celebrating the history of St. George's Square, Huddersfield

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We’ve been searching in the newspapers, and other sources, to bring you stories in which St George’s Square has played its part and we will be adding to these stories from time to time. Some of these tales may surprise you…

Hideous, filthy and inconvenient?

Here the Huddersfield Chronicle is sharing some remarks made in the previous Saturday’s Leeds Mercury by its columnist JACKDAW who, having criticised the state of Leeds Station, goes on to describe Huddersfield

If the Leeds Station is ” hideous, filthy, and inconvenient” then, according to ” Jackdaw,” the Huddersfield Station must be most hideous, filthy, and Inconvenient. An imposing external appearance is the only redeeming feature. The eye, attracted from the outside by Corinthian columns is repelled in the inside by a long and narrow platform crowded with promiscuous throngs, whom it is not rare to see frantically rushing with portions of luggage from the place at which they have been expecting the arrival of some train to the end at which it actually stops. Above is a roof somewhat precariously supported. Opposite the platform are luggage sheds, and engines and trucks that make the air crack with the violent colliding of their buffers. If a passenger wearies of the sight and seeks repass in the wailing room, he Is met with a picture of discomfort which ” Jackdaw ” would describe as filthy, while discordant uproar highly offensive to the sensitive ear proceeds from shrill whistles, shouts of porters, imprecations of rough passengers, and perhaps the hubbub of excursionists and marketing people that crowd the booking-offices and their approaches. 


The first people to LIVE in Huddersfield Railway Station!

In 1847 William Padmore was appointed as Huddersfield’s first Station Master. The 1851 Census shows William, aged 27, as living in the station with his wife Ann and their five children. William and Ann’s youngest child, Sarah, was only three weeks old when the Census was taken so it may be that she was born in the station.

Also, living at the Station at the time of the 1851 Census was George Moore, innkeeper, together with his wife Mary, step-son Charles, niece Sarah – described as a ‘house servant’ – and two further house servants, both called Mary. In 1851 George was 27 years of age and Mary 37.

By 1861 William and Ann Padmore with their nine children had moved out of the Station and were living at White Stone Lane, Bradford Road. Their son Francis is described as a ‘railway clerk’ in 1861 and a cousin who was also living with the Padmore family is described as a railway porter. In the following year William was transferred to Crewe.

Presentation — On Saturday last a number of gentlemen met at the Station Hotel, for the purpose of making a very gratifying presentation to Mr. William Padmore, late station-master at Huddersfield. Mr. Benjamin Thornton, auctioneer, was requested by the committee who have had the getting-up of the testimonial, to make the presentation. It consisted of a very neat time-piece, and a purse containing 40 sovereigns. Mr. Thornton said that the testimonial he had the honour to present had been subscribed for by many individuals of the town and neighbourhood of Hudderstield. He could bear his testimony to the very efficient manner in which Mr. Padmore had conducted the management at the Huddersfield Station all the time he held office there. He had watched him very narrowly, and so had the people of Huddersfield, and he could say with confidence that the people of Huddersfield were a discerning people. They liked to see the right man in the right place; and he was sure that if Mr. Padmore conducted the business at Crewe — one of the most important junctions on the London and North Western’s numerous lines of railway — the London and North Western Company had got the right man in the right place…

Huddersfield chronicle, 4 October 1862

George Moore was still the innkeeper at the Station Hotel at the time of William’s Testimonial but he had remarried, following the death of his wife Mary in 1856.

Train greeted at station by ‘loud huzzas’

Morning Herald, 5 August 1847

Huddersfield’s first train – a celebration

From the Bradford Observer, 5 August 1847

The last trams to Huddersfield

Many Huddersfield children have never seen a tramcar in our streets. Ten years ago, on the 28th June, 1940, the last two tramcars arrived at the top of Northumberland Street from Brighouse and discharged their passengers.
The Dunkirk evacuation had taken place only a few weeks before and the black-out regulations were strictly enforced. Consequently, we last tram passengers had our ride inside a vehicle with deep-blue tinted electric-light bulbs. At the end of the run souvenir hunters were busy. I recall two flitting away into the darkness of St . George’s Square with the bamboo trolley-pole…

william B. stocks, huddersfield daily examiner, 28 june 1950

Too late for St George’s Square?

Having ‘flitted’ through Bradford’s Forster Square with its flower beds and walks, the Examiner columnist Ariel in his column On the Bat’s Back was moved to comment:

On leaving this pretty oasis in a desert of stone and mortar, I fell a-wondering why some of our open spaces could not be made use of after the fashion of Forster Square, Bradford. What a glorious thing, if our noble St George’s Square, instead of being converted into a hideous, if useful, street railway terminus and coaling station, had been laid out in flower beds; and grass plots.; of course making all due provision for access to and from the station and its approaches. Alas! it is too late for that now. But why not utilise the Old Market Place. – as I believe it was once proposed to do. The “world menders” and itinerant lecturers, the gossips and street loafers, might find another place in which to air their stale platitudes and course wit.

Schedule to Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 18 June 1892

‘An Overcrowded Tramcar’

SIR, I should like to draw the attention of the Tramways Committee to a practice which, if not stopped, must some day prove fatal – viz. overcrowded tramcars.

Today, the tram leaving St George’s Square at two o’clock for Waterloo was crowded to excess. The lower and upper saloons were full almost to suffocation, four passengers were travelling on the rear platform, seven on the front platform, and two actually on the engine beside the driver; and I will ask any reasonable person if an engine can take this freight round the Green Cross corner, Moldgreen, without damaging the engine? This over-crowding appears to be carried on, the engine drivers have to prepare for it in getting up steam to carry them through, consequently there is more likelihood of the boiler and the engine being damaged by over-pressure, Besides it is not safe for the drivers to have two or three persons on the engines (not cleaners) with them. It is not allowed in other towns – why here? I write in the interests and safety of the public and hope that “a word to the wise is sufficient”. – Yours truly, PREVENTION
July 20th, 1891.

huddersfield Daily examiner, 25 July 1891

Station to Station

Huddersfield Railway Station


£2 10s. – £2 10s. – £2 10s

HUDDERSFIELD to NEW YORK or PHILADELPHIA, entire fare £2 10s (infants free), including excellent provisions and separate sleeping berths in enclosed cabins. Privacy, speed and comfort make this a favourite route for English families with limited means. Passengers leave Huddersfield, every Wednesday. Through tickets from Huddersfield to all stations in the United States now reduced. Buenos Ayres and all River Plate Ports from Huddersfield, £8. Levy’s Shipping Offices, 41, Finsbury Pavement, London

Huddersfield daily examiner, 13 September 1886

‘Huddersfield’s Welcome to the Cup Winners’

A very remarkable demonstration was witnessed in Huddersfield when the victorious Town team returned with the Association Cup. The winners arrived in Huddersfield about half-past-two by the Grand Central express from Marylebone, and found awaiting them a very pleased and excited crowd which has been estimated at from 25,000 to 3o,000 people.

Barriers had been erected in St George’s Square, outside the station in anticipation of a crush, but the crowd exceeded all anticipations. It overflowed from the Square into John William Street, which was lined 12 deep on either side, and into New Street and it packed Ramsden Street in front of the Town Hall. The engine which drew the train into Huddersfield was decorated with the teams’ blue and white colours, and as it emerged from the tunnel it exploded a noisy salvo of fog signals.

The Deputy Mayor (Alderman Woolven) in the absence of the Mayor received the team. Motor-cars, all decorated with the Town colours, and bearing legends of welcome were waiting for the team and as they drove through the principal streets to the Town Hall, the band struck up ‘See the Conquering Hero Comes’. Every window in St George’s Square, John William Street, Market Place, New Street and Ramsden Street were crowded with faces. Every tram car, motor car or other vehicle which could be repositioned in John William Street was crowded with supporters and photographers. As the motor car conveying the players moved along the street, Wilson held the cup aloft and was greeted with rounds and rounds of cheering…

Yorkshire post and leeds intelligencer, 2 May 1922

(Tom Wilson was Town’s captain)

Pitch and Toss

John Radcliffe (18), news lad, Hill Top, Paddock; John Costello (15), shoeblack, Manchester Street; and Herbert Lamb (11), shoeblack, Manchester Street, were charged with playing at pitch and toss at St George’s Square, on the 31st ult.– Police-constable Robinson stated that at ten past two on the afternoon in question he saw four or five lads playing at pitch and toss in the square. They were pitching with half-pennies. Costello pitched , but did not toss.–Radcliffe pleaded guilty; but Costello said he was not guilty. Lamb did not appear.–Mr Ward said that Costello was without parents, and lived in a common-lodging house.–The lads were warned about repeating their conduct, and were fined 2s 6d including costs.

Supplement to the huddersfield examiner, 14 February 1891

Another prosecution relating to pitch and toss occurred at the end of April. The newspaper report suggests that the police were concerned by the amount of gambling taking place in the Square.

A NUISANCE IN ST GEORGE’S SQUARE. – John Patrick Swift (15), Boulder’s Yard, newsboy, was charged with gambling with coins in St George’s-square. Police-constable Appleyard stated that on April 20th he was on duty in St George’s-square when he saw the defendant with other lads, tossing with coins. Defendant admitted they were “tossing up to see which would have it.” The Chief Constable said the nuisance of gambling in St George’s-square was so great that it was found necessary to keep a man constantly stationed there. The boys obtained some money by selling papers, and then gambled for the money. The defendant had been convicted of gambling with cards in October, 1889. Defendant was fined 5s., Including costs.

Huddersfield daily chronicle, 2 may 1891

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