A film has been unearthed which pays tribute to the people of Huddersfield as “shrewd, hard-working and fiercely independent” - with a zest for singing and shopping.
The wonderfully evocative film says Huddersfield is “neither old and charming, nor bright and new” but an industrial town where time is marked by the sound of factory hooters.
It was released in 1962 by the Colonial Office and was destined for distribution in Africa and Australia.
Over images of factories and mills, the narrator describes the town’s “good fortune” to be on the edge of some fine countryside.
“A sharp walk will bring you to hills where the stone walls firmly bind the landscape, unbroken and continuous to the last wilderness.
“And where the birds still go crying in the empty air where they did before the Romans came.”
The West Riding countryside around Huddersfield is “rich with streams and springs and you are scarcely ever out of sound of falling water.
“The water is free from lime, wonderfully soft, good for washing and dyeing wool.”
It praises the town for producing products known throughout the world, including electric motors, tractors, gears and chemicals.
“Having plenty of industries has meant plenty of jobs,” says the narrator.
“Oh yes, the people of Huddersfield are shrewd, hard-working and fiercely independent but they have a natural gaiety and a zest for pleasure.”
The pleasures to be had include market shopping, playing golf, tennis, bowls and cricket, and singing in a choir.
But, the film notes, the town’s way of life was gradually changing as the rows of back to back houses gave way to modern blocks of flats and new housing estates, with the town centre’s Lonsbrough Flats pictured as an example.
The film then cuts to shots of the town centre market in the pouring rain, saying: “The town abounds with shops and stores.
“Turn off the main road will bring you to the market. The lure of the market is strong even in the rain...bargaining here is warm, earthy, good-natured.”
Fans of Huddersfield Town get a glimpse of the early 1960s team and a description of the style of play - “clean, fast and exciting” - that might be describing today’s Terriers.
And for those with a love of singing, there’s the world-famous Huddersfield Choral Society whose members are pictured singing Handel’s Messiah, “music conceived in burning conviction and expresses something that is fundamental in the make up of these warm-hearted Yorkshire folk.”
* Are you pictured in the film or know anyone who is? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org