Bringing History Alive

Photos from the Hebden Bridge Local History Society

Milestones and waymarkers in the South Pennines

The Norman Conquest of YorkshireAs we walk along country lanes, bridle paths and canal tow-paths we perhaps don’t always notoice the waymarkers and milestones that guided our forebears. For David Garside, a member of the Yorkshire Milestones Society, the collecting and mapping of these wayside markers is a passion which he shared with a meeting of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society. Read more Monday, 28 January 2019

Lost Houses of the South Pennines

Lost HousesThere was standing room only when artist Kate Lycett came to speak to Hebden Bridge Local History Society about the stories behind her hugely successful  paintings of the Lost Houses of the South Pennines.

As an artist settled in Hebden Bridge, she found that many grand local houses had disappeared almost without trace, and set about searching the archives for documents and photographs that would give her enough detail to create paintings which celebrated their individual styles and moods. Read more Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Breweries and licensed trade in the Upper Valley from 1800

BreweriesPeter Robinson returned to Hebden Bridge Local History Society to tell the story of the inns and beerhouses of the area during the period of industrialisation and population growth after 1800. The development of steam power meant that the factories and workforce were concentrated in the valley bottoms instead of the hill tops and demand for new drinking places also grew. Read report  Friday, 21 December 2018

The story of the fustian co-operative at Nutclough Mill

NutcloughThe Nutclough Mill in Hebden Bridge was the home of a daring and visionary venture in industrial production: a worker-run co-operative which ran, at a profit, for almost fifty years and achieved national and international fame. Andrew Bibby, local author and member of the society, spoke to the Society about how this successful model of production was established and about its role in changing and shaping the character of Hebden Bridge. Read more  Sat 1 December 2018

Anne Lister: the life and loves of a local lady

Parish recordsWith the newly filmed story of Anne Lister about to launch on TV, it was an appropriate time for Hebden Bridge Local History Society to hear something of her story from a long serving volunteer at Shibden Hall whose talking tours bring its most famous resident to life.

Christine Booth spoke with enthusiasm and insight of the woman whose nickname, Gentleman Jack, signified her role as a grudgingly respected outsider in early 19th century Halifax. Read report  
Monday, 19 November 2018

'People All Full of Business'

Full of BusinessThis was how Daniel Defoe described what he saw as he passed through the Calder Valley in the early 1700s.

In their talk at Hebden Bridge Local History Society, Sheila Graham and Barbara Hall showed how they had used the wills and probate records of residents to find out more about the people who lived in Halifax at that time.

Read report

Alan Petford book

The Clothing Industry of Hebden Bridge: selected texts. Edited by Nigel Smith and Diana Monahan. This book contains four unpublished texts on the clothing industry that dominated Hebden Bridge for much of the twentieth century.

See Publications section for more info.

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Autumn 2018

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.