Third-generation owned Halifax hotel celebrates 60 years in business

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2023 marks 60 years since Holdsworth House Hotel & Restaurant in Halifax first opened its doors to the public, after 330 years as a private residence.

Built in 1633, Holdsworth House has seen only a handful of owners including, most recently, the Pearson family who purchased it in an auction in 1962. Freddie and Rita Pearson from Halifax opened the Jacobean manor to the public on April 11 1963 as the Cavalier Country Club – a private member’s hangout hugely popular as a partying, dining and gambling venue.

Today, it is known once again as Holdsworth House, and it remains in the same family as an independent four star hotel.

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In the 1960s, the Pearsons counted The Beatles, Jayne Mansfield and Rudolf Nureyev amongst the famous guests that stayed.

Holdsworth HouseHoldsworth House
Holdsworth House

More recently, the hotel has found fame because of screenwriter and director Sally Wainwright MBE, who featured it in her creations Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax.

With an abundance of filming happening in the area, Holdsworth House has benefited from countless famous faces of TV and film staying, including James Norton, Suranne Jones, Melvyn Bragg, and Sir Derek Jacobi.

The hotel’s third-generation director Nick Moss said: “To have survived 60 years as a family business in the hospitality industry is a great achievement, but to do so as a market leader is another.

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"We’ve managed to adapt our business according to changing market demands and today we employ over 50 local people led brilliantly by general manager Joseph Farrar.

Rita and Freddie PearsonRita and Freddie Pearson
Rita and Freddie Pearson

"We’ve employed some 3000 people in the last 60 years and we’re incredibly grateful that our team feels like part of the family, with some today reaching over 30 years of service here.

“Undoubtedly, my grandfather Freddie Pearson was a canny businessman and he saw mileage in replicating the social scene of 1960s London in Halifax.

"I truly believe, that maintaining a commitment to quality and service at our core is what makes us stand out. Here’s to the next 60 years!”

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To celebrate the diamond anniversary, the team at Holdsworth House is launching an art competition for entrants to submit drawings or paintings depicting the hotel’s façade, with Sally Wainwright MBE on the judging panel.

For more information on the 60th anniversary events visit www.holdsworthhouse.co.uk/60-years.

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