27 June 2012

Floods in the Calder Valley


Last Friday the rain was stupendously heavy and prolonged all day and into the night and inevitably the brimful rivers and canals flowed over their banks and into the little towns along the upper Calder Valley.

Fortunately no one was drowned but Saturday morning revealed scenes of sad devastation to homes and businesses in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.

Its grim to see communities that had just about been weathering the recession OK now reeling.  The only good thing to come out of it is the upwelling of support and community spirit that's seen large numbers of volunteers helping with the clear up and people raising money for the fund to help those worst affected.

Amazing things have been achieved in a few days and many of the affected shops are now opening.
Continued trading means jobs can be saved and wages paid - Shops and Tourism are the main industries in Hebden Bridge and provide decent jobs especially for child-rearing women who choose to work part-time. So please do buy local if you are in the area.

On a personal note, I had artwork in Spirals the lovely Fairtrade Eco shop owned by my unsinkable friends Helen and Sarah, but luckily for me my big framed woodcut print was in the upstairs room.  Two galleries that I was due to exhibit in during July have been affected, one in Todmorden and the other in Hebden Bridge and I'm not sure if both will go ahead now which is a shame, but of course completely minor in comparison to those artists who have had their work destroyed.

Despite all this, there's so much still going on in Hebden, there's life in the old town yet! especially this Saturday with the postponed Handmade Parade, Mytholmroyd Gala and the start of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival. And the following weekend its Open Studios which I'll be fully participating in again at Brooklyn Studios.