Huddersfield Local History Society is a membership organisation for anybody and everybody interested in the history of the town. Our established activities include monthly talks from September to May; a summer outing; an autumn seminar; an annual journal, free to members; and a series of publications. We are keen to recruit new members and to develop opportunities for members to share their interests in local history and work together to find out more about our fascinating town. Please explore our website and contact us here for further information.
Publications update – new book now out
Newly published in October 2013 is Joseph Brook of Greenhead: ‘Father of the Town’, by David Griffiths. Joseph Brook JP (1787-1858) was one of the men who shaped modern Huddersfield in the first half of the 19th century. Full details of the 96-page illustrated biography can be found on our publications page.
Our Huddersfield Town Centre heritage trail, published jointly with Huddersfield Civic Society and funded by Kirklees Council, is available on-line or in print at various town centre outlets.
Our colleagues at the University have published a splendid book, Slavery in Yorkshire: Richard Oastler and the campaign against child labour in the industrial revolution, of which full details are here. The editors, Hilary Haigh and John Hargreaves, and four of the other six contributors, are HLHS members.
The Society is a partner in Discover Huddersfield, a community-led project with the Town Centre Partnership, Civic Society, Rugby League Heritage Project and Chol Theatre just some of the other organisations involved. The project has been supported with funding from Kirklees Council’s High Street Innovation Fund; the aim is to offer new and exciting ways to experience our town through guided walks, talks and trails. The official launch was on Sunday 7 July and five town trails are now available, including one on Historic Buildings based on our own Town Centre Heritage Trail.
The Society recognises that members of many minority ethnic and religious communities have made their homes in Huddersfield over the years, and wants to ensure that all their stories are represented within the history of the town. Our new Migrations page gives an overview and links to an audit of published work recording these community histories.
Yorkshire History Prize 2014
Applications are now invited for the annual Yorkshire History Prize. This Society has had two winners in recent years and would encourage anyone researching Huddersfield history to consider a submission; details are available here.
Two sad losses
It is with sadness that we record the deaths of two outstanding Huddersfield historians. Edward Law died suddenly on 28 August, and Lesley Kipling after a long illness on 26 September. Both Edward and Lesley made major contributions as authors of the Society’s publications, and in many other ways: Edward was the author of Joseph Kaye and Huddersfield in the 1820s, while Lesley was co-author of Liberty or Death (see below). Lesley’s co-author Alan Brooke has published an obituary and tribute on his website, with some of Lesley’s own writing, while much of Edward’s research is available on his own website. The Society will be considering how best to celebrate and maintain their work.
Commemorating the Luddites
With the bicentenary of the Luddite uprising now behind us, the Society has joined with the University of Huddersfield to organise an annual Luddite Memorial Lecture. However, our bicentenary book, Liberty or Death: Radicals, Republicans and Luddites, 1793-1823, by Alan Brooke and Lesley Kipling, proved so popular that we have already undertaken a second print run. Also on the Luddite theme is William Horsfall’s last journey, a walking trail of about 3 miles, prepared with Huddersfield University students.
The Society is keen to encourage local history research both by individuals and community groups.
We cannot offer to research your local history queries, but we will do our best to point you in the right direction – check out our research resources page or contact us. You can also post queries on the forum of the Huddersfield & District Family History Society (which is a separate organisation) or make use of their family history search service; this charges £6 per hour for members, £7 for non-members, and you can contact their research team at <research[at]hdfhs.org.uk>. Huddersfield Local Studies Library have also set up links to a wide range of family history resources.
The University of Huddersfield has gained funding for a Sound, Craft, Vision, Place project, which aims to help community groups to explore and articulate their heritage for themselves.
This website is always under development and we would like your feedback on how to improve it.
Header image courtesy of Kirklees Image Archive: www.kirkleesimages.org.uk