Monday, April 03, 2023

A View Over Halifax, 1882

 




In August 1882, The Yorkshire Agricultural Society held its annual show at Saville Park, Halifax. The event drew considerable publicity, not just from other parts of the County, but from wider afield as well. The Illustrated London News - if you are not familiar with the publication, think of it as a bit like The Times but with plenty of pictures - despatched an artist to provide illustrations of the show, and, at the same time, asked them to produce some general sketches of the town itself. This was the origin of the small collection of sketches of Halifax that were featured in the edition of the 5th August 1882.

One of the most striking of these illustrations is a view of the town from Southowram Bank. The enormous number of mill and factory chimneys visible is witness to the busy industry of the town, and this is underlined in the short article which accompanies the feature:-

Halifax, which now ranks third of the Yorkshire woollen cloth manufacturing towns, only Leeds and Bradford standing higher in commercial importance, is situated on the Hebble, a tributary of the river Calder, among the bare hills of that region, which has never been famous for agricultural fertility. There is, however, abundance of water, and the great Yorkshire coalfield is not far removed, so that two of the most necessary conveniences for manufactures have been supplied to Halifax industry.

Other sketches include ones of Woolshops, the Parish Church, People's Park, and the Piece Hall, and I will return to these at a later date.



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