Sisters Sylvia Arnold and Alison Revell have shared childhood memories of the Square. The family business provided them with a window onto St George’s Square while the Station, despite the noise and the steam from the trains, could be a very welcoming place.
Our father had an accountancy practice at 7 St George’s Square, Revell and Revell. When Princess Margaret visited Huddersfield, we stood on the desk in the general office and from the window watched her car go round the Square amidst the crowds.
Revell and Revell began with our great grandfather, Alfred Revell, whose grave can be seen in Edgerton Cemetery. At that time the office was elsewhere in Huddersfield town centre, but at some point it moved to St George’s Square as the ‘place to be’ following the growth of the railways. The business passed down through the family – Harold Revell, Frank Revell, Norman Revell, then our father Eric Revell.
Our grandfather (on our mother’s side) used to take us into Huddersfield when we were little, in the late 1950s, and we often visited the railway station with our one-penny platform tickets. At that time the waiting room and the cafe had coal fires, and my sister remembers not one but TWO roaring fires in the cafe. We usually went in for a warming mug of Bovril, whilst our grandad chatted with the lady behind the counter, standing with his back to the fire to keep himself warm.
The steam trains were still running then. My older sister remembers the tremendous noise, shuddering and shaking when a train came into the station. I remember watching the grimy steam creep under the door and slowly fill the cafe with a grey haze – no health or safety concerns in those days!
A painting in the waiting room on the middle platform – if it is still there – shows St George’s Square much as we remember it in the 1960s. Much has changed since! I hope some of these memories will help to paint a picture of St George’s Square as it used to be.Sylvia arnold