Flight Brigade to play at Heptonstall Festival!

If you haven’t already heard, the Heptonstall Festival is returning in 2014 on Saturday 20th September. The organisers are keen to build on the fantastic event of last year and aim to bring you first class live music from the local scene and further afield. The music will kick of in the old church ruin at around midday after the much anticipated parade extravaganza.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be announcing some of the amazing music you’ll be able to enjoy for free at the event this year, and to kick things off, here’s the first announcement:


Flight Brigade.

Flight Brigade to play at Heptonstall Festival 2014

Flight Brigade to play at Heptonstall Festival 2014

With ‘glorious folk-tinged stadium anthems’ (Record of The day), Flight Brigade is the coming together of two families. Ollie Baines (lead singer) grew up in Ohio on a farm before eventually ending up back in the UK in Hampshire, where he first met fellow band member (and also now his wife) Miriam when they were kids. Her sister Dorry plays violin and joins Miriam in harmonies, the girls having been steeped in the 70′s British folk scene, thanks to their musician parents who supported the likes of Paul Simon, John Martyn and toured with Roxy Music.

Having supported Grouplove, Dry The River, Stornoway, King Charles and Seth Lakeman, Flight Brigade also won two live competitions to play main stages at Hop Farm and Blissfields festivals. Alongside live sessions for BBC Radio 2, BBC Introducing, TOMS & Lee Cooper the band’s EP has been played on national radio in Canada (CBC Radio 2) as well as BBC 6 in the UK (Steve Lamacq & Tom Robinson) and Bob Harris (BBC Radio 2). The band were also commissioned to compose the music for an ITV documentary about Syria and Haiti as well as the International World Cup campaign for Unicef. They are currently finishing their debut album, co-produced by Gavin Monaghan (Kings of Leon, The Editors). Recently (June 28th 2014) Flight Brigade’s new single Siren’s was Vimeo Staff Picks gaining over 100000 views in its first week.

These guys are superb musicians, and it’s not just us that think so, check out these reviews:

‘Accomplished and assured, this is real music for people who know quality on the very first listen’ Record of The Day

‘Astonishing’ Janice Long, BBC Radio 2

‘It really really is good…I will definitely be playing them again’ Bob Harris, Radio 2

‘Not sugary sweet or a product of the times, theirs is a rare talent’. God is in the TV

‘With transcendent compositions, they demonstrate a firm grip on the skill of song-writing’ Indie Bands Blog

‘They have a ‘knack for crafting a tune. It is music which manages to feel delicate whilst at the same time still packing a punch…. it immediately demands and holds your attention.’ The Mixtape Shed

‘Full of youth, hope and nostalgia for a time they shouldn’t be able to remember. It’s an infectious mix’. Tom Allen CBC Radio 2 (Canada)

‘It was one of those conversations, talking about music, when someone says, check this lot out, and  you discover something you think is wonderful. They’re coming to play a live session for us on the show’ Janice Long BBC Radio 2

Brilliant’ Phil Jackson, BBC Introducing, The South

‘Graduation Day is the kind of song that, if the world were fair, would achieve ubiquitous status and end up all over everything’ Single Review, Music Reload UK


We literally can’t wait for this!

Check back soon for more festival surprises…

Beer Festival

A beer festival will be held in the village on March 28th, 29th, 30th.

Shelley Yirrell, of The Cross Inn, said there would be all sorts of amazing events during the day and evening for both adults and families including: live local music, 40 guest ales, a hog roast, barbeque, fell run and much more.


Film Crews visit for new drama

New crime series “Happy Valley” was being filmed in Heptonstall’s graveyard this week, which included the installation of a “victim’s gravestone”.

Sarah Lancashire stars in the drama by award winning writer Sally Wainwright (Last Tango in Halifax, Scott and Bailey), which is set around Calderdale.

Entertainment Outlook wrote:

Lancashire plays Catherine, a no-nonsense police sergeant who heads up a team of dedicated police officers in a rural valley in Yorkshire. When a staged kidnapping quickly spirals out of control and turns into a much more brutal and vicious series of crimes, Catherine finds herself involved in something significantly bigger than her rank, but unknowingly close to home.

Sarah Lancashire said:

“Happy Valley is a dark, funny, multi-layered thriller revolving around the personal and professional life of Catherine, a dedicated, experienced, hard-working copper. She is also a bereaved mother who looks after her orphaned grandchild. It’s an emotional, complex, challenging role. I’m terrified, exhausted and freezing cold but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Sally Wainwright, executive producer and writer, said: “I’m pleased that we’re filming Happy Valley right in the heart of Calderdale in West Yorkshire. It’s going to be hard work, but on screen it will look stunning”.

Nicola Shindler, executive producer and founder of RED Production Company, adds: “Sally has done it once again, delivering an expertly crafted and brilliantly written drama series that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats as Catherine and her team attempt to get to the bottom of a truly shocking crime. We’re delighted to have such a strong line-up of talent to bring the original and gripping scripts to life, in what is sure to be a remarkable piece of television.”

Happy Valley is 6×60 minute series made by RED Production Company for BBC One. It is written and executive produced by BAFTA-winning writer Sally Wainwright, produced by Karen Lewis (Last Tango in Halifax, Exile) and directed by Euros Lyn (Broadchurch, Doctor Who). Executive producers are Nicola Shindler and Sally Wainwright for RED Production Company and Matthew Read for BBC.

Happy Valley has begun filming in the Calder Valley area of Yorkshire and will be broadcast on BBC One in 2014.

New housing and other developments

New housing estates in Heptonstall will be considered as part of Calderdale’s “Land Allocation and Designation Plan”, and the council is urging local residents to make their views known.

The plan will influence all future planning decisions for many years to come, and a series of public workshops are being held. Three major plans for housing estates and several smaller schemes have been submitted for the Heptonstall and Colden area as part of the first stage of the plan.

Plans now on the Calderdale Council website which have been submitted for consideration include:

Land next to Draper Lane, Slack: 187 semi-detached and terraced dwellings (reference CFS-0256) (this is part of the land now being considered for a caravan site).

Land next to Towngate, Heptonstall: 57 semi-detached and terraced houses (reference CFS-0226)

Land next to Lily Hall, Heptonstall Road, 5 to 10 terraced cottages (reference CFS-0303)

Gypsy Flats, Colden Road, Blackshaw Head: up to 90 houses (reference CFS -0181)

The meeting for Hebden Bridge area is on 6th February @  7.00 to 9.00 p.m. – at Hebden Bridge Town Hall

Places are limited, so if you wish to attend, please contact 01422 392206 or email spatial.planning@calderdale.gov.uk.

Full details of these and other smaller plans can be seen by searching from Calderdale’s planning page for site submissions.

Heptonstall Old Church in song

Ted Hughes’ poem “Heptonstall Old Church” has been set to music by acclaimed acoustic folk singer-songwriter Milly Hirst.

You can hear this lovely, haunting track here. Perhaps Heptonstall’s festival committee might like to consider her?

Heptonstall.org’s correspondent is musically illiterate, but this is what alphabetbands has to say about it:

“We’ve spoken before about the divine sounds of Milly Hirst and the bewitchingly delicate songs she sings. Such is the level of elegant beauty that she exudes, it’s worth talking about her some more, especially as she recently released a new song, “Heptonsall Old Church” which is as heavenly and soothing as anything she has done so far.

“Based on the Ted Hughes poem of the same name, “Heptonstall…” is like a countryside walk at dusk. It’s as tranquil and beautiful as dwindling light flickering amongst the woodland while the noise of the city is a distant, forgotten sensation replaced instead with gentle guitar picks, graceful strings and backing vocals (courtesy of Jessica Wilson). Serenity abounds as the majestic sights of rolling fields and farmland unfurls before you, a line of trees on the horizon silhouetted by the faint amber glow of the sunset behind (making the artwork choice particularly apt). A warm fire and steaming mugs of tea or chocolate await but, like when listening to Milly sing, you can’t leave; you must stay and take in the beauty of the view one more time.

“She remains the only person we have ever seen literally silence a room when singing, to hold a man so drunk he can’t stand in raptures as he listens, understandably muted by the mesmerising beauty of the sounds filling the room. Just like everyone else who hears her play then.”

The poem reads:

A great bird landed here.

Its song drew men out of rock,

Living men out of bog and heather

Its song put a light in the valley

And harness on the long moors.

Its song brought a crystal from space

And set it in men’s heads.

Then the bird died.

Its giant bones

Blackened and became a mystery.

The crystal in men’s heads

Blackened and fell to pieces.

The valleys went out

The moorlands broke loose.

Bowling Club events

The Bowling Club is set for a Christmas season full of fun with events from a charity bike ride to a New Year’s bash, as follows:

Sunday, December 22, 12 to 4pm, annual charity bike race, registration noon, first race 12.30pm.

Monday, December 23, club open as usual 7.30pm til late.

Christmas eve, club open 6pm til late.

Christmas day, club open 12 to 2pm.

Boxing Day, open 8pm til late with quiz and bingo.

Sunday, December 29, 1pm til whenever! Games day.

New Year’s Eve, 8pm til next year. Party night with the village’s own Dave Redman.

Saturday, January 4, 10am, Heptonstall Cancer Research Walk. Entry fee £5 including festive snacks and mulled wine. for info, contact Susan Greenwood on 07944 466724 or sue.greenwood@talktalk.net.


Charity walk from Bowling Club

The third Heptonstall 10 mile Cancer Research Charity Walk will take place on Sat. 4th Jan 2014, leaving Heptonstall Bowling Club at 10am.

Entry fee is £5 and includes mulled wine and festive snacks at the start and soup at the end when there will also be a raffle, with a shorter walk which is pushchair friendly for anyone not able to commit to the full route.

For further information please contact Susan Greenwood on 0794 4466724 or by email sue.greenwood@talktalk.net

New houses next to Bowling Club?

The Parish Council will be considering plans about a community group’s self-build project for the “Co-op field”, directly opposite the Bowling Club car park, at their next meeting on December 9.

Hebden Bridge & Todmorden Community Self Build Housing Community Interest Company (usually known as HATS CIC) are looking for a site suitable for self-building about 20 houses – a mix of 2,3 and 4 bedroom houses according to this article by energyroyd.org.uk., which says the houses would be sustainably built to a high standard, with room for gardens and allotments.

They say the houses would be available for modest rents, and would remain the property of the trust so they could never be sold at a profit on the open market.

Roger Greenwood, clerk to the parish council, said: “The council is not aware of any specific intentions in respect of this land – a request for Asset Transfer from Calderdale Council to the Parish Council failed and therefore remains in C/dale ownership. The HATS CIC issue will be considered at a future meeting.”

More information about the Hebden Bridge & Todmorden Community Self Build Housing CIC is available on their website. The following is taken directly from it:

The Hebden Bridge & Todmorden Community Self Build Housing CIC is a community interest company incorporated by volunteers and residents of the Upper Calder Valley concerned over the long term provision of affordable housing within the community. 

The objectives of the project is to deliver a housing development and mechanism for narrowing the differential gap between average housing cost and average wage of young people and families in Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, through:                
                – Community Land Trust
- Self Build
- Flagship Development for the Zero Carbon Challenge
- Co-operative Housing

What is a Community Land Trust?
A Community Land Trust is a mechanism for acquiring and holding land for the benefit of a defined locality or community, and operates to capture the value of the land for the community in perpetuity. The formation of a Community Land Trust can deliver affordable housing for local people on modest incomes by taking the land cost out of the total price of a home.

Why Self Build?
Self Build Initiative – by inviting members of the community, in need of an affordable option for family housing, to contribute 15 hours per week of their own labour, to build part or all of their home, up to 25% of the build cost may be represented in terms of sweat equity.

Why Flagship Zero Carbon Development?
Flagship Development for the Zero Carbon Challenge – Construction and designs to flagship zero carbon targets may achieve up to 70% reduction in typical household fuel consumption costs.

What is a Housing Co-operative?
Housing co-operatives are groups of people who collectively own and manage the properties they live in. The premise of housing co-operative is that it will never be sold or flipped for profit so members can choose to remain in the co-op for a long time. This encourages involvement and commitment to the community and allows members to feel secure in their co-op and their neighbourhood.

Our Manchester pantomime star

Heptonstall’s own Ben Faulks is taking the leading role in Manchester Opera House’s Christmas pantomime.

Dick Whittington tells the rags to riches tale of a young man and his cat on an exciting quest for fame and fortune. Featuring all the traditional pantomime ingredients; sensational songs, a live band, magic, dazzling dance routines, magnificent slapstick comedy and bags of audience participation!

Dick WhittingtonStarring alongside Ben as Alice Fitzwarren and her dog will be Ashleigh and Pudsey – last year’s popular winners of Britain’s Got Talent.

Making her panto debut will be West End and television star Jodie Prenger as Fairy Bowbells, Opera House favourite Tam Ryan returns as Idle Jack and panto dame extraordinare Eric Potts plays Sarah the Cook.

The show runs from Friday, 6 December, to Sunday, 5 January. The performance on Thursday 2 January at 1pm will be a relaxed performance.

To book tickets, click here. 

Traidcraft weekend at St Thomas

Forget the crowds and the traffic jams – get your Christmas shopping sorted the way it should be done with beautiful fairly-traded gifts in the inspiring surroundings of St Thomas’ Church, Heptonstall this weekend.

Pull Along GiraffeJudith Parish has once again sourced the best of the Traidcraft range for this annual event, including Christmas cards, clothing, toys, gifts, decorations and food.

Some of the village’s top bakers will be supplying cakes, tea and coffee too. The event runs from 7pm to 9pm on Friday, from 11am to 5pm on Saturday and from noon to 5pm on Sunday.

It’s always a great fundraiser both for the charity and the church, so  stock up with goodies and have a slice of cake, then congratulate yourself on your good deed for the day. .

Bunting on show at museum and our site

cropped-bunting-1.jpgHeptonstall’s Community Bunting Project is to be displayed at Heptonstall museum until the end of the month, and again when the museum re-opens in Spring.
If you can’t get along to the museum, keep clicking different pages to see the bunting in our random display header.
Each individual flag has been created and designed by a different household, family or individual and the design has been inspired by the theme of ‘our villages and the views all around us – near or far’. The flags are called I Spy flags as each one has a letter or two stitched to the back, intended to give the viewer a clue to what the local image on the front is…..a fun game to play with children looking at the community bunting and guessing what the designs are of!
cropped-bunting-2.jpgThe first showing of the flags was at the Heptonstall Festival 2013 and they will now be displayed in Heptonstall Museum.
A book of testimonials accompanies the project. It contains personal explanations of each of the bunting designs written by the families that created them.
This is a living history project that is intended to grow and grow, so we want more and more people to get involved.
cropped-bunting-3.jpgHow to get involved…
Please see the template on display at Heptonstall Museum and Heptonstall Post Office Notice Board. The template is just a paper template, made from an A4 piece of paper, to show you the correct size of the triangular bunting flag. Draft your own copy of the template and maybe even do one to pass on to a friend too. Once you have your template, find your own fabric, new or reused and cut out your flag. Cut out two so you can do both sides.
cropped-bunting-4.jpgOn the front, do your design inspired by the theme of ‘our villages and the views all around us – near or far.’ Use whatever fabrics you like and create your design by sticking, hand stitching, machine stitching, patchwork, knitting or appliqué. Anything goes! Interpret the theme however you like, just so long as its meaningful to you. Perhaps you’ll do an image of a monument like Stoodley Pike or Heptonstall Church; or something more personal such as your washing blowing in the wind, your guitar, your favourite tree or your dog!
cropped-bunting-5.jpgOn the back, put letters to describe the view you’ve chosen e.g. SP for Stoodley Pike, HC for Heptonstall Church, T for Tree, B for Bluebells etc. This is so that children can play an ‘I Spy’ game with the flags when they are displayed.
Once you have completed both sides, return the flags to Heptonstall Museum or Heptonstall Post Office. They will be added to the bunting set asap. Make sure you include the following information on a piece of paper – your name, where you live, the date and a description of your flag and any other comments about how special this ‘view’ is to you. These bits of paper will be kept and added to the project book of testimonials.
cropped-bunting-6.jpgThanks so much for taking part, please spread the word and pass this on to your friends! Any questions please contact anothercuriousidea@gmail.com or zeitgeisthair@gmail.com.

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

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.


Food at the Cross Inn back on

Food will be served at the Cross Inn from Monday, 11 August. Full message from Simon and Sophie below:
Simon and Sophie welcome you to The Cross Inn, Heptonstall
Opening times:
Monday: 3:00 – 12:00
Tuesday – Sunday12:00 – 12:00
Food will be being served from Monday 11th August
Monday 5:00 – 8:00
Tuesday – Friday: 12:00 – 3:00 and 5:00 – 8:00
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 – 8:00
New kitchen!
New Chef!
New Managers!
New Refurbishment!
New Beer Garden!
We are walker, family, dog and cyclist friendly pub
Every week we have rotating guest ales for you to try
Sky Sports, ESPN and wi-if also available

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

School Sports Day: a report

The sun finally shone for Heptonstall School Sports Day, the first for three years due to poor summers.

A huge turnout of spectators cheered on the children at Heptonstall park, who competed in traditional races including shuttle runs, hurdles, sprints, sack races, egg and spoon, skipping and balancing.

sports day

Some of the events proved challenging for the younger competitors. The skipping race was particularly difficult for those who were turning the rope backwards whilst trying to run forwards.

Balancing a coit on the head even whilst waiting at the start line was problematic for the Class One boys. After a slow start to the race, teacher Peter Jenel assisted some by holding the coits on their heads for them as they walked over the finish.

The sack races were also speeded up by teachers carrying several competitors over the line in their sacks.

Egg and spoon techniques varied between double handed, single handed, or simply holding the egg onto the spoon. During some races, eggs changed ownership. Some older boys experimented with using the spoon as a racket to knock the egg over the final yards, which produced impressively close finishes.

The Heptonstall Parish Website’s “One to Watch” award goes to Isla Lee-Grant, of Class 2, who won every race she entered.

The eventual winners were the Festival team.

Cantorelli Concert

A concert of choral music will be held at Heptonstall Parish Church on Saturday, 27 April, to raise money for church funds.

The singers include Darryl Dumigan, Angela Jarman, Alice Barford, Sue Pemsel, Jan Burgess, Peter Tillotson, Philip Thomasand Simon Hicks.

The will sing music by composers including Giovanni Gabrielli, William Byrd, Benjamin Britten and Ola Gjeilo. Tickets cost £8, concessions £5, students £1. Performance starts at 7.30pm.

For more information, call 01422 844627.

Chapel Memories and Keepsakes Day

Heptonstall Methodist Church nativityDo you have memories, photographs or souvenirs of the Heptonstall Methodist Octagonal Chapel or Sunday School?

Did you go on Sunday School picnics, attend weddings or take part in pantomimes or nativities?

Perhaps you went on the Whit Walks and joined in the Methodist teas or Christmas fairs. Maybe you even signed the pledge!

The Chapel will be 250 years old next year, and we are hoping to collect memories and pictures of the Chapel and Sunday School.

Please come along to the Sunday School on Sunday, April 7, between noon and 4pm and tell us your stories. Pictures or other souvenirs will be photographed there and then, so you don’t have to part with them.

If you’d like to join in but can’t come on the day, please call Amy on 01422 843619.

Village of the Damned: latest

Heptonstall can be seen on screen in new BBC Three drama, “In the Flesh”, a zombie drama about a world where Partially Deceased Syndrome is rife.

Shooting was done on Townfield Lane last year and the results are now being shown, with undead hero Kieran returning to his home in the fictional village of Roarton.


There’s another chance to catch episode 1 tonight at 11pm, or catch up on the iplayer 


What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Townfield Zombies: the latest

Jacky Kelly, who witnessed the zombie drama unfold on Townfield Lane, has written this piece exclusively for heptonstall.org. Scroll down for more from the BBC:

The filming took place at the house next door – Friday morning dawned very very cold and windy – and we woke to find an encampment in front of our house. Our neighbour took himself off elsewhere. A few miserable looking, puffa- jacketed, woolly hatted, gloved young men wandered around clearly not enjoying our Heptonstall weather. Blowing their noses and clapping their hands together to keep warm. Their ranks steadily swelled over the next hour, adding a variety of trucks, trolleys and technical equipment.

They proceeded to transform our neighbour’s house into a far more sinister abode, with boarded up windows and a forlorn look. They unloaded a strange assortment of random furniture and carted it all into the house. More and more of them appeared, bringing more and more equipment. And chairs – they made themselves at home, but all looked so very, pointedly, cold.

When scenes were being shot I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the actors – they had to wear ‘normal’ clothing in the bitter cold, but quickly wrapped up in their down gilets once their scene was over.

We tried not to stand staring out of our window, but we did. We were entertained just to watch the numbers of people involved in a drama production.

It was fascinating to see a scene being shot of a solitary person walking up to the house – on the telly she will probably look so alone. But in front of her were about ten people doing all manner of things – camera, sound, big white board being held up to reflect big bright light being held by another, and the girl whose sole purpose appeared to be to work the clapperboard numbering the takes – of which there were many. Several stops for discussions, presumably about the nuances of the scene, then it would be done yet again. In addition another ten or fifteen folk milled about, or sat in their chairs, or huddled together under a large black curtain, viewing the action on a monitor.

Out in the back garden something strange was hanging on the washing line. And there was an intensely bright light shining, and a large white screen. It did make it look as if it were far pleasanter weather…

Our dog had a barking fiesta for much of the day – wonder if they captured his yap…

Then, when ‘wrapping up’, how rapidly everything was packed away, house returned to normal, and off they went, leaving us two welcome bottles of wine for our ‘patience’. It was fun! It’ll be fascinating to see the finished result.

BBC Three reveals more about the drama, starring Ricky Tomlinson, due to screen in the Spring:

In the Flesh, by new writer Dominic Mitchell, is the story of teenager Kieren Walker and his reintegration back into both the local community and the heart of his family. After his death four years ago, his friends and family thought they’d never see Kieren again. But then, shortly after his funeral, thousands of the dead were re-animated in one freak night; and now, after months of re-habilitation and medication, the zombies are gradually being returned to their homes.

With its central themes of redemption, forgiveness, acceptance, denial, and the very essence of what it means to be alive or dead, In The Flesh is a complex but tender look at what happens when families get a second chance at mending their past and working together towards an unpredictable future.

Director Jonny Campbell says: “From the moment I read the opening scene I was hooked.  Dominic is an utterly fearless and instinctive young writer with an uncanny ability to tell a great story full of humour and humanity in a most original way.  An elusive and rare combination in TV drama. What’s most exciting about In the Flesh is that it challenges our pre-conceptions about the standard zombie genre and in so doing almost certainly creates a new one.”

Writer Dominic Mitchell says: “When I took part in the fantastic BBC Writersroom Northern Voices scheme, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my drama about the medicated undead would be produced, let alone with such an incredibly talented cast and crew attached.”

Actor Luke Newberry says: “I am really excited to be playing Kieren who is an amazingly complex character. He is on an unthinkable rollercoaster of a journey, one in which he has been given a second chance at life and he has to come to terms with how to deal with that. The characters may look like zombies but this is a very human story about people trying to survive.”

Zombie Drama on Townfield Lane

New BBC Three drama “In The Flesh” is being filmed on Friday in Townfield Lane, following the struggles of a “partially deceased” 17-year-old who is returning to a village that rejected him.

Heptonstall’s living residents are asked to park considerately while the undead are amongst us between 7.30am and 6pm on 26 October, though most BBC vehicles will be in the school car park.

Unit manager Kayleigh Cruickshank said one large lorry would be in the school car park, so it would be helpful if residents parked away from the school entrances, to allow it to turn in and out. Residents on Townfield Lane are also asked to park elsewhere for the day.

The filming will be in a private garden on Townfield Lane in the morning, then inside a house in the afternoon. The results are likely to be screened in the Spring.

New writer Dominic Mitchell’s first TV commission was developed by the BBC Drama Production team in Salford and discovered through ‘Northern Voices’, a BBC Writersroom competition.

His script begins after the Zombie Uprising has been quelled by the Human Volunteer Force and life is starting to return to normal. Any surviving zombies have been captured, medicated, held in an NHS holding facility in Norfolk and are being slowly re-integrated back into society, with the help of contact lenses and cover up mousse. The story follows teenager Kieran Walker, who committed suicide after his friend died in Afghanistan.

TV Wise site said the series had booked a slew of guest stars for its first season. Susan Twist, Matthew Walker, Karen Henthorn, Amy-Joyce Hastings, Julien Ball and newcomer Stephen Thompson have all booked guest spots.