Huddersfield’s Caribbean heritage is all set to blaze a trail through the town.

A new printed town trail is being developed to highlight for visitors and local people the many Caribbean connections that exist as a result of early pioneers who came to work in the town in the years after the Second World War.

And organisers want people to get involved by suggesting places of interest.

The heritage trail will focus on places associated with the early decades of that migration history and hopes to identify key buildings and sites associated with the rise of Huddersfield’s Caribbean community.

Devised on behalf of Building African Caribbean Communities (BACC), and in association with the Discover Huddersfield Partnership, the themed trail joins a series of printed self-guiding walks produced by experts that provide insights into the town’s diverse historic, architectural and community heritage.

Huddersfield Caribbean Association manager Mr Denzil Nurse and Spring Grove School pupils
Huddersfield Caribbean Association manager Mr Denzil Nurse and Spring Grove School pupils

As part of plans to bring Huddersfield’s Caribbean history and heritage to wider audiences, the makers of the trail invite local people to offer suggestions for places of significance and historical interest.

Natalie Pinnock Hamilton of BACC said: “This will reflect the diversity of Caribbean history, local experiences and memories.

“It’s a chance to gather details of where people lived when they first came, where they shopped, went to church and socialised.’

Gathered background information will also feed into other projects recording aspects of the town’s early Caribbean experiences.

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Huddersfield’s town centre redevelopment means there are some premises once key to Caribbean cultural identity which are no longer standing, including the iconic Venn Street music and performance venue, and the original Hudawi (Huddersfield African and West Indian) Centre in Great Northern Street that was burnt down in 1993.

Organisers hope many people will be able to think of places full of associations and memories from when they were younger.

Denzil Nurse, who came to Huddersfield in 1961, also identifies some of the more informal and open places where people of different ages could meet and talk, including Sparrow Park (now under Huddersfield bus station).

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In the Springwood area, Spring Grove school, the educational annexe and International club were significant as was the corner patch of land and former park bench near the redbrick railway ventilation tower at the corner of Water Street and Merton Street.

“Realistically, a town trail has to be manageable to walk within 60 to 90 minutes, but this provides a starting point for people to identify what they believe is important,” said Mrs Pinnock.

Empress Ballroom, Huddersfielld - site of the Venn Street nightclubs

After publication, the guided trail leaflet will be available from the library, railway station and many other locations across town. Further information will be available online and additional details will contribute to the stories shared during a guided walk planned for Black History Month in October 2016.

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To contribute to Huddersfield’s heritage trail contact Denzil on 0789 494 0444; Natalie on 0782 794 6922; Heather on 0775 947 7757