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Heptonstall is a tiny, well preserved village at the top of the hill above Hebden Bridge. Rachel and I stayed there for 3 days last year and many years ago, on a family visit from the US we took my mom there to see Sylvia Plath’s grave. It poured down, but we still loved the place, so it was no surprise that the day of the annual festival it was bucketing down. Though I must say that between the downpours the sun came out, and the sky was great for photos. But I got so cold that eventually my fingers wouldn’t press the buttons on my camera, at which point I retreated into the Cross Keys in search of warmth.


The umbrella over the hole in the awning – and the hand that’s holding it up!

Unlike last week when I hiked up the hill I took the bus arriving at midday, the start of the festival. A band was already playing under the awning set up in the ruins of the old church.  A delicious cheese stall, microbreweries, Mexican and Indian food vendors, circus acts were all desperately trying to keep their wares dry. One stall’s roof had a hole in it so they ingeniously put an umbrella over the hole! It was all great fun, but from comments of

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Town trail rewritten and illustrated by Richard from the museum

people there was a disappointing turn out. Wooden steps had been installed for people to scale the wall from the Weavers Square to the ruins and it was fun to watch the dad’s negotiate these with strollers. There were lots of young kiddies: I wish I could have a raincoat like theirs! To dry off a bit I went back to the museum where 2 weeks ago I had helped Richard rewrite the paragraphs of the Heptonstall guide book. Our work was visible on white boards throughout the village. He introduced me to his friend who gave me a personal performance of his flea circus! Different bands came and went during the course of the afternoon, some from as far away as Manchester (that’s 38 minutes by train). I went off to explore some of the side streets which lead to glorious views of the moors and was almost blown over several times by the gale-force winds. Much of the TV series Happy Valley was filmed here but the communities don’t appear to have cashed in on that link – so far.


An elderly resident enjoying the beer garden of the White Lion