Antiques centre is rising from the ruin

Ready to open up at new home - Trish at Valley Road
Ready to open up at new home - Trish at Valley Road

One month on from the floods, Hebden Bridge businesses are beginning to reopen and rise from the ruin of the Boxing Day disaster.

The deluge brought an end to ten years of the Hebden Bridge Antiques Centre standing on Albert Street.

The store, one of the largest retails spaces in Hebden Bridge, had to close its town centre premises after flood water left it devastated.

But one month on, the business has now relocated to the Pennine Building, at Valley Road.

Owner Patricia Banyard said: “Knowing rain was predicted I had gone to the shop on Christmas Day night and moved stock off the floor, raising it above three feet,” she said. “ Who knew we were going to be hit by what Storm Eva brought and my small efforts would prove futile?

“Now the premises are to be gutted and we either had to close up shop or move on. We all worked like packhorses to salvage what we could, we tried hard to save the ground floor knowing that downstairs was beyond help but even that proved impossible, the water had damaged the floors, ceilings were falling down around us, there’s still no electricity in there, it was cold,dark, pitch black on the lower floor and we had to resort to candlelight to pick our way through, not to mention the huge muddy mountain of antiques, collapsed shelving and smashed cabinets which littered the floor to a height of four feet.

“One volunteer who came to help out ten days later said he had seen a lot of places hard hit but we were the worst of all. I think he was right, it was beyond pitiful.

“It’s so upsetting to be the guardian of these old treasures and then to find that things that have survived for a hundred years,gone through two world wars and been treasured by many hands become lost or beyond repair whilst in my care.

“In between all this crisis, and still in shock myself, I hit the streets knocking on doors and asked everyone I could find if they knew of anywhere we could carry on. It paid off, I found us all a new home nearby.

“When I told my fellow dealers and traders, I did not expect the response I got. Every single one said ‘we are with you Trish’. It brought a lump to my throat and because of that I found the heart and my last little bit of strength and determination to pull it out of the hat and rebuild Hebden Bridge Antiques Centre.

“We have mucked out, chucked out, cleaned up, dried up and moved on to new premises.”

The store will be open from Monday, February 1, and an event will be held on Saturday, February 6, to celebrate its revival.

Meet in St Georges Square from 11.30am, for ‘A Bit Of a Do’ - there will be town crier Les Cutts, free coffee and cakes, vintage dress and dancing to 30s, 40s and 50s music.

All proceeds will go to the Calderdale Flood Relief Appeal.