Nicolas Crane has been doing some great programmes in his Town series. I was particularly enthralled by the one on Huddersfield. What a very proud, independent history that town has! It seems the Luddites were emblematic of a rebellious streak in the town, echoed down the years with the establishment of the Rugby League at the town’s George Hotel.
But, IMHO, there is no greater claim to fame for Huddersfield than it is the birthplace of Harold Wilson. When I had my long cosy chat with him, he very proudly announced that he came from “‘Uddersfield”.
In his programme on the town, Nicolas Crane dressed up in the local rugby kit for a run out and chat with some of the players from the Huddersfield Giants at their impressive stadium. Crane then gamely offered himself up to be “smother tackled” by two large players. As he writhed on the ground after this, he weakly asked where the nearest hospital was.
My contact “Oop nawth” informs me that one of the two players was a giant of a man with a distinctive long shock of hair who rejoices in the name Eorl Crabtree. My nawthern rugby lass informs me that he is Big Daddy’s (Shirley Crabtree’s) nephew.
It’s no wonder that the wiry Nicolas Crane was winded by his physical encounter with Mr Crabtree. Eorl Crabtree is 18 stone 6 lbs and 6 foot 6 inches.
Not a man to be messed with, I would suggest.
Photo of Eorl Crabtree: Some rights reserved by Richard Sunderland