Home > Pennine Trails > Co-operatives & Visions - Radical history around Hebden Bridge

Co-operatives & Visions - Radical history around Hebden Bridge

The second of two walks introducing sites associated with the early radical social movements of the Upper Calder Valley while enjoying its unique topography and scenery.

On this walk you will see where the longest workers’ production cooperative in English history was housed, see where Emmeline Pankhurst addressed crowds of striking mill workers about female suffrage, rest where local Clarion Socialist Choirs used to sing on days out and learn about an early vision for an Arcadia at Eaves, a vision later realised thanks to the Wheatley Housing Act.

This trail (and the accompanying one starting from Todmorden) will take you back to the earlier roots of the contemporary cooperative spirit of the Upper Calder Valley; to the Chartists, the Suffragettes, Workers’ Cooperatives, the Trade Union Movement, the early housing cooperatives and the radical Clarion Cycle Club. You will visit the spots associated with the predecessors of the Upper Calder Valley’s present day radicalism, not only the buildings of the Industrial Revolution but also the open spaces surrounding them where people gathered both to protest and to enjoy life.

About the Trail


The trail is about 13km (8 miles) taking about 4-5 hours with rests and refreshments. (It can be done in two halves if you prefer shorter walks).

How strenuous:

This walk involves some fairly steep climbs and descents which would be described as moderate difficulty in walking guides. It requires walking boots and certainly should not be undertaken in very rainy and misty weather.

Not suitable for very young children.

Start & Finish:

The trail begins at Hebden Bridge Railway Station. (Postcode: HX7 6JE, Grid reference: SD 995 268).

To get to the start of this walk by bus or train use the regular buses and trains from Halifax, Leeds, Manchester, Burnley and Rochdale.

Where to download the app:

For iPhone/iPad: Go to the Apple Store from your iPhone or iPad & search for Pennine Horizons. ** For iPads you must select the tab 'for iPhone only', or it will not find the Pennine Horizon App.

For Android: Open the Play Store & search for Pennine Horizons. Click on the application & follow the instructions to download.

Where to buy a guide:

The guide is available in various bookshops & Tourist Information Centres around the area.

You can also buy a copy, by popping in to the Birchcliffe Centre, Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8DG. Or dropping us a line at info@pennine-horizons.org.uk or calling on 01422 844450.

More information

Some dates

  • 1824-1825: Club Houses Housing cooperative built.
  • 1848: Hebden Bridge Consumers Coop founded.
  • 1873-1918: Nutclough Mill Producer Cooperative.
  • 1896: and many other Whit Sundays. Hardcastle Crags gatherings.
  • 1906-1908: Fustian Strike.
  • 1907: Emmeline Pankhurst addresses the strikers in Hebden Bridge.
  • 1907: Hebden Bridge Branch of Women’s Social and Political Union formed.
  • 1908-1911: Eaves Workers Cooperative and vision of “Paradise in Arcadia”.
  • 1924: Hebden Bridge Trade Club Opened.
  • 1925-31: Wheatley (Council) Houses at Eaves: Arcadia Realised?

Some sources

  • Binns, A (2013), Valley of A Hundred Chapels, Grace Judson Press.
  • Bibby, A (2011), Backbone of England, Frances Lincoln,
  • Croft L (1994), John Fielden’s Todmorden. Tygerfoot Press
  • Fowler, A (2003), Lancashire Cotton Operatives and Work 1900-1950, MPG Books
  • Jenning, B (ed) (1992), Pennine Valley, Amadeus Press.
  • Salveson, P (2012), Socialism with a Northern Accent, Lawrence Wishart
  • Thompson, E. P. (1963), The Making of the English Working Class, Penguin

With thanks to; Richard Peters, Alan Fowler, Andrew Bibby, Julie Cockburn, Jonathan Timbers, John Hartley, Katie Witham and Gwen Goddard. To Libby Tempest for her magnificent recording, Abi Moore (www.abimoore.com), for her recording of A Vision of Jerusalem, David Fletcher and Calrec Community for the video of him talking about Nutclough and Wild Rose Arts for their interview with Adrian Fellows of the Blue Pig.