So what's so special about Lindley?
Once upon a time Lindley was just a little talked about suburb on the outskirts of Huddersfield but now it seems Lindley may be THE place to live, and not just in West Yorkshire! We've been finding out more...
Lindley's shops reflect the changes in the village
It all started when the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) produced a list of places which, it was claimed, offered the best investment returns to first-time buyers. Lindley topped the list! That was in 2006 and since then the village (because that's how the people who live there see it) has seen its old mills being replaced by houses and apartments.
Features continue to appear in the national press quoting this survey and in 2008 the name 'Lindley' was heard in living rooms across the country when the Junior School choir was named 'Songs of Praise Junior School Choir of 2008'.
New homes from old mills!
BBC Radio Leeds Sports Reporter Adam Pope has lived in Lindley for the last 15 years. He's one person who, on this subject at least, believes all he's read in the papers. One of the 'pull' factors seems to be that Lindley is very close to the M62 so it can be said to be handy for Manchester and Leeds. But for Adam getting to the BBC's studio in Leeds from Lindley is even easier: "I can jump on the the bus to Huddersfield and then jump on the train to Leeds and it takes about the same time as it would by car."
Adam says Lindley is a "perfect place" for families. It's convenient for the hospital (which can be a factor if you have small children), it has a good choice of shops and these days it has a couple of restaurants and a tapas bar. There's even a Library, recently renovated, with a small reading garden. And then there's the schools...In 2007 Lindley Junior School's SATS test results placed the school among the top 200 in the country!
But Adam thinks there is more to Lindley than just convenience. He says: "It's always pretty" - he mentions the many trees and, a particular favourite of his, the Clock Tower.
An architectural gem: Lindley Clock Tower
With its mills, churches, chapels and working-mens' clubs, Lindley is in most respects a typical West Yorkshire village but since the building of the Clock Tower in 1902 it really can be said it's towered above its neighbours. It's even been suggested that mill owner James Nield Sykes commissioned the Tower because he wanted his workers to get to work on time!
Whatever the reason for it being built, it was Lindley's good fortune that Sykes commissioned a relative, Manchester architect Edgar Wood, to design his tower.
Although hardly a household name Wood is celebrated as an architect in Manchester where he did most of his work. He was an important member of what became known as the Arts and Crafts Movement and perhaps this is nowhere more apparent than in the Lindley Clock Tower with its distinctive shape, its fine roof and sculptures.
Not just for the ducks: Low Hills Pond
As well as two fine houses - Briarcourt and Banneyroyd - Wood was also responsible for the Gate House on Low Hills Lane. Now a gate house to nowhere, it is just one of the curiosities you can come across if you take a stroll around Lindley. Not far from the Clock Tower but almost hidden by housing is a former mill pond. Now the haunt of ducks, it's a good place to spend a quiet moment or two and it's also the home of the local angling club. Or take a look at the now redundant graveyard behind the Library - there's at least one rather surprising inscription...
And there's more to Lindley than just what you see! Not only does the Clock Tower chime at 15 minute intervals but on Monday nights you can hear both St Stephen's Church bell-ringers and the brass band at their weekly practice.
The bells ring out - St Stephen's Church
The Lindley Band has been around now for over 150 years - a long time before Lindley was being lauded as a good place to live - but it too is moving with the times. The Band has recently invested a substantial amount of money in extending its home, Baton House.
But, of course, not everything is the same. Neil Jowett is the Band's conductor and remembers a time when you were much more likely to see brass bands parading along West Yorkshire's streets. Today he feels, "people don't always appreciate it." These days, too, band members are just as likely to come from across the Pennines and the other side of Leeds but Neil says the Band is still very much part of the community. He points out that their list of engagements regularly includes events in the village - there's the annual carol service at St Stephen's Church and every year some band members play 'Christians Awake' around the Clock Tower at midnight on Christmas Eve.
Neil at Baton House
Every three years Lindley Band joins with children from Lindley Infants School for a special concert at Huddersfield Town Hall. Neil explains that this way all the children at the school get a chance to sing along with the band at some point in their school career. Neil tells us one of his personal ambitions is that the Band will be able to use its new accommodation to introduce young people in Lindley into the pleasure of playing for a brass band. And certainly Lindley Junior School's victory in the Songs of Praise competition would suggest that music is still very much part of village life.
It would seem, then, that Lindley had a lot going for it even before it attracted the attention of the national press. However, now it just may be a victim of its own success. Adam Pope and his family would like to move to another house within Lindley but Adam says the downside of Lindley's current popularity is that it's now more difficult to stay within the area. He says: "I don't want to move away. Lindley is very much my home."
The Lindley Band in 1904
[Thanks to the Lindley Band for permission to use the photo of the Band in 1904]
last updated: 21/04/2008 at 15:50
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