News and Links to various news items
about Hebden Bridge and the Rotary Club

Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire crowned best place in the UK

Machine learning used millions of data points to discover top locations

Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire has topped a list of ‘Best Places in the UK’. SAS, the leader in analytics, used its capabilities in artificial intelligence to create the list from large volumes of publicly available data, including city studies, social media sites, review sites like TripAdvisor, geodata and reports from statistical services and international agencies.

Hebden Bridge achieved high marks across eight different categories generated by machine learning, including living expenses, safety & infrastructure, healthcare, restaurants & shopping, the environment, culture, attractiveness to families, and education & employment.

The findings emerged from the Paradise Found project that analysed nearly 150,000 locations worldwide in 193 countries, comprising more than five million data points. Other top locations in the UK included Richmond (Greater London), Hale (Greater Manchester) and Harrow (Greater London).

Hebden Bridge also featured in the best seven places globally, ranking at number five behind the overall winner, West Perth in Australia:

  • West Perth, Australia
  • Feijenoord, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • New York, NY, United States
  • Sandy Bay, Australia
  • Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Woodinville, WA, United States
  • Read the full article here

2018 Vintage Weekend- Press release

Hebden Bridge will, once again, be the place to be on the 4th and 5th August 2018 when the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge hosts the iconic charity fund raising Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend.
This will be the 36th year for the event which is now well established as a premier attraction for the display of some 800 veteran, vintage and classic cars, motorcycles, military & commercial vehicles. Last year’s event was our best ever, breaking all records in entrants, spectators and funds raised. With your help we can make this year’s event even bigger.
Held in the heart of Hebden Bridge, at Calder Holmes Park, (HX7 8AU), most of the famous British marques are represented at the rally, along with famous names from across the world. The open plan layout of the site allows members of the public to get up close to the exhibits and chat to their owners. There are different display classes over the two days offering visitors a completely different show each day. Prizes will be awarded to all the winning entrants.

The display on Saturday 4th will be Classic Cars (1975 - 1997), Motorcycles (1975 - 1997), Rolls Royce & Bentleys (any age), Replica or Kit cars (any age), Military vehicles (any age), Tractors (registered pre 1997), Pre - 1975 registered vehicles, Novelty vehicles (pedal cars / classic bicycle etc.).
As an added bonus, on Sunday morning, visitors to Hebden Bridge can watch the Historic Commercial Vehicle Society’s famous ‘Trans Pennine Run’ pass through the town. Hebden Bridge is an ideal location to watch this magnificent collection of historic vehicles as they wind their way across the Pennines, on route from Manchester to Harrogate.
Also, on Sunday, we host a ‘Scenic Run’ giving participants a chance to meet beforehand and take part in this popular event, arriving at Calder Holmes Park around 11.00am.
Sunday’s display will feature Veteran & Vintage cars (up to 1930), Post Vintage cars (1931 - 1939), post War cars (1940 - 1960 / 1961 - 1976), Motorcycles up to 1976, American.vehicles up to 1976, Military vehicles (any age).
Hebden Bridge is well worth a visit. In 2016 the town become best High Street in Britain fighting off fierce competition form Chipping Norton and Thame. The judging committee commented “The 2015 floods clearly have not dampened the resilience, determination and passion for the Market Town and the bounce back of the high street to 95% occupancy really stood out. After receiving a record breaking 40,000 votes, Hebden Bridge also received the special ‘People’s Choice’ award for the most votes ever cast for one place in the history of the competition
The town centre, with its wealth of independent shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs is only a couple of minutes’ walk from Calder Holmes Park. Visit the town during the show by taking advantage of our pass-out system.
This is an event with something for the whole family ~ it is far from being merely a show for collectors. Not only will there be splendid vehicles on display but also varied entertainment including live music, fun rides for children, craft & product stalls, together with a wide range of quality catering and refreshment outlets.

The best way to arrive in Hebden Bridge, is by train. The station is well worth a visit, still similar to the 1840s, when the Manchester-Leeds line opened. The Victorian lettering is unchanged, with signs "Lamp Room" and "Parcels Office". The station is only 250 metres from the entrance to the park and given the limited parking facilities in and around Hebden Bridge, the train is by far the best way to visit the show.
We do provide additional car parking on the site of the old Walkley’s Clogs factory together with established car parks in and around Hebden Bridge. The park has a hard-standing surround which makes it suitable for disabled access and is wheelchair friendly. We provide extra toilet facilities, including disabled toilets, which are clearly signposted.  The park also has a children’s playground & skateboard area. St. John’s First Aiders will be in attendance, on both days.
So, a fantastic fun packed weekend, with the funds raised by the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge helping to support a wide variety of charities, good causes and individuals in need ~ with over £40,000 distributed in the last financial year alone. A full listing of the support we give can be found on our website
Make a diary note to be in Hebden Bridge on the 4th and 5th August ~ you won’t be disappointed!
For further comprehensive information logon to .
Also visit our Facebook site give us a Like and keep up to date with all things Vintage Weekend!

Notes for Editors:

  1. Entries for the Vintage Weekend will exceed some 800 Classic, Veteran and Vintage vehicles, with entries to date up on last year.
  2. Entrants come from Yorkshire / Lancashire and across the North of England ~ as well as farther afield.
  3. All vehicles exhibited have fascinating histories and / or stories associated with them.
  4. The Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge supports a wide variety of charities, good causes and individuals in need ~ with over £40,000 distributed in the last financial year alone. The Vintage Weekend is a key fund-raising enabler for the support the Club provides. For further information logon to

Press release: 17 November 2017

A personal reflection by Rotarian Graham Cobham

Just another normal week in the busy life of Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge. Last Sunday saw us at wreath laying ceremony for Remembrance Sunday at Mytholmroyd War memorial. An annual donation is made to the British Legion from the club. This moving ceremony is a must in the Rotary calendar.
The Marie Curie Foundation approached us to help in one of their main collection days, Rotary members were only too happy to help, shaking the collection tin. We have yet to be informed of the amounts raised in our day at Morrisons, Todmorden, but judging by the weight of the collection box it will be a considerable sum. I was personally very moved by two donators in particular, during my stint. One lady brought me a full jar of coins to be added to the donation. Another elderly lady clearly still a little shaken and uneasy as she searched her purse to donate, whilst telling me she had recently been mugged and beaten. What a brave lady, the tremendous good and bad in our society never ceases to amaze. Thanks to Morrisons customers in Todmorden, you were fantastic.
During the week we have been collecting shoeboxes from various schools in the area. The schools do terrific work in filling these boxes with numerous Christmas presents for children less fortunate than themselves. We at the Rotary club collect these and send them to a national distribution centre which then transports to various parts of the world, in need of some Christmas cheer, through a nationwide Rotary initiative.
A couple of evenings this week have been spent doing early planning for our two-major fund-raising events, the famous Hebden Bridge Duck Race (Easter Monday 2nd April 2018) and the iconic Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend (4th and 5th August 2018). It always surprises me just how many manhours go into organising these very successful events.
Our president Chris Hoyle, was invited to a ‘Good Work Assembly’ at Woodbank Special School in Luddendenfoot as a thank you for the grant made to the school. The school wanted to complete phase 1 of a major project to develop an Outdoor Learning environment and asked the Rotary club of Hebden Bridge for a grant, the club was happy to donate £5,000 which was fund matched by the ‘Friends of Woodbank’.
This project had been one of prevous president, Phil Warrington’s, chosen good causes. Phil did a great deal of work to make it happen. The project however, could only be completed when the school was closed for summer holidays.
Jenna Port (Assistant Head at Woodbank) thanked Chris and the ‘Friends of Woodbank’ and commented. “This work will now give us a sound base on which to develop and build on the outdoor learning area that can be accessed by all our school community.”

The Rotary club of Hebden Bridge paid out over £43,000 in grants to various, local, national and international charities and good causes during Phil’s Rotary year as president. We very much hope to match or even better that during Chris’s year.

2018 Boundary Walk

Due to declining numbers over the last few years and the ever-increasing availability of other organised walks in and around the Calder valley we have decided not to organise a Boundary Walk in 2018.
We realise this will disappoint some of the regular participants and we apologise for the disappointment.
We will review the situation next year and if there seems to be sufficient interest in reviving the event, we will do so.
As members of the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge we would like to thank all the walkers and runners who have supported us by participating in the event over the last sixteen years, helping us raise funds for a wide variety of local and national charities and good causes.

Vintage Car Weekend raises over £30,000 for local charities

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Follow the link below to see the report on the hebdenbridge web

2017 HEBDEN BRIDGE DUCK RACE Press release
The annual duck race will take place on Easter Monday 17th April.  This much-loved event organised by the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge, has very exciting news, this year we have received support from Jet2 Holidays and The Travel Centre. Mytholmroyd. First prize for this year’s event will be a holiday provided by The Travel Centre and Jet2!
The duck race has always been a family orientated event attracting vast numbers into the town, with entertainment, charity stalls and of course a fantastic array of food. Then comes the race itself, the river becomes a sea of yellow as up to 10,000 ducks take to the water, urged on by huge crowds, they find their way to the finishing line. The lucky ticket holder for the first duck home will be the winner of the holiday, with second, third fourth and fifth receiving cash prizes. Tickets will be on sale on the day and at the square in Hebden Bridge on the weekends leading up to the race, also at many outlets throughout the town.
Alongside the duck race, we hold a Business Duck race, principally aimed at local businesses and organisations. Any organisation or individual can buy a green, red, or blue duck, at a cost of £10 per duck, with a fantastic first prize this year of City Break for two with Jet 2 Holidays. There are also 2 prizes of a meal for two at Il Mulino restaurant in Hebden Bridge.

From The Yorkshire Post - 15th December 2016
Hebden Bridge - the award-winning town with an independent streak

13th December 2016: Hebden Bridge announced
as winner of the best small market town category

in the 2016 Great British High Street awards.

From the Hebden Bridge Times 10th November 2016
An Insight into the World Of Rotary

Contrary to popular belief we are not a secretive, inward looking organisation. Attending one of our bi-monthly project meetings last night it occurred to me that if I could communicate just some of the items on the agenda, that would provide an insight into how Rotary and the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge affects local, national and international charities and good causes. Throughout this year we have been in contact with local schools affected by the Boxing Day Floods exploring ways we can help to get them back up and running. We were grateful to schools in Cambridgeshire who raised nearly £3,000, this was co-ordinated by local Rotary Clubs in the area, a great example of how Clubs work together. Along with money raised by our own events, donations have been made to schools in need. We were delighted to provide £500 to help a local couple Martin and Julie Law. Martin and Julie have worked tirelessly over the past 10 months at Elphaborough Community Room co-ordinating the redistribution of goods and gifts for flood victims. We first became aware of the couple during our own work to help flood victims and we were so impressed with their commitment, they were awarded our “outstanding service to the community award” which was presented to them at the World Dock Pudding championship event. When we heard, they needed help, to allow Martin to spend much needed time with Julie as she recovered from a very serious operation, we were happy to help. The Rotary club of Hebden Bridge gets involved in international causes, through the worldwide Rotary organisation. We contribute funds to provide ShelterBoxes, which are transported through central storage warehouses to parts of the world hit by natural disasters. Over the past few months ShelterBoxes have been sent to Italy following the earthquake and very recently to Haiti, after the terrible effects of Hurricane Mathew. Each ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and a children’s activity pack. We also contribute to a number of charities; the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal was part of last night’s agenda. If you would like to learn more about Rotary please visit our website, the website contains a full list of donations we have made over the past few years, as well as information about our fund-raising events. Each of our three main fund raising events has its own facebook page, Hebden Bridge Wadsworth Boundary Walk, Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend and Hebden Bridge Duck Race.

Fron the Halifax Courier 5th August

Update on Calder Valley Floods July 2016

Up to July 2016 the club has made grants of over £56,000 to a variety of organisations who were affected by the floods including local community associations, Mytholmroyd Scout group & the Hebden Bridge Little Theatre. The club will continue to support victims of the flood whilst not neglecting the many local charities that regularly receive financial support from the club's Trust Fund.

From The Hebden Bridge Times Friday 11th March

Crowds are expected to go quack-ers for the annual Hebden Bridge Duck Race!
Held on Easter Monday - March 28 - visitors will flock to the town to have a gander at the much-loved event.
It’s organised by the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge and will take on much more significance this year. Graham Cobham, of the Rotary Club, said: “We have always seen the duck race as the event which re-awakens the town from the gloom of winter, however following the devastation caused by the flooding over Christmas it is even more important to make this year’s event as special and enjoyable as possible. The duck race has always been a family-orientated event attracting vast numbers into the town, with entertainment, charity stalls and a fantastic array of food. “In the race, the river becomes a sea of yellow as up to 10,000 ducks take to the water, and urged on by huge crowds, they find their way to the finishing line. The first four home earn prize money for their lucky ticket holders.” Alongside the duck race, there will be a sponsored race for businesses. Any organisation or individual can sponsor a green, red or blue duck. Sponsorship costs £10 per duck, with a prize of a meal for two at Il Mulino restaurant, St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge. Ducks have now been scrubbed clean for this year’s race and Mytholmroyd Scout Group allowed the Rotary Club to use its facility at Mytholmroyd Community Centre for this. Mr Cobham added: “Surveying the devastation at the centre was a stark reminder of the reason we facilitate events such as the duck race. “The vast majority of the funds we raise go to help local schools, local groups, organisations and local businesses perform their vital roles within the local community.”  

From The Radio Times 15th March 2016
11 reasons to visit the real Happy Valley - Hebden Bridge

Update on Flood Relief  14th Jan 2016
Members of The Rotary Club of Leek arrived at Hebden Bridge Town Hall with a transit van full of goods, including a dehumidifier,
mainly donated by Sainsbury Shoppers from the Leek area on Thurs 14th January between 12.00 noon and 2.00pm.
This is the result of an appeal by the Rotary Club of Leek on behalf of the victims of the Boxing Day Calder Valley Floods and is in
addition to the £800.00 sent to Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge for immediate use in assisting the worst affected victims.
This is a typical example of Rotary in action and one which all members of the Rotary movement will resonate with.
Hebden Bridge Rotary Members are available where possible, to assist other relief agencies and indeed individual flood victims
with form filling, transport, or just someone to talk to.

Recent Floods in the Calder Valley update 8th Jan 2016

Following the devastating floods that hit the upper Calder Valley on Boxing Day the Rotary Club of
Hebden Bridge have been working on ways to help those affected by the flooding and those most in need.
Some of the club members have suffered personally and others have been volunteering with the clean-up
in the aftermath of the disaster.
The club made an immediate response by purchasing ten industrial dehumidifiers and they have been distributed
to those in most need.
The club continues to work closely the local community and other relief organisations to assist where possible;
we recently provided volunteers to administer the distribution of funds from the Community Foundation of Calderdale’s
Emergency Flood Fund.
Because of previous flooding many people in the valley were unable to obtain insurance or had impossibly high excesses
on their policies. Many of these people lost everything and are starting from scratch to rebuild and reequip their homes
and businesses. In the coming weeks and months ahead the club will pay particular attention to helping these people,
organisations and small businesses as well as supporting the community with our regular events like the Duck Race,
the Boundary Walk and the Vintage Weekend.
We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from across the country; everything from small personal donations
to a large donation from Make a Difference Locally, the charitable arm of Nisa, the family of independent grocers, recommended
by our local convenience store in Hebden Bridge, Oasis.
Rotary clubs across the country have also offered their support and we would especially like to thank the Rotary clubs of Witney
in Oxfordshire and Leek in Staffordshire for taking the initiative to embark on some immediate fund raising on our behalf.

Sunday 29th November - From the Hebden Bridge Times
New defibrillator installed at store in Hebden Bridge

In the UK 100,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest every year, with a 95% mortality rate due to lack of response time.
Cardiac arrest is the UK’s biggest killer.
The Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge has already worked with One Stop, donating an AED (Automated External Defibrillator)
and arranging training for staff in conjunction with Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge are delighted
to announce the Co-operative on Market Street, Hebden Bridge have also agreed to take an AED.
The AED was officially handed over by club president Derek Bispham at a training session organised in conjunction with
Yorkshire Ambulance Service.  The training session was delivered by John Spikings (YAS) to Richard Varley, manager of the Co-op,
together with four team leaders, Kenny Bills, Nathan Thorpe, James Dixon and Karen Dixon.
The Rotary club of Hebden Bridge were anxious to extend the strategy of having easily accessible defibrillators across the town.
With portable defibrillators now in place at either side of town, One Stop, Tourist Information Centre and now at Co-op on Market Street
supporting the static defibrillators in place at Medical Centre’s in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd. We would like to thank the Co-op
for allowing us to continue this approach.
Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd fit the criteria for locations in which portable defibrillators are highly desirable.
The towns are very busy throughout the year, attracting many visitors. It is vital that the general public know the location of these defibrillators,
you could be faced with the prospect of dealing with some unfortunate person suffering a cardiac arrest, and with the help of a defibrillator
you could just save that person’s life.

July 2015


Woodbank Special School

Following our donation to Woodbank Special School we received an invitation to visit the school to see for
ourselves what had been done with the money. The school used the donation of £1300 to buy a special camera
(do you know name) and 3 i pads. Head-teacher Richard Pawson gave myself and last year’s president
Roger Moore an insight into how the special camera could be used in capturing special moments to record each child’s
development, also how it had been used in a recent inclusion initiative with mainstream schools in the area in the use of
sign language. The i pads have also been well used. Richard also gave us an insight into the tremendous work undertaken
by the staff and specialists in the school. He outlined the problems that exist in a special school that are taken for granted
in mainstream, such as physically getting some of the children into class by hoisting them from wheelchair to other equipment,
or the great emphasis on space requirements with so much special equipment needing to be stored. Space is really a
tremendous problem for school particularly as pupil numbers have risen to , in a building originally designed to house just pupils.
Roger and I were humbled by the sheer dedication and commitment shown by the staff in the face of such adversity, but then
felt the sheer joy inherent within the school when Richard gave us a short tour of the classes and facilities. Finally we got to
meet some of the children when we had our photograph taken outside the school along with the i pads and camera. Both Roger
and I left with a feeling of tremendous admiration for the dedication of the staff, an appreciation of how the children always had
a smile even when faced with their own disability and some pride in that even our relatively small donation would have some
impact on the future development of the children at Woodbank. Woodbank has not been the only local school to benefit
during Roger’s term as President of Hebden Bridge Rotary. A total of over £21,000 was donated to local schools during
the Rotary year 2014-15, representing almost 50% of the total of £44,000 donated to good causes, local, national and
international during the year. Total donations over the past 7 years have reached a staggering £225,000.

July 2015

The club is pleased to announce the winner of the Junior category of Rotary's national 2015 Young Writer competition is
Cerridwen Gray of Cragg Vale J & I School, representing Hebden Bridge Rotary Club (read the winning entry here).

Thousands of youngsters across the country took part by writing a short prose entitled Light Up The Community,
exploring a project happening in their local area.

Cerridwen is pictured here with Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge President Derek Bispham
and Rotary District 1040 Governor Rod Walmsley, who presented the award and a prize.

Rotary Young Writers Award

© Copyright 2015-19 Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge
The Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge raise funds for their Trust Fund which is a registered charity. Reg. number: 513898

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