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Crowing about Stanley.

DEWSBURY is in the outer-lands of Kirklees, a part of the mystical Heavy Woollen District which had me baffled for ages when I first arrived in this area 40 years ago.

Heavy woollen? Did that mean they made winter suits? What did they do in the summer? Crow Nest Park is a delightfully green and pleasant place on the fringes of Dewsbury's urban sprawl on a hot sunny day. We had coffee on the terrace outside the small and busy cafe before sparking memories in the museum by visiting the toy gallery and the 1940s classroom.

We also learned something of the local history of a town that some consider was built on faith.

It has a Minster. St Paulinus preached here in 627 and its very name - Deus-bury - lends itself to the conception of a godly town.

Most engrossing was the hall of fame which features such local celebrities as Patrick Stewart (actually, from Mirfield, but close enough I suppose) and a tenuous link with Stan Laurel.

Crow Nest is only a small museum, but beautifully formed after a recent refurbishment. If anyone has the choice between Damien Hirst at the Tate Modern and the Stan Laurel connection at Dewsbury, you know my recommendation.

And you can have a decent cup of coffee at the same time.

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* TENUOUS LINK: Stan Laurel
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Apr 2, 2012
Words:224
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