ONE of Huddersfield’s most prest-igious buildings has marked its 130th birthday with a day of celebrations.
Grade Two-listed Huddersfield Town Hall opened its doors for visitors at the weekend to get a historic glimpse of bygone uses before a medley of entertainment.
Clr Shabir Pandor, Kirklees Council Cabinet Member, said: “Kirklees is nationally recognised for protecting the heritage of its town halls.
“This special occasion celebrates 130 years of this prestigious venue and gives everyone the chance to explore the building for themselves.”
Visitors were offered the chance to see the newly-refurbished rooms decked out in style for weddings, and the depths of the spectacular building which originally housed the prison cells.
But tour-goers at the weekend event were thankful not to be put in the dock in the old court room – the room was instead offering cakes and refreshments as it was transformed back to the 1940s.
The event was officially opened by Kirklees mayor Clr Eric Firth along with the deputy mayor Clr Christine Iredale.
Clr Iredale said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for people of Huddersfield to see the tremendous things which go on at the town hall and have a glimpse into its past uses.”
Both Clr Iredale and Clr Firth were in demand at the event as they gave talks about their roles, clothing and ceremonial maces.
Among the floods of visitors was Karen Kirkup, 52, of Paddock, who was enjoying the music from violinist Amy Preece.
Mrs Kirkup said: “I have come with my daughter and we have made it a day out.
“I wanted to see the areas of the town hall which we don’t usually get to see and to hear the music.
“It just shows from the level of support today that there is a strong community in Huddersfield.”
Meanwhile Dr Szabo Laszlo had come from Leeds with his wife and six children especially to see the event.
He said: “I am interested in heritage and have had this planned to come for two weeks.
“It is great to see all the great architecture the region has to offer.”
Huddersfield Town Hall manager Aruna Swallow said: “We have been flooded with people for tours which is fantastic to see.
“We have had just eight weeks to organise the event and with more than 16 performances in the concert hall alone it has taken a lot to put together.
“We wanted to create something which brings together all elements of Huddersfield’s cultures and history.
“So we have everything from big bands to Bollywood dancers.”
There had also been other little twists such as the 1940s cake shop and Huddersfield Film Makers Club’s old film footage to help add the finishing touches.
The event was also used to showcase home-grown talent with performances from several local groups, face painting, head massage and even a record Zumba conga attempt.
A circus demonstration also proved a hit with youngsters.
Huddersfield Town Hall was built in two stages, beginning with the offices at Ramsden Street which opened in 1879, before the concert hall at Princess Street was opened on October 18, 1881.
Huddersfield’s first town hall was originally earmarked for land at St George’s Square, but the Examiner’s founder Joseph Woodhead, who was also Town Mayor at that time, rallied support for the Ramsden Street site.
The building cost a total of £19,386, five shillings and sixpence and used local stone from Crosland Moor quarries.