Some of the jewels in the upper Calder Valley’s crown were opened to the public on National Heritage Weekend last week.
Among those opened were two of Todmorden’s Fielden heritage buildings, both built by architect John Gibson in the 19th century and now Grade I listed.
At the Unitarian Church, Honey Hole Road, there was a chance to don period costume and have a wet plate portrait taken by John Brewer and Kate Horsley. Other events included local art decorating the church, home-made cakes and more.
Tours of Todmorden Town Hall were also on offer, including the majestic ballroom, the council chamber which was also once the town’s court, and a rare chance to see the Mayor’s Parlour to get a close up look at the robes and giftes presented to the town’s leading citizens over the years, led by a former Mayor and Mayoress, Coun David and Mrs Susan O’Neill.
In Hebden Bridge, Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags was the base for a special Green Living event in partnership with the 100 per cent renewable electricity company, Good Energy and sustainable energy charity, the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE),
Visitors were invited to discover how the mill – the National Trust’s must sustainable building, with no connection to the national grid – harnesses the power of nature to generate energy.
The day is also about sharing the conservation charity’s sustainability stories and inspiring people to have a go in their own homes and gardens. Visitors also had the opportunity to win a year’s free electricity with Good Energy and take home some energy saving advice.
High on the Wadsworth hillside, visitors to Wainsgate Chapel enjoyed recitals on the historic church organ by Professor David Baker, slide shows presented by members of Hebden Bridge Local History Society and afternoon teas provided by the Wadsworth Environment Group.
There was also a special event to mark the relocation to Wainsgate of a First World War memorial, formerly situated in the now-disused Old Town Methodist Chapel.