New Hope – Slack Cultural Centre

We were asked by people at the meeting on the 9th of April to give an update of what our intensions were after we met as a committee. below is our response.

A meeting had been arranged at Colton Primary School [sic] to appraise residents of New Hope’s vision to restore the building for use as a ” Recovery Centre” for those recovering from various addictions.

The meeting was attended by around 100 people but sadly did not afford those representing New Hope the courtesy of being allowed to present the proposed use,due to constant disruptions.
We were asked at the end of the meeting to let those who attended, know of our future intentions.

At our New Hope committee meeting on Friday 11th April it was decided that we would continue with the proposal.
It is therefore intended to submit a planning application in due course.

This process will ensure that local residents can submit their views on the application to the planning authority.

Brian Hemsworth. New Hope Trustee.

Heptonstall Lights and Planting Group (HeLP)

Pudding Night – 2 April

Thanks to everybody who supported the Pudding Night in The White Lion and made it a success.


Churchyard Clear up – 12 April

Thanks to everyone who helped with the churchyard clear up. We are beginning to make a difference.

The next clear up and planting session is on Saturday 26 April at 11.0 – 1.0 pm. Everybody welcome.


Plant and Planter / Hanging Basket Sale

HeLP are also planning to hold a Plant and Planter / Hanging Basket Sale in Weavers Square on Saturday 14th June at 11.0 – 2.0 pm. We want to help make Heptonstall even better for the Tour de France.

We will also be running our annual Front of House competition to coincide with the race, so get your tubs and baskets and see if you can win a prize.


Good Friday, 18th April in Weaver’s Square, Heptonstall

Pace Egg 2014

The crowds are parting, giving Neil Hope-Collins a wide berth. He’s clearing the path for the combatants behind him, as they make their way slowly up the hill.

Stuart Hought is leading in the white jersey with his famous star motif, closely followed by Jimmy Green in his now familiar grey jersey (or did he just mix his whites with his coloureds in the wash?).

David Burnop in his highly experimental headwear is making the most of it’s aerodynamic properties as he closes on the front runners. He pauses for a quick swig of his own recipe medicinal brew to help him on his way.

Andy Carter in the black jersey with the gold trim isn’t pushing at all, almost ambling along, laid back in his signature sunglasses. Sydney Roper in his long white jersey and cap follows next, sharing good natured banter with the public as the group pass by.

The young blood of the group Rowan Carter is vying for position, his red jersey flashing in the sunlight. Tailing, last but definitely not least, is the ladies’ favourite Dean Gash, pausing to entertain the crowd as the group weave up the hill narrowly avoiding a bus. What’s this you say? Le Tour has arrived early? No, of course not. This is the traditional procession of Heptonstall Pace Eggers making their way to their next performance in Weaver’s Square this Good Friday.

They would welcome your attendance, especially if you also weave up the hill to Heptonstall by foot or public transport. Or yes, for the fittest amongst you, even by bike!

Please avoid bringing your horseless carriage, parking is very limited.

This year collection will be for: McMillan Nurses and Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team. Members of the search and rescue team will be collecting.

Pace Egg 2012

Pace Egg play 2012 – photo: HebWeb

Performance times are as follows in Weaver’s Square:

11.15 am Heptonstall Pace Egg

12.30 pm Heptonstall Pace Egg

2.00 pm Heptonstall Pace Egg

3.00pm Midgley Pace Egg (Calder High Players)

4.00pm Heptonstall Pace Egg

The cast are:

Compare MC Juggler Neil Hope-Collins

St George Stuart Hought

Bold Slasher Jimmy Green

The Doctor David Burnop

Black Prince Andy Carter

King of Egypt Sydney Roper

Hector Rowan Carter

Toss Pot Dean Gash


Above details courtesy of Hebweb –

2014 Fell Race Results

Fell race results courtesy of Stephen Grimley. Well done to all who took part. Provisional results are below – please let us know if you spot any errors, typos etc.

Position Name Club Category Time Number
Position Name Club Category Time Number
1 Adam Osborne Leeds City AC m 1:54:10 418
2 Joe Mercer Horwich RMI m 2:00:27 464
3 Chris Farrell Horwich RMI m 2:00:55 461
4 Kim Collinson Borrowdale Fell Runners M 2:01:09 358
5 Tom Brunt Dark peak V40* 2:04:20 507
6 Colin Walker Pudsey and Bramley V40 2:06:34 376
7 David Jackson Horwich RMI V40 2:10:51 460
8 Jonny Mclean Holmfirth Harriers m 2:11:10 542
9 Graeme Brown Calder Valley Fell Runners m 2:11:13 555
10 Michael Hyde Stadium Runners m 2:12:06 530
11 Jason Hemsley Wharfedale Harriers V40 2:12:33 508
12 Kev Folan ua10 V40 2:13:34 521
13 David Haygarth Wharfedale Harriers V40 2:14:14 366
14 Will Buckton Ilkley Harriers m 2:14:16 549
15 Matt Huxford ua5 m 2:14:17 399
16 Kevin Hoult Calder Valley Fell Runners m 2:15:03 425
17 Daniel Shaw Holmfirth Harriers m 2:15:37 397
18 Garry Wilkinson Clayton Le Moors V40 2:15:42 351
19 Jonathan Collins Stainland Lions m 2:17:14 463
20 Gary Pearse Blackburn Harriers V40 2:18:57 481
21 Steve Coates East Hull Harriers V40 2:19:14 469
22 John Marsham Valley Striders m 2:20:01 451
23 Ben Crowther Todmorden Harriers V40 2:20:03 553
24 Liam Bough Calder Valley Fell Runners m 2:20:24 466
25 Leigh Hinchcliffe Pudsey Pacers V40 2:20:28 457
26 Rob Weir Barlick Fell Runners m 2:21:03 511
27 Mark O’Connor Calder Valley Fell Runners m 2:21:28 509
28 (lady 1) Jo Buckley Calder Valley Fell Runners l* 2:21:32 477
29 Bill Johnson Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:21:48 491
30 Ian Furlong Abbey m 2:21:58 501
31 Andy Berry Barlick Fell Runners m 2:22:09 510
32 Ian Rowbotham Harrogate harriers V50* 2:22:24 437
33 Stephen Booth ua3 V50 2:22:36 382
34 David Bagot Clayton Harriers m 2:22:54 419
35 Paul Booth Pennine Fell Runners m 2:23:08 484
36 Jon Tinman Rossendale V40 2:23:37 387
37 Charlie McIntosh Pudsey and Bramley V40 2:23:44 367
38 Chris Whiteoak Wharfedale Harriers m 2:24:00 415
39 Adam Holloway FRA V40 2:24:35 398
40 Scott Smith Holmfirth Harriers m 2:24:41 543
41 Jake Turnbull Harrogate harriers m 2:25:03 438
42 Iain Glendinning Calder Valley Fell Runners m 2:25:13 506
43 Peter Hughes Queensbury V50 2:25:16 379
44 Giles Bailey Meltham AC V40 2:25:28 427
45 Mark Ellithorn Chorley V40 2:25:30 371
46 Mick Loftus Valley Striders V40 2:25:57 411
47 Tristan Sheard Stainland Lions V40 2:26:04 462
48 Ben Clare Queensbury m 2:26:26 498
49 Jonathan Emberton Calder Valley Fell Runners V50 2:26:35 499
50 Mark Wharton Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:26:45 426
51 Jamie Hutchinson Ilkley Harriers V40 2:27:23 475
52 Greg Weatherhead Abbey m 2:27:32 504
53 Martin Kitchin ua1 M 2:27:44 360
54 Jerome McAllister FRA m 2:28:04 514
55 Patrick Brennan Rossendale M 2:28:11 372
56 Simon Vallance Valley Striders V40 2:28:12 409
57 Graham Hill Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:28:34 395
58 Clive Bandy Valley Striders m 2:29:11 439
59 Rob Gray Todmorden Harriers m 2:29:14 552
60 Michael Griffin Wharfedale Harriers V40 2:29:47 546
61 Tim Culshaw ua8 m 2:30:02 496
62 Mike Nelson Macclesfield V40 2:30:23 488
63 David Ralphs Newburgh Nomads V50 2:31:05 403
64 Ross Bibby Valley Striders m 2:31:33 456
65 Dan Marsden Stainland Lions m 2:31:43 458
66 Rob Grantham Cheshire Hill Racers V40 2:32:05 431
67 Jonathan Frost East Hull Harriers m 2:32:08 472
68 Carl Bedson Glossopdale V40 2:32:42 355
69 Richard Sunderland Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:32:51 476
70 Andreas Mayer Valley Striders m 2:33:09 447
71 Greg Carns St Helens Sutton AC V40 2:33:16 468
72 Steven Foley Newburgh Nomads V40 2:33:35 391
73 Iain Powell Calder Valley Fell Runners m 2:33:40 407
74 Phil Hobbs Holmfirth Harriers V40 2:33:50 413
75 Rob Parker ua2 V40 2:35:42 368
76 Adrian Kenney Fellandale m 2:36:01 517
77 Robert Bolton ua9 V40 2:36:14 516
78 Craig Neville ua7 V40 2:36:27 417
79 Paul M Crabtree Wharfedale Harriers V40 2:37:02 450
80 John Taylor Mercia V40 2:37:13 536
81 Simon Taylor ua6 m 2:37:17 410
82 Richard White Glossopdale Harriers m 2:37:21 500
83 (lady 2) Renee Saxton Otley AC L 2:37:22 558
84 Kevin Smith ua4 V40 2:37:33 396
85 David Cooper Pudsey Pacers V40 2:38:26 448
86 Robert Tyson Todmorden Harriers m 2:38:53 422
87 Phil Wells Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:39:17 486
88 Adrian Phillips ua11 V40 2:39:33 540
89 Richard Ingram Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:39:34 522
90 Luke McQuade Pudsey Pacers m 2:39:53 494
91 (lady 3) Joanne Worboys-Hodgson Denby Dale Travellers LV40* 2:40:18 388
92 Paul Fearns Holmfirth Harriers V50 2:40:35 526
93 Carl Heron Queensbury V50 2:41:02 412
94 Richard Sample Saddleworth m 2:41:05 544
95 John Minta Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:41:26 380
96 David Webb Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:42:05 441
97 Graeme Tiffany Pudsey Pacers V50 2:42:30 525
98 Duncan Ritchie Todmorden Harriers V40 2:43:31 465
99 Martin Finn Pudsey and Bramley V40 2:44:10 375
100 Nick Murphy Calder Valley Fell Runners V50 2:45:05 442
101 John Boothman Barlick Fell Runners V50 2:45:06 537
102 David Copping Keighley and Craven AC V40 2:45:48 489
103 (lady 4) Katherine Kirkham Wharfedale Harriers l 2:45:58 467
104 Luke Meleschko Halifax Harriers M 2:46:21 359
105 Robert Pritchard FRA V50 2:46:48 420
106 Michael Cooper ua V40 2:46:49 362
107 Richard Barnes ua V40 2:46:51 445
108 Mark Woodhead Valley Striders V50 2:46:55 423
109 Michael Mills ua V40 2:47:05 534
110 Timothy Jacobs Abbey V40 2:47:37 482
111 Wally Coppelov Newburgh Nomads V50 2:47:39 446
112 Micheal Coe Queensbury V40 2:47:40 377
113 Mark Nolan Pudsey and Bramley V50 2:47:43 383
114 Ben Bedsmith Todmorden Harriers m 2:47:57 429
115 Mick Bray Wharfedale Harriers V40 2:48:57 548
116 Jake Ackroyd ua m 2:49:02 535
117 Ian Greenwood ua m 2:49:03 532
118 Ian Sanderson Valley Striders V40 2:49:20 485
119 Jon Osborne ua M 2:49:40 357
120 Simon Galloway Todmorden Harriers V50 2:49:41 436
121 (lady 5) Alison Wainwright Staffordshire Moorlands LV40 2:49:43 529
122 Nigel Hodson Clayton Harriers V40 2:50:02 479
123 Fred Duenbier ua V50 2:50:08 444
124 Mike Vinegrad East Hull Harriers V40 2:50:15 470
125 Nick Andralojc Harrogate harriers V50 2:50:17 452
126 Justin Vogler Valley Striders V40 2:50:33 414
127 Graham Kay ua M 2:50:52 373
128 Nick Dewell Keighley and Craven AC V40 2:52:06 539
129 Mark Culshaw Newburgh Nomads V40 2:52:09 392
130 Peter Shelley ua V40 2:53:51 459
131 David Halliday Barlick Fell Runners V40 2:54:03 513
132 Nicky Bolton ua m 2:54:10 556
133 Richard Foster Abbey m 2:54:12 520
134 (lady 6) Liz Taylor Stainland Lions LV40 2:55:11 473
135 Brook Chambers Stainland Lions m 2:55:17 519
136 Stuart Hayton Bowland Fell Runners V40 2:56:24 430
137 Chris Alborough ua M 2:56:31 386
138 Toby Sycles Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 2:57:58 353
139 (lady 7) Marion Dixon Clayton Le Moors LV40 2:58:21 505
140 Brian Melia ua V40 2:59:08 474
141 (lady 8) Anna Smith Queensbury LV50* 2:59:09 406
142 Philip Robinson Queensbury 59,2:59:40 421
143 Charlie Eaton Glossopdale M 2:59:51 356
144 Steven Hemingway SPEN V50 3:00:14 527
145 (lady 9) Adela Reperecici Ilkley Harriers LV50 3:01:09 374
146 Andrew Combs ua V40 3:02:52 497
147 Richard Buckle Leeds Bradford Tri Club 1,3:03:07 541
148 Graham Jower ua V60* 3:03:08 378
149 Raj Madhas Wharfedale Harriers V40 3:03:58 364
150 Nathan Kennaugh Calder Valley Fell Runners m 3:04:30 523
151 Paul Taylor Calder Valley Fell Runners V40 3:06:16 503
152 Sam Fugill Nidd Valley Road Runners m 3:08:17 402
153 Edwin Sherstone Southport Waterloo V40 3:09:34 478
154 Simon Caldwell FRA V50 3:09:53 492
155 Dave Culpan Calder Valley Fell Runners V50 3:10:03 361
156 Paul Sheridan Esk Valley Fell Runners V40 3:11:57 354
157 Steven Moss FRA V60 3:13:05 524
158 (lady 10) Jenny Cooper Pudsey Pacers l 3:13:41 449
159 Simon Beverley ua m 3:13:42 531
160 Shaun Benham Pudsey Pacers V40 3:13:43 385
161 Ian Martin France Bowland Fell Runners V50 3:14:13 352
162 (lady 11) Amy Lomax Chapel Allerton L 3:15:13 384
163 Tim Whitcombe Idle AC V50 3:15:38 490
164 (lady 12) Jacqueline Redmayne Chorley LV40 3:17:40 370
165 Phil Hancock Fellandale V40 3:18:12 550
166 Philip Jones Baildon V50 3:19:34 416
167 Peter Fleming ua V50 3:20:05 428
168 Patrick Garland ua V50 3:20:39 424
169 Andrew Pigg Stadium Runners V50 3:21:28 538
170 Mick Fowler ua V50 3:21:29 528
171 Carl Prendergast Fellandale V60 3:23:33 455
172 (lady 13) Michelle Morris Baildon L 3:24:14 557
173 Russell Geraghty Military 1st Runners V40 3:24:35 401
174 Alun Davies Valley Striders V50 3:25:04 493
175 (lady 14) Gillian Wisbey Calder Valley Fell Runners LV40 3:25:23 404
176 (lady 15) Ceri Baker Pensby Runners LV50 3:25:47 369
177 Krzysztof Swedrowski Halifax Harriers m 3:27:50 551
178 Andrew Biddle West Pennine Runners V60 3:30:06 363
179 (lady 16) Rachel Johnston Calder Valley Fell Runners LV40 3:30:10 502
180 Shaun Beggs ua V40 3:30:12 432
181 (lady 17) Rachel Lowther Barlick Fell Runners l 3:30:53 512
182 Charles McKinney ua V40 3:31:01 454
183 Jean Du Plessis ua V40 3:31:13 389
184 Richard Blakeley Todmorden Harriers V70* 3:31:32 515
185 Michael Smith Bingley Harriers V50 3:31:33 480
186 (lady 18) Bev Holmes Todmorden Harriers LV40 3:32:09 440
187 (lady 19) Lisa Parkinson ua l 3:32:10 443
188 Colin Grime Spectrum Striders V60 3:33:38 408
189 (lady 20) Jo Miles Macclesfield LV50 3:33:42 393
190 Julian Brown Macclesfield V40 3:33:46 394
191 (lady 21) Fiona Armer Todmorden Harriers LV40 3:34:24 533
192 (lady 22) Linda Hayles Calder Valley Fell Runners LV60* 3:34:52 381
193 (lady 23) Tracey Apperley Newmarket Joggers LV40 3:36:11 495
194 Rich Smith ua V40 3:43:15 453
195 (lady 24) Laura Skelton ua L 3:44:02 435
196 James Alastair ua m 3:44:02 433
197 (lady 25) Camille Askins Keighley and Craven AC LV40 3:51:01 547
198 Robert Shirlaw Halifax Harriers V50 3:51:02 405
199 Martin Skelton FRA V40 3:51:04 434
200 Anthony Brown ua m 3:55:20 554
201 (lady 26) Sonja Ingrid ua LV50 3:59:48 545
202 Peter Ehrhardt Todmorden Harriers V60 4:04:57 390
203 (lady 27) Julie Laverock Salford Harriers LV40 4:16:29 365
204 John Swift Chorley V70 4:16:30 518
205 Reg Czudek Todmorden Harriers V60 4:19:42 400
206 David Danbury ua V60 5:00:55 483

Environment Agency Flood Risk Planning Meeting – 9 April 2014

Have your say on new flood risk reduction plans

Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency are consulting residents in the Upper Calder Valley about new plans to reduce flood risk.

A public drop-in meeting will be held at Hebden Bridge Town Hall on Wednesday 9 April 2014 between 3pm and 7pm to outline details of proposed schemes for the Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd areas.

These include plans for managing water running down the hills into Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Midgley, overtopping from the canal in Todmorden and highway flooding in Todmorden and Eastwood.

The £3 million programme will be funded by the Environment Agency and Calderdale Council and work on the first of the schemes will start this autumn.

The Environment Agency wants to hear what local people have to say about the initial proposals before drawing up detailed designs during the summer.

There will also be an opportunity to learn about the work done so far by the local flood action groups in the Upper Calder and visitors to the Drop-In will be invited to give their views on plans to establish stores across the valley which will contain equipment to be used in the event of flooding.

Local people will also have a chance to share their views on the development of a new website to provide up to date community information and advice in times of flooding.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins, said: “This is an opportunity for local residents to find out more about the planned works and to make their opinions known. The £3 million programme demonstrates the commitment of both the council and the Environment Agency to flood prevention in the Upper Calder Valley. The various schemes are part of the Calderdale Flood Investment Plan, designed to help local people and businesses become increasingly flood resilient.”

EA project manager Andrew Coen said: “A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes in the last year to develop projects that will make a real difference to the risk the communities in the Upper Calder Valley face from flooding. Over the next 12 months, we will be implementing these projects on the ground. However, before we do that, we would like to invite local people to have their say on these plans.”

Pennine Spring Music – Something for everyone. Come and enjoy…

All evening concerts are held in Heptonstall Parish Church

Tuesday 27 May 7.30

Orchestra and Chorus, 

Mozart :      Symphony 35 “Haffner”

Hummel :    Trumpet Concerto– soloist Christian Barraclough

Rutter :       All things bright and beautiful, God be in my head,

For the beauty of the earth.

Poulenc :     Sinfonietta


Wednesday 28 May

The Bell Ringers are contributing to the festival by ringing a full peal – (1pm- 4pm). The chosen piece is ‘Heptonstall Surprise Major’ and was performed for the first time, on the bells of St Thomas’, in 1988


Thursday 29 May  7.30    Chamber Concert


Verdi :        Chorus of Hebrew Slaves,   Anvil Chorus,

Chorus of Scottish Refugees

Hughes:      Spirituals – Jonah and Norah

Due Voci:

Selection from Dvorak and Monteverdi

Wind Chamber Group:

Selection from Ibert, Vinter and Dvorak


Saturday 31 May         7.30  

Orchestra and Chorus, 

Brahms:`     Variations on a Theme by Haydn

Mendelssohn:       Lobesang

soloists include: Louisa Stirland (BBC Chorister of the year 2012)

Linda Harvey and Tom Morrs


Tickets £10, (£8 concessions), £1 (under 16′s) to all concerts.

Available on the door or bookable in advance at Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Halifax Tourist Information Offices.


Full Programmes will be available at the Post Office, Tourist Information Office, Libraries and several outlets locally.




Heptonstall Slack Cultural Trust, Slack Top , Heptonstall

STCOver the last couple of years you may have been aware of some changes at Slack Top Centre which you may know as Slack Chapel.

External renovations were completed two years ago but the trust subsequently had administrative problems which resulted in the building being closed. These problems have now been resolved and we find ourselves looking to the future and endeavouring to use the building in keeping with our trust deed, which is to provide low cost temporary accommodation for people of limited means, encouraging care and concern for the countryside, and for the promotion of the Christian Faith. Previously these aims were met in the form of a self-catering hostel primarily for young people alongside the work of Mount Zion Baptist Chapel, the church which met on the premises. For various reasons this is no longer a viable plan for the building and we have been looking at alternative uses.

The trust is now negotiating a partnership with another charity, New Hope, who will work with us to renovate the internal fabric of the centre and establish a new use for the building still in keeping with our trust deed, which brings us to the reason for this letter.

We have been working closely with the Calderdale planning department which includes the conservation officer as the building is grade2 listed. The charity we are working with supports people with addictions and wishes to establish a residential rehabilitation centre. In order for this to go ahead we need to apply for a change of use on the building and in doing so wish to consult with the local community.

To facilitate this we have organised an open meeting on Wednesday 9th April at 7.30pm, in Colden School, the trustees of the building will be there as well as the director of New Hope to answer your questions and concerns. For those of you who cannot make this meeting we welcome your input either by mail to the above address or e-mail to

We know some of you may be concerned about the impact this will have on the church that has met in the building. The leadership of Mount Zion Baptist Chapel have been working closely with the trustees and are long term supporters of the New Hope charity. They are fully behind this change in direction, and are looking forward to the opportunities it will bring to serve the local community alongside New Hope. In the meantime they continue to meet at Heptonstall Bowling Club.

Please feel free to contact us for further information and we look forward to meeting some of you on the 9th. It would be good to see this building restored and used then to help restore people, a cause we are sure the original congregation of 1878 would have considered worthy.

More information on New Hope can be seen below.

The Slack Top Centre Trustees

Slack Top Vision

We are a charity and have been running a non residential rehab for people with addictions in Leeds for 14 years. We have had over 2500 people come through our doors in that time and have had some success in seeing people come of their addiction and returning to normal life. We work closely with doctors and government agencies to see that the people we deal with will get the best help they need.

In the past few years we have seen the need for a residential centre and have been actively looking for the last year. We have known Jason and Joanne for 12 years and met them to discuss the use of the Slack Top Centre for that purpose.

Our Purpose:

To accommodate up to 8 people in the centre for a period of 3 months at a time. They would have to be detoxed before coming to us.

When they arrive there will be a very controlled environment for them with full time staff and part time staff on site at all times. The people would have to remain free of drugs in the facility for the complete duration of their stay.

Each person would have an individual care plan and would have to agree to do work in the community while here. There will be very strict rules of conduct in and outside of the centre, any one breaking them will be sent home immediately. The people coming here will be put through an entrance check so that only those serious will be allocated a place.

What would this entail for You

There would be opportunities for you to come into the facility on open days to see what happens. There would also be an opportunity for any practical work you would need doing such as gardening or small decorating jobs.

We will be arranging meetings for you to put your point of view across in case you have any issues or fears.

Or you can have as little as possible to do with us.

Have there been any other places like this in a small community:

Yes there are. We have two who we know very well, one down in Norwich called Hebron; the other is in Northern Ireland called the Stauros Foundation.

Both have facilities in small hamlets and have very good relationships with the local people who have had no problems at all.

HEPTONSTALL FELL RACE – Saturday 29 March 2014

HEPTONSTALL FELL RACE – Saturday March 29th – 10.30 am

Heptonstall Hurriers are busy preparing for another big day in the village calendar. 2014 will see the 4th running of the Heptonstall Fell Race. The race has new HQ this year as THE CROSS INN takes over as the main race sponsor. Heptonstall Hurriers (an informal group of runners based in around the village) expect over 200 runners to enter the 15 mile race. Local Scouts, Mountain Rescue, Raynet radio team, and Church Volunteers will all be supporting the event. In return, all proceeds from the race are split between these organisations. The race is now one of the UK’s premiere fell races and its popularity is as much due to the warm welcome and hospitality of the community, as for its challenging route through our local valleys, moors, and woodlands. The race features over 3000 feet of climbing over tough terrain, so safety is a priority. The event relies heavily on the generous support of an army of volunteers in ensuring the safety of visiting runners.


Village volunteers play a vital role in marshalling the race. We hope that many will volunteer again this year. We would also be very interested to hear from anyone who might be free to help for the first time; the roles are easy to pick up and may involve 1-2 hours. If you could help us get this request out to everyone in the village it would be much appreciated. (All volunteers will be given a token for a “Thank You Pint” at THE CROSS).

The Hurriers would be delighted to hear from anyone who might be able to help out on the day. Please contact Stephen Grimley – 07710 015560.


The new race website is still work in progress, but already viewable at whilst a popular Facebook page has already attracted a following of over 300 runners;


Experienced runners who might be training for the race will have opportunities to recce the route, guided by local organisers. There will be a fast medium, and steady paced group (depending on numbers). All runners should be capable of running 15 miles off road.

The first takes place this Saturday , 1 February, at 10am, meet in Weavers Square from 09.45 with all the appropriate gear (see race website above). Further recces will be planned for the weekend of 15th/16th February; keep checking the race Facebook page for news ;

The race website is currently missing the route map and route description (due to be added over next few days) in the meantime they can both be downloaded here;

Fell Race Map                Fell Race Route Description

Tour de France comes to Yorkshire, but not quite to Heptonstall !

YGD-members-bannerOn July 6th 2014, Calderdale hosts 22 miles of the the world’s biggest annual sporting event as the Tour de France comes to Yorkshire, generating an estimated £100 million for the regional economy.

Le Tour will not pass directly through any part of Heptonstall, Colden or Blackshaw, but the influx of visitors will have a huge impact on our communities. There will be many issues to consider such as parking, camping, bus service, road closures etc.

At a public meeting in Heptonstall on 27 January, Katie Kinsella, ‎Principal Officer-Tourism at Calderdale MBC, spoke about how the event will affect the locality.

On the day, Sunday 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the Grand Départ enters Calderdale at Cock Hill passing over the summit of a climb between Oxenhope and Hebden Bridge. From there the riders will descend quickly as the road cuts through the open moorland, passing through Peckett Well and Wadsworth and onto the super-fast tree lined descent to Hebden Bridge.  The route then continues from Hebden Bridge to Mytholmroyd on the flat of the A646 for a short distance, before taking on England’s longest continuous road climb, Cragg Vale, as part of the 200km Stage 2 between York and Sheffield.

A great many visitors will come to the area over the weekend, and the A6033 Keighley Road and A646 Halifax Road from Hebden Bridge will be closed for much of the race day from about 7:00am (final details yet to be announced – updates at

Prior to the race itself, due through Hebden Bridge at about 1:30pm, the seven mile long “Caravan” will pass along the route from around 11:45am.  This cavalcade of floats, decorated cars and other vehicles moves along the route, throwing out goodies and free samples to the spectators, and is a massive advertising stunt. The Caravan, made up of the Tour’s official sponsors, is followed by a long line of official cars, technical vehicles, media and motorbikes, lights flashing, horns sounding, all warming up the spectators for the actual event itself.

All this will be a great spectacle for all, and is expected to bring a great deal of business for local traders and businesses.

More details about the event are available on the Visit Calderdale website event page, or on the Welcome to Yorkshire website.

Heptonstall’s own Fell Race is being planned to take place on Saturday 5 July 2014, adding more local interest to this exciting weekend.

Public Meeting about Fell Race and Tour de France

ADMIN.POSTER.Tour-de-FranceThere will be a public meeting about the Tour de France and the Fell Race at Heptonstall School Hall  on 27 January 2014 at 7:30pm.

Calderdale Council’s Head of Tourism will provide information and be available for questions

– everyone welcome.


Click here to download a copy of the poster.

Heptonstall School Fair

pfa school poster

This weekend is a busy one in Heptonstall. On Saturday, Christmas trees will be on sale in Weavers’ Square from 3pm, with all proceeds to the Heptonstall Lights and Planting Group.

Hebden Bridge Brass Band will play from 5.30pm for the switch-on of the Christmas tree lights. At 6pm they will move into the White Lion, where pie and peas will be served.

On Sunday, Heptonstall School’s Christmas fair runs from 2pm to 4pm in the school hall, with attractions including Santa’s grotto, games for the children, face painting and many other stalls.

Further ahead, Christmas events include:

Sunday, 15 December, 3pm, Christingle Service at St Thomas’.

Sunday, 15 December, time tbc, a concert of Klezmer music at the White Lion.

Sunday, 22 December, 10.45am, Nativity Service in the Methodist Chapel. Children from the village and school are invited to take part in this enjoyable event. We also need a baby to play Jesus – contact Margaret Coupe on 01422 842550 if you want to put your baby on the road to stardom.

Sunday 22 December 6.30pm, Village Carol Service at St Thomas.

Wednesday, 25 December, 9.30am, Joint Christmas Day Service at the Methodist Chapel.


Heptonstall Festival in Pictures

red queen 1Were you caught on camera? Check out the beautiful pictures taken by Rory Prior on Flickr, with more pictures of the procession and children’s events in the ruins by Amy Binns.

All Amy’s pictures are free to download, print and share for personal and non-commercial use.

If you took some pictures of the day, why not add them to the Flickr Heptonstall pool and share them with us all?

procession 1

Heptonstall Festival on Film

If you’re already missing the festival, relive the fun in these videos.

Hebden Bridge Times’ video includes an impressive performance from Heptonstall’s Class Four. Gremlins are preventing us from displaying it here but you can see it on their website. Full coverage will be in next week’s paper.

Traditional dancing from the Hill Millies, complete with scarves and pinnies, can be seen here:

Luke Concannon performs Give It All from his new album in Weavers Square:

And who could forget headliners Nizlopi performing here

A Range of Beautiful Mouth Watering Stalls at Heptonstall Festival

This year at Heptonstall Festival we have an exciting selection of local arts and crafts of all descriptions – felt, clay, vinyl print, steam punk accessories, knitting, wood work and ironmongery.

There will be Alice in Wonderland themed keepsakes from both the blacksmith and clay artists to honour the Wonderful parade.

We have a diverse selection of international food – Thai, French and Italian from local food artisans and good hearty local favourites plus cakes to die for from our very own Mabel and Craggs Cake’s.

For drink why not try the best of local ale with Little Valley and Bridestones breweries wholeheartedly supporting our event with local cider to boot!

Stalls will be across St Thomas church ruins and Weaver’s Square.

There’s just too much to miss!


Heptonstall Festival : Street Closure and Bus Diversion

Heptonstall Festival will be taking place all day on Saturday (21 September).  For reasons of safety (especially child safety), the main village street will be closed between the school carpark and the post office between 9.30am and 6.30pm.  The road will be blocked by marshalled straw bales.

If possible, it would be appreciated if no one drove down the street between these hours, but people with off-street parking will be able to have access except at the time of the children’s parade in the morning.

There should be no access between Townfield Lane/Church Street and Northgate, please.

Buses E. 906 and 517 will be diverted via Lee Wood Road and Draper Lane. Route 591 will not be affected.

The festival organisers apologise for the inconvenience involved, but we hope that all villagers and visitors alike will think the disruption is worth it.

Heptonstall Festival 2013 – Event Details….

Saturday 21 September 2013 - Morning and Lunchtime Events 


Saturday 21 September from 10.30am

Alice, Mad Hatter and Mr Bloom

Heptonstall Festival this year has a major emphasis on children, families and the community.  As the village has emerged from months under the tyranny of heavy vehicles thundering through, September 21 will be a traffic-free day of make believe and fun.

The whole morning and lunchtime will be themed around Alice in Wonderland.  Villagers and visitors alike can join the Queen of Hearts’ barmy army.  It will be time to get lost in Lewis Carroll’s topsy turvy tale of doors too small for keys too big, ‘Drink me’ potions and Bread and Butterflies.  Who do we know who grins like the Cheshire Cat or is as illusive as the White Rabbit?  Which neighbour is as eccentric as the Mad Hatter or as fiery as the Red Queen?  Which children and which parents will be what, and who will the Queen’s Card Guards be?

The barmy army and camp followers will gather at Heptonstall School at 10.30 to be greeted by the Queen of Hearts, (local actress Ursula Holden Gill) and the White Rabbit (Sonia from Canopy Arts) together with the school’s Parent and Friends Association.  The Queen will give her Card Guards a final warming up prior to their long march.  A Mad Hatter (Sydney Roper) will no doubt make a nuisance of himself.

Then, led by the Red Rose New Orleans Band from Preston, the Queen will march her barmy army through the village streets to finish up in the old church ruins.  Once the army enters, the stalls will open, the giant bluebells will be hung and the fun begins.  The Queen and her entourage will hand on the giant teapot and cups to CBeebies’ Mr Bloom, who will open the proceedings and unveil all manner of treats for us all – music, dancing and an awful lot of homemade cakes!  The children will perform the composition they have created during the previous week.

Everyone should come with blankets and baskets filled with goodies for a Mad Hatters Tea Party (which, being in Wonderland, will be at lunchtime!).  The Red Rose band will hand over to Tim O’Connor and Des Horsfall from the musical melting pot of Manchester, who will entertain the tea party and carry us through into the afternoon.

The Heptonstall Wonderland will not have started on 21 September.  For many days before, festival teams will have been working with the children, their families and teachers in both Colden and Heptonstall Schools to make the dreams come true.

In Heptonstall School, the whole curriculum in the week before the festival will have been devoted to music, design and costume making.  In Colden School, this will have happened at drop-in sessions at the after-school club.  A festival arts team of Mimi Faulks, Jo Harris, Chrissy from Hat Therapy and Mel Daniels, the Dramasaurus teacher, will have worked with the children to make all their wonderful Wonderland costumes.  Romily Meredith will have helped with the giant teapot and teacup;  and Sandra McCracken will have assisted the making of giant willow bluebells.

Ursula Holden Gill and Sonia from Canopy Arts will also have helped the children develop the drama and action for the day.  The Card Guards will have been drilled to perfection, and everyone will have warmed up for Wonderland and brushed up on their fun procession poses.  Composer Katie Chatburn will have helped the children compose the music that they would then perform on the day at the Mad Hatters Tea Party.

At Colden School, the festival team will have been joined by Jo Wells and parent Sarah Regan.

Village Bunting

A key part of the festival is the bunting.  Local people have been designing flags for “I Spy with my Little Eye” and creating images of distant views, like Stoodley Pike or Pecket Well, or close up, like a robin, a tree in the garden, members of the family, or Grandpa’s hands.  The flags will debut this year and will continue to grow and decorate local events for years to come.

So, dear reader, have you yet made your bunting.  If not, get to it, or it will be off with your heads!

Saturday 21 September 2013 – Afternoon Events


The afternoon at this year’s Heptonstall festival on Saturday 21 September will be a galaxy of a dozen or more bands performing on two stages, together with a local bawdy drama, magic, storytelling, dancing and much, much more.  The first stage will be in Weavers Square, as it has been in previous years.  But the second stage will be in the old church ruins of St Thomas a Beckett.  The ruins provide a highly atmospheric backdrop for drama and music.  In previous years, a Handel opera was performed there as part of Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and Sheffield University frequently performed Shakespeare plays.  But this is the first such use in the 21st century.  The festival committee is most grateful for the support of the vicar and churchwarden.

Music commences at 11.45 in the old church ruins, during the Mad Hatters Tea Party, with Tim O’Connor and Des Horsfall.  O’Connor is a charismatic performer creating a warm and dynamic atmosphere for the day.  With Irish roots, he grew up musically in the melting pot of Manchester.  His father played ukulele à la George Formby.  His influences include the Beatles, Dylan and Neil Young but he has found his own style.  Prior to Heptonstall he has played in festivals like Celtic Connections in Scotland, Roche sur Foron in France, Zamek in Poland, Oslo Irish and Boston Johnny D’s Club.

On the square, music starts at 12 noon with singer/songwriter Paul Weatherhead.  The exciting and eclectic programme throughout the day includes some nationally famous, some up and coming locals and young bands from the Royal Northern College and Leeds College of Music.

The main headline act, playing in the old church ruins at 5.55, is Nizlopi – John Parker (double base and human beatbox) and Luke Concannon (vocals, guitar and bodhrán), whose most successful JCB song reached number one in the UK on its second release. The band is named after an Hungarian girl whom Luke fancied at school. Described by Radio 1 as “Political, intense, angular and beautiful”, they play joyful stories, from heart cracked open love songs to their people power invocation ‘England Uprise!’.

The other headline act, playing at 5.05, is Taylor Jackson, Manchester born and bred soulstress, whose debut EP ‘Roots’ is available right now!  For over 10 years she has been writing, producing, recording and performing music with fellow artists and musicians. Her first solo project draws from her own experience, her love of soul music, and her degree in classical composition to produce something truly inspirational.

James Christy is a Pop Rock singer/songwriter from the north of England. After the success of James’s debut album “Man Made of Glass” James has moved on to bigger and better things. Over the last year James has formed a backing band around himself and they have been performing all over the country and have been recently selected to play on the Atom Live tour in October later this year.

James Paul on the other hand is an experienced, enthusiastic guitarist from Edinburgh and RNCM, looking to develop new ways of playing guitar and inducing new sounds to enhance everyday music, from jazz and hip hop to rock and funk, being as diverse as possible in a session.  Prior to Heptonstall, he has played at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, Queen’s Hall and Traverse Theatre.

Other performers include bluegrass group from the hills of West Yorkshire, Cowbaby, playing Americana and acoustic, Jenni Doyle, Adonis, Bath-based singer/songwriter Ash Tucker, local singer Penny Stansfield,  close harmony singers from RNCM Three of Hearts and Heptonstall’s very own Chris Hancox All Star Experience.  There will also be bands in the White Lion.

Apart from music, there will be magic by the magnificent Alexander Wells, who will also be MC’ing, dance by the Hebden Bridge’s famous Hill Millies and a young Colden Morris group, clowns and a local bawdy drama, “Much Ado about Something” by Geoff Scott, about the exploits of some beer-loving and women chasing local lads. There will be both storytelling and song by Ursula Holden Gill.

Performances will finish at 7pm, in readiness for the candle-lit evening concert with David Owen Lewis, Margaret Bruce and Iyad Sughayer.

Food, Drink and Craft Stalls

There will we a wide feast of beer, wine, tea and food stalls and tents, and craft stalls of all types, on the square, in the churchyard and on Towngate.  The two local breweries, Bridestones and Little Valley, will each have a tent, Bridestones on the Square and Little Valley in the old church ruins.  The two village pubs, the White Lion and the Cross, and Towngate Tearoom will also be open all day, providing solid and liquid refreshment.

Towngate Tearooms, the village deli, will have a stall on the Square and the Proved Pizza Van will also be there.  In the ruins will be both Thai and French food stalls and a tea stall run by the church.  Come Dine with Me star, Heptonstall’s Jan Lymer, will also have a sweetie stall.

On the Square, there will be a vintage clothes tent, Richard Hemmingway’s Ironworks, BEAT (Blackshaw Environmental Action), HELP (Heptonstall Lights and Planting) and Nicola’s knitting stall.  In the old church ruins and the churchyard there will be facepainting, hula hooping, sand art and Andy Bell’s Strange Thing.  While on Towngate, there will be Blackbark Greenwood Working, Caroline’s church stall, Craggs Cakes and Helen Hought.

Something for everyone, Heptonstall’s flowering of cultural and social dynamic will a traffic-free day  -  a day of relief from eight months when the village was a traffic maelstrom while a landslip closed the by-pass.

Saturday 21 September 2013 - Evening Events


Saturday 21 September from 7.30pm

Victoria Sharp (Soprano); David Owen Lewis (Baritone); Margaret Bruce (Keyboard); Iyad Sughayer (Keyboard)

When the bands have stopped playing and the craft stalls packed away their produce, the atmosphere at Heptonstall Festival will change for an all-star candlelit evening concert under canvas in the ruins of the ancient St Thomas a Becket Church.

Very well known to concert-goers in and around the Calder Valley, baritone David Owen Lewis will be singing a programme of romantic arias, Neapolitan love songs and hits from the shows, together with international concert pianist, Margaret Bruce.

David Owen-Lewis was born in the Swansea Valley. He started singing at an early age and has never stopped. He studied at the National Welsh College of Music and Drama and his life has been one long adventure in music ever since. Having started his career at the end-of-the-pier and then being a member of Opera North for a quarter century, he always found time for oratorio, concerts, music-hall and cabaret, including several years with Pennine Spring Music in Heptonstall. He starred in the Handel opera performed in the old church ruins in 1998.

He now performs regularly with Margaret Bruce in Britain, France and Italy. But equally important to him is his work with Moodswings and Streetwise Opera in Manchester, sharing music with the homeless and people with bi-polar conditions, and also with Mind in Bradford.

Canadian born Margaret Bruce has had an entire repertoire of music written for her by composers as famous as Herbert Howells and Lennox Berkeley. Born on the Pacific Coast, she received a scholarship to Toronto’s Royal Conservatory in her mid teens. At 18 she came to the Royal College of Music in London and her British debut in 1968 was in Winchester Cathedral and Wigmore Hall. With Peter Gellhorn she established Canadians and Classics at St. Johns Smith Square.

She’s played Mozart at the Barbican with the Royal Philharmonic, Liszt in Slovakia, and varied recitals throughout North America and Europe. The Czech composer Tucapsky has written various work for her, including Tara’s Song for her young grand-daughter. Margaret has held many concerts over the years at her home at Walshaw Lodge and has performed at Pennine Spring. She now plays with David Owen Lewis across the UK and Europe.

19 year old Iyad Sughayer is a young virtuoso Jordanian/Palestinian pianist who studied at Chethams School in Manchester and is now at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he has just been runner-up in the International Concerto Competition. Playing since age of five, Iyad is no stranger to the international stage, having performed in the Middle East, Russia, UK and other countries in Europe. As well as a solo pianist, Iyad has played concertos with the European Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Youth Orchestra, Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, Buxton Chamber Orchestra, Cairo Symphony Orchestra and Amman Symphony Orchestra. He has also been awarded 1st prizes in the Chetham’s Concerto Competition and the Chetham’s Beethoven Competition.

He is performing extensively particularly in the UK, his native Jordan and recently at the Madinat Jumeirah Theatre in Dubai and the Mashrek International School in Amman (under the patronage of HRH Princess Rym Ali). He has made a number of recent live recordings of Mozart (Adagio in B Minor and Piano Concerto no 18) and Chopin (Nocturne No 1). He played stunningly at this year’s Pennine Spring Music in Heptonstall, where he was the star of the week.

Victoria Sharp is a leading soprano with the Opera North chorus, of which she has been a member for 25 years. She is currently performing nationwide as the Lady in Waiting in Verdi’s Macbeth, as Ninetta in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges and in Britten’s Peter Grimes. Her past roles for Opera North have included Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Despina (Cosi Fan Tutti) and Fasquita (Carmen). She has given a renowned performance of Turandot in which she will sing the title role.

She is a performer much in demand for her oratorio and musical singing around the UK and abroad. She has recent given what was described as a blazing performance at an opera gala of classics in Ilkley, singing Puccini, Lehar, Paganini and Heuberger. She is giving a Christmas performance of Mozart at The Mansion in Leeds.

Vicky has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, the Cheltenham Festival, the Royal Albert Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. And, of course, she has starred many times with Opera North colleagues at Pennine Spring in Heptonstall.

Mr Bloom at Festival

Bloom_Hands on hips2Heptonstall’s own celebrity gardener and entertainer Mr Bloom will be welcoming children to the Festival on September 21.

Mister Bloom open the festivities in the church ruin around midday, fresh from his very successful tour of the country which saw thousands of families flock to see his very special stage show “When Julian lost his wiggle..”

Played by local resident Ben Faulkes, Mister Bloom’s nursery was the first Cbeebies programme to come out of BBC North and shows no sign of losing its popularity.

Now is your chance to meet the man himself as he appears live on stage at Heptonstall Festival.