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News and reports
The Society organises a winter programme from September to March

The Withins Farms Historian 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. Thursday, 16 November 2017

How the hippies shaped Hebden Bridge 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. Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Todmorden Old Pub Trail - As she told the Hebden Bridge Local History Society, Barbara Rudman's passion for the history of twentieth century pubs led her to explore the stories of the pubs in Todmorden and how they reflect social change. For centuries drinking ale was the healthy option compared with unclean water, and most farmers would  be brewing for the family and neighbourhood. The first commercial ale houses were often farms on the tops, such as the Sportsman's at Kebcote, where thirsty travellers on the packhorse routes sought rest and refreshment. Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Memories from Hebden Bridge Pharmacies The apothecary’s bottles, jars and scales on display at the season’s first meeting of Hebden Bridge Local History Society seemed redolent of an ancient craft; in fact they were an essential part of the working life of long time Society member Linda Powell, who began her career in the Co-op Pharmacy in Hebden Bridge in the 1960s. Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Unity Plaque Unveiled at Hebden Bridge Town Hall Hebden Bridge has a long history of involvement in The Cooperative Movement and this was remembered recently when the Mayor, Pat Fraser, unveiled a plaque in the Greenwood Room at the Town Hall. The Greenwood Room had recently been refurbished by the Community Association. Joseph Greenwood, after whom the room is named, was a founder member and long-term manager of the Hebden Bridge Fustian Manufacturing Company. Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Artisan Naturalists: Speaker Rob Trueblood told the History Society about self-taught working men - e.g., handloom weavers, shoemaker and tin worker - who became experts in Botany. 29 March 2017

Be thankful you can flush. A tale of the Great Stink! Speaker Tony Boughton gave Hebden Bridge Local History Society a talk about the problems caused by the rapid growth of urban areas in the 19th century Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Exhibition: How the Hippies changed Hebden Bridge - An 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.

Great Uncle Percy: Inventor of ‘Cats’ Eyes’
Glenda 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’. Wednesday, 1 March 2017

People Puzzles and Earning a Living:  
Mike 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. Monday, 13 February 2017

Mytholmroyd: the development of a Pennine village
Rodney 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 a comprehensive talk to Hebden Bridge Local History Society, Rodney described  how developments from the Ice Age to the end of the 19th century have left their marks on the area.
Read report 31 January 2017

Did I see Marilyn?
Allan Stuttard gave a talk on his time as a soldier during the Korean War. It was 1952 and conscription was the lot of all 18 old boys, and Allan Stuttard was eager to leave his Hebden Bridge factory work and see something of the world.
Read report 19 January 2017

A local view of Carols and Christmas
Diana Monahan gave a talk to the History Society on carols, tracing them back to medieval times, when they were frequently accompanied by joyful circle dances.
Read report Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Women, down tools! The women machinists' strike in Hebden Bridge
Andrew Bibby told the recent History Society meeting how, exactly a hundred years ago, in November 1916, at the height of World War One, women garment makers of Hebden Bridge came out on strike.
Read report 30 November 2016

Traditional Farmhouses and Buildings in the Lancashire and Yorkshire Pennines
The traditional buildings of his local area have fascinated Kevin Illingworth for many years and the large audience which gathered at a recent meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society obviously shared his enthusiasm.
Read report   16 November 2016

AGM & Members Research Reports
Gracie Fields, transpennine crossings and industrial use of woodlands were topics covered at the recent meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society
Read report
2 November 2016

Buried Alive? Past Funeral Customs in Calderdale
David Glover, local historian and writer, indulged a fascination with the macabre with his talk to Hebden Bridge Local History Society with an eclectic mix of tales of deaths and burials.
Read report
12 October 2016

History Societies Unite in aid of Flood Relief Fund. Part of Calder Valley Heritage Day on Saturday 22nd October at Methodist Church, Market Street, Hebden Bridge. Hebden Bridge, Cragg Vale and Mytholmroyd Historical Societies have come together to organise a joint venture, the proceeds of which are to go to the Flood Relief Fund. Read more

The Brontë family
Isobel Stirk told the Local History Society that two hundred years after the birth of Charlotte Brontë a fascination with the lives of all three sisters remains as strong as ever.
Read report
28 September 2016

Joseph Wood, a Yorkshire Quaker
Pamela Cooksey told the Local History Society of his many notebooks which included accounts of his visits to the Calder Valley in the late 18th Century.
Read report
23 March 2016

Calderdale Conscientious Objectors in the First World War
1914 had seen a kind of war fever, where any anti-war sentiment would be howled down as unpatriotic. John Rhodes, who has made a study of this period, told Society members about what happened to those who opposed the war and those who sought exemption from military service on grounds of conscience.
Read report
9 March 2016

Calder Valley Connections to Magna Carta - Alan Petford Memorial Lecture
David Cant explained to the audience at the Local History Society, the charter was basically a peace treaty, broken within months.
Read report
24 Feb 2016

Railway Roundabout
Paul Kenny, by profession a signal-man (including at Hebden Bridge) is also a keen photographer, and shared his slides and his stories with the Hebden Bridge Local History Society.
Read report
10 Feb 2016

Restoring a Unique Organ
At this recent talk, Peter Jeffery explained how a special organ came to be restored during the time when he was vicar of Cornholme.
Read report
31 Jan 2016

Tales along the Packhorse Way
At this recent talk, John Billingsley, author of six books on local folklore, told the Local History Society of places passed along the Long Causeway, a 'bleak and comfortless road.'
Read report
18 Jan 2016

Vanishing for the Vote
Jill Liddington told the Local History Society of the moment in history when, in 1911, suffragettes urged women, still without the vote at that time, to boycott the census.
Read report
9 Dec 2015

Widdop and the Shackletons
John Shackleton told the Local History Society how his family history search led him to the the remote hill-top settlement of Widdop.
Read report
1 Dec 2015

The History of Calrec: part 2:
Local History Society report with Stephen Jagger who told how the company learnt from mistakes, takeovers and technological challenges to establish a leading brand of audio mixing desks. Read more 11 Nov 2015

What's in a Name:
Local History Society meeting report with speakers Keith Stansfield and Barbara Atack. An insight into local dialects and surnames of the Calder Valley. Read report   28 Oct 2015

The Lost Kingdom of Elmet
Local History Society meeting report with speakers Keith Stansfield and Barbara Atack. An insight into local dialects and surnames of the Calder Valley. Read report   14 Nov 2015

When Oxford University Came to Hebden Bridge
When the Nutclough Mill was a co-op, it hosted an annual series of lectures, given by Oxford University dons and others on history, politics, literature and science. Talk by Andrew Bibby
Read more  23 Sept 2015

News

WitchcraftGoing to War

Mike Crawford's book, Going to War, tells of the first weeks of The Great War and the experiences of Calderdale people during that critical time: people at home and people in uniform.

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News

Alan PetfordAlan Petford: The untimely death of local historian Alan Petford, on 11th February 2015, is a devastating loss for the many local history groups and organisations he has worked alongside. Alan was a long-time friend of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society.

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Spring 2016 newsletter

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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

Upper Calderdale's suitability for the preservation of local cultural tradition is nowhere shown as strongly as in its wealth of folk tales about places, many of which are still being passed on by word of mouth.

Midgley Moor

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