HUDDERSFIELD University has been awarded almost £50,000 to commemorate a historical campaign against child labour in the 1800s.
And they will be examining the role played by a famous Huddersfield philanthropist.
The university will be carrying out a new project with the £49,500 grant given to them by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will commemorate Richard Oastler’s campaign to eradicate child labour, especially in Yorkshire.
Oastler was known in Yorkshire as the Factory King after his pioneering work to reduce children’s working hours in factories was partly responsible for the 1847 Ten Hours Act.
He referred to ‘Yorkshire Slavery’ to describe the treatment of children and young people working in the county in the 1800s.
University archivist Hilary Haigh said: “The aim of the project is to bring knowledge about the area’s heritage connections with Yorkshire Slavery and the pioneering campaigns for the reduction in children’s working hours to as wide an audience as possible.”
Oastler, originally from Leeds, was the steward of the Thornhill Estate and lived at Fixby Hall for nearly 18 years from 1821.
During his campaigning he formed the Fixby Hall Compact with the working men of Huddersfield, by which they agreed to work together for the reduction of working hours.
The university will be holding various events and exhibitions around the area. They will include a public conference with contributions from university staff and the public and workshops for various groups, such as schoolchildren, colleges and local societies.
The university will also be compiling educational packages linked to the national curriculum.
Fiona Spiers, Heritage Lottery Fund manager for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “It is so important for people to learn about the valuable contribution that people such as Richard Oastler have made and the impact their campaigns have had on society.
“This project will allow people to learn about Yorkshire Slavery within Kirklees.”