Is Halifax still a good area for raising a family?

(23 Posts)
wholesomemum Wed 08-Jan-14 14:24:01

Hi mums, I'm from West Yorkshire and I really want to know more about whether Halifax is still a good place for raising a family. Many of my fam grew up in the Savile Park area of Halifax and... having done the typical privileged kid thang of moving South after uni... I am sick of the South and ready to raise my fam back with the people of my roots... and most especially with people who have a proper sense of community and sense of humour. Just a bit concerned though that Halifax itself is not what it was (although Savile Park still appears to be splendid)... any of you have teens who worry about them going out in town at night etc? I know there are huge plus sides for young ones (e.g. Eureka, some lovely primaries) but just wanted to hear folks thoughts- including from the wider Calderdale/ West Yorkshire area. Thanks in advance.

wholesomemum Fri 10-Jan-14 13:53:52


INeedALieIn Sat 11-Jan-14 09:14:38

DH works in the area and says it is lovely. But he doesn't have experience of the schools.

BikeRunSki Sat 11-Jan-14 11:29:37

I grew ip on London and hated it. I settled in the (southern) outskirts of Huddersfield 13 years ago. Both children (5 and 2) were born here. I love it, it is my forever place. Lovmt countryside, useful towns, brilliant road links to further afield. Great cities in Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester on easy reach.

HowGoodIsThat Sat 11-Jan-14 11:38:02

We are in Leeds and don't much experience of Halifax other than the odd visit for things.

I love W Yorks. We moved back here from London 5 years ago and still feel privileged to be somewhere with a bit of the best of everything. I am about to go for a cycle from Ilkley to Bolton Abbey - one of the most beautiful areas and its only 40 mins from my front door. ANd i counts as a long haul day - usually I am on the bike from my own front door.

Practically speaking, Kirklees does have a chequered past in terms of education. Research schools carefully but there are plenty of good and improving ones afaik.

wholesomemum Sat 11-Jan-14 14:56:38

Hi guys, thanks so much for your responses. You're just confirming to me that I'm doing the right thing. Ever since I have been with the die-hard Southern "Affluenza" I've felt three overwhelming things 1. bored out my brain (i.e. why are they unfriendly and hardly laugh unless everyone in the group seem to be laughing first? Weirdos) 2. That they are raising kids to be so materialistic that they can't see straight (me and my siblings' West Yorkshire values have enabled us to be able to balance this impulse against good Northern fiscal sense (some might call it tight-fistedness... it probably is on my Dad's part haaa!) and 3. Yorkshire is insaaaanely beautiful and wholesome (my buzzword, clearly!). Every time some Southern n**head has used the phrase Uuuup North to me like a term of distain I've felt like giving them the finger. So ignorant. Overall my youngest sis and I (who's been in the big smoke) are in agreement that getting out of all kinds of smoke and snootiness is absolutely the only way that we're going to end up with normal, together kids save for swimming against the Waitrose-Cath Kidston-obsessed tide.... so there you have it! Thanks a million for reminding me about how much West Yorkshire rocks!! Interesting point re the Primaries in and around Hudds. My impression is that some of the village schools are the best in that area... e.g. Golcar, Slaithwaite, Marsden, Holmfirth (Which apparently is somewhere everyone wants to live but... I don't know whether the secondary is up to much-- thoughts?!!). Rock on you Yorkshirites!!! Yorkshire is no doubt thrilled to adopt you (they're friendly bug**rs aren't they?!). :-)

wholesomemum Sat 11-Jan-14 14:58:37

P.S. Yay Bolton Abbey!!! Too many wonderful childhood memories- have a great time!!

HowGoodIsThat Sat 11-Jan-14 17:18:09

It was beautiful - the sun shone and the light over the hills beyond the Abbey was glorious. Met a friendly bunch of women, had a good cycle and an enormous piece of cake. Lush.

When we lived in London, we had a "TIme to NEarest Cow" measure. We timed it in all directions from our flat and the closest cow was 55 minutes up the A1. Now its 5 minutes on the edge of the Ring Road.

I still commute regularly to London and it reminds me why I don't miss it. We had a great 5 years there, I am glad I have done it but it is a bubble. Life in London is not like life anywhere else in the UK. I am glad to be out of it but be able to go back and visit - like an ethnographic safari.

Bourdic Sat 11-Jan-14 17:43:46

There is a real issue in Calderdale re secondary schools because of the 11 plus. If you can afford private tutors and book them up before the child is born early and your child is bright you'll be OK but otherwise....there is a complex system of catchment areas and feeder schools and faith schools at primary level. My great nephew just missed out on11 plus and he was in the catchment area and attended the feeder school for a dreadful secondary school with no sixth form either. My niece then moved my younger grand nephew to a primary school that fed into a much better secondary - the feeding system trumped catchment areaconfused. My poor sister is now using up her savings paying for her elder grandson to go to an independent school. Scenery might be nice bit I wouldn't go back to live in Halifax for anything - it would have to be the Dales.

WillowKnicks Sat 11-Jan-14 17:46:04

Obviously depends which part of Halifax you live in but Brighouse High School has a good name, as does Ryburn & Brooksbank. I've also heard that Hipperholme & Lightcliffe has turned things around & looking quite impressive. Of course, there are always the Grammar schools if that is the route you want to go down - Crossley Heath & North Halifax.

I've a teenager at Huddersfield Uni & he has had some excellent nights out in both Huddersfield & Halifax...seems like the Accapulco is the happening place for students on a Thursday night shock but yes, you still stick to the carpets grin.

Something else that was pointed out to me was, whichever route you leave/enter Halifax you always go through some really pretty scenery...maybe Junction 25 on the M62 wasn't taken in to account but hey ho...get yourself back ooop North

BikeRunSki Sat 11-Jan-14 17:56:49

Come to South Kirklees instead - we still have first, middle and high schools.

wholesomemum Sun 12-Jan-14 07:26:44

Ah you guys all sound reall smart and funny, amend deffo like you've "been there" with all of this. Time to the nearest cow?!!! Hilarious!!! The Aca?!!!! That was the place to drink her alcopops and get stuck to the floor by alcopops in MY day!!! Oh the memories... I'd glass the lady on the bike had such a nice Sat afternoon, too. This whole catchment, 11 plus thing is whgast's making me nervous about it all. I am really smart and so is DH but I know I have tyo accept however DD is when she grows...we did the whole fancy uni thing off our own steam as neither of my rents went to uni-- we got there because we could sand we wanted to. Am deffo not going to be a tiger mom!! My aunt sand uncle are smart and aspirational but their kids all turned out dyslexic so there you go. So that's the fear isn't it? Depending on 11 plus just cos I have as dream of walking the dogs on Crossley Heath may be much food for thought here, ladies!! Thanks!!

mydoorisalwaysopen Sun 12-Jan-14 08:00:53

I don't find people from Yorkshire friendly at all. I am usually regarded as a posh stuck up southerner. I am from the south and from a working class family and a place with a strong sense of community. Your experience of the south is not one I recognize.

WillowKnicks Sun 12-Jan-14 11:47:27

Well, if your DD doesn't go down the grammar school route (I've 2 DDs in Primary that won't) just do your homework first & make sure you are in the catchment area & your DD goes to a feeder school for one of the better High Schools. That way you've the best of both worlds, you've the option of Grammar school but with a good High School as a back up, if she doesn't pass her 11+.

Most people send their children for tutoring for the 11+ around here too & Gleddings School (private) has a near 100% pass rate for the for thought!

Yes...the good old Acca!!! Can't tell you how old that makes me feel, my son going, funnily enough he doesn't want to take me up on my offer of going with him grin

HermioneWeasley Sun 12-Jan-14 11:49:44

Yorkshire has just been named third best region in the WORLD by lonely planet. What are you waiting for?

Misssss Sun 12-Jan-14 15:26:20

Another Yorkshire lover here. From Huddersfield originally and as soon as I decide to settle down then I'm heading straight back. One of the villages on the outskirts hopefully. Lovely schools. Nice people and such a beautiful place. Gods own country indeed.

Flukewoman Sun 12-Jan-14 15:45:01

I grew up in Halifax, literally over the street from one of the high schools you mentioned. I went to one if the grammars from a state primary with no tutoring, then I went to university in the south and have lived in Oxon for 10 years. I adore and miss the scenery you describe, and my family, but I don't miss Halifax. And I don't recognise the South you've described.

There were so few employment prospects for me in Halifax, even after my degree. I was desperate to escape at 18 as I was bored of the same insular people with narrow ideas (not that everyone is by any means, but I felt like so many people I knew were). It was not the done thing to be clever or interested in anything other than football and drinking. People were friendly on the face of things but not truly so. So many people had a massive chip on their shoulders about being northern and my parents still panic that they 're not 'posh' enough when they visit here (madness!)

I knew people who were stabbed, who overdosed on drugs, who drunk drove habitually, and several teenagers who crashed cars and died. Obviously that can happen anywhere but I see it far less here where there is less deprivation. There's still quite a heroin problem in Halifax so far as I'm aware.

In contrast I know a lot of teenagers here who are smart, open, friendly, witty, and independent thinkers. There are so many more prospects and opportunities for young people.

If you really yearn for Yorkshire I'm sure you'll find somewhere lovely to be, but as someone who's had a different experience of moving I thought I'd add my two penny worth smile

North Yorks is really rather lovely in places btw.

wholesomemum Sun 19-Jan-14 18:35:57

Well except you do recognise it... my experience of the south is similar to your one of the north really! It's that horrible problem of displacing yourself... like moving tribes or going to play for a different footie team! Eventually you understand them and find the best of them but it takes time in both directions!! Have you ever watched or read North & South?!! :-)

wholesomemum Sun 19-Jan-14 18:37:07

Ooh sorry that was aimed at the lady from the South called mydoorisalwaysopen!! I have just jacked it in as a bad job... I have met lots of great Southerners but ultimately still feel lost in translation half of the time. In the words of Dorothy, "There's no place like home!!"

wholesomemum Sun 19-Jan-14 18:44:10

To Flukewoman... I hear what you're saying but I think I was lucky because my Yorkshire fam are very middle class and entrepeneurial and I've often been in the swim with Yorkshire's coolest and brightest. But I do recognise some of that narrowmindedness that you describe and the alcoholism and the giant chips on their shoulders... but the truth is I find the Southern poor more outrageous and less moral. I know that sounds extreme but in the North there are still vestiges of that 'honest poor' from the old working class ways (i.e. that swept their front doors clean and send their kids to church on Sundays)... It's difficult. I think the kids in the South very often are as you describe (and I've taught many of them- state and private) but I also find that the ethos down here is one of BUYING INTO your community rather than just being one with everyone rich and poor together. I miss the solidity of being with people who tell you exactly what they think and who let your kids be in and out of each others houses and who include everyone even if they don't have the latest gadget or designer sneakers. The kids I taught in the South just seemed to have squiffy values, but yes... often a broader sense of what's possible for them... but also beyond sheltered and yes- often incredibly bratty and living in cloud cuckooland... it's been a major toss-up for us because we do value many of the wonderful things that affluent Southerners give their kids... but we also ultimately find it unbalanced and that's been the decider!!

Onesie Fri 24-Jan-14 20:46:28

I prefer thirsk, Whitby, etc.

Halifax was rough as alt years back. No idea what it's like now. Hebden bridge seemed nice to me as a teenager though.

You could try asking on the loca boards

24again Mon 27-Jan-14 06:48:02

if you really want to move to Halifax then unless you want to move to Saville Park itself then try Ripponden / Greetland area. They have excellent primaries and if your child doesn't pass the 11 plus for Crossleys then they will be in the right feeder schools for Ryburne and Brooksbank which are good alternatives.
Having just moved from this area though I'd have second thoughts. Parts of Halifax are really grim, there's a lot of traffic and it's still very urban.

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