Social Services in Huddersfield was a booklet published in 1951 "with the approval of the Huddersfield Corporation" for "citizens to read and keep for reference".
The booklet was funded by advertisements for a selection of local business.
The New Central Public Library and Art Gallery opened in April, 1940, was erected by the Corporation at a cost of £102,500.
Close collaboration between Architect and Librarian was maintained throughout the period of construction. Members of the Committee from time to time visited many modern Libraries and Art Galleries in different parts of the country, and the fittings, furniture, and services were carefully considered in conjunction with the very latest developments in that respect.
The new building is intended not only to provide for the ordinary readers' needs, but to act also as a distribution centre for local branch libraries and book centres.
Exterior. The building is of steel-frame construction, faced externally with Crosland Hill stone. The modern tendency towards simple massing and plain treatment of wall surfaces has been followed, whilst the general detailing is strongly classical in feeling.
A broad flight of steps gives access from Ramsden Street to the Main Entrance Hall at Upper Ground Floor Level. This Ramsden Street front is greatly enhanced by the sculptural work of Mr. James Woodford, R.A., which has been incorporated in the design in such a way as to concentrate interest on the Main Entrance door of the building.
Mr. Woodford’s work consists of two figures, flanking the entrance flight of steps, and two low-relief panels, placed between Ground and First Floor windows of the side bays of the elevation. The figures represent the youthful spirits of Literature and Art, listening to the whispering voices of Inspiration — suggested by six small symbolic panels carved on the back and sides of the thrones upon which the figures are seated.
The composition of the panels on the two side bays consists of grouped figures symbolising various Arts and cultural activities.
Interior — Lower Ground Floor. The Lower Ground Floor contains the three Stack Rooms, with book-lift services to the floors above. Here also are the Children’s Library and Newspaper Room.
Children’s Library. The separate Children’s Library is divided into Reference and Lending sections. It provides shelving for 5,000 volumes in all, and table space for readers. An attempt has been made to provide an attractive department, informal in the lay-out of its furniture, and cheerful in the tones of its colour scheme. The inner walls are decorated by a series of mural panels in oils. These panels portray well-known local legends, and are the work of Mr. C. R. Napier, A.R.C.A., and pupils of the Huddersfield School of Art. The centre design depicts an old man telling his friends some of the legends of the Huddersfield district, and the designs on either side show the walling up of the Marsden Cuckoo, the “ Slowit mooinrakers,” the Scapegoat Hill band tip-toeing through the village so that they would not be heard at dead of night—but with their instruments in full blast—and the Linthwaite leadboilers.
Newspaper Room. The Newspaper Room is furnished with news-slopes, arranged as a continuous fitting round the walls. It also provides seating for readers at tables in the central part of the room.
Upper Ground Floor. The Entrance Hall is at the Upper Ground Floor Level and i s entered directly by means of the steps off Ramsden Street. The walls of the Hall are lined with San Steffano marble, the floor consisting of a chequer design of Bianco del Mare and Swedish Green, and the ceiling of a simple treatment of shallow plastered coffers.
Adjoining the Entrance Hall, on either hand, are the Librarian’s Room and the Committee Room. Separate entrance and exit doors are provided to the Lending Library which, with its Swedish Green marble columns, and shelf accommodation for 20,250 volumes, forms the main feature of the Upper Ground Floor.
Special Libraries. Separate provision is made for the housing of Special Libraries loaned by local Professional Societies, and accessible to the general public. The Library of the Huddersfield Incorporated Law Society is housed in this room and the books made available for reference by the general public.
Music Library. The Music Library in the old premises was formally opened on 21st October, 1924, by the late Samuel Firth, J.P., through whose most generous sympathy and support its establishment was made possible.
Many societies and individuals have contributed towards the library, either by money or gifts in kind, and it now very suitably housed in the new building.
First Floor — Reference Library. On the first floor is situated the Reference Library, with shelf accommodation for 5,000 volumes, and seating for readers at individual reading tables.
In the Reference Library special collections dealing with Huddersfield, Yorkshire Cricket, Textiles and Art have been acquired. A comprehensive file of Huddersfield newspapers from 1850 is available for consultation, together with bound volumes of “ The Times ” from 1898.
Patents Library. Opening off the Reference Library is the Patents’ Library, providing references of Patents dating back to 1855. This Library was transferred from the Town Hall to the former library premises in July, 1902.
Local Collections Room. In this room is housed a valuable collection of works of particular local interest consisting of books, pamphlets, photographs, and other items dealing with the history topography and social activities of Huddersfield and Yorkshire. Of special interest is the collection of books, pamphlets, manuscripts, pedigrees, engravings and maps relating to Huddersfield and district made by the late Mr. G. W. Tomlinson.
Study Rooms. Small rooms for private study open directly off the main stair landing. These small study rooms take the place of the "Carrels" which were a feature of some of the ancient monasteries.
General Reading Room and Ladies' Room. A large General Reading Room and a separate Ladies’ Room have been provided. In the Reading Room is a case which contains the collection of war and other medals presented in May, 1930, by the late Dr. D. Wilson of Paddock. This interesting and valuable collection covers the history of Great Britain and the Empire from the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603) up to and including the period of the Great War (1914-1918) and contains examples of the die-sinker's art which are seldom seen outside of the British Museum.
Second Floor — Art Gallery. The Second Floor is devoted to the purpose of an Art Gallery. Special attention has been paid to the problems of displaying the pictures to the best advantage, both as regards lighting and colour effects. The source of light is, so far as is possible, concealed so as not to distract attention from the picture hanging-space, and all mouldings and decoration have been subordinated for a similar reason.
Recessed metal picture rails are provided for the hanging of pictures and obviated the necessity for unsightly nails or suspension chains.
The Gallery Landing and upper stair-well are lined with Gaboon treated in a series of horizontal bands with walnut division strips. There is also provided hanging space for the larger pictures, whilst a shallow recess, with concealed lighting from above, gives convenient accommodation for the display of small prints, miniatures, or "objets d'art."
Work Rooms. Adjoining the Art Gallery is a Work Room with storage accommodation for pictures. From this work room a special picture hoist, large enough to take pictures of a length up to eleven feet, serves down to the Goods Entrances in Bull and Mouth Street.
Provision is made on the various floors for Staff Work Rooms, Cloak Rooms, Kitchen and Dining Rooms.
Heating and Ventilation. The general heating is supplied by four sectional coke-fired boilers with an over-head gravity feed. Heating of all rooms is by means of the low pressure and temperature accelerated hot water panel system, the panels being formed of wrot iron tubing in coils arranged round the ceiling of each room.
In view of the divergence of conditions in the Art Gallery and Library proper, separate and distinct ventilating systems are provided to serve each of these two departments. All ventilation ducts are concealed.
Floor Coverings. The Lower Ground Floor Reading Rooms, which are on the solid, are floored with Teak wood blocks. Stack rooms and corridors generally have a granolithic finish whilst the main reading rooms are covered with cork carpet in selected colours. The Art Gallery floors are of cork tiles laid to pattern and polished.
Lighting. Particular care has been taken in the arrangement and switching of light points, and special light-fittings have been designed for the main Reading Rooms.
Individual table lights are provided in the Reference Library and to the Newspaper slopes in the News Rooms, flood lights illuminate the main external elevation when this is considered desirable, and an emergency system of lighting serves the Reading Rooms in case of a failure in the supply of current.
Lifts. Electric lifts are provided for passengers, goods, books and pictures.
In a survey of the Libraries in Great Britain made by Mr. Lionel R. McColvin, Honorary Secretary of the Library Association, on behalf of that Association, the Central Library at Huddersfield has been described as one of the best and most workmanlike large library buildings in the country and well worth study. He was particularly impressed by the excellent staff accommodation which is provided.
Huddersfield may now therefore claim to have a Central Library building which judged by modern standards is worthy of the town and adequate for its needs for some years to come and an Art Gallery capable of housing those pictures which it is hoped will from time to time be added to the permanent collection by gift or purchase.
The Branch Library at Almondbury was opened on the 24th February, 1906, by Sir Thomas Brooke, Bart. The late Dr. Andrew Carnegie gave a sum of £1,500 to build this Branch on condition that a site should be provided free of all cost to the ratepayers, and further that the sum of money, about £1,000, then in the hands of the Trustees of the Almondbury Mechanics' Institute and Public Hall Trust Fund should be invested in such a manner as would be a perpetual source of income, which, together with a further sum from the rates annually, would be adequate for the maintenance of the Library. Sir John Ramsden generously provided a site at a nominal rent.
Book centres have been opened as follows :—
The work of a Public Health Department can never become routine in character for its functions are many and the scope of its activities is ever expanding. Its concern is the safeguarding of health and its numerous services have as their aim not only the prevention of illness, but the promotion of health and happiness. The assistance rendered extends to persons of all ages from the cradle to the grave. Indeed much help is given before the cradle stage, for medical authorities have for many years realised that to ensure the birth of healthy children skilled advice and attention must be made readily available to expectant mothers.
Huddersfield has been well in the forefront in this connection, for the Notification of Births Act, which was passed in 1906, was introduced first as a voluntary measure in 1905, and through that measure, and also through the Notification of Pregnancy introduced in 1916, it has been possible to render assistance at the very times when it is needed most. The visiting of mothers and babies in their own homes by fully qualified medical practitioners is a service unique to Huddersfield and believed to be one of the most valuable services rendered by the Public Health Staff.
The following services are available :—
Ante-natal care is provided by doctors and by midwives, either in patients’ own homes, or at a central Clinic, for all who desire to make use of the service.
A priority dental service for expectant and nursing mothers is also provided at the cost of the Local Authority.
The visitation of babies and young children and giving of advice to parents regarding them by doctors and health visitors.
Home nursing of sick infants can be provided if hospital accommodation is not available.
Certain nutrients are provided if recommended by the Assistant Medical Officer of Health.
Incubators are available for the use of premature babies, and can be obtained from the loan cupboard of the Queen Victoria Nurses' Association on application by any medical practitioner.
A domiciliary midwifery service is provided free of cost to those who make use of it. The mid wives employed (with one exception) and the pupils in training reside at a centrally situated Home, and bookings are made either here, or at the Public Health Department.
In cases where the provision of maternity outfits is found necessary these are supplied by the Local Authority.
The supervision of all mid wives practising in the area, whether employed by the Local Authority, by the Hospital Authorities, or practising privately, is the responsibility of the Medical Officer of Health.
Where any medical assistance is required in connection with confinement, and the service required is not covered by the provisions of the National Health Service Act, the help required is made available at the cost of the Local Authority.
The inspection of private Nursing Homes, now 3 in number, is also the responsibility of the Medical Officer of Health.
Day Nurseries (5 in number) have been provided and, although these provide accommodation for 207 children, the demand for admission is always greater than the number of places available, so that priority has to be given to the children of mothers who are compelled to work to supplement their inadequate incomes.
Home Helps are provided in cases where domestic assistance is required owing to sickness, or disability in the home. This is now the only service for which applicants pay either wholly, or in part, according to their means. At present the employment of 37 Home Helps has been approved.
The Authority is responsible for the provision of a free domiciliary nursing service. This is arranged through the Queen Victoria Nurses' Association.
A loan cupboard containing many nursing requisites is maintained for the use of patients in their homes.
Persons suffering from mental illness receive special attention from duly authorised officers (male and female), who deal not only with the admission of certified patients to institutions, but also deal with the after-care of patients on return to their homes.
In the interests of those who have been certified as uneducatable on account of mental deficiency, an Occupation Centre with accommodation for approximately 36 persons has been opened.
After-care for patients generally is now the responsibility of the Local Authority, and all the staff of the Health Department, particularly the health visiting staff, are concerned in this work, so that assistance can be given not only to those recovering from illness, but to the handicapped, the aged, and those suffering from any kind of disability.
The prevention of illness, whether of an infectious nature or otherwise is, of course, the outstanding responsibility of the Health Department, and this is promoted by every means possible.
Education, in the form of lectures, distribution of leaflets, etc., is undertaken and, in connection with certain diseases, special measures are undertaken to raise immunity.
Special precautions are undertaken in dealing with cases of infections brought to notice, and attention is directed to such cases by the Notification of Infectious Diseases provisions of the Public Health Acts and Regulations under which payment is made to doctors who notify the cases. Thus immunisation against diphtheria and vaccination against smallpox are undertaken by the Health Department staff. If the work is undertaken by doctors in general practice fees are paid for reports received regarding the work, when completed.
An ambulance service is available for the removal of all patients within the Borough who cannot travel by public transport, and for removal to places outside the Borough where such removal is certified as necessary by a medical practitioner.
In the Public Health Laboratory bacteriological examinations are made on samples of milk, ice-cream, water, etc. ; numerous specimens of various kinds are examined for the presence of pathogenic bacteria, and examination is made of blood, and other body fluids, to assist in the diagnosis of diseased conditions.
Another responsibility of the Department is the inspection of houses under the Housing Acts; inspection of properties in connection with nuisances of all kinds ; inspection of workshops, factories, workplaces, slaughter houses, dairies, bake-houses, and indeed of all premises where food to be offered for sale is made or handled. Included also is the inspection of drains and the disinfection of premises and infested articles.
Houses let in lodgings receive special supervision. The eradication of vermin of all kinds receives attention, and staff are specially employed for this service. A scheme for the destruction of rats is in operation at the present time.
The National Health Service Act which came into operation on the 5th July, 1948, removed from the Local Authority, and so from the Health Department, most of the responsibility previously exercised in connection with the curative treatment of disease, by transferring the management and maintenance of hospitals to regional Boards. At the same time it added increased responsibility for treating and assisting the sick and handicapped in their own homes, and laid increased emphasis not only upon the prevention of disease, but also upon the promotion and maintenance of good health in the community.
Closely related to the work of the Health Department is that of the School Health Service. Under this, arrangements are made for the routine medical examination of all school children in certain age groups, and for following up those found with defects. In most cases where treatment is considered necessary, children are referred by the School Medical Officers to private doctors, but arrangements are in operation for treating minor injuries and ailments, whilst the provision of certain specialised forms of treatment has been found advisable.
A priority dental service is maintained, and specialists, whose services are now paid for by the Regional Hospital Board, attend special sessions to deal with ophthalmic and orthopaedic cases, nose and throat complaints, and diseased conditions of the skin.
Children who are handicapped in any way, whether physically or mentally, receive special attention, and it is one of the duties of the School Medical Officer to see that such cases are adequately classified, so that if the children are educable, but the degree of handicap is so severe that they are unable to benefit from the education given in ordinary schools, arrangements can be made by the Education Authority for the children concerned to be sent away to special schools.
For the benefit of those who present behaviour problems there is a child guidance clinic with its team of workers, and children suffering from speech defects are dealt with by a speech therapist who attends the clinic on a part-time sessional basis.
The Council of the County Borough has been responsible for the development of education within its boundaries ever since the Education Act of 1902 extended the duties formerly performed by the Huddersfield School Board. In most parts of the town, what are now known as County and Voluntary Schools have been working side by side, though the former accommodate by far the larger portion of the child population. In most cases, these schools cater for a wide age-range of pupil, little progress having been found possible in the way of reorganisation on the lines indicated in the Hadow Report of 1926. In 1937, plans were set on foot for the building of ten new Senior Schools as well as some sorely needed for juniors in newly developed housing areas, but the out-break of War held up this as well as most of the other developments in the educational service of the town. Actually, only one school, for infants and juniors living in the Dalton and Waterloo area, was built, and even this could not be completed for educational purposes. Not until 1950 was it possible for this long-awaited primary school to be finished and occupied. Since then the Authority has completed another urgently required primary school at Deighton and a junior county school at Almondbury and a secondary modern school at Rawthorpe are in process of erection.
Development Plan. These buildings represent merely those aspects of the Authority’s Development Plan, prepared under the 1944 Education Act, which are regarded as most urgent and on which the present limited materials and labour should be concentrated. The Plan provides for the ultimate establishment of two County Colleges, Secondary Grammar Schools for boys and girls, a mixed Secondary Technical School and some ten Secondary Modern Schools, as well as numerous Primary Schools which will include adequate provision of nursery education throughout the Borough. In the majority of cases, the scheme requires the building of completely new schools, though some of the existing buildings will be adapted for further use. On the secondary side, while the Authority has for many years been well above the national average in the number of places it has provided for selective secondary education, the schools themselves have not been too adequately housed, though of recent years good extensions have been built at the Almondbury and Royds Hall Grammar Schools. The latter school is maintained by the County Borough, but is attended by children from both the borough and the county areas.
Pending progress as envisaged in the Development Plan, the Authority is undertaking partial reorganisation of schools along similar lines as occasion offers. Certain regroupings of schools have become possible recently, and while the re-arrangements effected fall short of the ideal conditions sought by the Authority for its children, considerable educational advantages ensue.
Admission to all selective schools is based on a "100 per cent Special Place" system and is gained only by those pupils who have reached a satisfactory standard in the Special Place Examinations. To meet the difficulties of illness, nervousness and other problems that beset young examinees, these tests are held three times yearly, so that each candidate has repeated opportunities to prove his or her capacity for secondary education. Parents are at liberty to send their children to any school in the Borough in which there is the requisite accommodation, no geographical limitations of choice being imposed. The demand for accommodation has necessitated the "zoning" of three schools. (Dalton, Oakes and Stile Common).
Further Education. The Technical College has acquired a well-deserved reputation in the North of England for the excellence of the facilities available for advanced courses of study and research, not only on the scientific, technical and art sides, for which it was originally built, but also in the rapidly expanding departments of Humanistic Studies. Many years ago it out-grew the limitations of its original building, and a very well equipped Extension was opened in 1937. This provided much improved accommodation, especially for the Department of Chemistry, Colour Chemistry, and Dyeing, which occupies a good deal of the new building. A feature of this Department for many years has been the amount of post-graduate research work undertaken, and the extension includes a number of small laboratories, specially designed with this end in view, which were provided through the generosity of a number of local industrial firms.
Similar action on the part of the textiles manufacturers nearly twenty years earlier had enabled the College to acquire the present textiles building. So much has this side of the work of the College developed that these premises are no longer adequate for the needs of the Department, and one of the most urgent problems of the College at the present day is the need to rehouse the whole Department, for which a considerable amount of new equipment is being provided. A new site has been acquired.
Other recent developments include the opening of a Department of Music and the erection of a temporary, though admirably equipped, building to house the Domestic Science Department. The College is intended to become an important centre in respect of both these subjects, serving a large area in the north for musical studies and for large scale industrial catering.
The Huddersfield Technical College, now one of the very largest in the whole country, is generally handicapped through overcrowding, and the Authority is faced with a very substantial building programme which must be carried out if the College is to enjoy proper facilities for its work. The Authority’s Development Scheme for Further Education under the 1944 Education Act includes the ear-marking of a twelve-acre site in the neighbourhood of the existing building which, when fully developed, will at last provide Huddersfield with a College of Further Education worthy of the magnitude of the work undertaken there.
A Training College for Teachers of Technical Subjects, one of only three in the country, has been set up in Huddersfield jointly by the Ministry of Education and the Local Education Authority. It is housed at present in the Technical College buildings, and, to accommodate the students who come from distant parts of the country, a group of four hostels has been established in Edgerton. The College, which was temporarily administered under the Regulations governing Emergency Training Colleges, has now become a permanent teacher-training institution, the scope of whose work will embrace not only teachers in Technical Colleges and schools, but also those who desire to serve in the County Colleges to be set up under the 1944 Education Act.
Scholarships. The Borough Education Authority is particularly generous in the matter of maintenance allowances, scholarships and other awards to students at school, in the Technical College and at Training Colleges and Universities for both undergraduate and post-graduate work. On these awards, over £12,500 a year is disbursed, in addition to the proceeds of special endowments. The details are too numerous to set out here, but are contained in a brochure, which is obtainable from the Education Offices.
Ancillary Services. The School Medical Department, in addition to arranging routine medical inspections at specified ages and regular visits to the schools of School Nurses, provides dental, ophthalmic, orthopaedic and other specialised treatments. Closely allied to this side of the educational service is the work undertaken by the Child Guidance Clinic. The staff establishment includes a Psychiatrist, an Educational Psychologist and Psychiatric Social Worker, in addition to a Speech Therapist dealing with all cases of speech defects, including those of children under school age.
The work undertaken by the School Welfare Department has far outgrown the limitations implied in the old term of "School Attendance Department," and the inquiries made often bring to light many difficulties, both mental and physical, with which children have to contend through unsatisfactory environment. In addition to this form of social work, which the officers sometimes undertake in conjunction with the N.S.P.C.C., this department is responsible also for the administrative side of the school milk and meals services. The latter service has grown in the last few years from almost nothing to a daily provision of some 6,500 meals, mainly from central kitchens.
The work in the schools is also assisted by organisers for Physical Education and for Music. The lack of playing fields at most of the schools is partly overcome by the use of the Municipal Playing Fields in Leeds Road, and a growing amount of inter-school competition is arranged. The Municipal Baths are used all the year round for swimming classes, and special instructors are employed for this purpose. Developments in musical education include a number of instrumental classes leading to the formation of junior orchestras, and non-competitive festivals are regularly arranged.
Finally, the Youth Service has established itself as a very active unit in the educational work of the Borough. The Further Education Officer acts as the Secretary of the Youth Committee, and the work undertaken embraces all types of clubs. In connection with some of its own schools, the Authority maintains six clubs, all of which have Senior and (for those children still of compulsory school age) Junior sections. Each club has a Leader and two Assistant Leaders, and, while some of these appointments are held by members of the teaching staff, it is part of the Authority’s policy that in each club there shall be at least one member of the staff drawn from outside the teaching profession. Some of these appointments are held on a full-time basis.
Among the social legislation of recent years was the National Assistance Act of 1948, which placed certain functions upon local authorities.
To carry out those functions the Welfare Committee was formed, its duties comprising :
Following is a summary of the assistance provided by the Welfare Committee under the Act, and also of other assistance rendered by the Department.
St. Luke’s Home. Accommodation (173) provided for both men and women, not necessarily elderly, who require some care and attention.
Much has been done to secure more amenities and to brighten the lives of the people at this Home, and much more is contemplated in the future. It is the Committee’s intention, when circumstances permit, to utilise smaller Homes, but until then efforts will be continued to bring St. Luke’s Home up to as high a standard as possible.
Homes for elderly. The provision of better accommodation for elderly persons has been given much consideration by the former Social Welfare Committee, and in this connection the war provided an opportunity for experiment. "Pennine Grange" was taken over for the accommodation of 35 men and proved highly successful in giving the men a much freer and better life than was possible in a large institution. Shortly after the war "Oaklands," Dalton, was purchased and fitted up to provide for 25 aged women : this was even more successful.
Thus Huddersfield, always to the fore, had anticipated the changes outlined in the National Assistance Act. The Act strengthens the Council’s powers of help to the aged and handicapped persons and should provide for a service able to bring happiness and contentment into the lives of many people.
The Welfare Committee, by its scheme under the Act, has to double its provision of accommodation and is eager to make progress with this important duty.
For this purpose, further large houses have been acquired and adapted as follows :— Lands House, Rastrick (for 26 men) ; Heathfield, Crosland Moor (for 22 women) ; Sandymount, Crosland Moor (for 14 women) ; Bryan Lodge, Edgerton (for 17 women) ; Stoneleigh, Edgerton (for 22 women) ; and Moor View, Crosland Moor (for 14 men).
At each of these Homes the residents are helped to feel that it is their home, that they have perfect freedom and that they should co-operate in making it a happy abode. It is also only too well realised that though fine houses, with excellent furnishings, may be provided, yet it is the spirit of service in which the staff work that makes for its success or otherwise.
The Council has also agreed that Longdenholme in Greenhead Road be handed over to the Welfare Committee and this it is hoped will be adapted next year to accommodate 28 men.
In addition the Committee has approved a scheme for the building of 6 Homes on the Council’s Housing Estates each to accommodate about 36 elderly persons. In these Homes it is hoped to have a number of single bedrooms and also some for married couples. Plans are prepared and the matter will shortly be decided upon.
Special Homes. In the provision of its accommodation the Welfare Committee may make arrangements with voluntary organisations. Such arrangements are so made in regard to epileptics, deaf and dumb, cripples and other difficult cases, which are sent to the best institutions in the country where they receive treatment and usually some form of training for simple employment.
Handicapped Persons. Arrangements for promoting the welfare of handicapped persons is another function under the Act.
So far as blind persons are concerned the Council’s Blind Welfare Sub-Committee is carrying out this duty, and, in addition to the provision of instruction in some form of work, a shop, workrooms, and. social amenities, it has provided a hostel for 12 blind persons (men and women) and also a workshop.
Regarding the deaf and dumb, hard of hearing, crippled, etc., the Welfare Committee has had consultations with the voluntary organisations, and now that directions have been received from the Minister of Health, it is anticipated that the local voluntary organisations will be appointed agents for the Committee in carrying out the duties required.
General Welfare. The Committee is ready to assist voluntary organisations in their efforts to run schemes of Darby and Joan Clubs and also Meals on Wheels.
Arrangements are also made for the protection of the moveable personal property of any person admitted to Hospital or Home where no arrangements have been made for this, and numbers of such cases have arisen in the past two years.
A scheme has been commenced at the Homes for teaching handicrafts to those residents who desire it, and it is hoped to develop this on a much larger scale as the Homes grow and the desires of the residents increase.
The Welfare Office is a centre where numerous people go for information and advice, which is readily given ; this followed on from war days when the Office was usually crowded out daily with enquiries.
A scheme for the welfare of old people in their homes is being arranged with the local Old People’s Welfare Committee, coordinated through the Welfare Committee.
Wayfarers are dealt with, on behalf of the National Assistance Board, through the Committee’s Reception Centre at St. Luke's.
The Committee also undertakes for the Council the welfare of the residents in the Roebuck Memorial Homes and the Cottage Homes at Waterloo.
This is, perhaps, the most popular of the Corporation enterprises because it offers scope for healthful exercise, affords the thrill of competition and achievement, the acquisition of skill which may mean the saving of life in certain emergencies, and the feeling of perfect well-being which follows the wise use of Slipper and Medical Baths. All arrangements for the comfort, convenience and safety of bathers are as perfect as modern science can make them.
Cambridge Road Baths. The swimming bath at the Cambridge Road establishment (100 feet by 35 feet), filled with limpid and sparkling water, is one of the finest in the Provinces.
During the summer months the smaller pool is reserved for Ladies only, all day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, also on Saturday mornings. The rest of the week the bath is reserved for men only.
From October to March 31st, Mixed Bathing is available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Lessons in swimming and lifesaving are given in the large Bath at Cambridge Road and at Ramsden Street.
For those who are already proficient, opportunities for swimming races, diving exhibitions, and water polo matches in connection with various swimming clubs are frequent.
Ultra Violet Ray. It is an easy matter to enjoy the full benefit of tonic ultra violet ray treatment at the Cambridge Road Baths at any time of the year. A sun-bath gives a wonderful refreshment to the entire system. Systematic and regular sunbaths throughout the winter ensure vigorous health and help to ward off diseases.
Zotofoam Baths. To get rid of the misery of rheumatism, gout, sciatica, and kindred ailments, it is necessary to cleanse the body of poisonous secretions which clog the pores. These can be removed in privacy and with a maximum of pleasure, by means of zotofoam Baths (2/6 each). These also help materially in reducing weight and regaining the suppleness and shapely figure of youth. These Baths have long been recommended by the Medical-Profession as they impose no strain on the heart and can be indulged in with perfect safety.
There are also Brine, Pine, Peatex and Epsom Salts, Aeration Baths of proved efficacy.
Slipper Baths. There are Slipper Baths for Ladies and Gentlemen respectively open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Sunday.
Special Shower Baths are also provided at the same charge.
Baths and Assembly Hall. During the Winter the main Bath at Cambridge Road is covered over, so as to form a magnificent ballroom, and it can be hired for public meetings, whist drives, concerts and other functions. The charges are inclusive and cover use of Hall, Cafe and Supper Rooms, Kitchen, Crockery, etc.
The special electric lighting effects make this a most attractive venue for social gatherings.
Municipal Dancing. On Saturday evening and holidays the popular dances organised by the Corporation are always well attended.
Ramsden Street Bath. This is mainly used as a School Bath, and is closed to the public during School hours.
Mixed Bathing is allowed during the lunch hour and in the evenings.
For fuller information apply to : A. W. Toalster, Superintendent, Cambridge Road Baths. Telephone : 3385.
During the period between the two Great Wars, 5,134 houses were erected by the Corporation and at the present time some 7,400 houses are municipally owned. In addition to this number 250 temporary bungalows have been erected on well planned sites at Netheroyd Hill, Dalton and Fernside.
Approximately 2,200 houses were built under the Slum Clearance Programme with the result that considerable areas of land near the centre of the town became available for redevelopment and rebuilding proposals for these areas have been included in the Development Plan for the County Borough which was submitted to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government on the 31st December, 1951.
The Corporation anticipated that at the end of the war the amount of skilled labour available for house building would prove inadequate to maintain reasonable progress in the erection of houses in view of the large demands for skilled labour required for industrial building in the town, and it was therefore decided to augment the building of traditional houses by the erection of several non-traditional types which could be erected largely by unskilled labour.
This policy has been justified and a total of 1,728 permanent and temporary dwellings have been completed since the end of the war, 758 of these houses of non-traditional construction having been erected on the Fernside Estate.
Development of the Bradley Estate, which ultimately will provide for approximately 1,000 houses, has been commenced and it is anticipated that 120 houses will have been completed by the end of 1952.
A considerable amount of tree planting and landscape gardening, including the laying out of open spaces, is being carried out on the new housing estates with a view to improving their amenities.
The position with regard to skilled labour in the Borough is still unsatisfactory and the Corporation are continuing with the policy of including in their housing programme the erection of substantial numbers of non-traditional types of houses requiring a minimum of skilled labour in addition to the building of houses of traditional construction, the erection of shops with dwelling accommodation over and the provision of bungalows for aged people.
The layout of all the new housing estates is being carried out in conformity with the Development Plan of the Borough and provision is being made for sites for schools, shops, playing fields, community centres and other cultural and recreational buildings, thus ensuring that all the necessary amenities will be provided and that the growth of the town will proceed on modern principles and in accordance with Town Planning requirements.
Trolley Bus Services. Huddersfield was the first Municipality to construct, operate and develop its own passenger transport system ; steam trams were put into service on January 11th, 1883, electrification of the system being carried out during 1901 and 1902. The conversion of the tramcar to trolley bus operation was commenced in 1933 and completed in 1940. To-day the Corporation owns 140 double-deck trolley buses and the route mileage is 42.32 embracing the following districts :— Almondbury, Birkby, Bradley, Brighouse, Crosland Moor, Elland and West Vale, Lindley, Lockwood, Longwood, Marsden, Newsome, Outlane, Sheepbridge, Slaith-waite and Waterloo.
The longest route from the centre of the town is the Marsden route, which is 7½ miles.
The minimum fare is 2d. for the first mile and thereafter at the rate of one penny per mile. Cheap workmen's fares are issued up to 9.0 a.m.
Parcels are conveyed to recognised depots on route.
Motor Omnibus Services. The motor omnibus services, which were inaugurated in 1920, are operated jointly under Agreement by the Corporation and the British Railways. At the present time the route mileage is 130 and the fleet is 52 double-deck and 42 single-deck (34 seater) Omnibuses and 2 "one-man" operated single-deck (43 seater) omnibuses — at present on experiment.
Many of the routes are operated in conjunction with neighbouring Municipal and Company Omnibus Undertakings, and the districts served include Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax and the industrial townships in the Colne and Holme Valleys. Company Omnibus Undertakings also operate to Leeds, Wakefield, Barnsley, Sheffield, Oldham, etc.
Long distance express bus services passing through the town serve Liverpool, Manchester, Darlington, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Blackpool, Morecambe.
Summer services are provided to East Coast resorts such as Scarborough, Bridlington and Skegness.
Cleansing. In accordance with Section 72 (1) of the Public Health Act, 1936, the Corporation have undertaken the collection of house refuse from every part of the Borough. For the purpose of collecting the refuse and transporting the same to the disposal points, Karrier C.K. 3 refuse collection vehicles with side opening shutters and a capacity of 10 cubic yards are used. Clean waste paper is kept separate by the householders and is collected at the same time as the refuse. This clean paper is placed in trailers and brought to the Cleansing Department where it is pressed into bales by a special mechanically operated press. It is then sold to waste paper merchants.
Waste food is collected twice weekly in winter and three times per week in summer from communal bins. It is then delivered to a private plant for processing, after which it is sold to farmers for feeding pigs and poultry.
Household refuse is disposed of by controlled tipping on three sites, namely :— Fieldhouse Lane off Leeds Road, on land recently occupied by the Huddersfield Brick, Tile & Stone Co., in Emerald Street off Hillhouse Lane, and at Douglas Avenue, Paddock. For disposing of fish and fruit, cats and dogs, diseased animals and suchlike, the department operates a very small incinerator.
Dust bins are provided by the Corporation free of charge to dwellings, as they are purchased by the Cleansing Department through a levy on the rates. This system has been in operation since 1922. There are 47,679 in use in Huddersfield to-day.
Centralised Haulage. Combined with the Cleansing Department is the Centralised Haulage Department from which all the motor and horse transport required by the various Corporation Services is supplied. This Department which has been operating since 1920 now operates a fleet of 59 vehicles, ranging from 7 ton carrying capacity vehicles down to vans and cars.
All repairs, body and cab rebuilding, painting, etc., are carried out in the Department's own workshop.
It is regretted that owing to pressure on space, no room has been found for sundry other departments run with the same efficiency as those dealt with in the text.