A stormy sky but it didn’t mizzle until 8pm. This block of 6 homes rising directly out of the Rochdale canal are very photogenic. I was here to meet Diana who lives in the dwelling with red windows. She was having an open garden in memory of one Rev Fawcett’s 200th anniversary. The garden is on the side nearest the camera. 


Chatting with Diana in her lovely terraced garden. She’s another local history buff and my host knows her. That’s what i like about this place – it’s small enough for all these personal connections. 


Diana offered to escort me to the family history center in the town at some point. I’d been trying to work out which house the Wrigleys lived in and thought it could be one of this block. It turned out that Diana knew of the Wrigleys and pointed out which house she believes they lived in. It’s tricky because not only have many of the houses been pulled down and therefore the numbering  system is all messed up but many streets have changed their names entirely since the early 1800’s!


 The building on the left is where Diana believes the Wrigleys lived. they had a painting, plastering and renovation business dating back as far as my great great great grreat grandfather James Wrigley. Funnily enough I’d had a drink at The Railway two days before!


The inside of Hope Chapel. Today they are removing the scaffolding. The renovation was needed after the tremendous flood on Boxing Day, 2015 when the buildings in the centre of town were submerged by 6 feet of water. I had tea and a slice of the best ever Victoria sandwich with ‘the ladies’ and eventually one of them remembered a Wrigleys decorating business in town, and another lady remembered that it was next door to the Railway pub!


Thee letterheads dating from 1862, 1867 and 1931 were sent to me from New Zealand where some of the Wrigleys emigrated to in the 1880s. Rochdale to Heptonstall to Hebden Bridge to New Zealand and Australia!


The door of Hope Baptist Chapel


I spent a couple of hours in the library looking at microfilms of the Hebden Bridge Times.


I found the announcement of my great great great grandfather’s death – James Wrigley of Lily Hall (the next door neighbour of the widowed Sally Whitham nee Farrar.