A valley that oozes charm and beauty

editorial image

It would be fair to say film-making duo Peter Thornton and Ray Riches don’t have to try too hard to bring out the beauty of Calderdale’s magnificent valleys.

The pair have already created lasting tributes to the Shibden, Ripponden and Luddenden valleys while at the same time recording each one’s history, their communities, businesses and charcters.

Now the duo who work as Pathways Productions turn their attention to Cragg Vale and Mytholmroyd and the path of the river Elphin.

While Ray admits they deliberately film when the weather is at its best - often pausing to let the rain clouds pass - on this occasion it was impossible to ignore the cataclysmic weather event that engulfed the valley and Mytholmroyd on Boxing Day leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

So it is perhaps fitting that the premiere will be one of the first major events at St Michael’s Church in the village since the floods.

Cameraman and director Peter from Northowram and presenter Ray from Heptonstall have worked together for over a decade.

Their first film A Walk On’t Cut (2001) plotted the re-opening of the Rochdale Canal. More recently they’ve concetrated solely on Calderdale.

They began filming their latest work in Springtime at the Lancashire-Yorkshire border following the Turvin Brook it tumbles its way down the valley meeting the River Calder in Mytholmroyd as the River Elphin.

Local Historian David Cant gives a guided tour of the astonishing number of mills which flourished there. The importance of the Hinchliffe family to the valley’s history is detailed, with a close look at Old Cragg Hall and New Cragg Hall.

Amnd the dastardly deeds of the Cragg Coiners at Bell House on the windswept moors are investigated too.

Entering Mytholmroyd the film explores the reasons for its settlement and how its gentle slopes have always given plenty of scope for expansion.

The pair tell the remarkable story of Thornber’s world domination of the chicken industry revealing how the success story of this dynasty has been maintained across four generations.

Other firms which have been uniquely successful in the village are explored, including Walkley’s Clog Soles, Royd Ices and Moderna Blankets. The late Russell Dean tells how his Furniture Superstore succeeded through hard work and inspiration.

And of course there can be no forgetting Mytholmroyd’s World Dock Pudding Competition and its long standing Gala. And there’s some excellent footage too of when the Tour de France came to town.

The DVD is available from Pathways’ website www.pathwaysvideo.co.uk as well as the usual outlets in the Calder Valley and all Tourist Information Centres. For more details contact 01422 202863 or 01422 843907.

It will also be on sale at Harveys Department store in Halifax and Mytholmroyd Co-op too.

The screening is at St Michael’s Church, Mytholmroyd on Saturday, November 5 at 11am.