hebden bridge flood

River Calder starts to flow down Bridge Gate

Last week was a terrible week of weather, culminating in the worst flooding on record in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and beyond in the Calder Valley.

In case you missed the news, all towns were reported from by a plethora of outside broadcast vans over the weekend, amidst the devastation.

tv crews arrive in hebden bridge

TV crews camp out in town - 3 vans required, it seems

The rivers Calder and Hebden Water converge in Hebden Bridge, and after a week of very heavy rain, it finally got too much for them and the flood warning sirens (which sound like something from WWII) went off on Friday evening.

The River Calder burst it’s banks around 11pm and started running down Bridge Lanes, leading onto Market street and filling up the town to it’s highest ever flood level.

central street school gets flooded

Central Street School

It’s totally devastating as many fantastic shops and businesses have been damaged, and one can only imagine how the owners must be feeling. Central Street School (my daughter’s school) had 18inches of dirty flood water throughout the ground floor, including the office, dining room, kitchen, reception and nursery.

The band who were on at the Trades Club on Saturday night had to sleep on the stage!

Heart Gallery suffered some damage, and Alison and staff have been working hard to get things back up and running later in the week. Also the Handmade Parade, a fantastic annual event for the town has had to be postponed. It’s now on this Saturday 30th at 11am – all the shops that manage to be reopened by then really could do with your business.

But, it has to be said, the most amazing thing has happened, out of all the mess and soggyness, there has been an amazing spirit in Hebden Bridge, with people working all weekend to try and clear out all the affected shops. After 3 days of solid work at Central Street School, they will be open for some of the years tomorrow (all be it with packed lunches!). I had a lovely lady I know from twitter from Halifax offering to come over and lend a hand with the clean up.

The Yorkshire Soap Company ran a sale on Sunday afternoon to raise money for shops and businesses affected, which was an amazing thing to organize given that they were up to their knees on water at the shop not 36 hours before hand!

After having my shops shut for a week, unfortunately posting is now delayed as the post office in town was flooded and all electrics have gone down. I am hoping to get to Halifax a couple of times this week to carry on posting out.

Luckily for our family, we live on the valley sides, so were not directly affected.

Island almost washed away

Although it’s been a very tough weekend, it’s very heartening to see that when we need to, we all pull together.

Rachel x

Rachel Lucie Johns

Hi! I'm Rachel, a jewellery designer-maker & nature photographer. My work is inspired by the gorgeous countryside around West Yorkshire & Art Deco design. This blog is where I share my creative life and inspiration. find out more ...