Film ID:
YFA 2205

HALIFAX

1959

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a film made by Laurie Chambers that documents various events in Halifax including the Mayor's Charity procession, the demolition of the Palace Theatre, Billy Smart’s Circus, and sledging and skiing on the snow in Shibden Park.

The film begins with a map and town guide of Halifax.  This is followed by Crossley’s Carpets factory and chimney.  There are more scenes of the Halifax town centre as well as footage of factories, chimneys and power plants.  A few Halifax landmarks are included such as Halifax Parish Church, with its various plaques, the Piece Hall, and the Odeon cinema in the town centre. 

The Mayor’s Charity Procession takes place in the town centre.  The parade includes many public and commercial floats from local pubs and charities.  The colourfully decorated floats process past shops like Davies and Balmforth.  The ruins of an old church can be seen.  There is then a fair during which children perform dances, and Lithuanian Immigrants perform a dance on stage during the celebrations.

The parade makes its way into Shibden Park where there is a sports car parked on display, a fair, and agricultural show with horses.  There are various stalls, including the army, a model railway exhibition in Victoria Hall, a steam tractor engine, a dog show with a vet examining the dogs, and various farm animals.

The next scene begins with the floral displays in the town centre followed by the demolition of the Palace Theatre.  After this, there are scenes of a new housing development of flats including St James Court, before switching to the swans that live in the park, and a statue.  Wainwright’s Tower is shown from a distance and close up.  On one of the roads near Halifax, a car accident has occurred.  The car has been overturned, and a hosepipe has been set up to run water over the car.  There are a few spectators who have gathered including some children to stand nearby to watch. 

On the back of a caravan there is a sign which reads, ‘End of Part One.’  This is followed by a line of circus elephants making their way through the town.  The elephants are followed by a brass band and then the rest of the Billy Smart Circus and Zoo.  A large crowd watches as Billy Smart passes by gesticulating from on top of an open bus.  He is followed by majorettes and keystone cops, trapeze artists and horses, cowboys and Indians, beauty queens on American soft top cars, and many more acts.  A large crowd queues outside the huge marquee.  The performers stand around and move about with the animals, and a little girl sits on a BBC camera.  Another BBC camera is perched high up on a platform.

The film then moves on to show images of Halifax at night.  Shop windows and adverts are lit up.  The film closes with people sledging and skiing on the snow in Shibden Park and ducks on a frozen pond.