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Hebden Bridge in the Media

Since 1995, when the HebWeb first started, we have been regularly covering features from the national media which illustrate how our town of Hebden Bridge, and its surrounding area, is seen outside of this valley. Here is a selection:


Have I Got News for You This prime time BBC 1 programme featured the Cornholme library notice story, and its reference to 'the cesspit that is Hebden Bridge'.

Click here for the 35 second clip. (May 2021)

Ian McMillanHebden Bridge a "great town"

Ian McMillan writes poem about Hebden Bridge which has won the 'Great Town Award' given by The Academy of Urbanism.

  • The Real Happy Valley might look like a pretty village but it hides dark secrets. "Documentary maker Jez Lewis grew up there and his 2009 film Shed Your Tears And Walk Away looked at drug abuse in a town where many friends had died. It was his programme that inspired scriptwriter Sally Wainwright – who lived nearby – to set about writing Happy Valley." See this Daily Mirror feature from 2016

Hilary WainwrightHappy Valley writer loves Calderdale. "Hebden Bridge is vibrant; there's a lot going on artistically and it's also got great galleries, pubs and restaurants." Sally Wainwright talks of our "dramatic and awe-inspiring" landscape and the influence of local historian Jill Liddington's Anne Lister book. Read her Guardian article From July 2015

  • Teacher wins three-year battle to clear name after publishing racy novel - Governors accused Miss Rustamova of bringing the school into disrepute, undermining its authority and demeaning pupils and parents. See this Daily Mail article from February 2012 (and this HebWeb feature)
  • The proposed Garden Street development attracted wife media attention. See how the HebWeb covered the issue in 2004-2010
  • Hebden Bridge's "delightfully relaxed vibe"
    There's nothing not to like about Hebden Bridge. Once a hippy retreat, this little West Yorkshire town might have shed its dreadlocks and wholemeal image, but it's maintained a delightfully relaxed vibe. Given all the rain we've had of late, it's looking more lush than ever; verdant greenery forms the perfect backdrop to terraces of stone houses that look straight out of a Brontë novel. It's oh-so-bucolic and oh-so-pretty, but, as the locals would no doubt remind you, capable of contemporary cool, with wine bars and traditional boozers mingling on the high street. From the Metro From August 2008
  • Hebden Bridge is the UK town with most local identity "Hebden Bridge once again features in the national media - for topping the list of towns with the most individuality - at a time when many of our well known towns and cities are turning into clones with the same high street branches of chain stores in every high street." From HebWeb news, June 2005
  • "In the upper reaches of the Calder Valley lies Jumble Hole Clough, a steep wooded valley embracing a fast-flowing stream which tumbles off the high moorland. Near the head of the clough stands a mute reminder of the early days of the Industrial Revolution, in the shape of ruins of a small water-powered mill which is slowly being engulfed by the surrounding foliage." from the Guardian's Country Diary From Nov 2003
  • "With its apparent seclusion from the rest of the world, Hebden has a tendency to breed introverts and other colourful personalities. It bucks the trend of other higher populated and trend- setting Yorkshire towns with effortless ease and style". From Deep in the Heart of Yorkshire by Alex Clark in Hackwriters.com - May 2005

Hebden Bridge is the 4th funkiest town in the world according to a feature in the April 2005 issue of highlife, the British Airways flight magazine - see above.

  • "Tantamount to Soddom and Gomorrah (Sir Bernard Ingham), The Hampstead of the North’, or just another tourist trap? Hazel Davis investigates". Hazel Davis investigates in Take it to the Bridge from The Leeds Guide from October 2002
  • Acre Mill ensured asbestos killed hundreds of local people. See Dust Storm, a Daily Telegraph feature on Acre Mill by Mark Piggott from 2007. The Acre Mill tragedy has been described as Britain's worst industrial disasters. See also: this HebWeb feature
  • Chainsaw Tuesday: There was fighting in the back streets of Hebden Bridge after developers started cutting down trees at Mill Pond at the back of Windsor View. It was at the height of the property boom and developers were buying up any scrap of land they could find. Media interest was intense in October 2004. Radio Leeds, Yorkshire Evening Post, Halifax Courier, HB Times and Radio4's You and Yours were among those who covered the conflict.
  • First first cooperative internet service provider - 3-C was the first to bring broadband to Hebden Bridge in October 2004, after a long campaign. See this Guardian article and this HebWeb News item: 3-C Beam Wireless Broadband to Mytholmroyd
  • How the Hippies changed Hebden Bridge - While there was plenty of media attention, this was before the Internet so there are no active links. See the HebWeb "Hippies" section covering the arrival of the "hippies" to Hebden Bridge in the 1970s.

This feature is a work in progress, and will be updated regularly. Last updated: Saturday, 14 August 2021

We try to make sure that information on the Hebden Bridge Web is correct, but if you are aware of any errors or omissions, please email us.

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