afterwards for a celebrity concert in connection with the local Y.M.C.A. development appeal. Sir Adrian Boult wielded the baton in 1959: he first signed the book the year before when he conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The ninth and last signing by Sir John Barbirolli was in 1961, the year in which he became conductor emeritus of the Hallé Orchestra. He died on July 29, 1970. Arvid J. Yansons was in charge of an all- Russian programme in 1967, with the present conductor, Mr. James Loughran, on November 28, 1972.
A distinguished Prime Minister; a gallant soldier; and lastly a famous film actress—such is the 1945 record. To Miss Anne Crawford went the dis- tinction of being the first film star to sign the Mayor’s Book on November 26, 1945. She made personal appearances on the stage of the Princess, where her new film “They Were Sisters’ was being presented. The cast included Mr. James Mason. Miss Crawford also attended a luncheon at the George Hotel and afterwards the Press and Cinema Ball at Cambridge Road Baths. She was accompanied by Harold Huth, Huddersfield-born film producer, who visited the former homes of his father and grandfather.
The Colne Valley Male Voice Choir made their debut in the book during 1946, with conductor Leslie Woodgate, Joan Cross (soprano) and Melsa (violinist). Further signatures at their concerts have been Gwen Catley (1947), Colin Horsley (1948), George E. Stead, conductor (1949), Keith Swallow (1957), Owen Brannigan (1958) and Werner Hollweg, tenor, and officials of Solingen Male Voice Choir (1965). Huddersfield’s second oldest choir, the Glee and Madrigal, has a poor showing, with entries at only two concerts in 1946 (Kathleen Ferrier) and 1953 (Monique Haas, French pianist). The Hud- dersfield Methodist Choir’s 1949 ‘‘Messiah” marked the local debut of Miss
Norma Procter, and the Huddersfield Vocal Union in 1950 had Miss Edith Coates.
Visits by overseas choirs have included Cleveland Heights Public schools from Ohio in 1953, when they were guests of the Choral Society. The seventy boys and girls, wearing yellow sweaters and white woollen socks, received a civic welcome. The California Girls’ Choir signed in 1965, 1969 and 1972.
Gracie Fields was no stranger to Huddersfield when she took part in a forty-five minute broadcast from the Town Hall with her “‘Working Party” on August 6, 1947. Previous visits had been to the old Palace Theatre in produc- tions by Archie Pitt, her first husband. ‘‘Our Gracie” receive a great welcome, and sang a song from the Ramsden Street balcony, concluding with a final chorus of ‘‘Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye.” “Ee! I'm reet glad to be in Huddersfield again,’ she ejaculated upon signing the Mayor's Book in bold and black writing, adding ‘‘London and Scott Sanders, another music hall favourite, wrote after his name, (I think).”
Many brass band concerts have taken place at the Town Hall. Dr. Denis Wright was guest conductor of the massed bands of Brighouse and Rastrick, Fairey Aviation and Fodens Motor Works, with Jack Mackintosh (solo trum- pet) in 1950. The musical director of the National Band of New Zealand, K. G. L. Smith, commemorated their 1953 concert, and Eric Ball came in 1957 and conducted his tone poem ‘‘Resurgam.”’
Huddersfield Corporation engaged the new municipal Yorkshire Sym- phony Orchestra to give a series of orchestral concerts during the 1947—48 season. The first concert took place on September 17, 1947, with Maurice Miles conducting. This was the inauguration of the Corporation Orchestral Concerts as distinct from the Saturday evening municipal concerts. The Choral Society also engaged the Y.S.O. on occasion, and Mr. Miles signed for the first time in 1950. When Leeds City Council refused in 1965 to continue its grant the orchestra was disbanded.
There is a record of a concert by the British-Soviet Friendship Society in 1953, with four Russian artists. Andrew Rothstein announced all the items. “Playfellow,” the music critic of the local newspaper, described the whole proceedings as about the worst organised function he had ever attended ! Members of Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, an amateur German organisa- tion, with their hosts the Huddersfield Philharmonic, received a civic welcome and attracted a good audience (1954). I
Mr. G. H. Heath-Gracie, organist and master of choristers at Derby Cathedral, attended the 1955 annual conference of the Yorkshire Region of the National Federation of Music Societies held at the Town Hall (1955). The youngest artist to sign the Visitors’ Book was thirteen-and-a-half-year-old Kathleen Jones in 1938. She gave a masterly performance in a Mozart piano concerto, being recalled to the platform five times.
The gap left by the demise of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra was filled with the engagement of United Kingdom and European orchestras. Since the 1958-59 season Huddersfield has welcomed the following famous or- chestras and conductors: U.K.—London Symphony (Hugh Maguire, leader),
Royal Philharmonic (Jack Brymer, soloist; Hugo Rignold), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Pierino Gamba), Scottish National (Alexander Gibson) and the B.B.C. Symphony (Heribert Esser and Zdenek Macal). European—Amsterdam Concertgebouw (Bernard Haitink), Bavarian Radio Symphony (Eugen Joc- hum), Hungarian State (Jones Ferencsik), Czeck Philharmonic (Anceri), Moscow Philharmonic (Kyric Kondrashin), Leipzig Gewandhaus (Vaclav Naumann) and Rotterdam Philharmonic Examiner” centenary concert).
Sir Thomas Beecham conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on its 1959 visit. He made an after-concert speech and gave a encore. Kurt Masur, conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1972, inscribed the following in the Visitors’ Book: ‘Thanks for this wonderful Hall and this impressing Audience.”’ An anti-Soviet protest marred the visit in November, 1972, by the Russian State Yurlov Choir. There was a lot of noise outside the Town Hall and the police ejected twelve young people from the auditorium. The conductor was Alexander Yurlov.
“A rising young man of unlimited virtuosity’’ was the sensation of the 1958 Royal Variety performance. Roy Castle, born at Scholes, near Holmfirth, made his debut in Huddersfield on the stage of the Ritz Cinema during the week of February 23-28, 1959. He called on the Mayor at the Town Hall on February 24 and signed the Visitors’ Book. Memories of past Town Hall con- certs were recalled during 1960 by the Spanish soprano, Victoria de los Angeles. Gerald Moore was the accompanist. It was unfortunate the pro- grammes were printed entirely in foreign languages.
Two popular entertainers appeared at the Town Hall in 1964 and 1965. For the two nights of the reception of twenty-four Sunday School Queens and their retinues organised by the National Children’s Home, Sooty and Harry Corbett, of TV fame, entertained the youthful audience. And, of course, Sooty and Sweep found a place in the Mayor's Book! The P.D.S.A. Autumn Fayre was opened by Terance Edmond—P.-c. Sweet of Z Cars—with assistance from Sidonie Bond and Lynne Furlong of the same feature. Reginald Dixon— “Mr. Blackpool’’—was the first entertainer to sign in 1973.
The Huddersfield Famine Relief Committee held a concert during 1964 to mark its twenty-first birthday. Cyril Smith having lost the use of one hand, he and his wife, Phyllis Sellick, had chosen to become duettists, hence his signing ‘+ Pianist.’’ Maureen Challinor and Eva Warren also performed on two pianos for the benefit of the Empire Cancer Campaign.
Following their success at the Welsh National Eisteddfod in 1960, the Huddersfield Youth Orchestra gave a concert under the direction of W. G. Williams, head of the Music Department of the local Education Committee. Miss A. Christine Cartwright, ‘celloist and a former student studying in Lau- sanne, assisted the Huddersfield College of Technology at a concert.
The principals of the several and Sullivan For All” concerts signed the Visitors’ Book, including Thomas Round, Jean Hindmarsh, John Cartier and William Cox-Ilfe (musical director). Finally, local-born film actor, Mr. James Mason and his wife, personal friends of the Mayor, Ald. W. E. Whittaker, were his guests at the Mayoral dinner on May 16, 1972. It was Mr. Mason's sixty-third birthday, and he had the honour of proposing the toast, “Huddersfield past, present and future.’’ Surely the right note upon which to conclude this musical résumé of the town.
7. LECTURES AND TALKS
IT was once stated that Huddersfield was “an over-lectured” town, and cer- tainly many famous—and not a few notorious—persons have addressed local audiences. Both Victorians and Edwardians welcomed this form of entertain- ment. The introduction of motion pictures delivered a death blow to the lec- turer with his slides shown on a white sheet by means of an oxy-hydrogen lantern loaned from the Band of Hope Union. Wireless programmes further reduced audiences, and even the once popular Education Committee series of winter lectures had to be abandoned.
The last war brought a revival under the guise of by Ministry of Information speakers. The post-war years saw the growth of Women’s Lun- cheon Clubs, with the choice of well known broadcasters as guest speakers. Often they brought their own films to illustrate the discourse. While it would now be difficult to fill the Town Hall for a lecture, in the past it has been the scene of many fascinating and graphic narratives. The Visitors’ Book includes some very distinguished signatures—explorers, war correspondents and literary figures—often with the Mayor as chairman and usually crowded audiences.
The famous explorers were Fridtjof Nansen (Norway) and Sir Ernest Shackleton. Dr. Nansen first visited the town in 1898, and described his ex- ploration of 1894—95, when the Fram reached nearer the North Pole than any other ship at that time. For an hour and a half Dr. Nansen kept his audience spellbound with his varied description of ““Across the Polar Region,’ and showed some delightful photographs. His party had no illness problems for microbes could not live in the intense cold, and the men only ‘caught colds”’ when they returned home!
Nansen made a return visit in 1911 and not only described his own Polar explorations but those of the American, Peary, who finally succeeded in reach- ing the North Pole (1909). His last visit was in support of the appeal for funds for the relief of distress caused by the Russian famine (1922). In addition to the Town Hall he addressed an overflow meeting in Ramsden Street Con- gregational Chapel. The people of Huddersfield subscribed over £5,000 to the local appeal fund.
Sir Ernest Shackleton only once lectured in Huddersfield, shortly after being knighted. His expeditions were in the Antarctic, and he recounted how he hoisted the Union Jack on January 9, 1909, at the farthest south. He said they could have reached the South Pole but never got back again. His party consisted of twenty-two men, six ponies and nine dogs. During the return journey their daily ration was four biscuits each.
Frederic Villiers, war artist and correspondent, on his first visit (1899) lectured about the recent Sudan campaign, ‘‘Khartum at Last.” In 1905 he had just returned from the Front and described his thrilling experiences with the Japanese forces and the siege of Port Arthur (Russo-Japanese War). Villiers also obtained an audience of the Mikado and his Court, associated with Gen- eral Nogi and visited the fleet with Admiral Togo. Warfare even then was “‘a ghastly work” with its havoc and slaughter of thousands of brave men.” Although not a war correspondent, Sir Arthur K. Yapp, national secre- tary of the Y.M.C.A., managed to give a thrilling account of his visit to the
various battle fronts, when he came to Huddersfield during the first World War in support of a local appeal fund.
“G. Bernard Shaw, 10, Adelphi Terrace, London, W.C.,” is the most distinguished literary signature in the Visitors’ Book. Mr. Shaw lectured in the Town Hall on December 9, 1909, under the auspices of the local branch of the Fabian Society. His subject was, “The Political Situation and the Middle being full of epigrammatic utterances—Shavianisms as they are now called. Indeed, he startled the very large audience with not a few of them.
“lam a gentleman,” announced Mr. Shaw, ‘and an exceedingly clever man. I write plays. As a genius myself, I say that the most horrible misfortune that can overtake any country in the world would be to have a Parliament con- sisting exclusively of men of genius.’’ Of his host town he observed that it did not appear to be a place of very delirious pleasure and gaiety. ‘If he had £20,000 and wanted to have a very jolly time he did not think he would come to Huddersfield.’’ No doubt Shaw recalled his visit when some twenty years’ afterwards he labelled the town Huddersfield !’’ From all accounts it appeared to have been an exceedingly pleasant evening.
Hilaire Belloc, author and critic, in contrast deliverd a sober but never- theless interesting lecture on “The Growth of a Great City’’ (London). Will Owen (1922) also described “Old London Town,” and in addition made a series of lightning crayon drawings of Boadicea, Henry VIII, Mr. Micawber, Mr. Pickwick, Mrs. Asquith and the chairman (F. |. Butterworth). Novelist Mrs. Naomi Mitchison addressed the scholars of Royds Hall Grammar School at their Speech Day on living for the future.
Lord Dunsany, the Irish poet and dramatist, was the guest of the Hud- dersfield Poetry Society in 1921. He read several poems to illustrate the mean- ing of his lecture. John Masefield, who was appointed Poet Laureate the year after his visit, gave readings of his poems in aid of the Miners’ Distress Relief Fund. ‘’A storyteller by profession,” his appearance on the platform was described in the following terms: man of about six-foot-two, in a smart, correct, evening dress, rosy-cheeked, with a head that is finely shaped, but rather small for his height.’’
“Grenfell of Labrador’’—Sir Wilfred Grenfell—was received on arrival in the afternoon by the Mayor. Sir Wilfred was an English physician who went to Labrador in 1892 and founded hospitals, orphanages and other social services. Ald. W. T. Priest presided at the lecture without his chain of office which could not be found. Sir Ronald Storrs, at one time military governor of Jerusalem, gave an intimate portrait of a very different character in his lecture on ‘Law- rence of Arabia” (1951).
“C. W. R. Knight (Capt.) and Mr. Ramshaw” may at first appear a little puzzling. Captain Knight was a naturalist, and ‘Mr. a partially tamed golden eagle which he had captured in Scotland some nine years before his Huddersfield visit (1935). During the evening the audience of mainly young people were treated to a sight never before seen in the Town Hall. ‘’Mr. Ramshaw” flew from his owner's hand to the orchestra rail and perched con- tentedly until the Captain produced a piece of raw steak. No doubt this sight made him feel hungry for he shot up into the air, his huge wings extended,
tearing pieces of meat from Captain Knight's hand. The lecture was arranged by the local Boy Scouts’ Association and included a film which featured Capt. Knight's other hawk eagle, who was not well enough to be present.
One of the Ministry of Information war-time speakers was (Sir) A. P. Herbert, M.P., the ““Punch’’ humorist. The audience was kept in a constant ripple of laughter, but behind all the fun there was a deep sincerity of purpose. Mr. Elliott Dodds, seconding a vote of thanks to “’A.P.H.,”’ said that their sense of humour was the country’s most potent secret weapon. He recalled that while editor of ‘‘The Iris,’’ the Oxford undergraduate magazine, he had pub- lished some of Mr. verse, and quoted the following as applicable to the proceedings:
“Oh good it is to play the fool, When one is young and free, To meet old friends one knew at school (And jolly chaps like me!).”
Professor John Hilton forecast a collapse of German morale at a Y.M.C.A. Sunday evening meeting. This popular broadcaster stayed over- night for the Rotary Club luncheon. Halifax novelist, Miss Phyllis Bentley, visited the Mayor while undertaking a tour of the county for a series of articles on “Yorkshire at and was full of praise for the town’s ‘‘superb’’ new library. “Dig For Victory’’ campaigns were a regular feature of the last war, and horticultural expert, Roy Hay, opened the 1942 ‘‘Week.” Miss Aileen Croft (Mrs. Freddie Grisewood) performed the ceremony on the second day.
It was not until 1956 that local gardeners welcomed the inimitable ‘Freddie’ himself as question master of ‘‘“Gardener’s Question The members of the Huddersfield Allotment Holders’ Association kept the B.B.C. panel of experts busy. Another noted radio gardener, C. H. Middleton, gave an address on ‘‘War-time Gardening” (1944), and told the gathering that flowers were still needed. Before the meeting B.B.C. organist, Sandy Macpherson, gave a recital. A four-day ‘Dig for Victory” exhibition during 1945 featured talks by experts, including Miss Elizabeth Craig, a well known authority on cooking.
The present Lord Hill of Luton, who broadcast under the name of ‘The Radio Doctor,’ delivered an instructive and amusing address on health and the future of the voluntary hospitals, at the annual social of the area honorary col- lectors of the Huddersfield and District Hospitals Contributory Scheme during 1944. A favourite Children’s Hour Zoo Man” (David Seth- Smith)—received gifts of money from representatives of local churches, Sun- day Schools and Youth Clubs for the National Children’s Home. His lecture on “Some Animal Friends I Have Known” was illustrated by lantern slides from photographs taken at London Zoo and Whipsnade.
Dame Caroline Haslett, Lord Elton and Lady Violet Bonham Carter were all speakers at the Huddersfield Women’s Luncheon Club. Their respective subjects were: England in War-time and After; Favourite Books and Why;” and “Great Figures I have Known.” Lady visit of January 12, 1951, was the second time she had signed the Mayor's Book, while later this year she was adopted as prospective Liberal candidate for the
Colne Valley, with subsequent support of Sir Winston Churchill. Of her father —Prime Minister H. H. Asquith (Lord Oxford)—she declared that ‘he could fight for his country but not for himself.”’
A. A. Thomson was another “Punch” humorist and writer to visit Hud- dersfield, proposing the toast “England” at the 1952 Festival Dinner of the Royal Society of St. George. Alfred Gregory, who was a member of Colonel John Hunt's expedition which conquered Mount Everest on the morning of May 29, 1953, retold the thrilling story in a homely Lancashire accent at the Town Hall later in the year. One of his slides showed Sherpa “‘Tiger’’ Tensing holding a flag on the summit of Everest placed there by (Sir) Edmund Hillary.
Miss Gladys Aylward decorated her signature in 1963 with Chinese lettering and added ‘‘Mother of 207 Chinese babies.” This little grey-haired, bespectacled woman with a big heart addressed a packed Huddersfield Mis- sion, and it was necessary for the police to hold back the crowd. She wore traditional Chinese costume and several times made readings from her Chinese Bible.
Today it is possible to sit at home and watch on TV or listen to sound radio talks and lectures by well known personalities. The magic of the personal appearance and atmosphere, however, is wholly absent. This story of past great lectures at the Town Hall and other public buildings will undoubtedly revive many memories for those fortunate to have been present. The signatures in the Visitors’ Book remain as a nostalgic reminder of these great occasions.
8. ACCOLADE FOR SPORT
CHANGES in public favour are reflected in the pages of the Visitors’ Book, but none more so than in sport. For forty-one years—1 883 to 1924—no active participant in sport or local sporting organisation as a body were invited to sign. This was not because there had been no prominent sportsman or club achievement to celebrate. Indeed, within seven years of the inauguration of the book the Fartown team won its first Owd Tin Pot’’ (Rugby Union, 1890). Success was slow under the new Northern Union code, but following Colonial signings there was no stopping the record breaking run of ‘“‘The Team of All the Talents.”
When the Fartowners returned with the different trophies—all four cups in season 1914—15—they were welcomed by cheering crowds in front of the railway station in St. George’s Square. The cups were displayed and speeches delivered from the first floor windows of the George Hotel, where afterwards the players were entertained to dinner by the club president and committee. The first ever N.U. (now Rugby League) Test Match between England and Australia, was played at Fartown on January 2, 1909, but there was no civic recognition of the occasion. Actually the George Hotel was most appropriate for these celebrations, for the Northern Union had been founded within its walls at a meeting in 1895.
The 1914—18 war broke down many class barriers and afterwards sport assumed a more prominent réle in the life of the nation. Locally this was re- flected in the great struggle during 1919 to save the Town Association Foot- ball Club from being taken lock, stock and barrel to Leeds. The winning of the First Division Championship in season 1923-24 was the first local sporting event commemorated in the official Visitors’ Book, both the Mayor and the borough M.P. attending the complimentary dinner at the Town Hall. Although the ice had been broken, sport received no further civic recognition until after the Second World War. From 1946 onwards football—all three codes—cricket, athletics and swimming share the honours with other public events in the town.
Lord Kinnaird (11th baron) presided at the annual soirée of the Hudders- field Y.M.C.A. on February 5, 1889. He was the national president of the Y.M.C.A., and having played Association football for England, served as presi- dent of the Football Association. A deficiency of £127 18s. being reported on the year’s working, Lord Kinnaird contributed £20 towards clearing off the debt.
Charles T. Studd likewise attended a Y.M.C.A. demonstration in 1909. The most prominent member of a cricketing family, Studd played for Cam- bridge University, Middlesex and England, and for ten years was a missionary in China. He gave a very racy address and said that the good rules of cricket were just as good rules for the way of life.
The dinner to celebrate Town's First Division Championship was at- tended by J. McKenna (president of the Football League) and C. E. Sutcliffe (Management Committee). Herbert Chapman, Town's manager, also signed the book. In season 1925—26 the club completed the hat trick of First Division Championships. The Fartowners had their first Wembley cup victory in 1933, and upon returning home were welcomed by the Mayor and Mayoress and a crowd of 15,000 people in St. Square.
Two celebrated England and Yorkshire cricketers distributed the prizes at school speech days in 1938 and 1939. Almondbury Grammar School wel- comed Sir F. Stanley Jackson, who was also an ex-Governor of Bengal. Herbert Sutcliffe told Hillhouse Central pupils that the country was batting on ‘“‘a very dangerous wicket,’ and called for a continuance of team spirit to avoid a national collapse. ““The fastest man in the world’’—Captain G. E. T. Eyston— opened a motoring exhibition at the Town Hall (1939), which included colour films of his record runs near Salt Lake City, Utah.
The “Salute to Football” kicked off in 1946 with Fartown being runners- up in the Northern League Championship Final. Captain Alec Fiddes and eleven of his team mates signed the book. Two years later Pat Devery returned with the League Cup, each player being introduced to the crowd from the Ramsden Street balcony. This time the book gained twenty-two signatures. The first Italian Rugby League Touring Team received a welcome in 1950, the Mayor (Ald. J. L. Dawson) speaking both in Italian and English (twenty-eight signed).
The next year it was the turn of the New Zealand tourists, an invited guest being Percy Holroyd (scrum-half), who had played against the first ‘‘All Blacks” at Fartown in 1907. A civic reception was also accorded the 1955 N.Z. visitors. Huddersfield gained their second Cup victory at Wembley when they beat St. Helens in the 1953 final, and the balcony ‘‘reception’’ was repeated before an even larger crowd. Australian R.L. touring sides were welcomed on behalf of the townspeople in 1956 and 1963, on the latter occasion the signatures occupying two pages.
The return of Huddersfield Town to the First Division within twelve months of relegation, was marked by a civic reception after the last match of the season on May 1, 1953, when they defeated Plymouth Argyle 4-0. The club was again relegated at the end of season 1955—56, but when they re- turned to the seats of the mighty after fourteen seasons, a public dance was held on May 8, 1970. Jimmy Nicholson and his men received a terrific ovation all the way on the mile route to the Town Hall balcony to “take a bow.” The chairman’s expressed hope to make such occasions of a habit’ unfortunately has not been realised.
Identical gifts of candelabra for the Huddersfield Corporation's civic collection of silver plate were made by the Town and Fartown clubs on Jan- uary 6, 1954. A. Brook Hirst, Town’s president, had received the honour of knighthood on New Year's Day. And when Town played Newcastle U. in the sixth round of the F.A. Cup in 1955, both the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of the city called at the Town Hall before attending the match.
The Huddersfield Rugby Union Club is represented in the Visitors’ Book. The first time is 1953 when they played Norman M. Hall’s XV at Water- loo. Incidentally, this was the year when all three premier football teams were received by the Mayor (Ald. J. F. C. Cole). The Ballymena team signed during their 1954 Easter tour, and then defeated Huddersfield 13-0.
Cricket waited sixty-seven years before receiving civic recognition. The annual dinners of the Huddersfield and District Cricket League from 1950 provided a succession of famous masters of the game as guest speakers, and
each in turn signed the Visitors’ Book. The 1950 function brought together Douglas Robert Jardine, England and Surrey batsman, who visited George Herbert Hirst; Herbert Sutcliffe—‘*Pudsey”’ printed in large capitals ; and Wil- fred Rhodes. A photograph was taken of the presentation of buttonholes to the three visitors.
The diamond jubilee dinner of 1952 gave us leg-spin bowler and mighty hitter ““Freddie’’ Brown—England, Surrey and Northamptonshire; (Sir) Len Hutton, England and Yorkshire; and Maurice Leyland, Yorkshire left-handed batsman. N. W. D. Yardley, England and Yorkshire captain was present but did not sign. A second dinner in December had two writers as guests—(Sir) Neville Cardus, ‘‘Cricketer’’ of the Manchester who nostalgically recalled the fifty matches he had seen, and humorist A. A. Thomson—second visit this year—who quickly had the company rocking with mirth.
Other District League dinner speakers have been Walter Stuart Surridge (Surrey), Sir Learie Constantine (West Indies and High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago) and Jim Laker (England, Surrey and Essex) -same page as Edward Heath. The then Town Clerk of Coventry proposed the main toast of at the 1970 dinner. Sir Charles Barratt was a native of Huddersfield, the younger son of H. T. Barratt, a former Secretary of Education.
The Bedser Twins, Eric and Alec, attended the dinner of the Hudders- field and District Umpires’ Association. Johnny Wardle (Yorkshire bowler) in 1955 showed a colour film of the Australian tour he made under the captaincy of Len Hutton. Norman Yardley was back again and this time signed.
Athletics are represented by Derek Ibbotson, the first Huddersfield man to win an Olympic Games medal. He finished third to Russian Kuts and Gordon Pirie at Melbourne in 1956. A civic reception was given by the Mayor on December 20. Ibbotson on July 19, 1957, became the world’s fastest miler— 3 mins. 57.2 secs.—and in August was invited to switch on Morecambe illuminations. A link-up between his native town and the seaside resort was provided by a relay of cyclists who carried a torch presented to them by the Mayor. Brian Robinson and Desmond Robinson were Mirfield cyclist mem- bers of the Huddersfield Road Club who represented Great Britain at the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games.
Swimming first appears indirectly in the Visitors’ Book during 1948, when Trevor Smith was honoured at a dinner to commemorate his feat of win- ning the Morecambe Cross Bay swim. The Mayor of Morecambe and the town’s publicity and entertainments manager both signed. However, from August 1, 1958, to June 17, 1965, this sport almost makes a “‘takeover” with the swimming achievements of ‘Golden Girl’ Anita Lonsbrough. She received four civic receptions, and on the occasion of her wedding to Hugh Porter, champion cyclist, was given the “‘freedom” of the Town Hall.
Anita was born in York, taught to swim in India by her father, and when the family moved to Huddersfield employed in the borough depart- ment. At age sixteen years she became a double gold medallist at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. The Rome 1960 Olympic Games resulted in her being the town’s first ever gold medallist and also Britain’s only
gold medallist—200 metres breast-stroke in world record time of 2 mins. 49.5 secs. Miss Lonsbrough appeared on the Town Hall balcony and held the gold medal above her head for all to see.
Further triumphs came at Leipzig and Perth in 1962. In 1963 Anita was awarded the M.B.E. Her signature appears twice on the same page in 1962. At the Olympic Games held at Tokio in 1964, Miss Lonsbrough was first woman standard bearer. It was as “‘Anita Porter’ she signed at the champagne wedding reception on June 17, 1965, and closed a remarkable local swimming career. A block of flats and a plaque at the top of the staircase in the borough offices commemorates Anita Lonsbrough—"’Citizen of this Town.”
When Frederick Charles Oldman, Corporation Baths Superintendent, swam the English Channel on August 30, 1955, he was subsequently given an official welcome by the Mayor, but the feat is not recorded in the Visitors’ Book. A year afterwards the first local-born man, Philip Kaye, of Berry Brow, was successful in conquering the Channel at his third attempt. He received a Civic reception and signed the book.
The remaining sporting event is Malcolm Taylor's John o' Groat’s to Land’s End walking record of 14 days 6 hrs. and 35 mins. set up on July 30, 1967. A bid the following year to break his own record ended in disaster when he was involved in an accident.
Sport made a very late start in the Visitors’ Book but since the last war honours have come thick and fast. Huddersfield is known as a great sporting town and itis proper that those who achieve fame should receive the thanks of its chief citizen.
9. “TWINNING” TWINS!
“LE MOND BILINGUE” first asked the Huddersfield Town Council on October 19, 1954, if they would become members. The movement had for its aim the mutual understanding among people of different nationalities by enabling them to speak to one another and ultimately build up a bilingual world. The patron is the President of France, and its own president the French Minister of Education.
The General Purposes Committee of the Town Council—the whole of the members—accepted in principle this suggestion for Applica- tion was made for Huddersfield to ‘‘twin” with Clermont-Ferrand, a town in Central France, and if not possible then St. Quentin. Actually Besancon became the choice on May 2, 1955. This town of 84,000 population is about 200 miles south-east of Paris, and near the Jura Mountains, the border with Switzerland. Berne is only eighty miles distant. The great writer, Victor Hugo, was a native of Besancon.
The first exchange of visits took place on June 14, 1955, when a deputa- tion of three Besancon citizens arrived in Huddersfield, incidentally during a railway strike. They were the Mayor, M. Jean Minjoz, who was also a French Parliamentary Deputy; M. Lucien Brochet, president of the Chamber of Com- merce in the Besancon area; and M. Jean Alhinc, a professor of English. All three signed the Mayor's Book, visited Harrogate’s third French Week and toured local schools and works. With a professor of English in the party they had no language difficulties !
Four Huddersfield Councillors and the Town Clerk visited Besancon the following September. With the discussions of these two interchanges the “twinning” was officially established. M. Minjoz and Mme. Minjoz were also official guests for four days in July, 1968, during the incorporation centenary celebrations.
Huddersfield Town entertained and played a match with the Besancon team on September 18, 1956. Although undefeated in the French Second Division they lost at Leeds Road 7—0. Seventeen signatures were entered in the Visitors’ Book. A Besancon delegation visited the town during French Week in June, 1958, and two years’ later the youngest visitor—eleven-year- old Jean-Luc Lepin—signed the book with his parents. A party of twenty- seven girls from the French town came over in July, 1966, as guests of Huddersfield High School pupils.
Huddersfield in 1967 also “twinned” with Unna, a town situated in the Ruhr Valley to the east of Dortmund. A civic welcome was given to three delegates—Dr. L. Volt, Dr. Kraba and Clr. J. Girgensohn (Town arrived just before the close of the Council meeting on July 5, 1967. Speaking at a subsequent reception the Mayor (Ald. Jack Sykes) told the gathering of some sixty persons: “After all, you can't ‘twin’ buildings—you ‘twin’ the peo- ple, the living community.”
It was the turn of the Deputy Mayor of Unna and members of the Nordbogge Male Voice Choir to be received in 1969. The choir had been visiting the district as part of exchange arrangements with Skelmanthorpe
Male Voice Choir, who visited Nordbogge the previous year. The Burger- meister of Boenen, near Unna, came on a visit to Denby Dale district during 1970, while Unna guests, including the town’s director of education and chair- man of the higher education committee, toured Scammonden Reservoir.
At the opening of the new Welfare Centre (1970), Herr Jurgen Girgen- sohn (Mayor of Unna) and Frau Girgensohn were presented to Princess Mar- garet, Countess of Snowden. The Mayor subsequently handed to the Centre a cheque for 1,000 Deutchemarks (£115) for the purchase of some suitable item for its use.
Herr Fritz Boeckmann, now Town Clerk of Unna, visited Huddersfield with a four-man delegation in 1972. Representatives from both youth and senior Organisations were present at a reception, and listened as Herr Boeck- mann reminded them that “‘It is the young people who must carry on what we are just beginning. It is most important that not just official parties meet, but also the people of the towns.” The skipper of a youth football team from Unna received a badge from the Mayor (Ald. W. E. Whittaker) in August the same year.
“Twinning” between the local authorities of our towns and those of European countries should be given an impetus now that Britain is a member of the European Economic Community. The movement can only be successful, however, if it is taken up with enthusiasm by all concerned. Huddersfield has been a good host to its ‘‘twin” towns, and they in turn have recriprocated the friendship and hospitality. There remains space for further signatures in the Mayor's Visitors’ Book !
10. ROUND THE WORLD
THE Mayor receives many visitors each year who are complete strangers. They may have knowledge of the town through its textile or engineering products, records of the Choral Society, or the prowess of some former sports- man. Most regard it as a honour to call upon Mayor,”’ and usually they are rewarded by being invited to sign the Visitors’ Book. There are many such signatures in its pages.
The last war brought refugees from European countries overrun by the enemy. Parties of young people have since visited the town in increasing numbers. The generosity of Australian fruit growers has even made possible the gift of Christmas puddings ! There are no fanfares or ceremonial, but just a handshake and pleasant chat in homely surroundings.
The Mayor of Nyack made a visit in 1885 but his name is illegible. Nyack is situated on the banks of the River Hudson, Rockland co., New York. Chinese characters decorate the page for October, 1900, the address being given as Tientsin. Medical officers from Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland (Warsaw) and Washington, D.C., U.S.A., came to the town in 1925, as also did two Buenos Ayres merchants and their secretaries. A party of engineers from War- saw are recorded in 1935, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Leichardts, Sydney, Australia, the following year.
For Dobrivoy Lazarevitch, the Mayor of Belgrade, there was a tragic reminder when he signed the Mayor’s Book in 1941. He had remained in his country’s capital almost to the last, when three-quarters had been destroyed by the Luftwaffe. Ald. A. E. Sellers (Mayor) showed his guest the signatures of Prince and Princess Alexis Kara- Georgevitch, who had signed the book almost twenty-four years’ before to the day. A journalist named Gsther Van Wagmer Tufty called in 1942.
A Huddersfield British-Czechoslovakia Friendship Club was opened during the war. The fourth anniversary of the German entry into Prague was commemorated at a meeting held on March 21, 1943. Dr. Juraj Slavik, Minister of the Interior of the Czechoslavakia Government in London, was the speaker. In recognition of his work for the club during his term of office as Mayor, Ald. S. Kaye was presented with a book depicting the pictorial history of Liddice, the Czeck mining village destroyed by the Germans.
Parties of Dutch children from their country’s devastated districts, were brought to Huddersfield for lengthy periods during 1945 and 1946. Young Germans came in 1951, while those from the Kreis Schleiden district (1952) were served with tea by the Mayor and Mayoress. There was also a party from the same district two years’ later and a headmaster named Rudolf Frecind.
The gift of an engraving of the Free University of Berlin was made to the Mayor by the leader of a group of Berliners on a visit to Britain to improve their knowledge of the English language (1966). Four senior principals of Cologne Technical Colleges were guests of the Huddersfield Education Committee.
The signings on October 29, 1952, consisted of the Peruvian, Ecuadian and Bolivian Consul-Generals from Liverpool and also a shipowner. Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Mount were Santa Barbara (California) teachers, and Gladys Smith's home was Toronto, Canada.
From the Soviet Union in 1955 came Mrs. Vera Tavelkova, chairman of the Ivanova Textile Workers’ Union and member of the Supreme Soviet. In the evening there was a concert by Soviet artists. The First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in London (1962), a young qualified lawyer with a boyish smile, brought the Mayor a book of Russian paintings, some of the originals of which are hanging in a Moscow art gallery. He was an admirer of Robert Burns. A further group of Russian visitors left an illustrated book, ‘‘Our Country,” writ- ten both in Russian and English. The members included a miner, trade union official and a woman weaver. All three visits were arranged by the British- Soviet Friendship Society, the last being accompanied by Andrew Rothstein, who had made a previous visit.
When the Huddersfield Round Table held its twenty-fifth anniversary dinner in 1959, it had three guests from Heerenveen Round Table 68 of Hol- land. The Rotary Club gave a welcome in 1960 to Ned Lanarry, of Calcutta. He was touring the world on behalf of the president of Rotary International, and speaking about his native country and world problems. W. Green, zone chair- man of Lions International, Salisbury, Rhodesia, accompanied by his wife, was visiting Lions branches in Europe and explaining the conditions in his country and the attempts to unify the population. A judge of the Nigerian High Court also visited Huddersfield.
Four Indian Members of Parliament, guests of the British Government for a month, included the town in their itinerary during 1966. A rather unusual function toward the end of this year was the presentation to the Mayor of a 20 Ib. Christmas pudding for distribution throughout the town. This gift was due to the generosity of Australian fruit growers, and made on their behalf by the deputy manager (U.K.) of the Australian Dried Fruits Board. A similar pudding was received in 1969. All the ingredients were made in Australia, but it was cooked in London.
A Commonwealth visitor in the person of W. S. (Bill) Greenwood, of Hobart, called upon the Mayor to express his appreciation of Australians for the marvellous response of people throughout the world to assist the 16,000 homeless in the Tasmanian bush fire of February, 1967. Mr. Greenwood was state president of the Shop Assistants’ Union of Australia.
A welcome holiday visitor to Huddersfield in September, 1968, was the eminent American sculptor, Bryant Baker—a Londoner by birth. Mr. Baker is the sculptor of the statue of King Edward VII which stands in the grounds of the former Royal Infirmary, New North Road. He also executed bronze busts of Joseph Woodhead and William Brooke. Another American visitor was Pro- fessor S. L. Elkin. He was attached to Leicester University while undertaking a study of local government sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
The list is varied and interesting. No account of the Mayor’s Book would be complete without reference to these visitors. They have without exception been very welcome.
11 THE LOCAL SCENE
MANY persons have signed the Mayor's Book at functions and visits not covered elsewhere in this record. The civic events include the annual election of the Mayor, Mayoress’s “At Home,” Mayor's Charity Ball and ceremonies. Other activities have been exhibitions, annual conferences, school speech days, visits by national and local ‘‘Queens” and, of course, private individuals. They have all had an important place in the life of the community and cover a wide range of interests.
The newly elected Mayor has usually added his signature following election, and thereafter he became the custodian of the book during his term of office. There is no legal position of Mayoress, but with the extension of the suffrage to include votes for women and their increasing participation in public work, the wife of the chief citizen has undertaken duties most appropriate to her vocation. The annual Mayoress Home” has been attended by civic dignities from neighbouring local authorities, and they have extended good wishes and appended their signatures in His Worship’s Book.
Henry Frederick Beaumont’s signature appears on the first page of the Visitors’ Book, and eleven years’ afterwards he was honoured by being made the town’s second Freeman. In his speech the Mayor (Ald. J. J. Brook) said that Mr. Beaumont was “one of the most liberal and generous landlords in the country.’ He had sold the Council land so that they might construct Black- moorfoot reservoir, and given 254 acres for the first public park. The presenta- tion casket contained four enamel-painted views of Beaumont Park. Alas, two of them—the lake and bridge and castle—no longer exist.
Sir Albert Kaye Rollit, LL.D., M.P., received the freedom during the visit of the Association of Chambers of Commerce, of which he was president. Sir Albert's mother was the daughter of Joseph Kaye, builder of a large part of Huddersfield. Three leading Council members, each a former Mayor, were honoured in 1934. Ald. Wilfrid Dawson was the instigator of the negotiations leading to the acquisition of the Ramsden Estate. Ald. Rowland Mitchell and Ald. James Albert Woolven were the other new Freemen.
‘There is no need to hide the Corporation’s silver plate,”’ remarked Ald. Law Taylor after election as the town’s first Labour Mayor in 1924. This warn- ing was unnecessary for Ald. Taylor had already served on the Council for seventeen years. His Honour Judge Frankland entertained the guests at the 1938 Mayor's banquet with a picture of how Huddersfield appeared to him on his journey to the County Court. He did not know who “John William” was, but he did know it was the worst main street in any city in England, and that one could hardly cross without getting covered in mud. The mud has disap- peared but crossing is still a problem.
War-time Labour Mayor Ald. Arthur Gardiner had the food for the May- or’s dinner cooked in the British Restaurant at Paddock. His sixty-seven-year- old mother was present to see her son become the chief citizen. The election ceremony was held for the first time in the large hall instead of the Council Chamber when Ald. David James Cartwright became Mayor (1949). He was also the first Mayor to begin his reign in the merrie month of May. Both the Stipendiary Magistrate and the Magistrate’s Clerk were guests at the dinner— Ald. Cartwight was a solicitor.
The annual Mayor's Ball for many years was an important local social event, and many civic guests signed the Visitors’ Book. There was a sad sequel to the 1963 Ball. The Mayor and Mayoress stayed until the very end at 2 a.m. The Mayoress (Mrs. Evelyn Bray) died in her sleep during the night. The attendance at this Ball was about four hundred and below expectations. The Saturday evening “‘popular’’ dance had to be cancelled because of lack of support. The Mayoress’s “‘At Home” always attracted large attendances. At the 1963 gathering Clr. (now Ald.) Douglas Sisson was received by the Mayoress —his wife—it being the first time he had been introduced to her !
“A red letter day for Huddersfield,’’ declared Mayor Ald. R. Hartley when he officially opened the Civic Centre in High Street on October 1, 1965. This was Phase 1 of a big municipal building programme, providing accommodation for the borough treasurer, education and health departments, at a cost of £495,000. The five storeys high block contains 231 rooms.
A unique gathering was held in 1966—six man-and-wife teams on the Town Council. Their combined service reached a total of 151 years. The politi- cal affiliations were: Conservative 3, Labour 2, and Liberal 1. All signed the Mayor's Book—he was one of the husband and wife teams.
Miss Emily Francis Siddon, of Honley, was the first woman member of the Huddersfield Board of Guardians (Poor Law), and the second female in the country (1913) to be made a Justice of the Peace, although originally it did not carry the right of sitting in court. She signed the Mayor's Book during 1901.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool in 1953 called upon Hudders- field's Mayor and relatives in Bradford Road. Afterwards they toured Prospect Mills, Longwood, and presented three employees with a stick of Blackpool rock four feet long and four inches in diameter. This gift was in appreciation of the many thousands of local people who visited Blackpool each year. During 1972 the Huddersfield-born Mayor of Blackpool signed the book.
Leslie Mervyn Pugh, the new Stipendiary Magistrate, signed after being sworn in at the Borough Court (1957). Major Roy Brook compiled “‘The Story of Huddersfield” for the 1968 municipal centenary. The first sitting of the new Crown Court, successor to Assize Courts and Quarter Sessions, was com- memorated by Judge C. R. Dean on January 10, 1972. Former Chief Constable of Huddersfield, David Bradley, received the Queen’s Police Medal for forty- two years’ service later this year.
William T. Stead is chiefly remembered as the newspaper editor who gained wide notoriety for his exposure of criminal vice in this country. Due to lack of precaution in securing evidence, he served a prison sentence of three months, but the Criminal Law Amendment Act which raised the age of consent to sixteen years, was passed as a result of his efforts. Stead attended the third anniversary of the Rescue Home for Women and Girls in connection with the Huddersfield Mission in 1911, and addressed two large gatherings. He was on board the Titanic when the great ship struck an iceberg and sank in 1912. Many elderly persons will recall the Town Hall floral exhibitions of the work of John Groom's Crippleage and Flower Girls’ Mission. The son of the founder signed during their 1911 visit.
School Speech Days brought to the town Dr. J. B. Baillie, vice-chan- cellor of the University of Leeds (Huddersfield College, 1925); Sir W. H. Hadow, president of the committee of the Board of Education which produced the ‘‘Hadow Report” (1931) on conditions in primary schools (Hillhouse and Longley Hall Central Schools, 1928) ; A. Granville Prior, president of the Na- tional Union of Teachers (Royds Hall Grammar School, 1952); (Sir) J. F. Wolfenden, at the time vice-chancellor of Reading University, and former headmaster of Uppingham and Shrewsbury Schools (Longley Hall Secondary Schools for Girls, 1952). Subsequently he was chairman of the Royal Com- mission on homosexuality offences and prostitution, and the 1957 report is known by his name; and Dr. W. J. Worboys, a director of and chairman of the Council of Industrial Design (Greenhead High School, 1953).
The head boy and head girl of both Hillhouse and Longley Hall Technical Schools signed at their respective Speech Days (1956). More than fifty stu- dents from Huddersfield College of Technology and Huddersfield Teachers’ Training College attended a civic reception at the Town Hall as part of the town’s celebrations for European Day, 1962. One page of the Visitors’ Book contains signatures of thirteen nationalities, with a further page of teachers and students.
A Scout Week was held in Huddersfield during October, 1938, and Lord Somers, Deputy Chief Scout and a former Governor of Victoria, attended a performance of the play “Emil and the Detectives.’’ He also addressed a meet- ing in the Town Council Chamber and made an appeal for leaders of youth. After the war (1948) Lord Savile made his first appearance in Huddersfield in an official capacity since taking up residence at Gryce Hall, Shelley, when he opened a Rover-Ranger Conference (senior members of the Boy Scouts’ movement). Chief Scout Lord Rowallan was also present this year at a camp fire gathering and singsong in St. Street Drill Hall.
(Sir) Basil L. Q. Henriques, the well known chairman of East London Juvenile Court, proved a popular speaker at the 1952 Rover-Ranger gathering. Both the Chief Scout and the World Chief Guide (Lady Baden-Powell) were speakers at the ninth conference. Lord Rowallan said that Scouting and Guid- ing were two of the biggest things in the world today, while the widow of the movement's founder urged those present to carry their principles into their lives all the time.
Five “Queens” representing local and national organisations have signed the Visitors’ Book. An official welcome was given to the National Rail- way Queen in 1931. This fifteen-year-old girl shook hands with 112 railway veterans at the Friendly and Trades Societies’ Club; christened a ‘‘Cob” motor during a tour of the Karrier works; attended a service at Highfield Congrega- tional Church; and a meeting in the Victoria Hall on Abolition of War.’’ The programme of “Miss Great Britain” and Huddersfield Town” in 1959 was less strenuous. Representatives from Morecambe, which town organised the “Miss Great Britain’ contests, were in attendance and escorted the two Queens at the Students’ Ball.
Eighteen-year-old Miss Carol Elizabeth Auckland beat thirteen other girls in a closely fought competition to become ‘‘Miss Huddersfield Textiles, 1967."’ Meeting the Mayor, he told her that if local manufacturers could make
products as attractive as their “Queen,” they would experience no difficulty in selling them. ‘Miss British Rail” took part in the Centenary Year pageant. A festival of queens was organised by the National Children’s Home during 1953 and addressed by the deputation secretary.
A three-day British Legion bazaar in the Town Hall (1930) was opened by Countess Haig. ‘Eat potatoes if you want to escape rheumatism and toma- toes to prevent cancer,’ were two pieces of advice given by the eminent doc- tor, Sir William Arbuthnot Lane, at the opening ceremony of a Health and Traders’ Exhibition in 1935.
Judge B. R. Rice-Jones and Judge Myles Archibald—both Hudders- field County Court—were respective speakers at the 1950 and 1953 annual dinners of the Huddersfield Incorporated Law Society. The North-Eastern branch of the Institute of Park Administration visited the town in 1962, dele- gates from thirty-four towns assembling in Greenhead Park. A civic welcome was extended to the North-Eastern Regional branch of the Association of Children’s Officers when they held their quarterly meeting.
Press Ball officials have signed the Book; also the committee of the Samuel Firth annual treat for the blind. Three members of the Flam- borough Lifeboat Service called on the Mayor in 1955. Washington, D.C., civilian defence officer and three members of a Vancouver, B.C., family have their signatures in the book.
Provost George Fraser, of Hawick, was the special guest at the sixty- second annual dinner of the Huddersfield St. Andrew's Society. Responding to the toast, For he commented: “‘It is the difference between thriftiness and meanness which is not properly understood in England.’’ Two Commissioners of the Salvation Army discussed with a General Purposes Sub- Committee the question of hostel accommodation for men in the town (1957). And a Keswick visitor in 1960 let it be known that he was “Out of a job!”
The years blur, men and their controversies are forgotten, and with a rush modern history is knocking at the door. In vain one echoes Chateaubri- and’s plea, “Wait, I am coming to you.’’ The Huddersfield Visitors’ Book is still collecting signatures and likely to do so for another twelve months. Then it will be closed, but its pages will long continue to interest present and future generations of local people.
WHAT THEY SAID ! was surprised to find Huddersfield behind in anything.—Marquis of Ripon, 1898.
Our trade and commerce are suffering through the want of proper administra- tion.—L. Sinclair, M.P., 1903.
/ hear from the gallery a few incoherent voices.—F. E. Smith, K.C., M.P., 1909.
The presence of women on municipal bodies corrects the tendency to become sentimental old gossips.—G. Bernard Shaw, 1909.
/ have sent word to a school that my children were not to bow to the flag.— Mrs. E. Penny (at Peace demonstration), 1914.
I think the General Election is a profound blunder.—H. H. Asquith, 1918.
The Navy had been the profession, ever since its commencement, in which brotherhood and comradeship were the mainspring.—Earl Beatty, 1920.
There would be more suicide in the world were there no poets.—Lord Dunsany, 1921.
! am as good a working man as Ramsay MacDonald, and if you contrast me with Ramsay MacDonald I did not marry a rich wife.—W. M. R. Pringle, 1923.
He personally had not known what it was to be brought up in a hovel in sordid circumstances.—Arthur Ponsonby, M.P., 1924.
The Conservative Party was the only real party of progress in C. C. Davison, 1927.
Now people wear shorts because Scouts made them popular.—Lord Somers, 1938.
This election ts not a question of supporting the man who won the war. The whole people won the war.—Sir William Beveridge, 1945.
! am a Liberal without a hyphen or a frill of any kind.—Lady Violet Bonham Carter, 1951.
In my life the dullest people have been those chock-full of information.— D. R. Hardman, 1952.
Cricketers were not remembered for their averages, but for their character.— N. Cardus, 1952.
Today, in Huddersfield, we have more public parks than pawn shops, and to my mind that Is a sign of real progress.—Ald. A. Gardiner, 1960.
MAYORS OF HUDDERSFIELD
From inauguration of Visitors’ Book
Elected November 9 for ensuing twelve months.
1882-83 1883-84 1884-86 1886-87 1887-89 1889-91 1891-93 1893-95 1895-97 1897-99
Ald Ald Ald Ald Ald Ald Ald Ald Ald Ald
. J. F. Brigg . W. Mellor . J. Varley . W. Mellor . J. Brooke . G. Sykes . R. Hirst . J. J. Brook . J. L. Walker . W. H. Jessop
1899-1900 Ald. G. W. Hellawell
1900-01 1901-02 1902-03 1903-04 1904—06 1906—08 1908-10 1910-12 1912-16 1916-18 1918-19 1919-21 1921-23 1923-24 1924—26 1926—28 1928-29 1929-31 1931-33 1933-35 1935-37 1937-38 1938-39
Ald Ald Ald Ald Clr. Ald Ald Clr. Ald
Ald. Ald. Ald. Ald. Ald. Ald. Ald. Ald. Ald. Ald. Ald.
Clr. Ald Ald Ald
. R. Mac Shaw . E. Woodhead . F. Calvert . R. H. Inman B. Broadbent . O. Balmforth . J. Holroyd G. Thomson . J. Blamires W. H. Jessop C. Smith J. A. Woolven W. Dawson J. Berry L. Taylor R. Mitchell T. Canby W. T. Priest T. Shires A. Hirst J. Barlow _ A. Willis . F. Lawton . N. Crossley
1940-41 1941-42 1942-43 1943 1943-44 1944—45 1945-46 1946—47 1947-49
Ald. A. E. Sellers Ald. A. Gardiner Ald. W. Halstead Ald. J. E. Lunn Ald. A. S. Moulton Ald. S. Kaye Ald. Miss M. E. Sykes Ald. T. Smailes Clr. O. Smith
Elected May for ensuing twelve
1949-50 1950-51 1951-52 1952-53 1953-54 1954—55 1955—56 1956-57 1957-58 1958—59 1959-60 1960-61 1961-62 1962-63 1963-64 1964—65 1965-66 1966-67 1967-68 1968-69 1969-70 1970-71 1971-72 1972-73 1973-74
Ald. D. J. Cartwright Ald. J. L. Dawson Clr. G. B. Jones Ald. J. F. C. Cole Cir. W. Mallinson Ald. J. Armitage Ald. J. T. Gee Ald. H. A. B. Grey Cir. R. Wood Ald. R. H. Browne Ald. J. L. Brook Ald. N. Day Cir. H. F. Brook Ald. J. A. Bray Ald. Mrs. M. L. M. Haigh Clr. Mrs. M. C. Gee Ald. R. Hartley Ald. D. Graham Ald. J. Sykes Ald. T. P. Cliffe Ald. K. Brooke Clr. A. J. Hazelden Ald. Mrs. E. M. Whitteron Ald. W. E. Whittaker Cir. J. Mernagh
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