Towering tribute planned to Queen

HALIFAX Town Hall’s clock tower could be renamed the “Elizabeth Tower” to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The town was the first place in Yorkshire visited by the then Princess Elizabeth in 1948, four years before becoming Queen.

Halifax Civic Trust has put forward the idea which follows the example set by MPs who last year voted to rename the tower housing Big Ben at the Palace of Westminster the “Elizabeth Tower”.

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The architect for the Palace of Westminster, Sir Charles Barry, also designed Halifax Town Hall, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Trust chairman Dr John Hargreaves said: “The Civic Trust has just completed the celebrations of our golden jubilee and we noticed that Halifax itself has not got a particular feature named after the Queen.

“I think a lot of people have had the feeling during the Diamond Jubilee that 60 years of public service is a large achievement and what could be more appropriate than to name one of the most prominent landmarks in the won centre in her honour?

“The Town Hall was opened by the then Prince of Wales in 1863 and the present Queen has reigned for more than a third of the time since.”

The main hall in the building was named the Victoria Hall in honour of Queen Victoria on its opening.

The only other monarch celebrated in the building is King Alfred the Great, who features in paintings presented to the Town Hall in 1911, the coronation year of George V.

In addition to a tower at the Palace of Westminster, an area of the British Antarctic Territory has been renamed Queen Elizabeth Land.

If approved at a meeting next week, a plaque would be unveiled in the Town Hall entrance area before a service at Halifax Minster on February 10.