Local heritage is key to our future says mayor

From left to right: Alice Law, project assistant, Sarah Shooter, project manager, Coun Jonathan Timbers, Mayor of Hebden Royd, Ann Kilbey, collections manager and Frank Woolrych, project director

From left to right: Alice Law, project assistant, Sarah Shooter, project manager, Coun Jonathan Timbers, Mayor of Hebden Royd, Ann Kilbey, collections manager and Frank Woolrych, project director

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Trustees of Pennine Heritage were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Hebden Royd, Councillor Jonathan Timbers, on a recent visit to the Pennine Horizons Project at the Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge.

Project director, Frank Woolrych, who led the tour, explained the recent refurbishments and improvements to the centre that have been made possible through the three year Herritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant and the generous support of the Town Council and local businesses.

The Mayor was also shown the archive room where the Pennine Horizons Digital Archive, a collection of historical photographs, has been created.

The ever expanding archive is a community resource which allows visitors to search over 80 collections of historical photographs which have all been donated by individuals and organisations.

Collections manager, Ann Kilbey, explained to the Mayor how the image database and the project’s website can be searched.

The project also consists of a series of trails which explore the unique heritage and landscape of the Upper Calder Valley through self guided booklets, historical photographs and also downloadable apps with commentary, maps and walk directions.

The visit finished with a look at the Hebden Bridge Local History Society Archive, also housed at the Birchcliffe Centre.

President of the society, Mrs Barbara Atack, showed Coun Timbers some of the archive’s many treasures including council minute books from the 1950s.

At the end of the visit Mayor Timbers said: “I was honoured and delighted to be taken around Pennine Heritage, home of the Pennine Horizons project and the Local History Society library. 

“Pennine Heritage is key to the future of Hebden Royd. It has created a searchable online archive of historical photographs and the Local History Society provides a rich source of local documents and maps.

“What they do is incredible. All the more so in light of Calderdale’s budget this year that seeks to create more jobs in the visitor economy. There wouldn’t be much of a visitor economy without organisations like Pennine Heritage. If we want to create more local opportunities, we need to invest heavily in community ventures like this.”