Refugees and Kirklees Council

This blog post takes the form of an open letter to Kirklees Metropolitan Council.

Holy Trinity Church Huddersfield war memorial window, bottom panel.
The lower panels of the World War I memorial window in Holy Trinity Huddersfield, showing the Belgian flag to the right in the middle panel.

There is a refugee crisis going on caused by people wishing to leave Afghanistan following the return to power of the Taliban in that country. In Yorkshire I have heard on the local and national news of three locations in Yorkshire where Afghan refugees have been housed:

  • Five-year-old Mohammed Munib Majeedi fell from a window of the Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel in Blonk Street onto a car park behind the hotel at around 2.30pm on Wednesday. It is understood he had only only just arrived in the UK after fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan with his family. (Source ITV.com)
    Asylum seekers were previously removed from the hotel where the five-year-old Afghan refugee fell to his death from a window because it was unfit for refugees to stay in, it has been claimed. (Source nottinghampost.com)
  • 92 Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban arrive in Scarborough and are being temporarily housed in hotels.An appeal by a local charity has been launched. (Source thescarboroughnews.co.uk)
  • Coun Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “Calderdale has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from around the world. The council is a proud member of the Valley of Sanctuary, a growing network of local organisations who come together to create a welcoming, friendly and inclusive borough for everyone.” (Source halifaxcourier.co.uk)
    A report on BBC Look North said that Calderdale Council were already supporting two Afghan refugee families.
  • I have not heard any that my own council area, Kirklees, has any refugees yet, but two venues have been offered, The Cedar Court Hotel, Huddersfield and The Old Golf House Hotel, Outlane, which went into receivership in May 2020.(Source examinerlive.co.uk)
Detail from the East Window of Holy Trinity, Huddersfield showing strangers being welcomed to a door above which is the flag of the old Huddersfield County Borough. The hidden inscription reads, “I was a stranger and ye took me in.”

I have previously written about the stained glass in Holy Trinity Huddersfield, how it depicts the welcoming of strangers to the town and the Belgian refugees who ran much of the textile industry during the World War I. Another of my blogs was about how John Wesley saying the people of Golcar, above Huddersfield, were “like lilies.” The area had been settled by the Huguenots, French protestants escaping the persecutions of Louis XIV, the Sun King; They had brought with them lilies of the valley which grow in the area they settled. The Golcar Lily Pub, on Bolster Moor, is named after Wesley’s comment and by extension point to the welcome of the Huguenots in the 16th century.

The Golcar Lily pub and restaurant on Bolster Moor above Huddersfield by Ian S. used under this Creative Commons licence.

So my appeal to Kirklees Metropolitan Council is this:With the long history of accepting refugees that this area, particularly in Huddersfield and surrounding villages, can you please make a commitment to us accepting above our share of refugees ftom Afghanistan at this time. We have a reputation of fairness to maintain. Refugees are welcome here.

One thought on “Refugees and Kirklees Council

  1. So many interesting facts there that I didn’t know about. How great to learn how the Bolster Moor pub got its name. Let us pray that all areas extend a welcome to those fleeing oppression or displaced for any reason.

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