News and events

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Our blog of Pennine Heritage events and news, past, present and future. Please browse to see more.

Through Alice’s Eyes and The End Of The Roll:  An exhibition and film about the life and work of pioneering Hebden Bridge photographer, Alice Longstaff

22nd-23rd June  The Birchcliffe Centre  12.00pm-4.00pm
Free entry to all

Enjoy this lovely trailer for the Alice Longstaff ‘End of the Roll’ short film.

The “End of the Roll ” trailer.

The film will be screened at the ‘Through Alice’s Eyes’ exhibition at theBirchcliffe Centre and at Hebden Bridge Picture House  after Elevenses on Thur 27 June at 1.15pm and before selected feature films during the Festival

Alice Longstaff is a remarkable figure in photography. Her career is one of the longest in photographic history, starting in 1921 when she was 14 and continuing until her death in 1992 aged 85. An archive of her photographs and negatives is now cared for by Pennine Heritage at the Birchcliffe Centre.

Incredibly, Alice’s photographs are not widely known, even within the photography communities. Very limited selections of photographs were exhibited by Pennine Heritage, as part of  last years Hebden Bridge Arts Festival  (‘The Lost Negatives’) and long term plans are in place to create a major exhibition and book. In the meantime, volunteers are still uncovering exciting, previously unseen photographs from the vast holdings in the archive, creating a growing body of work and knowledge about Alice’s practice and the history of her subjects and place.

In partnership with the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, Pennine Heritage will present a selection of around 30 photographs from the digitised works to date with audio during this year’s Arts Festival – including music and testimony from those familiar with the Longstaff Collection. These will be largely previously unseen photographs drawn from both her commercial and personal work. The film will be approximately 5 minutes in length and will be shown in the Birchcliffe Centre alongside new prints of the selected works over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd June, as well as being shown at Hebden Bridge Picture House at various times throughout the Festival. In addition, there will be 9 of Alice’s photographs displayed in her original shop at 27 West End, Hebden Bridge (now Drew Forsyth & Co Bespoke Kitchens )

As interest in photographic history shift towards the vernacular, documentary testimony and the real, this film will mark a particular moment in the history of the development of the archive, and will celebrate Alice’s talent and photographic eye.

The film is narrated by Ian McMillan and produced by Greg Hobson and Pete Rush, in partnership with Pennine Heritage Ltd, the Pennine Horizons Digital Archive and Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

Contracts for Marketing and Lead Advisor Consultants at Pennine Heritage

Two exciting opportunities have now arisen to work with Pennine Heritage thanks to the generous grant from the Heritage Fund detailed below.  Consultancy briefs have been commissioned to develop and deliver strategies to secure the future of the Birchliffe Centre and Pennine Heritage’s Digital Archive. The briefs are for

  1. Lead project advisor and author of 5 year business plan
  2. Marketing and engagement report

Please see more information about the briefs and the project below.

Pennine Heritage Resilience Application

Pennine Heritage Lead Adviser Brief

Pennine Heritage Marketing Brief

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 28th May 2019. For more information please contact the Chair of Trustees Judith Schofield on 07443844674, or the Vice-Chair Stephen Boyle 07952857828.

Pennine Heritage Ltd secures National Lottery support

Pennine Heritage is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund of £39,400 from its Resilient Heritage Programme. Made possible by money raised from National Lottery players, the grant will fund our Resilient Future Project.

 Pennine Heritage manages the Birchcliffe Centre and Hostel in Hebden Bridge and works to promote and conserve the heritage of the Upper Calder Valley and the wider South Pennines. This includes a major historical photographic archive of over 40,000 images dating back to the mid 19th century.

This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary, the Resilient Future Project aims to ensure that we build on that foundation, to make an ever stronger contribution to celebrating and recording the heritage of our communities in the years ahead.

The project will produce a 5 year Business Plan for the charity, including a detailed technical programme to restore and maintain the Birchcliffe Centre, a new community marketing campaign to get local groups, businesses, residents and visitors more involved in the future use of the Centre and  expert advice to improve our working arrangements. This will increase our income to fund more heritage work in the future. Finally we will invest part of the grant in supporting our volunteers who manage the Pennine Heritage Digital Archive and helping them to prepare an exciting new exhibition drawing on our historic photographic collection.

Commenting on the award the Chair of Pennine Heritage, Judith Schofield, said: “We are privileged to receive this award thanks to National Lottery players. It comes at an important time of change for the charity and will help us to meet the challenges and opportunities we face in the years ahead.”

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

International Women’s Day Celebration

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing

Saturday 9th March 2019  2.00pm to 4.00pm

Celebrate International Womens Day at Birchcliffe Centre at 2.00pm till 4.00pm on the 9th of March Saturday with the Annapurna Dance Company. Every year they have been celebrating the spirit of International Women’s Day in March with various artists. Everybody is welcome, dance, sing, join in. No experience is needed, just enthusiasm. Samosas, tea and coffee etc.

Find out more about the Annapurna Dance Company


Thanks to a generous grant from the LEADER fund almost the whole of the Birchcliffe Centre is now accessible to all.

A total of £138 million was made available in England between 2015 and 2020 under the scheme. LEADER is part of the RDPE. It is a French acronym (Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie Rurale) which roughly translates as ‘Liaison among Actors in Rural Economic Development’ . The scheme was adminstered locally by Pennine Prospects.

The grant has allowed access to the ground and lower ground floors of the centre via the Chapel Avenue doors, where en external ramp and two platform lifts have been installed. Accessible toilets have also been created on both floors. This means that everyone can now access reception, the offices, yoga studio and ceramics hub.

The main hall continues to be accessed via the doors adjacent to the car park. A grant from the Community Foundation for Calderdale allowed the car park to be resurfaced and the provision of a accessible parking space.

Pennine Heritage has an ongoing program of work to make the whole of the centre accessible to all.

If you have any further queries about access, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Kinokophone’s project ‘Sound as Specimen’ is on view at The Birchcliffe Centre, home of Pennine Heritage in Hebden Bridge.  Please stop by and explore sound spores!

In this interactive audio installation, arts collective Kinokophone explore the idea of sounds as collective objects- as sonic specimen to be preserved, displayed, experienced and shared. Are sounds the specimen of daily life, particular expereinces, or traces of a time and place in the world? How can they live on as objects of study and what stories do they tell ?

Kinokophone is an artist collective that collects and composes sounds, stores and imagery from around us, unearting the intertwining connections that lie beneath the surface…

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:30 – 13:00

Family History Meeting Times 2019

Family History meet twice a month, and welcome visitors who are seeking guidance in tracing their family history.

Saturday 2-5pm Thursday 2-5pm
5th January 17th January
2nd February 21st February
2nd March 21st March
6th April 18th April
4th May 16th May
1st June 20th   June
6th July 18th July
3rd August 15th August
7th September 19th September
5th October 17th October
2nd November 21st November
1st December

Local History Archive Opening Times 2019

The Hebden Bridge Local History Archive is open to members of the public on the dates below.

Wednesday 2-5pm Saturday 10am -1pm
9th January 26th January
13th February 23rd February
13th March 23rd March
10th April 27th April
8th May 25th   May
12th June 22nd June
10th July 27th July
14th August 24th August
11th September 28th September
9th October 26th October
13th November 23rd November
11th December

For more information please visit the website of the Hebden Bridge Local History Society HERE

Family history course for beginners
Hebden Bridge Local History Society will be running a beginners’ family history course from October 2018. The course will cover the records you need to take your English or Welsh ancestry back to around 1840. It will include births, marriages and deaths, censuses, wills, parish registers, military records and much more. It will also cover drawing family trees, sharing information and using the large genealogy databases.
It is suitable for complete beginners or anyone who has done a bit of research already. The course will be led by a professional genealogist.
Monday evenings 7:30 – 9:30 pm, 1 October – 10 December (with a break for half term)
Where: The Birchcliffe Centre, Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8DG
Cost: £75 for members of the society and £83 for non-members.
If you would like to sign up for the course please contact Anne Mealia, at the Hebden Bridge Local History Society

Hundreds of ‘lost negatives’ shot in the 50s and 60s by pioneering photographer Alice Longstaff have recently come to light. This exhibition previews a selection of the images alongside Nick  Wilding’s film Secretly Pleased (Heroica Theatre’s play about Alice’s life). The exhibition has been curated by The After Alice Project, preserved by Pennine Horizons Digital Archive and is hosted by Pennine Heritage at the Birchcliffe Centre.

The exhibition runs from June 23rd to July 1st, 11am to 3pm.  Entry is free.

The full collection will be unveiled next year, to accompany the publication of a new book featuring “the lost negagtives”.

For details of other events in the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, please see 

our new exhibition area and shop

Please feel free to pop into the Birchcliffe Centre to have a look at our new exhibition area and shop. We are currently displaying an exhibition featuring artifacts found at Widdop, some of which date back to 6,000BC.

We are open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1pm.

Flint blades found near Gorple Reservoir.
Part of our exhibition area at Christmas.
E-trails and other publications on sale in our shop.

Car park resurfacing

Many thanks to the Community Foundation for Calderdale for their generous grant to improve accessibility to the Birchcliffe Centre. Our lower car park has now been resurfaced, and marked out into parking bays. It will make a big difference for visitors to the centre.

industria art and contemporary photography exhibition 26, 27, 28 August 2017

Hebden Bridge Open Gardens 8-9 July 2017

Pennine Heritage is opening the gardens at the Birchcliffe Centre as part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival this year. We will be open all day Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July 2017. Please pay us a visit, you may even be treated to a cup of tea !

Our lovely garden with Laburnum in full bloom.
Glorious Pieris in front of the centre.
Aquiligia, or ” Granny’s Bonnet”
Flaming Pieris
Hebden Bridge Open Studios 7-9th July 2017

It is also the weekend of Hebden Bridge Open Studios, so don’t forget to visit our ceramic artists at Holt’s Yard in Hebden Bridge too.

Ceramic vessel made by Lesley Lishman

Click on the link below to visit the Open Studios website, with full details of all 90 artists who are taking part this year.