“We will fight on” - that is the defiant message from the executive director of the Handmade Parade after thieves broke into their premises and stole tools, equipment and cash.
The burglary happened between 8pm on Thursday and 7.30am on Friday last week, with drills and jigsaws being stolen, as well as around £200 in cash.
Kathleen McGrath, executive director of Handmade Parade, said: “Last year was our tenth year and we’ve built it up from nothing. All the artists have donated their free time and their equipment, and anyone who knows us knows that it has been built out of love and generosity.
“We’ve tried to do positive things for people and the community out of the goodness of our hearts and then you get people just taking advantage like this. It’s awful.
“It’s still quite fresh for everyone. We’re still processing it. But everyone has rallied round and shown a lot of support.
“People have donated tools and equipment - this community really rallies round at times like this.”
Despite the setback, Kathleen has vowed the show will go on.
She added: “We’ve been trying to get funding this year but it’s always a fight.
“We usually have to scramble around for donations.
“But this year may prove more difficult with what’s happened. We’ll have insurance companies and police to deal with before we can look for funding.
“Morale has been affected because of this but we will fight on.
“Hebden Bridge has a good history of fighting against the odds and making things happen.
“We will have a parade this year, this just makes it a bit more difficult.”
In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said: “A report was received of a burglary at a business premise on Victoria Road, Hebden Bridge, which happened sometime between 8pm on 15 March and 7.30am on 16 March. No arrests have been made in connection with this offence.”
If you would like to make a donation to the Handmade Parade group, visit www.localgiving.org/donation/handmadeparade.