Film spotlight falls on the Shibden Valley

A new DVD showcasing the beautiful Shibden Valley will get a free screening at Brighouse Salvation Army on November 23.

Calder Valley film production company Pathways is behind the venture - the first in a new series on ‘The Valleys of Calderdale’.

Brighouse Echo author and historian Chris Helme has contributed to the DVD with a section on the Waterclough Valley and the story of Sunny Vale Pleasure Gardens, known as Sunny Bunce’s.

Presenter Ray Riches said: “Like so many other historical features in the film, Chris brings the story of the pleasure gardens to life through the use of old photographs.”

Producer and cameraman Peter Thornton of Northowram said: “We found that the Shibden Valley not only has a great deal of natural beauty but contains many stories froma fascinating past.”

The stories are brought to life by local historians including George Bowers, who reflects on the Shibden Valley’s industrial legacy - clay and coal mining, stone quarrying and worsted mills - and describes the horrific working conditions for children.

Mike Beecham tells the story of the changing transport developments through Stump Cross and Godley Cutting and ancient houses such as Field House, Sim Carr and Staups House are featured as well as the intriguing history behind Scout Hall, former home of the libertine John Mitchell.

No film on the Shibden Valley would be complete without a visit to the ‘jewel in the crown’, Shibden Hall. David Glover gives a room-by-room tour of the medieval house and tells the story of the notorious Anne Lister.

There is also a look at the history of the Shibden Mill Inn, Shibden Park and the valley’s numerous drystone walls.

The film-makers’ journey will also include the scenery of the lower Shibden Valley, ending at Brookfoot near Brighouse and an account of its industrial past.

The free screening at the Salvation Army, King Street,will start at 11am.

The DVD will be available from November 23 at Just Books and Lords in Brighouse, from Visitor Centres in Calderdale or from pjt@pathwaysvideo.co.uk