Personal Stories


Wild Rose Heritage and Arts has completed five projects:

  • Changing Places, nine interviews of people born in other countries who now live in Hebden Bridge;
  • Generations Talking, a collection of interviews involving 42 individuals talking about their lives and the area, including younger people discussing their experiences of living here now, thereby creating an archive for the future;
  • a Planning Project where we completed research on the needs of our audiences and the various activities which could help us develop the dissemination and accessibility of our collection;
  • Age to Age a project in which we inaugurated inter-generational interviewing, schools developing their own drama performances based on our interviews and guided heritage walks. This project, also, including young people interviews local musicians and skateboarders;
  • Alternative Lifestyles: This two year project continued the work started in Age To Age, but focused on the themes of creativity and the environment.

All stories are filed by decade of birth, are fully transcribed and most have a full audio version. We have video clip versions of nearly all interviews though some people did not want to be on video. Over the the time span of each project we will add new interviews and archive material.

Most interviews are one hour long, though some are shorter or longer through recording multiple sessions. All are candid and embody a mixture of personal detail and reflection on change.

We take confidentiality seriously and comply with interviewee wishes regarding use and storage of their interview, such as not using a portrait of them or as in the case of some interviewees, not making public their interview for 25 years. We use consent and release forms for all interviews ensuring interviewee control of material made public. Our aim is to embody best practice. We therefore seek guidance from the Oral History Society, British Library, West Yorkshire Archive Service and others in our procedures and methods.

The work of Wild Rose Heritage and Arts is continually changing and adapting itself to new material gathered, advancing technology and news ways of presentation. Some portraits, audio and video clips are missing. This is either by request of the interviewee’s or because we are re-processing old material.

Some audio tracks have short silences at their beginning before conversation starts. Although we try to make sure our transcriptions and details about archive material are accurate, there may be mistakes or oversights within the texts or captions and if you find any, please contact us so we can correct them to improve everyone’s enjoyment of our web-site.

We hope you enjoy viewing our collection and if you would like to join in, as a volunteer or participating interviewee, please contact us.


Rachel Loise has performed as a Storyteller since 1995 and helped start Wild Rose Heritage and Arts in 2002. She loves the people and landscape of the Upper Calder Valley having lived here since 1987 and has developed her storytelling skills by turning oral histories into reflective and entertaining stories using our archive material. Listen to Rachel's performances.

The Stories

Recently added

  • Andressa McWhirter

    Andressa is from the Philippines and ran the local sewing and dress shop on Market Street for many years

  • Joe O\'Reilly

    Joe discusses his art, the creative nature of Hebden Bridge and wonders if economic pressures means that artists will move further down the valley.

  • Chris Green Interview

    Chris Green

    Chris talks about his political life including work in Northern Ireland and Palestine, how he helped set up local co-operatives and his vision in setting up the White Ribbon Campaign.

  • Paul Weatherhead Interview

    Paul Weatherhead

    James talks to Paul Weatherhead, local musician and member of the Ukrainians.

  • Jude Wadley Interview

    Jude Wadley

    Jude is a community artist who has worked in Africa and helped to develop the popular Handmade Parade.

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