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 Long Haul

 Where did it all begin?  Sometime in my teens I began to have feelings for you. I found myself hanging round in your valleys and woods, sloping off to your rivers with friends on sunlit days. It was as if we were made for each other.

Friends and family didn’t approve. They said you lacked ambition, that you’d hold me back. There were rumours about drugs. Even Ted Hughes put the boot in and that must have hurt. It was just rude, the way he spoke about you: Sodden dreariness? Hopeless old stone trap? He didn’t understand you – he was from Mytholmroyd. 

It all got bit intense after I left school. It wasn’t that we weren’t right for each other, we just wanted different things.  I was going places and you… you just sat there, between Halifax and Tod, getting greyer by the day. It was stifling – endless quiz nights in the Nutclough, umpteenth frozen Easters watching the Pace Egg. I’d met people from cities. They had better haircuts than me and not one of them wore a cagoule. Maybe Ted Hughes had a point, after all. So we had a talk. “It’s not you it’s me”, I said. You looked like thunder.

 After I left, I spent my twenties moving from one city to another. Nightclubs, department stores, beauty salons. Gigs, multiplexes, retail parks. It made me dizzy.   I’m not proud of this but I began spending time with other bridges ….your bumpy old hump back certainly had character but it couldn’t compete. The Humber stretched so elegantly across the water. And who would turn down the chance of a walk across the swaying Millennium at sunset?

I came back to visit you from time to time and began to notice small changes. It started with the cappuccino. Coffee shops sprang up on every corner, full of people and not a cagoule in sight. “These are my new friends”, you said. “They work in TV”. Soon they all wanted a piece of you. You even got a part in a couple of films. It was hard to watch as they brought someone in to do up your cobbles. And they put in those wavy steps….. At your age! What were you thinking?

We did a lot of talking. You’d said you’d had enough of the media circus and that nobody knew you like I did - you wanted to take me back. It felt so safe and I was jaded. We agreed to try again and moving back in was like stepping into a pair of comfortable old slippers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still no picnic but we’ve both learnt to compromise.  God knows, some days I don’t want another amazing view. And you still insist on making me meet those incessant TV people. It’s hard for you too - you turn a blind eye to my city breaks, but I try to be discreet. We’re working on it. We’re in it for the long haul.

Rachel Pickering