Batley 150 Exhibition, celebrating 150 years of civic pride

A new touring exhibition, celebrating 150 years since the founding of Batley Borough Council in 1868, opens at Batley Festival on Saturday 29 September 2018.

Citizens of the borough are urged to come along to learn more about the area’s democratic heritage, and to get involved in the civic life of Batley today.

Come along to the exhibition

The Batley 150 exhibition is open at Batley Town Hall, Market Place, Batley WF17 5DE from 12.30pm to 4pm on Saturday 29 September. Admission is free.

A major milestone in Batley’s history

The foundation of Batley Borough Council in 1868 was a major milestone, with the town being granted extensive powers to be able to govern itself. Batley residents elected a town council of aldermen, councillors and a mayor who set up and ran public services for the good of the town. This significant landmark was a reflection of the rapid growth of Batley. Borough status was achieved by Batley residents who submitted a petition to government, calling for new status and powers. A royal charter of incorporation was then granted by Queen Victoria in 1868.

We’re coming together to mark this special anniversary

Kirklees Council and local organisations are working together to mark this special anniversary for Batley, with more events and activities planned over the coming months.

 The Batley 150 Exhibition is featured at Batley Town Hall during Batley Festival. The exhibition, curated by West Yorkshire Archive Service, can be viewed from 12.30pm to 4pm Saturday 29 September. The exhibition will then travel around Batley during the anniversary year, starting with Batley Library where it will be on display from Monday 1 October for several months.

Who will be speaking?

The Mayor of Kirklees will open the Batley 150 Exhibition at 1.30pm on 29 September. The opening by the Mayor will be followed by speakers including: Robert Clegg, Archivist from West Yorkshire Archive Service talking about the Batley 150 Exhibition and Batley’s archives, Wendy Storey sharing her memories as a Mayor’s daughter, Malcolm Haigh, Chair of Batley History Group.

Other displays are coming too

As well as the exhibition there will be a range of displays including Batley Bulldogs Heritage, Memories of Batley in 1968, Dorothy Elizabeth Evans by Susan White, and Catherine Exley. Mohamed Saloo from Batley Poets will launch “The Bards of Batley”, a special book of poems written by local citizens to celebrate the 150th anniversary.

Light refreshments will be on offer.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about our local democratic heritage and getting involved in the civic life of Batley today is invited along for a look back over 150 years and a chance to meet lots of people who are proud to be part of Batley.

We’ve got even more planned…

The Batley 150 group are planning more events and activities later in the year and are keen for more people to join in. Ideas for future activities can be shared on the day or by contacting Bagshaw Museum. Email: bagshaw.museum@kirklees.gov.uk or Tel. 01924 324765. More information about Batley 150 is available at: www.democracycommission.org.uk/batley150

As well as the Batley 150 Exhibition in Batley Town Hall, visitors to Batley Festival can enjoy all the stalls and attractions of the festival, which is organised by local volunteers.  Full details are available at: www.batleyfestival.co.uk

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