Halloween at Heritage Quay!

It’s halloween in the world of men, and we’ve been having a look through our collections to see if we can reflect some human phobias in archive form!

The most obvious candidate for an archive would be a fear of dust, which is amathophobia. Luckily, the cleaning schedule for our new PD5454 repository means we don’t have much of that anymore, and the amazing work done by our volunteers over the summer makes it less likely to find on our collections too!

Those with a fear of dolls (pediophobia) might want to look away now. We’ve actually found a few in the archive of the Huddersfield Amateur Operatic Society that seem to have been donated as tributes to some of the characters featuring in their 1930s productions. The detail on their faces and put into their clothing is quite remarkable for the period, however if you take them out of context and arrange them on a Heritage Quay sofa in a Halloween-esque pose…well they start to look ever so slightly creepy!


Worse still to have a fear of papyrophobia (fear of paper) in an archive! However, the great thing about Heritage Quay is that you can engage with the archive in their digital form through our touch tables and curvy screens, so you never have to expose yourself to your greatest fear!

HQ launch-53

Unfortunately we can’t do anything for you if you have a fear of orange (chrysophobia). It’s in our logo and we love it! Sorry! Happy Halloween everyone!

NB. – If you’re visiting the Huddersfield Family History Fair on the 8th November, then look out for our Participation Officer, David Smith, talking about our new centre. Our Explore Your Archive box will also be on our stand for you to look at!

Cataloguing financial records…

This week I’ve been cataloguing financial records in the Rugby Football League collection. These records include cash books, records of gate receipts, correspondence and statistics.

Financial records are often quite difficult to catalogue and may not always be the most exciting on the surface. However, they can give a valuable insight into the fortunes, expansion (and contraction) of an organisation for those who are willing to look beyond the rows of figures to find their meaning.

Amongst the financial records relating to tours by the Great Britain team to Australasia and the Australian team to Great Britain are hand drawn maps showing the increase (or decrease!) in gate takings in Australia and New Zealand from 1946-1961.


Tour finance map
Tour finance map

Mystery Solved!

This week we have used records from the Rugby League collection to solve two mysteries about the playing colours of former rugby league clubs.

In the early 20th century there were a number of professional or semi-professional rugby league teams who no longer exist and about which very little is known.

Two mysteries we have come across concern the playing colours of Wigan Highfield (who played from 1880-1895 and from 1902-1933) and Runcorn (who played from around 1876-1918).

Rugby league historians have speculated that Wigan Highfield’s colours were yellow and blue, and that Runcorn’s may have been yellow, green and white. But as no colour photographs survive of either team it has, until now, only been possible to speculate.

While cataloguing the Official Guides to the season (a yearly volume which include information for rugby league administrators such as laws of the game, club contacts, and fixtures) a section at the back of the books was discovered which lists club headquarters and club colours…

So (drumroll please!) we are pleased to announce that the official colours for Wigan Highfield were a dark blue jersey with a red band, and blue shorts. Runcorn changed their colours on more than one occasion. In 1911 the club’s colours were myrtle green, but then in 1911 they changed their colours to cherry and white, and in 1913 they changed again to royal blue with a white collar.

Official Guide
Official Guide