Help the Trades Club finish the work
Wednesday, 29 July 2020
The HebWeb has been regularly covering events at the Trades Club since we started, twenty-five years ago. Hebden Bridge would not be the same place without the Trades Club.
It now needs professional builders to complete the next stage of the building work which started after the 2015 Boxing Day Flood.
Runner-up in NME 'best small venue' nationwide more than once and favourite of 6 music, Patti Smith, Thrurston Moore and the place that gave birth to Working Mens Club, The Orielles, The Lounge Society and many more influential local artists.
Photo of Patti Smith outside the Trades Club taken by Bev Manders.
It's an iconic building in the middle of town and a well-loved institution.
What lots of people don't know is that for the Building Management Committee, the Trades Club is the whole building and for many years the ground floor was a community arts space, as well as having the local Labour Party office and meeting room.
Possibly more importantly, it was used for many years by Hebden Bridge Junior Band. Following the floods of Boxing Day 2015, the whole town was under water, up to 5 feet deep in places. The Trades Club sits on a road below the canal and the river…
While the music venue survived (even with no beer cellar, power or lighting for a time), because it is on the first floor, the ground floor facilities were pretty well destroyed, meaning all the many groups using the space had to seek accommodation elsewhere. SIt was decided to make the best out of the disaster.
Rather than just replace it as it was, it was decided first of all to make the famous music venue, indeed the whole place, accessible and also create a space that can be used not just by all those groups who were displaced by the flood but attract new groups, and also restore the link to Trade Unions.
It was built originally by a 1d (one old penny for those too young to know) a week levy on the wages of the workers in the textile industry in the town – mainly the Tailors and Garment Workers Union – and was finally opened in 1924. It has been through many incarnations since then.
The Building Management Committee want to turn it into a training centre, a mini conference venue, a place for parties, meetings large and small – the list of uses is only limited by imagination!
An architect was employed to develop plans for this vision and when finished, the community would have a flood resilient building that provides, amongst other facilities:
- Large hall (space for over 100 people) with an inset dance floor
- Ceiling mounted projector plus wifi
- Meeting room (about 16 people)
- Small kitchen
- A fully accessible toilet
- Disabled access via a lift to the first floor (the music venue and bar) which is already in situ
- A "Green room" for the Trades Club
- A beer store directly below the bar (saving several pints per barrel!)
It is also hoped to provide permanent storage for the junior band instruments and a newly fitted office and storage room for the local Labour Party.
The most frequently used smaller rooms would be accessible without going into the main hall, meeting safeguarding requirements.
Unfortunately the cost of this vision is more than double what was received from the insurance payout.
Much of the initial work has been done by volunteers.
The remains of the wooden floor and the brick pillars that supported it, along with most of the partition walls have been removed. Now, the basic floor has been laid and the old ceiling has been pulled down, filling at least half a dozen skips in the process.
The roof's been mended and the basic concrete floor has been laid.
But now work is at a standstill. The next stage requires professional builders.
A GoFundMe page has been launched. Scott Archer of the Building Management Committee gas told the HebWeb, "As arts and community venues up and down the country are facing tough times, it's important we protect our vital arts, music and social scene in Hebden Bridge, whilst adding much needed extra value and potential capacity to the existing venue above."
Previously, on the HebWeb
HebWeb News 2017: Trades Club Ground Floor work starts
HebWeb News 2013: Trades Club donates £5000 to Flood Fund)
HebWeb News 2012: Trades Club celebrates 30 years of live music
HebWeb News 2012: Thanks to the HebWeb from the Trades
Search results for Trades Club on the HebWeb