Hebden Bridge Web
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Photos with thanks to Hebden Bridge Local History Society, Milltown Memories and the Charlestown History Group
Hebden Bridge History Pages
The history of Hebden Bridge is fascinating and moving. It was our Pennine hills and valleys which powered the mills and factories of the first Industrial Revolution - the overgrown ruins of these old mills can still be seen in many of our valleys.The 19th century saw the roots of the coop movement. In the middle of the 20th century came the asbestos tragedy.
Damn Your Eyes! John Billingsley told the Local History Society how the 'Halifax houses', farm and clothiers' houses of 17th Century Calder Valley, often have decorative architectural details resembling the 'evil eye' - to ward off bad luck. Read more (19 Feb)
The people of the parish of Halifax 1539 to 1670 - Local History Society meeting with speaker David Cant - Up to half the people of England died during the Black Death of 1348; it took two centuries before the population returned to the same number. Single events such as this can have dramatic results, so the group set out to use parish records to investigate. Read report (31 Jan)
WW1: Women and Girls in the Upper Calder Valley Julia Maybury told the Local History Society that she was inspired by the commemoration of the centenary of the WW1 to explore the roles of women and girls at the time, searching newspapers, listening to some fascinating oral history recordings and using the evidence of old photographs Read more (14 Jan)
From Crime Scene to Holiday Camp: The first thing that Freda Kelsall had to deal with when she bought Hawdon Hall near Hardcastle Crags, was the tangle of names: Howden or Howdon – Hole, Hoyle or Hall? But the house also came with many stories, most famously the Hawdon Hall murder. Report of recent History Society talk. (20 Dec 2017)
Historian Steven Wood told the local history society about the Withins Farms, including Top Withins, which provided Emily Brontë with her inspiration for Wuthering Heights. Read more. (16 Nov)
How the hippies shaped Hebden Bridge: Report of the talk given by Chris Ratcliffe and Jenny Slaughter to a packed meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society, telling of communal living, revolutionary politics, alternative lifestyles and more.
Read report (2 Nov)
Todmorden Old Pub Trail- Barbara Rudman told the recent meeting of the Local History Society how her passion for the history of twentieth century pubs led her to explore the stories of the pubs in Todmorden and how they reflect social change. Read report (17 Oct 2017)
Memories from Hebden Bridge Pharmacies. The apothecary’s bottles, jars and scales on display at the recent meeting of the Local History Society seemed redolent of an ancient craft; in fact they were an essential part of the working life of Linda Powell. Read report (4 Oct 2017)
How the Hippies Changed Hebden Bridge: An exhibition organised by the Local History Society aims to show how those who moved into our area in the 1970s - the locals called them 'hippies' - kick-started the cultural renaissance which is today so Hebden Bridge. Read more.
A tale of the Great Stink! Speaker Tony Boughton gave Hebden Bridge Local History Society a talk about the problems caused by the rapid growth of urban areas in the 19th century. Read more. (16 March 2017)
People Puzzles and Earning a Living: Mike Crawford gave the The Alan Petford Memorial Lecture 2017 to the Local History Society, explaining the fascination of working with old documents. Read report (13 Feb 2017)
Mytholmroyd: the development of a Pennine village - Rodney Collinge told the Local History Society how developments from the Ice Age to the end of the 19th century have left their marks on the area. Read more. (31 Jan 2017)
1916: The women machinists' strike in Hebden Bridge Andrew Bibby told the recent History Society meeting how, exactly a hundred years ago, in November 1916, at the height of World War One, women garment makers of Hebden Bridge came out on strike. Read more
Traditional Farmhouses and Buildings in the Lancashire and Yorkshire Pennines was the subject of the recent Local History Society talk by Kevin Illingworth. Read report (19 Nov 2016)
Buried Alive? Past Funeral Customs in Calderdale: David Glover, local historian and writer, indulged a fascination with the macabre with his talk to Hebden Bridge Local History Society with an eclectic mix of tales of deaths and burials. Read more. (19 Oct)
The Brontë family Isobel Stirk told the Hebden Bridge History Society that 200 years after the birth of Charlotte Brontë a fascination with the lives of all three sisters remains as strong as ever. Read report. (5 Oct)
Joseph Wood, a Yorkshire Quaker - Pamela Cooksey told the Local History Society of his many notebooks which included accounts of his visits to the Calder Valley in the late 18th Century. Read more 28 March
Calderdale Conscientious Objectors in the First World War: John Rhodes told the Local History Society about what happened to those who opposed the war and those who sought exemption from military service on grounds of conscience. Read more 9 March
Paul Kenny, by profession a signal-man (including at Hebden Bridge) is also a keen photographer, and shared slides and his stories with the Local History Society.
Read more 16 Feb
At this recent talk, John Billingsley, author of six books on local folklore, told the Local History Society of places passed along the Long Causeway, a 'bleak and comfortless road.' Read more 18 Jan
The History of Calrec: part 2: Local History Society report with Stephen Jagger who told how the company learnt from mistakes, takeovers and technological challenges to establish a leading brand of audio mixing desks. Read more 19 Nov 2015
The Lost Kingdom of Elmet: Local History Society meeting report with speaker Dave Weldrake who used evidence from place names and archaeology to illuminate this lost kingdom from the Celtic twilight. Read more 1 Nov 2015.
When the Nutclough Mill was a co-op, it hosted an annual series of lectures, given by Oxford University dons and others on history, politics, literature and science - report from the local History Society.
Read more 29 Oct 2015
The dam that isn't and the great floating plug of the Colden - was the topic of the recent talk to the Hebden Bridge History Society. Read more - (1 April 2015)
Gruelling Experiences - in the workhouse: Peter Higginbotham's researches enabled him to to recount a complex and fascinating story to the Local History Society. Above: former workhouse: Stansfield View, 2-3 miles from HB. Read more 16 March 2015
Wakefield Court Rolls for Family History: Sylvia Thomas: president of Yorks Archaeological Society, Sylvia Thomas outlined how details about family relationships and everyday life may be gleaned from the Wakefield Court Rolls, which cover much of the former West Riding, including the Calder Valley. Read more. 18 Jan 2015
Happy Birthday Stoodley Pike. Local film-maker and historical researcher, Nick Wilding shared his filmed collection of reminiscences about the Pike, and its 200 years, with the Local History Society. Read more (16 Dec 2014)
Listed Buildings around Hebden Bridge: In the 1980s, Peter Thornborrow was given the task of suggesting buildings which should be Listed in Stansfield, Heptonstall and Wadsworth - latest Local History Society talk. Read more (14 Oct)
Valley of a Hundred Chapels: Searching online maps was the starting point for Amy Binns' fascination with chapels, as she told a packed meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society. Read more (29 Sept)
David Cant spoke about his many years studying 17th century fine houses of the Calder Valley and using documentary evidence to uncover stories of craftsmen who worked to design and construct them. Read more. (27 Jan 2014)
Hebden Bridge based chartered building surveyor, Alan Gardner, who specialises in the repair of historic buildings, shared his thoughts with members of the Local History Society. Read more. (10 Jan 2014)
Local History talk on Witchcraft in the Upper Calder Valley: As make-believe witches come knocking on our doors John Billingsley, folklorist and author of many books on the subject, told members of the Local History Society that to our ancestors witchcraft was very real indeed. More info (27 Oct)
Local History talk on Mytholmroyd's Moderna: Joan Laprell spoke to the Hebden Bridge Local History Society where she recalled the village within a village that was the Moderna Blanket Factory in Mytholmroyd, where she worked for ten years. More info (12 Oct)
Local History talk on maps: The new season of lectures for the Hebden Bridge Local History Society was launched by Tony Morris speaking about the history of maps, map-making and cartographic crime. More info (30 Sept)
Bridge Mill: History on our doorstep. Justine Wyatt, with the support of the mill’s current owner David Fletcher, has uncovered more of the story of the building, and gave a fascinating talk to the Hebden Bridge Local History Society. Read more (3 April)
Working from home in 1825; Working from home is not a new concept, Malcolm Heywood told members of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society. William Greenwood's described his several different occupations. Read more (20 March)
The Grave of Robin Hood; mysterious goings-on in Calderdale. Kai Roberts told the local history society about Robin Hood in Calderdale and especially the monument known as Robin Hood’s Grave. Read more (11 March)
Todmorden Weavers and the Great War: Alan Fowler, former lecturer in Economic and Social History, told a meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society that the local Weavers’ Association had 4000 members at its peak. Read more (20 Feb)
Untold Stories: A glimpse into the lives of local people - Tony Wright has for the past ten years been collecting personal life stories on film and audio tape. Read more (18 Jan)
City in the Hills - Corinne McDonald and Ann Kilbey told a meeting of the Local History Society of Dawson City, the building of the Walshaw Dean Reservoirs and the publication of a new book. Read more (16 Dec)
Lament For The Mills - Robert Cockcroft, poet and academic told a meeting of the Local History Society of his childhood spent close to mills owned and operated by his grandfather, John Cockcroft and his father, Keith. Read more (2 Dec)
Clubhouses: self help and co-operation - Julie Cockburn told a meeting of the Local History Society about Clubhouses, a small row of houses in Old Town which encapsulate some of the history and spirit of the Calder Valley. Read more (30 Oct 2012)
Small Town Saturday Night - The story of a love affair with rock 'n roll at its peak in the 1950s and 60s from speaker Trevor Simpson.
The world of Cornelius Ashworth, speaker Alan Petford, Local History talk of 10 October 2012
- was a magazine based upon the history of the Upper Calder Valley which ran from 2002-2006
- The Fustian Weavers' Strike 100 years on from July 1906
- The Queens Terrace Squat - mid 1970s
Dozens of newly arrived homeless people squatted a large Hebden Bridge terrace - Queens Terrace. 30 years ago, both Hebden Royd and the newly Conservative Calderdale Council, decided they should be evicted.
- Trying their luck in South Africa: Letters from the Boer War - Peter Thomas investigates the story behind the brass plaque at the entrance to the HB Town Hall, one that is dedicated to the young men of Hebden Bridge who died in South Africa. Wednesday, January 2, 2002
- More Memories of 1940 evacuee, Stan Pierce, pieced together by Frances Robinson. (July 2001)
- Memory of 1940 - Stan Pierce's memories of being evacuated from London to Hebden Bridge. (October 1999)
- Billy Holt
- Wartime evacuees make contact with Hebden Bridge family - updated, Tuesday, May 8, 2001