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  • seandodson 9:29 am on November 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: huddersfield, , sex pistols   

    Sex Pistols in Huddersfield. Last ever UK gig in support of striking firemen. A Christmas day’s party for the Firemen’s children. Kids in Never Mind the Bollocks T-shirts. Johnny Rotten starting a food fight. Only in Huddersfield. (thanks Wilf)

  • seandodson 5:23 pm on October 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ben shaws, gerry at neaverson's, huddersfield   

    It is nice to come home and find new thi… 

    It is nice to come home and find new things to admire among the old. So stumbling across Gerry’s at Neaverson’s the other night was a nice  surprise. Neaverson’s used to be the upmarket purveyor of porcelain, all mantelpiece figurines and ornamental dogs, but like most posh china shops, it recently closed and I worried a little what would become of the place. It always had this fantastic window display and a wood-panelled art deco interior that was a fine example of old Huddersfield.

    So a nice surprise was to discover that somebody very bright had turned it into a vintage tea rooms. Double so that the original features had been kept in place, as had something of the name. But the real suprise for me was that the eponymous Gerry was my old friend Gerrard John.

    He’s made a splendid job of it. Old china, eclectic set of furniture, Bob Dylan on the stereo and lots of locally sourced food and drink, including Ben Shaw’s pop. Good table service, handwritten bills, lots of charm. It’s a very relaxing space, a world away from the standing-in-line paper cup rush of the Cafe Nero down the way.

  • seandodson 12:22 pm on April 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 20th centuary society, , , Fritz Steller, huddersfield, queensgate market   

    Huddersfield’s Queensgate Market trades on its architectural heritage 


    I’m a couple of clicks late on this, but I’ve just noticed that the 20th Century Society recently named Huddersfield’s Queensgate Market (above) as its Building of the Month. The Society, a charity which lobbies to protect modernist architecture, describes the market as “one of the finest post-war buildings in the north of England”. And so it is.

    For the last few years I’ve had an ongoing debate with my Father about the beauty of Queensgate Market. Growing up in the 1950s, Dad has always been a lover of the town’s old Market Hall, which was demolished in 1957. I never got to see the old building, but I’ve some splendid memories of the newer market thanks to my Grandmother taking me there on Saturdays. It’s still got this amazing roof, comprised of an asymmetric lattice of concrete shells, that floods the place with natural light even on the most cloudy days. Believe you me those Pennie skies can be very overcast indeed.

    Despite its unique architectural heritage, it’s the only building of its type in the UK, the local council is threatening to demolish the market to make way for a new development, that will build a new market hall, while adding a number of residential units and a department store to the mix.

    Luckily a campaign to save the building is underway, led in part by the 20th Century Society and local conservationists. Here’s how Jon Wright, the Society’s senior case worker, sees it: 

    “It comes as a shock when a twentieth century building that is widely admired, not just by the Society or by architectural and design enthusiasts, but by the general public and its every day users, comes under threat. When the building in question is also listed, has a concrete roof structure unique in the country and contains extraordinary artwork, proposals for demolition seem outrageous.”

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    • Huddersfield Gem 10:05 pm on June 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Delighted that you appreciate the joys of Queensgate Market.

      Can we invite you and your readers to visit our website and send us an email to ask to receive updates on the campaign to ensure the survival of the building?

      We welcome contributions, ideas, memories, history, connections and intelligence on the building.

      Two minor points in you piece; the roof may appear to be a lattice but actually each concrete shell structure is independent and freestanding. The old (1880) market hall closed and was demolished rather later than you suggest – April 1970. Your dad is right to mourn the old one, it should have been reused. Let’s keep this one.

      Best wishes, Huddersfield Gem

  • seandodson 1:43 am on May 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bob stanley, chapel market, , , etienne, , Geoffrey fletcher, geoffrey snowcroft fletcher, , huddersfield, james mason, , , nostalgia, , the london that nobody knows, Walter Sickert   

    Discovering the London that nobody knows 

    Thanks once again to the wondrous Things Magazine for pointing me towards The London that Nobody Knows, a wonderful documentary from 1967 narrated by James Mason (a fellow lad of Huddersfield). The film is a favourite of Bob Stanley of St Etienne, who describes the film as “No horseguards, no palaces, but Islington’s Chapel Market, pie shops, and Spitalfields tenements … Carnaby chicks and chaps, the 1967 we have been led to remember, [is] shockingly juxtaposed with feral meths drinkers, filthy shoeless kids, squalid Victoriana. Camden Town still resembles the world of Walter Sickert. There is romance and adventure, but mostly there is malnourishment.”

    Although I wouldn’t agree with him that “London looks like a shithole,” even the fluttering washing above a tenament in the East End looks beautiful when arranged above a courtyard of excited children playing in the midday sun. The London that Nobody Knows is based on a book by Geoffrey Snowcroft Fletcher of, funnily enough, The Daily Telegraph. Stanley calls Fletcher “the great forgotten London writer” and the book was first published in 1962.

    • paulmcdonald 1:39 pm on May 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I love that film, I only became aware of it recently but it totally blew me away…just a shame it is’nt longer as theres so few films showing the ‘real’ London of that time.

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