Hebden Bridge

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
woodstock of the pennines? new age centre of the north? why is Hebden Bridge full of pashmina shops, crystal emporiums and hippy cafes and nothing else? has it been this way since the 60s? if not, when did it all start? what kind of people live there? and where do they get their money from?

have you ever been to Hebden Bridge?

gareth, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

sir bernard ingham lives there, if that's any help

mark s, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've never been to Hebden Bridge, but I have spent many days waiting for buses in Totnes, its southern equivalent. Strange place indeed, and a warning to us all what might happen if we don't combat the growth of the Mind Body and Spirit section in the local Waterstones.

RickyT, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've waited for a train there. For a long time. A bus eventually turned up. I remember it being extremely pretty. But that could easily be another station, another time. As for the people who live there, well, obsessed cat lovers who run off with very young special needs kids would seem to be my experience.

Sarah, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

It's not nearly as bad as Glastonbury - where there is a pub called the Psychic Piglet.
I'd say it's about 1/2 ex-hippies and 1/2 cool. Don't think I could live there, but it's nice to visit for lunch etc.

Elisa K, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I went through it on New Year's Day, oddly enough. Actually, I quite like it. Somehow the hippy nonsense seems less obtrustive than in say, Glastonbury, plus it's a great location, and architecturally quite appealling. Sylvia Plath is buried in Heptonstall up the hill if you fancy a bit of angst homage. And some of the villages on the hills above Todmorden (it's German for "death murder" you know) are lovely - we got our new kitten from one such place and I felt a sudden need to live there and work on my great unfinished novel.

Tag, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

It is lovely; places in the middle of the pennines are. I used to go quite a lot when I was younger, sometimes even to be one of the 5 audience members for demographically-challenged shows at some kind of arts centre (?) there. Apparently substantial numbers of hippys did move in in the late sixties, stayed, and are now among the middle-aged pillars of the local community. One of the reasons I think it's charming rather than twee is that the hippy influx played a huge role in revitalising and reinventing what by the mid-60s had become an emptied out industrial shell of a town. The point, I think, is that they worked with the existing infrastructure (architectural and cultural).

Ellie, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Hebden Bridge is something of a puzzle. How did a small Yorkshire wool-town, capable of producing uber-Tykes such as Bernard Ingham, become the Haight-Ashbury of the Pennines? A most unlikely place to find pot, patchouli and vegetarian nut roasts.

An explanation once offered to me by (it must be admitted) a rather unhinged local was that in the 60s local houses there were going for a pittance. Locals increasingly abandoned the place for the bright city lights and urban delights of Halifax, Bradford, Leeds etc whilst various hippies and heads began moving the other way drawn by Hebden Bridge’s rural charms and desolate moors. I gather parts of Wales experienced similar population transfers.

The Natural Trust ought to slap a preservation order on the place. Hebden Bridge Web for anyone interested.

stevo, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

HB also = home to Ted Hughes' farm and the Arvon Foundation writing workshop.

Edna Welthorpe, Mrs, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

And Bogshed.

Tim, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

blimey it's the vienna of the grim north

mark s, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Totnes = New Age central because of proximity to Dartington Hall, surely?

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've been to Hebden Bridge a few times because I know some people who live there. I like it very much and would seriously consider moving there given the chance.

David Inglesfield, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I've sort of driven through it once.

Kodanshi, Thursday, 3 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Theres a hebden, fridge, bridge, thing going on in my head.

Ronan, Friday, 4 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

the JAMMS song is going round my head

Alan Trewartha, Friday, 4 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Kodanshi in 2002 Post Of The Year shock!

Graham, Sunday, 6 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

two years pass...
i was going to start a new thread on this. but it seems that someone already has.

was any good music/literature/art produced in hebden bridge, during its social transformation (i think i mean 1965-1975, but also, outside of those dates).

also, would 1965 seem about right for when it began to change? im basing this primarily on national cultural change rather than specific local/regional change...

gareth (gareth), Friday, 21 May 2004 14:08 (sixteen years ago) link

Four Tet is also known in private as 'Hebden Fridge'.

(Thanks Ro)

Barima (Barima), Friday, 21 May 2004 14:16 (sixteen years ago) link

You know the early 70s Martin Parr photos, I presume, Gareth?

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Friday, 21 May 2004 14:25 (sixteen years ago) link

no? i didnt know about these (im ambivalent about parrs photography often, and other times i like it a lot, i guess it depends what he is trying to do with each project). are they good?

gareth (gareth), Friday, 21 May 2004 14:29 (sixteen years ago) link

Here's a bit about them. They are much more... sincere? more straightforwardly elegiac? than his later stuff.


Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Friday, 21 May 2004 14:33 (sixteen years ago) link

yes, i dont like the insincerity in much of his work. perhaps it is not insincerity i dont know, maybe condescencion a little

oh, i've looked now, they are black and white? i have a violent reaction to black and white photography, i don't like it at all* (escpecially since the days of colour photography, where b&w is a conscious decision, i dislike it even more in such cases).

though i do like renger-partzsch. he is the exception

gareth (gareth), Friday, 21 May 2004 14:47 (sixteen years ago) link

Gareth, I told you about those Parr photos before: how he caputured the fading working days of HB. *never listen*

Mary (Mary), Friday, 21 May 2004 23:15 (sixteen years ago) link

five months pass...

the battle for mill pond


*@*.* (gareth), Wednesday, 17 November 2004 11:14 (sixteen years ago) link

seven years pass...
two years pass...

I am in Hebden Bridge today. I am staying at a lady's house, she opened the door to let me in and had a sweater with the palestinian flag on it and was playing this CD very loudly


She has gone to a picket in the market square, protesting against the occupation of gaza. She used to go every day until they said its not a 7 day a week job, so now she goes 3 times a week .There is a picture of her at a Greenham Common 25 years on event on the wall

I feel at home here, i am sitting outside the house on bench by the canal working, as the people walk and cycle past. The Calder Valley has a rich and varied collection of vibes that gradually change as you walk from one end to the other and back again, with many different feelings fading in and out

anvil, Saturday, 27 September 2014 13:12 (six years ago) link

Chris was at Greenham Common for 11 years

anvil, Saturday, 27 September 2014 17:43 (six years ago) link

You see some rare British phenomena in Hebden Bridge like giant ants, millions of frogs, children wearing Sun Ra t-shirts, white female taxi drivers and the old left. It has some of the most desolate, beautiful ancient landscapes you can find on these isles as well. I fell in love with the place when I was doing a textile design course back in the 90's and they sent us all to Hebden Hey for a week to sketch trees and flora plen air.

xelab, Saturday, 27 September 2014 21:27 (six years ago) link

Chris wrote a letter to Obama, telling him how disappointed she was in him

anvil, Sunday, 28 September 2014 19:08 (six years ago) link

Chris admires George Galloway's honesty

The co-op had NPR on

Tomorrow I'll walk up to Withens Clough

anvil, Sunday, 28 September 2014 23:02 (six years ago) link

Ive enjoyed my conversations with Chris, but all conversations eventually lead to Gaza. In fact all other topics of conversation feel like a preamble to the main course.

Yesterday in talking about an unrelated topic, Chris said "well I suppose people are able to do that in the same way they are able to turn a blind eye to the bombing and murder of children in Gaza"

anvil, Monday, 29 September 2014 10:06 (six years ago) link

Talking about Scottish devolution, 5 seconds later...Gaza

anvil, Monday, 29 September 2014 11:25 (six years ago) link

tbf it's the only place in the world where children are being bombed and/or murdered

Chimp Arsons, Monday, 29 September 2014 11:26 (six years ago) link

i went for a walk along the canal and there were 21 Volkswagen Beetles in a car park

anvil, Monday, 29 September 2014 12:29 (six years ago) link

I was in Clitheroe at the weekend at there was a mod/biker rally going on. Clitheroe is pretty shit.

oppet, Monday, 29 September 2014 17:11 (six years ago) link

Chris used to have two cats, one called Liberty and the other Revolution

anvil, Monday, 29 September 2014 17:37 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Chris gaza protests are a one woman vigil, real dedication

anvil, Friday, 17 October 2014 09:14 (six years ago) link

two months pass...

I'm in Hebden Bridge again, im about to go into the market square and see if Chris is protesting. Her dog is getting old, I heard shes thinking about returning to Canada

anvil, Friday, 16 January 2015 15:48 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I saw her again on the bus, the dogs operation went well and he is in fine fettle. I got my hair cut elsewhere in the valley, by the man who does the haircuts for Manchester City. He said Micah Richards would often go to The Shay to watch Halifax Town

anvil, Wednesday, 4 February 2015 16:31 (six years ago) link


anima corrective (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 4 February 2015 16:34 (six years ago) link

hes upped his cultural pursuits recently though, guardian interview said he was enjoying the uffizzi etc

anima corrective (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 4 February 2015 16:35 (six years ago) link

He said most of the footballers were very bland and mostly talked about expensive cars. He said James Milner was very quiet, and Joe Hart is a "lovely lad, you'd never know he was a footballer". I'm not sure but I think Micah Richards has a close friend who plays for Halifax Town

anvil, Wednesday, 4 February 2015 16:38 (six years ago) link

anvil (and that one xelab post) doing god's work itt

pro war Toby Keith songs would rub you the wrong way (imago), Wednesday, 4 February 2015 16:39 (six years ago) link

micah richards played mariokart at my best mates house circa 2001, looks like our paths continue to diverge

ogmor, Wednesday, 4 February 2015 17:56 (six years ago) link

John isn't from round here, he's from down South somewhere but had also spent the 22 years based in Corsica.

He got a £450,000 pay out from the Army because he got blown up in Uganda and wasn't expected to live. He has 4 years left until he can officially retire, but his now a chef, in something army related

He told me had done a number of extractions, some in Iran and one in this country. He was tortured in Iran in 1995. He recently did some work in Syria. He showed me a bullet wound in his leg, i couldnt quite tell what was going on with his hand

We were on the bus to Haworth, he said, when he first came to the area he spent 6 months in Haworth. He said no one had lived there for 6 months, and there was a rat. the rat wasnt frightened so he was able to kill it with a brick. He told his landlord and the landlord told him to buy some traps. Over the next couple of weeks he caught 14 or 15 rats and put them in the freezer. When the landlord came he took them out and wrapped them up and gave them to his landlord as a moving-in present

He spent some time in the brecon beacons where the army do some exercises, and during a training exercise 6 people died from hypothermia and it got into the newspapers

anvil, Wednesday, 11 February 2015 13:01 (six years ago) link

John was actually born and grew up in France, and still has a french barclaycard, which is frequently refused in restaurants and shops. its bright yellow, as he cant see the normal one properly. he showed me it, and i could see that his surname is Le Chat. Unfortunately i cant quite remember his first name, so I am calling him John because i think it was something like that

He carries around a 50kg backpack, just as he always has done, and frequently runs over the top of the moors from Hebden Bridge to Haworth, although today he was on the bus. He was in Wilmslow, near Manchester a couple of weeks ago, and someone came up to him and asked him if he is the mad runner in haworth

anvil, Wednesday, 11 February 2015 13:05 (six years ago) link

John jumped out of aeroplanes when in the army, and there was a competition who could pull the parachute chord last, and he lost a friend that way

When the tour de france passed through here, he said a man stood next to him near a wall, and he was sure he recognized the man and asked him, do i know you from my Gym? but he wasnt from round there, and it was really bugging him who this man was, later that day he turned on the television coverage and realized it was David Beckham

John said most of the extractions were of people that wanted to go, but when he got caught in Iran, they tortured him and smashed his teeth with a hammer.

anvil, Wednesday, 11 February 2015 13:08 (six years ago) link

I asked him where he would go in 4 years when his retirement comes up, bt he doesnt know, he has a couple of houses and is playing the game, though he is currently renting in sowerby bridge

John lent me 20p because my card had been stopped and i wasnt sure if i had enough for the bus, otherwise I thought i might have to go into the square and see if Chris was protesting against Gaza, to see if she had any spare change. I still didnt quite have enough, for my second bus journey after this one, so i walked the last part

anvil, Wednesday, 11 February 2015 13:11 (six years ago) link

John sister worked for Novell for 22 years and got a large redundancy payout and was able to retire at 38 years old

There was a man in Haworth that he met when he was in Turkey but i forgot the rest of that part, I tried to remember the rest of what John told me, as there was quite a bit more as we were on the bus for nearly an hour

anvil, Wednesday, 11 February 2015 13:13 (six years ago) link

John said at one of the banks, the pens were tied down and he said how am i supposed to trust you if you dont trust your customers not to take the pens. At Barclays they dont tie down the pens. He always takes the pen away at Barclays, but thats because he is always short of pens

anvil, Wednesday, 11 February 2015 13:43 (six years ago) link

five months pass...

Was going to go walking on the crags with the boy this weekend and stay overnight. Every B+B and Hotel was fully booked all week, Sharon from the Garnett st B+B was so personable and helpful I am definitely booking with her at some quieter and hopefully non-rainy point this summer.

xelab, Friday, 7 August 2015 17:31 (five years ago) link

I thought that series Happy Valley which was set there was really good. Somehow never managed to go to the place. Surprising considering i spent a lot of 3 or 4 years hitching around the UK going to gigs. Maybe it was only later that it became a topur stop thoug I keep thinking Wango Riley's Travelling Stage came from there and did a lot of festivals I went to.

Stevolende, Friday, 7 August 2015 18:08 (five years ago) link

I couldn't get into Happy Valley which is a shame because I love Sarah L as an actress and really wanted to like it. I don't why but I tend to be a harsh judge of tv/movie stuff that is filmed in the local area, probably me who has the problem because a few people on here rep for it.

xelab, Friday, 7 August 2015 18:25 (five years ago) link

I don't know why^^^

xelab, Friday, 7 August 2015 18:26 (five years ago) link

four months pass...

Thoughts are with Hebden friends. That flooding looks ridiculous.

djh, Saturday, 26 December 2015 17:21 (five years ago) link


ogmor, Saturday, 26 December 2015 19:36 (five years ago) link

Similar scenes throughout Calder Valley and scarily the flood line could yet rise some more. I don't know how people who live/own small businesses on the flood plains of Hebden/Sowerby/Mytholmroyd can keep coming back from this shit, it seems to get worse every year and this time it seems even worse than '07.

calzino, Saturday, 26 December 2015 21:32 (five years ago) link

three years pass...

Into town for the Thurston Moore show (such a good venue) and there are an unexpected number of stellar beers on tap in the boozers round here.

Your dad's Carlos Boozer and you keep him alive (fionnland), Sunday, 3 February 2019 12:39 (two years ago) link

get some cans and go up t' Hardcastle Crags and then leather the fuck out of Thurston Moore for me!

calzino, Sunday, 3 February 2019 12:48 (two years ago) link

Cosign the walk up to Hardcastle Crags. The craft beer places in Hebden Bridge are pretty much exactly the same as craft beer places everywhere, the real gem is the Fox & Goose. My one trip to Hebden culminated in a night sitting on the roof of that pub with a guy who lived in a yurt. Still not quite worked out if he was putting that one on for the tourists.

Matt DC, Sunday, 3 February 2019 15:13 (two years ago) link

OTM, can't recommend Hardcastle Crags enough.

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Sunday, 3 February 2019 16:14 (two years ago) link

even on days when the weather is terrible it almost becomes more beautiful.

calzino, Sunday, 3 February 2019 16:17 (two years ago) link

Tried to walk Hardcastle Crags this morning but was warned off by a local. 'They're fucking lethal today' he said, noting my woefully inadequate footwear

This place is magic tho

Milton Parker, Sunday, 3 February 2019 18:36 (two years ago) link

Seeing people say he plays with his back to the audience??

piscesx, Sunday, 3 February 2019 18:46 (two years ago) link

Yeah for most of the performance, but the other musicians on stage are following his directions (mainly head nods) so it seemed necessary.

The matinee performance was one large piece “Alice Moki Jayne” that was rather excellent in parts.

Your dad's Carlos Boozer and you keep him alive (fionnland), Sunday, 3 February 2019 19:24 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Yeah but that notice was put up in response to an earlier one:


joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Sunday, 2 May 2021 11:24 (one week ago) link

yeah I did see that. It was trending on UK Twitter t'other day.

calzino, Sunday, 2 May 2021 11:26 (one week ago) link

Is Hebden Bridge TERF central?

irked at the fact I know who Jordan Rudess is (Matt #2), Sunday, 2 May 2021 11:43 (one week ago) link

It probably has a higher than average amount of politically active middle-class + feminists, so quite possibly yes!

calzino, Sunday, 2 May 2021 11:51 (one week ago) link

there is a strong Old Left presence there, and they are usually quite conservative behind the radical sheen they put on.

calzino, Sunday, 2 May 2021 11:53 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.