Discussion Forum
Place du St Pol

Posted by Tom Standfield
Sunday, 25 February 2007

Pretentious? Nous?

From Andre M
Monday, 26 February 2007

Très Européen. Je l'aime !

Fro Adam
Monday, 26 February 2007

Who has lost the plot this time? They have already ruined Hebden Bridge. Now, they are going to destroy it. St Pol, who are they trying to kid? We live in a genuine Yorkshire mill town. Lets have a bit of reallity here please.

From Andrew Hall
Monday, 26 February 2007

I'd have said it was more of an oblong car park

From Oscar
Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Extract from "Town Talk":

"After various trials and tribulations it seems we areat last in a position to progress the permanent commemoration of our twin towns: the part of Hebden Bridge known as the Marina will become Warstein Square, and the revamped public space on the site of Bridge Gate car park will become Saint-Pol-sur-Ternoise Square."

Personally, I think its great we are recognising our links with our twin towns in this way.

From Rob Blake
Tuesday, 27 February 2007

I feel that it is very important for us to remember our connections with the continent. I have an interesting personal story about this. When my Grandmother died five or six years ago, her last wish was for the family to make an effort to visit the grave of her brother Wilfred who was killed in the first world war while fighting in France. About two years ago my Father decided it was time to make the trip and offered to take the whole family out there to visit great uncle Wilf's grave.

We took the Eurostar to Lille where we stayed overnight, and then local train out to the town near the military cemetery. As we stepped off the train, the first sign we saw outside the station was in English, and read 'Welcome to St Pol Sur Turnoise, twinned with Hebden Bridge, UK'. I was amazed - my great uncle was buried in the town that was twinned with Hebden! We went to the tourist office to get directions to the cemetery, and as soon as they heard why we were there, they treated us all like royalty. A car was found to drive us out to the grave, and we were taken for a meal in the town afterwards, which was nice because my dad had become upset at seeing the grave and I think he needed a drink.

So I'd like to say thanks to the good people of St Pol, and well done to whoever came up with the idea of marking the town's connection to us in this nice way.

From Adam
Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Sorry about your Great Uncle Wilf. My Great Grandfather lost his life on the Somme. I dont think they gave their lives so we could turn Hebden Bridge into a place where the locals can't even pronounce street names. Warstein square. We may as well have let Hitler win the war!!!

Posted by Johnny Marascalco
Tuesday, 27 February 2007

"Warstein square. We may as well have let Hitler win the war!!!"

Oh good God, the situation in Hebden Bridge is clearly much worse than I could ever have imagined.

From Rob Blake
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

What a strange attitude you have.

I'm proud to be European, and I'm glad we live in an era that sees efforts to reconcile and bring together people from countries that have previously been at war.

Many forget that the whole European project was a reaction against the terrible suffering inflicted on people in the two wars, and that Winston Churchill himself was one of the original architects of the European union.

People with Adam's attitude make me feel ashamed to be British.

Can you imagine folk in St Pol and Warstein making similar comments? I think not.

From Andre M
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

In terms of making the best out of urban spaces Germany has indeed 'won the war'. A place like HB would have had improvements years ago and I can think of plenty of similar sized European towns that are pleasantly pedestrianised and enhanced.

As for being a 'traditional mill town'...errr..no. No working mills in the town for a start. No grimey streets - apart from Central St possibly ;-) - no-one wears clogs anymore, no smoke etc etc. Few traditional milltowns have tapas bars, Thai restaurants and vegetarian cafes.

From Rev Tony Buglass
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Rob wrote: "Many forget that the whole European project was a reaction against the terrible suffering inflicted on people in the two wars..."

Agreed. I've read anough, and heard enough from men who were there, and seen enough war memorials to know that anything we can do to build links between the nations is a good thing. I was also deeply moved in Austria to see some of their war memorials, and to see the number of young and not-so-young men who simply vanished in the hell of the Russian Front.

And please don't get into a "who started it?" conversation. Clausewitz said "War is politics by other means" - it happened because politicians failed to keep the peace.

As to not being able to pronounce the street names -I've yet to hear anyone have difficulty pronouncing Warsteiner when ordering a pint of it in the Trades Club.

Posted by Andrew Hall
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Perhaps I'm getting too cynical, but how many people know where Warstein or St Pol are? I imagine, from the sound of the names, that the first is in Germany and the second France. Above that, I, and I guess the vast majority of people living in Hebden Bridge neither know nor care about these places - a sentiment with which the citizens of both St Pol and Warstein almost certainly agree.

Twin towns? How "70's" is that!! Jolly good excuse for councillors to pay visits to their twin towns, all expenses paid. Other than that, what is the point?

Oh yes! Living in harmony, mutual understanding, common bonds, blah blah. But surely anyone with an ounce of sense doesn't need that drumming in to them? We know it already, without this patronising tokenism. And anyone without such sense, simply won't - and never will - be made to care.

So Tony, do you say "War" as in "War", or as in "Var"? And is your "Stein" as in "Schtine", "Stine" "Schteen"' or "Steen"? We need to know.

From Rev Tony Buglass
Saturday, 3 March 2007

Coincidentally, I found out that St Pol isn't very far from Agincourt. It just happened to get a mention in a book I was reading. Henry didn't march as far as Germany, so Warstein doesn't get a mention.

As for Warstein - easy guide to Geman pronunciation:

  • W is ronounced V;
  • st in stein is pronouned scht;
  • in any ei or ie diphthong, pronounce the second of the two letters.

So Warstein is pronounced "Varscht-eye-n"

There again, if you ask for a pint of "war-steen" they'll probably know what you're after. Not to be compared with warfarin...

From OJ
Sunday, 18 March 2007

What is the big deal? So Hebden Bridge is twinned with other small towns, which, unsurprisingly, most people in the town have never heard of. And - gosh - these places have 'funny' pronunciations! Could this be because France and Germany have their own languages?

To make things easier, why don't we twin ourselves with Berlin and Paris? Most people have heard of them, right? Oh wait, should the second one be pronounced Paree? OK then, how about Berlin and New York...

I am of the opinion that Hebden Bridge is a mill town. Take a walk around and you'll see these big stone multistorey buildings, some of which still have even taller chimneys. And yes almost none of them are still in their original use, but the buildings are still there are they not? Do all towns across the UK have a number of former textile mills in them? They do not, hence the term 'mill town' being a fair description of Hebden Bridge.

From Andrew Hall
Sunday, 18 March 2007

OJ said "Do all towns across the UK have a number of former textile mills in them? They do not, hence the term 'mill town' being a fair description of Hebden Bridge."

I take it he (or she) said that with tongue firmly placed in cheek, because the answer to the question "Do all towns across the UK have a number of former textile mills in them?" is emphatically yes, most - if not all - do, and most towns in the UK could quite rightly claim to be "Mill Towns". And than includes villlages and hamlets too.

If OJ disbelieves me, I suggest he start in the West Riding of Yorkshire and look at the records. The HMSO book on Yorkshire textile mills is a good starting point. I'll just start the ball rolling: Addingham (11 mills), Adel (1), Airton (2), Allerton, Bradford (9), Almondbury, Huddersfield (15), Alverthorpe, Wakefield (13), Ardsley, Barnsley (2), Armley, Leeds (5), and so on. I haven't even got to the major ones like Batley (65 mills), Bradford central (66), and I really can't be bothered to count Dewsbury, Leeds Central, Bramley, Elland, Halifax, Horton, Huddersfield, Ossett etc - they've far too many. Even Soothill (nr Batley) had more mills than the Hebden Bridge area. So virtually every town can technically be classed as a Mill Town. Even Hipperholme has more right to call itself a mill town than Hebden Bridge does.

So as OJ says "What is the big deal?". Well of course there isn't one! The thing about pronunciations was light hearted. I did a degree in German and I knew Tony knew the correct pronunciations! Well - I suspected he would anyway! Chill out, OJ, chill out!

From OJ
Monday, 19 March 2007

It's very hard to tell when tongues are in cheek on this forum, let me tell you!

Andrew, I'm not purporting that Hebden Bridge is the only settlement in the UK containing mills, but rather the term 'mill town' is a fair description of the place.

And yes, West Yorkshire / Lancashire in general contain a vast number of mill towns (as you've pointed out) - but look beyond the region to places like Tyne and Wear, the Cotswolds, south Wales etc. and you don't get (textile) mill towns.