54 years of celebrating, enhancing and safeguarding Halifax's built and natural environment.

2016 Annual Report

On the 1st September Halifax Civic Society wrote to Councillor Ashley Evans to support the restoration of the Boer War memorial in West View Park, click here to see the letter

Two members of Halifax Civic Trust, Eileen Connolly and June Paxton-White, attended the AGM of YHACS (Yorkshire and Humberside Association of Civic Societies) on 28th January in Harrogate.  The business was followed by an illustrated presentation by Prof. Rick Battarbee on the subject of climate change and global warming and measures that could be taken to mitigate the consequences of these.

Civic societies were advised to propose the use of planning conditions to increase sustainable energy systems such as ground source heat pumps and solar panels.



The photo shows June Paxton-White holding the certificate of commendation received at the presentation of the Peter Spawforth Excellence Awards. It was awarded for the event held by HCT at the Halifax Playhouse in September 2016 when the Mayor of Calderdale unveiled a blue plaque in memory of the writer Phyllis Bentley who was also a founder of the Halifax Thespians. Afterwards, David Russell,

Professor of Cultural History at the University of Central Manchester gave a well-attended talk in the theatre on the life and career of Phyllis Bentley.

On 25th September, members of Halifax Civic Trust visited Ponden Hall, near Haworth, were they had afternoon tea. A fascinating talk on the building’s history was then provided by owners Julie Akhurst and Steve Brown, followed by a conducted tour, explaining the various Bronte links.

Recent Achievements

Figure by noted local sculptor is saved

As reported elsewhere on this website, in 2013, Halifax sculptor Jocelyn Horner’s well-known sculpture of the shepherd boy David, was dedicated at the Church of Holy Trinity and St Jude. The sculpture is owned by Halifax Civic Trust, and is now on view in the church foyer.  Damage to the sculpture occurred before it came into our possession, and the Trust is currently arranging to fund its repair by an expert, in a suitable manner.

Royal Infirmary artefacts

Also reported elsewhere on this site, following a long campaign by Halifax Civic Trust, earlier in 2016 an agreement was finally reached that the historic artefacts from the former Royal Halifax Infirmary, should be removed from their unsuitable storage at Calderdale Royal Hospital, and placed in safekeeping elsewhere. After many enquiries historically by Chris Harris DL (who was chairing the Management Company at ‘The Royal’) as to the whereabouts of the HRI Artefacts, it was pleasing to hear that the Halifax Civic Trust had discovered them at the CALDERDALE Royal Hospital.

Three directors of ‘The Royal’ Management Company invited 3 Civic Trust officers to meet with the RHI retired Archivist Mike Barnes and the HR director and Company secretary of the Calderdale and KIRKLEES hospital trust to discuss a way forward for the Artefacts to be returned to The Royal.

There have been  many meetings and conversations with the Hospital Trust and the HRI Management Company over the last  couple of years.

Finally, in Summer 2016, the legal arrangement /agreement was reached  through the Trust Lawyers and the HRI Management company Co Secretary.  The Halifax Royal Management Company are legal custodians of the Artefacts in perpetuity.

Currently, the items are stored on site at the Royal in safe, dry storage.  The intention is that, in 2017, work will be carried out to install certain items, e.g. the brass ward plaques, so that are on display.  Other items will need displaying in cabinets, etc; and some may be wall mounted securely on the site.  Some of the paintings require restoration which will be expensive; at the moment there are no funds available to carry out this work.

It is envisaged that there could be an Annual Open Day so that the public may view the Artefacts at closer quarters; and there is a desire to record Infirmary voices / memories.

At the present time this is a work in progress.  

Members of Halifax Civic Trust enjoyed a Heritage Walk through west central Halifax.  Beginning at the King’s Centre, formerly Park Road Baths, leader John Hargreaves pointed out the Park Road birthplace of J.H. Whitley, one-time Halifax MP and Speaker of the House of Commons. He then led the way via People’s Park, Crossley House (Belle Vue), the Margaret Street Almshouses of Sir Francis Crossley, and Milton Place, looking at each structure of interest.  The walk ended at Madni Mosque, recently improved and enlarged, to which Halifax Civic Trust presented an Award in May.  A fascinating tour of the mosque was then provided by helpful volunteers on site, who later kindly served refreshments

Some of the Infirmary artefacts in their previous unsuitable storage