Bringing History Alive

Photos from the Hebden Bridge Local History Society

Family History Course for beginners

Bookings for this course close 20 December

Family History

Hebden Bridge Local History Society will be running a beginners' family history course from January. The course will cover the records you need to take your English or Welsh ancestry back to around 1840. It will include births, marriages and deaths, censuses, wills, parish registers, military records and much more. It will also cover drawing family trees, sharing information and using the large genealogy databases.

It is suitable for complete beginners or anyone who has done a bit of research already. The course will be led by a professional genealogist. It will take place at the Birchcliffe Centre on Tuesday evenings 7:30 – 9:30 pm, starting on 9 January. Download form    Download poster

Twenty thousand descend on Hardcastle Crags:

The Withins FarmsDavid Taylor, using images from the Pennine Horizons Digital Archive, conducted a virtual walk for Hebden Bridge Local History Society, following the route taken by visitors who arrived in Hebden Bridge by rail, and then walked to and around Hardcastle Crags. Over a three-day Whitsun holiday weekend in 1897 twenty thousand people enjoyed a day out in the Crags.

Read more Sunday, 26 November 2017

Changes to programme of talks

There have been some changes to the published programme of talks: Julia Maybury will now be speaking on Recognition, resilience and reward: Women and girls of the Upper Calder Valley during World War One on 10 January 2018. For the most up to date list of talks see our events page

The Withins Farms

The Withins FarmsHistorian Steven Wood told how, when the publishers of Wuthering Heights were wanting to produce an illustrated version of the book in 1873, a sketch of the site that was included showing that it was the setting, not the building called Top Withins, that provided Emily Brontë with her inspiration.

Read more Thursday, 16 November 2017

How the hippies shaped Hebden Bridge

Todmorden Old Pub Trail A packed meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society were taken back to a time easily within the memories of most of the audience by Chris Ratcliffe and Jenny Slaughter, telling of communal living, revolutionary politics, alternative lifestyles and more.

Both speakers conjured up that era at the end of the 1960s that was full of ambition about living in a way that was more creative, satisfying and equitable. For some people this meant involvement in revolutionary politics and experiments with living communally, for others it was setting up adventurous creative enterprises and dropping out of the conventional rat-race.

Read more    Wednesday, 25 October 2017

History Society Winter Talks programme

The Local History Society series of talks from September until March are now listed here in the Events section.

Find more out about seven centuries of floods in the Calder Valley, Top Withins, Thousands visiting Hardcastle Crags in the late 19th century, how the Hippies changed Hebden Bridge in the 1970s, local pharmacies, the evil eye in Mytholmroyd farms, the Norman Conquest of Yorkshire and more.

See Talks programme

Alan Petford book

This is no ordinary local history book. It is the first publication for many years to cover aspects of the history of various localities across the South Pennines, rather than focusing on the history of a specific area. Produced by the South Pennine History Group as a memorial volume for the late Alan Petford, a gifted local history lecturer, it presents the results of new research by some of the many people that he inspired. See Publications section for more info and short YouTube video.

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Autumn 2017

How to use this site

Use these pages to find information on the Society's own activities, links to local and other historical organisations' sites, and links to useful resources for local history researchers.

What do we do?

We have a programme of fortnightly talks on Wednesday evenings in Hebden Bridge Methodist Church Hall. The 2017-2018 programme starts in September. Our Archive is open to members

History Society Archive and Family History Opening Times.

Come and join us!

There are lots of activities to get involved in as well as the Society's regular programme of events.

Trestle Bridge

Trestle Bridge, Blake Dean c1904

West End Bridge

West End Bridge, 1960s


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Family History

The group runs a popular programme of workshops and drop-in sessions at the Birchcliffe Centre

Churn Milk Joan

A major role of folklore is to express the 'common sense' of a community - in other words, the shared rhythms and beliefs and ways of doing things that are accepted and largely followed locally.

Midgley Moor

For some years now a small group of friends has been exploring the evidence for prehistoric activity in the South Pennines.

Calderside Mill

What you find in this section are the results of about ten years work - visiting archives, interviewing local residents and digging up new photos.