Huddersfield town centre on the Centenary Pageant Parade day (© Huddersfield Examiner)

The Huddersfield Centenary Pageant Parade was held on Saturday 22 June 1968.

It commenced at 2:30pm with a procession of veteran and vintage motor cars, followed by local organisations, council departments, groups, clubs, societies, bands and others organised into five sections, each representing a 20 year period.

The advertised route of the parade was St. John’s Road, John William Street, New Street, High Street, Market Street, Westgate, Trinity Street and Greenhead Park. At the park there were demonstrations by police horses and dogs, handbell ringing, and Irish folk dancing.

The following pages contain over 300 photographs of the parade, which have been collated by Christopher Marsden:

If you attended the parade or took part in it and would like to share your memories, please get in touch!

Centenary pageant was an event which will never be forgotten

Centenary pageant day was a day to remember. The colour, the bands, the happy faces of those in the giant procession and the happy faces of the thousands who watched, all added up to a most successful event.

The rain which fell so heavily during the morning of June 22 must surely have dampened the spirits of all concerned. But came lunch-time — the clouds broke and the Mayor (Ald. T. P. Cliffe) said that the procession would go ahead as planned.

Led by Lindley Band, followed by Harvey Smith, of Bingley, on O’Malley, portraying Sir John Ramsden, P.C. Keith Smith, of the Mounted branch of the West Riding County Constabulary, depicting St. George, and the Mayor and Mayoress (Clr. Mrs. Shirley Cliffe) and their son, Giles, riding in a landau, the procession moved along New Street, up High Street, Market Street, and up Trinity Street to enter Greenhead Park by the Gledholt entrance.

The Irish were there, so were the Scots, the Welsh and the European, West Indian and Asian people.

The colourful floats — there were 120 units to the parade — portrayed many aspects of life in the town over the past 100 years. There were good-natured shouts of “Home rule for Scotland” from the members on the float of the Huddersfield Amateur Operatic Society, depleting the musical show “Brigadoon.”

Another float which created much amusement was that of the Ladies’ Circle, with members to “Ye Olde Victorian Washkitchenteria.” There were more laughs at the “bathing belles” of the Huddersfield Amateur Swimming club to their long, frilly striped swimsuits.

Thousands of spectators made their way to Greenhead Park to have a closer look at the floats and to watch an attractive programme of events in the central arena.

There was entertainment by the Polish Youth Orchestra and dancers; the Huddersfield Pipe Band and the Strathrigg Dancers; the Ukrainian Dancers and the Punjabi Banghra country dancers; music by a Steel Band and songs by the Irish, and a demonstration by seven members of the West Riding mounted police.

There were displays by dogs and handlers of the Huddersfield Borough Police; handbell ringing by members of Almondbury Parish Church; and an exhibition organised by the Huddersfield Art Society was staged in the Bandstand.

The whole event — pageant and entertainment to the park — was worthy of high praise. And the person perhaps most deserving of this praise was the Pageant Director (Mr. Andrew Riley), whose great effort made it a day to remember.

Reproduced from the Huddersfield Examiner with permission.