Halifax in old picture postcards

Halifax in old picture postcards

:   J.A. Hargreaves
:   Yorkshire, West
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4867-2
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2-3 weeks (subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.


Fragments from the book 'Halifax in old picture postcards'

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19. Bankfield Museum. Edward Akroyd purchased Bankfield at the time of his marriage in 1838 and defended it against an attack by a Chartist mob in 1842. It was extended and redesigned in the Regency style in 1857. In 1867 the Atkinson brothers of York transformed it into a grand Italian mansion with a hundred rooms, at a cost of f80,OOO, and three years later it survived a serious fire which destroyed much of the new servants' wing. Shortly before it was sold in 1886, the Halifax Courier compared the house with the homes of Sir Titus Salt at Crow Nest and John Crossley at Manor Heath: 'They were not just so many spacious buildings: they were the homes of men who were dear to their fellows by reason of the love they bore to them and the good they did, true living philanthropists with souls far above the huge businesses which each had to conduct.' Appropriately, it soon re-opened as a museum and publiclibrary.'

20. lnterior, Bankfield Museum. A museum had been established in Halifax by the Literary and Philosophical Society as far back as January 1831 and in 1897 the society's exhibits were handed over to the Halifax Corporation and put on display at the Bankfield Museum, which had opened in 1887 as a museum and art gallery. Also on display in the saloon was the splendid collection of paintings presented to the town by James Pickard. The Akroydon branch library opened its doors to the public in August 1888 and was formally declared open by the Mayor of Halifax in December. Following the official opening, there was a programme of entertainment in the evening which included a tour around the museum to view the water colour drawings of old houses in Halifax by Henry Sykes, musical interludes and dance music, which continued into the early hours of the following morning, after which the guests departed, fortified with beef tea.

21. All Soul's Church. Completed in 1859, All Soul's Church was commissioned by Colonel Akroyd as the crown of his Akroydon development. lts situation, close to Bankfield, obscured his view of the industrial landscape below and also, it has been frequently suggested, of the Crossley's Square Congregational Church. The spire of All Soul's. almost seventythree metres in height, was the second tallest church spire in Yorkshire, beating that of Square by a whisker. Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, it won immediate acclaim. The Building News concluded that it was 'one of the most elegant specimens he has produced'. The architect, in his autobiography, concluded that: 'It is, on the whole, my best church, but it labours under this disadvantage, that it was never meant to be so fine a work as it is, and consequently was not commenced on a sufficiently bold and comprehensive plan'.

22. Square Church. In 1889 G. Phillips Bevan hailed Square Church, an early example of Dissenting Gothic designed by Joseph James, as 'one of the finest buildings in the town'. Commenting on the interior design, the Congregational Year Book noted that 'the architect has been compelled to consider more closely the requirements of Independent worship than the peculiarities of the Gothic style' namely 'that the pulpit should be the main object, subsidiary to nothing, and seen by all; and that the roof should be so constructed as to convey to every corner of the room the inflections of the voice of the preacher' . Square Church produced one of the most illustrious preachers of its denomination in Dr. J.H. Jowett. The church closed in 1970 and was almost completely destroyed in a fire in 1971. The adjacent classical redbrick chapel of 1772 was adapted for use as a Sunday School when the new church opened in 1857.

23. Halifax Town Hall. Opened by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, during the mayoralty of John Crossley, on whose initiative the project was conceived, the Halifax Town Hall was one of the last buildings designed by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament. After bis death in 1860, his son Edward Middleton Barry saw the work through to completion, adding the mansard roof with its ironwork cresting and finalising designs for the interior. The exquisite stone carving and sculpture was the work of John Thomas, who had worked with Barry on the Houses of Parliament. G. Phillips Bevan admired the building, but critieised its loeation: 'a very fine building of classical character, but is in such a narrow street that its good proportions are entirely lost'. Colonel Akroyd and his supporters had favoured an alternative site at Ward's End for a town hall designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

24. North Bridge and the Grand Theatre. North Bridge, which replaced a six arched stone structure of 1770, was opened in 1871 at a total cost of over f20,OOO on a long term loan, which was not paid off until 1946. The Grand Theatre and Opera House, which replaced the Gaiety Theatre, was opened in 1889 by the eminent actor, Wilson Barrett, who had made his stage debut in Halifax. An 1895 directory boasted 'there are few towns in which a clearer appreciation of real histrionie talent, and a readier ability to separate true merit from mere dramatic vapourings and self-constituted importance, find expression, than in the town of Halifax'. Facing the Grand Theatre, were the premises of T. Priestley, printer, bookseller and stationer, with its doek with an ilIuminated dial, which served to regulate the time of the district. James Parker recalled coffee wagons standing on North Bridge every working day fromS.30a.m. toabout7.00a.m.

25. St. Iude's Church. Situated in a residential suburb on the north side of Savile Park, St. Jude's Church was designed by local architect William Swinden Barber in the Early English Perpendicular style and built at a cost of !8,OOO in 1889-90. John and William Baldwin, worsted spinners, of J. and J. Baldwin, Clark Bridge Mills, Bank Bottom, contributed liberally to the cost. The novelist Phyllis Bentley, whose father, Joseph Bentley was a woollen manufacturer at Dunkirk Mills, recalled, in her autobiography: 'every Sunday morning, having brushed Papa's top hat with a special soft brush kept for the purpose in the hall, (we) marched off in a small crocodile to the new St. Jude's Church where Papa was a churchwarden Phil and Norman leading, Frank and Phyllis next, Papa and Mamma proudly bringing up the rear... I was considered too young to accompany the rest of the family to church on Sunday evenings'.

26. Piece Hall Sing, 1890. Originally introduced in 1831 to celebrate the jubilee of the foundation of Sunday schools, Piece Hall Sings were usually held at five yearly intervals. Particularly memorable jubilees, as the Sings were popularly called, were the one specially arranged in 1863 in honour of the Prince of Wales, when he visited Halifax to open the new town hall, the celebration of the centenary of Sunday schools in 1880 and the last Sing at the Piece Hall in 1890, when 30,000 assernbled in the open air and over 8,000 were packed into the galleries. James Parker recalled attending the last two Sings with some 400 scholars from Brunswick United Methodist Free Church. The veteran Abel Dean, with his silvery hair, tasselIed black velvet cap and long white baton conducted in 1885 and Thomas Wadsworth in 1890. 'My parents,' James Parker recalled, 'visited the 1890 Jubilee and never forgot the experience.'

27. Iohn Mackintosh, confectioner, King Cross Street. lohn Mackintosh left textiles in 1890 to open a pastrycook's business, with his wife, Violet, in King Cross Streel. 'From the opening day,' he later recalled. 'this shop attracted customers, the aim of the owner being to offer only articles extra specially good in an establishment that was spotlessly clean.' His most popular line was his own novel blend of English butter scotch and American caramel. Kate Hardman, the first shop assistant to be employed by John Mackintosh, remembered the small shop, with 'a living room at the back which was rather dark' and 'a room upstairs where meals could be served'. 'One thing 1 shall never forget,' she recaIled, was 'the making of toffee and the sale of it too ... many times was that useful brass pan cleaned and used again during my stay.' From these small beginnings the business developed into the largest toffee manufacturers in theworld.

28. High Level Railway, Pel/on. The Halifax High Level Railway, opened in September 1890, followed a three and a quarter mile route from a terminal station at St. Paul's, King Cross to a junction at Holmfield with the Halifax-Bradford line of the Great Northern Railway. From the outset the line experienced strong competition for passenger transport from the new tramway system, but not for its freight services, which provided coal and raw materials for the many factories along its route. St. Paul's also was used for servicing the Great Yorkshire Show on the occasions between 1895 and 1939 when it was held on Savile Park. Features along the route included a superb stone viaduct of ten arches across the Wheatley valley and a 750 metre tunnel from Greystones at Wheatley to Moorside at Illingworth. This Halifax Photographic Company view shows the steep gradient at Pellon. The last goods train ran along the route in 1960.

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