We are absolutely delighted to now be home to the 80,000+ items in the Brass Band Archive. The collection includes scores, recordings, photographs, trophies, programmes and more. All this belongs to Brass Bands England, the national body which supports the genre, who have worked closely with specialist staff at the University to prepare the materials for the move to Heritage Quay.
The collection’s arrival in Huddersfield has been years in the making. The archive was started in a flat in Wigan, by two band players keen to preserve the banding movement’s history. It was acquired by Brass Bands England in 2018 and moved to their store in Barnsley which they decided what to do with it. Luckily for Huddersfield, they thought that Heritage Quay might be interested in taking it in and making it available. BBE recruited staff and volunteers who spent many painstaking hours sorting, listing and re-boxing the materials before they made the short journey to Heritage Quay. As one of banding’s heartlands, it is fitting that the collection is coming to live in Huddersfield as a brilliant new resource for the musical life of the town. The catalogue, which lists all the items in the collection, can be found online here.
To celebrate the arrival of this extraordinary collection in Huddersfield, a new exhibition ‘Brass Bands: History and Culture’ is on display from 4 March to 22 April 2023. Alongside stories of star conductors and gigantic contests are those of local organisations and self-taught music. The exhibition explores how banding became a hugely popular movement, attracting audiences of tens of thousands. It also looks at distinctive aspects of banding culture, through uniforms, trophies, photographs and letters.
The exhibition is free, and open to the public from Monday to Saturday. There will be lunchtime tours of the exhibition on 15 March and 19 April at 1pm.
2023 is Kirklees Year of Music! Across the borough, people will be celebrating the rich culture of music in this area. At Heritage Quay, we’re doing that too. During 2023 we will bring you no fewer than six exhibitions, all focused on different genres of music. The exhibitions will draw on collections we look after, and the work of some of our partners.
Kicking off this exciting year, we have Music at Heritage Quay (open 16 January to 26 February). This exhibition showcases the variety of music collections we have here, with a focus on music-making in Kirklees. Find out about musical education at the University of Huddersfield and its predecessor institutions, explore the history of local performance, and learn about some of the internationally significant archives we care for.
2023 Exhibition Programme: Kirklees Year of Music
16 January – 25 February: Music at Heritage Quay
4 March – 22 April: Brass Bands: History and Culture
29 April – 10 June: The Bhangra Lexicon
19 June – 5 August Hand bells: Wondrous Little Vehicles of Sound
14 August – 14 October Free to Improvise: The Derek Bailey Story
23 October – 21 December The Cutting Edge: New Music in the 20th Century
In 1954, the first ever Rugby League World Cup was treated with consternation by most British fans. The GB team wasn’t expected to do well, and people weren’t really sure why it was taking place. Extraordinarily, the team came together, captained in style by Dave Valentine, and won the tournament.
Fast forward to 2022, and the staging of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup: we see something very different. The tournament is big and high-profile. Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair games will all be broadcast live. All players will receive equal participation fees. The tournament which started with only four nations has expanded to include 20. Heritage Quay’s new exhibition, The Story of the Rugby League World Cup, tells the story of how this happened.
We are extremely proud to look after the national Rugby Football League archive here at Heritage Quay. This autumn’s tournament has allowed us to explore the collection in a new light, focusing the experiences of those playing in, organising and watching Rugby League World Cups. Many items are on display for the first time, and highlight teams and players from the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair games. A programme and scarf from Papua New Guinea’s first World Cup appearance in 1987 tells a story both about the rise of Pacific nations in global Rugby League and about the place of League as PNG’s national sport. A runner’s up medal from the 2000 Women’s World Cup is shown alongside a fundraising event ticket. This speaks to the extraordinary dedication, as well as sporting skill, of the Great Britain Women’s team, who had to fund their own participation in international tournaments. A Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby League t-shirt shows how the Wheelchair game has exploded onto the international stage since its development in 2004.
You can learn about some extraordinary people, too: Clive Sullivan, the first Black person to captain any Great Britain sporting team, who led GB to World Cup victory in 1972; Jackie Sheldon, former Head Coach of the GB Women, whose passion and talent has done so much for the Women’s game; Martin Norris, who captained Great Britain’s Wheelchair team in the inaugural Wheelchair World Cup in 2008, and has gone on to be an important advocate for the sport.
Whether you are a die-hard Rugby League fan, or you want to find out more about the tournament, come and visit Heritage Quay for The Story of the Rugby League World Cup.
The exhibition is open 7 days a week until 22 December 2022.
As my job has entailed scanning and creating metadata for items in these collections, I’ve been able to leaf through concert programmes and composer magazines from 1942 up until the present. Even though I specialise in contemporary music, I never knew the extent to which these organisations were active in Britain over the 20th and into the 21st centuries until I dug into these collections. It was incredible to see the amount of new works created and performed in Huddersfield and across the UK, both by composers and ensembles I recognised and those not in the history books. On occasion I would find a professor of mine pictured when they were younger and styling long flowing hair, or I would recognise a composer from my home country, Canada, appearing in a Huddersfield concert. The international esteem of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is certainly evident in this collection, with the likes of John Cage, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich, Gyorgy Ligeti, Robert Ashley and other famous modernist and experimental composers having visited the town. I wonder if Cage foraged for wild mushrooms in woods I’ve walked in, or if Yannis Xenakis was impressed by architecture of the Queensgate Market Hall—a building that relates in design to his own designs and compositions.
Probably my favourite find that stood out historically was in the SPNM’s archive. In digitising programmes of the organisation, which started during the second World War, I came across a studio recital scheduled for May 8th, 1945. Written in pencil across the top is ‘Cancelled – VE day’. Clearly the musicians and audience were on the streets celebrating. I’m impressed to think that the SPNM started a series of new music in a bombed-out London, and it reminds me of the value of making art rather than war.
The materials that are now available online include the ‘Composer’ magazine that was published from 1958 – 1987; HCMF’s programmes and booklets since 1978; and SPNM’s journal, New Notes, that ran from 1990 – 2009. All these materials are also available to view at Heritage Quay.
I have had 2 other roles at Heritage Quay: Student Helper and Project Assistant for the Derek Bailey Cataloguing Project. My role as Project Assistant consisted of myself and my colleague Barbora Vacková cataloguing the archive of the British free improvising guitarist, Derek Bailey. This archive is now available to view at Heritage Quay by appointment. More information on how to book an appointment to view archives at Heritage Quay can be found here.
There is a jaguar prowling in one of the display cases at Heritage Quay. Although only 15cm long, with its taut muscles and mouth open in a roar it demands attention. Made by one-time Poet Laureate Ted Hughes (1930-1998) it is clearly the result of close observation of the natural world, and important as the only known surviving example of sculpture by the poet.
This is only one of many objects now on display as part of Heritage Quay’s latest exhibition,
‘Mark and Ted: Exploring the Mark Hinchliffe Ted Hughes Collection’.
Bringing together pens and paper samples, books and badger bristles, photographs and feathers, the exhibition celebrates one of Heritage Quay’s most important recent acquisitions. The collection was formed by Mark Hinchliffe, a poet and friend of Ted Hughes.
The exhibition includes first edition, fine press and limited edition published works, many of which have been signed by Hughes. There are photographs of Hughes and his family, some previously unrecorded, and correspondence between Hughes and Hinchliffe. Not limited to paper objects, there are tools relating to the family-run Morrigu Press, sherry from Hughes’ time as Laureate, and even one of Hughes’ Mont Blanc pens.
As well as offering unique material relating to the life of one of the twentieth century’s major poets, the exhibition also shows us something of how Hinchliffe engaged with Hughes’ work. Through his annotations, or the newspaper clippings, plant and animal matter, postcards, letters and programmes tucked into the books, we see a dedicated reader in action.
Exhibition open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10am-4pm. Exhibition closes October 2022.
We are delighted to announce that a unique collection of rare and valuable items relating to the former poet laureate Ted Hughes has been acquired by the University of Huddersfield and is now available at Heritage Quay.
Dr Steve Ely, Director of the Ted Hughes Network at the University comments: “We are delighted to have acquired Mark Hinchliffe’s outstanding collection. It comprises over 170 items, including signed first editions of dozens of Hughes’ trade, limited-edition and fine-press publications; original letters written by Hughes and his first wife, the poet Sylvia Plath; signed and annotated books from Hughes’s personal collection; and, some absolutely unique items: a very fine ceramic jaguar sculpted by Hughes in 1967, the only intact example anywhere in the world of Hughes’s work in the plastic arts.
“There is an album containing hundreds of photographs, including some previously unknown photographs of both Hughes and Plath; a holograph manuscript of the radio play ‘Orpheus & Eurydice’ with some significant differences to the broadcast and published versions, and, a bespoke edition of the Gehenna Press’ limited edition Howls & Whispers, comprising the original fine-book, 8 original watercolours by Leonard Baskin – two of which are pictured here – and a unique copper-plate, engraved portrait of Sylvia Plath.”
“Mark was a significant figure in the international Ted Hughes scholarly and collecting communities, a friend and correspondent of Ted and other members of the Hughes family, a member of the Ted Hughes Society, a founding member and chair of the Elmet Trust, a key figure in the development of the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival in the Upper Calder Valley, a scholar and a published poet – a significant figure in his own right.
“He was a great supporter of the work of the Ted Hughes Network at the University, and it is fitting that his collection should be retained in his hometown.”
Julie Hinchliffe comments: “I am absolutely delighted that the University of Huddersfield has acquired Mark’s extensive Ted Hughes collection. It was his wish that the collection should remain intact and be available for academics, students and the public to enjoy as much as he did. I know that he would be very pleased with its new home.”
The Collection will be housed in the University’s archive, Heritage Quay. Dr Rebecca Bowd, University Archivist comments: “We are thrilled to be able to preserve Mark Hinchliffe’s fantastic collection at Heritage Quay where for the first time it will be freely accessible to the public. The Ted Hughes Archive at Heritage Quay already holds three other Ted Hughes-related deposits: the Donald Crossley Papers, the Christopher Reid Papers and a comprehensive collection of Hughes’ fine and small press work.
“The purchase of this collection cements Heritage Quay’s reputation as a must-visit archive for Ted Hughes scholars world-wide and we can’t wait to welcome researchers to explore the collection here at the University of Huddersfield.
Heritage Quay will also work with the Ted Hughes Network to arrange public-facing events to engage people with the collection—a symposium, talks, poetry readings, exhibitions, creative writing workshops and events for young people are planned. The first of these, an exhibition featuring highlights from the collection will take place at Heritage Quay from late June to mid-September.”
Dr Simon Thurley CBE, Chair, National Heritage Memorial Fund comments: “The National Heritage Memorial Fund are delighted to support the University of Huddersfield with £33,775 to enable the purchase of the final five works from Mark Hinchcliffe’s private collection. The works that we have supported are considered unique and will now be shared widely by the university’s Ted Hughes Network & Heritage Quay, including through children’s workshops and creative writing activities.”
The Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, which has contributed £35,000, adds that “‘we are delighted to be able to support the acquisition of the Hinchcliffe Archive by the University of Huddersfield. Not only is it an important collection of material which explores the life and work of Ted Hughes, but the collection is fascinating in how it reflects the relationship between Hughes and Hinchcliffe; it has much research potential for students and academics alike, both national and international.”
Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “It is fitting that this extensive Ted Hughes collection has been acquired by the University of Huddersfield in the poet’s home county. I am delighted that UK Government funding through the National Heritage Memorial Fund has enabled it to happen. These brilliant works will now be available to academics, students and members of the public where they will provide endless inspiration and enjoyment for years to come.”
CRIME.PHOTO.NOVEL: The Power of the Book Exhibition
Fri 1 April – Sat 30 April
Heritage Quay is honoured to be hosting a temporary exhibition “Crime.Photo.Novel: The Power of the Book by Katrina Whitehead.
Murder mysteries have always been considered to have a wide appeal, but where did it all start? This exhibition displays seminal books which help us to understand how crime novels first became popular from the exploration of creative non-fiction from authors Edgar Allan Poe and Truman Capote, to a selection of fiction and non-fiction crime novels which use photography.
An online event exploring the ideas behind the exhibiton is taking place on Tuesday 26 April
Presentation and Q&A with Katrina Whitehead, Lecturer in Photography and Creative Writing, Dr Helen Gavin, Subject Lead in Psychology and Dr Merrick Burrow, Head of English & Creative Writing