A look back at folk in our town

Todmorden Town Hall celebrates its 141st birthday.
Todmorden Town Hall celebrates its 141st birthday.

Visitors to Todmorden Town Hall will soon be able to see the latest in a series of events telling the story of the town and its people.

The town hall has just celebrated its 141st birthday, which was marked with a tour of the building, where people had the chance to preserve their own old photos with a scan and save event hosted by Pennine Horizons.

The next milestone is the opening of the Heritage Lottery-funded Folk of Todmorden temporary exhibition, which will feature pictures from photographer Roger Birch and costumes made for children.

Calderdale Council’s head of neighbourhoods, Andrew Pitts, said: “The Folk of Todmorden exhibition is just part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to tell the story of Todmorden Town Hall. The Town Hall is a real focal point in the town and has a fascinating history.

“This exhibition looks at the stories behind the building, about the people of Todmorden, and there are some great photographs from times gone by.”

Children will be able to try on the costumes, resembling characters in the history of the town hall, such as mayoral costumes, and those of magistrates and caretakers.

When the children wear the costumes organisers hope they will be encouraged to think about the history of the character – how they might have lived and what their role might have been in the town.

They will then be able to write their interpretation of each character’s story on brown luggage labels, which will be printed on fabric and used to build up a “collection of thoughts”.

This is intended so that children trying on the costume in the future can have a glimpse into ideas of the town and its people as they are now.

There will also be the chance to hear music from Todmorden Folk Festival and discover more about the history of the Grade I listed Town Hall from volunteers.

The photos will be on display until September, but the children’s costumes will only be available on Wednesday, April 13, and Thursday, April 14.

The Grade I listed town hall straddles the Walsden Water and was situated in both Lancashire and Yorkshire until the county boundary was moved on January 1, 1888.