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Close Up North on Hebden Bridge

Posted by Robert Collins, Thursday, September 13, 2001

Dear Jackie,

Personally I think its a shame that the alternative brigade in Hebden Bridge is so often the centre of attention. I feel that the ordinary folk of Hebden Bridge are in danger of becoming marginalised in their own home town. Yet it is the good neighbourliness of local people which I believe is the key to what has made Hebden Bridge such a haven in the first place.

The image of dreadlocked lesbian couples browsing through the organic bookshops of Hebden Bridge may be idyllic to some, it may even be a business opportunity to others, but dont forget that the alternative crowd are still in the minority. How many crystal shops can one small town sustain? It worries me that if the hippie(ish) aspect of Hebden Bridge life gets over-promoted, then mainstream facilities for ordinary, boring everyday folk will be run-down in favour of more vegetarian wicker basket emporiums.

The changing face of Hebden Bridge, some less positive observations over the last five years or so:

  • Closure of the Top Shoulder, The Mount Skip, The Woodman, Tithe Barn.
  • Stone theft.
  • Commuter thieves who travel to HB from surrounding cities in search of easy pickings.
  • House price increases (due to offcumdens like me.)
  • Not being able to get a seat in the Stubbing Wharf on a Thursday night any more.
Looking forward to the programme,