1974, that was the year that was

1974 was the year that Spenborough and Heckmondwike Councils were consigned to the history books as a new bigger authority, Kirklees, came into being.

Thursday, 13th February 2014, 6:00 am
The Spen Valley Farmers' Club fancy dress frolic in 1974

The Guardian archives of that year show that the transition was marked in several ways – including a generous gesture from the owners of the newspaper itself.

The proprietors commissioned around 700 bags of fruit pastille sweets from Lion Confectionery in South Parade to mark the ending of the two local councils, and invited children to bring along a cutting from the previous week’s paper, to swap for the sweet treats.

Some were so keen to get their hands on the freebies they were queueing at the door even before the Northgate offices had opened.

Some of the lucky children who received sweets to mark the end of Spenborough and Heckmondwike councils.

Also making the headlines forty years ago were pupils and staff at Liversedge County Secondary School who had put in hours and hours of time rehearsing their show, Oliver!

Headmaster John Law made an enthusiastic Mr Bumble while Simon Merriman struck a confident note in the demanding title role.

The cunning and scheming Fagin was brought to life by staff member Martyn Kent, ably assisted by 15-year-old Nigel Dransfield as the Artful Dodger. Devious Bill Sikes was played by staff member David Johnson while Nancy Wilson played her namesake.

All the props for the performance – apart from a number of beer barrels supplied by the New Inn at Roberttown, were produced at the school.

Farmers are more renowned for wearing wellies than high heels, but that’s just what they were wearing on this picture which appeared in the Guardian – and that was just the men!

Members of the Spen Valley Farmers’ Club had great fun at their Fancy Dress Frolic at the Cavalier Country Club in Halifax.Winners were Stephanie Ellis of Norristhorpe as an angel, and Christopher Wooller of Roberttown as a bunny girl.

Judges were Mr M Fewster, Mr D Firth and members of the band.