The 1920s

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Timeline of Wakefield from 1920 – 1930

The 1920s

Perhaps a key feature of both the 1920s and 1930s was the building of the great corporation housing estates and the gradual clearance of some of the slum dwellings crowding Wakefield yards and elsewhere.

But the 1920s were a period of municipal expansion in other areas – the museum and art gallery at Holmfield, and the golf course at Lupset Hall.

The early 1920s saw the demise of two places of entertainment which were too ‘grotty’ to satisfy the more stringent requirements of the licensing authority, the Hippodrome and the Tivoli Picture House.

1921 Wakefield established its first municipal secondary school and only local
authority grammar school, Thornes House, as a consequence of the 1918 Education
Act. The boys’ and girls’ schools were separate, under different head teachers. For
the first year the schools occupied rooms in the Technical College in Bell Street.
1921 Work began on the Portobello Estate
1921 The borough boundary was extended to take in Lupset
1921 The Tivoli Picture House, Stockdale Yard, Kirkgate, closed
1921 The Empire Theatre in Kirkgate became a cinema
1921 Outwood Empire (a cinema) opened
1922 The first motor buses ran in Wakefield
1922 (19 August) The Hippodrome closed. It was later auctioned and became a
rhubarb shed
1923 Holmfield (the house in Holmfield Park) was opened as the local authority’s
first Museum and Art Gallery
1923 (December, I think) Wakefield returned a Labour member to Parliament for the
first time. This was G.H. Sherwood, formerly a city councillor. He was returned
again in 1929
1924 Wakefield Historical Society founded
1924 (14 November) HRH Princess Mary laid the foundation stone of the Nurses’
Home at Clayton Hospital. This was built as a war memorial on land given by Sir
Edmund Stonehouse in memory of his son Ronald who had been killed in the war.
1924 Work began on the Lupset Estate
1924 (2 August) Thornes Park opened, completing the trio of adjoining parks
(Clarence, Holmfield and Thornes)
1925 (11 November, Armistice Day) The Nurses’ Home was opened by Lady
Kathleen Pilkington
1926 The new bandstand built in Clarence Park, close to Denby Dale Road,
replacing one on the top of Lawe Hill.
1927 The West Riding Council Public Health Dept/ Medical Officer’s offices built in
Wood Street (oppostier the Court House)
1927 Lupset Hall and its estate bought by Wakefield Corporation, becoming a club
house and muncicipal golf course
1928 Manygates School opened, principally to serve the Portobello Estate
1929 (8 July) The ‘talkies’ came to Wakefield, in fact to the Playhouse in Westgate.
Ramsay Macdonald, the Prime Minister, was the first person to talk from the screen
to Wakefield audiences in a short film in which he introduced members of his cabinet
1930 Work began on the Eastmoor and Darnley Estates

© Kate Taylor

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