And then it was finally about time to leave Vienna for the summer and travel to England and Scotland! A short flight to Manchester and off I hopped on the train to my first stop: Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire
It was a short, but steep way from the train station to my Airbnb room and the steep way up had its perks – that view over the valley!
The original settlement in the Calder Valley was on top of the hill, Heptonstall (my destination for the next day).
Steep hills with fast-flowing streams and access to major wool markets meant that Hebden Bridge was ideal for water-powered weaving mills and the town developed during the 19th and 20th centuries; at one time Hebden was known as “Trouser Town” because of the large amount of clothing manufacturing. (Wikipedia)
Today the mills are all closed, like in most parts of Yorkshire, and you´ll find cafés, shops and apartments in the former workplaces. Hebden Bridge is a lovely little town filled with independent shops, cafés and restaurants. A great place to just wander around or have a drink or two somewhere.
And then there is the Rochdale Canal – filled with colourfull canal boats, locks, birds and perfect for a relaxed walk.
Lots of artists were always drawn to Hebden Bridge and about three years ago the Old Town Hall became a cooperative place offering artists and small business space to work.
There is also a small music club, “Trades”, that has been played by many artists from Patti Smith to The Fall and many more!
This handsome little town is awash with creativity – from the artists and musicians hard at work in their studios to the Arts and Music Festival held every year. The town also has a number of famous literary ‘residents’, including Sylvia Plath whose grave can be found on a medieval settlement in the hills above the town, and former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes whose birthplace can be found in the nearby village of Mytholmroyd. (Yorkshire.com)
And another walk along the canal – no wonder why Hebden Bridge is such a saught after place to live!
Nobody knows why Hebden Bridge became “Hebden Bridge”, officially the quirkiest/kookiest/koolest/most LGBTQ-friendly/least chain-store-y etc small town in the universe. (The Guardian)
Opened in 1921 Hebden Bridge Picturehouse is one of the last civic owned cinemas in the UK (and probably in Europe) and it was showing a movie I´ve been waiting for quite a while: “Yesterday”, how would the world be if the Beatles hadn´t existed?
This was the main place for entertainment for weavers, mill-workers and residents alike and has always been a cinema although it may have not survived without some tough community action on more than one occasion. (Yorkshirelife.co.uk)
It was about 10pm when the film had ended and it was still almost light, these long summer days!