History of Hebden Bridge – How we look at it

We are looking at Hebden Bridge as a place of change. We collect the personal life stories, memories, feelings and thoughts of people living in the area. Making oral history available through text, photographs, audio and videotape can help us gain a better understanding of where we live.

Historically, Hebden Bridge has been a working town based on the textile industry and engineering works among others within a rural hill farming area. As Doreen M. Cook recounts in her 1950 guide to ‘Yorkshire’, in Hebden Bridge, ‘there are two distinct parts, the comparatively new manufacturing village near the river, and the older farming section higher up the hillside.’ During the last 60 years great changes have taken place and continue to do so in the working and social environment of Hebden Bridge.

From World War II onwards, a gradual decline in the traditional industries began with the closure of many firms due to economic changes worldwide. As a result many people left the area, although newcomers arrived. Social conditions changed and so the character of Hebden Bridge began to change with it. Many factors were an influence in creating the new fabric of the area, the housing market, jobs, artistic interests, new technologies and tourism.

The story of these changes in Hebden Bridge is made up of individual lives. What we want to do is record those personal stories that not only reflect those changes, but were instrumental in bringing about change. Everyone who has, does or will live here is part of the story.

About Us

Wild Rose Heritage and Arts is a community group which takes it's name from the area in which we are located - the valley ("den") of the wild rose ("Heb") -  Hebden Bridge which is in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

Get in touch

Pennine Heritage Ltd.
The Birchcliffe Centre
Hebden Bridge

Phone: 01422 844450
Contact Us