New Hope – Slack Cultural Centre

The following comment was sent to Heptonstall village website by Brian Hemsworth, Trustee of New Hope, the organisation connected with Slack Chapel.

“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.

Hit the trail! Calder Valley charity to launch innovative new e-trails next month.

PennineHeritageOn Saturday 12 April, from 10am to 4pm, Hebden Bridge based charity Pennine Horizons will be launching four new electronic trails to enhance four walks in the Calder Valley area. The launch will take place at a special open day at the Birchcliffe Centre, Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge.

The e-trails (or audio commentaries) can be downloaded to a phone or mp3 player and include interesting stories of local events and people of note as well as information about of the awe-inspiring ecology and outstanding industrial heritage of the area. The trails are:

  • A walk around Charlestown – a three mile trail looking at the 18th and 19th century industrial history on a walk along the Rochdale canal and through the wooded valley around Charlestown.
  • The power in the landscape – a six mile trail through the beautiful Colden Valley looking at the early 19th century water powered industry.
  • Cragg Vale – a lovely walk through the vale exploring the fascinating history of the area
  • Sam Hill – Follow in the footsteps of Sam Hill, a great wool baron who lived around the beautiful Ryburn Valley in the 1700s

Visitors are welcome to drop in to the launch day between 10am and 4 pm to find out more about the new trails as well as a further nine trails which are currently being developed across the Calder Valley. This is likely to include a version of the Heptonstall Trail. They can also find out how they can get involved in the Pennine Horizons project and sign up for future guided walks in the area

As part of the launch, Pennine Horizons will also lead a FREE guided walk around Hebden Bridge on the group’s Tree Trail, looking at the fascinating history of how trees and wood were utilised in the area. This will start at the Birchcliffe Centre at 2pm. Spaces are limited so you will need to book in advance by contacting Vicky on The walk will take about 2.5 hours and involves some hills and muddy paths, so please come prepared with sensible footwear.

Frank Woolrych, Chair of the Pennine Horizons project said: “The stunning landscapes and striking remains of its industrial heritage have drawn walkers and historians to the Calder and its valleys for many years.

“To share this with more people, we have teamed up with a whole host of local volunteers, community groups and organisations to create 12 interesting and inspiring walks and trails. The event in April will provide visitors with a great opportunity to see the work we have been doing and we hope that some of them will join us on the free guided walk on the day.”

Anyone interested in volunteering to help to develop the charity’s walks and trails, support events, education groups or digital archive project can contact the organisation via email: or phone: 01422 844450 or visit the charity’s website at

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 Parish Council Newsletter

The following has been received from Roger Greenwood, Clerk to Heptonstall Parish Council…

I hope Christmas and the New Year went well for you and the weather has not interfered with your daily routine. As I write there has been no flooding or snow disruption, and I hope it continues. Calderdale Council has published its statement on the provision of winter gritting. With any luck it will prove to be adequate for our needs.

The Council has given opinion on fourteen Planning Applications during the past 3 months, a couple of which has excited many members of our community. It is probably worth reminding you that the Parish Council, whilst being a public consultee, can only make a recommendation to the planning authority – it does not have a power of veto.

On other planning matters we maintain a dialogue with the Enforcement Manager at Calderdale Council, and Councillor John Scarborough (who chairs our Planning Committee) and myself will hold what is now a regular twice a year meeting with her very shortly.

Your members have considered a wide range of topics in the past quarter. It has been good to see members of the public attending recent meetings. They tell me how surprised they have been at the detail and wide range of issues. Do remember you will always be made welcome should you choose to attend. Details are shown on the council’s notice boards about a week before each meeting.

Topics considered have included :

  • Speed of traffic & consultation with Calderdale Council re 20 mph orders for residential areas
  • Restricted access caused by inconsiderate parking
  • Road closures
  • Dumping of waste
  • Public Footpaths
  • Bus service : effect of proposed changes for hill top routes
  • Review of the council’s Standing Orders
  • Tour de France/Fell Race – public meeting to review and advertise impact in July 2014
  • Dog Fouling (yet again! – it never goes away)
  • 2014/15 Finance – beginning to look at a budget for the coming year


Congratulations on the success of the community Christmas Lunch for the ‘young at heart’. All reports I have received were positive, and thanks must go to all who volunteered their time and energy in making it go so well.

On a personal note I was so pleased to see the happy faces in the Hebden Bridge Times photograph, particularly that both my aunt (Nellie Dawson) and my mother (Marian Greenwood who is the oldest person still alive who was born in the parish) were at the forefront of the picture.

The Parish Council provided a donation from its charity fund and, more importantly, also provided Father Christmas in the shape of Councillor Adrian Baldwin who tells me he dispensed with the need for padding under his outfit!

Congratulations too to the Lights & Planting Group for the constantly improving Xmas lights in Weavers Square. Their work is surely applauded by us all.

Roger M Greenwood
The Clerk
Heptonstall Parish Council

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.


An Invitation to Join “The Performance Ensemble”.

Plans are underway for an exciting community performance project for Calder Valley residents to be delivered in early 2014.

If you are close to 60 or above and have lots of stories to tell, this is for you. Set in a dance hall this quirky, romantic performance will include acting, singing, dancing, visual arts and live music. Local stories will be woven into the piece with volunteer performers, musicians and artists coming together to make this happen.

The Performance Ensemble is the brain child of Alan Lyddiard, an accomplished theatre director with a passion for creating community theatre with older people. Alan will be attending on September 14th to talk a little about the project, to answer any questions you might have and to listen to your ideas for the event too.

This informal get-together will take place upstairs at the church and there is a lift if you need one. Downstairs the infamous Mytholmroyd Marmaladies will be holding their ‘Marvellous Market’ so there’s plenty to do. There’s a café too.

Joe Standerline is the community Liaison Contact for the Performance Ensemble. Joe is a playwright and creative coach who’s helping to spread the word and ensure as many local residents know about the project as possible. If you’d like to know more, please give Joe a call on 0794 1234 313 or email joe’@’

Mytholmroyd Methodist Church
Scout Rd. Mytholmroyd. HX7 5QD
Saturday 14 September 2013
11am to 12.30 pm.

If you can’t attend this time but would like to get involved in the project please let Joe know so he can keep you informed. Please feel free to forward this to friends and family.

See you there for the start of something wonderful.

Traffic survey proves drivers speeding

A covert traffic survey organised by a residents’ group has shown cars speeding at more than 55mph through the village, in contrast to Calderdale’s radar gun survey.

The council’s survey suggested average speeds of only 12-13mph but the residents’ group believes this was due to the way the speeds were measured. Full statement below from Heptonstall Traffic, Parking & Road Safety Group

Results of a traffic speed survey carried out in Towngate and Smithwell Lane over the period 20-26th June 2013.

Residents have long complained of the non-compliance of drivers with the 20mph speed zone through Towngate and Smithwell Lane. These complaints have grown in both number and volume since the Lee Wood Road closure forced increased traffic through the Village and serious road safety concerns have been voiced by an increasing number of the wider local community.

The Group and the Parish Council have repeatedly taken up these concerns with Calderdale Council, first to try to obtain effective speed zone enforcement and second to get effective traffic calming measures in place. The Council’s response has been to carry out some sporadic SiD/Radar gun surveys, the latest of which suggested average speeds of 12-13mph, maximum speeds of 20mph and 85 percentile speeds (the parameter used for determining speed limits) of 14-16mph. As a consequence of these results Calderdale Council proposed to take no further action.

To try to resolve this conflict between residents’ and Calderdale Council’s views and because in our opinion the Calderdale surveys are unreliable (random days & locations, short time periods, SiD/Radar gun visibility slows drivers down) the Group, with Parish Council support, decided to carry out its own more systematic, comprehensive and covert survey.

Our objective was to provide hard evidence either, that drivers are compliant with the 20mph limit and that therefore residents have no cause for concern or, that drivers are not compliant and that therefore some enforcement and/or traffic calming action is needed from Calderdale.

The speed survey was carried out over the seven day period 20th – 26th June 2013 by Leeds City Council, which is contracted by Calderdale Council to carry out similar work for them. Traffic volume and speed data was collected by hour, for 24 hours per day in 5mph wide ‘bins’ from 0 to 60mph, using pneumatic tube sensors across the road and battery operated electronic recording equipment – a more discrete method of measurement than radar guns/SiD and much less likely to impact on normal driving speeds.

Measurement was carried out for both ‘up’ (Northbound) and ‘down’ (Southbound) traffic at three points: at the start of the ‘cobbles’ just uphill of the junction with Valley View Road (ie inside the 20mph zone at the lower entry to the Village); at the junction of Silver Street with Smithwell Lane; and, at the Lodge/Sandal House entrance drive (ie inside the 20mph zone at the upper entry to the Village). Unfortunately, due to technical problems, the Silver Street equipment delivered only 3 full days of results but the other equipments delivered a full 7 days of results and we consider we have more than adequate data to draw some robust conclusions.

The survey produced a mass of data and analysis of it is on-going but a brief summary of salient facts of immediate interest is provided in the table overleaf. The most striking facts to emerge are:
• 800-900 vehicles travel up and down Towngate/Smithwell Lane per day (reducing to 500-600 at week-ends);
• Of these 8-12% exceed the 20mph speed limit at the lower end of the Village, 7-9% do so at Silver Street and 32-33% exceed the limit at the upper end;
• Amazingly, at the lower end of the Village 5 vehicles were recorded travelling at more than 45mph, of which 2 were exceeding 55mph, whilst at Silver Street (in just three days) 3 were recorded at more than 40mph and, at the upper end of the Village, 11 were exceeding 40mph, of which 3 were exceeding 55mph.

We consider the results of the survey lend substantive weight to the views of residents, that there is considerable non-compliance with the 20mph speed zone and that a significant number of vehicles are being driven at dangerously high speeds through the Village. It is our intention to use the evidence generated to try to persuade Calderdale Council to take effective action to achieve driver compliance with the 20mph zone.
traffic survey-page-0

Dramasaurus Classes

dramasaurus logoNew drama classes are on offer for children aged two to 11 at Heptonstall Social and Bowling Club.
They are run on Fridays by qualified teacher Melanie Daniels and are bookable half-termly, though children are welcome to join at any point.
Classes cost £5 per session, trial class free.


Timetable as follows:
2:30pm – 3:15pm, age 2/3
3:40pm – 4:25pm, age 4/5
4:30pm – 5:15pm age 6/7/8
5:20pm – 6:05pm age 9/10/11

For more information, visit the dramasaurus website, email or call

Traffic issues

By the Traffic, Parking and Road Safety Group

Are you concerned about traffic through the village? 

Are you prepared to put pen to paper to report issues?

We’re gathering ‘evidence’ to present to CMBC – to try to convince them that more needs to be done to relieve current (and possibly future) traffic difficulties resulting from the Lee Wood Road situation.

Reporting forms are available in the Post Office or by calling the phone number below.

Please return completed forms to the collection box in the Post Office or the alternative address on the form.

Photos and/or video clips would also be helpful.

Contact Number for forms or further information:       01422 847328

The Traffic, Parking and Road Safety Group

 An action group supported by Heptonstall Parish Council

& Heptonstall Forward

Blackshaw Environmental Action Team

A copy of the UpBEAT Newsleter for January-February 2013 can be seen here.

posterBEAT is holding its first ever public meeting in Heptonstall on Wednesday 9 January at 7.45 pm at the Social and Bowling Club.

The topic is ‘Our food future – global vs local?’, a talk and discussion led by Geoff Tansey.

Geoff Tansey has worked on food, agriculture and development issues for over 35 years. He has degrees in soil science (University of Aberdeen) and history of and social studies of  science (Sussex University). He helped found and edit the journal Food Policy in the mid-1 970s, has worked on  agricultural development projects in Turkey, Mongolia, Albania and Kazakhstan and travelled widely.

Since 1981 , he has been an independent writer, consultant, and occasional broadcaster. His books include The Food System: A guide (with Tony Worsley) and coeditorship of The future control of food: A guide to international negotiations and rules on intellectual property, biodiversity and food security.

In June 2005, he received a Joseph Rowntree ‘Visionaries for a Just and Peaceful World’ Award and, in 2008, he won the Derek Cooper Award for best food campaigner/educator, at the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards. He is a member and a trustee of the Food Ethics Council.


Be My Baby

Heptonstall Methodist Church nativity group

If you want to prepare your baby for stardom, a leading role is available in the Heptonstall Methodists’ traditional nativity service.

A baby is needed to play the part of Baby Jesus on Sunday 23 December at 10.45am. Willing candidates can be held by Mary or can chill out in their car seat next to the manger, depending on the parents’ preference.

Any other children who would like to join in as angels, shepherds etc are very welcome to attend.

Rehearsals are being held at 10am on Saturday 15 December and Saturday 22 December at the Octagonal Chapel. Anyone interested can contact Margaret on 01422 842550 or just turn up to a rehearsal.

Planting in the Church Yard

Thanks to everyone who made it to the Church Yard on the 11th of the 11 @ 11.30 onwards. There were thirteen in all. A good number. Leaves were swept; bulbs and plants planted. Worry not if you couldn’t make it for we shall return with our tools and our enthusiasm on another day.

Next HELP meeting is Monday coming (19th) in the White Lion at 8pm where we shall make further plans about keeping Heptonstall beautiful, especially in the Christmas season.

Ideas and new members always very welcome.


HEptonstall Lights and Planting.



Floral and Festive Lights Group

The clue is in the name.

The Group first met in October 2011 and concentrated on getting a Christmas tree and lights for the village and lights at Colden.


Although the Group set the ball rolling, it could not have been done without help from others in the village – a real community effort.

As well as taking on the annual bulb planting, the Group is now thinking of ways to brighten up Heptonstall all year round. Ideas include:

  • Troughs/planters for Weavers Square and other suitable locations
  • Planting in the old churchyard
  • Meadow and verge planting with self-seeding plants
  • Asking local gardeners for any surplus plants to use

Any other suggestions would be welcome.

The Group meets every 5 or 6 weeks usually in one of the local pubs. Anyone who is interested is welcome to come along.

Details of the next meeting will be added to the website shortly….

Good Neighbour Scheme (+Volunteer Driver) Group Meeting

The next meeting of the Good Neighbour Scheme (+Volunteer Driver) Group will be held on Monday 19 March 2012 at 1:00pm.

If you are willing to help and/or would like to fnd out more about what we are trying to achieve, please contact – Phil Kelly Tel 01422 847328 or email to jacandphil* (change * to @).

Good Neighbourhood Scheme

The Good Neighbourhood Scheme emerging from the Parish Plan questionnaire needs information to secure its success.  If you know how any elderly or vulnerable neighbours could use a helping hand,  or you know of/organise facilities already in our community please drop your ideas in the boxes provided at Post Office/May’s shop (no names please).

Do  not leave this to others - we will sift out any duplication.

Thank you.

Details on local groups wanted

The Heptonstall Community Website team are keen to promote awareness of and information about groups and organisations based or operating in the Heptonstall parish area.

We would therefore welcome any information on your organisation, including brief details about you, where and when you meet and so on.  We would also like you to keep us up to date with your events and achievements.

Please therefore contact us by email, or by leaving a comment (use the link below).  Once we get to know you, it will become easier for you to update your details.