Mirfield has, in many ways, often seemed overshadowed by its neighbour, Huddersfield. Yet it has a long and fascinating history in its own right, which this book ably chronicles, at least from the era when photography first began to make an impact on local history.
Books of the "Anytown in Old Photographs”variety have become rather ubiquitous in the last twenty years, but that is surely also a reflection of how useful they are to local and social historians,particularly when, as in this case, they do chronicle a period of tremendous social and industrial change. One picture really is worth a thousand words,sometimes.
So, in one sense, here we have the usual street scenes and buildings, the churches and the chapels, the schools, the horses and carts, the shop fronts, the posed photographs of brass bands and even the Congregational Chapel Boys’ Brigade troop.
We also have, because this is, after all, the West Riding at its industrial apogee, the steam engines, the barges, and the mills, as you might expect, and there is a wealth of detail on these aspects of Mirfield life.
But there is also a great deal of human interest in the book, as in the picture of the regulars outside The Shoulder of Mutton, posed self-consciously around one of those new-fangled Rudge motorbikes in 1922. They look warily into the lens of the camera, cloth-capped to a man and two of them at least clutching dogs which may well be the archetypal Yorkshire whippets.You cannot help but wonder how many of them had been in Flanders and come back, and how many more of them, or their sons and daughters, were going to be caught up in a greater conflict, 17years later.
This book was first published in 2003 and has been unavailable for some time. By special arrangement with the author we are able to offer some limited stock at a special price of only £4.95, making it even better value. If you are considering a purchase, speed is advised because stock is limited, and once it’s gone, it’s gone!