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About Hird & Partners

Hird & Partners is a long standing and well-established practice based in the heart of Halifax, West Yorkshire and offers a friendly, caring and professional service for creatures great and small. 

When John Hird took over the practice in 1977 from John Abbott, the premises at Blackwall had been a veterinary surgery for nearly 200 years. The practice grew and became Hird & Partners in 1993 and we are proud to have a dedicated equine clinic in Shelf, Cheshire and Sheffield and small animal branch surgeries in Ripponden and Walsden. 

In 2015 the small animal practice moved from Blackwall to a new, purpose build site on King Street that offers a modern range of diagnostic and surgical facilities that compliment our friendly and experience team.
Holding Tier 2 accreditation of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme, you can rest assured of our commitment to provide the highest standard of veterinary care possible to your pets, and you, our clients.
The practice has 20+ veterinary surgeons with a broad variety of skills and areas of interests to ensure a high standard of patient care, compassion and service, day or night. Alongside our vets, we have a dedicated and extensive team of support staff, including veterinary nurses, receptionists and administration staff.
Proudly independant, we carry out all our own emergency cover out of hours, meaning our clients have access to our own veterinary surgeons and do not have to attend an unfamiliar surgery and deal with unfamiliar staff.

The Vets at Blackwall, a potted history

From historical records we have discovered that a certain Henry Wheatley was described as a veterinary surgeon, recorded in 1822 as practising at Southgate, and in 1829 at Westgate, Halifax
By 1834 he had moved to Blackwall, (Pigots Directory of 1834) and was still at Blackwall in 1845 (Walkers Directory 1845)
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) received its first Charter in 1844.
The details below were also gathered from the RCVS Library’s Historical Registers
Richard Lord MRCVS
He is entered in Walkers Directory of 1863, as being a veterinary surgeon at Blackwall in that year, and the practice still has one of his veterinary text books, ‘Ailments of the dog’, signed and dated 1909
Parlane Macfarlane Walker MRCVS
Perhaps the best known of the early vets at Blackwall was Parlane Macfarlane Walker MRCVS who Qualified from the Dick Veterinary School in Edinburgh 1867. He was entered in the RCVS Register as ‘Veterinary Surgeon and Ventilation Engineer’, which indeed he was. He was recorded at Blackwall in 1874, and in 1881(Kelly’s Directory). He founded PM Walker & Co., Ventilation Engineers, on Bedford Street. He died at Blackwall in 1909
John Drabble MRCVS
He graduated from Edinburgh in May 1900, and lived at Blackwall House, then Arden Lodge, which co incidentally was also John Hird’s first home in Halifax. He is recorded as having been at Blackwall in 1910, but sadly he died on 1st December 1913, aged 37, of influenza with acute pneumonia.
Of interest is that he had an older brother Charles Drabble, Major RAVC (retired), who also qualified from Edinburgh in 1885, and was in practice at 6 Melbourne Place Bradford. It is likely that he alerted his brother to the fact that the Blackwall practice had become vacant.
Walter Ackroyd MRCVS
He qualified at the Dick Veterinary College, Edinburgh in May 1890 and is recorded as being at Blackwall in 1915. There is a story that he used to drive round Halifax in a pony and trap, wearing a frock coat. He was supposed to have a withered arm as a result of contracting Glanders, a TB like infection contracted by contact with horses. He died in 1933 aged 65
Edward (Teddy) Ackroyd
He qualified from Edinburgh in Dec 1926. He was Walter’s son, and was first recorded at Blackwall in 1927, so he must have joined his father straight from College. He is recorded at Blackwall in 1936 (Halifax County Borough Directory). However, his obituary does not support this, so he may have used Blackwall as a forwarding address. His obituary is interesting in that it reveals both how long the practice had been going, and our long links with the Halifax RSPCA.
He was apparently an alcoholic and sadly committed suicide in September 1950, aged 51. He shot himself in the Blackwall surgery, using the same humane killer which was still in use when John Hird took over the practice in 1977.
John Bertram Abbott MRCVS
Major RAVC, qualified from Edinburgh in 1939, and served in the RAVC throughout World War II. He spent some time buying sheep in countries around the Mediterranean, to feed the troops during the Italian campaign. He was later posted to India, where he was in charge of a Remount Depot, training mules for use in the jungles of the Far East which were impenetrable by motor transport
He came to Halifax in late 1950, after being tipped off by a close friend, Harry Campion, who worked at Standard Wire on Pellon Lane, that there was a practice going vacant. After the war he had previously worked in Eastwood Notts, for a Stuart Coburn MRCVS, and used to attend the pit ponies stabled underground in the local coalmines.
Alwyn Ricketts MRCVS (nee Jury)
She was John Bertram Abbott's assistant who achieved much popularity with the local farmers by stripping down to her purple bra when calving a cow. She later married Donald Ricketts MRCVS who practised in New Mill, Huddersfield. She died about 20 years ago.
Brian Gray MRCVS
Most well known assistant of John Bertram Abbott. He qualified from the Dick Vet School in 1957, and joined him in 1962. In 1973 he founded the first small animal practice in Brighouse, which he ran as his own, with Mr Abbott’s blessing.
John Hird MRCVS
John Hird MRCVS qualified from Liverpool University in July 1970. He purchased the practice from Mr Abbott and started as a single handed vet on 10th October 1977. At that time all the premises were owned by Halifax MBC. He bought 6,8 and 10 Blackwall from the Council six months later, and managed to purchase No 12 three years later.
JFR Hird 1977-1991 6,8,10 & 12 Blackwall
Hird, Burt & Scholefield 1991-1997
Equine Clinic founded at Lower Giles Hill Farm Shelf in 1992
Hird & Partners LLP 1997 to date
Moved from Blackwall to King Street, Halifax, in March 2015
We may record telephone calls for training and monitoring purposes.
VAT Reg No: GB 184 9950 10
© 2024 Hird & Partners Veterinary Surgeons. All Rights Reserved
We may record telephone calls for training and monitoring purposes.
VAT Reg No: GB 184 9950 10
© 2024 Hird & Partners Veterinary Surgeons. All Rights Reserved