How the Hippies changed Hebden Bridge
Exhibition at Hebden Bridge Town Hall

CoverAn 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.

See selections from the exhibition online here

The focus is on the 1970s as this was the decade when alternative types began to move to Hebden Bridge in significant numbers. This led to a change in character of the town which resulted in its reputation for having a radical edge, attracting kindred spirits and eventually being declared the 4th funkiest town in the world.

Included in the Exhibition are photos from the 1970s and people’s memories from that time and of how they came to end up here. One thing which was very different from today is photography. Back then, cameras were expensive, not everyone had one, films had to be processed, also at a cost. So good photos which captured the spirit of the times proved hard to come across. One photographer who managed to capture the zeitgeist of the times was Eric Williams, who arrived in Hebden Bridge in May 1975.


Back in the day

Also on display are a map of where the new settlers moved to, and a collage of some of the books which were popular and influential.

The Exhibition is very much a work in in progress. The organisers hope that there are others who will send in their memories of moving to the area in the 1970s, and share any photos they may have. In order for this to happen, organisers are suggesting that people come along to the Town Hall in between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday 18 March.There will be a scanner available to capture photographs.

Alternatively, those with memories and photos could send them to hebdenbridgehippies@gmail.com

Featured in the exhibition are the Queens Terrace Squat, womens’groups, how Aurora Wholefoods brought brown rice, lentils and herbs to the town, renovation of derelict properties, living off the land, yoga guru Bob Lynn and new forms of spirituality, experiments with alternative forms of child care and a wider artistic, creative counter culture.

See parts of the Exhibition online at www.hebdenbridge.co.uk/hippies/

Hippies today

Some of the ‘hippies’ today, still enjoying the Hebden Bridge sunshine

Details of all the society’s activities can be found on our website www.hebdenbridgehistory.org.uk  and you can also follow us on our Facebook page.

Autumn 2021 newsletter

Download Newsletter

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.