Embracing town’s heritage

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Hebden Bridge Arts Festival has launched its 2016 programme with more than 14 events focused on this year’s Trouser Town theme.

In a year when HebTro Co launched its new range of handmade pants, the events will look back to a time when local mills produced thousands of pairs of pants every day and support locals to think about what the future holds for a town recovering from the Boxing Day floods.

Festival supporters at the launch event in the Town Hall signed up for the Who Lived In My Street project - supported the Heritage Lottery Fund - where they can find out who lived in their home in 1916 as part of the nation’s commemoration of the First World War.

Families can help Build The Town From Clay at a free session at Northlight Arts Centre on June 25. Cafe Culture is hosting a Make Do and Mend presentation by dressmaker Meridith Towne on June 30 looking at women’s contribution to the WW1 war effort. Another festival highlight is Street performance.On July 2 Imaginary Menagerie presents its collection of surreal exhibits alongside Saxocalypse, George Orange, John Hicks and AJ Circus. The next day the Wheelhouse show off their unique acrobatic skills, Glinda the Good Witch spreads some good cheer and local pop/brass combo Mr Wilson’s Second Liners will be joined by pupils from Calder High School for a spectacular musical finale.

Arts Festival Artistic Director Helen Meller said: “The response to the Trouser Town theme from the community has been amazing so we’ve put on a broad mix of events that will help us think about our rich history and what the future might hold.

“This has been a tough few months for Hebden Bridge so we’ve also included some events that will inform our town’s often fraught relationship with water which will also be the theme of our 2017 festival.”

Download the festival programme at www.hebdenbridgeartsfestival.co.uk