A Huddersfield history researcher has shown that no subject, however Rotten, is beyond the scope of local history.
Martyn Richardson, a research student at the University of Huddersfield, has just learned that he will receive an award from the British Association for Local History (BALH) for an article on the Sex Pistols’ two gigs at Ivanhoe’s on Christmas Day in 1977.
The BALH annual awards are intended to recognise original research published in the journal of a voluntary society. Martyn’s article appeared in Huddersfield Local History Society’s 2017/2018 Journal. This is the third time in the last five years that an article in the Society’s Journal has been recognised in this way.
While the Sex Pistols gig has become something of a local legend, Martyn’s article goes beyond the events of the day to explore Punk’s place in the wider history of Huddersfield.
He says: “I have always been interested in “people’s history” and the history of the working-classes. Much of my research has focused on the area’s radical heritage which is often dominated by working-class movements of the 19th Century such as the Luddites and Chartists. I recognised quite early on that the area’s punks from the 1970/80s had a place in Huddersfield’s radical heritage. When I was told that the Sex Pistols came to Huddersfield to play in 1977 I knew it was important historically and the anniversary needed to be marked.”
While Martyn’s previous academic research has reflected his interest in his own coal mining heritage he is now exploring the different forms of working class communities in Huddersfield and Barnsley in the period between the two World Wars.
Huddersfield Local History Society aims to reflect a wide range of subjects not only in its annual Journal but also in its monthly talks.
On Monday, February 26 David Scrimgeour, a genealogist and social historian, will be talking about the West Riding Asylum at Stanley Royd.
A keen family historian, David set out to provide a research guide to the asylum’s records to help people in search of their ancestors but ended up writing a book based on patients’ case notes.
David’s talk is at 7.30pm in the Bronte Lecture Theatre (BLG05) at the University of Huddersfield. All are welcome (£2 for non-members). Copies of Huddersfield Local History Society’s most recent material can be obtained from local bookshops and through the Society’s website (http://www.huddersfieldhistory.org.uk/)