Following hot on the heels of BBC2’s flattering portrayal of Huddersfield in Nicholas Crane’s series Town, Discover Huddersfield are getting ready to launch a new series of trails to lead inquisitive types on a themed tour around our town.
On a scorching hot Wimbledon final Sunday afternoon, I met with some of Discover Huddersfield’s tour designers to take a sneaky peak at what their trails will have to offer and was pleasantly surprised – the glorious weather and the fact that I don’t give a stuff about tennis probably didn’t hurt either.
There are currently four trails, which have been designed around the following themes:
1. Historic Buildings
2. Public Art
4. Real Ale
We were led around a combined trail by David Griffiths, Chris Marsden and Rebecca Legg.
Rebecca, my personal favourite tour guide based on pure entertainment value, told us grisly tales of ghosts who haunt well known Huddersfield sites. (Let’s just say I’m pleased I don’t work after hours in some of our local retail outlets).
Chris was able to point out various examples of art work within the town centre that many of us, including long serving residents of Huddersfield, had never noticed before. The Queensgate Market, for example, has nine ceramic tiles around the exterior which make up the world’s largest ceramic sculpture and, inside, the ceiling is made up of 21 reinforced concrete shells – a structure that is not replicated anywhere else in the UK (or possibly the World, I’ve not yet shopped in all the markets).
David gave us lots of information about Huddersfield’s history and some of the iconic buildings of our town. We learned that the railway line through Huddersfield was built due to the local Ramsden family’s desire to increase trading opportunities and that, as a result, The George Hotel was built and had an open guest book to allow local traders to find out who was staying in the hotel in order to sell their wares to the guests (you can imagine the uproar if Premier Inn adopted a similar policy today).
By the time we’d walked a circuit of Huddersfield learning loads of stuff and counting a surprisingly high number of stone lions, we were ready to try out the real ale trail in the Head of Steam pub. There was even a lovely Discover Huddersfield cake and some tall bloke (Andy something?) winning a tennis match to amuse us.
Come and see what Huddersfield has to offer. And, if the sun doesn’t shine for you, we are close to the Pennine’s after all, then sup up some real ale in one of our pubs instead and find a re-run of Town when you get home!