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News after December 1998


Thursday, December 24, 1998

St George's Square was packed to overflowing this evening for the annual Chritmas Eve carol singing from 6.30-7.30 pm. This year, the weather stayed fresh but fine.

St George's Square, Christmas Eve 1998


Thursday, December 17, 1998

Many Hebden Bridge people joined a vigil in the centre of Hebden Bridge this evening to protest against the bombing of Iraq. There will be a further vigil tomorrow, Friday 18th December between 5pm and 6pm. The Halifax Courier tonight reports local labour MP, Chris McCafferty as saying that the use of force was regrettable but necessary.


Monday, December 14, 1998

Characterised in View from the Bridge as "Professional Yorkshireman" or "Minister for Paperclips" in the Thatcher Government, Sir Bernard Ingham has been arrested for allegedly damaging a neighbour's car. He was bailed today after being questioned at Croydon police station. The row apparently started when Sir Bernard objected to a neighbour driving over part of his land. The son of a Hebden Bridge cotton weaver, Bernard Ingham worked on the Hebden Bridge Times for some years before moving to Fleet Street and later becoming Press Secretary to Margaret Thatcher.


Sunday, December 6, 1998

School performance tables, publishedlast week reveal a disturbing drop in the percentage of children gaining five or more GCSEs at Calder High School. The figure dropped from 45% last year to 38% this year - way below the national average of 46%. When social factors are taken into consideration, this figure looks very worrying for local parents.

Today's Observer uses unreleased government information to rank schools' performances, taking into account social factors. Peter Clarke's Rastrick comes top of the list of 15 secondary schools in Calderdale. Calder High comes third from bottom, and three places below The Ridings.

LINDSAY RIMER: Police to question man
HBW News
Tuesday, November 17, 1998

Police are going to question Halifax man John Oswin about the murder of Lindsay Rimer who disappeared 4 years ago this month. He was yesterday given life imprisonment for the rape of two women and the indecent assault of two girls. Oswin's horrific attacks were on females on canal tow paths late at night - Lindsay's body was found weighted down in the Rochdale Canal.

Tuesday, November 17, 1998
Freelance artists and media workers for combined arts projects

Whitewood and Fleming, an established theatre and music company with a strong reputation for producing imaginative high energy performance and arts projects are seeking to develop their pool of freelance artists. The company is undertaking a series of projects in Calderdale working in a variety of community settings (schools, children's homes, youth centres, community groups) using drama, music, video, combined arts.

We are hoping to extend our team and are keen to hear from artists who are interested in working in a community context. CV to Whitewood and Fleming Theatre and Music, Millroyd Mills, 17 Huddersfield Road, Brighouse, West Yorkshire HD6 1NP

LINDSAY RIMER: Still no arrest!

HBW News
Sunday, November 8, 1998

It is now four years since the murder of Lindsay Rimer who was just 13 when she disappeared.

This terrible crime remains unsolved. This year for the first time the anniversary has failed to receive little attention in the local press. Other local murders also remain unsolved - see hot debate

HBW News
Thursday, October 29, 1998

Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate since 1984, has died of cancer aged 68. One of the most innovative, accomplished and contentious writers of his generation, Hughes had kept his illness a secret for the past 18 months. In the last years of his life he received several prestigious prizes honouring his work. Tales from Ovid won the 1997 Whitbread Book of the Year, and he received the 1998 Forward Prize for Poetry for Birthday Letters, a series of revelatory poems describing his tempestuous relationship with Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide in 1963. Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd and Sylvia Plath is buried in Heptonstall.

From now on the land
Will have to manage without him.
But it hesitates, in this slow realisation of light,
Childlike, too naked in a frail sun,
With roots cut
And a great blank in its memory.

from The day he died, Moortown

Sunday Market for "Fanny and Elvis"
Sunday, October 4, 1998

HBW News
Thursday, September 17, 19988

On Tuesday, hundreds signed up at the Trades Club for the opportunity to be extras in Fanny and Elvis, a feature film shortly to be shot in Hebden Bridge. The film, a romantic comedy on the theme of a woman writer anxious to conceive while there is still time, has been written by Kay Mellor of "Band of Gold " fame.

HBW News
Tuesday, September 15, 19988

The Government has now given Calderdale until next summer to turn around its performance with regard to local schools. The Council has appointed an interim Head of Education and has accepted an action plan developed by independent consultants

HBW News
Tuesday, September 15, 1998

Hebden Bridge traders have welcomed the decision to introduce video cameras in the town centre. Regularly over the past few years, the centre of town has been badly damaged and shop windows have been smashed. It is hoped that with improved surveillance this will stop.

HBW News
Wednesday, September 9, 1998

The Guardian reports this morning that the head of education in Calderdale has announced his early retirement after a damning report by independent consultants. Ian Jennings has had ultimate responsibility for the schools in the Hebden Bridge area for the past few years. Calderdale Council has apparently accepted the criciticisms and intends to have an Action Plan ready before next Monday's deadline.

September 5, 1998
Civil Liberties and Parliamentary Scrutiny - Comment on local MP's support of Terrorism Bill from Simon Stewart
HBW News
Saturday, September 5, 1998

Towards the end of next week, David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education, will decide whether to send a "hit squad" to sort out Calderdale's Education and take over the running of local schools. Inspectors have reported serious weaknesses in the adminstration of local schools, especially in the area of management. Several schools have failed inspections and one in particular, The Ridings, made national headlines. Many parents in Hebden Bridge remained seriously concerned about their children's future.

HBW News
Saturday, August 8, 1998

WHEREAS certain wicked and avaricious persons known as the Orange Personal Communications Service Limited have taken a lease on a close of land adjacent to Brink Top on Heights Road in the Township of Wadsworth for the purpose of erecting a telephone mast some 45ft high.

AND WHEREAS such action was taken after the successful petitioning of the inhabitants of the adjacent Township of Midgely against the erection of a monstrous mast (180ft or more in height) in Han Royd Wood by the same said telephone company.

See whole notice
HBW News
Saturday, July 18, 1998

A PROPOSED 11-22 ACRE motorbike and four wheel drive events development could produce a danger to both human and animal health claims the Save Stansfield Moor Campaign

The development site at local beauty spot Dukes Cut, Blackshaw Head runs alongside a Department of Environment designated site of triple scientific interest (SSSI). It has also been classified under Heritage and Moorland Protection Schemes by the South Pennine Moorland Association.

The group who have been monitoring the site for some time have already recorded declining numbers of curlews and red shanks and other wildlife as a direct result of the increased activity on the site. The developer has used earth moving machines on large areas of the moor completely stripping it of grasses, heather and peat leaving an unstable surface. This will be further eroded the more this site is used for its proposed purpose.

Fax 01422 846795, E-mail moor@osbornehart.co.uk or write to Campaign Headquarters at Tops Riding Centre, Lower Blackshaw Farm, Blackshaw Head, Hebden Bridge

Click here for a popup window showing Riverside Festival on its sunnier day - Saturday, 11th July 1998
HBW News
Tuesday, July 7, 1998
The forthcoming Arts Festival debate on drugs and prohibition has become topical and relevant with the jailing this week of 2 well known Hebden Bridge men. They were convicted of bringing more than two kilos of marijuana back with them from a trip to the south of Spain. Max got 3 years and Niven 18 months. New Scientist's Special Marijuana Report provides excellent information for this debate.
Monday, June 1, 1998
From the middle of June to the middle of July, no-one driving along the A646 will be left in any doubt that something special is happening in Hebden Bridge. During this summer's Arts Festival, the town will be festooned in three kilometres of magenta and white bunting! The whole town centre, and a number of local mills - Walkleys, Machpelah, Beehive - which are housing extensive art and textile exhibitions, Gibsons Mill, and all other festival venues, will be a-flutter with pink and white.

At 1.OO PM in St. George's Square on Saturday 13th June Jane Cox, who stars as Lisa Dingle in 'Emmerdale', will open the festival.

Read latest info bulletin on festival at http://www.hebdenbridge.co.uk/festival

Reply to Barbara Malpas on the RDC proposals from Peter Davis, John Stansfield and John Morrison

Worried about traffic congestion? Read Mieszek's message

Friday, May 22, 1998
Hello, my name is Barbara Malpas, I am from the Rural Development Commission based in York, my responsibility area is the West Yorkshire Pennine district.

In November 1996 The Rochdale Canal Partnership were awarded a grant of 1 million to make improvements along the canal, these included a balancing pond at Mayroyd, Market Site move, Canal Management and Interpretation Centre, Cyber Cafe, cycle route, all of which were targeted on Hebden Bridge. In addition other plans for projects are to take place along the canal between Luddenden Foot and Wallsden.

To date little of this money has been spent. The Market Site is eligible for the most support. The grant was offered in good faith and at the time received community support. I gather, unofficially, that this is not now the case but would like to receive your feedback. The money has been allocated towards the above schemes. Do readers have a view on the implementation of these schemes and the distribution of the funds? I welcome all comments constructively and may use them to support further action.

Barbara Malpas

HBW News
Friday, May 8, 1998
Labour lost to the Liberal Democrats all four seats being contested in the Hebden Bridge area. Julie Dower and Michael Taylor took the Calder Valley seats while Jane Brown and Christine Bampton-Smith took the Luddenden Foot seats. A year ago, Labour had 50% of the vote in Calderdale. Yesterday, it was 29%. Labour just retains control in Calderdale but only on the mayor's vote.

Calderdale Council's record in education will have been a major factor. Apart from the threat to Hebden Bridge schools, Calderdale has threatened to close the schools of music and sport, and to remove the grant to the Saturday drama school. At the same time, local schools have failed inspections, and the general level of attainment continues to cause serious concern.

HBW News
Wednesday, May 6, 1998
Councillors last night voted to keep open all Hebden Bridge primary schools - just in time for tomorrow's local elections. Campaigners were celebrating after mounting a strong and effective campaign. Councillors have decided to consider reducing the capacity of Central Street and Riverside Schools. Any proposals will be subject to further public consultation.

Monday, 4th May: Great Northern Woodcraft Folk Walk - photo

Pace Egg Play
HBW News
Friday, 10th April, 1998
See digital pictures of the traditional Good Friday Pace Egg Play as performed by the Heptonstall Players in Weavers Square - in the cold, wind and sleet.
Local Press Veto Internet Book
HBW News
Thursday, April 2, 1998
The Hebden Bridge Times interviewed local author, John Morrison and a feature article was prepared about his latest publication, View From the Bridge which has been serialised on the Hebden Bridge Web for the past year. At the last minute, the Editor pulled the article. Reporters at its sister paper, the Halifax Evening Courier have been ordered not to talk to John Morrison. As regular visitors to the Hebden Bridge Web will know, the book is irreverent, satirical and attacks some of the icons of small town mentality. Please read it yourselves and let the Editors of the local papers know what you think.
CS Gas used in quiet HB street: twice in a month!!!
HBW News
Saturday, March 28, 1998
Windsor Road is a quiet street at the edge of Hebden Bridge, trees at the back and a green to the front. Today, for the second time in a month the police have used CS gas to arrest an apparently disturbed young man. Three weeks ago, a man jumped naked out of a 4th story window after having the gas used upon him. Miraculously, he survived but is still in hospital very seriously ill. Today, police dressed in riot gear used gas again and then smashed in the front door to arrest another young man. Residents have contacted the police and asked for an explanation as to why gas is so readily being used in preference to other methods.
Save Our Schools
HBW News
Friday, March 20, 1998
The campaign to protect local schools continues to gain momentum. Calderdale Council is holding a public consultation meeting at the Birchcliffe Centre on Monday, 23rd March at 7.30pm. The Save Our Schools (SOS) is urging people to come to the meeting where questions may be put face to face with local councillors
IRAQ: Join the vigil
HBW News
Monday 9th February, 1998
A second vigil about the Iraq crisis.
** Friday 13th February from 5-6pm at the traffic lights in the centre of Hebden. Bring candles in jars, banners, placards.
Hundreds Support Demonstration
HBW News
Saturday, January 31, 1998
Hundreds of parents, children, teachers and friends joined the demonstration today in the centre of Hebden Bridge, protesting against the threatened closure of local schools - see below. A human chain was made from Stubbings School all the way to Riverside and traffic was stopped. TV cameras were present and Chris MacCafferty, the Calder Valley MP addressed the demonstrators in St. George's Square.

See digital camera pictures of the demonstration

School Closures
HBW News
Friday, January 23, 1998
Parents in Hebden Bridge are worried by proposals made by Calderdale Council to close down one of the town's three primary schools. Both Riverside Junior and Central Street Infants Schools currently have surplus places but the most likely candidate for closure seems to be the full Stubbings Infants' School which recently received praise from OFSTED.

A petition to save Stubbings School has been launched and is available for signing in many local shops. There is a meeting to discuss the plans at 7.30 pm in The White Lion on Tuesday 27th. January. Next Saturday, 31st. January a human chain from Stubbings to Riverside and Central Street Schools is planned, first meeting in St. Georgešs Square at 2 pm. People are also invited to a mass lobby of the Council on 4th. February at Halifax Town Hall at 5 pm.

COMMENT - Toilet closing

L Sullivan, Boston, USA
Sun, 11 Jan 1998 21:25:52 EST

I am from America but, occasionally visit Hebden Bridge. One of the things about the area is that an auto is not necessary for tourism so, like many tourists, I arrive at the bus stop. The first sight of town is the closed toilet. It was bad enough when it was usable. Could it not have been instead improved? Though at first glance it would seem that there are better uses for limited resources, such things add up in the mind of the visitor, who does in fact provide some of the income that pays for facilities used year round.

Carol Singing in Wind and Rain

HBW News
Wednesday, 24th December 1997
Hundreds packed into St. George's Square in Hebden Bridge for the annual Christmas Eve carol singing - in spite of the gales and heavy rain. However, this year the singing only lasted just over a half an hour.

St George's Square, Hebden Bridge, 24th December 1997

Calderdale Education: Getting Worse

HBW News
Tuesday, November 18, 1997
Once again, education in Calderdale is giving cause for concern. Most Calderdale Secondary Schools failed to improve their GCSE and A level results, according to Government figures published today. Although results at our local secondary school, Calder High were a little better, the school's results remain just below the national average. Given the catchment area, this is disappointing.

Candlelight Vigil for Lindsay Rimer

HBW News
Monday, November 3, 1997
Over 100 people, many holding candles, gathered tonight in the centre of Hebden Bridge to mark the third anniversary of the murder of Lindsay Rimer who was 13 when she was killed.

Many of those there expressed concern that this terrible crime is still unsolved and that someone in Hebden Bridge must know, or have strong suspicions, about who the killer is.

School Closure Threat

HBW News
Friday, October 24, 1997
Calderdale Council auditors have reported that there are too many empty places in schools in the Hebden Bridge area and have recommended that schools be closed or merged. Rumours of a possible merger of Central Street Infants School with the nearby Riverside Junior School have as yet not been confirmed.

Download Riverside Ofsted Report

HBW News
Monday, September 29, 1997
The Ofsted Report into Riverside School is now available online. As the document is a pdf file, you will need an Acrobat Reader or a pdf plugin for your browser.

Lounge Lizard Clothes Counterfeited

'H Gregg'
Wednesday, September 17, 1997
Help! We think that Lounge Lizard clothes are being counterfeited. We want to use the Internet to try to find those who are doing it. A customer came into the shop and said that she had seen our clothes being sold on the Costa Blanca. I am e-mailing anyone I can find in the area to ask for help. Here is a copy.

Council Officials Shocked by Parents' Anger

HBW News
Monday, September 15, 1997
At a crowded meeting at Riverside School this evening, parents angrily demanded answers from Ian Jennings, Director of Education, Michael Higgins, Chairman of the Education Committee and other Council representatives. Why had the Council not acted earlier to do something about the problems at the school? What help was the Council going to provide? In spite of many excellent, impassioned comments and speeches from parents, the response was generally bureaucratic and legalistic offering nothing tangible.

When asked directly if he personally felt any responsibility for the school failing the inspection so badly, the Director said "I have to shoulder my share of the responsibility."

Many parents hadn't realised until the meeting that the Special Needs help at the school, which was one of the few areas praised by the Inspectors, had since been cut.

Riverside School - the need for full debate

Margaret Boyle and John Rhodes
Saturday, September 13, 1997
We are not prepared to gloss over the very serious failings reported by the inspectors. If unsatisfactory teaching is occurring in 46 per cent of classes, progress in lessons is generally unsatisfactory in all lessons except history, music and religious education and the general school ethos is unsatisfactory etc. then we have little to be complacent about.

We have written to the chairman of governors to request an urgent meeting to be called of all parents as soon as possible to involve us in the process of putting together an Action Plan to develop and improve the school. This means all interested groups, teachers, pupils, parents, governors and the wider community working out a real partnership approach. To do this, of course, we have to accept that much is wrong and needs to be debated openly and fully.

Minister Walks Forbidden Moor
from the Ramblers' Association,
Thursday, September 11, 1997

On Friday, 12th September, Countryside Minister, the Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP will join members of the 121,000 strong Ramblers' Association and others on a walk across forbidden moorland in West Yorkshire. The Minister will hear the views of ramblers in advance of its consultation paper on freedom-to-roam across uncultivated land. The landowner has given his permission for this one day only: thereafter the "Keep Out" signs will come back into force.
See Boulsworth pages

Orange Masts on Moors
from B J Boland, Thursday, September 11, 1997

The August half yearly report from Orange now claims 95% coverage of the population with 2900 masts They are planning to increase these to over 6000 by early 1999 with considerable expenditures still planned beyond that. The technology is also being advanced so that full internet facilities will be available from their wirefree system.This they acknowledge will be further extended as they apply for the next generation of licences.

The reason then for more than doubling the number of masts is to capture the remaining 5% of the population and to allow our rural areas to be accessible to lone travellers.It seems that every nook and cranny then of every Yorksuire Dale and Moor, the remote areas of the Lakes, Mid Wales and Scotland are going to be invaded by masts, most of which will be highly visible. Is this what we really want, now that the main areas of population have been covered? Let us rethink the strategy and curtail the destruction of country side.

Closing Toilets

Tim Swift - a former Hebden Royd resident and Town Councillor
Thursday, September 11, 1997

Shame on everyone for all the nonsense about the closing of the toilets in Hebden Bridge!

A black mark for local residents, who seem to have the knack of getting tremendously agitated about relatively trivial issues (viz the previous campaign about charging 20 pence to park a car) whilst staying silent about, e.g. the Council's plans for huge increases in home care charges.

But a black mark too for the council - if there is only going to be one public toilet in each area (which is defensible) how can an authority which is trying to claim green credentials keep open the toilet by the car park and close the one next to the bus stop?

News after December 1998

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