Having fun and learning too at Heritage Open Days

Some of the guests and sponsors at the Hippodrome Theatre, Todmorden, are, from the left, Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, Elaine Whittaker, Jennifer Mitchell, George Mitchell, Deputy Mayor of Todmorden Coun Michael Gill, Nikky Gill, June Gibbons, Pam Lally, Paul Gibbons and, front, Linda Reith
Some of the guests and sponsors at the Hippodrome Theatre, Todmorden, are, from the left, Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, Elaine Whittaker, Jennifer Mitchell, George Mitchell, Deputy Mayor of Todmorden Coun Michael Gill, Nikky Gill, June Gibbons, Pam Lally, Paul Gibbons and, front, Linda Reith

A theatre was among several attractions in the upper Calder Valley to open its doors to the public for Heritage Open Days last weekend.

Todmorden Hippodrome invited the public to have a look around the theatre during the event, which also featured the official opening of new disabled toilet facilities.

After a reception George Mitchell, president of Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (TAODS), welcomed guests and society members to the event, which was held to thank the community for its support over the years.

Mr Mitchell said that after many years of planning and raising the necessary finance, the project of installing the new facilities for the disabled has been completed.

He extended his thanks on behalf of TAODS to the sponsors: Todmorden Town Council, Sita Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation (London), the Community Foundation for Calderdale and Todmorden Lions.

“Their support has been critical in being able to complete the project and ensure that the Hippodrome as a community facility could now offer a comfort factor that included the disabled of our community,” Mr Mitchell said.

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker said that it was extremely important to not only support the theatre as a heritage site but also as a living theatre supplying entertainment of the highest standard to the local community.

Linda Reith, a wheelchair user and supporter, assisted Mr Whittaker in cutting the ribbon and declaring the new facilities open.

Malcolm Heywood, co-author of a book on the history of Todmorden Hippodrome, gave a talk about some humourous moments at the theatre over the years.

The guests were then given a copy of his book before going on a guided tour of the building.

Newly formed community cinema The Electric Palace screened children’s film “Hugo” followed by “The Great Gatsby”, which were both well attended.

Other historic buildings in the upper Calder Valley also invited members of the public to have a look around at the weekend.

Todmorden Unitarian Church and St Thomas’ Church, Heptonstall, welcomed visitors, and many people explored the scenic setting of Gibson Mill and Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge.

Todmorden Town Hall and Heptonstall Museum were also open for viewing.