Saturday, March 27, 2021

'Weird youths in tight trousers' and 'demoralising scenes' at 1950s dance in Huddersfield

An everyday tale of police, the licensing laws, spooning and weird youths from Leeds in 1950s Yorkshire:

Huddersfield club wants inquiry into dance "slur"

'A public inquiry into police allegations about a dance in Huddersfield is to be requested by the organisers. Longwood Harriers Athletic Club at its annual meeting last night decided to ask Huddersfield Town Council for an inquiry. The club was recently refused a licence for a dance after police witnesses had spoken of "disgusting and demoralising scenes"..

Huddersfield teenagers' dance hall behaviour was defended last night at a meeting of Huddersfield Youth Committee. The troublemakers whose actions were criticised might have been some of those weird youths in tight trousers and extraordinary dress who come into the town from Leeds and the Spen Valley, said Mr W A Hinchcliffe'.

(Bradford Observer, 21 September 1955)

Longwood Harriers protest at police criticism of dances 

'A police officer stated in court that when he visited a dance which Longwood Harriers held at the Town Hall on August 19, the bar was crowded out, the floor was littered with empty bottles, and some of the couples were spooning. The officer suggested that 90 per cent of the people in the bar were under 20 years of age, and he described conditions as disgusting.

(Bradford Observer, 9 September 1955)

Harriers are granted dance drinks licence after police objection

Longwood Harriers Athletic Club who were recently refused a drinks licence for a dance at Huddersfield Town Hall after police complaints about a previous dance, successfully supported an applicatoin at the Borough Court yesterday for an occasional liquor licence for a ball which they will run at Cambridge Road Baths, Huddersfield

(Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 1 October 1955)

I stumbled across this story at the great British Newspaper Archive while looking for something else, as you do. Longwood Harriers is still going as an athletics club, as a committee member for an athletic club myself I can only dream that we could put on an event today that could attract such notoriety.

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