It took me a few moments to fit the scene depicted in this 1908 postcard of Hall End, Halifax, into my late twentieth century perceptions of the town. “Hall End” was not a description I was immediately familiar with, nor were the buildings in the centre of the scene. The rather grand building which is centre-left in this view is so typically Halifax, however, it didn’t take me too long to recognise the point at which Silver Street and Crown Street converge. The grand building was the home of the Halifax Commercial Banking Company – it later became Lloyds Bank – and today it is known as “The Old Bank” and it is occupied by a variety of retail and commercial ventures.
Those buildings in the centre – Nicholson’s the glovers, and Lonsdales, the piano seller – were eventually demolished in the 1920s and replaced by another grandiose bank building which was built for the National Provincial Bank, and is now the home of the NatWest. The building on the right is still there today, whilst the one on the left was demolished in the late twentieth century to make way for a couple of concrete boxes, as part of a scheme to punish the town for being too architecturally interesting.
The card was sent by Amy and Phyllis to their friend, the splendidly-named Edith Don Leo (surely there is a genealogical tale behind that name well worth researching!). The message reads as follows:-
Dear Edith, We were pleased to receive your P.C. We are all well and hope you are the same. On Good Friday our shop will be closed after ten A.M. so if the weather is nice we may pay you a visit, that is if you will be at home. I will have some fun with you if we come. Love from Amy & Phyllis.
I hope they managed to get to Batley to see Edith. I hope the weather was nice on that Good Friday and I hope they all had lots of fun. I certainly had fun taking a trip around Hall End one hundred and ten years later.