Local History Society events
Our 2013/14 Winter Programme of twelve lecturers will commence on Wednesday 25th September 2013 at the Hebden Bridge Methodist Hall. Details will be published in our Autumn Newsletter and also on this web-site. "You can read all about last season’s lectures here.
The Family History Group is meeting in Heptonstall churchyard to transcribe gravestones. All help is very welcome.
Download PDF of 2012/2013 Winter Programme
All events take place at Hebden Bridge Methodist Hall, Market Street (unless otherwise stated) and start at 7.30pm
September 8th - Wainsgate Chapel
As part of Heritage Open Days, Wainsgate Chapel in Old Town will be opening on Saturday 8th September. The day will end with a talk at 3:30 pm given by Steve Pilcher of Historic Chapels Trust, about the work of the Trust "Wainsgate Chapel - the present and the future". A new guidebook of the chapel, with images from Pennine Horizons Digital Archive, will be available to purchase, and the author, Charles Thomson, will also talk about the guide and the history of the chapel.
26th September 2012
The World of Cornelius Ashworth
Cornelius Ashworth lived at Walt Royd in Wheatley. His Diaries provide a unique insight into industry, agriculture and religion as well as recording some of the signal events of the period 1782-1815
Our speaker Alan Petford is a local historian with diverse interest including agriculture and textiles. He recently helped to edit the Diaries of Cornelius Ashworth.
September 29th - Town Hall Waterside Room
At time of writing, plans were moving ahead for a special day of talks in Hebden Bridge to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witch trials.
Today, from our secular modern viewpoint, many are inclined to treat witchcraft and magic as delusions or nonsense. This means that those involved in the trials can be portrayed as innocent victims. But were they? An environment of belief in magic and witchcraft, coupled with the energetic growth of a militant interpretation of Christianity and more individualistic social outlooks, was common across northern England at the time, and similar furores erupted in the upper Calder valley at Todmorden in the 1630s and Heptonstall in the 1640s; the conditions that led to the Pendle trials were not unique to East Lancashire. The 17th century became a time of intense religious foment and civil strife, focussing attention on what we might today call "counter-cultural beliefs".
Our event will take place in the new Town Hall, and is a collaboration between the Society and Northern Earth magazine. We are very pleased to have as our main speaker Joyce Froome, author of one of the finest books on the Pendle witches context, Wicked Enchantments: a history of the Pendle witches and their magic (Palatine Books, 2010); and we are currently contacting supplementary speakers. Times and tickets charges will be announced later; please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be notified when tickets become available.
The Society is very pleased not only to host this commemorative event, but also to mark the opening of Hebden Bridge's new civic facility and support its role in the community.
10th October 2012
Small Town Saturday Night
The vivid story of town centre Halifax on Saturday night's from 1945 until 1970 including dance halls, concerts and live performances that remarkable put Halifax at the cutting edge of popular entertainment during those years.
With his two volumes of Small Town Saturday Night, the first edition is already a collector's item, Trevor chronicled the untold story of how Halifax was remarkably at the cutting edge of the performance of popular music from the end of World War II until the world changing decade of the sixties.
October 14th - Town Hall Waterside Room
To mark the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprising in West Yorkshire, we have invited The Hammer and Shears Company to perform "Among those Dark Satanic Mills" - The Life and Times of the Luddites in the West Riding told in words, pictures, songs and music.
The Hammer & Shears Company are a group of about 20 folk enthusiasts who play, perform, and write all sorts of music, songs and poems. They have come together to ensure that the 200th Anniversary of the Luddite uprising in West Yorkshire is remembered.
The croppers and weavers were skilled people whose way of life was being threatened by the new machines that were being introduced in many mills. Faced with deepening poverty they formed themselves into groups that became known as ‘The Luddite Movement’, whose cause as to fight for working rights, and there were groups active all over the country.
In April 1812 a group of men armed with pistols and hammers attacked Cartwright’s Rawfolds Mill near Cleckheaton. In response to that and other such acts the Government sent in thousands of troops to areas where there was trouble, and later that year machine breaking became punishable by death.
‘Among Those Dark Satanic Mills’ tells the story of the actions they took and the tragic outcome for many of those involved. Most of those who had been identified as being involved in the Luddite uprising came to trial on January, 2, 1813, in York. The authorities were determined to make an example of them and the trial served to warn others who were thinking of plotting similar attacks.
Tickets: On sale at the Town Hall and Visitor Centre in Hebden Bridge from 27th September. Adults £5 (£4 for children accompanied by an adult).
On the door tickets are £7 (£6 for children accompanied by an adult).
For more info see www.darksatanicmills.com
24th October 2012
Local History Society AGM followed by
Following the AGM we are delighted to welcome Julie Cockburn who will tell the story of Club Houses, a co-operatively built terrace of handloom weavers' cottages in Old Town.
Julie is a resident of Club Houses; she has lived in Hebden for many years and has a long standing interest in local history.
7th November 2012
Literary & Scientific AGM followed by
Super Hi-Vision: the future of Internet technology
Prof. David Baker
What will life be like in 20 years time? This talk may give you some idea! It will describe and illustrate next generation technology that will develop the Internet in significantly more powerful ways than is currently feasible. Imagine images 20 times clearer than the best HD projection that you can get at the moment. Then you have some idea what is in store in the future...
David Baker has published widely in the field of Library and Information Studies, He has recently completed Digital Library Economics: an Academic Perspective, and Eve on Top: women and the experience of success in the public sector.
14th November 2012
Their name liveth for evermore?
Unless one is vandalised, desecrated or you take part in an act of remembrance how much thought do you give to a war memorial? This talk examines the symbolism and iconography of memorials in surrounding towns and Hebden Bridge's memorials, the debates, disunity, vocabulary, and social values with which they were imbued as the communities around Hebden Bridge tried to come to terms with, and rationalise the aftermath of World War One.
Mike lives in Heptonstall and is a volunteer for Imperial War Museum War Memorial Archive and War Grave Photographic Project.
28th November 2012
Lament for the Mills
This presentation will draw richly on something that, strictly speaking, should never have happened: the free access to machinery-filled workspaces that was afforded to the children of one mill-owning family in the mid twentieth century. Accompanied by a display of family documents, linked to a wide range of oral histories from family legends to funny stories, and acknowledging the wonderful help that our speaker received at every stage, his talk will celebrate the community of the mills – from the managing Director to the seemingly casual employee. It will end with a selective reading of his poems.
Robert Cockcroft was educated in Walsden, going on through boarding schools to Cambridge and London, and culminating in a PhD on Christopher Marlowe. He lectured at the University of Nottingham from 1965 till 2002, specialising in rhetoric, epic, seventeenth century poetry and sea literature.
12th December 2012
City in the Hills: The building of Walshaw Dean Reservoir
Corinne McDonald & Ann Kilbey
In days gone by when most people lived in scattered communities, it was possible to obtain sufficient water for their modest needs from streams and springs. Even today many remote dwellings are still supplied from springs. This lecture will tell the story behind the building of the reservoirs; the need for water; life in the navvy encampment; the railway; and Enoch Tempest, the man in charge of the work.
Both Corinne and Ann had separately considered producing a book about Dawson City. Corinne's main interest was the actual research and Ann's the images so it seemed an ideal solution for them to co-author a publication. After a series of chicken dinners, interspersed with fish and chip suppers, there followed a story what takes a look at this fascinating period in the life of this area.
9th January 2012
Wild Rose Heritage and Arts - Untold Stories
From primary school pupils interviewing older community members to guided walks talking about the places that aren’t there anymore, ‘Untold Stories’ will give you a glimpse into the lives of people you won’t find in the official written record.
Including people’s memories of the past to the lifestyles of today, local voices can bring alive the ideas, thoughts and feelings of the experience of change through stories that people tell. We are all part of an ongoing relationship between people and environment.
Tony Wright was an artist and teacher from 1974 to 2004. Having not lived anywhere for longer than two years, he moved to Hebden Bridge in 1987 and found the place growing on him. Impressive aspect of the area for him was the mixture of people and landscape. He founded Wild Rose Heritage and Arts in 2002 and started recording people's life stories, finding that sometimes it's the people who make the environment and sometimes it's the other way around. He is still in the middle of his quest to document change and its effects on both.
23rd January 2012
Hebden Bridge Railway Station in the 19th century
Without the railway Hebden Bridge would neither have developed as a mill town the way it did nor as a popular 19th century inland resort. This talk will focus on the early station here and at railway expansion into the rest of Yorkshire in those very first years; to where and by what route could a mid-19th century Hebden Bridge rail traveller go? We will then go on to look at railway developments later in the century in Hebden Bridge as well as at accidents here and then at "the visitors". In part this will complement but not duplicate the very popular talk given to the Society by Noel Coates in February 2011.
David has had a long interest in the development of transport in Yorkshire and particularly the railways. He sourced and researched and with Frank Woolrych produced the exhibition in the Waiting Rooms at the station. Although an offcumden to the Calder Valley he has lived all his life in the West Riding. He is currently Treasurer of The Friends of Hebden Bridge Station, a member of the LHS and a volunteer with Pennine Horizons Digital Archive.
13th February 2013
Todmorden Weavers of the Great War
The 'Great war' was a key moment in the history of the cotton industry. The local impact of these events is examined through the history of the Todmorden weaver.
Alan is a former lecturer in Economic & Social History at the Manchester Poly/ Metropolitan Universit from 1969-2009, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
27th February 2013
The Follies & Folklore of Robin Hood's Final Resting Place
Whilst the legendary outlaw Robin Hood is now primarily associated with Sherwood in Nottinghamshire, the site most consistently connected with the name, from some of the earliest surviving medieval ballads, has been the supposed location of his death and burial at Kirklees in the Calderdale region of West Yorkshire. A monument known as "Robin Hood's Grave" can still be seen there today and whilst it has been dismissed by some authorities as little more than an 18th Century folly, its history is in fact far more venerable and complex.
Kai is a lifelong resident of the Calder Valley with an interest in local folklore, psychogeoraphy and social history. Author of three books on related subjects, including one on tonight's topic. See blog
13th March 2013
William Greenwood of Pudsey in Stansfield
An introduction, with slides, to the Pudsey area with special reference to William Greenwood; followed by an account of his life as a handloom weaver from his 1825 diary.
Our speaker tonight studied at Prof. Bernard Jennings WEA Local History class based at Hebden Bridge during the 1960s. He is co-author of several books relating to Todmorden and was head of Mytholm School for 14 years.
27th March 2013
Bridge Mill - History on our Doorstep
What is the story behind the present mill building? Why did medieval millers have such a bad name?
A mill has stood here for 700 years so what can the manor court rolls and other records tell us about the past? This talk will look at some of the ways the mill has been used and will be a chance to find out more about its history.
Justine is a member of the History Society who is interested in the industrial heritage of the valley and the way the textile industry affected the town.