Herbert saved ancient route

Herbert Morris on the Magna Via ' saved for posterity
Herbert Morris on the Magna Via ' saved for posterity

Badger Lane


The recent report in Nostalgia about the 50th anniversary of Halifax Civic Trust brought back memories of the trust’s 25th anniversary in 1987.

In that year I encountered the civic trust chairman and former Heath Grammar School master Herbert Morris fo r the first time when he visited me and introduced himself as the trust’s footpaths officer.

It was Herbert Morris and Halifax Civic Trust who were instrumental in having the ancient packhorse highway, the Magna Via, at Dark Lane on the Southowram/Hipperholme boundary scheduled as an ancient monument in 1986.

He indicated that the civic trust was to mark its silver jubilee with a suitable project which would include a Yorkshire stone column at the end of Dark Lane to support interpretation panels for the ancient monument and could I be of assistance? We spent many hours discussing the dimensions and type of stone which would be required.

I soon realised that Mr Morris was a forthright and determined English gentleman who was fiercely proud of his town and borough.

He came to inspect my work daily but was genuinely pleased with the end result. In early November 1987, at the trust’s invitation, the Mayor and Mayoress of Calderdale, Coun Wilfred Sharp and Mary Armitage, and members of the trust and public gathered at the monument to celebrate an historic occasion.

I have a framed citation presented to me my the Mayor on behalf of Halifax Civic Trust.

Michael Webster