Saturday, 28 June 2014


Photograph by Robert Norbury
A scene near the Huddersfield Narrow Canal by Robert Norbury
A forgotten aspect of Colne Valley history is to be revealed at a meeting at the Red and Green Club, Milnsbridge on 3 July, when the Radical Valleys group presents a talk on local naturalist societies.

Historian and amateur naturalist, Alan Brooke, will describe how hundreds of local people, often self-educated working men, were attracted to the study of natural history in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Alan’s essay on the origins of Huddersfield Naturalists Society won the Yorkshire History Prize in 2012.

Of the dozen or so naturalist societies that once existed in the Huddersfield area only the Milnsbridge society still remains. Paul Salveson, chair of the Red and Green Club and himself a historian of working class culture, said, ‘This research is of particular interest to us; in 1920 the Milnsbridge Naturalist Society met in the Socialist Club, now the home of the Red and Green Club.

It is a neglected aspect of local working class cultural history, bringing together popular science and leisure activities with a radical tinge. It also examines what we would call today ‘environmental awareness’”.

The meeting is part of a programme of events by Radical Valleys to highlight aspects of local history relevant to the problems of the present day. The talk on Naturalist Societies of the Colne Valley
will be held at the Red and Green Club, Bankwell Road, Milnsbridge at 7.30pm on Thursday 3 July.

Admission is free.

More details: Paul Salveson 07795 008691

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