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HILARY Haigh, one of the [...]; Founder member of Huddersfield Local History Society.

Byline: Hilary Haigh

HILARY Haigh, one of the founder members of Huddersfield Local History Society, has died aged 73.

Hilary was born Elizabeth A. Hilary Turner in 1945, grew up in Honley and attended what was then Holme Valley Grammar School, now Honley High.

After A-levels she went to the University of Leeds before training first as a librarian in Aberystwyth and then as an archivist at the University of Liverpool. She married John Haigh in 1978 and their daughter Sarah was born in 1981.

Her professional career began in 1968 as Huddersfield's Archivist and Local History Librarian, a post which she held when the borough was absorbed into Kirklees and retained under the new authority.

Having left Kirklees in 1982 she spent some time as a freelance researcher and adult education tutor until 1991 when she was appointed Archivist at the University of Huddersfield, then the Polytechnic.

She remained there until retirement in 2010, after which she was appointed Visiting Research Fellow.

Over the years, as archivist, both for the local authority and for the university, she supported the work of countless people, some to higher degrees and others, bitten by the local history bug, simply to a better understanding of their home area. She has been a major contributor to the publication of books and journals on the history of Huddersfield and district.

In 1992 she edited the now classic collection of essays Huddersfield, a Most Handsome Town, drawing on the work of more than twenty scholars.

A painstaking and patient editor, she worked closely with John Hargreaves on his Slavery in Yorkshire, marking the life and times of Richard Oastler, Huddersfield's nineteenth century factory reformer.

More recently, published only shortly before she died, she wrote, edited and secured Heritage Lottery Funding for A Parish at War, a study of life in her adopted home of Netherton and Middlestown, near Wakefield, during the first world war - a splendid epitaph to every aspect her work.

Alongside all of this, and after John's untimely death, Hilary has played a key role in the Huddersfield Local History Society (HLHS).

She was one of the handful of people who came together almost 40 years ago, fired by the idea that it was about time Huddersfield had an organisation which shared and celebrated the history of the town and its area.

From those modest beginnings the late 1970s HLHS can now boast more than two hundred members, a substantial catalogue of publications and its own Journal.

In all of this, most recently as Secretary, Hilary has played a quiet and unassuming but important part. Her final achievement in which she was HLHS study had done which celebrated of the success for votes for Hilary has unsung heroes makes the in our own vibrant.

She will be

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2018
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