Film ID:
YFA 2864

PIECE HALL HALIFAX

1976

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film takes place at Piece Hall in Halifax, most likely during the re-opening of the premises in July 1976.

There is a large tent in the middle of the Piece Hall yard and many people walking around near the Hall. Once closer to the actual building, ornate decorations can be seen in various parts of the Hall.

There is a sign for the Piece Hall Balloon Race which will take place later that day. Back on the centre grounds, a dog show takes place with dogs in red capes performing various tricks and manoeuvres. Other events of the day include a fancy dress parade, flower display, a children's obstacle course race, theatrical re-enactments including a performance of The Pace Egg, sword fights, majorettes, marching bands, and traditional dancers. The crowd surrounding these events and looking on can also be seen during this sequence.

Ladies are making announcements from a high up balcony of the Hall which is decorated with Union Jack flags. The Balloons from the earlier advertised Balloon Race are now released into the sky.

The film then goes into the shops with various antique pieces labelled for sale. There are stuffed animals and more current toys and paintings on display as well. Additionally, a man can be seen working at a traditional spinning wheel.

People approach the outside entrance of Piece Hall, and then proceed back to the centre grounds where a band is playing on stage and others are setting up a tent theatre. Also featured on the grounds: a blow up castle, various market-type tents, people in costume sitting on haystacks, and a possible re-enactment of a battle in the US Civil War.

Additional information: [The Piece Hall was opened on 1st January 1779. It was built as a place for handloom weavers to sell their pieces of cloth and was a replacement for an earlier, smaller, Cloth Hall. The factory system, introduced later on, meant that merchants could buy all the cloth they required from a few mills and the Piece Hall trade decline. Eventually the building became a wholesale market. In 1928 the Piece Hall was officially recognised as an ancient monument, but it was not until 1972 that the decision was made to restore the building. The extra buildings which had been erected for the market were all removed and the building was restored, cleaned, and the ironwork was repainted. Part of the first floor was made into an Industrial Museum (now closed) and Art Gallery, for some more of the space and the rest was converted into shops. The original 300 shops were rationalised into larger retail spaces more suited to modern conditions; when full, the Piece Hall will house over 50 small retail shops although at present there are some vacancies. The courtyard houses a fleamarket on Thursdays and an open market on Fridays and Saturdays.]