History

The Rotary Club of Huddersfield was founded in 1921, and  was granted its charter in June 1922, with the number 1229, in the now defunct Whiteley’s café in Westgate with 25 members. Alderman Wilfred Dawson, who had instigated the purchase of the town of Huddersfield (known throughout Britain as “The Town That Bought Itself”) from the Ramsden Family, was President with the classification of Stockbroker.

The town of Huddersfield was wealthy with woollen textiles the staple industry. Then, it was said, that there were more Rolls Royces in Huddersfield than in London. It is not recorded how many of the first Rotarians drove such a car! The buildings of Huddersfield were black from the smoke bellowing 24 hours a day from the many woollen mills in the town and valleys. Hence the strap-line “Where there’s muck there’s brass!”

Membership grew steadily during that first decade to over 100. The legendary H. A. Bennie Grey and James Thornton were Secretary and Treasurer respectively for over 26 years. The Club helped many local institutions and charities in the town with physical and financial support.

Practical help was given to the founding of Holmfirth Rotary Club in the Thirties, and similarly helped form a second (daughter) Club in the Town, named Pennine. The formation of Denby Dale Rotary Club as a second “daughter” completed the four clubs in the Huddersfield area.

In the Sixties there were still well over 100 members. The Club Council wanted to invite the Mayor Elect Councillor Mrs Middlebrook Haigh to become an Honorary Member during her two years of office. At the AGM some members protested that the Constitution of Rotary lays down that only men can be elected Honorary Members. The meeting agreed to invite the Mayor for 1963-64 to attend Luncheon Meetings — as a Guest!

Today the Town is very different. It has a mixture of employment opportunities and a thriving University. Textiles are still important but most of the mills have closed. The Clean Air Act enabled the owners of the many fine buildings to clean off the black caused by the soot from the mills. Huddersfield is now free from smoke. There are many handsome buildings and the beautiful countryside is there for all to enjoy.

How times change. The Club now meets in the evenings and a third of the members are women.

One thing, though, has not changed. Huddersfield Rotary is still a club with a full programme of activities centred around raising money to support worthy causes both locally and internationally, and giving our time to improve the lives of others. Indeed one Rotarian, of over 50 years experience, claims the club is far more active with the present much lower number of members than it was when he  was first elected in 1963. WE ARE FOR COMMUNITIES.

Upcoming Events

Aug
21
Mon
6:30 pm Club Meeting
Club Meeting
Aug 21 @ 6:30 pm
SCATTER NIGHT.  Members to visit other Clubs in the area.
Aug
28
Mon
all-day Club Meeting
Club Meeting
Aug 28 all-day
NO MEETING — Bank Holiday.
Sep
4
Mon
6:30 pm Club Meeting @ Army Reserve Centre
Club Meeting @ Army Reserve Centre
Sep 4 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
VOCATIONAL VISIT. Army Reserve Centre.  (Drill Hall) Talk on history and current function of the ARC. Display of silver and armoury etc. Buffet supper and bar.
Sep
11
Mon
6:30 pm Club Meeting @ Huddersfield RUFC Presidents Bar
Club Meeting @ Huddersfield RUFC Presidents Bar
Sep 11 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Club Business Meeting. NB. ALL members have a vote. Please attend if possible.
Sep
18
Mon
6:30 pm Club Meeting @ Huddersfield RUFC Presidents Bar
Club Meeting @ Huddersfield RUFC Presidents Bar
Sep 18 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Speaker.  Roz Rowe.  Subject.  Music and the Deaf.
Sep
25
Mon
5:00 pm Wine tasting and Club Meeting @ Huddersfield RUFC Presidents Bar
Wine tasting and Club Meeting @ Huddersfield RUFC Presidents Bar
Sep 25 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Meet at 5.00pm at Hoults Wine Merchants St. Johns Road HD1 5AN for Wine Tasting, then on to Lockwood Park for evening meal.