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Talk given by Austin Holroyd: "What's this dull town to me ......" Market Place, Huddersfield We start at the centre of things at the Market Place. This etching bears the name Fountain and must have been the artists impression of the Town Centre about 1800. The George Inn stands across the North end of the square. When John Williams Street was built in 1850 it was removed. The shops on the left have been altered slightly, but most have been there almost 200 years. It is obvious that the smoke abatement act had not come into force by the smoke pouring out of the chimneys. In spite of our weather, chimneys last a long time in Huddersfield, and are very useful for identifying buildings. The artist shows us a gentleman in the stocks in the centre of the picture.


    • "What's this dull town to me ......" Its Very difficult (so Ive found) giving a title to a talk of this kind, so I finally settled on this one a quotation which I came across only last week, the source of which escapes me, but which seemed vaguely appropriate. I suppose to any outsider whose interest doesnt lie in textiles, gears, chemicals or electric motors, Huddersfield does seem a bit of a dump, but to me its home, and looking around it has its interesting points. Some years ago I came across some interesting copies of a few old photographs. I thought I had a scoop until the centenary arrived, when they were reprinted in their hundreds, I enjoy looking back into the past, but until the advent of the camera everything was a bit vague. We got peoples impressions or descriptions, but they werent necessary true, so its the last hundred years or so, which we can literally see, which interests me most. Looking at these old photographs gave me the urge to try to stand in the same spot as the original photographer, and snap (snap being the operative word) what is there today. Without a mass of special lenses to assist us, my little Kodak and I soon realized that we had a problem, because a hundred years ago photographers didnt have to contend with trolley poles, road signs, parking signs, bus barriers etc., all of which seem to have been erected slap in front of the various subjects. Incidentally, taking these photographs, and consulting most of the local history books, and newspaper articles .. led to me being bitten, and I finished up with dozens of photographs of interesting buildings, all with a story, which in themselves make this town far from dull. Austin Holroyd.





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  • First published in Europeana:

    • 1970-01-01
  • Last updated in Europeana:

    • 1970-01-01


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