History - 1960s

The major topic of discussion in 1959-60 was again the Journal and the difficulties encountered in getting lectures published in it. It was again suggested that a shorthand typist be appointed (to be paid £5 per lecture): no mention was made of what had become of previous incumbents, nor of the results of any trials using a tape recorder. However, it was noted in the arrangements for the AGM that ‘the two typists’ be invited.

These problems meant that few copies of the lectures held in 1959-60 were available and it was agreed that they would be included together with the 1960-1 lectures in that year’s Journal. Exactly the same problem arose in 1961-2: further difficulties in getting lectures transcribed and it was decided to put a motion to the AGM to discontinue publication of the Journal. Opinions were clearly divided on this issue since, at the next Committee meeting 3 weeks later it was decided to ‘publish the Journal that was ready’; and to review the situation in the next year.

At the start of the following session (1962-3), the subject of difficulties in transcribing lectures for the Journal arose yet again. Once again, the use of a tape recorder or shorthand typist was suggested, but these possible solutions were deemed to be impractical. There were financial issues associated with the Journal and it was sated that even a significant increase in advertising fees would still not make the Journal self supporting. One Committee member averred that the Journal was, in any cae, superfluous and barely read by members, since there were ‘lots’ of technical literature available. Finally, on 29 October 1962, it was agreed to discontinue the Journal. Mr John Mahoney was made an Honorary Life Member for his services to the Journal.

The AGM of the Federation of Textile Societies and Kindred Organisations was scheduled to be held in Huddersfield in May, 1961 and a sub-committee was set up to decide what the Society to contribute to the event.

It was agreed that a fashion show would be held in 1961-2, with a 1s 6d admission charge ‘for charitable purposes’. The rising cost of the annual dinner meant that a motion was put to the AGM that, for the first time, a nominal charge would be made for it. In early 1963, it was suggested that the Committee should have a dinner: an ‘all male affair’. It was deemed a great success and became a regular feature of the Society’s calendar.

A further fashion show was held in 1963-4. The show was arranged as a ‘Ladies Evening’ and was presented by ‘Messrs Persil’, with gowns by Joanna of Almondbury. The admission charge was 2s 6d and over £17 was donated to charity (Oxfam and St John’s Methodist Church at Almondbury).

Problems arose that year in getting the Society’s silver medals produced and it was decided to change printers to Messrs Fillans. The Society purchased a new die for this.

That same year, it was agreed that holding the AGM and Annual Dinner on the same evening was causing major problems. There were difficulties in fitting the proceedings into the time available and there was the risk of boring the Mayor and other guests with the intricacies of Society business. It was agreed that the events should be held on separate days, the new venue for the dinner being Whiteley’s café, with a small charge being levied. Since there would no longer be a dinner to attract members to the AGM, it was suggested that a film show be held to ‘entice’ members to attend the AGM.

In 1964, the problem of attracting more students to the Society was discussed. Suggestions included the distribution of leaflets among students, advertising the Society and the benefits of joining it. It was agreed to offer a scholarship (‘The Huddersfield Textile Society Scholarship’) to a boy (!) of promise leaving a local grammar school to come to the Technical College. Leaflets would be distributed to schools and to the Youth Employment Officer. The first offer was not, in fact, taken up and the Society agreed to increase the value of the Scholarship from £150 to £200 per annum to try and make it a more attractive proposition.

It was agreed to hold a buffet supper and dance at the Regent Ballroom. However, this was eventually cancelled due to ‘lack of enthusiasm in the Society for the event’ and to the excessive cost of the buffet. It was agreed that the Society would help the Junior Chamber of Commerce with their textile exhibition (held on 22-24 September 1964) by guiding visitors round the College of Technology.

The first Annual Dinner as a separate event took place in 1965. The cost of the dinner was 14s 6d (72½ p). Members were charged 10s 0d and guests were charged 17s 6d; it was agreed that ‘Past Presidents be asked to pay for their dinner’. Although the income for the dinner covered less than half the cost, meaning that a loss of around £75 was made, this was deemed satisfactory, particularly since the loss the previous year was around £88.

In 1964-5, the possibility of the Society being registered as a charity (in order to obtain tax relief) was explored. It was recognised that the Scholarship scheme may have to be re-drawn in this light.

One of the highlights of the Annual Dinner has always been the guest speaker. However, a committee member thought that the guest speaker at the 1969 Dinner spoke for too long and suggested that 30 minutes was sufficient. Also in 1969, Mr J G Bedford was made an Honorary Life Member and the War Loan was sold.

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