Looking at Calderdale from the Calderdale Way
Running Time = 110 minutes
Pathways are a film production company based in Calderdale, West Yorkshire featuring journeys highlighting the historical background and ‘Pretty Gritty’ landscapes found in the South Pennines, which is the home of the ‘Grand Depart’ of the Tour de France in July 2014.
Produced in 2010 this film uses the fifty-mile circular walk “The Calderdale Way” to reveal the spectacular and varied landscape of the Calder Valley. The trail winds literally uphill and down dale tracing historic routes high on the Pennine moors between Brighouse and Todmorden.
Starting in West Vale at Clay House, a beautiful seventeenth century house, the walk climbs to the village of Norland where the Scarecrow Festival is an annual event. Ripponden is next with local historian Anne Kirker telling the textile story of mill owner Sam Hill, based around the picturesque villages of Soyland and Mill Bank. Over the moors we travel to Cragg Vale and local expert Pam Jordan recounts the importance of the Hinchliffe family to that valley.
Rising up the hillside we briefly join the Pennine Way as it passes the 200-year-old monument of Stoodley Pike. It overlooks the market town of Todmorden and local historian, Malcolm Heywood, tells the story of the textile industry there and the importance of the Fielden family to the development of the town. He describes how hill top villages such as Lumbutts and Mankinholes were involved in this trade. On the edge of the moors a local farmer gives an expert display of dry stone walling.
Further along the trail we come to the ancient village of Heptonstall, high above Hebden Bridge with many historic buildings and churches. The trail rises to the Wadsworth Moors passing the standing stone called Churn Milk Joan with its many stories and legends, Jerusalem Farm in the Luddenden Valley is featured before we visit Holdsworth House and learn of how the Beatles stayed there. Passing through the Shibden Valley we come to the picturesque village of Norwood Green and the Old White Beare Inn learning of its connections to the Spanish Armada.
Towards the eastern side of Calderdale we explore the fascinatingly named hamlet of Stone Chair before descending to the town of Brighouse and explore its canal basin, returning to West Vale we join the canal towpath and have an expert display of water-skiing at The White Rose Club at Cromwell Bottom Lake.
Calderdale is such a beautiful valley set in the South Pennines and this double disc film captures it’s many historic and diverse features as well as the panoramic views of it’s countryside. The major town in Calderdale is Halifax which can be seen in another of Pathways films, “Halifax Past, Present and Future”.