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DOWNFALL; Camera's eye marks the fall - and rise - of the town centre.

THE first moves to redevelop Huddersfield town centre into the form we know it today began in 1951.

This was in the form of a plan for a ring road from the borough engineer and surveyor Arthur Leslie Percy. The route proposed was uncannily like the one that was built in 1966 and which has determined the shape of Huddersfield town centre ever since. The ring road and the changes within it involved the compulsory purchase of thousands of homes and businesses. It began when the General Purposes Committee formed a planning and development sub-committee in 1963. Many people still believe this committee did unforgivable things to the town centre.

They believe the demolition of the old Market Hall, the Packhorse Yard, Ramsden Street and the police and fire stations were acts of vandalism at worst, unnecessary at best.

It is true that many quaint corners of old Huddersfield disappeared between 1960 and 1970.

But many of the buildings and areas that disappeared were no longer fit for purpose.

The market hall was virtually inaccessible to delivery vehicles - as was the Packhorse Yard - and police and fire services could not act swiftly enough in emergencies from their town centre bases.

The majority of pictures this week come from David Whitworth, who was prescient enough to realise that a trip round town with a camera before the bulldozers moved in would preserve the 'old town' in memory forever.


* CHURCH TIMES: New North Road, 1971 and the Baptist church awaits demolition to make way for the ring road. The 'new' New North Road Baptist Church is now on the opposite side of the road. (tmc070911nor th)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2011
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