Hundreds took to the ice as part of free skating events in Calderdale

The Calder Valley was transformed into a winter wonderland as organisers staged the latest community event in the Light Up The Valley festival programme - with a promise there’s much more to come.

By Abigail Kellett
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 2:00 pm

Hundreds of skaters took to the ice as a rink set up by the Light Up The Valley HX7 team came to fruition.

Funded by grants left over from European Welcome Back Fund monies, the team initially arranged two days free ice skating inside Mytholmroyd Community Centre and two days outside on the courtyard at Hebden Bridge Town Hall.

The event proved so popular that all the tickets were snapped up within 48 hours but thanks to the kindness of a local benefactor, the team were able to add an extra day, reserving spaces for some of the less able and disadvantaged children within the valley, working with Woodbank School and Calder Cares.

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Ice Adventure at Hebden Bridge Town Hall

Roger Benn, organiser of LUTV said: “Once again the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge and the Hebden Royd Business Forum have come together to provide something different for the benefit of those within HX7.

Nearly 2,000 children and adults either took to the ice, watched or enjoyed the accompanying amusements and games over the five days.

“The last day included a visit from local entertainers CALVOS featuring a cleverly made-up stilt walker and crystal ball juggler who definitely kept the crowds enthralled.”

The ice skating events come a few months after the Light Up The Valley events for Christmas last year which saw the community come together for ten days of fun, family-friendly events.

Ice Adventure at Hebden Bridge Town Hall

LUTV is a collaboration between many groups in the Upper Calder Valley with the aim of spreading joy to the community.

Roger continued: “Sadly we had a lot of no-shows where people had booked the free tickets online and then simply not turned up, otherwise we could have made even more people happy.

“From those that did come however, it was obvious that a number of the children, particularly those from disadvantaged families, had never experienced anything like it before and to see the pleasure on their faces as they took part made it all worthwhile”

Roger then said: “The messages of appreciation and feedback for what LUTV is doing for the community has been quite overwhelming and definitely gives us the inspiration to carry on and plan even more exciting things for the future, with a possible free music festival in the summer and the return of LUTV 22 in the Winter, both firmly on the cards”

Hundreds took to the ice as part of free skating events in Calderdale

Roger then finished by saying: “LUTV has shown what organisations working together in the valley for the good of both the community and business can achieve.

“We hope even more will come on board as the year progresses.

“Meanwhile for the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge, both the Easter Monday Duck Race and the Vintage Weekend in August are back with a bang for 2022, so it’s full steam ahead with our fund raising activities.

“During the pandemic we obviously had to put things on hold but having raised over £460,000 for charity since 2007, we are determined to try and pass the half million pound mark this year if we can.”

To find out more about the work of Rotary in HX7, visit www.hebdenbridgerotary.org.uk.