Radical Hebden Bridge Factfile

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Start and Finish 

The trail begins at Hebden Bridge Railway Station.

The postcode is: HX7 6JE

The map coordinates are: SD 995 268

To get to the start of this walk by bus or Train use the regular buses and trains from Halifax, Leeds, Manchester, Burnley and Rochdale.

Themes and Highlights

On this walk you will see where the longest workers’ production cooperative in English history was housed, see where Emmeline Pankhurst addressed crowds of striking mill workers about female suffrage, rest where local Clarion Socialist Choirs used to sing on days out and learn about an early vision for an Arcadia at Eaves, a vision later realised thanks to the Wheatley Housing Act.

This trail (and the accompanying one starting from Todmorden) will take you back to the earlier roots of the contemporary cooperative spirit of the Upper Calder Valley; to the Chartists, the Suffragettes, the Workers’ Cooperative, the Trade Union Movement, the early housing cooperatives, the radical Clarion Cycle Clubs. You will visit the spots associated with the predecessors of the Upper Calder Valley’s present day radicalism, not only the buildings of the Industrial Revolution but also the open spaces surrounding them where the protesters were as likely to gather to protest but also to enjoy life.

Length

The trail is about 13km (8 miles) taking about 4-5 hours with rests and refreshments. (It can be done in two halves if you prefer shorter walks).

How strenuous

The first, urban section of the route is mainly level ending in a steep climb.  This walk involves some climbs and descents on mostly decent paths in fields and woods and does not go as high as the moors. It is not suitable for very young children.

Ground conditions, stiles and steps

The paths in the woods and valley can be wet underfoot in places especially in winter. The route has varied conditions including some muddy footpaths with drier good paths and tracks. Boots are desirable. There are some stiles and one flight of steep steps down.

Acknowledgements

This trail was inspired by Tom Greenwood and other member of the Hebden Bridge Trades Club walking group who introduced me to these places on their regular 10 mile Sunday hikes. E.P Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class, which I read 50 years ago was brought to life again. Bob Deacon October 2014

With Thanks

Abi Moore, for her recording of A vision of Jerusalem: (http://abimoor.com/),

David Fletcher and Calrec Community's video of him talking about Nutclough (http://community.calrec.com/nutclough-mill-and-hebden-bridge-part-1/),

Wild Rose Arts and their interview with Adrian Fellows of the Blue Pig. (http://www.wildrosearts.net/interview-and-storytelling/interviews/1940-1949/adrian-fellows?searched=...)

Paul Clarke for kind permission to use his photo of the Trades Club.

Helen Taylor for the front cover photo.

Mike Barrett of Frogs Design,  for the map of coops in and around Hebden Bridge.

Libby Tempest for her magnificent recordings.

Thanks also to the following who have helped in many ways; Richard Peters, Alan Fowler, Andrew Bibby, Julie Cockburn, Jonathan Timber, John Hartley, Katie Witham and Gwen Goddard.

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