So I went back to Christ Church Sowerby Bridge, carefully getting on the correct train today. I was excited to meet Angela, the lady who had asked me to bring my family history material to the church coffee morning so that we could compare notes. I had little expectation that we would find any common ancestry since Barraclough is a very common name in these parts, but it  became obvious immediately that Angela and I have the same members of the Barraclough family in our tree. The parents of Ishmael Nutton (who died from alpaca poisoning, and whose gravestone I unearthed at Mt Pellon church last week) were James Nutton (born 1810) and Ann Barraclough (born 1815). These are my great, great, great grandparents but for Angela it’s a more complicated ancestral line. However, the family connection is undeniable.


Gearing up for the Christmas in Hebden festivities  this weekend

I chatted with other coffee club members, and Peter, the churchwarden who had been so helpful last year, joked that if I was going to come to the church this often I should become a member of the Parish Church Council. Well, then it is only fitting that my ‘local’ pub in Santa Cruz is called The Parish! My bid to go up the church tower was not met with enthusiasm. apparently it’s too dangerous to let anyone up there 🙁

Angela offered to take me on a tour of the area so while she went to a short service I feasted on toasted tea cake and peach iced tea at Gabriel’s cafe. It was even warm enough to sit outdoors. The ‘tour’ took in several of the streets where my ancestors lived that are on census forms from 1841 – 1911 but all the houses I was searching for had been demolished, but I could still get a feel for the area, their location in the shadows of the mills where they no doubt worked. I was disappointed that half the row of Haigh Street terrace had been demolished. My relatives lived at various times at 4, 6 and 20 Haigh Street, and I have one photo of my great grandmother who lived there.

The train back to Hebden Bridge malfunctioned for 20 minutes but I arrived back there withour any further mishap around 2:30. I sat on the Square enjoying a sausage roll and lated a cider from the Shoulder of Mutton and then did my first  bit of souvenir shopping, stopping at the old Hebden Mill and the soap factory. Earlier in the day I had seen a knitted doll in Sowerby Bridge from the same series that I used to knit and sell. IMG_5286