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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

University of 3rd AgeCelebrating Calderdale in Film

Speakers: Peter Thornton and Ray Riches

Peter Thornton and Ray Riches are well known figures in Calderdale and since 2000 they have been making films about the valley and its hinterland. They came to tell a full house at U3A Todmorden, including our guests Cllr Pat Fraser, Mayor of Hebden Royd, and her Consort, Ellen Fellows, all about it on 15th February.

Making films

Peter used to film weddings for friends, but in 1995 he and Ray got together to make a 'walkabout' film for Durham. Perhaps the experience was salutary, because it was not until 2001 that they made another one, this time about the recently restored Rochdale Canal.

Titled 'A Walk on t'Cut', it established not only their interest in local history, but also their habits of production: a film a year, always filming on sunny days, and always starting the day with a toasted tea cake and finishing with a pint.

The film also attracted the attention of a southern lady who asked if she could order a copy of 'A Walk on T. Cut'. There is no knowing if she bought the sequel, 'A Walk on t'Long Cut' that came out the next year about the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

But canal walking was not challenge enough and soon Ray and Peter turned their attention to cross-country hill trails. They have covered Bronte land, the Mary Townley Bridleway, Hardcastle Crags, the Calderdale Way, Halifax, Luddenden, Shibden, Ripponden and Ryburn, Cragg Vale. 

Their next film is of Hebden Bridge

Their coming attraction will feature Hebden Bridge. This will preview on Saturday, 21st April at 11am in The Birchcliffe Centre in Hebden Bridge.

The facts of Pathways Productions' achievements are not inconsiderable. More lasting is what Ray and Peter have derived from their days out: friendship, an intimate knowledge and love of Calderdale, and a host of memories.

Well-honed double act

Those memories, delivered with the delighted deadpan humour of a well-honed double act, were what we were privileged to enjoy.

These included Ray's enforced encounter with the Great Hairy Northern Wood Ant in Hardcastle Crags, Percy 'Cat's Eye' Shaw's distrust of southern beer that led to his taking a few crates to London when he went to receive his OBE, winemaking in Luddenden Valley, and thirty ice cream vans playing the same tune at Royd's Ices in Mytholmroyd.

This was a talk from two personable local presenters whose affection for the area and their enterprise in celebrating it were enthusiastically admired and enjoyed.

Our guests both cordially declared how much they had enjoyed the meeting. Cllr Fraser added she would be joining U3A at the end of her Mayoralty in May. We thank them for their support in attending, and U3A Todmorden also wish gratefully to acknowledge Todmorden Town Council's very generous grant towards the publication of our History project, later this year.

U3A Todmorden's next meeting will be on Thursday, March 15th 2018 in the Central Methodist Church Hall in Todmorden. Our speaker will be Geoff Carter with his talk 'The Battle of the Somme" which will include a display of memorabilia by Tod Pals.

Our contact details are (website) www.u3atod.org.uk, (email) enquiries@u3atod.org.uk, or (phone) 01706 812015.

Many thanks to Anthony Peter for this report


Previous U3A reports on the HebWeb

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HebWeb News: Old Flames and Steamy Memories. With speaker Granville Dobson (9 April 2017)

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HebWeb News: Shaking Hitler's Hand (by proxy) - with speaker Alun Pugh (12 Feb 2017)

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HebWeb News: Moses Holden, Autodidact of Preston - with speaker Steve Halliwell (7 Oct 2016)

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HebWeb News:Stranger in a Strange Land - with speaker Gill Russell (7 May 2016)

HebWeb News:Life with polio and a career as a TV and Radio presenter. with speaker Jane Shepherd (12 June 2016)

HebWeb News:Small in a Tall Person's World with speakers Hamish Willis and Penny Dean OBE (31 March 2016)

HebWeb News:In the Footsteps of Norbert Carteret (22 February 2016)

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HebWeb News: University of the Third Age: Psychology and You - Part Two David Groves made a welcome return as a speaker at the October Todmorden U3A (26 October 2013)

HebWeb News: Hebden Bridge Little Theatre, A Short History was recounted by Ray Riches to the University of the Third Age. (28 Aug 2013)

HebWeb News: John Sheard, retired land agent to the Duke of Devonshire, gave his third talk to members of the U3A, this time on Sir Joseph Paxton, Knighted Gardener (26 July 2013)

HebWeb News: Off Stage Choices: Andrew Rawlinson recounts his theatre experience from Tod Operatic to General Manager of a leading Theatre Group. (18 July 2013)

HebWeb News: The Story of the Hebden Bridge Calendar (April 2013)

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HebWeb News: Cancer from Both Sides (Nov 2012)

HebWeb News: Steve Halliwell outlined the history of the Woodland Trust (Sept 2012)

HebWeb News: Ray Riches talks on Walking the Pacific Crest Trail (Aug 2012)

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HebWeb News - Kate Moreton-Deakin spoke about her day job as Associate Director - Corporate Social Responsibility with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. (Feb 2012)

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HebWeb News - May and June meeting report - Keep Learning: Live long and prosper and the role of the Lord-Lieutenant

HebWeb News - April meeting report - Belt and Braces - An Everyday Guide to Risk and Chance

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