Leeds nostalgia: Film from 1960s looks at immigration

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This week’s featured film clip, available to view on the Yorkshire Film Archive website, deals with the issue of race relations and the immigrant community in Huddersfield, specifically in terms of education. It was filmed shortly after the famous “Rivers of Blood” speech given by Enoch Powell which addressed the rise in immigration during this time period.

The film opens with a man, John Murray, announcing the opening of the International Club for the Springwood Adult Education Centre. He is standing in the middle of a dance floor surrounded by people dancing. The crowd has gathered this evening to sign a paper in support of a town official in favour of racial harmony. The diverse crowd can be seen dancing to music and dressed in fashions very typical of the 1960s.

Later in the film, the principal of the Adult Education Centre is interviewed. He feels mainly education will help race relations within the community. Immigrants from India, Pakistan, and the West Indies make up 10 per cent of the population (about 10-12,000 people) of Huddersfield. Intercut are members of the immigrant community.

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