Bringing History Alive

Photos from the Hebden Bridge Local History Society

The Artisan Naturalists

Percy ShawSpeaker Rob Trueblood told the History Society about self-taught working men - e.g., handloom weavers, shoemaker and tin worker - who became experts in Botany. These men from Lancashire and Yorkshire would meet, sometimes on ’botanizing’ field trips, and correspond. But what was even more significant was their passion to teach as well as to learn. Read more   29 March 2017

Be thankful you can flush. A tale of the Great Stink!

Percy ShawIn the summer of 1858, the city of London came to a standstill. And what brought London to its knees was the stench emanating from the River Thames. The river was literally choking on raw sewage. Speaker Tony Boughton gave a talk about the problems caused by the rapid growth of urban areas in the 19th century.

Read more   15 March 2017

Exhibition: How the Hippies changed Hebden Bridge

Percy ShawAn exhibition organised by the Hebden Bridge Local History Society aims to show how those who moved into our area in the 1970s - the locals called them ‘hippies’ - kick-started the cultural renaissance which is today so Hebden Bridge.

The Exhibition runs from Monday, 6 March for 5 weeks at Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

Read more   6 March 2017

Great Uncle Percy: Inventor of ‘Cats’ Eyes’

Percy ShawGlenda Shaw shared the story of Percy Shaw, inventor of the reflecting road studs we call ‘Cats’ Eyes’, with Hebden Bridge Local History Society, and showed how he became a ‘Yorkshire icon’. She spoke with obvious fondness and admiration for her great uncle and his achievements, joking that he was responsible for ‘her 15 minutes of fame’. Read more   1 March 2017

People Puzzles and Earning a Living

PuzzlesMike Crawford gave the The Alan Petford Memorial Lecture 2017. The work of local historian and educator Alan Petford is still much missed, but his legacy is very much alive in the flowering of seeds planted by him, such as the project to transcribe and make available the wills and other probate documents from the parish of Halifax at the end of the seventeenth century. Read more   13 Feb 2017

Mytholmroyd: the development of a Pennine village

MytholmroydRodney Collinge was both a pupil and a teacher at Calder High School, and now as he looks out on those familiar hills, he likes to imagine the people who have walked those tracks in the past. In his talk, Rodney described  how developments from the Ice Age to the end of the 19th century have left their marks on the area.
Read more
  31 Jan 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.

Download Newsletter
Autumn 2016

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

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.