50 years defending Halifax’s heritage

Halifax Civic Trust Golden Jubilee Christmas Lunch at The Moorlands Restaurant, Ogden.'From the left, Stuart Harris, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Chris Harris, Rose Pickles, June Paxton-White, former secretary George Pickles, Susan Hargreaves, Dr John Hargreaves and organiser David Hanson.
Halifax Civic Trust Golden Jubilee Christmas Lunch at The Moorlands Restaurant, Ogden.'From the left, Stuart Harris, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Chris Harris, Rose Pickles, June Paxton-White, former secretary George Pickles, Susan Hargreaves, Dr John Hargreaves and organiser David Hanson.
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The stunning architecture and landscape around Halifax has been celebrated and defended by proud locals for 50 years.

The golden jubilee of the Halifax Civic Trust was commemorated with a lunch at the Moorlands Restaurant, Keighley Road, Halifax.

Speakers were trust chairman Dr John Hargreaves and local architect George Pickles.

Dr Hargreaves marked the event by proposing that the tower of Halifax Town Hall be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Charles Barry’s tower housing Big Ben at the palace of Westminster has already been re-named the Elizabeth Tower to complement the Victoria Tower within the same building.

“Our proposal is that Calderdale Council should follow suit by re-naming the most distinctive feature of Halifax Town Hall, also designed by Sir Charles Barry, the Elizabeth Tower to complement the Victoria Hall at Halifax Town Hall.”

Dr Hargreaves expressed concern that a rare large bronze sculpture of the Old Testament shepherd boy David by Halifax’s only distinguished sculptress and founder member of Halifax Civic Trust, Jocelyn Horner, has been disposed of by the new Trinity Academy, Halifax.

He said it should have been preserved locally by the museums’ service or offered to the Henry Moore Institute at Leeds, which holds other work by the Halifax sculptress.

He also commented on issues ranging from Halifax Central Library to the district being home to the oldest Methodist graveyard in the world.

Mr Pickles, who has long been associated with the trust, recalled early meetings in the Photographic Society rooms above Cow Green.

Later, with the formation of Calderdale Council in 1974 members were able to work with the local authority to further the common good of the district.

He said from that working relationship the Calderdale Way Association was devised and the Calderdale Way became Britain’s first recreational footpath.

The trust had also fought battles at public inquiries to defend the town’s heritage.

“Clearly, there is a role for the public to make a clear and robust response to the emerging ideas and to demand to see the whole picture that is planned for their home town often by others from away,” he said.

He added developers need to demonstrate that they are prepared to adapt their plans for Halifax.