TWO more ‘Blue Plaques’ are to be put up in Holmfirth, it was revealed at the annual meeting of Holme Valley Civic Society.
The plaques, which identify local features of historical and/or architectural interest, will be placed at the town’s almshouses on Station Road and at the Picturedrome cinema.
The five almshouses were built in 1856 as a memorial to victims of the 1852 Holmfirth Flood with money left over from a ‘distress fund’. They were to house the poor of seven local townships.
The Picturedrome, formerly the Valley Theatre, was built in 1912 and is one of the earliest remaining picture houses in the country.
Society chairman Mrs Margaret Hinchliffe said permission for two other plaques had been obtained. These would be at The Nook ( Rose and Crown) pub, built in the mid-18th century, and at Lower Mills – to commemorate Holmfirth’s past textile industry.
The society celebrated its 40th anniversary early in 2008. It was set up in 1968 to encourage high standards of architecture and planning in the valley, to stimulate interest in the beauty, history, natural history, character and architecture of the area and to influence development and improvement of features of historic interest or public amenity.
A reprint of the popular guide Riverside Way had been ordered and the first in a series of books written by members of the society’s local history group – Chapels and Churches of the New Mill Valley – by Pamela Cooksey, would be available in February.
More than 300 people had visited the Owd Towser during Heritage Open Days in September. The old jail, possibly dating from 1597, is maintained by the society.
The doorway of Yateholme Farm, formerly in Victoria Park, but originally situated near Holme village until it was demolished due to the building of the reservoirs, is set to be erected at the entrance to the playground of Holme school with an explanatory plaque.
Mrs Hinchliffe said she was pleased Kirklees councillor Nigel Patrick had been to a committee meeting and said local residents were welcome to attend the monthly open meetings, which covered a wide range of topics, or go on summer and winter outings. Embsay Steam Railway and a candlelit Chatsworth House had proved popular venues last year.
Tributes were paid to three society members, who had died in 2008 – Mary Place of the catering group, Stan Hunter (executive committee member for 14 years, chairman in 2000 and vice-chairman since 2002) and Hilda Smith (executive committee member for 27 years until January 2008, including 21 as secretary).
Malcolm Mallinson had retired from the executive committee after 18 years. He was the society’s chairman from 1998-200 and society spokesman on the developments at Holme Valley Memorial Hospital.
Officers for 2009 are : Margaret Hinchliffe (chairman, programme and press secretary), Margaret Blackshaw (vice-chairman), Clifford Lord (secretary and local history group convenor), Gordon Hallas (treasurer), Roy Blackshaw (membership secretary). Committee: Alistair Campbell (publications), Brian Hinchliffe (footpaths and rights of way), Maud Hunter (social secretaryand assistant secretary) and Colin Battye.