Film ID:
YFA 5247

THIS TOWN OF OURS

1969-1972

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film was made by Halifax Cine Club to commemorate the town by providing an overview of its history, industry, landmarks, local services and sporting and cultural life.  Among that which is highlighted are Crossley carpets, the Mackintosh factory, Shibden Park, schools, the library, and recent immigrants.  The film originally premiered on 31st May, 1972 at the Halifax Civic Theatre.  It was later shown to audiences at the former Alexandra Hall.

The film begins by showing Halifax made stone slabs used on London Bridge.
Title – This Town of Ours 
Presented by the Corporation of Halifax
Production and Photography by the Halifax Cine Club

There is a view over Halifax, followed by an aerial view as the commentary relates aspects of Halifax.  Scenes of the local countryside and typical cottages accompany the commentator as he relates the history of the textile industry, including the role of the Piece Hall, inside of which there is a market for fruit and vegetables.  Many of its mills are shown, as well as local engineering firms, such as Asquith, producing machine tools.  Workers arrive and clock in at Crossley Carpets.  Children are out on the streets where there are back-to-back houses.  There is another aerial view over the city, highlighting the difference between new and old housing.  Washing hangs out of a terraced flat, and across a cobbled street.  On the outskirts of the city there are housing estates, with the commentary noting that many residents are unhappy with having to pay the costs of buses into the centre.  There are also high rise flats, again noting the problems they bring.  A woman sits outside St James tower block.

The film notes the role of Halifax Building Society.  A large car park is shown filled with cars.  Several local factories are shown before stopping at Crossley’s, where a woman tends a machine as a carpet comes off a roller.  Another woman stitches the edge of a carpet.  The film then moves on to show machine tools being manufactured.  At Cockcroft Mann, Bakery and Confectioners, it is stated that Macintoshes toffee was first sold.  Inside the Macintosh factory women sit at a conveyer belt packing sweets into Quality Street boxes.  Road studs, ‘cat’s eyes’, are shown being made as the story of their invention is told.

The film moves on to a stone quarry and Marshall and Sons, manufacturers of stone products.  A car drives along the recently opened M62 motorway, which is also seen from the air.  At the factory of the local newspaper, the Courier, and man stacks the papers for distribution.  The Odeon and ABC cinemas are shown, followed by Essoldo Bingo and Social Club and the Top Rank Club.  At the Playhouse there is an amateur theatre production being performed.  At the New Victoria Hall the performers in a production of ‘Old King Coal’ are displayed on a poster.  On stage a lavish period play is in performance.

Then on to the Folk Museum at Shibden Hall, with its gardens, boating lake and playground, where girls ride on the boat swing.  At the new swimming pool boys dive in off the diving boards.  There are snippet of local football, rugby, bowls, golf, cricket, tennis and speedway.  Then many local restaurants are shown, some Chinese ones, and a fish and chip shop, with the fish and chips served on newspapers.  So too are many local pubs, including Ye Old Raggolds Inn and Caithwell.  Inside the Westgate Hotel a group of men and women sit having a drink next to an open fire.  Other bars are also shown, such as the ‘Stone Chair Inn’ where dominoes and cards are being played.  At a Workingman’s club pool is being played, and there is a room full of elderly men, all in suits and ties.

There is footage of Spring Hall Estate and Mansion as well as another old house where the Education Offices are located.  Secondary school children are shown in an Arts class.  In the City Library there is a reading session for children.  Also shown are Bankfield Museum and Wainhouse Tower.  Again the city centre is seen from the air, and an old building is shown being cleaned.  Following this are scenes of the greenhouses at Bellevue Park and Manor Heath.  There is a display of crocuses in spring along the grass verges of a road.  The Parish Church and All Saints Church are shown, as well as the new Salem Methodist Church and the Catholic Church, where first communion is taking place.  There is the Town Hall and a drive though the city centre, with the commentary remarking on the problem of traffic and parking.  A wide variety of police cars are shown driving around town.  Both the bus station and the Borough Market are busy as well as the new supermarket.  Here, the accompanying commentary lamenting their bad influence on local shops and the shopping experience.  New Asian immigrants are discussed, shown in the town centre and in their own shops selling Asian clothing and textiles.  The commentary notes the two-way influence between immigrants and the indigenous population.  At George Square there is an open air exhibition. Some shop window displays are seen lit in the evening.

The film switches to the Mayor’s parlour where Alderman Joseph Liley is being robed for the new Mayor ceremony, taking place in the council chamber.  This is followed by a buffet luncheon in the Town Hall.  The Mayor later attends the Civic Sunday church service and the Remembrance Sunday ceremony.  Then onto the annual show at Saville Park, where there is a dog competition, stalls, games and rides.  Then the annual Charity Gala procession, with many floats, including ones for the ‘Bunny Club’, the Forest Cine Group and the NSPCC.  There is also the Charity Gala Queen for 1969.  A fire engine comes out of the old fire station on Gibbet Street before it is demolished to make way for a new fire station shown being built.  Other new building developments are also shown, including a major road works taking traffic out of the town centre.

The film finishes showing more of the town centre and views over the whole town, and with the commentary stating that: “This film has been made as part of recorded history to show our children the changing face of Halifax.”

End Credits:
Script by C C Thomas, commentary written by C C Thomas, spoken by L S Taylor, editing by A I Webster, G B Cheek, Titles by W MacKenzie
Cameramen: S V Barron, W A Briggs, G B Cheek, J E Greenhill, E R Hardy, P Holroyd, K Horsfall, E Jowett, J D Morley, R V Normanton, J F Robinson, C C Thomas, W K Wade, A L Webster
Music specially composed by Sandra Bailey LLCM (TD), played by Howard Beaumont (organ), Dudley Conn (drums), recorded by Calrec Sound Studios
The End