The first meeting of the new season of lectures for the Hebden Bridge Local History Society was launched by Tony Morris speaking about the history of maps and map-making as well as cartographic crime, writes Sheila Graham.
Early maps were on clay tablets and were from the beginning used for a variety of purposes, such as taxation, for military uses and to guide pilgrims to the great religious sites.
From their early beginnings maps became more precise, as the cartographers used better technology and produced maps that could be seen as works of art. The ordnance survey was a major project to meet the need for more accurate maps which today still set the standard for useful information about the landscape.
As for cartographical crime, Tony had stories to tell of organised theft of valuable ancient maps cut from books in public libraries. A member of the audience brought this up to date by recounting how new sets of OS maps bought for public use in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge Libraries had been stolen from the shelves.
The next meeting of the society will hear about a history closer to home when Joan Laprell uncovers some of the stories of the Moderna blanket factory at Mytholmroyd. She can be heard at the Methodist Hall in Hebden Bridge on Wednesday October 9th at 7.30 pm. Details of this year’s programme are available on the website www.hebdenbridgehistory.org.uk