Film ID:
YFA 4833

COUNCILLOR DEADMAN (MAYOR) INTRODUCES HALIFAX

1978

Visitor Tabs

Description

Made by the Central Office of Information, this film documents the events in July, 1978, for the Mayor (Councillor Deadman) to take on his trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The film mainly consist of shots of the Mayor, wearing his chains, seated in the Mayor’s Parlour, and giving running commentary about the general life of Calderdale and how it has developed over the last one hundred years.  That is inter-cut with external shots of a bird’s eye view of Halifax Town Centre, the Piece Hall, Town Centre Streets, the Halifax Building Society H.Q. Block, inside shots of Rowntree Mackintosh and of Crossley Carpets.

The film begins with a view from the hills over Halifax. The camera pans across and zooms in on the Town Hall as the clock strikes the hour.  From the corner of Crossley Street and Wesley Court, the camera pans down from the clock tower of the imposing Town Hall down to street level.  The Town Hall was built by Charles Barry in 1859-62. 

Inside, Councillor Richard Deadman, the Mayor of Halifax from 1978-79, is wearing his chain of office. He climbs the stairs and turns a corner. The camera lingers on the building’s ornate interior design and domed ceiling.  Now in the Mayor’s Parlour, Councillor Deadman sits at his desk, talking to the camera.  Unfortunately the majority of what he says is inaudible, either due to a bad recording or subsequent deterioration.

Next, the film shows the recently renovated and reopened Piece Hall on Cross Street. The camera zooms out from the weather vane, which features a sheep, to show the entrance gates. Views of the Piece Hall are shown, with a couple of cars parked in the central courtyard.  The Piece Hall was built during the 18th Century to accommodate 300 individual cloth sellers. Built in the neo-classical style, each of the shops on the two story building faces onto the courtyard. On both floors a sheltered walkways runs the length of the building and is held up by columns.

In front of the Halifax Building Society on Commercial Street, people hesitate under awnings, waiting for the rain to stop.  Others brave the weather and walk along.  A bus with a Hotpoint electrics advert on the side passes in front of the camera.  Following this is a view of the headquarters of the Halifax Building Society on Trinity Road, filmed from across a roundabout. The headquarters were opened in 1973 and are very much in a 1970s style - lots of glass and concrete.

After another shot of the Mayor in his office, the film moves to the Rowntree Mackintosh’s factory and shows some nice, colourful footage of Quality Streets being sorted, mixed, and boxed up.  The audio cuts off suddenly.

There is an exterior shot of the Crossley Carpet Factory, Dean Clough.  Inside the factory on loom-like tools, workers cut lengths of thread to size for carpets.  Dozens of different coloured spools of wool can be seen laced on the machines, and there is footage of these threads being cut and turned into a rug all by one machine.

From behind his desk, the Mayor speaks more to camera before settling down to work. The camera zooms in on the custom made rug in front of the fire, which features the Halifax coat of arms (featuring the head of John the Baptist who, according to legend was buried in Halifax - the city name itself a corruption of ‘Holy’ and ‘Face’, and the city motto; except the Lord keep the city.)   There is also another coat of arms - possibly that of Halifax in Nova Scotia - the motto E mari merces; ‘from the sea, wealth’, matches although the crest itself is very different,