Echoes of the past: When two became one

editorial image

This week I want to take you back to the run up to 1937 when the council at Hipperholme was amalgamated into the Borough of Brighouse and became part of the borough council.

I will begin my story when we might have been part of the equivalent of a Calderdale council not long after the First World War. This was when Halifax Corporation announced that it wanted to absorb not only Hipperholme and Elland but Brighouse into its boundaries as well.

The Brighouse councillors would hear none of this and subsequently submitted their own proposals that would see Hipperholme, Southowram and Clifton amalgamated to within its boundaries thus creating a greater Brighouse.

By August 1920 it was stalemate with both councils agreeing not to pursue the proposed boundary changes. However, by 1933 amalgamation was back on the agenda when the county council proposed its own scheme which would give Brighouse not only Hipperholme, part of Southowram and Clifton but Coley and Norwood Green as well.

The same spirit and vigour shown in 1869 by those residents who fought long and hard not to become a local board was about to erupt again. The residents were determined that they would not become a satellite community to Brighouse.

What had Hipperholme got that Brighouse wanted ? Rate, revenue.

As in 1869 the local populace were once again given the opportunity of voting for the proposals. On April 8 1934 Francis Mariner Horner (son of Charles Horner the man who gave us the Dorcas Thimble and lived in Lightcliffe) the clerk to Hipperholme Urban District Council announced the following result:

Hipperholme councillors said: “Brighouse may want us, but we want to be left alone. Why should we be called upon to bolster up the fortunes of that unfortunate little town.”

It was too late the die was cast when the Ministry of Health approved the scheme in 1936 with greater Brighouse finally coming into existence on April 1 1937.

On April 16 1937 councillors and representatives of the Hipperholme Council held a dinner to commemorate 68 years of service to the community, which they held at the Old Cock Hotel in Halifax.

In 1938 the old Hipperholme Town Hall seen in this photograph which had formally opened in 1899 as the new Urban District Council’s offices was re-opened after being closed for almost a year as the new Hipperholme branch library.