Huddersfield Corporation: 1868 to 1918
Following the public inquiry held at the George Hotel, Huddersfield, on 18th and 19th November 1867 at which Captain Donelly, the Commissioner appointed by Her Majesty’s Privy Council, took evidence relating to the incorporation of Huddersfield as a borough, it was announced on 17 February 1868 that the town would be granted a Charter of Incorporation. When news reached the town via a telegram, “the parish church bells rang merrily” throughout the day in celebration.
The Municipal Borough of Huddersfield formally came into being on 7 July 1868, with the newly formed Town Council comprising 14 aldermen and 42 councillors representing the following 12 wards:
- Almondbury & Newsome
- Dalton, Bradley & Deighton
- Huddersfield Central
- Huddersfield East
- Huddersfield North
- Huddersfield South
- Huddersfield West
- Lindley cum Quarmby
One of the early priorities was to secure a more reliable source of water for the town and new reservoirs were constructed at Deer Hill (1871-75) and at Blackmoorfoot (1871-76) with capacities of 158 million gallons and 675 million gallons respectively.
The new Town Hall was built in two phases between 1875 and 1881 at a cost of around £40,000.
In the early 1880s, Huddersfield notched up two firsts with the building of what are regarded as the first ever council houses at Turnbridge (1880-82) and the opening of a tramway system in 1883 which was the first to be run entirely by a municipal authority.
The passing of the Local Government Act of 1888 led to Huddersfield becoming a County Borough on 1 April 1889.
A thirteenth ward was created in 1890 when Longwood Local Board District was added to the Borough. Prior to the local elections held in November 1908, the 13 wards were restructured to create 15 wards.
- Municipal Incorporation of Huddersfield: Court of Inquiry (1867)
- Huddersfield: Its History and Natural History (1868) — the 2nd edition of Charles P. Hobkirk’s book contains a description of the town as it was in the 1860s
Huddersfield Exposed has transcribed a number of contemporary local newspaper articles relating to the Incorporation of Huddersfield and the first meetings of the Town Council:
- “The Municipal Corporation: Its Working and Machinery” — a series of 7 lengthy articles published in the Huddersfield Chronicle
- Articles about Huddersfield Town Council which includes coverage of the first meetings held in September 1868