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Calder Valley celebrates 'Alternative Christmas'

Six months on from the Boxing Day floods which devastated the Calder Valley, residents and business have been celebrating an 'Alternative Christmas' today.

Hebden Bridge celebrate Christmas in June Credit: ITV Yorkshire

The rains which started on Christmas Day saw festivities ruined for many people in both Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd - with hundreds of homes and business left under up to six feet of water.

The town council organised a day of Christmas festivities, with shops encouraged to get out the tinsel and baubles and decorate their businesses - to make up for the soggy Christmas they lost.

Hebden Bridge junior band kicked off the celebrations Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Hebden Bridge Junior Band kicked off celebrations by playing carols around a Christmas tree in the town's St George's Square at 11 am. They were also playing at Mytholmroyd Gala, which started at 12.15 pm, and accompanied there by a choir from Burnley Road Primary School, whose pupils have still not been able to return to their flooded classrooms and continue to be taught elsewhere.

There will be all the fun of the gala in Mytholmroyd, and street entertainment in Hebden Bridge throughout the day.


Costume workshops for handmade parade

Lobster monster

The last workshops take place this week and next to create a show-stopping costume for this year's Handmade Parade in Hebden Bridge.

The theme for 2016 is "Muck In", and spectators can expect the usual weird, wonderful and wacky creations, with busy bees, dung beetles and giant trees parading through the town on June 26th, along with a giant toilet and a hippo mud spa.

Open workshops for people to create their parade costumes with the help of professional artists are being held at the Victoria Road workshops, today and Thursday between 4pm and 6pm; on June 18th and 19th between 10 am and12 pm and 2pm and 4 pm; and June 21st and 23rd between 4pm and 6pm and 7pm and 9pm. For more information click here.

Giant puppet
Wonderful creations

Mass turn out for Hebden Bridge Junior Band

The brass band community has turned out in force to help support Hebden Bridge Junior Band, which lost its home and a large amount of equipment in the Boxing Day floods.

Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Hundreds turned out to watch 'massed blast' with players from at least a dozen brass bands from Yorks and lancs, including from the Yorkshire regiment band. Such a success it could become an annual event.

Credit: ITV Yorkshire
Credit: ITV Yorkshire
Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Massed 'blast' for flooded Hebden Bridge junior band

In happier times: Hebden Bridge Junior Band

Yorkshire's 'top brass' is rallying round in support of a junior band which lost its home and a large amount of equipment in the Boxing Day floods.

Hebden Bridge Junior Band is inviting 'anyone with a brass instrument' to join them in a "Massed Blast" open air concert in the town centre today.

Invites have gone out to Brighouse and Rastrick, Black Dyke Mills, Grimethorpe and the Yorkshire Regiment band, as well as numerous other local bands - with several indicating they will be there.

The junior band, with members aged from 7 to 19, has nurtured hundreds of youngsters over the past 45 years, with many going on to musical careers.

But on Boxing Day, its store and rehearsal rooms were left under several feet of water. Instruments were damaged and many cases were destroyed, along with hundreds of musical scores, uniforms and banners.

The band has been offered a temporary home by nearby Friendly band and offers of music have been made by bands throughout the country.

On the move
Sorting out temporary home
Flood damaged instruments

Today's concert is instead of the band's annual Spring Fair - held outside this year because there was nowhere else available in the flood-ravaged town. Performances are at 12.30, 1.45 and 3.30pm.

We hope today's "Massed Blast" will let everyone know that whilst we are down, we are not out. It is also to raise the plight of all the flood victims in the town, of which there are so many, and our attempt to bring some life and colour back to Hebden Bridge. We have asked the musicians to turn up in their band colours and with their banners so spectators know where they are from. If only a couple of players turn up from each of the bands invited it promises to be a truly memorable day for brass band fans.

– Liz Glassbrook, junior band chair


Hebden Bridge youngsters' sweet tale

A group of children have rallied round to save their favourite shop from going under - after the Boxing Day floods.

Youngster who ran makeshift shop give their takings to help flood victims Credit: ITV Yorkshire

'Something Sweet' has re-opened now after being deluged with water for the second time in four years.

Youngsters from the town ran a makeshift shop of their own when it had to close.

But they decided to give their takings - almost £200 - to a good cause.

The day the band came to bring cheer to flooded town

Yorkshire Regiment Band brings colour and cheer Credit: Jenny Holmes

In a much appreciated show of solidarity and support, the Band of the Yorkshire Regiment gave an impromptu concert in flood-hit Hebden Bridge.

The band, based in Huddersfield, brought colour, cheer and of course its music, to the town which is still reeling from the aftermath of the Boxing Day floods.

Crowds turn out to watch Credit: Jenny Holmes
showing support for flooded town Credit: Jordan Edwards

The band's director of music, Gary Clegg, said the band was there to show its support - and to highlight the fact that the town was still open to business, despite its massive setback.

Up to 2,700 homes and 1,200 businesses were affected in the Calder Valley floods and although some businesses in Hebden Bridge have managed to open their doors again, it will be several months before the town is anything like back to normal.

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