Mayor’s parlour: Celebrating the town’s heritage

Todmorden Town Hall

Todmorden Town Hall

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When Tony and I were first looking for a home in the Upper Valley there was a clear assumption that as he was an actor we would want to live in Hebden Bridge.

Estate agents seemed to think looking anywhere else and we would be going down market and away from the arty milieu which we would obviously want.

Todmorden was our first choice. With its radical history and beautiful surroundings the town is perfect for us. Tony and I have lived here for over 10 years and have not regretted our decision.

I was really pleased to see the Heritage Centre open in the Town Hall. We have much to be proud of.

The next date for the free Town Hall Taster Tours is Sunday, April 3 at 2pm. Anyone wanting to go along should meet on the bridge opposite the Town Hall.

This is the starting point of the tour – looking at the magnificent facade before going on to see the treasures within.

At 1pm – that is prior to the tour – there is the opportunity to bring any old photographs, or documents you may wish to share. They can be scanned on to an online archive for researchers, or anyone just wanting to look at them.

April 3 also marks 141 years since the Town Hall was dedicated. How much history has it seen?

The Town Council now plans to create a People’s History Museum based in the Town Hall.

The People’s History Museum in Manchester is very keen to work with us helping to curate and set up exhibitions. Some of these exhibitions would be joint enterprises.

Along with the online archive our long term aim is to become the go-to centre for anyone looking to research the history of cotton towns.

The focus of the People’s History Museum would be on the lives and activities of the working people in Todmorden – the people whose back breaking hard work actually created the wealth.

And we won’t forget the engineers and navvies who built the railway and the women who kept the mills going particularly when the men were away at war.

If you have anything you would like to share – exhibits, or stories – please get in touch with any of the town councillors. We have a proud, radical history. Let’s acknowledge and treat it with the respect it deserves.