Huddersfield Daily Examiner (18/Sep/1918) - The Jubilee of the Borough

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


It is inevitable that the jubilee of the incorporation of the borough of Huddersfield, since it occurs in the midst of the greatest war in history, should be quietly celebrated without the usually inevitable banqueting and ceremony. The completion of fifty years of municipal enterprise which have produced results that most people will concede constitute a record creditable in the highest degree to those responsible for the work could not be allowed to pass without some recognition. It was decided by the County Borough Council to mark the occasion by repairing omissions in the visible records of past municipal history, by impressing the meaning of the anniversary on the minds of the children, and by the addition to the roll of freemen of the borough of the names of six gentlemen who are deemed to have rendered conspicuous service to the municipality. As we have before had occasion to explain the title of freeman carries with it no financial, social, or civic privileges. It is purely an expression of the opinion entertained by the Council of the services which the recipients have rendered to the borough — as in this instance — or to the nation. Public service when prompted by the desire to benefit those amongst whom it is rendered, carries with it its own reward in the consciousness of duty done. When in addition it receives the crown of approval of the community at large, that reward is considerably enhanced.


Four of the new freemen — Alderman Jessop and Woodhead, ex-Alderman Broadbent, and Councillor Thomson — have filled the Mayoral chair. Alderman Jessop it the "father" of the Council, and has been a member for the long period of 36 years. Alderman Woodhead has 24 years' service on the Council to his credit, with previous service on the old School Board, and has occupied the chair of the Finance Committee longer than any previous occupant of the position. Mr. Broadbent's great work on behalf of public health, and especially in safeguarding infant life, has gained for him a more than national reputation. Councillor Thomson has been 20 years a member of the Council, and in educational and other matters has rendered much efficient service to the town. The other two freemen, Mr. J. A. Brooke and Mr. Willans, are not now members of the Council, though both were thought worthy of being elected in 1901 to the Aldermanic bench without previous membership. Each filled the office for six or seven years. The services of these two gentlemen, particularly in the matter of education, are too well known to need repetition here. It is interesting to note that Mr. Brooke is the third of three brothers who have served the town and district finely over a long series of years, and held in the highest esteem in this district, upon whom the honour has been conferred. Another feature is that Alderman Woodhead, who has followed his father as member of the Council, Alderman, and Mayor, now follows him also on the roll of honorary freeman of his native borough. To those whom the Council is "delighted to honour" congratulations will, no doubt, widely be extended and the hope entertained that they may long be spared to serve the community which includes in the celebration of so auspicious an occasion in its history the recognition of the work of the Corporation through these past and present members of that body.