The Town That Bought Itself

Exactly 100 years ago Huddersfield famously became known as The Town That Bought Itself when the local council purchased much of the land in the town centre and surrounding area. This exhibition tells the remarkable story of what happened 100 years ago and what this meant for the people of Huddersfield.

This exhibition has been curated by University of Huddersfield history students in partnership with West Yorkshire Archive Service Kirklees. Students enrolled on the University’s 2019-2020 “Hands on History” module spent time in the archives researching the fascinating documents that reveal this story and submitted text and images to be developed into this exhibition. The exhibition will now tour the town to celebrate the centenary of this hugely significant moment in Huddersfield’s history.

We hope that you will enjoy this exhibition and that you are inspired by Huddersfield’s pioneering past! All of the original archives that you can see within this exhibition (and many more!) are available for you to explore and enjoy for free at West Yorkshire Archive Service Kirklees.

This exhibition is part of The Town That Bought Itself project, a collaboration between a number of organisations across Huddersfield working to celebrate this anniversary and the town’s rich history.

The project is a partnership between Huddersfield Local History Society, Kirklees Council, Kirklees Democracy Commission, Kirklees Libraries, Kirklees Museums & Galleries, Lawrence Batley Theatre, University of Huddersfield, and West Yorkshire Archive Service. The project has been kindly supported by Historic England and Kirklees Council grant funding.

All images copyright West Yorkshire Archive Service, please contact us for more information about these archives and the reuse of these images.