Halifax Heritage Festival launched at Minster

The first Halifax Heritage Festival was launched this morning at an event at Halifax Minster.

Speeches were given by councillor Tim Swift (Lab, Town), chair of Halifax Civic Trust John Hargreaves, and historian Saul Penfold.

Halifax Heritage Festival opening at Halifax Minster. John Hargreaves, Rachel McAlley, Coun Tim Swift and Saul Penfold.

Halifax Heritage Festival opening at Halifax Minster. John Hargreaves, Rachel McAlley, Coun Tim Swift and Saul Penfold.

Dr Hargreaves spoke about his Halifax Secret Gems heritage trail - a tour of some of the lesser-known historical sites in the town. .

He said: “The theme is ‘hidden Halifax’ - so at the Town Hall you will see the basement area, the cells and the Air Raid Precautions control room.

“We look at the Old Cock Inn’s hidden Elizabethan room, which is charged with associations of Halifax history.”

Coun Swift said the festival was a great opportunity to attract visitors to the town and give local people a new perspective on their heritage.

He said: “We’ve got a fantastic heritage that I don’t think local people appreciate as much as they should.

“There’s a real opportunity to get people with the festival to get people to visit Calderdale, get people to stay and get them to come back again, which is a real boost to the town.

“This is the first year - I hope it iwll be a real success and I hope it will grow.”

Local historian David Glover said he hopes to see the Halifax Heritage Festival expand over the next few years and include more heritage sites from around Halifax and Calderdale.

He said: “In the future I think there’s scope for bringing in more buildings in the Halifax area that have a historical connection.

“The Halifax Gibbet, for example, is just outside the centre of town - although it’s a nasty relic of the past, it’s also symbol of Halifax.

“There’s definitely scope for the festival to grow in the future.”