to 31 Dec 2022 Society A Woman’s Work…
What to see
You’ll find accounts of Huddersfield’s tourist attractions in Towns of Two Halves (and of 91 other places: order the book now for £8 from firstname.lastname@example.org). For additional information plus shopping, eating out etc there’s Kirklees Council or for themed trails Discover Huddersfield.
For events coming up go to Skiddle or Creative Kirklees.
Comment and colour
“Lowry liked Huddersfield. “I used to visit all the industrial towns and stop a couple of nights in each,” he said. “Huddersfield in particular I’d go back to.” Friedrich Engels was another admirer: “Huddersfield is the handsomest by far of all the factory towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire.”
“The Tolson Museum, about a mile down the main road towards Wakefield, offers variety and humour. I started upstairs where the history of Huddersfield is presented. Unfortunately I went the wrong way round and got the impression of rather haphazard arrangement until I realised my error. Even so, it was highly entertaining. In the distant corner of one room was a Cabinet of Curiosities, which contained among other things the collections of flints and shoe buckles of a Mr Frances Buckley. His drawings of where the flints were found were so meticulous that the War Office employed him to depict battlefield positions in World War I. No explanation for the buckles was offered, beyond the coincidence of his surname.
“Round the corner was Huddersfield’s star fossil, an ancient shark-like fish with implausible dentition. The Edestus newtoni’s lower jaw accommodated something like a circular saw, if the scientists are to be believed. Did it prey on telegraph poles? What happened when it bit its tongue?
“Huddersfield’s industrial past was celebrated in occasionally gory detail. The section on the cloth trade noted that some Luddites were hanged and dissected. The role of stale urine in the scouring of cloth was hard to ignore. The fancy trade, in which colours and patterns were woven or knitted into cloth, seemed an uncharacteristically frivolous activity for a Yorkshire town. And the explanation of the origin of the word ‘spinster’ – an unmarried daughter put to work spinning to earn her keep – was a bonus.”
This is an extract from Towns of Two Halves.
More Huddersfield links:
Huddersfield Library & Art Gallery