Denby Dale Labour Party Archive

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archives of the Denby Dale Labour Party which includes minute books, financial records, photographs, promotional fliers and election campaign materials, and a brief history of the Party.

Administrative / Biographical History

Over the last 100 years Denby Dale's geographical location (as a village and civil parish situated in the middle of a number of large towns) has meant that the votes of its residents have changed constituencies many times. Previously in the Holmfirth constituency, Denby Dale was part of the Penistone constituency 1950-1955, Colne Valley 1955-1983, Dewsbury 1983-1997, Wakefield 1997-2010, Dewsbury 2010-2013, Colne Valley and Denby Dale 2013-2015, and Dewsbury 2015-present. Throughout these boundary changes the Denby Dale Labour Party has continued in its work of promoting support for Labour Party candidates in the area.

As well as constituency boundary changes, the Party has also had to contend with the significant implications of local government restructures over the years. The Local Government reorganisation of 1938 created the Denby Dale Urban District Council which was divided into the four wards of Clayton West, Denby Dale and Cumberworth, Emley and Skelmanthorpe; with the major authority for the area being the West Riding County Council. The Denby Dale Urban District Council would be dominated by Labour members throughout its history; the final council that was elected in 1972 was comprised of 16 Labour members, 2 Liberals members and 2 independent members. The minute book of the Denby Dale Urban District Council Labour Group has survived and is available in the collection. In 1974 the Denby Dale Urban District Council was then absorbed into the newly created Kirklees Metropolitan Council.

As well as working to elect Labour candidates to local, parliamentary and European elections, the Party also worked to improve the political education of the local community. This was a feature of all of the Party's meetings and social events, which included coffee mornings and evenings, pie and pea suppers, Halloween parties, fashion parties, bonfire night parties, Easter bonnet parades, and spring fairs and bazaars. From 1977 monthly meetings of the Denby Dale Labour Party were held at The Denby Dale Pie Hall, and more recently meetings have also been held at Denby Dale Cricket Club.

After moving to the area in 1964, Mrs Winifred Wheable-Archer became a driving force behind the Denby Dale Labour Party, holding many prominent officer posts including Vice-Chairman. She contested and won local elections for the Denby Dale Urban District Council and Kirklees Metropolitan Council between 1967 and 1987, and remained a very active member of the party.

For more details on the history of the Party see DDL/15 - History of the Denby Dale Labour Party by Winifred Wheable-Archer.

Conditions Governing Access

Original available for consultation by appointment

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The vast majority of the collection is paper-based and in a good physical condition

Custodial History

Mrs Winifred Wheable-Archer deposited the archives of the Denby Dale Labour Party with the University's archive service in 2009.

Related Material

CVL - Colne Valley Labour Party Archive held at the University of Huddersfield Archives

HLP - The Huddersfield Labour Party Archive held at the University of Huddersfield Archives