Hebden Bridge Town hall extension is officially open

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PRIDE and determination were the cornerstones of an emotional opening ceremony at the new Hebden Bridge Town Hall – which escaped the flood water that had cascaded through the town hours earlier.

About 200 people, including visitors from the French twin town of Saint-Pol-de-Ternoise, were welcomed by Peter Hirst, the chairman of the Hebden Bridge Community Association, which runs the building, including The Waterfront Hall. It has been created at a cost of £4 million as an extension to the former council offices.

While the basement had flooded, the rest of the building - much of which is not yet finished - repelled the torrential rain.

Future generations were at the heart of the opening ceremony, with the Waterfront Hall hosting musical items from Calder Valley Youth Theatre and Hebden Bridge Junior Band.

A plaque was unveiled by Ethan Adams and Jenny Coney Critchley, a compeittion for children about their hopes for the future of Hebden Bridge. They were assisted by Blackshaw Parish councillor Dorothy Sutcliffe.

Char March read three of her poems.

“And So We Built”, composed by Andrew Bibby, a trustee of the Hebden Bridge Community Association, was put to music and conducted by Alison West, and sung by a choir drawn from Hepton Singers, Calder Valley Voices, Alyssium, Men Folk Waits and other local choirs. The town hall will be open to its tenants next month and in the autumn an open day will be arranged to show townspeople around the completed project.