Bringing History Alive

Photos from the Hebden Bridge Local History Society

Women and Girls in the Upper Calder Valley: Recognition, Resilience and Reward in World War 1

War MemorialHebden Bridge Local History Society member Julia Maybury was inspired by the activities planned to commemorate the centenary of the First World War to explore the roles of women and girls at the time, searching Hebden Bridge and Halifax newspapers, listening to some fascinating oral history recordings and using the evidence of old photographs to discover stories that have often been disregarded..

Read more Wednesday, 10 January 2018

From Crime Scene to Holiday Camp: Stories of Hawdon Hall

Hawdon HallThe first thing that Freda Kelsall had to contend with when she purchased the property near Hardcastle Crags, was the tangle of names that attached to the place: Howden or Howdon – Hole, Hoyle or Hall? But the house also came with many stories that have fascinated Freda ever since, most famously the Hawdon Hall murder.

Read more Wednesday, 20 December 2017

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

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.