Todmorden is in the national headlines again, with a leading Sunday newspaper declaring it to be one of the best 101 towns in Britain to live.
Todmorden was a new entry at number 73 in the influential Sunday Times “Best Places To Live In Britain” list - and the number is irrelevant as towns are listed by area. Todmorden is included among ten from the north west, the writers acknowledging it is in West Yorkshire.
While the Incredible Edible movement has increased people’s awareness of Todmorden on a national and indeed international basis, it is the wider picture that has won the town inclusion in the list.
Summarising “Why we love it? It’s not only the edibles that are incredible” focuses on a rich and varied business and social life, beautiful setting with leafy Centre Vale Park, house prices and great transport links.
The news has been welcomed positively with Mayor of Todmorden, Coun Jayne Booth, saying: “I think it just shows what an incredible town Todmorden is. It has great diversity and inspirational people and I am glad that it has been recognised.”
Vice-chairman of Todmorden Information Centre Trust, Cynthia Murray, said: “As a Todmordian born and bred I entirely agree. People here are very friendly, there are lots of things to join and they are all part of our community - we hear that a lot in the information centre.”
Chairman of Todmorden Civic Society, which undertakes projects and also keeps a watching brief on development in the town, Darren Midgley, said: “I think it’s fantastic that Todmorden has been recognised as one of the best 101 places to live. We have some stunning scenery, great local shops and a real community spirit so the Sunday Times accolade is one the whole town can rightly feel proud of.”
Mary Clear, of IET, said the aim was to bring people to the town to see what a great place it is and boost its economy.
“The more we can do to help the economy, and the more we can promote Todmorden as a good place to be, the better it will be for the town.”
One person not surprised at the Sunday Times’s decision is the owner of Toy and Model Museum, Mike Wollerton.
Mike has not always lived in Todmorden but he believed it the perfect place to settle his family when he was looking for a new home more than three decades ago.
Mike said: “I totally agree. I hitch-hiked around the country three times and chose to come here. I had a three-month sabbatical with a list of 12 criteria for my young family including primary schools, the cost of living, the culture and amenities and Todmorden won by a country mile.” The M62 corridor had the highest number of IT jobs - Mike’s profession in those days - in the country.
Recently welcoming visitors from New Zealand who had made the journey to join the Derren Brown “Lucky Dog” trail, Mike makes a point of chatting to visitors about the town and its history.