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WATCH: 'It's like Armageddon in here!' Check out this BBC documentary's assessment of Huddersfield and Halifax from 1978

Nairn's Journeys compares Huddersfield and Halifax — see what the 'architecture critic' made of our towns

A 1978 BBC documentary that pits Huddersfield against Halifax has surfaced on YouTube — and you won't believe some of the comments made about our towns.

An episode of Nairn's Journeys, presented by posh architecture critic Ian Nairn, came north to West Yorkshire to assess the two town centres.

We're sure his commentary was well received in the late 1970s, but in 2015 his dry assessment sounds more like stand-up comedy — although he does say some nice things about Huddersfield and Halifax.

He sums up his findings as a football result — with Halifax winning 5-2! He said: "Halifax has expressed itself and Huddersfield hasn't."

We've picked out a few of the funniest, poshest, most interesting quotes — watch the video and see what you make of his criticisms!

On Huddersfield town centre

YouTube/BBC Ian in Huddersfield Town Centre
Ian in Huddersfield Town Centre

"Thank god for the hills at the end, that's all that redeems it."

"After this Huddersfield falls off into first mills and then moors."

"The end of the long yawn."

"You could get what's left of the Cloth Hall back here."

"It's just dead straight."

On the new market hall

Inside Huddersfield New Market, 1978
Inside Huddersfield New Market, 1978

"A marvellously human place... really the opposite of most shopping centres."

On Huddersfield Town Hall

YouTube/BBC Huddersfield Town Hall, 1978
Huddersfield Town Hall, 1978

"Flat and saying nothing, it's the Huddersfield disease almost."

But - "Inside there's a marvellous bit of architecture."

On the houses

YouTube/BBC Ian was not impressed with these houses in Huddersfield
Ian was not impressed with these houses in Huddersfield

"If you have got a view as splendid as this, please don't build houses like those over there to look at it. Huddersfield has to look at you and the site isn't very nice!"

On Halifax

BBC/YouTube Ian looks towards Halifax from Southowram
Ian looks towards Halifax from Southowram

"Halifax is one of the most dramatic town sites anywhere in Britain."

"The first sight of Halifax looks something like a recent bit of bomb damage."

On Halifax train station

YouTube/BBC Halifax Train Station
Halifax Train Station


On Halifax Congregational Church (after fire damage)

YouTube/BBC The site of Halifax Congregational Church, which was damaged in a fire
The site of Halifax Congregational Church, which was damaged in a fire

"It's like Armageddon in here!"

On the Piece Hall

YouTube/BBC Halifax Piece Hall, 1978
Halifax Piece Hall, 1978

[Halifax's] "greatest Georgian building"

On the Halifax Building Society headquarters

YouTube/BBC Halifax Building Society
Halifax Building Society

"For most people Halifax is the Halifax Building Society. They say it's the biggest in the world and I wouldn't disbelieve them."

"A place like Halifax needs monuments desperately. The city of London has got too many, and not enough little streets. Halifax needs a twentieth century equivalent of the Piece Hall."

"It just edges into view, saying 'Hello Halifax, I'm here!"

"I don't think myself it came off but it was worth trying."

On Halifax market

BBC/YouTube Halifax market
Halifax market

"England has got a long history of these cast iron market halls but this is surely one of the best."

On Halifax high street

BBC/Youtube Halifax town centre
Halifax town centre

"It still seems to have much more energy than Huddersfield."

"At the end there's something to look at, not just empty space and nothingness."

On Halifax Town Hall

Halifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

"It's rather a naughty silhouette."

Halifax's old power station — and the leaning tower

YouTube/BBC Halifax's old power station
Halifax's old power station

"It just gave a little tilt then settled there."

"One wishes they would leave that there as the Leaning Tower of Halifax."

What do you make of Ian Nairn's verdicts on Huddersfield and Halifax? Comment below!


Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
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Crime correspondent
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Health Correspondent
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