500 Words pieces

Two Petrol Pumps
David H Bridges

Little-shopped and unhorrored
Angie Cairns

Seedy river had fun
Lynn Breeze

Hebden Bridge Snapshot
Fenella Berry

The Bridge Parties
Brian Wells

Changing the world
Chris Reason

The Bridge Lanes community of yesterday
Leah Coneron

Ruth Robson-King

Hebden Bridge My Tūrangawaewae
Jo Collinge

Communing with angels in the heart of the UK
June Smith

500 years this bridge has stood
Emma Timewell

Jake takes Billy for a walk
- Jason Elliott

Where there's brown rice, there's brass
- Daily Telegraph

4th funkiest town in the world
- highlife

500 Words pieces

Hebden: a Bridge between Worlds
Sarah L. Long

My spiritual home
Gill Smith

Star Reborn
Adrian Lord

Take it to the Bridge
Mike Barrett

"I want two queues!"
David Binns

The Long Haul
Rachel Pickering

The Bridge
Alastair Graham

Walking with History
Graham Ramsden

A pin in the map
Andi Butterworth

Extracts from a Tudor time travellerís letter
Frances Platt

Her Diverse Fun Day
Lynn Breeze

William Darney (maverick preacher)
Glyn Hughes

Breakfasting on the Bridge
Graham Barker

Hermetic Hebden

Take it to the Bridge
- Leeds Guide









The Bridge Lanes community of yesterday

How wonderful to recapture your childhood by visiting the places you knew long ago, seeing once again familar street and houses. Then up steps, round corners, through yards, narrow ginnels, low walls, back alleys. To remember the faces and families of long ago. But, alas, not for me because my home was one hundred and two Bridge Lanes, its claim to fame being the only house with a large bay window. No longer there, just a bus stop as a memorial to these unique houses which utilized every bit of available space.

Between Bridge Lanes and Heptonstall Road was a busy community, home to so many, yet passed by thousands each year as they travel up or down this busy road and see only a grassy slope with trees and bushes. The graveyard of houses and shops which once covered this area.

This thriving part of Hebden Bridge contained almost as many shops and business as any small town. The facts are these, situated in Bridge Lanes were eleven shops, one painter and decorating business, plumber's workshop, a small house used for worship, an electricians workpace and shop, two clothing manufacturers, an undertaker, two lodging houses (men only), a bottling plant that produced locally made lemonade, large upholstery firm, a pub, and last but not least gentlemen and a ladies conveniences at the bottom and a gents only toilet situated next to the telephone box at the top.

This number of busy shops does not include the ones situated in Heptonstall Road. A second fish and chip shop, another pub, a large grocery store, a small shop that made home made sweets. Then another grocers shop, so full of goods you could hardly turn round, whilst opposite was the well known Pie Sammys bakery and shop. If you wanted to walk further up the hill you would find a shop that sold bread, cakes and a few groceries, this was nestled between the houses in Queens Terrace.

I am not sure whether the tiny woman who lived in Heptonstall Road and laid out the dead could be called a business, but certainly she was an important member of the community. I ought to mention the Youth Club set up by the Rev Bingham, situated in High Street, where activities for all ages were organized, from table tennis to sewing classes for the girls.

So what were all these streets called that have disappeared for ever? The longest one was High Street with access to New Street, Back High Street and Croft Place. The beginning of High Street was Heptonstall Road and the end led into Cuckoo Steps - still there - which in turn led down into Market Street or back up into Heptonstall Road. To remember High Street was to remember the delicious pies from Pie Sammy's a well known figure around Hebden Bridge, who could be seen with a large covered basket filled with freshly made pies, the pastry was perfection, the meat delicious and the gravy ran free.

Leah Frith (now Coneron)