As a regular reader of Margaret Watson’s nostalgia column, often it reignites memories of my schooldays during the 40s and as a young man during the 50s.
Dewsbury in those days was a wonderful town, some great shops, whatever you wanted you could get. A bus service that provided a cheap regular service to all areas of the district.
Five cinemas, the Empire theatre, dance halls, and youth clubs. During the summer youth clubs and schools would hold athletic meetings on the Savile Town cricket ground. Some wonderful maintained parks.
Early November would see the arrival of Father Christmas who would tour the district in a open top car before arriving at J&Bs store and climbing the ladder into the store with 100s of children and parents filling the street’s around the store.
Then we had a wonderful Christmas light display in the Longcauseway gardens and all around the town centre
The best ice cream I have ever tasted could be had in Caddy’s Ice Cream Parlour.
What went wrong, well the government of the day decided that things would be better of if several towns were amalgamated so we lost our local town council of local men who cared about the town they lived in and we got Kirklees were decisions affecting the town can be made by Huddersfield councillors, our Town Clerk was lost and we now have a Chief Executive on a bigger salary than our Prime Minister.
My rare visits to Dewsbury these days leave me very sad to see the state of the present town, empty shops, charity shops, for sale signs, cheap pound shops and dilapidated buildings.
If they made car parking free, for the first two hours then maybe more motorists would choose to come into the town and spark a revival in the town centre.
The old Cooperative building which as stood empty for years and cost a fortune to renovate, the council is going to want to get maximum income from it, but I can’t help but wonder what business will be able to afford to move in there, to what is a dead area of the town?