Mytholmroyd Net

Alice Spencer (1908-2001)
Monday, December 17, 2001

Alice Spencer of Calder Grove, Mytholmroyd, died today in hospital aged 93. Alice travelled the world in the days when women didn't.

She allowed me to copy her "Notes" of countries visited last year, insofar as she could remember. This read as follows: 1937 Iceland, 1938 Spain and Norway, 1939 France, 1960 Iceland, 1962 Egypt, 1963 Holy Land, 1965 Greece, 1965 America, 1969 Moroco, 1970 Malta, 1971 Canada, 1973 Ethiopia, 1974 Hungary, 1975 California, 1976 Turkey, 1979 South Africa, 1980 Crete and Rhodes, 1981 America and Canada, 1982 Portugal, 1984 Austria and Italy, 1985 Austria, Germany and Switzerland, 1985 to 2001 England.

Infirmary Queen 1936She provided the first photographs to go on the Mytholmroyd web site including her old headmaster at Scout Road School - Mr Carter, pictures of Caldene Avenue in 1914 (she lived at Calder Grove from 1914 until her death) and Thornber's Fire. She gave me background information on many events, such as Mytholmroyd Gala which was apparently originally known as Demonstration Day and proceeds went to the Halifax Hospitals. This picture shows "Infirmary Queen 1936". Alice got very cross with herself for not remembering the lady's name! She worked at Thornbers in the office prior to retiring and was in charge of make-up at Little Theatre for many years. An interesting lady who will be sadly missed.

Infirmary Queen 1936
The picture above shows Alice in the garden at Calder Grove in 1936 with Burnley Road School in the background.

Ted Hughes Centre - latest
Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Piers Jackson has contacted the Mytholmroyd Net with an update about the Feasibility study. If people want to email him with messages of interest and support he may be able to use them in the future development. Anyone who might have access to international funding sources "he would love to hear from". He will be putting together a funding strategy.

Here is the press release he has sent us:

A centre to celebrate the life and work of former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes in his birthplace of Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, has come a step closer following publication of a new report.

A Pre-feasibility Study commissioned by Royd Regeneration and Calderdale Council and prepared by Brighouse development consultants Jackson Quigg Associates, recommends that the project move to full feasibility to test in detail where such a centre should be and if there is a strong enough business case to take it forward.

The initial study concentrated on examining the former Railway Station building in Mytholmroyd, with Leeds-based Bauman Lyons Architects drawing up outline sketch schemes for how the building might be used. The building is derelict and is in the Mytholmroyd conservation area of New Road for which there are detailed regeneration plans.

Jackson Quigg carried out a consultation process to determine levels of interest and support from the family of Ted Hughes, from his publisher, from a number of universities, and from statutory bodies like Yorkshire Arts, the Arts Council and local authority.

The project already has the possibility of some capital funding. English Heritage - ›Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS) has provisionally offered 93,000 each year for the next 3 years for Mytholmroyd including the station, and the Railway Heritage Trust has offered 45K towards renovating the station building.

Alan Brooks, Chair of Royd Regeneration and a founder member of the steering group for a Ted Hughes Centre said: "Ted Hughes lived in Mytholmroyd until he was eight, and the Calder Valley provided enormous inspiration for his poetry. It seems only fitting that we should celebrate his life and work here in his birthplace with a centre that could help inspire future generations to experience his work and relate to it in its Pennine setting".

"We would hope to provide study and research space, with exhibitions and artefacts, a bookshop and a cafe/restaurant. It may also be possible to move Mytholmroyd Library into the building if additionally we are able to develop space underneath the railway arch."

Mr Brooks continued: "We now need to take the project forward by consulting with local people and carrying out more detailed research to decide whether or not the Railway Station building is the right place for a centre, exactly what should go into it and how it would be financed and run. Expressions of interest have been very positive, and although there is a long way to go we believe a Ted Hughes Centre would be a great success."

Expressions of interest have come from as far afield as Australia, and the Hughes family have firmly supported the idea in principle.

"We will of course keep the family fully informed about our plans," added Mr Brooks. "We are very pleased to have their backing and hope we can develop a centre that matches their aspirations and those of the many people who have enjoyed Ted Hughes' writing."

The study was funded by grants from Calderdale Council Millennium Cultural Activity, Yorkshire Forward and Hebden Royd Town Council.

Calder High Fun Run
Fun Run

Fun Run› 
17th October 2001

Fun Run

Thursday 18 October

A talk by RAY RICHES on his adventures on the PACIFIC CREST TRAIL in America. Ray walked over 1000 miles this summer.

In aid of the ROOF OVER YOUTH appeal.

Little Theatre, Hebden Bridge
Tickets £3 on the door or phone 843907

Shooting Cats
Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Houses in Mytholmroyd received this note on Sunday 16th September 2001

"Please be aware that someone in the neighbourhood has been shooting cats with an air rifle. This has become a police matter and if you know anything could you please tell them 360333 or Wildlife officer 318197. Thank you."

Mytholmroyd Gala
Mytholmroyd Gala

For once, the weather was good and the sun shone for the Gala. Click here to see more photos of the event.

Mytholmroyd Gala
Lauren Brooks 


Lauren Brooks, this year's Gala Queen, called into the Mytholmroyd Web to remind us all that Mytholmroyd Gala will take place later this year - next Saturday ›8th September. Watch this space for pictures of this year's Gala.
School Holidays
Horse and rider

31st July 2001
Kelly Hope from a local stables didn't get far down Caldene Avenue this morning before being surrounded by children enjoying the school holidays. This patient horse allowed them all to have a turn at stroking it without batting an eyelid. Kelly gave them polo mints to feed to it.

Tougher Line on Mobile Phone Masts Welcomed

Calderdale Council's new policy on the siting of mobile phone masts on council land has been welcomed by Councillor Jane Brown (Liberal Democrat - Luddendenfoot).

Councillor Mrs Brown said: "The new policy should mean more consultation with councillors and members of the public about the siting of these masts".

"In addition, no masts should be erected on council owned land within 100 metres of schools or other buildings where children are present"

Councillor Mrs Brown continued: "I first got involved with this some years ago when Orange wished to put up a mast off Heights Road near Midgley and there have been a number of other sites I have objected to since. I have been pressing the council for some time to adopt tougher policies and I am pleased that it now has."

"Planning rules have been changed to bring some of these masts under tighter control but there are still many instances where planning permission is not needed. This has led to communities feeling powerless to object to the siting of masts".

"Even though I welcome the Council's new policy, this will only apply to council-owned land and I will still be lobbying for tighter planning controls to be introduced as has happened recently in Scotland".

Mobile Phone Recycling Scheme Gets Underway

A scheme to recycle old mobile phones has been launched by Calderdale Council. Councillor Mrs Brown told us: "The idea came to me last year when I was upgrading my phone. I found that my family had six phones which were of no use any more and I suspected that many other people must be in a similar situation."

"Mobile phone technology is moving so quickly that many people get a new phone and just throw the old one away. This seems a great waste. There are parts of phones which can be re-used but at present most of these are just thrown away and buried in the ground with everything else in the dustbin. Mobile phones also contain substances which should not really be buried in this way".

"I asked officers to look into the possibility of Calderdale Council collecting these old phones so that those parts which can be used are re-used and the rest disposed of safely. The council itself must have a good number of mobile phones now and it should be relatively easy to collect these at the end of their life".

"Now a scheme has been introduced which will allow people to dispose of their old phones safely. They will be used in developing countries or stripped down so that their parts can be re-used".

Phone Recycling

Cllr Jane Brown (With red top on) Lisa Wainwright-Mckie (Calderdale Re-Cycling officer)

The scheme is on trial for three months and collection points have been installed at Northgate House, Halifax, Halifax Central Library, Hebden Bridge Council Offices, Todmorden Library and Brighouse Council Offices. People will also a chance for people to help the charity SCOPE who have provided some of the collection boxes.

Hebden Royd Partnership
Wednesday, June 27, 2001

The recently formed Hebden Royd Partnership, is aiming to bring together the views of the whole community in order to obtain a united effort for its future benefit. The aim is to prepare an agreed strategic approach and direction in order that our area can present a clear statement of its future needs and seek the external support and funding to achieve them. The Partnership will be an enabling organisation bringing community interests together to support each other, so that all become stronger and each is better able to develop its particular interest to the collective benefit of the whole area. Read all about the partnership at their new website, and maybe contribute your suggestions.

Sunday, June 24, 2001

The marriage of Hayley Louise Shann and James Neville Morgan took place at St Michael's Church, Mytholmroyd on Saturday 23rd June 2001. The service was conducted by the Reverend James Allison. The Best Man was Mr Scott Morgan. Bridesmaids were Miss Jennie Shann sister of the bride, Miss Helen Clegg and Miss Debbie Marshall cousins of the bride. Ushers were Mr Neil Clegg, Mr Richard Helliwell and Mr Andrew Latham. A reception followed at Scaitcliffe Hall, Todmorden.

Conservation Area
Friday, June 22, 2001

Report from Alan Brooks 21st June 2001

At the meeting of The Regeneration and Development Scrutiny Committee of Calderdale Council last week it was unanimously recommended to Cabinet that Mytholmroyd become a Conservation Area.

HB Arts Festival
Monday, June 18, 2001

The Hebden Bridge Festival started on Saturday. Full details and programme may be found on the Festival website.

On Tuesday 19th, Donald Crossley, Alan Brooks and John Billingsley from Mytholmroyd will be joining Elaine Connell for a discussion forum about Ted Hughes. Donald Crossley will talk about his personal memories of TH, Alan Brooks will tell of the latest developments concerning the proposed TH Centre and Elaine Connell and John Billingsley will discuss Hughes' poetry. The Forum is at the Canalside Gallery, Machpelah Works, HB at 8 pm. £4 (concessions £3)

Millstone Grit Revisited
Monday, June 11, 2001

BBC Radio wish to interview people from Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd in connection with work in the mills. If anyone lived in a mill worker's cottage or worked in the woollen mills or can tell what life was like in the villages when the worsted and woollen mills were running (or if you know of anyone else who is prepared to be interviewed), please contact me. Interviews due to take place Tues, Wed and Thursday next week. The programme will be based around Glyn Hughes' book - Millstone Grit.

Friday, June 8, 2001
2.30 am Labour wins Calder Valley

Candidate Party Votes % Votes
McCafferty, Christine Lab 20,244 42.7%
Robson-Catling, Sue Con 17,150 36.2%
Taylor, Michael LD 7,596 16.0%
Hutton, Steve Grn 1,034 2.2%
Nunn, John UKI 729 1.5%
Lockwood, Philip LCA 672 1.4%
Majority: 3,094  Turnout: 63.0%
2.3% swing from Lab to Con

Saints Under 14s Win Again
Under 14s

Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Hebden Bridge Saints Under 14 s completed a›fantastic season beating Bankfoot Villa 6-1 in the Halifax Cup final.

Having already won the league this completed a memorable league and cup double for the second year running(Last year as under 13 s). As they had previously drawn with Bankfoot Hebden knew this would be a difficult game, but took command early with goals from Bamford and Eckersley with Balmforth the provider on both occasions.Bankfoot scored just before half time but after some early 2nd half pressure was dealt with by the resolute Saints defence. Hebden again took control.Bamford was again on target and 2 more from Eckersley completed his Hat Trick. Andy Smith the made it 6 from close range.This was an outstanding team performance in which every player deserves credit not only for this game but for going the complete league season without losing a game.

Under 13s

Under 13s
Conservation Area Public Meeting
24th April 2001

A Public Meeting called to discuss the possibility of parts of Mytholmroyd becoming a Conservation Area was well attended at The Church of the Good Shepherd last night. This followed a Historic Tour of the village.

Barry Rutter (Artistic Director of Northern Broadsides) was the Guest Speaker. He explained his link with Mytholmroyd had come about through his connection with the works of the late Ted Hughes.

Alan Brooks for Royd Regneration brought those attending up to date with plans well under way to acquire the Old Railway Station as a Ted Hughes Centre. He explained the benefits to be had for Mytholmroyd as a whole should parts of it become a Conservation Area in terms of grants and additional funding it might attract for this and other derelict or underused buildings. Further funding could possibly be attracted for enhancing business properties and the environment.

Sheena Campbell, Regeneration & Projects Planning Services, Calderdale Council explained the implications, controls and benefits of Mytholmroyd becoming a Conservation Area.

Following an open forum when members of the public put questions to the speakers, everyone was invited to send written comments by 14.5.01 to:
Sheena Campbell,
Regeneration & Projects Planning Services,
Calderdale Council
Northgate House,
Halifax HX1 1UN,
by telephone on 01422 392256
or e-mail Sheena Campbell

These comments will be submitted to the Council's Regeneration & Development Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

Yorkshire Mac User Group
Next Meeting
Yorks Mac User group Sat 21 April:
The Church of the Good Shepherd, Mytholmroyd.
Bar will be open. No food apart from crisps etc. Anyone who is thinking about buying their first computer is very welcome as well as anyone who already has a Mac.
Dock Pudding Contest cancelled
Monday, March 19, 2001

Sandra Wickham the manager of the Mytholmroyd Community Centre told the Mytholmroyd net on Friday 16th March that The Annual Dock Pudding Contest had been cancelled this year. She said that the docks were collected by people from many places which had been closed because of the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease such as Hardcastle Craggs, countryside walks, canal banks etc. The Community Centre took the event over around 25 years ago. Prior to this it was held at the Electricity Showrooms on Valley Road, Hebden Bridge, when the shop allowed the use of their electric cookers.

Dorothy Longbottom told the Mytholmroyd net that she had been preparing dock pudding for many years and for the past seven had attended the event providing people with the opportunity to taste the delicacy.

The Passion Dock (Bistort) is the mainstay of the dish. It is relatively rare but grows freely in the Calder Valley. Locals say the tradition goes back to the 19th century when poverty was high. Docks and nettles would be the first greens to appear after winter and could be collected and eaten for free.

Dorothy gave us the following recipe for the dish which is traditionally eaten as a spring clean for the body:
  • Large pan of boiling water
  • 3 large onions chopped
  • Half a carrier bag of docks - washed in salt with the stalks removed, adding them to the water as they boil down, as with spinach
  • Simmer for 2 hours until the water disappears
  • Add a knob of butter
  • Sprinkle with oatmeal and mash.
  • Keep sprinkling with oatmeal and mashing until all the moisture is absorbed.
  • Finally add a knob of butter. The dish freezes well.
  • Eat with bacon for breakfast.
Nettles are often added as well though Dorothy doesn't include them.
Potato Day
Potato Day Sunday, March 4, 2001

Mytholmroyd's Good Shepherd Church was packed yesterday with people attending the Calder Valley Organic Gardeners' annual Potato Day. There were well over 50 different varieties of potato on sale, as well as recipes, books and all varieties of potato dishes. Even chocolate potato cake! Visitors could browse potato web pages on a very cool looking IMAC, attend a talk on the history of potato cultivation or listen to Calder Valley Voices singing traditional potato songs.

Roof Over Youth - UPDATE
Friday, February 9, 2001

Alan Brooks informed the Mytholmroyd web site of the following developments in reply to questions in the Guestbook about the "Roof Over Youth" project. The land has been bought and Planning Permission has been granted.

An annonymous donation has just been received for Twenty-five thousand, five hundred pounds - bringing total funds to Thirty-seven thousand pounds.

Letters have been sent out to 260 Trust and Grant Organisations for further funding.

Update from Alan Brookes
Friday, February 2, 2001

As part of the next step in the process to establish parts of Mytholmroyd as a Conservation area, houses which will be affected are to be leafleted. The idea was passed by the Calderdale Scrutiny Committee this week.