View from Beacon Hill

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Birds Eye view of Halifax

There are hundreds of views of Halifax taken from the Beacon Hill area due to it's natural height looking down over the town. Here I have chosen a few of my favourites. Similar views, similar era. Note the number of chimneys.

View over Charlestown and Godley

View from Charlestown 

View over town

View of Halifax Train Goods Yard

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

The Nag's Head Inn

The Nags Head Inn was originally a home called 'Hilltop House' and stood at the corner of King Cross Lane (number 68) and Lord Street next door to Hopwood Hall.
Hilltop House was bought in 1708 by William Hopwood, who moved from Rastrick and lived in it until Hopwood Hall was built. It's not sure when the building became an inn, but it was rebuilt and licensed by 1845. Just before the rebuilt building was demolished in 1884, for road widening, it was one of 26 licensed houses within 300 yards of Bull Green
The sketch above bu H.R.Oddy clearly shows that part of the inn was occupied by a butcher's shop, while the peeling plaster from the walls shows that it must have been on it's last legs at the time.

During repair work on a chimney in July 1867, an orange banner with a blue border was discovered concealed in a hole. This was dated 1688 and bore a picture of the Protestant King William III on horseback with the mottoes
Deliver from Church and State and
To the glorious memory of 1688 and 1690
In the corners were smaller devices, and on each side were written the names of the places where the English were victorious, including the Boyne, Anglicum, Deny and Enniskillen
(Malcolm Bulls Calderdale Companion)

Friday, 12 July 2019

Perfect Postcard

A friend of mine wondered if I was interested in his collection of local postcards. Is the pope a Catholic? I told him, as I tell everyone who donates their photographs, postcards and other memories, that I don't want their originals. I just take a photo of them so that they can keep them in their album.

I will regularly add his postcards onto this blog as well as any other contributions you might forward to me, and I always look forward to your comments.

Today's postcards look in opposite direction of Commercial Street

Thursday, 20 June 2019

The Talbot Hotel - Woolshops

The Talbot Hotel, Woolshops sketched by Arthur Comfort

For more than 150 years, The Talbot Hotel, down Woolshops was the main meeting hall in town. It had accommodation for holding meetings and was notorious for it's cockfighting there in the 18th century.

The Halifax Assemblies, exclusive balls and parties were held here and it was at one of these assemblies that a duel was arranged to be fought on Beacon Hill.
Until the building of the Assembly rooms on Harrison Road, the room at the Talbot was the largest in town. Many local societies held their meetings here including the time when Lord Rockingham came to meet the justices of the town to try to stop the practice of 'Coining' in the district and to assist in discovering the murderers of William Dighton, a supervisor who was shot when attacked by a gang of Coiners in Bull Close Lane.

The Talbot Hotel pictured in the top picture was replaced by the New Talbot (pictured above) in 1926.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Salt and Pepper

The cooling towers that dominated our views of town for decades (from 1937 to 1974) when they were built to replace six earlier, wooden towers. Even when they were to be demolished, they still didn't want to leave. 

Thousands turned up to watch as contractors attempted to demolish them with explosives on March 24th 1974 but, they didn't fall until October 1974 with the help of a half ton steel ball.Other names people used for the towers were 'Washer and Boiler', based on an old twin tub washing machine and 'Castor and Pollux' which were twin half-brothers in Greek mythology.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Warley - Then and Now

It's not difficult to tell where this fountain stands. This scene of Warley has barely changed in over 100 years. In the foreground is the fountain, a village landmark which used to be the site of the maypole.

In March, 1899, at the monthly meeting of the Warley council, it was reported that the pole had been blown down and broken the railings and the surveyor had instructed the council to clear the site. Through the generosity of Mr A.S McRea, of Warley House, the drinking fountain was erected in 1900 with an inscription recording the fact that it stood on the site of the maypole.
The porch of the Post Office can be seen in the rear of the photo.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Halifax Post Office

Halifax Post Office through the ages

(centre) The Old Post Office down Winding Road

So - where was the first Post Office in Halifax located? It was in Winding Road - then known as Windhill Lane - where it becomes Smithy Stake, today the usefully renamed ‘The Old Post Office’, formerly ‘The Bowling Green Inn’. The only postman in those days for the township of Halifax was a man always referred to as “Joe Post”; a little thick-set man who wore a blue serge apron when delivering letters. He lived at the corner house at the top of Well Lane.

In or before the year 1829, the Post Office removed to 10 Cheapside. This new location was on the south side of that thoroughfare, near where the Royal Bank of Scotland currently stands. Commercial Street did not then exist. 

Who was Tabitha Bagnold?

By June 1850 the Halifax ‘Guardian’ was reporting new premises had “been taken at number 6 George Street

Then in 1887 a new purpose-built General Post Office was opened some fifty yards away in Commercial Street

Read the full story of Tabitha Bagnold

Friday, 11 January 2019

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Grove Edwards

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Grove Edwards, 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry (The Prince of Wales's Own) at the head of his regiment marching into Crown Street, Halifax, 1884.
Oil on canvas by John Wright Oakes (1820-1887), 1887.
Charles Grove Edwards (1843-1904) succeeded his father as Honorary Colonel of the 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry (The Prince of Wales's Own) in 1890. Sir Henry Edwards Bt (1812-1886) had been Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the regiment from 1863 and its Honorary Colonel from 1884, while his brother, nephew and all four sons served in the regiment.
Sir Henry, probably the largest landowner in the district, was one of the mill owners who were responsible for re-raising the regiment in Halifax in 1843. He was also a local magistrate, the first Tory Member of Parliament for Halifax (1847-1852), MP for Beverley (1857-1869), and Deputy-Lieutenant of the West Riding.
The Prince of Wales's Own 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry was first raised in 1798. It was disbanded in 1802 but subsequently re-raised and disbanded a number of times in the early nineteenth century. In 1843 it was re-raised for the last time, following violent demonstrations by the Chartists and the 'Plug Riots' of 1842, which gave powerful local cotton-mill owners cause to seek protection. During a period of serious economic depression, the Plug Riots began as a strike in the mills to protest at the imposition of wage cuts but soon spread to involve nearly half a million workers throughout Britain.
The 2nd West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, 'the Blue Jackets', was regarded as one of the three most efficient regiments of yeomanry cavalry in the country. Nevertheless, it was disbanded in March 1894.
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HT
Registered Charity Number: 237902

Bull Green Postcards

A couple of similar postcards looking towards Cow Green. 

The second postcard has 'Hx 85' written on it but who would like to date the first one?

Lilly Lane Baths

Lilly Lane Baths

Eureka is one of Halifax's most popular tourist attractions, but did you know that the same are was also attracting large numbers of visitors many years ago too?
Lilly Lane Baths Aka Halifax Baths & Pleasure Grounds and Greece Fields Public Baths, Halifax.

Part of the large area once occupied by Halifax Baths & Pleasure Grounds

The facilities were said to be the finest and most extensive suite of baths in Yorkshire, including bowling greens, quoits area, shrubberies and landscaped gardens with some of Leyland sculpture, dining room, shower baths, swimming baths, medicated and sulphur baths, and hot, cold and tepid baths. A membership fee was charged for the use of the facilities. The baths were supplied by fresh-water springs which rose in Greece Fields. The privately-owned baths, which were built of red brick, closed in 1853 and were sold to make way for the railway. 
Evening Courier 

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Life and Times of North Bridge


The original stone bridge. 

This view shows the North Bridge over Hebble Brook in Halifax, which stood for nearly 100 years from 1774 to 1871. 

 A south-east view of the North Bridge, Halifax

The 'new' North Bridge

Burdock Way
Completed as a cast iron arch bridge in 1869. Designed by John Fraser. The contractor was Archibald Neill of Bradford, and the ironwork was supplied by J. Cliff and Son of Bradford. Now only the original outer pairs of arch ribs are cast iron, the inner five being steel replacements for four original arches. The original inner arch ribs were each assembled from four castings, while the middle 52ft long lection was fabricated from wrought iron plate. 

 This article 'Burdock Way' explains the building of the dual carriageway