Monthly Archives: January 2019

Postcards From Home : Halifax’s Hospital On The Hill

No doubt the transport engineers who have spent a lot of time and money widening the road outside what is now Calderdale Royal Hospital would be jealous of the wide open spaces on this real photographic postcard from the early twentieth century. 

The hospital was opened in 1901 and went under a variety of names in the early part of the twentieth century including the Halifax Poor Law Hospital, the Union Infirmary, St Luke’s Hospital, St Luke’s Military Hospital and finally the Halifax General Hospital. By the twenty-first century it had become the embryo of the new Calderdale Royal Hospital.

When it was built it was the largest public building in Halifax and it cost somewhere around £130,000 to construct, and that is equivalent to about £15 million today. The total cost of the current Salterhebble Hill roadworks is seemingly about £20 million. Discuss!

Random History : The Highly Gratified Poor

Today, our random time machine takes us back to 1873 and up the valley to Heptonstall. Ah, the good old days when Victorian values were paramount and if you gave someone from the poorhouse an orange they would be “highly gratified”.

“TREAT TO THE POOR – On New Year’s Day (through the kindness and liberality of a lady resident in Heptonstall township), the inmates of Blackshawhead poorhouse were served with a good substantial tea at the house of Mr Ogden, grocer: a quantity of oranges and other “luxuries” were distributed afterwards, and the company was highly gratified”

A Chance At Wentworth

This is one of those chance photographs which had all the ingredients of a photographic disaster which somehow came good. It was out of focus, the colours were all wrong and it resulted from an accidental shutter-press whilst using the camera as a crude telescope. I still think it could hold its own with some of the shots I have laboured over for hours. It was taken from the grounds of Wentworth Castle near Barnsley looking towards Wortley.

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