Telling the story of our hidden gems in a heritage celebration

Guide Douglas Wilson at Todmorden Town Hall
Guide Douglas Wilson at Todmorden Town Hall

Hidden gems of the upper Calder Valley were unearthed as heritage sites threw their doors open as part of a national festival.

A host of open events held across the weekend gave visitors a chance to delve into the rich history of the area.

At the Hebden Bridge Picture House, the 1920s auditorium and foyer were open for all to explore and enjoy, while exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ tours gave visitors the chance to hear about the history of the cinema, visit the projection box, the backstage area and behind the cinema screen.

And at the Hebden Bridge Little Theatre, areas usually closed to the public were open. Visitors had a sneak peek at the dressing rooms, wardrobe department and props.

Archive material told the history of the company in the town since 1924.

Exhibitions were also on show at Hardcastle Crags and Wainsgate Baptist Church.

Meanwhile in Todmorden, the fascinating the history of the town hall, a Grade I listed building, was on display.

The new heritage centre took pride of place and the weekend was the first opportunity for people to see all it has to offer.

Visitors took a step back through time as they viewed the exhibition of historic objects and digital archive material and there was even a chance to delve into their own family history.

The centre has been created as part of the ‘Telling the Story’ project, in which trained volunteers will provide guided tours of the breathtaking town hall to encourage greater use of the iconic building.

Local people are at the heart of the exhibition, as their personal memories help to tell the story of the Victorian town hall.

And as part of the project, dozens of volunteers are developing new skills and knowledge to teach and inspire visitors.

The inspirational project has been made possible by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £45,700 and a council contribution of £3,000.

But the story doesn’t end there and it’s hoped that even more people will come forward to share their stories and memories.

To share yours, email daniel.jessop@calderdale.gov.uk or calling 01706 548105.