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 or

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 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.

proposals for wind turbines

Proposals for two 24m high wind turbines on Cross Hill, above Heptonstall School, have attracted a great deal of controversy.

The wind turbines would be sited on fields behind the covered reservoir, between the school and Drapers Corner.

At time of writing, Calderdale Council’s website was showing 145 comments, of which 142 were objecting. Most residents writing on the site were objecting on grounds of noise or the way they would alter the landscape.

For full details of the proposed wind turbines, and an opportunity to make your own comments, see the Calderdale Council planning listing. The deadline for comments is Friday, 27 July.


Heptonstall School is saying goodbye to Hamish Heald, pictured in the new library with pupil Rosie Davies. Mr Heald has been assisting Peter Jenel teaching Class Four.

He has got a new job at a Halifax school, but will still be going on the bi-annual school holiday after the half term. You may still see him around the village as he lives in Slack Bottom, and is planning on popping back to see the school’s production of Oliver! later in the term.

And pupils have said hello to Cara Warmby, a newly qualified teacher from Huddersfield. She is teaching Class Three during Laura Robertshaw’s maternity leave.

Jubilee celebrations at school

A Great British Breakfast event was held at Heptonstall School today (Wednesday 30 May), organised by Heptonstall Out of School Club staff Karen Mills, Becky Dewis and Alan Goldstraw.

This raised more than £100 for club funds. The club has also been running a “Crown Your Bear” art club event every evening this week, where children have turned their teddies into royalty by making their own velvet capes and sparkly crowns. Many thanks to Chrissie from Hat Therapy for her help with this.

Tomorrow the school is holding a Jubilee picnic from 12.30pm. A street party will also be held on Hepton Drive on bank holiday Monday.

Traffic, Parking and Road Safety Group

The project group formed following the production of the Community Led Plan has got its first result – new double yellow lines and road markings at the notorious junction of Hepton Drive, Southfield and Longfield. We hope that the bus service blockages and other access problems caused by irresponsible parking at this junction will now be a thing of the past. Thank you Calderdale Council for your prompt action on this one and thank you local residents for your positive support.

The group has also carried out a review of current speed limits in the Parish and has submitted proposals to Calderdale for a more sensible, consistent and safer approach to traffic speed. For example, extending the current 20mph limit in the Village to the side-streets (you will have observed that speed limits currently increase to 30mph on these!), and introducing more sensible speed limits in Slack, Widdop Road and Colden. Unfortunately,  Calderdale’s budget for ‘rural’ speed limit reviews is very restricted and we are in a queue to get action but, we are continuing to press Calderdale Councillors and Officers hard on this one so watch this space.

Finally, we are also pursuing Calderdale on the vexed question of parking more generally, particularly in the Village. Proposals for more off-street parking are on the table and other possibilities for reducing current problems include residents’ parking permits, one way streets, road widening , further parking restrictions, etc. Again, we are in a queue even to meet traffic officers to discuss the issues and have enlisted our Ward Councillors’ help to try and make progress. We intend to keep at it – another space to watch ….