Bringing History Alive

Photos from the Hebden Bridge Local History Society

Common Problems: the history of common land in northern England

Pace EggA capacity Zoom audience joined Angus Winchester, Emeritus Professor of History at Lancaster University, for a talk which explored the history of common land in the north of England, but which also carried contemporary resonances of ways to share resources and maintain good neighbourliness.

Read more

The Alan Petford Memorial Fund

Memories of Foster MillGrant applications are now invited by The Alan Petford Memorial Fund. This fund is administered by the South Pennine History Group. The Fund was started in memory of Alan Petford (1953-2015) whose work with local history societies in the South Pennines inspired them to carry out original research and to communicate local history to communities.

More info and application form   (10 Dec 2020)

Laura Annie Willson – suffragette, builder, engineer.

Memories of Foster MillAnne Kirker, local and family historian, recounted a fascinating story to the online meeting of Hebden Bridge Local History Society of a woman who is justly seen as quite extraordinary. Laura Annie Buckley was born to a poor working class family in Halifax and went to become a trades unionist, member of the Independent Labour Party and more.

Read report   (3 Dec 2020)

The Alan Petford Memorial Lecture:
The Fieldens and their legacy in Todmorden

Glee UnionsThe story of the Fieldens in Todmorden is one of rags to riches, Anne Mealia, local historian and genealogist, told her audience at the well-attended Zoom meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society. There's hardly any aspect of life in 19th century Todmorden that the Fieldens didn't influence is some way, and their mark is found in the striking buildings that give the town much of its character. Read report Thursday, 19 November 2020

History Society Autumn 2020 Programme

Meetings until at least Christmas will be held via Zoom as we are not able to hold physical meetings.  Members will receive instructions via email about how to join the talks.

People who are not members of the society are welcome to attend our lectures. The cost is £3 payable by bank transfer or PayPal. To register and obtain full payment details please email. Once we have received payment you will be sent a link to join the lecture.  Registration must be made before 3pm on the day of the lecture and places are limited.

Alternatively, you can get access to the whole programme of lectures for £12 by joining the society.

See details of Autumn talks

Frank Woolrych

Frank WoolrychIt is with great sadness that we report the death of Frank Woolrych. He was born a Lancashire Lad but devoted much of his latter years to promoting the heritage of the Upper Calder Valley in Yorkshire. This was his passion.

Frank was President of our History Society for 12 years.

Read obituary (1 March)

Alan Petford book

Heptonstall and Wadsworth Probate Records 1688 – 1700: This collection of wills and inventories offer vivid insights into life and death among the people of Heptonstall and Wadsworth at the end of the seventeenth century.

See Publications section for more info.

Download Newsletter
Autumn 2019

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 2018-2019 programme started 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.