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Hebden 500

Hebden 500: Eye-catching signs go up at both ends of Hebden Bridge

Monday, 3 May 2010

Eye-catching new signs have gone up at both ends of Hebden Bridge, welcoming people to this creative hotspot and to the 500th anniversary celebrations.

So Hebden Bridge

The signs, the work of local designer Mike Barrett of Frogsdesign, were inspired by plaques on the stone packhorse bridge from which the town gets its name.

The bridge, built in 1510, was repaired in 1602 and again in 1657. Each repair was marked with a plaque. And it’s these that have inspired the style and the typeface that Mike created especially for the anniversary.

“The weathered lettering is now hard to read, but a photograph taken by Martin Parr in the 1970s shows the inscriptions quite clearly,” explains Mike. “Lettering on the two plaques shows some variation: the earlier one being coarser and more rounded, but they both seem to be based on a similar model and show similarities to 17th century gravestone inscriptions.”

As well as this unmissable welcome to Hebden Bridge’s big birthday year, there’s no shortage of unmissable happenings – with even more events added to the programme.

On May 29 and 30, Hebden Bridge launches as a ‘transition town’ — celebrating the 500th anniversary as well as the beginning of the next 500 years of sustainability. The official launch weekend includes a transition zone, with solar- and bike-powered stages, solar cinema, food growing, workshops, cafe and stalls. More details

In June and July, talented local photographer Craig Shaw is showing his ever-growing collection of photos of the historic bridges in the area. The exhibition, supported by the Hebden Bridge Local History Society, also includes information on their history and folklore, along with photos from the past. It’s on at the Trades Club as well as online.

Now with its theme decided for this year, the Handmade Parade open workshops run from June 5 to 24. Absolutely everyone is being invited to come along to make costumes, giant puppets and parade art ahead of the Handmade Parade on June 26. Expect some weird and wonderful creations to fit with the Hop, Skip and a Jump theme, celebrating journeys real and imaginary.

Another new event for the list is the chance to walk in the footsteps of Ted Hughes on a guided discovery of the historic village of Heptonstall and the places and landscape that inspired the poet and writer. The event begins at 11am on June 12, September 4 and October 3 with a screening of the short film Sacred Place, which introduces Hughes and his childhood years in Mytholmroyd. There are also shorter versions of the walk on May 22, July 3 and September 25). People do need to book by calling Heptonstall Museum on 01422 843738 or 843831.

More celebrations to watch out for include the Hepton Singers’ summer festival concert on July 3, which will span 500 years of sacred and secular music; Treesponsibility’s 500-tree planting event in September, and Calderdale Theatre School’s festival of drama in October, with visitors from around the world.

There’s a full listing of HB500 events at www.hebden500.co.uk.

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