Nostalgia: Memories of the Vale Cinema

Mirfield's Vale Cinema back in 1994.
Mirfield's Vale Cinema back in 1994.

We recently shared this picture of the old Vale Cinema in Mirfield on our nostalgia page – and it brought back memories for readers.

Bob McWhir wrote: “Having been a resident of Mirfield for some 60 plus years my earliest recollection of this building are of it being the Vale cinema which occupied the complete property with daily evening shows, talent contests for local people and of course kids Saturday morning film shows.

“Other Mirfield memories are of the few businesses still in the town from that era of which I can think of only four that exist. These being L.D Smith (Ironmonger and Hardware) though in those days it occupied both floors of what is now Ravellos café, and if they didn’t have it then it didn’t exist.

“Though this has changed hands since those days and occupies a smaller space.

“Others which are still owned by the same families and are still in the same premises are Jacksons shoe shop and Ramsdens butchers.

“The last one though not in the same premises but still Mirfield based is H.L. Ramsden (not as far as I am aware related) painters and decorators. It would be interesting to hear of other people’s memories of the town in the days gone by with the variety of shops in comparison to today. An afterthought, one other business in the same location all these years on is the Black Bull chippie, always visited after the cinema on a Saturday night.”

Michael Hutchinson said: “The upper storey contained a combined restaurant and, I believe, a dance hall. I remember attending my paternal grandfather’s funeral tea in the restaurant.

“Also, I have no memory of the statue of the lion not being there on the roof. It is there now but your old photograph clearly shows it is absent. When, I wonder, was the lion placed up there?

“The Vale Cinema, clearly, provided a service. There are two other buildings in the town centre which still provide similar services as in the past. “One of these is the National Westminster Bank in Caxton Buildings. The other building is the Halifax Bank. This used to be the Halifax Building Society but its members threw away its history, their membership rights and the mutual service it provided in return for a few shares. This also deprived future citizens of the choice in financial services that the mutual organisation once provided.

“The shares proved to be poor value, particularly as the Halifax Bank had to be rescued by Lloyds Bank and no dividend has been paid since most of Lloyds was taken into public ownership in another rescue operation.

“This may be about to change but the advantages of the original consumer-owned service seem to have been lost forever. However, the original Building Society building continues to provide financial services although without the original social remit.”

Share your old pictures and stories with us by emailing dewsbury.editorial@jpress.co.uk or writing to Reporter Series, Floor 5, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE.