Creative projects will celebrate resilience of flood-hit Calderdale communities

editorial image

New creative projects will celebrate the resilience and friendship of flood-hit Calderdale communities.

From July to September, six ‘Water Works’ projects will feature the stories of people from Brighouse, Elland, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden, which were all badly hit in the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Produced by 509 Arts, following a region-wide call out, the ‘Water Works’ are part of the Landlines and Watermarks cultural programme, which has been commissioned by Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC), with support from Arts Council England.

The ‘Water Works’ are:

‘Gurgle Splosher’ by Stephen Summers/Noisy Toys

Sunday, July 2 - Hebden Bridge town centre

October 21 - Mytholmroyd Town Centre

An interactive sound-sculpture, which combines elements of Victorian pumping stations with modern domestic guttering systems. It is being made with the help of young people from schools in Mytholmroyd and local people affected by the floods.

‘Shout!’ by Thomas Carter Projects

Friday July 7 and Saturday July 8 - Nutclough Mill, Hebden Bridge

A half-hour film, featuring audio collected from local residents and archives, ‘Shout!’ will replay the sounds of the town and stories from the community as they shout out into the sky their thoughts and feelings, in particular when it rains.

‘Landed’ by Two Destination Language, Square Chapel Arts Centre and The Brooksbank School

Saturday, July 29 - Elland Town Centre

Bringing together internationally acclaimed performance artists, students from Brooksbank School and local people, Landed shares the stories that shape the town in the year of its 700th anniversary.

‘Laughing at Water’ by Fire and Water

Saturday September 2 and Sunday, September 3, Sowerby Bridge

Fire & Water will perform around an animated giant goose which will accompany the famous Rushbearing cart. The dance will incorporate Morris dancing, chefs, eggs and jets of water and will be performed at the Rushbearing Festival.

‘Bringing Brighouse Together’ by Freedom Studios with North Park Pictures and Imran Ali

Week commencing September 10, Ritz Ballroom, Brighouse

A digital storytelling and filmmaking project which aims to unite the whole Brighouse community. The stories shared by local people will uncover how their lives have been shaped by water, and will form the basis of a short film, which will be premiered at the iconic Ritz Ballroom.

‘Grow with the Flow’ by Incredible Edible/Handmade Parade

Sunday September 17, Todmorden

A piece of participatory puppet art to celebrate, explore and commemorate the many narratives water has in the town of Todmorden. Local artists will work with young people and adult volunteers and the performance will take place at Todmorden’s Harvest Festival.

Alan Dix who leads the creative team said: “It’s extraordinary to see how some of the places hardest-hit by flooding have channelled their resilience and adaptability into these creative collaborations.

“The communities of Calderdale are exceptionally enterprising, as the diverse and imaginative projects demonstrate.

“International-class artists will be working here this summer and showing the world how water has played a vital part in shaping the culture of the valley.

“We hope to attract many people to the area to experience the work leading artists have created with hundreds of local people – through performances, films, installations and more – that reflect their personal stories and experiences”.

Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale Council’s director of communities and service support, said: “The Water Works project features inspiring cultural activity taking place across Calderdale culminating in a celebration of our community in the Piece Hall in September.

“The project will show the world and tell the story of how our towns and communities are recovering from the devastating flooding of 2015.

“These events are part of Landlines and Watermarks, which will support our local communities and businesses and show that Calderdale is well and truly open for business.”

There are opportunities for local people to get involved in some of the commissioned projects. Those interested should visit for more information.