Coincidences galore

Hebden Bridge Picture House is directly across the street from my apartment. This is no glittering steel and glass monstrosity but a graceful stone building.  Hebden Bridge’s Picture House cinema first opened its doors in 1921 and is one of the last civic owned cinemas in Britain. Originally boasting over 900 seats its first screening was a double bill of Torn Sails and The Iron Stair, with the Picture House rapidly becoming the main place of entertainment for the weavers, mill-workers, and other residents of Hebden Bridge and the upper Calder Valley. It has been in use as a cinema ever since. On Thursday evening I went to see Limehouse Golem, which, despite the presence of Bill Nighy, was rather gorey and not particularly to my liking. However, the next night i went to see Victoria and Abdul, about the queen’s relationship with an Indian servant. As I waited for the main feature to begin a lady came to sit next to me and we got chatting. It turned out that like me she had taught at a predominantly Muslim school – but unlike me she had learned Urdu. After a divorce she  began to travel alone for the first time. It transpired that we were both in the Shetland Isles at the very same time in August of this year! “Coming for a drink after?’ she asked as the feature started. ‘of course. It’s this spontaneity that brings me to Hebden Bridge!’ I thoroughly enjoyed the film and as we left we bumped into two other ladies that she knew and we all went across the road to The Railway pub (which, of course, my Wrigley ancestor built in 1861, two year before he built the house where I’m living!) Other l

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ady number one had not only attended Durham University but had been at St. Mary’s College Durham just before me, so we chatted about the difficulty of the Durham dialect. Lady number two, lives alone on a canal boat. At eighty she finds the only difficulty in her life-style is not having enough upper body strength to work the locks. Ah, these are the people who fill me with inspiration. An open mike was happening in the back room and suddenly I heard a very creditable version of the Rufus Wainwright song ‘I’m tired of you America’ which became Sarah’s anthem of our trip to England this summer. I hurried into the back room just in time to shoot a short video before my phone died, but at that moment I was grabbed by the arm and led onto the floor to join the dancing by a young girl my daughter’s age. The next time I looked at my watch it was past midnight and I took my leave of the other two ladies, one of whom had still to walk back up the hill to Heptonstall when she eventually left around 1 a.m.

The following evening three of us were back at the Picture House, this time to see La Boheme live from the English National Opera. It was neat to realise it was also being shown live in Santa Cruz. It was a brand new production which brought back memories of seeing Opera San Jose’s production earlier this year. You can read my review of that production:

After, we all retired to The Trades Club to further our friendship and exchange contact info.

1 Comment

  1. alice

    Hi Heather,

    Alice here. love catching up with you this way. You are very present in my heart and house each day as I make my/your bed, and arrange my new shelves, and glance at one of your photos on my shelf
    You seem happy and the photos of you with all your girls are delightful!
    SC symphony doing a great concert this weekend. Wish you could here it.

    Walking group being adventurous recently. Weather stunning, a swell in now and lovely crisp ams.

    Miss you, love you, Alice

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