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

List of Halifax blue plaques

1990s

Col Edward Akroyd, 1810-1887: Halifax textile manufacturer and philanthropist who built two of Halifax's three model industrial villages, at Copley and Akroydon (the other is the Crossleys' West Hill Park). MP for Halifax and a founder of the Yorkshire (Penny) Bank. Plaque at his former home, Bank Field, a mansion at Akroydon much extended by Akroyd, now Bankfield Museum.

John Crossley, 1772-1837: founder of John Crossley and Sons, carpet manufacturers, whose complex of mills and sheds at Dean Clough, Halifax, was once the largest integrated carpet factory in the world. The company merged with others to former Carpets International in 1969 and closed in Halifax in 1982. The site was acquired by Ernest Hall (now Sir Ernest) and Jonathan Silver who turned it into a centre for both business and the arts. Plaque at Dean Clough.

John Mackintosh, 1868-1920: founder of John Mackintosh and Sons, toffee makers and confectioners, subsequently merged with Rowntree, of York, and now part of the Swiss-based Nestle. Plaque at Bailey Hall Mill, part of Nestle's Albion Mills complex, Navigation Road, Halifax.

Eric Portman, 1901-1969: Halifax-born stage and screen actor. Plaque at his home at 20 Chester Road, Akroydon, Halifax (though he was born at 71, Chester Road).

Percy Shaw, 1890-1976: inventor of the catseye, who founded the Reflecting Roadstuds company at his home, Boothtown House, Boothtown, Halifax, to manufacture them. Plaque at Boothtown House.

Sir John Henry Whitley, 1866-1935: Liberal MP for Halifax, 1900-1918 and Speaker of the House of Commons, 1921-1928.

 

2010

Oliver Smithies, born 1925: geneticist who in 2007 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, with Mario R Capecchi and Martin J. Evans, for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells. Born in Halifax, now an American citizen. Plaque at his former school, Copley Primary School, Halifax. He attended the unveiling.

 

 

Geneticist Oliver Smithies, Nobel prizewinner in physiology or medicine in 2017 unveils his own blue plaque at Copley School, Halifax, in 2010.

2012

Halifax Town AFC: Halifax Civic Trust, in conjunction with the football club's Halifax Town Centenary Group, installed a plaque at the site of the former Saddle Hotel in Market Street, lattely occupied by JJB Sports and then Heron Foods. It was at the Saddle that a meeting was held which led to the formation of the football club in 1911.

2013

Jocelyn Horner, 1902-1973: Sculptor. Plaque at Green Hayes, the house at Savile Park Road, Bell Hall, Halifax, where Jocelyn Horner was born, lived, worked and died, now the home of Lawrence Funeral Services, which sponsored the plaque. On the same day Horner's statue of The Boy David, which had been given to Halifax Civic Trust by the Tallis family (Halifax Metals) in memory of the late Pete Tallis, was dedicated at St Jude's Church, a short distance from Green Hayes.

Unveiling of the sculptor Jocelyn Horner's blue plaque in 2013 at Green Hayes, Bell Hall, Halifax, where she lived and worked

E P Thompson, 1924-1993: Edward Palmer Thompson, historian, writer, socialist and peace campaigner. Plaque erected to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Thompson's seminal The Making of the English Working Class in November 1963. Plaque for Thompson and his wife, historian Dorothy Thompson, at Holly Bank, Whitegate, Siddal, Halifax, where the couple lived between 1948 and 1965 and where The Making of the English Working Class was written. Plaque erected on the same day as a conference held by the Society for the Study of Labour History at Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax, to remember E P Thompson's life and legacy, followed by a walk from Square Chapel to Holly Bank. Event and/or plaque sponsored by the Lipman-Miliband Trust and the Society for the Study of Labour History.

 

Blue plaque for historian E P Thompson

2016

Dr Phyllis Eleanor Bentley, 1984-1977: West Riding novelist acclaimed for her 1932 masterpiece, Inheritance, a story of love, class, politics and family loyalty set in the local textile industry. The plaque sponsored by Halifax Thespians and unveiled at the Playhouse, Halifax; Dr Bentley had been a founding member of the Thespians in 1927 and chairman, president and trustee.

Dr Bentley was acclaimed for her novels set in the West Riding and especially for her 1932 masterpiece, Inheritance, a story of love, class, politics and family loyalty set in the local textile industry. Inheritance turned Dr Bentley into a celebrity and she was described as the most successful regional novelist since Thomas Hardy and his Wessex stories.

Phyllis Bentley was born and brought up in Halifax and her first book, The World’s Bane – four allegorical stories – was published as early as 1918. Inheritance went through 23 impressions by 1946 and in that year her novel The Rise of Henry Morcar was published, followed by A Man of His Time in 1966. These three books together formed the Inheritance Trilogy, which revolved round the fortunes of the Oldroyds of Annotsfield, a Yorkshire mill-owning family, through five generations. In 1967 Granada TV turned the Inheritance Trilogy into an ambitious TV serial starring John Thaw, James Bolam and Michael Goodliffe.

Altogether Dr Bentley wrote more than 30 books, mostly novels but also plays, short stories and non-fiction works on the Bronte Sisters, the woollen industry and her beloved West Riding. In 1962 her autobiography, O Dreams, O Destinations, was published. Leeds University awarded her an honorary doctor of letters degree in 1949 and she was made an OBE in 1970.

Unveiling of the E P Thompson blue plaque in 2013 at Holly Bank, Whitegate, Siddal, Halifax, where he and his wife, fellow historian Dorothy Thompson, lived between 1948 and 1965 and where The Making of the English Working Class was written.

See the unveiling on YouTube

Unveiling of Halifax Civic Trust's blue plaque for Phyllis Bentley at Halifax Playhouse. From the left, Louise Bentley, Duncan Bentley, Geoff Bentley, the Mayoress of Calderdale, Catherine Kirk, the Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Howard Blagborough, chairman of Halifax Civic Trust, Dr John Hargreaves, Leighton Hirst, president of Halifax Thespians, and Dr David Russell.