ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting Europe»
  • United Kingdom

Visiting Huddersfield, England: with its grand railroad station portico and statue of Prime Minister Harold Wilson

Updated on January 23, 2016
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Huddersfield railroad station
Huddersfield railroad station | Source
Harold Wilson statue, St George's Square, Huddersfield
Harold Wilson statue, St George's Square, Huddersfield | Source
Map location of Huddersfield
Map location of Huddersfield | Source

A striking neo-Classical portico and a brilliantly crafted statue

Huddersfield, in Yorkshire, England, must have one of the grandest railroad stations that I have seen. The residence of a colonial proconsul, or a US state capitol, comes to mind. Indeed, it has been known as a stately home for trains; the Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman described the station frontage as the most splendid in England.

Its architect was James Pigott Pritchett (1789-1868). The neo-Classical building was erected between 1846 and 1850, and among its outstanding features is its Corinthian portico, with six columns in width and two in depth. The firm of Joseph Kaye was responsible for the building work.

The recently pedestrianized area which lies in front of the famous portico is known as St George's Square, and here, also, stands a remarkable, historically poignant work of art. There is a bronze statue — unveiled in 1999 — of Harold Wilson (1916-1995), who was born in Huddersfield and served as Prime Minister of Great Britain 1964-1970 and 1974-1976.

For those familiar with the life and times of Harold Wilson, the statue by Ian Walters (1930-2006) may be acknowledged to have been brilliantly executed. Mr Wilson (1) is seemingly turning, indicative of apparent openness and inquiry, while his actual direction of walking is not quite clear. Seemingly moving one way, but actually intending to go another? Do his posture and demeanour show an apparently modest engagement with the people, on whom he impresses a frank and disarming projection of himself, or is it calculated? This is indeed the Harold Wilson who alternatively intrigued, fascinated, amused and sometimes confused so many people for so long. It may be reasonably assumed that for the sculptor to have achieved such a high degree of accuracy he must have laboured, exhausted himself and to some degree empathized with the persona of this most elusive of subjects over a long period. Indeed, Canadians will know what is meant if comparison with the complex and baffling William Lyon Mackenzie King is suggested.

The uncanny elusiveness of the personality which the statue depicts may arguably reflect also something of the real life mental struggles of this most intelligent but puzzling Prime Minister of great personal warmth. His surprise resignation in 1976 was said to have been impelled at the relatively early age of 60 by an increasing, self-professed sense of mental inability to cope with the pressures of office. The question is begged: in personality terms, wherein lay the boundary between his projection of informality and openness and the reality of his inner strivings? In any case, as a work of art this statue of a famous son of Huddersfield is outstanding.

Note

(1) On resignation as British Prime Minister in 1976, Harold Wilson became Sir Harold Wilson and later Lord Wilson of Rievaulx; but he was previously known as Mr. Wilson and this is how I refer to him here.

Also worth seeing

Overlooking Huddersfield itself, the Victoria Tower, on Castle Hill, dates from 1899; this monument is on the site of an Iron Age hill fort.

Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth (distance: 29 kilometres) commemorating novelist sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë

Chatsworth House , Bakewell (distance: 70 kilometres); this historic, stately home, seat of the Dukes of Devonshire, attracts a very large number of visitors; it is situated in the scenic Peak District.

...

How to get there : United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Manchester Airport, where car rental is available. Distance from Manchester Airport to Huddersfield: 69.8 kilometres. Rail services are maintained between Manchester Airport and Huddersfield railroad stations. Travellers should be advised that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may also be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)