Wood street: Heart of wakefield
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by Wakefield Council, with Wakefield Historical Society, Wakefield Civic Society and Leeds Beckett University as partners, this project will explore the rich heritage of Wood Street and the institutions and businesses which have existed over the years.
When the Reverend. William Wood laid out a new street in Wakefield in about 1806 on land he owned, he created the space for the many new public buildings that would be needed as a wider range of public services were set up over time to provide better amenities for the people of Wakefield. At the centre of Wood Street are four iconic buildings: the Court House of 1810, The Music Saloon of 1821, the Town Hall of 1880 and County Hall of 1898. In addition around Wood Street a great many other public buildings have come and gone over the years, largely unrecorded. Some of the earliest were provided by charity or by private enterprise.
Wakefield Historical Society is undertaking the training of participants to do historical research on Wood Street, and also training people to record people's memories, so we need volunteers to help us.
Can you help us? The next phase for the WHS part of the project, is to do training in oral history, so that we can interview people with stories to tell about Wood Street and record their memories and transcribe them. The training takes one day, and we have two dates provisionally arranged on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 April, so people who work can still take part. If you would like to do the training, or if you have stories to tell about Wood Street and would be happy to be recorded, please do get in touch via email@example.com or phone Pam Judkins on 07971 449463.
Please contact the Society if you are interested in becoming a volunteer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking at maps at the Local Studies Library, 19 Jan 2017
wood Street:the heart of Wakefield
Launch event on 12 October
The launch event for this project was held in the Kingswood Suite at Wakefield Town Hall on Wednesday afternoon. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by Wakefield Council, this project will explore the rich heritage of Wood Street and the institutions and businesses which have existed over the years.
The Society provided a display about the activities of the Society, including our recent Wakefield Waterfront project. Phil Judkins gave entertaining short talks about some historical aspects of Wood Street.
There was a steady stream of interested visitors throughout the afternoon, many of whom had memories of working on Wood Street: for the Council, the Law Courts or in the shops and businesses.
As partners in the project with Wakefield Civic Society and Leeds Beckett University, Wakefield Historical Society is undertaking the training of participants to do historical research on Wood Street, and also training people to record people's memories.
If you would like to be involved, please contact us:
The next meeting for the research group after the summer break will be on 19th October in the Civic Society room at the Town Hall, 10am
Wakefield civic Society walks
Wakefield Civic Society is contributing to the project by:
1. Publishing a new booklet on the history of Wood Street and its buildings
2. Putting up some new blue plaques
3. Leading guided walks to explain some of the history of the street.
MEETING WITH LEEDS BECKETT university STUDENTS
At the meeting in the Town Hall on the 2nd March 2017, volunteers with the project met the three Leeds Beckett University students who will be taking part in the Heart of Wakefield project. They will be working on a tour of the Wood Street area which they hope to put on mobile phones and engage a younger audience through use of social media.
Training Sessions at the Town Hall
On the 15th December, Phil Judkins led the fifth training session, this one titled 'Keeping Healthy'. Previous sessions have included 'Court and Community', 'Trade and Commerce', 'Court and Police', and 'Public Events'.
The sessions have provided participants with many possibilities for research, and Phil has whetted appetites to find out more; much interesting material has already been uncovered and shared by members of the group, several of whom have chosen topics for their own research. Sessions will continue in 2017 at the Local Studies Library, and at the new Archives building on Kirkgate, once it is opened in February.
The topics that participants are researching include:
- George Gissing's Wakefield 1857 - 1872
Wakefield Savings Bank, Burton Street
Research on individual areas of crime and its treatment in the 19th century Wakefield area, including transportation.
City and County Police
Elections, riots, Luddites and Chartists; also pubs (Royal/Woodman, Angel/Chancery/Barristers/Damelio's)
Number 18 Wood Street: Bostons gunsmiths, Eagle Press
Wood St photographers (19th century Wilson's, Warner Gothard, then 20th century Jessops)
Events at the Music Saloon 1823 - 1855.
- Charles Watson, Architect - role in Development of Wood Street