Beer Festival Logo Background

A Warm Welcome to Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival from Duke the Elephant.

Why is an elephant shown on the logo for Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival? 

What has an elephant got to do with Halifax and Calderdale anyway?

The elephant has been associated with Halifax for over 145 years. The Indian Elephant was the mascot for the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment who established a depot in Halifax (Wellesley Barracks) in 1877 and remained in Halifax until the regiment was amalgamated in 2006. The Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment was associated with Halifax in particular, but also with Calderdale (and other nearby areas) as many of the local men who served in the army served in ‘The Dukes’. The Dukes were a highly respected and revered regiment in the British Army. 

From 1949–1951 and from 1965-1985 Halifax Dukes Speedway Team rode at the Shay Stadium in Halifax and were nicknamed the ‘Dukes’ after the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. The speedway team used the Regiment’s elephant symbol on their race jackets.

Throughout most of its history the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment has been synonymous with the West Riding and Halifax became its ‘Mother Town’, hence the location of the magnificent Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment Memorial, situated at the top of the Woolshops, Halifax in 2009 and the Regimental Museum which has been located within Bankfield Museum, Boothtown Road, Halifax since 1961.

The first solo CAMRA beer festival for the Halifax and Calderdale Branch was in 1980 at Halifax Drill Hall in Prescott Street. The Drill Hall had a connection with the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment for many years and it was here in August 1914 that men from the Regiment were mobilised before being deployed to the Western Front.

Our logo depicts Duke the Elephant transporting one of the festival’s wooden casks to the venue with the festival acronym and year below. In the same way that the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment became synonymous with Halifax, the Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival has become synonymous with serving matured beers from wooden casks, although we do serve beers from other types of cask as well.