Meet at the Harold Wilson statue
in St. George’s Square, Huddersfield
Discover Huddersfield’s rich heritage of radical politics in this free guided walk, which is part of Local Democracy for Everyone, a series of events in Huddersfield for anyone with an interest in local democracy.
Starting from the Harold Wilson statue in St George’s Square, this free guided trail will visit town centre sites that are associated with the Luddites and Chartists, the early days of the Labour Party, the anti-war movement during World War One and less celebrated groups such as Owenite socialists and secularists.
The walk will be led by Cyril Pearce, author of ‘Comrades in Conscience’ which tells the story of Huddersfield’s conscientious objectors, whose opposition to the Great War earned Huddersfield the reputation of being ‘a hotbed of pacifism’.
Please meet Cyril at the Harold Wilson statue in St. George’s Square, Huddersfield. The walk will last up to two hours and you’ll have an opportunity to drop in to the Media Centre at the end for a hot drink and to see the conclusion of the “We’re not in Westminster any more” event which will bring together advocates for redesigning local democracy.
More about the trail
From the 1790’s to the present day there hasn’t been a radical social or political movement in Britain which has not been reflected in Huddersfield. The campaign for the reform of Parliament, Chartism, the creation of the Independent Labour Party and the Labour Party itself, the women’s suffrage movement and Socialist Sunday Schools were all represented here. As were the Luddites and Robert Owen’s plans for a Socialist Utopia. In the 1830’s Huddersfield was a major centre of the campaign for factory reform, led by Richard Oastler.
Whether it was the temperance movement, the co-operative movement, Secularism, ‘Votes for Women’ or the refusal to fight in the First World War, Huddersfield men and women were involved.
This trail will guide you around a number of the buildings and places in the town centre which have been involved in these, often dramatic, moments in our local and national history. It is only a beginning. There is much more to learn.
The Radical Heritage Trail was developed by Huddersfield Local History Society in partnership with Discover Huddersfield. This walk is being run as part of Local Democracy for Everyone, a series of events in Huddersfield for anyone with an interest in local democracy.