Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:
Before turning left at the lights notice, straight in front, at the bottom of Northumberland Street, the now defunct Friendly and Trades Club.
This building started life as the premises of the Huddersfield Mechanics' Institution which, from its beginnings in the town as the Huddersfield Young Men's Mental Improvement Society, had provided an elementary education for youths and young men. By 1843, when the name Mechanics' Institution was adopted by the society, there were a hundred and eighty two students attending classes in reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, drawing, design, geography and French.After twenty years of using rented rooms in various parts of the town the Institution finally opened its own purpose built premises in Northumberland Street in 1861. In that year there were over seven hundred active pupils taught by twenty paid and twenty five voluntary teachers. Twenty years later, the Institution, with the co-operation of the Chamber of Commerce, established the Huddersfield Technical College in Queen Street South and the building in Northumberland Street was occupied by the Friendly and Trades Club which was opened in 1886.
NORTHUMBERLAND STREET (North Side). No 9 (Friendly and Trades Club). Foundation stone laid 1859. Former Mechanics' Institute. Hammer dressed stone. Hipped slate roof. One storey. Full entablature; frieze part ornamented with scroll motif, part inscribed "Mechanics Institution". console-shaped modillions. Three blind arches with moulded voussoirs and continuous moulded imposts, and wreathed roundels in tympana. Each one surmounts tripartite opening, divided by Tuscan pilasters, the flanking openings have sash windows, central opening has double doors with ten panels up flight of steps flanked by moulded and fluted cast iron torcheres. Continuous plain sill band. Area with two tripartite sashes, and cast iron railings with spear finials. Two C18 wings to rear of main block. One faces Northgate, and is built of hammer dressed stone, with a hipped stone slate roof. Three storeys. Modillioned eaves cornice. Raised quoins. Five ranges of sashes with glazing bars in plain raised surrounds. Door with four fielded panels and fanlight in moulded surround with cornice: rusticated ashlar zone between door and first floor window above. The other faces Friendly Street, and is built of hammer-dressed stone, with a pitched stone slate roof. Two storeys. Two stone mullioned sashes on first floor, one 4-light and one 3-light.