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First visit by Queen to Huddersfield came while still a Princess

Thousands turn out to greet Royal couple

IT was to be another four years before she ascended to the throne.

But the visit to Huddersfield in July 1949 by Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh drew massive crowds.

It was the first of four visits the monarch would make to Huddersfield in her record-breaking reign.

She came to town with Prince Philip on the first day of a three-day tour of West Riding towns.

The couple called in at the former Huddersfield Town football ground at Leeds Road, where 8,000 schoolchildren were assembled.

During a tiring morning of rehearsals for their display tableau, a number of the children had to be helped from the field and when asked if they would give up lunch for another rehearsal the answer was a resounding “No”.

But they did agree to hurry over their sandwiches and pop to get back into position for the arrival of the Princess.

Last stop on the royal agenda was at the Trafalgar Mills of Messrs Learoyd Bros and Co, worsted manufacturers, where the couple were shown all round.

Royal Visit: Princess Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh visiting Trafalgar Mills in 1949

St John Ambulance Brigade reported that nearly 100 men, women and children were treated during the day for the effects of the heat and reports said the delivery of over 60 pints of water, carried in flasks by first-aiders, helped to minimise the number of faintings.

Six camermen from the Huddersfield Cine Club between them shot 700ft of colour film covering the visit. They produced a film entitled:‘Huddersfield’s Welcome to H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh July 26th 1949’.

The Royal guests had arrived by train and stepped out into St George’s Square to see a banner proclaiming, ‘Welcome to Huddersfield’.

A large crowd turned out for the event and lined the streets of Huddersfield as the Royal couple made their way by car through the town centre to Huddersfield Town Hall.

Footage shot by the Cine Club shows police marshalling the crowds, many waving Union Jack flags.

The Royal couple were welcomed by the Mayor Clr David Cartwright and the Princess was handed a bouquet. The Duke of Edinburgh made an inspection of the troops lining Ramsden Street before the Royal couple made their way up the steps of the Town Hall to wave from the balcony.

At the football ground they were greeted by an estimated 8,000 Huddersfield schoolchildren, many of whom had been waiting for hours in the heat.

And the visit ended with a tour of the historic textile mill of Learoyd Bros, who produced fine worsted cloth in the town between 1898 and 1979.

They were based at the time at the imposing Trafalgar Mills in Leeds Road.

Crowds awaiting Royal Visit: Princess Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh at the Town ground in Leeds Road



Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent