Echoes of the past: Celebrating Christmas with a party

This photograph was taken 68 years ago at Blakeborough's
This photograph was taken 68 years ago at Blakeborough's

This photograph was taken 68 years ago which means all these children if they are still with us in the Brighouse area will be in their mid to late 70s.

Looking at the hats and labels they are wearing, you may have guessed correctly, they are at a children’s Christmas Party.

This photograph was taken at Blakeborough’s when the company put on a party for all the employees children.

Brighouse in 1949 when these children were growing up was a far different place than it is today.

After the First World War houses fit for heroes had been talked about but very little happened, “it would not happened again”, was the cry.

New housing developments were started on green field sites in the late 1940s both in Lightcliffe (Stoney Lane Estate) and at Field Lane, Rastrick.

With so many of the old streets being demolished and communities who had lived there being moved out to new areas within the Borough.

Would the old fashioned community spirit survive, a subject many of the families who were forced to move would have thought about a lot.

By the end of the 1940s it was still a time of austerity and would be 1954 before rationing finally came to an end.

In April 1949 the gas industry was nationalised which meant that the state took over the Brighouse gas works and within five years gas production ceased.

Some of the older industries were now beginning to fade away.

The silk industry which for generations had employed thousands of people both from Brighouse and many nearby by towns but by the late 40s was not what it once was.

Firth’s carpets and Blakeborough’s were still dominating the jobs market and the emergence of small light engineering businesses, televisions and sound equipment were beginning to have an impact of the jobs market.

The world of work would have changed in the ten years or so when these party goers would be entering the world of work.

Many would follow in their parents footsteps at Firth’s or Blakeborough’s.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can recognise themselves when they attended this party at their dad’s work.