The Luddenden Valley
The Pretty Gritty Valley
Running Time = 115 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.
This 2015 production entitled “The Luddenden Valley’ is the third in the series ‘The Valleys of Calderdale’ which celebrate the wonderful scenery of those valleys which branch off from the main Calder Valley.
Starting with the Halifax Sailing Club at wind-swept Fly Flatts we descend to hear the story of Castle Carr and its past grandeur with footage of the fountains which, remarkably still work for the entertainment of hundreds once a year.
The activity centre and campsite at Jerusalem farm and the hidden gem the Cat I’th Well Inn are explored before encountering the quiet charm of the hamlet of Booth with its novel ‘Telephone Booth Library.’ We talk to members old and new on the boundary at Broadfold, home to the village’s thriving cricket club.
The valley’s industrial legacy is featured with the stories behind the astonishing number of mills which once occupied the area. The importance of the Murgatroyd family to the valley’s history is told with a close look at Oats Royd mill – all brought to life with old photos. The decline of the mills is mirrored with the sad closure of so many chapels which residents recall played such an important role in their lives.
The film finally arrives at the narrow, winding streets of Luddenden with a tour given by Rodney Collinge, detailing the many shops and businesses which once made the village vibrant and self-sufficient but, like the mills and chapels are either gone or turned into housing.
But all is not gloomy, the work of the Conservation Society is featured keeping its heritage alive, Geoff Ingham gives us a tour of the beautiful St. Mary’s Church, we learn of the many triumphs in the Village in Bloom competitions and the Mayor Making is still a grand festival. To show the village is not trapped in the past Gwyn Evans shows how his smallholding has been transformed into a successful winery featured on ‘Countryfile.’
And beyond everything the valley’s glorious countryside is featured with a magnificent network of footpaths to enjoy it with.
Finally David Cant takes us on a tour of Luddenden Foot describing how it has changed over the centuries and Heather Hartwell tells how the Luddenden Civic Centre has become a busy hub of village life.