Hebden Bridge businesses display quirky solidarity messages after floods

A bike shop has designed an inspiring message of solidarity during the aftermath of recent floods.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 1:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 2:49 pm
(LtR) Heather Ainscough, John Ainscough, Alan Ainscough, and Pat Walkington

Calder Valley businesses were hit by floods after Storm Ciara devastated the region earlier this month, with many traders and homeowners looking at thousands of pounds worth of damages.

Now, a team of staff at Hebden Bridge's Blazing Saddles bike shop are leading the charge in getting the town and neighbouring areas back on its feet after being temporarily paralysed by the recent freak weather.

John Ainscough, owner of Blazing Saddles, said: "We wanted to do something for the area so our member of staff Anna Leatherbarrow, who is artistic, designed the message of our front window.

"The message is to boost morale because we're all part of this community and should stick together in times of crisis."

The message reads 'Together we will weather life's storm.'

The message has gone down a storm with local leaders including Scott Patient, Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, who lives in flood-struck Mytholmroyd, and posted a praising message on Twitter.

"The flood hasn’t been as damaging as the one in 2015, which I remember was apocalyptic," said Mr Ainscough.

(LtR) Heather Ainscough, John Ainscough, Alan Ainscough, and Pat Walkington, which all work in Hebden Bridge

“A lot shops in Hebden Bridge have bounced back because many of us have spent money of becoming more flood resilient.

"For us personally, it's easier for us to clean up after a flood because we're a bike shop, but more needs to be looked for helping other businesses such as restaurants or pubs.

Mr Ainscough said he would like the government to look at putting the region as a Tier 1 priority for flood defences during the forth coming budget on March 11.

"For the next Budget meeting, Calderdale needs to prioritised because we've plenty of evidence to prove we need more protection."

Blazing Saddles front window artwork was designed by Anna Leatherbarrow

Other businesses have decided to do free-of-charge initiatives including Print Bureau, on the town's Pennine Industrial Estate.

Totally Awesome shopkeeper Lisa Fox said: "Print Bureau made and printed signs free of charge for businesses around the area to show we're open and will not be beaten."

The printing business gave a sign to Ms Fox's toy shop business, while Pennine Signs, in Mytholmroyd, also donated a banner to hang above Hebden Beck, in the town centre with the rotary club picking up the bill on the installation.

Lisa Fox with helping student Ishmael Armstrong
Signs across Hebden Bridge stating the town is open for business after the floods