Markets Campaign

We celebrate Holmfirth and Holmfirth Markets old and new with films and poetry, and mourn the destruction of another part of Holme Valley life.

Kirklees Council has not announced it officially yet or let the people of Holmfirth know but the decision has been made and passed to demolish the town's Market Hall.  It will be replaced by a car park as part of the revised Roads Plan, the first of which was rejected by the public, much to the surprise of the Council and its leader. A good percentage of the public written response to the Council plan criticised the plan to demolish it.

Similar, the Huddersfield Market, which like its Holme Valley counterpart has been deliberately rundown and starved of funds for promotion, is intended to become a music venue.

There are, as yet, no plans for a replacement in Holmfirth. This despite an upsurge in the availability of local produce and goods, and the experience of Covid-19 which has encouraged people to shop locally.

HFF online will be screening local films of Huddersfield and Holmfirth Markets, and of the destruction of many buildings in the area since the seventies.

HFF also asked local Huddersfield poets to contribute work on the theme of shopping and markets. See and hear them on our online weekend.


I am guilty of buying sad toys,
abandoned bears with challenged ears,
chammy leather patched paws,
button eyes hanging by a thread;

sepia photos of people long dead,
buttoned-up in their Sunday best,
composed for the dicky bird,
how can I leave them exposed
to the indifference of strangers?

I am guilty of buying religious tat:
squeaky rubber nuns, clockwork
fire-breathing nuns, two Jesuses
covered in purple velveteen,
a light-up St Veronica in a dome
glass bauble madonnas.

I am guilty of buying stationery,
more than I can use;
sparkly fox notebooks,
pencils that write rainbows,
a wooden meerkat pen, panda staplers,
clipboards, files and folders.

I am guilty on occasion
of arriving home, purse empty
bags bulging, but still
lacking the wherewithal
to make a viable meal.

I am guilty of clutter,
of inadequate dusting,
I am guilty of buying sad toys.

Stephanie Bowgett

'The best things I ever bought in the market'
The best things I ever bought in the market
were the rustly paper bags
of pick'n'mix sweets.
The sweet stalls are a delight
for ages solid-food-eating and up,
luscious smelling toffees,
brightly papered fruity chews,
sherbets, bonbons, gobstoppers, lollipops or chocolate drops,
every type of sweet tooth
and love handle catered for,
all to dive into
and transport home
in a crumpled, scrumpled paper bag –
such a shabby familiar package
for so many little gems.
Hannah Bailey

'The best things I ever bought in the market'
The best thing I ever bought in the market was a pair of purple Puma pumps. Simple design with a suede effect, beautiful except they're not perfect , a globule of glue on the suede, could I persuade the vendor to tender at a reduction of price, on my advice of the proper cost for quality lost in a fashion shoe that you wear to be viewed with your other apparel, I can tell you from 35 pounds to 30, that's sound and my haggling duly fulfilled.
Samuel Moss

Whlbert Kemp's Film of Holmfirth Cattle Market part1

Whlbert Kemp's Film of Holmfirth Cattle Market part2