Group that charts life stories is given £50,000

A CHARITY that documents the history of the Upper Calder Valley has been awarded a massive cash boost.

Wild Rose Heritage and Arts, based in Hebden Bridge, has been given a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The group’s work includes encouraging primary school pupils to interview older members of the community to find out their experiences of living in the area. Using the interview transcripts, they put on public performances.

The children and other volunteers also help develop guided walks, story-telling sessions and educational resources.

The charity works in partnership with Calderdale Museums, the National Trust and Pennine Horizons and shares its collection with the West Yorkshire Archive Service.

They are also planning to make a DVD on the history of textiles in Calderdale for this year’s Halifax Festival.

Manager of the charity Tony Wright said: “Our aims are to record residents’ life stories and experiences, reflecting the changing social history of the Hebden Bridge area.

“Everyone’s life is unique and each story is worth passing on.”

He said the Heritage Lottery fund money would be used for a two-year project entitled Alternative Lifestyles, which will collect people’s recollections with themes of creativity and green issues.

The charity has also been granted £2,715 by the Community Foundation for Calderdale and £3,225 by Hebden Royd Town Council.