A new book about Huddersfield features some amazing photographs from the town’s distant past.
Huddersfield Through Time written by Paul Chrystal looks at how the town has evolved over the years.
Paul has old photos and has then returned to the same place this year to record exactly how they have changed.
He said: “Evidence of the town’s prosperity during the Victorian era remains in its magnificent railway station and town hall as well as the many other fine 19th Century buildings that can be found around the centre and in the fact that Huddersfield boasts the third highest number of listed buildings in the country. It is a treasure trove of handsome architecture with more than 3,000 listed buildings in the area.”
The book is split into different chapters – trade, industry, cinemas and theatres, pubs and hotels, Huddersfield people, transport and disaster and icons in and around the town.
Some of the most evocative photographs are of the old market hall which was opened in 1880 and demolished in 1970 when the traders switched to the new Queensgate Market.
Yet some Examiner readers have never forgiven the councillors for this and still miss it so many years later.
Transport started with horses and then moved on to trams, trolleybuses and cars – sometimes ending in spectacular crashes.
One in Bradley happened on April 22, 1904.
Fortunately this was not too serious unlike one on July 3, 1883 when a tram en route into Huddersfield town centre from Lindley ran out of control on Westgate as it rounded the curve into Railway Street. Seven people died and 28 were hurt.
On June 28, 1902 an electric tram lost control in Almondbury and crashed into the Somerset Arms, killing three people and injuring several others.
Greenhead Park was a main source of entertainment with its paddling pool, boating lake, miniature railway and horse show.
The town also had dozens of cinemas and the book looks at some of the most iconic – The ABC-Ritz where the Beatles performed on November 29, 1963. It was demolished to make way for the Sainsbury’s store.
Then there was the Empire at the corner of John William Street and Brook Street – the building is still there – and The Majestic on Viaduct Street which originally opened as the Olympia Cinema in 1912.
Most people who drive along Manchester Road near Huddersfield town centre won’t realise they are passing The Grand Cinema which opened in July 1953 when The Maltese Falcon was showing. It later became Ivanhoe’s nightclub where the Sex Pistols played their last UK gig on Christmas Day 1977.
Huddersfield Through Time – which has 180 illustrations and 96 pages – is published by Gloucestershire-based Amberley Publishing and costs £14.99. The website is www.amberley-books.com