Town’s punk past is recalled - almost 40 years after famous gig

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TWO students researchers are delving into Huddersfield’s punk past with the aim of creating a guide for visitors to follow.

Huddersfield University students Martyn Richardson, 30, who is studying history, and music technology student Jon Crook, 50, are keen to record interviews with survivors of the local punk scene.

The pair see the town’s punk past - it hosted the Sex Pistols’ final UK gig in 1977 - as part of its anti-establishment heritage.

Jon, whose varied career included social work and farm work, has first-hand recollections of the punk movement.

He wasn’t present on December 25 1977 when the Sex Pistols played at Ivanhoe’s in Huddersfield but he was at another defunct local club, Cleopatra’s, when Adam and the Ants played an early gig.

These performances are the starting point for a “sound walk” project, part of a module named Hands on History, taught by Dr Janette Martin.

Jon and Martyn have managed to obtain ambient recordings of both the Ivanhoe’s and the Cleopatra’s performances and these will be edited with overdubbed commentary.

Huddersfield became a hot bed for punk rock, says Jon.

“The theme of our project is the fact that punk made a big impact in a lot of provincial and rural places in the UK, where it had quite a long-lasting effect.”

Jon and Martyn intend to map other locations in Huddersfield linked to punk and to interview local people who have recollections of the scene from 1976 onwards, with the goal of producing an audio-visual documentary.