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At Your Service
ONE HUNDRED YEARS
The Huddersfield Corporation
Town Clerk's Department
The Borough was incorporated under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Victoria on the 7th July, 1868, and elections took place on the 4th September, 1868, under arrangements made by Mr. E. Fenton, Solicitor, the returning officer appointed by the Charter. Twelve wards in the Borough returned 42 Councillors, and at the first meeting of the Town Council held on the 7th September, 1868, the first Town Clerk of the Borough was appointed. This was Mr. Joseph Batley, Solicitor to the Incorporation Committee, and Clerk of the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners whose duties were taken over by the Corporation.
The Committees which were appointed to carry out the functions of the government of the Borough were as follows:
Watch Committee Paving, Drainage and Works Committee Sanitary Committee Markets and Fairs Committee Burial Grounds Committee Finance Committee District Highways Committee General Purposes Committee Parliamentary Committee
The meetings of the Council and Committees took place in the Board Room of the former Commussioners in Ramsden Street which assumed the name of the Town Hall. There was at that time no staff employed in the Town Clerk's department, but the Town Clerk received a payment for his services out of which he employed staff to assist him with the work.
One of the first things to occupy the attention of the Town Council was the question of acquiring the undertaking of the Waterworks Commussioners and the improvement of the water supply in the area of the Borough, and so started the expansion of the services of the Borough which have continued up to the present day.
The histories recorded in other parts of this brochure will show how the additional services which make up the present range of functions came into being, either under the provisions of local enactments obtained by the Council or under Acts of Parliament which laid certain duties upon local authorities.
The Town Clerk is the Electoral Registration Officer and prepares the register published each year which contains the names of all the persons entitled to vote at Parliamentary or Local Elections. The Town Clerk's department carry out all the arrangements for the staffing and equipping of the polling stations, the publication of notices, the provision of ballot papers for these elections, and the facilities for voting by the electors.
The Town Clerk's department undertake all the arrangements for the meetings of the Town Council and its Committees (except the Education Committee) and prepare the agendas, and record the minutes for presentation to the Council for confirmation. As the chief administrative officer of the Council, the Town Clerk and his staff conduct all correspondence between the Corporation and Government Departments. The department is also the legal department and carry out all the legal and parliamentary work of the Corporation.
All the deeds and agreements relating to the conveyancing of land, and contracts for capital works undertaken through the Corporation departments, are prepared in the Town Clerk's office. The purchase by the Corporation of the Ramsden Estate in 1921, and subsequent purchases of other estates in the town, has secured for the citizens the rare asset in that the Corporation are the owners of the freehold of most of the land in the town. including nearly all the town centre, and this involves a great of legal work in the preparation of leases in addition to the work involved in the compulsory purchase of other land required for statutory purposes.
Through the years there has been a constant growth in the work of the department in such matters as dealing with houses which have become unfit for human habitation, the demolition of these buildings, and the clearing of the sites to allow new Corporation-owned dwellings to be erected to supplement the accommodation provided on the large Corporation housing estates. Orders for the making-up of streets and footways, for the regulation of traffic, the parking of vehicles, and for the definition of areas subject to the Clean Air Act provisions are examples of the further legal work to be undertaken. The preparation of contracts is part of the work of the department and covers not only most of the purchases by the Corporation of supplies and equipment, but such costly undertakings as the building of housing estates, colleges and schools, and the construction of reservoirs and sewage disposal works.
Local Authorities are empowered to make Byelaws relating to all manner of matters for the good rule and management of the Borough and to the services provided by the Corporation. Such Byelaws are prepared in the Town Clerk's department which also take the necessary steps, under the direction of the Council, to secure the approval of the appropriate Government department to bring the same into effect. The Corporation acts not only under general Acts of Parliament, but also has many powers under special Acts which relate only to the County Borough. It is the duty of the Town Clerk to advise on the preparation of Bills which lead to these Acts and to advise and assist in the process of Parlia- mentary procedure to get them on to the Statute Book.
One section of the Town Clerk's department is concerned with Local Land Charges and the Registers are maintained in the department which reveal any charges made against any property in the Borough so that these liabilities may be disclosed on any occasion when the sale of land or property takes place.
The Town Clerk and his staff represent the Corporation in all litigation which concerns the local authority except where an insurance company is involved. All prosecutions in the Magis- trates' Courts or in the County Court which concern Corporation departments are undertaken by the Town Clerk and his officers, and he is also the Prosecuting Solicitor for the Huddersfield Police Authority, and responsible for the briefing of Counsel in respect of cases brought before the Court of Quarter Sessions for the Borough or at the Assize Courts.
Civic functions and ceremonial occasions are organised by the Town Clerk's department, and the Mayor's Secretary, who assists
the Mayor in all his social engagements, is also a member of the Town Clerk's Staff.
Huddersfield's first venture into providing public bathing facilities was in 1870 with the purchase, for the sum of £910, of the Lockwood Swimming Baths on the left bank of the River Holme. The Baths after enlargement in 1881 comprised male and female slipper baths and one swimming pool 17yds. long by 6yds. wide. The most popular days for swimming were Monday and Thursday as the pool was emptied on the previous evening and filled with clean water, no filtration equipment being provided until the late 1930's when a United filter was installed. The bath was heated by a coal fired boiler and sterilised by addition of liquid sodium hypochlorate to the pool water. April, 1941, saw the end of this popular but outdated bath, which was then used during the war as a gas storage depot.
The success and popularity of the Lockwood Baths prompted the corporation to purchase the 'Gymnasium Hall, Ramsden Street, for £2,000 in 1888. The property, erected in 1847, was then converted into public baths, the swimming pool being 26 yds. long by 8yds. wide; ladies' and gents'. slipper baths were also provided. A similar method of 'clean days' was operated to the one described above until 1917 when 2 Bells Filters were installed giving a much more satisfactory standard of water cleanliness. The Ramsden Street building after almost 80 years of commendable service is due for demolition in 1971.
The above baths proved to be inadequate to meet the public requirements and in 1918 plans were prepared for a new bath near St. John's Road, but as a result of post-war depression and restriction of local authority spending the first stone was not laid until October, 1929. On the 24th August, 1931, the new Cam- bridge Road Baths was opened comprising of 1 large swimming pool 33yds. long by 12yds. wide, depth of water from 3ft. 6in. to 8ft. 6in., 1 small pool 25yds. long by 12yds. wide with a water depth of 3ft. 6in. to 7ft., ladies' and gents'. slipper baths, foam baths, shower baths, cafe and an establishment laundry. In 1934 the local authority decided to close the large pool during the winter months and convert it into a dance hall. This proved extremely popular during the 30's and 40's and witnessed many interesting dances and events including a 100hrs. marathon piano playing exhibition and a world heavyweight wrestling champion- ship. The early 1950's saw the decline of dancing popularity at Cambridge Road Baths against the competition of more suitable dance halls in the locality. This together with the increased interest in swimming during the winter months prompted the Town Coun- cil's decision in July, 1956, to use the Cambridge Road Baths solely for swimming.
The Establishment laundry at Cambridge Road Baths was originally designed for the department's own use. However, during the 2nd world war output was increased to accommodate laundry work for the Civil Defence and other corporation depart- ments. After the end of the war the Cambridge Road laundry was completely destroyed by fire, but within 6 months the laundry was back in operation. Repairs, new machinery and replanning since the fire has made this laundry one of the most modern and well- equipped laundries in Huddersfield.
Gradual increase in the swimming attendance figures at both Cambridge Road and Ramsden Street Baths in school swimming, clubs, and public bathing sessions, show that facilities available are proving inadequate. School attendance figures alone during year ending 31st March, 1967, were 96,242 at Cambridge Road, and 43,268 at Ramsden Street Baths. These, compared with the com- bined total of 18,000 for Ramsden Street and Lockwood Baths in 1917, are even more impressive when one realises that there are now also three school swimming baths in the Borough devoted solely to school swimming instruction. The number of adult and junior swimmers who attended public bathing sessions at Cam- bridge Road during the year ending 31st March, 1967, was 145,193, this number being more than the total population of Huddersfield!
An ambitious plan has been prepared to increase facilities with new Swimming Baths incorporated within a multi-purpose sports centre. These baths will replace the Ramsden Street Baths and are also expected to provide a more varied and interesting type of entertainment for the whole family.
Department of Architecture
This department is under the supervision of the Borough Architect who is responsible for the design and erection of new buildings and alterations to existing ones to meet the requirements of the various Committees of the Town Council, for the adminis- tration of the Town and Country Planning Acts, Regulations and Orders, and for dealing with applications for Improvement Grants.
The staff comprises Architects, Surveyors, Heating and Electrical Engineers, and Building Supervisors working in groups simultaneously on many different projects, e.g. Housing, Educa- tional Buildings, Hostels for the Aged, Children's Homes, Clinics. Youth Clubs, Bus Garages, Abattoir, Water Treatment Works. etc., and the Civic Centre.
The first phase of the Civic Centre was completed in 1965 at a cost of £550,000 and provided accommodation for the Borough Treasurer's Department, Education Department, Public Health Department and the Borough Architect and Planning Officer's Department. The second phase, completed in 1967, at an approximate cost of £790,000, comprises Police Headquarters, Law
Courts, Magistrates' Courts and offices for the Weights and Measures Department.
During the post war period over 5,500 new dwellings have been completed and work is proceeding at the present time on several redevelopment schemes in connection with the Council's Slum Clearance Programme. Various types of accommodation
have been provided, from Aged Persons' Bungalows to Multi Storey blocks of Flats.
Several new schools have been completed and work is proceeding at the present time on Fartown County Secondary School, Outlane County Primary School, and Lowerhouses Voluntary (C.E.) Primary School. Other major new buildings erected in recent years include a Central Fire Station, Civil Defence Headquarters, Ambulance Station, Crematorium, Cattle Market, several Children's Homes and Homes for Aged People.
The value of work carried out by the department annually is approximately £750,000.
Standard and Discretionary Improvement Grants are made by the Council to help in meeting the cost of improving suitable houses by providing for the first time certain standard amenities. such as bath, w.c., wash-hand basin, hot water installation and
larder. Grants are also made to convert into separate flats a large house which is too big for single family under the present circumstances. Since 1949 over 1800 applications for Standard Grants and 600 applications for Discretionary Grants have been made and more than £250,000 has been paid by the Corporation in respect of these grants. A booklet "House Improvement Grants can be obtained from the Department free of charge and advice will gladly be given to intending applicants regarding procedure. It should be stressed that no grant can be paid if work has commenced before the applicant has been notified in writing that his application has been approved.
In the pre-war period Town Planning was under the jurisdiction of the Borough Engineer and Surveyor, who operated under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1932. In the post-war years the present section came into being and is now under the control of the Planning Officer. The Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, statutorily required all County Borough Councils and County Councils to prepare a Town Plan by 1951, and for the plan to be renewed at regular intervals. This Act also enabled Local Authorities to control development, reduce cases in which compensation was paid, and provided for the collecting of "betterment," a provision which, although removed in 1952, has now been replaced under the terms of thse Land Commussion Act.
The Town Map of the Development Plan is to a scale of 6 inches to a mile, and shows the uses to which land should be put having regard to the estimated future population over a period of 20 years for the general benefit and convenience of the Public, and
details the periods within which such major changes should be carried out.
The Town Planning Section is responsible to the Highways and Town Planning Committee for the control of the major part of all development in the County Borough in order to secure the economic use of land, good design and the conservation of areas and features of visual amenity. This section is also responsible for the control of advertisement sites, the preservation of woodlands and buildings of architectural or historical interest.
Development is controlled by the need to obtain permission from the Local Authority for any major change of existing use, or the erection of buildings. Such permission can be granted, refused or granted subject to conditions, having due regard to the provisions of the Town Map. Since the coming into force of the 1947 Act some 17,000 applications for permission have been dealt with and 1,400 applications for advertisements.
New Corporation and private enterprise housing has continued, and after a slow start in the post-war period, the Town Centre is undergoing rapid and material alteration. Many new buildings have been erected, and redevelopment schemes in the Town Centre are now in progress. Stautory requirements for the amendment of the Town Map to cater for the new traffic circulation pattern and an amended Town development plan are now almost completed.
Borough Engineer & Surveyor's Department
Commencing with a part-time Engineer in 1868, there have been but six Borough Engineers prior to the present one, and the work carried out over the years stands as a testimonial to their abilities.
For example, the first Borough Engineer carried out the building of the Town Hall, and his successors in the first half- century, besides constructing roads, bridges and sewers, installed the tramway system, laid out Greenhead, Beaumont and Norman Parks, erected schools, police buildings, hospitals, Bradley Sanatorium, "artisan dwellings," tenements, and "houses for the working class," Deighton Sewage Works and many other important schemes.
From 1919 to 1931, a separate Architects department dealt with all building work, but this responsibility then returned to the Borough Engineer who dealt with the pre-war housing develop- ment, etc., as well as the ever expanding road and sewerage schemes. During the second world war, all constructional work in connection with Air Raid Precautions was carried out and the Rescue Service organised.
In 1945 th: Department was again relieved of all Architectural anc Town Planning responsibilities and has, ever since, concentrated its energies on roads, sewers, bridges, sewage disposal works cuastruction, street lighting, building inspections and fire escapes, and sundry smaller duties such as supervision of caravan sites, celebration bonfires and erection of Christmas trees and street decorations.
At the end of the second world war nearly all the main streets in the town were sett paved and in a very poor state, and a continuous programme of resurfacing, reconstruction and widen- ing., the construction of new roads, the making up of private streets, etc., has been carried out, culminating in the construction of the eastern half of the Inner Ring Road and the widening of Wake- field Road, which are the beginning of the realisation of the road net work for the town centre.
Plans are in hand for new freeways and widening of the roads leading to the ultimate connections with the East-West Motorway which is now being constructed; together with many other long term schemes to ensure the free flow of traffic in the coming years.
Design is being based on the anticipated traffic flow in 2010 which, according to latest road research, is likely to be the year when traffic will reach its maximum.
New sewers have been provided, and existing sewers enlarged over the years to relieve flooding and to permit extensive new building development to take place.
The Department has carried out engineering work at the Sewage Disposal Works of a value of £2 million in the last 15 years, and this work is still proceeding. Contracts have just been let for a further £14 million instalment of the ultimate scheme.
Up to 40 years ago, street lighting was predominately by gas. Electric lighting commenced on new housing estates in the 1920's, but the town centre and main roads were gas lit until just before the last war. Conversion to electric lighting has proceeded steadily and has been kept up to date; utilising the latest technical advances in lighting units as they have been developed over the years. Of the 10, 600 lamps now in operation, only some 250 are
gas lit, and in the centenary year, more of these will also be converted.
Of recent times, the enforcement of the Building Regulations and regulations governing the means of escape in case of fire from
factories, offices and shops have become an important part of the Dspartment's work.
From very small beginnings 100 years ago, the Department's work has grown to such a degree that at present a staff of over 80 with some 300 employees are more than fully engaged on the design, planning, supervision and execution of work, including the maintenance of 225 miles of road and 60 bridges out of revenue and borrowed moneys to the value of some £14 million per annum.
Huddersfield has always given much consideration and care to the deprived and unwanted child. In the last century and up to the 31st March, 1930, cases were dealt with by the former Huddersfield Board of Guardians. Records show that before the turn of the century children were accommodated in the workhouse at Crosland Moor.
In November, 1877, an Order from the Local Government Board was read with reference to the Hiring of children from Union Workhouses and directed that in all such cases a certain number of attendances at school must be made. Children were also hired out to work in the mines, from ten and eleven years of age, usually in the West Derby area, and it was resolved then that these children should be visited regularly. On the 11th June, 1902, the first Medical Officer for the Children's Homes was appointed at a salary of £10 per annum.
About this time it was felt wrong to keep children in large institutions, mixing with adults, and that they should be placed in homes for children. In 1901, two houses joined together were purchased at Outlane accommodating about 20 children (This Home was later sold to the Outlane Golf Club).
On the 24th July, 1913, it was agreed that the premises of 32, Ramsden Street be adapted as a receiving home for children at a cost not exceeding £1,320 and in September, 1914, the Guardians of the Huddersfield Union allocated a further £1,800 to erect a Home for infants at the Crosland Moor Workhouse.
The First World War came and went and in about 1923 "The Leas" at Scholes, near Holmfirth, was purchased. This was a large house, set in its own grounds, originally intended for working girls and administrative offices and to build four small homes in the grounds to accommodate ten to twelve children with a Housemother in charge, the Matron residing at "The Leas."
On the 1st April, 1930, the duties under the Children Act of 1908 were transferred from the Board of Guardians to a sub- committee of the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee. An Infant Protection Visitor was appointed. The matron at Scholes supervised children placed in employment. Later all accounts,. chargeability and contributions were taken over by the Public Assistance Officer.
An interesting record is that on the 27th December, 1933, the Town Clerk was authorised to insert advertisements in the press inviting applicants to adopt children in their care (a far cry from the present Adoption Act).
About 1935, the Leas Home was sold to the West Riding County Council and, for a time, the children were accommodated
at Springwood Hall. This was not satisfactory and the Corporation was offered the house, "Fieldhead" at Lindley. This was purchased and two cottages were built in the grounds. These are still in use today, namely: Church View and Holme Lea. They take ten children each with a Housemother in charge.
Further property was later purchased - namely "Briarcourt" in Occupation Road, Lindley, and Oakfield Lodge, Edgerton. A home was also opened on Lindley Moor. This was the position at the end of the Second World War when the Children Act, 1948,
was passed and brought into operation.
With the passing of this Act, Children's Departments were set up throughout the country. This centralised the work done previously by three departments, into one.
In this town, there were, at that time, five children's homes and the Fieldhead Nursery at Lindley. Most of these were large and of the institution type. Now the Department have seven family group homes built on housing estates, each taking ten children between the ages of five and fifteen years - in fact, school age children-a new Nursery taking twenty-four babies and toddlers up to the age of five years, and a further unit taking a total of fourteen boys and girls of working age.
This allows the children to integrate with the neighbourhood,. attend the same schools, youth clubs and Sunday schools, and prevents local schools being swamped with large numbers of deprived children.
The type of young persons who come into Care are mostly those whose parents are unable to care for them at that time, owing to illness. Many of these are of fairly short duration. Regrettably there are children who stay longer. The marriage may have broken, or one party disappeared. If the department is unable to effect a reconciliation and the children have to stay in Care for a long period they are boarded out with foster parents. This means that these substitute parents care for them until the natural home circumstances re-establish themselves; then they are returned home to parents. A very human job is done by these foster parents in what must be a difficult task in caring for other people's children. But they share their love and affection for children. Payments to cover board, pocket money, weekly clothing, and
holiday grants are made. Regular visits are made by the Child Care Staff, to assist and advise, if necessary, on any particular problems.
Other children taken into Care may have come through the Courts by way of the Police or the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Many come from disturbed
nomes, and if a little breathing space can be given in caring for their children, the problems will sometimes resolve themselves.
In 1963, a further Act of Parliament was passed which gave the Council powers to make available to the public, advice, guidance and assistance to promote the welfare of children and diminish the need to take them into Care, called preventive work. In the light of years of experience it is generally far better to keep families together in their own homes. If an officer, by regular visits, offering advice and assistance, can help to re-establish the family, so much the better; the children, are far less disturbed. Many such families are having, or have had, such assistance.
The department also deals with boys and girls who have been sent by the Courts to approved schools. On being licensed home, they are befriended and helped to settle down. Regular visits are made and, in some cases, suitable employment found.
Finally, adoption. The Children's Department acts as a registered adoption society. It has powers to place babies for adoption. The officer dealing with adoptions supervises many babies placed in this town by the voluntary adoption societies. After the usual probationary period, and the completion of the necessary documents, the officer and the couple attend Court and the adoption order is completed.
As may be seen, the work of the department is varied and, the staff believe, very interesting and rewarding. They are not "do gooders" but local people trained to assist and sympathise with children and families who are in need of help.
Civil Defence Department
From 1868 until 1914 this country was not involved in any war which threatened these shores. The First World War of 1914/1918, however, did threaten this country, but only sporadic bombardment of the coast by naval vessels, and the occasional Zeppelin raid. The damage and loss of civilian life was infinitesimal, and therefore no specific defence of the civilian population was thought necessary.
The development of aircraft and the manner in which they were employed in the Spanish Civil War changed such thoughts, and the possibility of war with Germany caused the establishment in 1936 of an Air Raid Precautions Department, which in Huddersfield had its Headquarters in the Old Masonic Hall, South Parade.
The public did not take the threat of war very seriously and few if any joined the organisation, or indeed did anything at all until the declaration of war in September, 1939, when there was a rush of volunteers to assist in making preparations against the expected air attacks with high explosive and the dreaded poison gas. The latter did not materialise, both sides honouring the Geneva Convention against the use of such a weapon.
High Explosive and Incendiary bombs were rained upon this country and some towns suffered severely.
Huddersfield was spared this catastrophe, the only local incidents of any moment being the following:
23rd December, 1940; Land Mine - Wellington Mills, Lindley; also unexploded mine in mill dam - no casualties.
12th June, 1941: Incendiary bombs Colne Road district; high explosive and incendiary bombs on farm lands. Large U.X.B. in the river at King's Mill -no casulaties.
6th July, 1944: One of our own planes crashed on property in Central Avenue, Fartown, killing the pilot and three civilians.
Civil Defence, as A.R.P. had become known during the war. was "stood down" in 1945.
International tension caused the Corps to be re-activated by the Civil Defence Act of 1948, and training in mitigating the effects of Atomic warfare was undertaken by volunteers once more in their old headquarters in South Parade.
Site development caused a temporary move to Springwood Drill Hali in September, 1963, until February, 1966, when a purpose built Administration, Training and Control Centre was opened at No. 9, Manchester Road. The Control Centre would become the nerve centre in Huddersfield of any operations necessary for any future international crisis, providing modern means of communica- tion in protected accommodation. Classrooms, stores, social facilities, garage, and administration offices are all contained under one roof.
The future role of Civil Defence 1s to assist the Local Authority in maintaining communications and the Control Chain in the event of any emergency, but recent Government decisions leave the future position uncertain.
The first determined attack upon the problem of educating the children of the common people of this country was made soon after the incorporation of Huddersfield as a Borough. The Elementary Education Act of 1870 established School Boards "to complete the voluntary system and to fill up the gaps." The new borough had its own Board, separate from the Town Council and with power to raise its own education rate.
The voluntary schools, Church of England and Roman Catholic, were independent of the Board, and there was always rivalry between the interests of the Established Church and the Nonconformists. The Huddersfield Board rapidly achieved a reputation for keenness and efficiency. Eight schools had their foundation stones laid between May, 1873, and January, 1874, and all were operating by the summer of 1876. The opening of Spring Grove School in 1880 by the Vice-President of the Council brought a revolutionary design in elementary school building to the North of England.
The "Local Education Authority" created under the Education Act of 1902 took over the work of the School Board together with responsibility for maintaining the voluntary schools and establishing secondary schools. In 1904, the Education Commuttee asked Professor Sadler of Manchester University to advise on Huddersfield's needs in secondary and technical education, and out of his report came the establishment of Greenhead High School for girls, the conversion to a boys' secondary school of the old Huddersfield College, and the creation of a mixed "higher elementary" school at Hillhouse. But nearly 20 years elapsed before Sadler's recommendation of the full development of Almondbury Grammar School took place through its absorption into the Authority's educational system.
This period immediately following the First World War also saw a mixed grammar school set up, jointly with the West Riding Authority, at Royds Hall, and the use of the Ramsden home at Longley Hall to take the girls away from Hillhouse into a separate ""central" school. Huddersfield now had six selective secondary schools providing over 2000 places, and soon established a "100 per cent. special place" policy for filling them - "brains, not brass" was the criterion for entry.
Meanwhile, little had been done for elementary schools since the magnificent burst of the early School Board days, and the Hadow Report of 1926 had practically no effect on Huddersfield.
This embodied recommendations for the replacement of "through" schools for pupils up to 14 years of age by separate (primary) schools for tose under 11 and a fresh start for all aged "eleven plus," whether in grammar schools or elsewhere. There was failure to secure co-operation with voluntary schools, which outnumbered the "council" schools, yet took less than half the total number of pupils. Not until 1938 was a full scheme for reorganisation accepted by the Town Council - to be stopped by the outbreak of the Second World War!
The Education Act of 1944 insisted upon full reorganisation, and a new Develooment Plan based on the 1938 scheme was drawn up. But post-war school building progress was distressingly slow, and in 1954 the Education Committee, exasperated to find Huddersfield behind other Authorities in school reorganisation, embarked vigorously on a plan making best use of existing buildings, however inadequate. By 1958, the last "through" school had gone.
During the past fifteen years, some 12,000 new places in primary and secondary schools have been provided, besides substantial improvements at older schools which will remain in service, but rising birth-rates and the raising of the school-leaving age will require more schools before conditions become satisfactory. In addition, the Authority is faced with further reorganisation of secondary education on comprehensive lines, and contemplates the development of 10 fully comprehensive schools for pupils aged 11 to 16 years, with separate "New Colleges" for older students.
The Sadler Report of 1904 embraced technical along with secondary education, but the Technical College, which had grown out of "The Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society established in 1841, did not come under the control of the Education Committee until 1918. In the course of a century it became one of the largest outside London. The importance of its work was recognised by the Ministry of Education in 1956 when Huddersfield was included in the list of technical colleges granted "regional" status. In consequence, a separate institution - Ramsden Technical College - was created in 1963 to undertake the more elementary work. Several years must pass and additional accommodation be provided before separation into two Colleges can be complete: meanwhile, very considerable new building work has been carried out on the old College site, and the former buildings of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary have been
acquired to form the nucleus of a new home for Ramsden Technical College.
The training of teachers was an activity of the Technical College at the time of the Sadler Report, but the Authority's present important share in this work dates from the establishment in 1947 in part of the College premises of a national College for Technical Teachers. Since then, the "College of Education (Technical)" has grown to accommodate 400 full-time students in new buildings in Lindley, with still further expansion in numbers and scope planned for the future.
Another College of Education was established in 1963 for the training of teachers for primary and secondary schools. This College, commemorating Richard Oastler, the "Factory King" of the mid-nineteenth century who did so much when he lived in Huddersfisld to improve the lot of the child-worker, has already reached a capacity of 400 students, and, like its sister College in Lindley, is engaged in a number of important experimental approaches to teacher-training.
The Education Service in Huddersfield covers many other activities - if not "from A to Z," certainly from Adult Education to the Youth and Youth Employment Services - and much could be written on these aspects of the responsibilities of the Committee. Perhaps the culmination of the work of a century of development has come with the recent invitation to the Authority to prepare a scheme for the further expansion of "Huddersfield College of Technology" into one of the new Polytechnics to concentrate on degree and near-equivalent work for some 2,000 full-time students. Its establishment would indeed be a worthy celebration of the
centenary of the incorporation of the County Borough of Huddersfield.
Estate & Property Management Department
While much can be written of the past 100 years of the progress of the Department as it now exists, it must be borne in mind that the Corporation only acquired the Ramsden Estate following Parliamentary powers granted in 1920, and the Corporation operated its management up to 1953 under the Title of the Estate Department.
The Estate played an important part in the development of the town by the Ramsden family, who were the principal land owners, and who from the early nineteenth century acquired several other lands. The Estate eventually comprised over 4,000 acres upon its sale to the Corporation; this area was then approximately one third of the County Borough and included almost the whole of the centre of the Town.
It is interesting to note that between the years 1850-1890 Sir John Wm. Ramsden expended £345,000 on capital works including the erection of new buildings and improvements and he claimed to have made 22 miles of streets during this period of development. The Lord of the Manor also claimed that it was his desire to push forward the prosperity of Huddersfield.
The Estate Department under the control of the Estate Committee, which functioned up to 1953, was managed by the first Estate Manager, the late Mr. E. A. Walshaw, up to 1934, and the late Mr. Harold T. Taylor, from 1934 to 1953, together with complementary staff.
The Estate and Property Management Department came into existence in 1953 following the advice taken by the Corporation of a Local Government Consultant, and the Department, under the management of Mr. W. R. Birks and its staff, are responsible to the Committee for the management, maintenance and control of all Corporation owned properties which now comprise:
12,100 Houses 203 Garages on Housing Estates 34 shops 55 Schools The Civic Centre The Town Hall Public Baths 17 Welfare Homes 9 Children's Homes 4 large blocks of Central Buildings (Estate Buildings, Kirkgate Buildings, etc.).
The Housing Manager, Miss E. K. Sawers, is responsible for the letting of all Council-owned houses and for re-housing tenants displaced under Slum Clearance Schemes, 2,366 Tenants having been accommodated in this way since post-war Slum Clearance began in November, 1957.
In 1954, the Corporation acquired the Lockwood and Rashcliffe Estates, comprising approximately 135 acres, of which 43 acres were of undeveloped land.
In 1957 the Corporation changed its policy in granting Leases within the Town Centre and only terms of up to 99 years are now made; previously 999 years Leases were granted for the whole of the land comprised in the Estate.
Thornton Lodge Estate was acquired in 1960. Cowlersley Estate acquired in 1961.
It was agreed by the Corporation during 1962 that in all cases where land is to be leased for industrial or commercial purposes up to terms of 99 years that they should be subject to rent review clauses with provision for review at the end of each 20 years of the term, thus covering the devaluation of the purchasing power of the pound.
In 1962 application was made to H.M. Land Registry to make an Order which provided that the Borough became a compulsory registration area under the Land Registration Acts.
The Order became effective on the 2nd April, 1962.
Number of building Leases granted since 1945 is 2,250, and the areas of private development since 1955 are:
Mountfield Road, etc., Waterloo. Broadgate Crescent and Templar Drive. Springwood Hall Gardens. Sunny Bank Estate (207 houses). Ingleton Road and Garsdale Road, Newsome. Keldregate, Deighton. Bank End Lane, Almondbury. St. John's Estate, Birkby.
Land has been leased to individual firms, particularly in the Lockwood Area since the demolition of large areas following slum clearance and to a smaller extent in the Town Central Area (Leeds Road and Pine Street).
The Department's valuation staff, under the control of the Estate and Property Manager, has negotiated the purchases of lands required for road widening, i.e. Wakefield Road, New Hey Road, the purchase of properties under the various Compulsory Purchase Orders made by the Council, and are at present negotiating and acquiring the lands for the new Waterworks Reservoir at Scammonden. The Department was responsible for initiating and negotiating terms with Murrayfields and Hammer- sons for two of the major re-developments in the Town Centre, and are now negotiating for the various properties required under powers granted by an approved Central Development Area under the Town and Country Planning Acts.
The Department has provided and acquired lands for Housing sites developed since 1953 and is continuing to provide, where possible, land for future housing development.
-THE MODEL LODGING HOUSE AND CENTRAL HOSTEL-- The Model Lodging House in Chapel Hill was opened on the 4th November, 1854. It was constructed by the Improvement Commissioners out of a warehouse, and accommodated sixty males, sixty females and twelve married couples. The charge was 3d. per night, with an additional 1d. for accommodation on the top floor, which was known as the Mechanics Home. This Lodging House was stated to be the only Lodging House in England at that time, which had been constructed and supported out of public rates. It was enlarged in 1879, and the contained 186 beds,. accommodating 201 persons. Amenities of the building were separate day-rooms with pianos for men and women lodgers, a
canteen and washing and bathing facilities with hot and cold water.
In 1955 negotiations were commenced for the sale of the Model Lodging House and the purchase of the Central Hostel in Kirkgate. After alterations to the premises, the Hostel was opened in June, 1957, and the forty men who were still living at the Model Lodging House transferred to their new home. They found their new surroundings to be more comfortable, with two day-rooms containing easy chairs, wireless and television, and it was also possible to obtain hot meals on the premises at a reasonable price. At the present date these amenities cost the men £1 10s. per week, with an additional charge of 10s. if they are working. Most men now living at the Central Hostel are long-stay residents.
Huddersfield Fire Brigade
One or two of the principal Fire Insurance Companies maintained trained Fire Brigade personnel but they would only attend fires at premises which were insured against fire with their respective Companies. In the event of fire in properties not insured with these Companies, volunteers from the general public were expected to use the hose carts and ladders provided from public funds and housed in premises in Cross Queen Street.
The Borough Council decided to establish the Huddersfield Fire Brigade or Fire Police Establishment. The Brigade consisted of a Captain, who was the serving Chief Constable, one Sergeant and nine Firemen-Constables, who were assisted by all other serving members of the Borough Police Force as circumstances required. The Brigade was controlled by the Watch Committee and still utilised the fire-fighting equipment available in Cross Queen Street.
The Fire Brigade was re-housed in new premises in Princess Street. The equipment was increased by one horse-drawn steam operated fire pump and one horse-drawn fire escape, whilst the personnel were accommodated in houses in Alfred Street. One horse was permanently stabled at Princess Street and in the event of need other horses were provided by Messrs. Oxley's Stables.
The Fire Brigade was brought more up-to-date by the acquisition of an additional fire pump, fire escape and ambulance, whilst four additional horses were acquired and stabled at Princess Street to draw this equipment. Twenty- nine street fire alarm boxes were installed at strategic points in the Borough and electric fire bells were installed in the houses occupied by the Fire Brigade.
Two motor driven fire engines were obtained completely equipped with fire escapes and ladders, etc., and the horses and horse-drawn equipment were dispensed with.
The strength of the Fire Brigade was increased and now constituted the Chief Constable as Captain, one Inspector. one Sergeant, one Acting Sergeant, five Firemen-Constables and nineteen Constable-Auxiliaries.
An additional motor fire engine complete with fire escape was purchased.
An 85ft. mechanically operated Turntable Ladder was acquired.
Solid tyres on motor driven appliances were replaced by pneumatic tyres.
Nos. 10 and 12. Princess Street were converted into a hostel to accommodate single Constables acting as Fire Brigade Auxiliaries.
Air Raid Precautions measures were introduced by the Government and four hundred and fifty volunteers were recruited to form an Auxiliary Fire Service for possible War- time service in Huddersfield.
The Fire Brigade was separated from the Police Force and a professional Fire Brigade comprising a Chief Officer and thirty-nine other ranks was employed, all exclusively on Fire Brigade duties.
All Fire Brigades were nationalised by the Government as a war-time measure and a National Fire Service was formed to combat the results of enemy air-raids. Although Hudders- field itself was little affected by such raids, personnel from Huddersfield were despatched to assist towns and cities suffering as a result of air attack, including Sheffield, Leeds, Hull, Liverpool, etc.
In April the National Fire Service was disbanded and Fire Brigades were returned to the control of the respective local authorities. The Huddersfield Fire Brigade now comprised a Chief Fire Officer and sixty-five other ranks, still operating from the Princess Street premises and controlled by a separate Fire Brigade Committee appointed by the Town Council.
New Fire Station premises in Upperhead Row were completed and occupied by the Fire Brigade, the official opening ceremony being on the 3rd March, 1961.
The Fire Brigade now consists of a Chief Fire Officer and eighty-one other ranks, housed in up-to-date premises and equipped with modern equipment, including three motor pumps, one Turntable Ladder, one Emergency Tender, one Foam/Salvage Tender, Wireless Communications Equip- ment, compressed air breathing apparatus, etc., etc.
The first Sanitary Inspector for the area, Mr. W. R. Croft, was appointed in 1868, and produced his first Health Report for the Borough for the year 1869.
This report dealt with statistics on mortality and the current diseases, on smoke observations, pollution of rivers, housing and general environmental factors.
The first Medical Officer of Health, Dr. J. B. Pritchett, was appointed in 1873. The main problem faced by the Health Department in the early days was the control of infectious diseases appearing in the community. Prior to 1877, when compulsory notification of infectious diseases was introduced, this difficulty was even greater, as evidenced by the fact that in the year 1870 sixty cases of smallpox occurred within a limited area in Lindley, and the first information concerning their existence was brought to the notice of the Health Department by the Police.
At this time there was no isolation hospital; a case of infectious disease had to be nursed either at the Poor Law Institution or at home. The first isolation hospital was opened in 1877 at Birkby, and it became compulsory for infectious cases to be reported to the local authority, "where there was no adequate accommodation to treat and isolate the cases at home," in the same year.
Comparison between the total number of deaths from all causes and the age distribution recorded in earlier reports with those for recent years is most striking. The first figures available are those for the year 1870 and refer to the township of Huddersfield, which appears to have been the central area of Huddersfield and to have had a population at that time of 40,222. Statistical breakdown of figures for infectious diseases and deaths has been used by Medical Officers of Health to pinpoint areas for the application of preventive measures from a very early ate in the history of the Health Department.
When attention was first focussed on health statistics 42 per cent of all the deaths occuring in the area were of children under the age of 5 years, and only 19 per cent of the population reached the age of 60 years or over., and indeed only 30 per cent reached the age of 50 years or over. The infant mortality rate was regarded as the barometer which indicated the results of individual activities in an area. and in 1878 the infant mortality rate was 153 per 1,000 live births. By 1966 this had been reduced to 25 per thousand live births.
The first noticeable change occurred about the beginnig of the century when special measures were introduced to supervise all children born in the Borough and to give advice to expectant and nursing mothers regarding the care of infants. These measures aroused national and almost worldwide interest. Huddersfield was the first authority to introduce the notification of births in 1906, and in the following year it was taken up as a national measure.
The maternal mortality rate in its turn pinpointed field for attention, when at the beginning of the century the returns were at the rate of about 9 or 10 maternal deaths per 1,000 births. A scheme for voluntary notification of pregnancy was introduced in 1916 and this scheme remained unique to Huddersfield. These notification schemes, of course, were not an end in themselves, but enabled health workers to know where need lay.
For two years prior to the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act of 1907, a partial inspection of school children in the Borough had been carried out by Dr. G. W. K. Crosland, a general practitioner who devoted part of his time to this work. Following the submission of the Memorandum of Medical Inspection of Children in Public Elementary Schools under the Act, the then Medical Officer of Health became Chief School Medical Officer also, and arrangements were made to institute the School Health Service with provision for routine mzdica! examination of school children.
In the field of curative medicine it has to be remembered that prior to the National Health Service Act, the Health Department was responsible for the running of Mill Hill Hospital, the Municipal Maternity Hospital, Bradley Wood Sanatorium and St. Luke's Hospital; the latter having been a portion of the Poor Law Institution, which was transferred under the Local Government Act, 1929, from the Guardians to the Local Authority.
Over the years it is seen that the work of the Health Department is not static, but that the history has been one of pioneering and developing services which have then been handed
on to other Departments. This applies to such things as clean water, cleansing, etc.
When the Board of Guardians disappeared under the Local Government Act, 1929, and their functions were taken over by the local authorities, the Health Committee became the Public Assistance Committee, and so all medical care, public assistance.
welfare work and social services approved by the Corporation became co-ordinated in one single committee, whilst the Medical Officer of Health, who was held responsible for the administration of children's homes and for the supervision of all children received for reward, became responsible to the Committee for the medical patients treated in all the Authority's hospitals and institutions.
In the years following there were many developments; new children's homes were opened and extensive building improve- ments were carried out at Mill Hill Isolation Hospital, at Bradley Wood Sanatorium and at the Princess Royal Maternity Home. Because it was decided as early as 1935 that a new municipal hospital should be erected to deal with the acutely ill, and that the whole of the premises at St. Luke's should be reserved for old people who require nursing or medical care, no radical changes were undertaken at St. Luke's Hospital at that time.
The onset of war and the involvement of personnel in wartime activities caused several other projects and suggested schemes to be abandoned, notably the erection of new health clinic premises. One of the indirect results of the war was the opening of day nurseries, of which there were five at one time; today there are three fully functioning day nurseries.
The introduction of the National Health Service Act in 1948 divided up the Health Services among three separate bodies - Regional Boards, Executive Councils and Local Health Authori- ties. The hospitals were handed over to the Regional Boards and it was felt that the Health Department, relieved of the responsibility of running these, could turn its attention to preventive medicine, environmental medicine and to the promotion of good health rather than just the prevention of disease or the cure of it after it had developed.
In the years that followed the introduction of the National Health Services Act there have been many changes in the public health field, and the Health Department has busied itself in keeping up with current trends. For example, the Mental Health Act, 1959, was in keeping with the change in the function of Mental Health Hospitals and the more permissive attitude to sufferers from mental illness. More professional care of the mentally ill and the mentally subnormal within the community was envisaged, and in 1960 a Special Care Unit for severely mentally handicapped children was set up, using what was originally one of the wartime day nurseries. This unit was named Brook House.
A new Adult Training Centre to give training in work skills to the mentally handicapped is in the process of being built at present.
Among innovations today are a clinic for alcoholics, run for the Health Department by a doctor with special experience in this field. With the realisation that cigarette smoking is harmful to health an anti-smoking clinic was started.
In the field of presymptomatic diagnosis a cervical cytology clinic is run, to detect early changes indicative of cancer of the neck of the womb.
In the evironmental field the work in representing unfit
houses, in smoke control, food hygiene and epidemiological control of disease goes on.
The present work of the Department has been greatly helped by the facilities provided in the new Civic Centre, the bright modern offices and amenities being such a contrast to the old ones in Ramsden Street.
Public Libraries & Art Gallery
Compared with other towns of a similar size Huddersfield was late to establish its Public Library. The town council first accepted the principle in 1897 and the service was opened in 1898, but this was after nearly twenty years of pressure from various sections of society.
Huddersfield received its Charter of Incorporation in 1868. Had the town council thought fit provision could have been made in that year for the creation of a public 'Free Library'; the Public Libraries Acts of 1850 and 1855 had granted the right to local authorities to establish and finance their own public libraries. The law was, however, a permissive one. The Huddersfield Improve- ment Act of 1871 gave the Borough even wider powers in the matter of its own library, yet the ratepayers and the town council with whom rested the ultimate decision were, until 1897, reluctant to commit themselves.
Other towns, many of considerably less importance than Huddersfield, were quick to take advantage of the provisions of the Acts of 1850 and 1855. In 1856 12 towns in Britain established their own public libraries; by 1876 the total was 76, and by 1890 there were some 208 municipal public libraries. In 1897 Hudders- field was one of the few towns with a population nearing 100,000 which did not have its own public library.
Agitation for the provision of a public library for Hudders- field was almost continuous throughout the 1880's. Responsible for stimulating the debate was a body which called itself the 'Free Library Committee." It was as a result of the action of this body that polls of the ratepayers were held in 1881 and 1887 to decide the Library question. On both occasions the Committee's sug- gestions for a 'Free Library' were rejected.
During the 1890's support for the 'Free Library' principle was extended and its case strengthened. Organised Labour threw in its lot with what previously had been a movement organised by and made up of enlightened members of the middle-class. The strengthened organisation was, therefore, able to ensure that when the question of Huddersfield's celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee came before the council the 'Free Library' issue would be raised. After considerable public debate the town council agreed that the provision of a Public Library should be included, together with the Nurses' Home and general festivities, as one of the uses to which the public subscription fund to be raised to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee should be put. As a result of this in
1898, Huddersfield's own Public Library was opened. The initial cost was covered by the Subscription Fund, the running of the Library from 1898 onwards was to be the responsibility of the Council.
The Library in 1898 offered a limited range of materials and services; there were reference and lending libraries, a reading room and, during the course of the year, the Art Gallery was added. The total book and periodical stock was 8,228 compared with the 1967 figure of over 180,000 items of all kinds from archives to gramo- phone records. Since this time the library's task has been to extend and make more comprehensive its book stock and similarly to extend its services making them more comprehensive and readily available to the public.
It is in the interest of the library service and of society in general that concern for books, reading and the acquisition of knowledge should be stimulated. In the first instance this is the province of the teacher but in later life the library has its own contribution to make to the common cause of creating a well informed community.
Between 1900 and 1912 Huddersfield Library was closely involved with the adult education movement. In these years Oxford University Extension lectures were organised as part of a winter programme of educational activities under the auspices of the library. Today, although not taking quite so active a part the library does maintain contact with this work by providing rooms for classes to meet, and by encouraging classes studying local history to use the library's rich and varied local history collection.
It is, however, with the cultivation of the reading habit in children that the library has made its chief contribution to educa- tional advance. In 1905 co-operation with schools in the Borough was established. Members of the library staff gave adice on the choice of books with which to stock new school libraries, and it is from this date that the practice of providing collections of books to be circulated to the schools commenced. This service has expanded considerably; in 1906 18 schools were provided with a total of 1,840 books, in 1967 51,684 books selected by the public library were in circulation in Borough schools.
A further and important aspect of the library's work in the years since 1898 has been the taking of books to the people - the growth of the branch library service. Huddersfield covers a large area and, especially since the last war, its population has dispersed to areas far removed from the town centre. It has been considered important that remoteness from the central library should not act as a deterrent to the formation and retention of the reading habit.
The establishment of a branch service has been one of the chief pre-occupations of successive Chief Librarians.
The first branch library was opened at Almondbury in 1906 but, for a variety of reasons, it was not until 1930 that a deposit station was opened in the Longwood Mechanics Institute. Similar provision followed - in 1931 at Lockwood, in 1934 at Crosland Moor, in 1938 at Lindley and Netherton and in 1940 at Milns- bridge. The life of the majority of these service points was short. In 1967 only Lindley, Milnsbridge and Almondbury remain. The rest have been replaced since 1958 by travelling libraries. These vehicles, of which the library now has four, have been found to be eminently suitable in providing a popular service to a large number of dispersed neighbourhood units few of which are populous enough to justify the erection of a building. The four units between them serve some thirty different stopping places with once or twice weekly visits. In this a more than usually satisfactory compromise has been affected. Today the library service covers
more of the town than ever before with an unusually close network.
The nucleus of the Huddersfield Library service is the central library. Until 1940 this was housed in rooms in Church Street rented from the Ramsden estate. Growth of stock and use in the first ten years coupled with the transfer to the library from the Town Hall of the Corporation's extensive collection of patents in 1902 began to put pressure on the space available in the Church Street premises. Mr. Lockett, Librarian and Curator 1897-1909, was the first to state the problem in his annual report in 1906. Despite expansion into other rooms in the building the demand for space continued to be greater than that available. The need was for a completely new library building.
Between 1906 and 1931 various attempts were made to find both site and money for building a new library. Negotiations for a grant from the Carnegie Trust were unsuccessful. Among the sites considered but rejected were a plot of land in St. Peter's Street adjoining the Parish Church graveyard, now part of St. Peter's Gardens, and the site of the old Cloth Hall, now occupied by the A.B.C. cinema. The present site in Ramsden Street, on which formerly stood the Ramsden Street Independent Chapel, was finally purchased in 1933. The work of demolition began in 1936, the foundation stone was laid in 1937 and the Library opened to the public in April, 1940, Mr. Goulden being Chief Librarian.
The history of the Huddersfield Public Library and Art Gallery has been one of simple growth to meet the demands of the 'Free Library' ideal. The extension of the service has been ensured
in many ways and in many directions; by provision of modern facilities for storing and displaying books, by the increased size of the stock, by the provision of branch libraries, both static and mobile, in most of the residential areas of the town; by services to schools; by the opening, in 1924, of the Music Library and in 1960 the logical supplement to this, the Gramophone Record Library, by the division of the Reference Library into General and Tech- nical sections, by the growth and increased complexity of the Local History collection, by a constant stream of exhibitions visiting the Art Gallery, and by additions, some of them con- troversial, to the Gallery's collection. The future of the written word as a means of communication may be in doubt and with it the future of libraries as we know them, but before some other equally convenient method has been found for recording know- ledge and experience there is still a great deal of work to be done in advancing the cause of books, allied media and the information contained therein with a public too often content with the pre- digested messages of press and television. It is to be hoped that in co-operation with others interested in the promotion of learning and thought Huddersfield Public Libraries will continue to serve the community as they have done for the last 70 years.
Markets & Fairs
As far back as the year 1272 the village of Almondbury boasted a weekly market. When this was discontinued is not known but it was probably in the year 1672 when powers were granted to the Ramsden family to hold a market in Huddersfield. The Huddersfield markets were formerly held in the open air in the old Market Place, New Street, and also on the site of the present Market Hall in King Street, which was then called "The Shambles." The terms made between the Ramsden family and the stall-holders were not always satisfactory to the latter and many disputes resulted which ripened into rebellion by the tenants about the year 1857. This dispute was settled by the then Local Authority - the Improvement Commissioners - taking the market tolls on lease and subsequently in 1876 the Corporation purchased from Sir John Ramsden all the market rights and tolls of which he was possessed for the sum of £14,453.
The Markets and Fairs Committee of the Corporation have control of the following undertakings, a short description of which is given below:
The foundation stone of the present Market Hall, which was built on the so-called "Shambles" was laid on 5th September, 1878, and the building was completed in March, 1880. The estimated cost of the building was £31,325 and the site, which was bought from Sir John Ramsden, cost £6,491.
Architecturally the design of the Market Hall is geometrical or decorated Gothic throughout, a typical specimen of the Gothic revival, and presents an elegant appearance, especially as far as the main front is concerned. Great improvements in the building were introduced in 1923 after a fire in the basement storey. Both floors are occupied by stalls for the sale of miscellaneous goods and all the tenancies are of a permanent nature. The main entrance is in King Street. In addition to this there are five other entrances, two into the upper floor and three into the basement, so that ingress and egress is of an easy nature.
The general market measures 166ft. long by 71ft. Sin. wide, the overall length and width of the building being 270ft. and 101ft. 6in. respectively. The market comprises 56 shops and 166 stalls for sale of miscellaneous goods, fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, flowers. provisions and general merchandise. There are on the upper and lower side of the building - that is outside - shops for butchers, etc. On each side of the entrances in King Street and Victoria
Street are shops for fishmongers and other trades, and above these shops are rooms used for warehouses, workrooms and offices.
Glazed awnings protect the shops facing Victoria Street and Shambles Lane.
Under a scheme for the redevelopment of the town centre the existing Market Hall is to be demolished and a new Market Hall is to be built on a site bounded by Peel Street, Princess Street, Queensgate and Ramsden Street, the estimated cost of which is in the region of £750,000, and it is anticipated that the new Market will be ready for occupation towards the end of 1969 or early in 1970.
This Market is situate in Lord Street and dates from 1887 and was built at a cost of £14,700 including £6,000 for the site. At present the market is used to its fullest extent and consists of 40 stands, banana ripening rooms, refreshment rooms, toilets and a public weighbridge. The stands are used for the sale of fish, fruit, vegetables and flowers.
OPEN AIR MISCELLANEOUS MARKET
This Market is of a casual nature and is held on Mondays only on land adjoining Great Northern Street. A miscellaneous class of goods are sold and the Market is well attended by traders and public alike. At present the Market is being equipped with new tubular metal stalls to replace the old wooden type of stall which have been in use for many years and now are in need of replacement. The old wooden stalls were put out and taken in each market day but owing to the expense involved and the difficulty in obtaining labour it is now the intention to leave the new metal stalls on the ground permanently.
Pleasure Fairs were formerly held at Easter, Whitsuntide, September and Christmas each year but are now held only at Easter and Whitsuntide. The Easter Fair is held at Red Doles Lane (formerly known as Canker Lane), Leeds Road, and the Whitsuntide Fair on the Open Air Market ground at Great Northern Street. The Easter Fair is a large one and is well attended by Showmen and members of the public.
Prior to the Market Rights being purchased from Sir J. Wm. Ramsden, slaughtering of animals for food was carried out under
most unfavourable conditions in an old building at Aspley. The Corporation in 1877 acquired from Sir J. Wm. Ramsden at a cost of £16,115 land in Great Northern Street upon which to erect a Slaughterhouse and also to form a Cattle Market. The Slaughterhouse at Great Northern Street was built at a cost of £16,590 and was opened without formality for public use on 14th May, 1881. Since 1881 the premises have from time to time been improved and in 1966 to comply with standards laid down by the Government a major scheme of reconstruction was carried out at an approximate cost of £150,000. This modernisation included the building of a completely new slaughtering block and new lairages for sheep and pigs. The new slaughtering block consists of two floors, sheep and pigs being dressed on the upper floor and beasts on the ground floor. In addition the old pig slaughterhouse was converted into an amenity block consisting of a dining-room, changing rooms,. showers and toilets. There is only one private slaughterhouse situate in the Borough and this is licensed by the Corporation for the slaughter of horses only.
The Cold Stores are situate at Great Northern Street and adjoin the Slaughterhouse owned by the Corporation. The Stores were opened on 5th July, 1900, and consist of six chambers which are insulated by cork slab and are cooled by cold brine circulation. New plant and method of cooling was installed in 1945 which has greatly added to the efficiency of these Stores. The Stores have a holding capacity of approximately 100 tons and operate at a temperature of 14/16 degrees Fahrenheit. Goods stored include meat, poultry, rabbits, fish, frozen liquid egg, etc.
This Market is situate in Great Northern Street and adjoins the Slaughterhouse and was opened on the same date as the Slaughterhouse. Since it was originally opened considerable improvements and additions have been carried out to bring it up to present day standards. Sales by acution andprivate treaty are held on Mondays and are for all classes of animals, agricultural implements, poultry, etc. Cattle and Horse Fairs are held on the nearest Monday to the 31st March, 14th May and 4th October each year.
SALES OUT OF MARKET
Some 300 licences are issued annually by the Markets Department to persons who make sales from door to door, these licences being required under a Local Act granted by the Crown to the Corporation.
The Department originated at Edgerton Cemetery, which was purchased in 1885, and the committee at that period conducted the
business of the Department in the Tower House at the main entrance.
In 1880 the Beaumont Park Committee carried out the policy until 1884 when a sub-committee of the General Purposes took over until 1891, when the Cemeteries and Parks Committee was formed and continues today as the Parks, Cemeteries and Allotments Committee. During the years 1885-1891, the cemeteries were administered by a Burial Grounds Committee.
The first of the Parks was Beaumont Park. This was a Deed of Gift from Mr. H. F. Beaumont and Sir Digby Cayley in 1880. The park was opened on the 13th October, 1883.
The next was Greenhead Park, which was purchased on the 3lst March, 1882, and opened on the 29th October, 1884. The tennis court area was transferred to the department in 1924-25.
The next park was Norman Park, opened on the 11th March, 1893. A further addition in 1899 was Lockwood Cemetery, on a
conveyance from Mr. Joshua Whiteley. The Cemetery was opened in May, 1902.
No more additions were made until 1919, when Ravens- knowle Park was handed over as a Deed of Gift from Mr. Legh Tolson. Ravensknowle Park has proved to be a very useful lung for the town, as it is situated in a heavily populated area.
Almondbury Cemetery was purchased in 1920 and has since been extended.
The next addition was Leeds Road Playing Fields, opened in 1939. Used as a Prisoner of War Camp during the war, it came into full use after the war and has been increased until at the present time it covers sixty acres. The need for sports facilities are so great that further extensions are envisaged in the future.
The first Children's Play area was opened about 1933, at Carr Pit. Then followed a quiet period until after the Second World War, when from 1950 the department began to expand and areas for Recreation and Sport were in great demand, with the results that today the department cares for sixty recreation grounds, catering for children and various forms of sport.
The Crematorium was opened in 1958, the grounds being constructed by direct labour.
Newsome Park was opened in 1959 and a large area of this is constructed over a reservoir. Fernside Park followed in 1961 and serves the heavily populated area of Almondbury. A large recreation ground was constructed at Primrose Hill, several acres of derelict land being converted and completed in 1963. A new park and sports ground was completed at Bradley in 1967.
Aiso during the 1950's, re-chargeable work to other departments increased rapidly, i.e. housing estates, children's homes, and several Old Peoples Homes. Many miles of grass verges have now been placed in the care of the department.
There are now many thousands of street trees, and forestry is also included in the Department's activities, acres of land having been planted in the past few years. In addition there are also approximately 2,000 allotments, comprising 67 groups, in all parts of the Borough.
The Holidays at Home were commenced during the Second World War and were held in Greenhead Park and Leeds Road Playing Fields. These have been continued up to the present time and are now known as the Summer Entertainments and as such are organised by the department. They consist of stage shows, gymkhanas, athletics, football, bowls, model railway, flower and vegetable show, model power boats, aircraft, etc.
As the development of the town proceeds, the work of the department increases and becomes more important to the citizens of the town in the provision of open spaces for recreation and pleasure.
The administration is now carried on from the offices in Greenhead Park, and the Borough is divided into three districts, each supervised by an Area Superintendent, and through them the whole staff of 250.
At the present time up to 500,000 plants are grown annually to provide colour and beauty in the Parks, Cemeteries and Crematorium, open spaces, roundabouts, small gardens, etc.
The department is now fully mechanised and has 168 items of equipment. Floral decorations are carried out for all municipal functions and the provision of plants for these is quite a large item.
Passenger Transport Department
The County Borough of Huddersfield has the proud distinction of being the first Municipality in Great Britain to construct and operate its own tramway system.
The Corporation promoted its own Bill in 1879 and secured powers to construct tramways under the Huddersfield Improve- ment Act, which received Royal Assent on the 2nd August, 1880. The first service was between Lockwood and Fartown on the llth January, 1883, and with the exception of the Moldgreen section, which for three years, from 1885 to 1888, was worked by horse traction, the entire system was powered by steam.
A large wooden shed in Northumberland Street was purchased in 1882 for use as a depot. Badly damaged by a gale in 1883, it became necessary to erect a new depot, which was built in Great Northern Street and occupied on the 20th June, 1887.
With intention to operate beyond the Borough boundary a joint application to Parliament resulted in the Linthwaite Urban District Council obtaining power to construct the tramways and the Corporation power to operate them.
Early in 1893, Huddersfield became the first to introduce a system of carrying postal letter boxes on the trams. This useful public service was continued up to September, 1939.
The first electric car was put into service on the Lindley route on the 14th February, 1901, and on the same date electric cars commenced on the Outlane and the Lindley via Edgerton and Holly Bank Road route.
The last steam trams in regular service ran to Almondbury and Honley on the 17th June, 1902.
One of the unique features of the Huddersfield Tramway service was the carriage of coal in specially designed trucks, the scheme being started in September, 1904, being abandoned when the track was removed on the conversion to trolleybus operation.
In 1913, Parliamentary powers were obtained for further extensions of the tramways, including those from the Borough boundary to West Vale and Marsden.
The Brighouse tramway extension, three-quarters of a mile of which was laid on sleepers through the fields between Netheroyd Hill Road and Bradley Lane (now Fixby Road), was opened for traffic on 12th March, 1923.
With the 1914-18 war intervening no developments took place until 1920, when additional powers were obtained under the Huddersfield Corporation (General Powers) Act to run motor omnibuses along a number of defined routes outside the Borough, and, with the consent of the Ministry of Transport and the West
Riding of Yorkshire County Council, along any other road in that area.
An important development took place on the 16th May, 1930, when an agreement was entered into between the London. Midland and Scottish Railway and the Corporation whereby the railway company, now the British Railways Board, purchased half of the assets and half of the motor omnibuses belonging to the Corporation, and the service of motor omnibuses has since that time been controlled by the Huddersfield Joint Omnibus Committee, comprising four duly appointed representatives from the Corporation and four from the British Railways Board.
Following the introduction of the Road Traffic Act in 1930, a number of privately operated motorbus services were bought out by the Joint Committee.
In addition to the pooling of services with Hanson's Buses Ltd., in the Colne Valley, similar arrangements were made with the Yorkshire (Woollen District) Transport Co. Ltd.
In 1931 it became apparent that the tramway system, track and most of the rolling stock was approaching the end of its useful life and would within a few years have to be renewed completely, or replaced by some other form of transport, and it was decided to convert to trolleybuses.
The trolleybus service to Almondbury commenced over the newly-constructed highway in Somerset Road on the 4th December, 1933, and the entire conversion was completed in 1940, the last tram being to Brighouse.
Free travel on production of passes is granted to blind persons, legless and severely disabled ex-Servicemen and to old people of 65 years and over (during certain hours and with resident qualification in the Borough). School children are also conveyed at reduced fares.
Following a decision of the Town Council to abandon the trolleybus system, motorbuses were purchased, the first 24 being Leyland 70-seater, forward-entry type, and the first route to be changed over from trolleybus operation to motorbus operation was the West Vale in 1961. Since then there has been a gradual change over to motorbus operation, with the purchase of additional vehicles, this time of Daimler manufacture with bodies by Park Royal and East Lancashire Coachbuilders. It is expected that the entire conversion will be completed by June, 1968.
The Great Northern Street Works and Leeds Road Garage are being re-organised and extended, and when the re-organisation is completed this should result in one of the most up-to-date Garages and Works in the North.
A Co-ordination Scheme with the Joint Omnibus Committee covering several of the Corporation and Joint Omnibus Committee routes was brought into operation on the 6th April, 1967, which gives through running and greater benefits to the travelling public.
A system of traffic control by radio and closed circuit television has been installed, this again making for a more efficient use of vehicles and man-power, and ensuring that where traffic congestion arises swift action can be taken to clear any Town Centre queues.
In order to effect more efficient operation with the existing man-power available double deck vehicles of the front entry type will be converted to one-man operation on off-peak periods, this innovation being the result of decisions within the Industry and the consent given by the Ministry of Transport to this type of operation.
The Huddersfield County Borough Police
In 1829, as is well known, Sir Robert Peel's Metropolitan Police Act introduced a new system of paid police in London. This met with considerable initial opposition, but was soon so firmly established that the Government passed a series of other Acts in order to establish paid police forces in the provinces.
Prior to the incorporation of the Borough, the police force for the township of Huddersfield was thirty-one men of all ranks. The boundary for the township, or the area worked, was as far as West Hill, top of Cemetery Road, bottom of Hillhouse Lane, Aspley, Folly Hall and the bottom of Paddock, or an area of 734 acres with a population of 24,100. The surrounding districts to be later included in the County Borough at the incorporation were policed by the County Constabulary.
The 12th August, 1868, saw the 'birth' of the Huddersfield County Borough Police. At the first meeting of the Watch Committee on that date, the Head Constable of the 'Township of Huddersfield," Mr. Superintendent Withers, was instructed to select and train a number of men to be employed as police officers when the County Constabulary were withdrawn from the outer districts of the Borough.
At a special meeting of the Watch Committee, on the 28th August, 1868, it was resolved that in order to entitle the Council to the 'Government Grant' the police force be fixed at sixty-seven men, including the Inspector of Markets and Sergeant of the Fire Brigade, and that such force consist of one Superintendent, five Inspectors at 30s. per week, ten Sergeants at 25s. per week and fifty-one Constables at from 19s. to 21s. per week. The salary of the Superintendent was fixed at £220 per annum with house and allowances.
It is interesting to note that a fortnight later, on the 12th September, 1868, Superintendent Withers reported to the Committee that the force now consisted of sixty-seven men of all ranks. Presumably many of these men had transferred from the County Constabulary when the districts they had formerly policed had been incorporated in the County Borough.
The Police Station at this time was situated at the corner of Victoria Street and Bull and Mouth Street. This building, later to become the offices of the Borough Weights and Measures Department, still stands and displays an inscribed stone indicating that the 'House and Prison' was erected in 1831 by public subscription.
The Police Station was wholly unsuitable and inadequate for the size of the 'new' police force. The Corporation were warned by the Home Office year by year at the Annual Police Inspection, that if they did not commence to build some suitable building the 'Government Grant' would be stopped. The grant amounted to £4,000 per annum, and this would have been a serious matter to the ratepayers of the town.
The foundation stone of the Police Station in Peel Street was laid in 1896, and the building formally opened on the 15th September, 1898, at a total cost of £12,000. The strength of the Force was 113 men of all ranks and the men's wages commenced at 24s. per week.
Soon after moving into the new Police Station, a horse ambulance was obtained which was a great improvement on the hand ambulance which had been in use at the old Police Station. In 1912, this was superseded by a motor ambulance. About this time a motor van was specially built to convey prisoners to gaol; before this, however, prisoners were removed from the Police Station to the railway station in a horse driven vehicle known as 'Black Maria," and then by train to Wakefield or Leeds, the remainder of the journey being done by tramcar, or on foot.
1915 saw the recruitment of the first lady Police Assistant. She was appointed under the Shops Act, and in that connection her duties were to see that regulations were observed. Her other duties included attention to cases of indecent assault on females. A second lady assistant was appointed in 1918.
There had been Special Constables in Huddersfield long before a police force was established. In May, 1918, the new Chief Constable, Captain J. W. Moore, formed a new Special Constabulary Force of 260 men under the leadership of A. Brook Hirst. This force rendered signal service to the regular force, and on Christmas Day of that year successfully took over the patrolling of the whole of the Borough, which enabled the regular members of the Force to spend the greater part of the day with their families. The Special Constabulary were demobilised on the 14th October, 1919, each member being presented with an illuminated testimonial.
During the war years, 1914-1918, fifty-three members of the Force served in the armed forces, seven of whom were killed.
In May, 1926, as a result of the General Strike, twenty-one First Police Reserves and 246 Special Constables were sworn in
and performed duty with great restraint. The force was re- organised in 1930, when thirty-seven Police Boxes were erected, and a Mobile Department formed. Three motor-cycle combinations were purchased for Road Traffic Patrols. The same year saw the introduction of the first sets of automatic traffic signals.
In 1934, the Mobile Department consisted of one prison van, two Rolls-Royce Ambulances, one Morris Oxford Tourer, two Vauxhall saloons, two Austin saloons and one motor-cycle combination.
In 1939, the strength of the Force was increased to 152, and the Force was reinforced by the recruitment of sixty-two Police War Reserves and seventeen First Police Reserves, together with 300 Special Constables. Forty-two members of the regular Force served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, three of whom were killed on active service. In 1942, a Woman's Auxiliary Police Corps was formed with a strength of sixteen to compensate for the deficiency in strength. When this force was disbanded in 1946, three regular Policewomen were appointed for the first time in Huddersfield.
Between 1949 and 1959, 106 Police Houses for occupation by members of the Force were built by the Police Authority. Between 1962 and 1963, six Police Section Stations were built and the use of thirty wooden Police Boxes discontinued.
In 1959, male Cadets were recruited to the Force, and in 1966, girl Cadets were introduced. The use of Police Dogs in the Force was introduced early in 1966.
In 1965, work commenced on the construction of the new Police Headquarters, and Law Courts. The New Headquarters, now occupied are an appropriate culmination of a century in working to preserve law and order.
CHIEF CONSTABLES OF THE HUDDERSFIELD COUNTY BOROUGH POLICE FORCE
1867 James Withers 1875 Henry Hilton 1879 John Ward 1897 John Morton 1917 John W. Moore 1931 William J. Hutchinson 1934 Herbert C. Allen 1940 John Wells 1941 James Chadwick 1958 David Bradley
e o T_
Drunkenness "Drink and
Road Traffic Accidents Others
Crimes Year Reported to Police
Actual Establishemant Male
1869 1878 1888 1898 1908 1918 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1966
160 88 99 265 256 221 455 564 797 1149 935 1312 2686 2822
9 9 99 9 9 9 9
71:65 14-82 57:21 56:22 63:74 62:95 5811 34-04
138 121 152 152 183 221 238 260 313
94 120 139 111 161 212 214 226 220
452 219 165 163 152 34 70 235 59 86 56 26 76
138 113 57 353 23
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9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
20 20 12 12 12 15 17 22
9 9 9 9 9 9
1309 1285 1056 1188 1817 1693 2061 2012
Public Cleansing & Haulage Department
The work of Public Cleansing arises mainly from the necessity for the prevention of disease and the preservation of amenities. It is one of the services which it is most essential should be performed by communal effort, for one can imagine what would happen if each individual were responsible for the removal of the wastes which he has created.
The question of refuse collection and disposal did not worry primitive man, for around the caves and overhanging rocks that afforded him shelter are to be found many survivals of what must have been his malodorous accumulations.
Some attempt was made by his successor in the Neolithic age, however, to keep refuse in one place, and the kitchen midden of that time is now of great historic interest and a happy hunting ground for the archaeologist.
As man became more civilised, he began to organise the disposal of refuse, and in the Mosaic Law elaborate directions are given as to personal and public hygiene. Accumulations of filth, either in tents or camps, were strictly forbidden, and everything offensive and putrescible had to be deposited well beyond the city or camp. Even the ashes of the burnt offering had to be conveyed by the priest unto a clean place outside the camp. (Lev. 6-11).
Progress in refuse collection in the Middle Ages, when refuse was simply thrown on the streets, and through succeeding centuries, was slow, and even in the early part of the 19th century there were very primitive arrangements like that of "stool-men" in Edinburgh patrolling the streets carrying portable conveniences. and calling, "Who wants me?" It was also customary for refuse to be thrown from house windows, with the shout, "Mind yoursel," to which the wary pedestrian would reply "Haud yer hand a wee." In London, the cry was "Gardey-loo0," a corruption of the French "Gare Teau," meaning "Mind the water."
It was not until about 1870 that attempts were made to cremate refuse in closed furnaces. At first these failed, but in 1876. a furnace, perhaps wrongly called a destructor, was built in Manchester. Huddersfield was not far behind for in 1890, a 6-cell incinerator was built at Hillhouse Depot. Other incinerators followed but in 1911 a "Refuse Destructor and Steam Raising Plant" was built at St. Andrew's Road. The steam generated by the burning of the refuse was used by the adjacent Corporation Electricity Works.
In 1930, a new steam raising plant was built at St. Andrew's Road, but this had to be enlarged by the addition of another unit. This unit included an inclined revolving kiln in which the refuse was completely incinerated. At this time Huddersfield had the most modern and efficient incinerator in the country.
Unfortunately, when the electricity services were nationalised in 1948, the steam was required at a greater pressure than that which could be maintained by the burning of refuse and the department had to resort to controlled tipping. This is a much cheaper method of refuse disposal and there is a valuable end product in the form of playing fields as at Royds Hall, Leeds Road and Deighton. Land for tipping is vey scarce, however, and it is probable that the department will have to revert to incineration again before very long.
Methods of storage of refuse have changed greatly during the past century. From the midden emerged the covered ashpit, many of which can be seen today in older property. Hygiene and ease of collection brought forth the metal dustbin, and in 1921, Huddersfield became one of the first towns in the country to adopt a municipal bin scheme. Shortage of labour has led to experiments with plastic dustbins, polythene and paper sacks, and it could well
be that the sack will supersede the bin and be emptied by female labour.
The method of transportation of refuse has been slow to change and some horses and carts were still in use only 14 years ago, probably for sentimental reasons, and it is only some 40 years ago that refuse was transported by barge from the depot at Hillhouse, the loading bay on the canal being still in existence. The pace has accelerated during recent years, and following the 7 cu. yd. side loader refuse wagons have come gravity packing vehicles, gravity and mechanical compression and finally continuous compression vehicles with capacities of up to 50 cu. yds. Huddersfield is to the fore in the use of bulk refuse containers necessitating vehicles with hydraulic lifting gear and is the only local authority in the North-East operating the Dempster- Dumpster bulk refuse container system.
The mechanisation of transport led to the formation in 1920 of the Centralised Haulage Department, which, within a year or two, was combined with the Cleansing Department, the biggest departmental user of transport. The original fleet included 20 or 30 horse drawn wagons, used mainly on refuse collection and street cleansing. The spacious garage at Vine Street now houses some 75 vehicles and the complexity of modern transport, with
varied hydraulic equipment, demands up-to-date workshops. These include machine shops, body building and repairing, electricians' and painters' shops.
The department supplies transport to other Corporation departments and carries out repairs and maintenance of all non- specialised Corporation vehicles.
It supplies coal and coke to other Corporation departments, e.g. to schools, welfare homes, etc. It operates the transport side of the school meals and mobile library services, and supplies cars,. both chauffeur-driven and self-drive, for the use of Council members and officers. Physically handicapped children are taken from their homes to school each day and the department is also responsible for the inspection of the town's taxis.
One of the side effects of Public Cleansing is utility, and apart from the production of steam, salvage has been carried out extensively, especially during the war years. This is now generally uneconomical with the exception of the salvage of waste paper which makes a valuable contribution to the relief of the rates. The department has a very modern and efficient paper salvage plant at the Hillhouse Depot.
Tolson Memorial Museum
The first municipal Museum in Huddersfield was established in the Technical College under the curatorship of the late S. L. Mosley during the early years of this century, and took the form of a collection of natural history specimens, with birds and animals of economic importance predominating.
On December 31st, 1919, Ravensknowle Hall and grounds were presented to the Corporation by Legh Tolson, F.S.A., for a Museum and Park, as a memorial to his nephews, Lieuts. Robert
Huntriss Tolson and James Martin Tolson, who died in the Great War.
The development of the Museum follows a scheme prepared by the late Dr. T. W. Woodhead. The obejcts in the collections are arranged in successive rooms to illustrate the geology of the area, the physical features, climate and conditions of life, both plant and animal, and the effect of these factors on the history and
development of man in the district of which Huddersfield is the centre.
Room 1 illustrates the origin of the rocks, the development of local topography and the effects of geological and climatic conditions on the scenery of the adjoining countryside. Room 2 contains fossils showing the evidence of early forms of plant and animal life, and rocks and minerals of economic importance. A collection of miners' lamps and tools illustrates the primitive equipment with which coal was won during the 19th century.
In Room 3 the characteristics of the different types of plant life, from bacteria to flowering plants, and the principles of garden science are shown by specimens and models.
Zoological studies begin in Room 4 with the simplest forms of animal life, and continue in Room 5 with exhibits of insects and molluses. Some of the smaller animal forms which are of direct economic significance to man are also shown. Illustration of the vertebrata begins in Room 6 with models of amphibia and fish, and aquaria show living fish which are to be found in local rivers and canals.
Room 7 contains a representative collection of the birds of the district, and in the following room are displayed most of the mammals which are to be found in their appropriate habitats in the area, together with a series of "half models" of domesticated animals. Former inhabitants of the district such as the wolf, red deer and roe deer are also to be seen.
The following room illustrates with skeletons, dissections and models the structure of man himself, and the treatment of ailments by the medical practitioner of the early 19th century is shown by a collection of somewhat primitive instruments.
The remaining rooms are devoted to the history of man in the district, from the Mesolithic period to modern times.
The introductory cases in Room 10 cover prehistoric times, and many flints, made for a variety of purposes, which have been ecavated on local Pennine sites, indicate a widespread population during Mesolithic times. Stone axes, probably used for tree-felling in land clearance, indicate the deelopment of agricultural pursuits during the Neolithic period, and bronze artefacts show man's developing skill in utilising natural materials for his own benefit. The story of the Iron Age earthwork at Castle Hill is told, based on excavations carried out in 1939, 1947 and 1948. Objects associated with the Roman fort at Slack are continued forward into Room 11, where there is a series of reproductions of Anglo- Danish monuments of the early Christian period, based on fragments in local churches. Here also are the results of excavations of medieval pottery kilns at Upper Heaton, which
were worked under the direction of the monks of Fountains Abbey.
The ceilings inthe last two rooms have been brought from the now demolished Whitley Beaumont Hall.
The following room contains exhibits illustrating the life of the people during the 18th and 19th centuries, covering aspects of transport, farming, dairying, the kitchen, lighting and firearms.
The theme continues into Room 13, where are found displays on weights and measures, coin balances, watches, pottery and glassware, and the history of education. A small selection from the reserve collection of costume is also on view here.
Room 14 is being developed as a children's room, with exhibits of dolls and a 19th century toyshop.
The domestic life of the early 19th century weaver is seen in the adojining reconstructed cottage kitchen, with its oak beams. stone floor, mullioned windows, spinning wheel, mule-chest and equipment for making oatcakes.
The development of the local textile industry follows in Room 15, with machines showing how most of the processes involved in cloth-making were carried out. Demonstrations are arranged of hand-spinning, winding, warping, weaving, raising and cropping
with the equipment which was available to the domestic cloth worker. An island case is devoted to the story of the Luddites who were active during the early years of the 19th century.
Three important banners of local historical interest are to be seen here; one of these was carried by men from Rastrick to Richard Oastler's meeting at York in 1832, another was made at Skelmanthorpe after Peterloo and was shown at many political gatherings in the 19th century, and the third was made by local suffragettes and taken to London in 1907.
The development of power is shown by a fine series of models of mill-engines made by local engineers.
A series of cases surrounding the gallery show the story of British coinage, and a display of documents illustrates the work of the church-wardens and overseers who were formerly responsible for the care of the poor.
The history of transport is illustrated by a small collection of cycles shown in the entrance hall, and by horse-drawn vehicles of the latter half of the 19th century which are displayed in a separate building to the rear of the Museum.
Extensive reserve collections in natural history, archaeology and folk-life are available for students to consult, and talks are given to school classes on many subjects covered by the Museum.
A loan service of exhibitis is available to teachers, and lectures have been arranged for many years on Saturday afternoons during the winter in Woodhead Memorial Lecture Hall.
Road Safety Department
From small beginnings in London a national movement has emerged which is virile and active with abundant potentialities. Today the general public awareness of the toll of accidents and the need for their prevention is largely the result of the imaginative and constructive work of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. The Society is the inspirational and organisational force which leads and directs the movement.
How it all began:
The need for an accident prevention movement was felt early this century and the determination to begin to tackle this enormous task crystallised in 1916 when the London 'Safety First' Council came into being. It began during the dark days of the First World War, when a company of about 200 public-spirited people assembled at Caxton Hall on December 1st, 1916, at the invitation of Mr. H. E. Blain (later Sir Herbert Blain), then Operating Manager of the London General Omnibus Company, to
discover if anything could be done to reduce the danger of the London streets.
In 1925 the Society produced its safety code for road users, which was the forerunner of the Highway Code, The first official code appeared in 1931.
The first Road Traffic Act was produced in 1930 and at this time road deaths were 7,305 with 24 million vehicles on the road. Five children a day were being killed.
April, 1935, saw the approval of the first twenty-six Belisha Crossings in Huddersfield. These crossings were one of the major steps towards the safety of pedestrians on the road. The name of the Association was changed in 1941 to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, and the Ministry of Transport allocated grants to Local Authorities towards road safety activities. The Government in 1945 requested Local Authorities to set up road safety organisations and offered 50 per cent. grant towards cost of approved activities. It was at this time that Huddersfield formed its first Road Safety Committee; the constitution allowed for a number of co-opted members from organisations keenly interested in the work of road safety. A part-time Road Safety Organiser was appointed to carry out the recommendations of the Committee. Emphasis at this time and for many years was centred on propaganda.
In 1955 a new Highway Code was published, and if all road users complied with its conditions there would be very few accidents.
Cycle Proficiency Training had been going on for some time but only on a very limited scale. However, in 1958, the National Cycle Proficiency Training Scheme for school-children was inaugurated. In Huddersfield we were very fortunate in having a number of good cycling clubs from which many instructors and examiners came forward to help, and they are still doing so today. Road Safety talks were now being held more regularly in the schools, particularly the infant and junior school. Talks by the Police on Driving and Advanced Driving were also becoming a regular feature to encourage better driving.
In 1961 the Road Traffic Act was revised and at this time nearly 7,000 people were being killed, almost 85,000 seriously injured and 258,000 slightly injured. The number of licensed vehicles was then 13 million; the figures for Huddersfield were 15 fatal, 217 seriously injured, and 506 slightly injured.
The Royal Society was very concerned by the number of children under five years of age amongst the road casualties, and a scheme entitled "The Tufty Club" was formed, mainly to encourage parents to take more care. Over five hundred youngsters have joined "The Tufty Club" in Huddersfield, mostly through pre-school training groups. They are issued with a booklet of short stories colourfully illustrated with a Road Safety lesson in each story.
A Road Safety Dog Training Scheme is operative in Huddersfield. It was started in 1962 and the training in obedience of over 100 dogs a year has been accomplished with very worthwhile results.
The RAC/ACU Training Scheme for scooterists and motor- cyclists is now in its fourth year. Instruction is given voluntarily by members of Scooter Clubs and Motor-Cycle Clubs in Huddersfield. It is a ten-week course of theoretical and practical instruction, ending with a test, much more exacting than the present Ministry test, but with very few failures.
All these schemes are run by the Road Safety Committee on a very small budget, with a 50 per cent. grant aid from the Government. Statistics can be made to prove almost anything, but it is a very difficult task to measure the results achieved by the training and propaganda of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents through the Local Road Safety Committees. But there is no doubt the results are excellent, and the grateful thanks of the Road Safety Committee and the Council go out to all the voluntary helpers who accomplish such a tremendous task with willingness and enthusiasm.
The Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1836, made it compulsory on the populace to register births and deaths. This
along with the Marriage Act, 1836, came into operation on the 1st July, 1837.
Advantage was taken of the new system of local areas established by the Poor Law Act, 1834, and on this basis a service of local registrars was created, supervised by a Registrar General, and charged with the new duty of registering births and deaths. The Marriage Act provided for a system of state preliminaries to marriage. Legal validity was accorded to the religious marriage ceremonies of any religious denomination, and civil marriage in the Local Register Office was established for those who regarded marriage as a purely civil contract.
Parish Clergy were left to perform the registration of Church Marriages and the new Registrars were to register all others.
The Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1836, had loop-holes and not every occurrence of a birth or death was registered, so in 1874 a further Act re-stated the birth and death registration procedure with greater precision and completeness, amplifying and strengthening the means of enforcement. On these grounds it is usually said that compulsory registration dates from 1874; but this is an over-simplification of the facts which tends to be misleading.
By the Marriage Act, 1898, a Nonconformist Minister may be placed in the same position as the Parish Clergy of being authorised himself to register a marriage without the presence of the Official Registrar.
The Legitimacy Act, 1926, made provision for the legitimation in certain circumstances of illegitimate children and for the re-registration of the births.
The Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1926, improved the safeguards provided by death registration against irregular burial and especially stillbirth registration.
The Local Government Act, 1929, transferred the functions of Boards of Guardians under the Registration Acts to Councils of Counties and County Boroughs on the 1st April, 1930.
The West Riding Review Order, 1937, brought about changes in the areas and on the 1st April, 1937, parts of the parishes of Brighouse, Golcar, Linthwaite, Kirkheaton, Lepton, Stainland with Old Lindley and Fixby, were transferred to Huddersfield County Borough and on the 1st April, 1938, part of the Parish of South Crosland came into the Borough.
On 1st July, 1939, by the operation of the Huddersfield Registration Scheme, 1939, and the Huddersfield Registration of Births &c. Order, 1939, the Huddersfield Registration District was formed into two Registration districts, viz:
Huddersfield Registration District comprising the whole of the County Borough of Huddersfield.
Upper Agbrigg District comprising the remaining area of the former Huddersfield Registration District situate outside the County Borough of Huddersfield in the West Riding Area.
The Huddersfield Registration District was divided into two sub-districts comprising the following electoral wards, viz:
Huddersfield First: Birkby, Dalton, Fartown, Marsh and North Central Wards.
Huddersfield Second: Almondbury, Crosland Moor, Lindley, Lockwood, Longwood, Milnsbridge, Newsome, Paddock and South Central Wards.
The Adoption of Children Act, 1958, which consolidates the Act of 1926 and earlier enactments, provides for the entry in Adopted Children Registers kept at Somerset House and new Register House, Edinburgh, of particulars of Adoption Orders made by the Courts in England and Wales and Scotland
respectively, and for the issue from these Registers of Certificates of Birth.
Prior to the 1st January, 1967, the Registration District was divided into Sub-Districts whereby Registrars could only register births, deaths and stillbirths occurring in their respective Sub- District, and an additional registrar was appointed to register marriages in a register office and registered buildings where no Authorised Person was appointed. On this date the Huddersfield Registration Scheme, 1966, came into operation creating a unified Sub-District. This Scheme provides for three Registrars who are able to register any birth, death, stillbirth or marriage occurring within the County Borough of Huddersfield.
CENSUS OF POPULATION
The pioneer country in Europe to conduct a complete enumeration of its people was Sweden, where a first Census was taken in 1749. In 1753 a Census Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in this country and passed the Commons with large majorities; but was rejected by the Lords upon its Second Reading. In November, 1800, a further Bill was introduced and passed through all its stages without opposition and received the Royal Assent. The first Census was taken in 1801. The Registrar General is now responsible for taking the Census of Population, and Registrars of Births and Deaths are appointed as Census Officers.
Department of Water Pollution Control
The responsibility of this Department commences at the Deighton Works where the main sewers discharge the waste waters of the community and of local industry, also surface water run-off in times of storm. The principal duty lies in the purification of these waste waters to render them fit for discharge into the Rivers Colne and Calder, and to comply with the Acts of Parliament relating to River Pollution. The processes involved in carrying out this function are operated on three further works extending for some two miles further down the valley. These are named. respectively, Bradley, Heaton Lodge and Cooper Bridge.
ORIGINAL DEVELOPMENT DURING THE PERIOD 1888- 1914
Prior to 1888 the problem of sewage purification had received little attention. The chief work performed to that date had been to extend the system of drainage, and to construct an intercepting sewer mainly 3 miles in length to collect the sewage which then discharged to the river at different points. The work was authorised in 1876, completed in 1888 and this main sewer then discharged to the River Colne at Deighton. In the same year consideration was given to possible methods of purification, and a report was prepared which recommended the adoption of a system of chemical purification and polarite sand filtration. The report was accepted, and in 1893 this mode of treatment was put into operation to treat four million gallons per day. Unfortunately the
scheme was not a success, and by 1896 it had become necessary to reconsider the whole matter.
During the period 1898-1905 systematic experimental work was carried out on all the then known methods of purification, which culminated in the adoption of a system comprising screening, settlement of detritus, continuous flow sedimentation tanks, percolating filters, and humus tanks. These works were authorised in 1906, and completed on the Deighton and Cooper Bridge sites in 1909, provision being made for a flow of 7 million gallons per day. The effluent produced by the new works was of excellent quality, and continued so until 1915, though the additional purification afforded created a sludge disposal problem which by about 1911 had become acute. A significant event occurred in 1906 with the passing of the Huddersfield Corporation Act of that year. One provision of this Act gave the right to traders in the Borough to discharge their trade wastes to the sewers.
THE PERIOD 1914-1945
The first attempt at sludge treatment was carried out by a private company, the processes used involving "wet carbonisa- tion," filter pressing, drying, and solvent extraction of grease. This proved to be unsuccessful. However, after modification by the then Chemist-in-charge a successful system was devised, which is still in use to this day. Operation of this plant commenced early in 1915, but later in that year interference with the working was experienced from the vastly increased volume of chemical trade effluent. This was due to the rapid growth of the chemical industry during the First World War, and eventually the plant was closed down from 1921 to 1924 to permit the construction of a separate sewer for delivery of the chemical wastes, followed by separate precipitation and sedimentation of these wastes prior to biological treatment. Additional biological treatment was also provided during the period 1928 to 1932 by the construction of two bio- aeration plants using the activated sludge process.
By 1939 the increasing flow of wastes made consideration of further extensions necessary, which unfortunately had to be shelved on the outbreak of the Second World War. Towards the end of the war the West Riding Rivers Board began to press for improvement in the quality of the treatment afforded.
THE POST-WAR PERIOD
In 1946 when extensions to the works were again under consideration the Rivers Board recommended that a compre- hensive scheme should be prepared which would be capable of expansion, if required, to deal with the whole of the Waste waters from the catchment area of the River Colne and its tributaries. Under this recommendation, the other authorities concerned were Colne Valley U.D.C. (part), Meltham U.D.C., Holmfirth U.D.C., Kirkburton U.D.C., and the Honley and South Crosland Joint Sewerage Board.
The flow from the upper Colne Valley was taken into the Corporation sewers in 1958. Meltham U.D.C. has since that date reconstructed and extended its own works. Agreement has been reached with Kirkburton U.D.C. for the acceptance of waste waters from that area, and a new sewer has been constructed to
permit the connection to be made. Holmfirth U.D.C. is proceeding with a scheme for the extension and modernisation of its existing works, and preliminary discussions are under way with the Honley and South Crosland Joint Sewerage Board.
With the above in mind, extensions to the Huddersfield Works were planned, commenced in 1952. Since that time there have been many delays brought about by a variety of reasons, and the major sections of the scheme completed to date have been:
1 - Purchase of the Bradley and Heaton Lodge Sites.
2 Provision of three additional sedimentation tanks for chemical trade waste, and modernisation of three pumping stations, at Deighton.
3 Development of the Bradley site for centralised sludge treatment involving construction of sludge storage tanks, pumping mains, filter press house, Porteous Heat Treatment plant for biological sludge, boiler house, lime plant,. workshops, welfare building, administration and laboratory facilities and fertiliser composting and storage sheds.
4 Construction of 6 acres of primary percolating beds on the Heaton Lodge site with attendant humus tanks, sludge pumping station, and main effluent pumping station.
Expenditure to date on these works has amounted to approximately £1,950,000, and reconstruction of the old percolat- ing beds on the Cooper Bridge site has recently been commenced at an estimated cost of £1,500,000.
Since the War there Fave been several Acts of Parliament concerned with the prevention of river pollution and the conservation of the nationl water resources. The Department is charged with compliance with these various Acts in carrying out its function of purification of wastewater, in the conservation of our water supplies, and in the improvement of the conditions of our rivers and streams.
During the financial year, 1966/67, a total of 7,453,500,000 gallons of wastewater were treated, or 20,500,000 gallons per day. This involved the treatment and disposal of 123,000 tons of sludge.
All this effort was achieved at a cost to the ratepayers of just under a 1d. per person per day.
The Stationery Department was opened on January 1st, 1914, and a Stationery Manager appointed to deal with all the Printing and Stationery requirements and to establish a central Stores to provide immediate availability of the many items in common use by the various departments.
By standardisation, competitive tendering and bulk purchas- ing considerable savings in costs are effected. The department is responsible for the centralised purchasing of printing, stationery and office furniture and equipment. In addition the department also extends its centralised purchasing of all kinds of Soap and Cleaning Material required for use in the Schools, Welfare Homes, Children's Homes and other Corporation buildings.
In April, 1965, the department moved to its present and more commodious premises at the Civic Centre Annexe, Outcote Bank, and by the installation of modern typesetting, Offset Litho machines and plate making equipment the department has, by taking advantage of the many new developments in the reproduction processes of these machines, effected further economies in the printing costs of all departments.
Water Works Department
The story of Huddersfield's Water Supply begins in the middle of the 18th century.
Prior to this, the needs of the thinly scattered population were met from upland streams, from springs issuing out of the hillside, and sometimes from shallow wells sunk in or near their houses. With increasing population, and the demands of developing industry, such sources became inadequate and were increasingly liable to pollution, so that other sources of supply had to be found.
In 1743 Sir John Ramsden, the Lord of the Manor, constructed the first Waterworks for the town. These consisted of a force pump, worked by a water wheel, a pipe line, and a small service reservoir. The pipe line was made of large tree trunks, with a 3% inch diameter bored waterway. They were tapered at one end and the bore at the other end widened to form a spigot and socket joint. The pump was installed in a small building by the River Colne at Folly Hall, and the reservoir was at the bottom of George Street. Water derived from this cource was, from all accounts, of excellent quality and purity, and certainly there seems to have been an abundance of trout in the river, as it was not uncommon for the supply to fail because a large trout became lodged in the pipe line.
With increasing numbers of mills along the banks of the river, and with people moving lower down the valley to be near their work, pollution of the river increased to such an extent that other sources of water had to be found, and in 1826 a memorial was presented to Sir John Ramsden requesting that "an abundant and never failing supply of pure water might be obtained and conveyed to the town at moderate expense."
This was followed in 1827 by a Special Act of Parliament empowering 120 Commissioners to construct two reservoirs, one now known as Longwood Lower, to store spring water from Nettleton Hill and Longwood, and the other to compensate mill owners for losing water which they had previously enjoyed. Pipes were laid to small service reservoirs at Clough Head and Spring Street. By 1848 even these works were insufficient and Longwood Upper Reservoir was constructed, together with various small waterworks at Newsome, Taylor Hill and Berry Brow.
In 1869, again by Act of Parliament, Huddersfield Corporation acquired the Longwood works and assumed responsibility for supplying water to the town and surrounding districts. Powers were also obtained to construct the Deerhill and
Blackmoorfoot reservoirs, together with catchwaters and pipelings for augmenting the supply. This scheme was completed in 1876 and there can be no doubt that in concept, design and execution it
was a great engineering achievement of which Huddersfield was, and can still be, proud.
By several further Acts from 1871 to 1890 the Corporation not only extended its limits of supply but also took over two existing reservoirs at Wessenden and obtained powers to build two further ones at Butterley and Blakeley. Butterley reservoir, the largest in the Wessenden Valley, proved extremely difficult to construct and it was not until 1906, after expensive remedial work
had been carried out, that it was finally completed and filled to overflowing.
In the first half of the twentieth century further water was obtained by extending and improving existing reservoirs, by acquiring the Deanhead Reservoir and by sinking boreholes and driving shafts at Brow (Grains, Wessenden Head and Blackmoor- foot. For the most parts however these years were spent in extending the distribution network and in building filtration works to improve the water's quality. All major sources were treated and most of the plant then installed is still functioning though there have been several later improvements.
By 1937 it was clear that a major new source of water would again be required and a further Act was obtained, giving powers to construct Digley reservoir in the Holme Valley. Unfortunately the war intervened and it was not until 1953 that this scheme was brought into use. It is of interest to note that the ill-fated Bilberry reservoir which burst its bank in 1852 with the loss of 81 lives and which was overtopped again in 1940 is upstream of Digley and the levels in both reservoirs are balanced. There is, therefore, no possible risk of a similar disaster recurring.
The inexorable thirst of industry and the ever-growing demands of an increasing population allow little respite in the search for water. By 1965, despite the additional resources which amalgamation with Holmfirth and Meltham had provided, there was once more a gap between reliable yield and actual consumption. It was clear that this gap would rapidly increase if no action were taken, and so another Act of Parliament, authorising the construction of the Scammonden Scheme, was obtained. These dramatic and exciting works are now under construction and by 1970 should have increased the Corporation's water storage by aout 75 per cent. and the reliable yield by 50 per cent. The largest earth embankment in the country, will dam up
the Black Brook and will also carry the M.62 motorway across the Scammonden Valley. There will be a 3,000-yard-long tunnel link- ing the Colne and Scammonden Valleys, two pumping stations, numerous catchwaters and intakes, many miles of pipe and a modern treatment works, costing altogether about £4m.
In 1968 the Corporation is daily supplying about 12 million gallons of water to some 206,000 people in Huddersfield, the Colne Valley, Holmfirth, Kirkburton, Meltham and Mirfield, an area of some 110 square miles. The water is collected from high moorland catchments extending to over 9,000 acres, over half of which is owned by the Water Department. There are twelve supply reservoirs with a capacity of over 2,400 million gallons, ten treatment stations, thirty-six storage reservoirs, and nearly 600 miles of pipe. To look after all these works there is a staff of over 150 people working to ensure, as far as is humanly possible, a never failing supply of pure and wholesome water.
Weights & Measures, Shops & Petroleum Dept.
The examination and testing of weights and measures was carried out by the police from 1868 to the year 1875; from 1876 to 1906 the Markets and Weights and Measures Departments were combined and the Market Superintendent acted as an Inspector of Weights and Measures.
The Weights and Measures Act, 1889, required that all inspectors of weights and measures should possess the Board of Trade certificate of qualification. As a result of this requirement and increased duties the Corporation decided to separate these combined offices in December, 1906, and at the same time appointed its first qualified inspector.
Since its formation the Department has been situated in Bull and Mouth Street, but it has now moved to new premises in Albion Street adjoining the Civic Centre and new Police Headquarters.
In the Department are housed the Local Standards of weight and measure, and their custody and care is the responsibility of the Chief Inspector. These standards are required by law to be provided by the Local Authority and are, therefore, the property of the Corporation; they are subject to verification by the Board of Trade, the weights once every five years and the measures once every ten years.
The staff of the Department is responsible for initially testing. passing as fit for use for trade and stamping all the new or repaired weighing and measuring equipment in use for trade within the Borough, and subsequently for regular testing for accuracy.
As regards the control of commodities, in the early days the Inspector had statutory powers for checking only foodstuffs, coal, solid fuel and sand and ballast. Since the coming into operation of the new Weights and Measures Act of 1963 these powers have been extended to a wide range of goods in every-day use which are bought and sold by weight, measure or number. Commodities
checked for correct quantity vary from coffee and cream to coal and cement.
In 1949 the duties under the Shops Act were handed over from the Police Department, thus increasing the work of the epartment. These duties which are carried out by the Shops Act Inspector ensure that the requirements concerning the hours of employment of Shop Assistants and Young Persons and those in respect of the closing hours of shops are duly observed.
Further duties were placed upon the Department in 1954 with the taking over of the Petroleum (Regulation) Acts. Duties under these Acts include the yearly issue of licences for the storage of petroleum spirit, mixtures of petroleum and carbide of calcium; in addition the enforcement side makes sure that the conditions relating to the safe storage of petroleum are complied with, thus safeguarding life and property against the hazards associated with such storage.
From the above it is quite apparent that the Department is very closely connected with the trade of the district and administers a most important and ever increasing public protection service.
Social Welfare Department
In the year 1832 a Royal Commission was set up to make "diligent and full enquiry" into the practical operation of the laws which were then in existence for the relief of the poor. As a consequence in 1834 the Poor Law Amendment Act was passed, Poor Law Unions were created, and Boards of Guardians were appointed.
To what might be called the decent citizens in need, relief was given in their own homes by cash and food vouchers. Others were accommodated in the Workshouse. Those admitted to Workhouses did not remain as a family. The men went to the male side and the women and children under three to the female side. Children aged three to five went to the nursery, and over five to the Children's Homes.
The passing of the Local Government Act, 1929, saw the end of Boards of Guardians. On the 1st April, 1930, the Poor Law Act, 1930, came into operation and Poor Law passed to the County and County Borough Councils. The Poor Law ceased to function by the passing cf:
(1) The National Insurance Act, 1946 - previous to this Act, sickness benefit was paid by approved societies and pensions under the Contributory Scheme - these payments were frequently augmented with poor relief.
(2) The National Health Service Act, 1946, created the State control of Hospitals, and St. Luke's became vested in the Minister of Health and passed to the Hospitals Board. Under the National Assistance Act the Local Authority were empowered to arrange with the Hospital Board for the use of the Institution portion in its provision of residential accommodation.
(3) The Children Act, 1946, created the new Children's Department.
(4) The Mental Treatment Act laid the responsibility of domiciliary care with the Health Department.
(5) The National Assistance Act, 1948, abolished the Old Poor Law and was designed to provide a unified State Service in place of the various existing services which were provided either by the State or by the Local Authority. The National Assistance Board assumed responsibility for relieving, fin-
ancially, people in need. The Act also imposed duties on the Local Authorities. In Huddersfield these duties were delegated to the Welfare Committee and fall into two main groups.
(1) Residential accommodation for the aged, the infirm and others who require care and attention not otherwise available to them.
(2) Welfare Services for handicapped persons. These relate to the blind, deaf and dumb and those who are substantially and permanently handicapped by incapacity, injury or congenital deformity.
In the thirties, the unemployed posed the biggest social problem for this country. Since the war there is little doubt that this unenviable position has been occupied by the elderly, our poorest citizens, socially, physically and usually financially; monies saved and set aside for old age in retirement tend to run out due to inflation, and the length of time of retirement. Many are obliged to live for long periods at subsistence level on their retirement pension, supplemented with Social Welfare payments. Social life is often restricted, partly by financial reasons, partly because of chronic ill health or disabilities. Whilst their comparative poverty is a matter which can only be alleviated by the Central Government, there is much which can be done by the Local Authority, i.e. home helps, nursing, chiropody, smaller houses or flatlets, day centres, domiciliary visits to see that old people are not neglected and that necessary services are obtained for them, or. if it is found that by reason of old age, infirmity or any other circumstances that they are in need of care and attention which is not otherwise available, to arrange for their admission to residential accommodation or flats supervised by Wardens.
Prior to the war accommodation for the aged and handicapped was provided at St. Luke's Institution (as it was then called). The formzsr Social Welfare Committee obtained what was a Ministry of Labour training centre, Pennine Grange, Salendine Nook, adapted the building, and in March, 1940, opened the premises as a Home to accommodate 35 elderly men. This was followed by acquiring Oaklands at Dalton for elderly women, but before this could be adapted a school was evacuated from London and the premises were not taken into use as a residential home until 1946. Huddersfield was to the fore in opening such homes and taking the old people from the Institution. The idea of small homes was later suggested by the Ministry to replace the old Institutions.
The accommodation on the 5th July, 1948, was:
Home Men Women St. Luke's 82 75 Pennine Grange 35 Oaklands 25 117 100 Total 217
Since then the Committee have acquired and adapted the following 12 premises.
Adapted Homes Opened Men Women Oaklands 1946 23 Lands House 1949 24 Sandymount 1949 14 Heathfield 1950 22 Bryan Lodge 1952) now Woodleigh Woodleigh 1960) 38 mixed home Stoneleigh 1952 22 Moor View 1952 14 Longdenholme 1956 37 Thorpe Grange 1957 24 Springfield 1959 24 mixed Home Briarcourt 1961 27 mixed Home
The first purpose built home on the Keldregate Estate at Bradley named "Hartley Manor" was opened in June, 1957, a mixed home for 39. Later the Minister of Health suggested that Homes be built for the more infirm and in August, 1959, the second purpose built home, The Homestead, was erected on the Fernside Estate, Almondbury, to take 60 residents.
The opening of the Homes Springfield and The Homestead saw the break-away from the Institution in 1959 after it had been used for a period of 87 years to accommodate the elderly. Huddersfield was again to the fore in closing the Institution premises for the elderly and housing them in residential accommodation.
The third purpose built home was a similar type but for 40
residents, erected at Willwood Avenue, Oakes, and opened in 1963.
In 1967 Pennine Grange the first adapted Home to be opened was closed after 27 years owing to its unsuitability to bring it to present day standards, and residents were transferred to the fourth purpose built home, "Castle Grange" erected at Newsome for 40 residents.
The Homes are brightly decorated and furnished and accommodate 448 elderly persons. The department endeavours to create a homely atmosphere in each of the establishments and the amenities provided for the residents include the provision of a qualified chiropody service, concerts, summer outings, religious services, library books, newspapers and periodicals. In addition each Home has television, radio and a piano. The Huddersfield Hospitals Broadcoasts Association relay football matches regularly from Leeds Road and Fartown to the men's homes, and other items of interest.
The Committee is pursuing the possibility of obtaining premises at a coastal resort as a holiday home for the elderly handicapped.
Residents have their own doctors, choice of dentist, optician, and hairdressers who attend the Homes. Relatives and friends are allowed to visit at reasonable times and residents may go out and come as they please, providing they inform the officer in charge where they are going and what time they hope to be back. Residents are allowed to do little jobs of work to occupy their minds (not compulsorily and no scrubbing as in the Institution days). Residents are encouraged to do handicrafts and Occupa- tional Pastimes Officers are employed to encourage and instruct in this work.
WELFARE SERVICES FOR HANDICAPPED PERSON
The Welfare Committee has made schemes for the provision of services for the Welfare of the Blind, Deaf and Dumb, Hard of Hearing and all other handicapped persons.
BLIND WELFARE - Domiciliary visiting of blind persons in their homes, teaching braille and handicrafts. There is a Social Centre where those who are able to attend can receive instruction in handicrafts and meet friends. There is also the Workshop for the Blind where jumpers, socks, etc., are knitted. Skeps for industrial use, coir mats, baskets for pets, chair caning, etc.
The Blind Society provide a shop in Queen Street where the articles manufactured in the Workshop are sold. The Society also administers a residential home for blind people, The Holly, Marsh, accommodating 24 persons of both sexes.
DEAF AND DUMB - The Welfare Committee, together with the West Riding County Council, have appointed the Huddersfield and District Adult Deaf and Dumb Institution as their Agent to
carry out the duties of the scheme and to whom annual grants are made.
OTHER HANDICAPPED PERSONS - The Huddersfield Welfare Committee make contributions to the funds of many voluntary organisations including the Hard of Hearing Club, the Infantile Paralysis Fellowship and the Huddersfield and District Spastics Society.
Arrangements are also made to provide means of access for
invalid carriages to homes of crippled persons and aids about their homes.
Handicapped persons attend a centre at Longdenholme for social activities and are instructed in basketwork, embroidery, knitting, rug making, stool weaving, soft toys, crackers and chair re-seating. These persons are transported from their homes to the centre and back in a vehicle specially designed to take handicapped persons.
A site has been obtained in the area of King Street and Zetland Street on which a Community Centre is to be built. Various Voluntary Organisations have been allotted accom- modation and others have expressed the desire to participate in the scheme. The building has been very carefully designed for the use of handicapped persons and is now in the process of erection.
MEALS ON WHEELS
The late Alderman J. L. Brook presented to the Women's Voluntary Service a Van to inaugurate the meals on wheels service in Feburary, 1959, and in April, 1960, presented a second Commer Van, each being equipped with a hot lock cabinet provided by the Committee, and with the help of the Women's Voluntary Service meals have been delivered each week to people in their homes. The recipients pay 1s. per meal and the Committee pay 8d. per meal. The first van was replaced in July, 1965, by the Lions Club and
the second by the Huddersfield Common Good Trust in May. 1967.
Work Study & Organisation & Methods Dept.
Huddersfield was one of the first Authorities in the country to use Work Study techniques in order to increase efficiency and productivity, and although it is some seven years ago since Work Study was first introduced, it was only in December, 1965, that the Work Study and Organisation and Methods Department was set up as a separate unit, and is therefore the "youngest" department in the Authority.
The department exists to offer a service to any department of the Authority as required. The service includes investigations of working methods, organisation structures, the measurement of work (to determine the correct time that a job should take), the installation of production planning systems and the revision of clerical procedures and installation of Incentive Schemes.
To many people, Work Study and O. & M. is synonymous with incentive schemes, and although much of our work is involved in formulating and negotiating incentives which have a scientifically measured basis, these schemes are really a product of the work and the information which we were able to produce. It is however the product of greatest interest to those who are at the 'receiving end' of Work Study as increased earnings via incen- tives enable reward to be given to those who are producing more by increased productivity and better organisation.
As has been said, the department offers a service anywhere in the Authority, and this means that our work is very varied and we can be one day involved with school dinners and another day in the maintenance of roads and sewers. To quote an example of this diversity, in October last the department was asked to have a look at a problem concerning the serving of dinners at Huddersfield New College. The core of the problem was that space was very restricted. A few days of observing the eating habits of some 500 to 600 children, together with the problems of serving and space, enabled us to "chart" the basic elements of the problem, and offer some suggestions to the college staff. The end result was that the number of sittings within the hour allowed for dinner was increased from two to three, and the number of tables used at a sitting was reduced by one third. These two moves were simple in themselves, and gave everybody enough room to have the water set on the table and allow the tables to be used for eating rather than waiting, as had been the case previously. We do not of course recommend such a system of eating as being strictly "Cordon Bleu" but it fills the bill when one has to satisfy a particular number of stomachs in a set period of time.
recommend such a system of eating as being strictly "Cordon Bleu" but it fills the bill when one has to satisfy a particular number of stomachs in a set period of time.
At the other end of the scale we are also involved in a major assignment in the Highways Department and one section of the work in which we were interested was the service of emptying gullies in the road. A major question arising from this work was how often a gully should be emptied. In order to obtain some guidance about this, a sample of the gullies, covering all types, districts, road positions, etc., were selected, and were completely cleaned and flushed out. They were then painted so that they might easily be identified and instructions were given that these should not be cleaned again until further notice. Each fortnight, measurements of the silting process were undertaken and notes were made of the type of weather during the previous 14 days and whether road works had been in progress near by, etc. From this survey it was found that a definite pattern of silting frequency existed and that roads in residential areas and housing estates did not need quite the same attention as roads running through rural country or heavy industrial areas. The end result of this particular investigation was that the whole of the town was divided into 27 "rounds," every gulley in every street was listed, and the time taken to empty the various types of gullies was used to build up a round into a week's work for a machine and its crew. There now exists a complete list of gullies with the times required to service them, and it is hoped that by using these lists a more adequate service than previously existed can be given. An incentive scheme has been installed to give the men involved the
opportunity to reap some reward for the reorganisation which has occurred.
It should be pointed out, however, that the department does not believe that once an activity has been investigated. revisions and changes made, and incentives introduced; that "Utopia" now exists in the activity concerned. This is, of course, a very rapidly changing world; Work Study in itself is very rapidly changing and it is necessary at all times to keep under constant review the new methods of work and systems of organisation that can be utilised in order to give us more efficient service. The advent of the computer will have a profound effect on the local Authority of the future, and it is planned that the Work Study Department will have developments which will involve the use of the computer in planning and organising work.
Many people often comment to us that we must be the most unpopular men in the Authority, but we find this to be quite the
reverse of the true situation. Work Study and O. & M. exists because they can objectively find out facts and present them without an "axe to grind" (hence the need for a separate unit which is not tied to a particular department) and in fact general industrial relationships have, if anything, increased in their cordiality as the result of Work Study. Certainly the old fashioned idea that the Work Study Officer was there to do everybody out of a job has been proved to be completely fallacious and Work Study is welcomed both by the men and Management.