At the Society's recent AGM, Corinne McDonald stood down as President, and David Glover was elected into the role. Many of you will know David from his work within and outside the Society. All other officers were re-elected, along with the two Council members whose tenure came to an end this year. Richard Lister stood down as independent examiner of the Society’s accounts, and the search is on to find a successor – please see below. The Society's Council would like to thank Corinne and Richard for their hard work for the Society, and to wish David the very best for his new role. 



Here are some updates about talks:

·           17th April - Rob Hamilton's talk ‘Lizzie Humphries: The Lady Globetrotter’ will take place on 17th April, replacing Jennie Kiff's talk ‘Locked Away: Unlocking the lives of the women in the West Yorkshire Lunatic Asylums 1818 – 1918’, which will be rebooked for 2019

·           1st May – David Shepherd’s talk ‘What the Pre-historians did next’ is confirmed for this date

·           6th November - Ann and Stuart Wilkinson will give a talk entitled 'Seeing the Invisible’ about their investigative geophysical work, using their specialist equipment and a drone - revealing previously hidden fascinating features and artefacts.

Please amend your syllabus accordingly! J



We are looking for an independent examiner. This role involves scrutiny of the Society’s accounts, once a year. You do not need to be a qualified accountant, but a methodical approach is required. If you may be interested, please speak to our Treasurer, Peter Robinson, at a Society meeting, or contact him via



Our social evening this year will take place on 15th May – venue to be confirmed at 7.00pm. The theme will be ‘Leisure through time’, and there will be a number of different activities on offer. The cost will be £10 including a buffet supper. Tickets are available at Society meetings or by contacting Corinne McDonald at or 01422 348863. We hope you can join us!



Once again we have arranged three trips for this coming year (2018).



Winston Churchill called The Battle of the Atlantic “the longest military campaign of WW2” and it is one in which Liverpool played a significant part.

Our trip is in two parts. The first part will consist of a visit to The Western Approaches which was built in 1937.The people building it thought that they were building an underground restaurant, but in fact it was actually built to become the nerve centre and headquarters for the Combined Forces in order for them to mastermind the battle of the Atlantic.  It was staffed mainly by WRNS and WAAF personnel who worked day and night monitoring convoys and vital shipping lanes. It is bomb and gas proof with a 7 foot roof and walls which are 3 feet deep. There were hundreds of rooms which originally covered more than 50,000 square feet .The map room is exactly as it was when the doors were closed on it on 15th August 1945. We shall be having a guided tour around some of it. Tea/Coffee is available on arrival.

There will be a break for you to have lunch and then you will need to make your own way (not far) to The Maritime Museum when we shall meet to go on a guided tour of the second part of our visit. This is when we will visit the world’s first commercial enclosed wet dock. It was discovered during excavations in 2001 after being buried since 1826 and is situated UNDER Liverpool One which is a large shopping centre. We shall be transported back in time to see a large portion of the old dock which rises more than 20 feet from the bed of the Pool, which is clearly visible. It was constructed in 1715, at a cost of £12,000, at the mouth of the Pool, in order to cope with the increasing number of ships using the port thus allowing them to load and unload at all times no matter the state of the tide. The cost for this excursion is £25.00 per person.



Newstead Abbey is in Nottinghamshire and was formerly an Augustinian priory which was converted to a domestic home following the dissolution of the monasteries. It is best known nowadays as being the home of “the bad, mad and dangerous to know” Lord Byron. He lived there from 1808 until 1814 and on view are many objects and furniture belonging to him as well as items belonging to subsequent owners. On arrival we shall be served with tea/coffee before being taken on a guided tour of the house, there are also magnificent gardens to explore and if you have taken a packed lunch with you, you can picnic down by the lake — weather of course permitting!! The cost for the excursion is £25.00 per person.



Our third and final visit this year is to the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse. This is a Grade 1 listed building near to Rotherham and is currently owned by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. It has an East front of 606 feet making it the longest country house façade in Europe.  Now after being closed for a number of years and following a long 5 year campaign by The Preservation Trust, in 2017 the house was sold to them. During the 2nd world war the house acted as a training depot and headquarters of the Intelligence corps and after the war the area between the house and the mausoleum became the largest open cast coal mining site in the UK. We shall be aiming to arrive by 10.30am when tea/coffee will be available. We shall then be taken on a guided tour of the state rooms lasting about 1 ¼ hours and then on a ¾ hour (approx) tour of the gardens. The cost for this excursion is £20.00 per person.

N.B. Although this is not a National Trust property we understand that members are to be given a discount which may work out at less than £20.00. As we have already been given a group discount we regret that we are unable to include the NT one in our price.


If you would like to come on any of the above excursions, please download and complete the form and send it to the address shown. All the excursions have limited numbers so you are advised to book early.

HAS Excursion Booking Form



13th April, 7.00pm at Halifax Town Hall – ‘Halifax’s Worst Serial Killer: John Reginald Halliday Christie’, an illustrated historical talk by David Glover. Although his crimes took place in London, Christie is forever linked with Halifax, where he was born and raised. Entry is by ticket only, at £5.00 per head, obtainable by ringing 01422 393022. Please note this talk is not for the squeamish.


21st April, 7.30pm at Halifax Minster - An illustrated historical talk by David Glover on 'The story of Halifax Zoo and Amusement Park: Where were Halifax's first Zoo and Cinema?' (includes the story of the first aerial flight from Halifax). Free entry - retiring collection in aid of Halifax & District Organists' Association. Refreshments served.

Halifax Antiquarian,
12 Apr 2018, 03:55