Changing face of Cleckheaton

THIS week we take a look back at the changing face of Cleckheaton during the late 70s when the town – and several notable characters – were featured in Yorkshire Life magazine.

Thursday, 11th February 2010, 3:24 pm

Cleckheaton was featured in the magazine, kindly leant to the Spenborough Guardian by Openshaw's Jewellers, in March 1977 when the town was still brimming with industry and many modern landmarks were yet to be built.

The first picture shows the view from opposite the Central Restaurant – now the Obediah Brook pub – looking dow Bradford Road towards Savoy Square. The restaurant boasted dancefloors and had a reputation for attracting dignitaries, politicians and even the Queen's jeweller.

The photograph also captures the Cleckheaton Conservative Club and the Savoy Cinema, with Siddal's the printers further along the road.

In the late 70s, the more stylish ladies in Cleckheaton could be found at the Tanda fashion store – where Whitegates Estate Agents stands today – that featured evening dresses, day-wear and big brands.

The third photograph shows Cleckheaton Library manager Edward Hobson, who it is believed took the post in 1974, showing off a display of miniature toys and games at the Whitcliffe Road library.

The magazine also features two men with unusual hobbies.

Former Cleckheaton Coun Arthur Harrison, who was also an engineer for many years, was so good at horticulture that he was invited by the Royal Horticultural Society to showcase his prize winning lily's at their annual show. Coun Harrison, pictured with his wife Emily, grew the only green lily – dubbed the Green Goddess – in the world and was described as the 'only lily hybridist in the country'. He planned to grow the world's first Silver Jubilee Lily to honour the Queen – did he succeed?

The final picture shows textiles foreman Jack Dixon who began brewing his own win after a business trip to France proved inspirational. Mr Dixon found the local beer too sweet for his tastes, but fell in love with the local wine and was inspired to write numerous booklets when he returned to the Spen Valley.