EDL depart peacefully

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Around 150 members of the far-right English Defence League moved on from Sowerby Bridge peacefully this afternoon. (Sat)

They congregated at Bridges Bar before heading off by train and bus to Rochdale for a demonstration.

Police are continuing to monitor their movements and officers are on standby if they return to the town this evening.

Calderdale Police Insp John Simpson said they left the town peacefully after meeting up for a drink.

“There were no incidents of disorder and if they come back we will be ready for them,” he said.

Michael Mannion, manager of Bridges Bar, said he wasn’t aware of the impending influx of customers.

“A barmaid rang me and said she needed some help behind the bar and there was no problem whatsoever,” he said.

The EDL supporters came from all over the north and midlands including Hull and Leicester.

Mr Mannion said police had asked him if they returned later in the evening would he serve them - which would help contain the group in one spot.

“I said that’s not a problem,” said Mr Mannion.

The EDL organised the demonstration after a group of Rochdale men were brought before the courts for abusing young girls.