It has become a landmark as familiar to Huddersfield as Emley Moor TV mast and Castle Huill.

And it was fitting that the Scammonden Dam and the Pennine stretch of the M62 motorway got Royal approval.

Queen Elizabeth made the journey to Huddersfield on October 14, 1971, to officially open both structures.

And, in an area noted for its bad weather, the sun was shining from a blue sky with only a few white clouds when the monarch arrived in Huddersfield.

An Examiner leader lauded the Scammonden Dam and M62 projects.

It hailed the dam which “will in years to come solve Huddersfield’s water problems” and the motorway which “will prove an inestimable boon to private and commercial travellers across the Pennines at least for a generation.”

The monarch was certainly making a fashion statement when she arrived in a striking coat in tomato red over a Paris-length matching dress and a red crocheted hat with a white and black flower motif.

There was a crowd estimated at several thousand people to greet her arrival at Huddersfield railway station, where the royal train overshot the red carpet area and the Queen had to step down on to the bare stone platform.

Video thumbnail, When the Queen came to Huddersfield
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From then on it was flag-waving crowds all the way for the slow drive from St George’s Square and the route to New Hey Road, first to Outlane and then Scammonden Water.

At just seven miles long but seven years in the building, the M62’s Pennine stretch is as spectacular now as it was when it opened almost 45 years ago. Cutting an eight-lane motorway through the bleak Pennine hills and moorland had been a mammoth task.

The Queen cut the ribbon to mark its official opening.

“Was I nervous on the day? Certainly not,” said the M62’s chief engineer Geoffrey Hunter when he talked about the day many years later.

“The Palace had to be warned that it might be a lovely day and the sun might shine - or it might not,” he said.

The Queen en route to open the M62 at Milnrow. 14 October 1971

“A temperature drop could happen at any time and it could be quite severe.

“She wore a hat that couldn’t blow away and a lovely warm alpaca coat but it turned out to be a beautifully sunny day.”

Mr Hunter said he was “fortunate” to have been involved in a scheme which had attracted the royal seal of approval on that sunny October day.

“It was an iconic project,” he added.

“More research went into this project than any other length of motorway in the UK.”