Graham brings history to life
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
When Graham Mynott signed up for the Arts Festival's Heritage Lottery funded project, 'Who Lived In My Street a hundred years ago' he had no idea where it would take him.
Town Hall director Graham wanted to find out more about who lived in his Calder Place house in the year many local men lost their lives during the Battle of the Somme as their wives kept the home fires burning by making of uniforms in the town's many mills and manufacturing works.
Who lived in my house?
"I was always interested in who lived in my house and this seemed to be an ideal opportunity to find out more," says Graham. "I found out from the 1911 census that mill worker Albert Stansfield lived here with his wife and three daughters all aged under 10. I discovered he worked in a mill just across the road from here, and another one that was on the site where the Co-op is today.
"This was originally two houses so I tried to imagine how Albert and his wife managed to fit their three daughters in half a house. I wondered how they got on with the family who lived upstairs.
"The other interesting thing I found was that most people at that time were born and bred in Hebden Bridge, so Albert had a brother who lived on Heptonstall Road, married a local woman and lived all his life in the town."
The After Alice project will also be photographing the 2016 project and plaques so future generations can see where the blue tributes sprung up across Hebden Bridge.
Graham's is the first of the blue plaques which be unveiled around Hebden Bridge in as part of a story lantern walk led by local storyteller Ursula Holden Gill on Sunday 17 January 2017
Sadly Graham found that like so many Hebden Bridge homes during the First World War the Stansfield family story ended in heartbreak.
"I found that when Albert tried to join up he wasn't seen as being fit enough, but as the war went on they lowered the bar, so he went off, but sadly he made the ultimate sacrifice in 1917 and never came home.
Book of Remembrance
"Albert's name is in the Book of Remembrance in the Town Hall and whoever made it did a great job as it has so much information. So I could find out where Albert went to school, which church he went to and the even that he was an auxiliary postman."
Albert Stansfield was only 34 when he died in France but if you want to find out your home's history there is one last chance to join in at an open drop in session in Hebden Bridge Town Hall on 27 November from 12-4pm. Those locals who have already discovered who lived in their house in 1916 can pop in to nominate which family member will be named on their house plaque.
Stories behind the names
The After Alice team will also be on hand with their vintage cameras. They will be joined by storyteller Ursula Holden Gill who will be looking at the stories behind the names with storytelling sessions at 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
Pennine Horizons will also be on hand to scan and save any photos or documents you'd like preserving in the town's digital archive.