Bringing History Alive

Photos from the Hebden Bridge Local History Society

John F Bateman: Britain's foremost reservoir engineer & local lad

Memories of Foster MillIn a fascinating Zoom talk to Hebden Bridge Local History Society, Michael O'Grady, senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Huddersfield, explored the construction of local reservoirs, and the stellar career of John F Bateman, the engineer behind the planning, design and making of Hebden Bridge's earth embankment reservoirs. Read report   (27 Feb 2020)

Who built Hebden Bridge?

Glee UnionsWe so often take our own neighbourhood for-granted, but Michael Peel's talk to Hebden Bridge Local History Society brought to life the history of the buildings that make up Hebden Bridge's 'Victorian Quarter' and form an important part of the character of the town. The talk focused on the area known as 'the Croft' between Commercial Street, New Road and Bridge Gate

Read report   Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The history of social housing in Heptonstall

HeptonstallJust over a hundred years after the call from David Lloyd George to build ‘Homes fit for Heroes,’ cultural historian Mary Ellen celebrated the history of the Heptonstall Council Estate. Her Zoomed talk to Hebden Bridge Local History Society was testament to the optimism and ambition to demolish  slums and house working people in decent and roomy accommodation, especially those returning from war. Read report (1 Feb 2021)

Journeys between the worlds

Pace EggThe paths that we use to explore our landscape carry the marks of those who used them over the centuries, but some were of special significance, to the living and the dead. John Billingsley, local historian and folklorist, told a capacity Zoom webinar for Hebden Bridge Local History Society about the tracks along which the bodies and souls of the dead were taken to their final resting place. Read more

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

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)

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.

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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.