Memories of Kirklees College as the former site becomes the new Police Headquarters


The proposed move of the current police station from Aldams Road to the new Halifax Road location is seen as a new and far more strategic response to the fight against crime in a rapidly changing North Kirklee district.

But while the drilling noise that can currently be heard in the empty, derelict buildings is a sign of the arrival of workers and the start of the much-anticipated move, it also marks the end of an interesting story.

The ‘old college’ on Halifax Road was until recently an important educational hub for generations of local people.

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The former Kirklees College buildings on Halifax Road, Dewsbury

In addition to numerous daytime vocational training programs, the various “blocks” offered a wide range of learning courses after 16 years.

A range of GCSEs, A levels, BTEC diplomas and a choice of ‘transitional’ classes could also be studied. For those who did not have time to study during the day, the same courses were available in the evening.

Various signs have also been placed outside of college buildings over the past five decades.

From its old name ‘DABTAC’ (Dewsbury and Batley Technical Art College) in the 1970s and 80s, to the Dewsbury College identity in the 1990s, to the newest label of Kirklees College, the Halifax Road campus has evolved over the years Thousands of students seen through its doors.

Packed morning rush hour bus services ran through Mirfield and Ravensthorpe to Dewsbury bus station.

The 268 double-decker buses from Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike bound for Halifax Road were also regularly stopped in front of the college’s main reception block or in front of the adjacent Oldroyd Building to ‘drop off’ hundreds of students.

The montage image shows a selection of photos that were taken only recently.

Above left is a photo of the main station building on Halifax Road where the 268 bus still stops.

This ‘reception block’ was opened in 1978 by then Labor Party Education Secretary Shirley Williams MP and housed the college library, canteen, career services center, a bookshop selling stationery and all BTEC business study rooms. Computer suites and several European language courses.

The reception block is now earmarked for demolition and space will be made for a detention suite and a public information center at the exact same location in the new police headquarters.

The second photo on the left shows the front entrance of the college’s former Oldroyd Building. This iconic Victorian building housed all of the science classes (known to students as ‘the labs’) on the top floor.

The rooms on the lower floors were used by the participants in courses such as catering and hospitality, hairdressing, sewing/making and much more.

The third photo on the left is a view of the Oldroyd Building from the Carlton Road side.

Large temporary buildings used to stand on a run-down plot of land. Subjects such as high school psychology and high school law were taught in these booths.

This property was purchased by the college after Carlton Primary School moved to its new site in Batley Carr. The former Carlton School building later housed the college’s history, geography and sociology classes.

Both the cabins and the old building at Carlton Primary School were demolished over a decade ago.

The old “engineering block” was the place where apprenticeships and other types of training courses were offered to students.

This actual building also housed the rooms where pre-employment courses were held for those school leavers who had left state school with low GCSE exam results.

The main photo, center right, shows the beautiful ‘Clock Tower’ atop the college’s former Boothroyd Building (named after Dewsbury-born former Speaker of the House, Betty Boothroyd MP).

The Boothroyd Building had two large spacious halls where English and Maths workshops were held to help students prepare for their GCSE exams.

ESOL courses for beginners (whose first language was not English) used to take place in this building as well. A small carpeted student mosque pay room was also open for use in these premises.

The Boothroyd Building was sold a few years ago and is now home to privately owned apartments. This building is to remain unaffected by redevelopment elsewhere.

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Green light for new Dewsbury Police Headquarters on former college site


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