The following is the official programme of events to mark the centenary celebrations in 1968.

The booklet is reproduced with the permission of Kirklees Council.

County Borough of Huddersfield

Centenary Celebrations 1968 Programme of Events

On the 7th July this year Huddersfield celebrates the centenary of its incorporation and this small pamphlet is designed to give you a brief outline of the stages in the growth of your Corporation’s activities in that 100 years. In addition it includes an outline of the programme which has been arranged to celebrate and commemorate this 100th year in the life of the borough.

We hope that as you read and consider its contents your interest will be aroused in the general activities of which you, a citizen of the town, are an integral part, and that it will help you better to understand the part which each of us can play in the promotion of the better government and control of the town where we reside.

It is not in any sense an exhaustive treatise of local government but we hope it will whet your appetite and arouse your interest, not only in the centenary but also in the general conduct in the years that lie ahead.

We have tried to provide in the centenary celebrations something for everyone, the young, the schoolchildren, the adults and the aged, and the interests of the infirm and handicapped have not been forgotten. Whatever your special interest may be we think you will find something in this programme which will make an appeal, and if no speciality interests you particularly then the pageants, the Royal visit, music, trade exhibition and the civic exhibition are all of general appeal and we hope will encourage you to come along and take part in these celebrations.

In spite of the difficult economic times in which we live we none the less feel that a 100th anniversary is a noteable occasion and although because of these special times our celebrations may be planned on a rather economical basis we hope you will agree that we have done the right thing in recognising the unique importance of the year 1968.

It is an interesting and undeniable fact that from the time before we are born to the time after we are dead, the activities and services provided by the municipality are constantly available. Huddersfield was a pioneer in ante-natal work and today this service still plays a vital part in advising and assisting the mothers-to-be. From birth onwards the child is registered by the appropriate Corporation department, its health as an infant is promoted by a section of the Health Department, through immunisation, and any other services required, until school entry. Education from the age of five years onwards, until, in some cases, late adult life, is available by the organisation of the Education Department of the County Borough.

Over these 100 years the progress that has been made is such that were it possible to introduce a Huddersfield citizen of 1868 into our town today he would be quite incapable of understanding the many ramifications of the educational system. Not only do we now teach the three ‘Rs’ of the Victorian and Edwardian age, but vastly extended curricula include almost every conceivable subject; and technical and further education make it possible for all who so wish to cultivate their talents and skills to the highest levels of which they are capable.

We have increasingly seen the development of the system of roads, well lit, and maintained for the vast increase of traffic which they now must carry, and nowadays opinion has recognised the necessity for havens of traffic-free areas adjoining such roads in town centres.

Nothing is more important than the homes in which you live and standards of housing have risen and are still rising. The legacy of the industrial revolution is being removed and by the advantages of modern transport our people are now living more and more away from the ever crowded areas in very close proximity to industrial establishments. This general improvement in environment has received a great impetus by the introduction of clean air provisions whilst the advantages of town planning enables better use to be made of available land so that we try and promote a better vista and outlook although living in an industrial community. The provision of parks, flower-beds, shrubberies and grass plots and verges all contribute to this more pleasant living and in all these activities it is the constant aim and endeavour of the Corporation to try and promote this aspect of modern living.

But of course your Corporation is also a trading organisation; it has the task and duty of providing its citizens with a safe and clean water supply which can be drunk without danger of harmful infection. It must also provide the transport for citizens to which we have already referred, and so large sums of money are devoted to the provision of reservoirs and similar necessities to meet these needs of our civic life.

Today, perhaps more than ever before in the past as part of our daily lives we create considerable quantities of refuse. Some of this has to be collected from the bins and its subsequent disposal requires both care and thought to ensure that disease and danger shall not develop. Another portion of our waste we gaily send down the sewer without any thought of that vast network of large and expensive pipes which under ground takes such waste products to the works where it is rendered harmless, and some of its available by-products recovered and sold. These services we take very much for granted until something goes wrong, when you, the public, are very ready to draw attention to errors of either omission or commission as the case may be.

Leisure forms an increasing part of our waking hours, and so services to encourage a love of the arts are welcomed and appreciated by many citizens. The reading of books, the appreciation of pictures, interest in antiquities and customs of the past, a love of music, all these contribute to the development of the mind in a large degree; whilst activities like swimming and outdoor sport of many kinds are helped, and in some cases only made possible, by facilities which the Corporation provide. This is a field to which more attention will obviously have to be paid in the very near future as soon as financial circumstances allow.

But there are other activities, not perhaps as well seen, to which reference should be made. The provision of food in many aspects needs the services of the Corporation — in the form of the abattoir for the provision of fresh meat — the supervision and distribution of milk, and indeed all other commodities. To ensure that the public get that for which they are paying, it is necessary to maintain departments to check hours of work in shops and verify weights and measures that are used in the day-to-day commercial activities of the town, These again form a group of activities directly serving, quietly and efficiently, the public well-being.

Safety is a factor which contributes to our mutual content and happiness and so the police are ever on the watch, to use the old term by which they were known, and the fire brigade are ready at a moment’s notice to deal with any outbreak of fire, that scourge of our modern life. Civil defence in all its aspects is an activity from which all can in time of emergency derive great benefit. All these services which we accept almost without thinking are provided and carefully controlled by the Corporation.

For many years Huddersfield has owned the market rights of the town and our wholesale, retail and open-air markets provide centres of trade to the benefit of both traders and customers alike. Huddersfield is almost unique in owning and controlling so large a part of the land on which the town stands. It is surely obvious that with so manifold and various a list of duties, with an annual turnover of thirteen million pounds, a rate collection of three millions, and with a debt of twenty four millions, the financial control demands the closest scrutiny from the Treasurer’s Department, and the legal implications and negotiations with the Central Government at Whitehall require the services of skilled and trained lawyers. Add to these the many devoted clerical workers who are responsible for all the systems of communication and inter-communication which these activities develop and a picture of the many ramifications of the activities of your Corporation begins to emerge. Statistics and figures mean very little, but in fact Huddersfield Corporation is the largest employer of labour in Huddersfield and includes amongst its servants the most diverse range of qualifications and activities which it is possible to imagine.

It is a far cry from the days of 1868 but during this 100 years these activities to which we have referred have become an ever more integral part of the life of this community. The care of the sick, the aged, the infirm, the handicapped, the deprived children, these and services of a similar nature are a Godsend to many who are the recipients of that which is provided. Insofar as it is the duty of us all to bear one another’s burdens it can truly be claimed that much local government work and activity is of this type — insofar as we wish to live in the best possible conditions, with opportunity to develop our skill and intellect, to exercise our imagination and to fit ourselves to be better members of the society in which we live — insofar as we require necessary services for movement of persons and goods, for disposal of waste, for freedom from disease — insofar as we aim to promote a happier and a better civilisation — so we need the co-operation and goodwill of the citizens who control the Corporation responsible for these services.

Looking back over our 100 years we can see great strides that have been made. Looking to the future we can see many things which still need to be done. It is in that spirit that we ask you to regard this centenary as a time for looking back, a time for looking forward, and, to some extent, as a time when we pledge ourselves to do what lies in our power to make the next century one on which, at the bi-centenary, our descendants may look back with pride.

Programme of Events

  • Friday, 1st March
    Ceremony of the Admission of The Rt. Hon. Harold Wilson, O.B.E., M.P., Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, to be an Honorary Freeman of the Borough.
  • Friday, 19th April to Saturday, 27th April
    Centenary Civic Exhibition. Town Hall, Huddersfield. Presented jointly by the Huddersfield Corporation and the Huddersfield Branch of N.A.L.G.O.
  • Friday, 26th April
    Huddersfield Gramophone Society. Event to mark the 21st Anniversary of the Society and the Centenary of the Borough. Public Recital and Talk: “One Hundred Years of Recorded Sound.” Y.M.C.A., St. Peter’s Street.
  • Saturday, 4th May
    The Yorkshire Philatelic Association Convention and Public Exhibition of Stamps Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Friday and Saturday, 7th and 8th June
    Huddersfield and District Amateur Swimming Association Centenary Gala. Cambridge Road Baths.
  • Wednesday and Thursday, 12th and 13th June
    Centenary Cricket Match at Fartown. Yorkshire County Cricket Club v. The Cavaliers.
  • Saturday, 22nd June
    Centenary Pageant. Procession via Town Centre to Greenhead Park.
  • Saturday, 6th July
    Huddersfield Sports Advisory Council. Outdoor Sports Festival. Greenhead Park.
  • Sunday, 7th July
    Civic Procession and Church Service at the Huddersfield Parish Church.
  • Sunday, 7th July
    Invitation Archery Tournament arranged by the Huddersfield Archers. Club Ground off Penistone Road, Waterloo.
  • Sunday, 7th July
    Ringing of the Superlative Surprise Major peal on the bells of Longwood Parish Church by the Archdeaconry Band of Halifax Church Bell Ringers.
  • Monday 8th July
    Royal Visit. Demonstration by Schoolchildren at Leeds Road Football Ground.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 27th and 28th July
    75th Anniversary of the Opening of the Electricity Generating Station at St. Andrew’s Road. Open days for visits by members of the public.
  • Saturday 7th September
    Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Pony Show. Greenhead Park.
  • Friday and Saturday, 13th and 14th September
    Huddersfield and District Chrysanthemum Society Early Flowering Show at the Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Saturday, 14th September
    Huddersfield Amateur Swimming Club Gala — to commemorate the Centenary of the Club and the Centenary of the Borough Cambridge Road Baths, Huddersfield.
  • Saturday, 14th September to Saturday 28th
    Huddersfield Naturalist, Photographic and Antiquarian Society Centenary Exhibition — “Huddersfield 1968 in Photographs” Art Gallery, Ramsden Street, Huddersfield.
  • Monday, 23rd September to Saturday, 28th
    Huddersfield Centennial Industrial Exhibition. Presented jointly by the Huddersfield Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Huddersfield Corporation. The Drill Hall, St. Paul’s Street. Official Opening 2-30 p.m. on Monday by Sir Paul Chambers.
  • Tuesday, 24th September
    Fashion Show — afternoon and evening Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Wednesday, 25th September
    Centenary Symphony Concert Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Thursday, 26th September
    Centenary Concert. The Huddersfield Choral Society and The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Friday, 27th September
    Huddersfield Junior Chamber of Commerce Textile Dance. Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Monday, 14th October to Saturday, 19th
    Festival of the Arts promoted by the Huddersfield Arts Council.
  • Monday, 14th October
    The Huddersfield Music Society. Concert in the Reception Room, Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Tuesday, 15th October
    Lunch Hour Concert in the Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Wednesday, 16th October
    Concert in the Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Thursday, 17th October
    Lunch Hour Concert in the Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Friday, 18th October
    Concert in the Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Saturday, 19th October
    Concert in the Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • Friday and Saturday, 15th and 16th November
    Huddersfield and District Chrysanthemum Society. Late Flowering Show. Town Hall, Huddersfield.
  • November
    Huddersfield Sports Advisory Council Indoor Sports Festival.
  • Monday, 27th January to Saturday, 1st February, 1969
    Huddersfield Cine Club. Public Exhibition of Films of Events during the Centenary Year Y.M.C.A., St. Peter’s Street, Huddersfield.