Situated in the valleys of the River Colne and River Holme, Huddersfield is very much a traditional Pennine town with its sandstone buildings and links to the textile industry. During the Industrial Revolution, the town was at the centre of numerous Luddite attacks on local mills and their owners.
Although there are a few manufacturers to be found, the textile industry is a shadow of its former self, and Huddersfield is now home to many chemical and engineering companies. More recently the town as also earned a reputation for first class digital and web design.
#10 – Huddersfield’s ancient roots
Huddersfield has been a settlement for over 4,000 years and can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086 under the name of “Odersfeld”.
#9 – The largest town in Britain.
Well, not quite, but the locals would be none too pleased if you challenged them about it over the bar room. Huddersfield is, in fact, the eleventh largest town in the UK. With a population of 146, 234, it was tenth on the list according to the census of 2001 but has slipped down a rung during recent years.
#8 – Huddersfield’s alive with the sound of music
Each year the town plays host to the UK’s largest international festival of contemporary and new music. More than 50 events, which include concerts, dance, theatre and film, take place over ten days.
#7 – Home to one of the UK’s largest pharmaceutical companies
Founded in 1922, Thornton & Ross exports to over 80 countries worldwide. They are best known for their range of care products such as Covonia cough medicine, Hedrin head lice treatment, Movelat, Settlers and the UK’s leading disinfectant Zoflora.
#6 – “A week is a long time in politics”
Huddersfield’s most famous son is former Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. The Labour leader served as the UK’s premier from 1964 – 1970 and 1974 – 1976.
#5 – It’s got links with 007
Famed for its association with James Bond, sports car manufacturer Aston Martin named its ‘DB’ range after Huddersfield businessman, David Brown, who bought both Aston Martin and Lagonda in the 1940s.
#4 – Stars of screen and stage
Huddersfield is not short on acting talent and boasts Hollywood legend James Mason and Patrick Stewart among them. Although they have been a bit cheeky borrowing Stewart from nearby Mirfield! Other actors include Gordon Kaye of ‘Allo-Allo’ and ‘Footballers Wives’ Zoe Lucker.
#3 – Anarchy in Huddersfield
Punk rock band the Sex Pistols played their very last British gigs at Ivanhoe’s Nightclub on Christmas Day in 1977. The band then went on to their first (and last) US tour culminating in their final performance at the Winterland in San Francisco on January 14, 1978.
#2 – Town was top of the league
Huddersfield Town FC became the first English football team to win the Football League in the 1920s. Town won the league not once, but three times. Only Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have managed it since.
#1 – That’s a right up and under!
Huddersfield is the birthplace of Rugby League. Many Northern Rugby Union clubs were concerned that their players, who came from working class backgrounds, could suffer a loss of wages while playing for their clubs and proposed a payment of out of pocket expenses. The Southern Rugby Union clubs, whose players came from affluent backgrounds, were opposed to any attempts to ‘professionalise’ players.
This lead to the 22 Northern Rugby Union clubs meeting in Huddersfield’s George Hotel on August 29, 1895, to form the Northern Rugby Football Union which eventually became Rugby League.