Paths Network is Holme Valley’s True Assett: Local Councillor

The great outdoors was among the highlights of the Holme Valley Area Committee’s latest meeting tonight, Thursday, February 6.

 The meeting received an illuminating presentation on Holme Valley Public Rights of Way and Bridleways Network and also an update on Walkers are Welcome Meltham.

 Committee Chair Cllr Nigel Patrick said: “‘Our public footpaths and bridleways network is a true asset to the Holme Valley. Come along and find out what work is currently being planned by the council and volunteers alike.”

The meeting also considered grant applications for Tour De France floral decorations for Brockholes, Honley and Meltham; the Honley Responsible Dog Ownership Initiative; and Friends of Nabb School.

SOS: Help Save our Upperthong Panto

Please can you help save our Upperthong Pantomime, writes Sarah Baddock in an email plea to the Holmfirth website –

“Unfortunately due to new jobs and ill health, we find ourselves suddenly short of cast members,” she says.

“There has been some response to adverts on the web and from our flyer drop on Saturday in the village, however we still need a few more people to want to take part, especially women.

“If you would like to be part of Upperthong village pantomime and are able to spare a couple of hours on Monday and/ or Wednesday evenings from Wed 5th Feb until the first weekend in April, please contact me on 687971 or 07999893624.”

Thank you.

It’s on the way – Le Tour Holmfirth!

Excitement is mounting in Holmfirth for the major Tour de France this July as local shops and businesses are being canvassed for their ideas to make it a “La Tour Holmfirth” weekend to remember!

Already favoured is the idea of a Street Market offering a wide variety of stalls.  It is forecast there could be 3 times as many people in Holmfirth as there were for last September’s highly successful Food and Drink festival!  Then the footfall was 19,000 so potentially Holmfirth could have 69,000 customers on Sunday 6th July meaning the town would need to be better prepared, more alert and fully ready not only for the big day itself but for the period Thursday 3rd to Tuesday 8th July.

Before the Tour itself comes to Yorkshire, there is the 100-Day Cultural FestivalBeginning on 27th March, with Holmfirth’s busy calendar of Festivals, Exhibitions and Events, which promises to be an exciting time.

In keeping with the King of the Mountain theme, Holmfirth will go “dotty about Le Tour” (Rosemary Crampton

In other words Red Dots on a White background will be everywhere!  The town could see red and white bunting, red and white flags, red and white floral displays, red and white window displays with prizes for the best in town!

Holmfirth Head, the busy group which promotes businesses and tourism in the Holme Valley, is staging a Kirklees Business Road Show on Tuesday 28th January at 6.30pm in the Full Life Church, Thongsbridge, Mills Miry Lane, HD9 7RW . Which will help answer  concerns and update people with the latest information. Delegates must register at to secure a ticket.

Useful Links for the Big Event

Transport arrangements:


Road closures

Falling Down: Honley’s Iconic Pavilion

Honley Pavilion

Peter Green, Dave Walker (editor ‘It’s not Lord’s') and Dr Bill Parker in front of the pavilion

Honley’s iconic cricket pavilion is falling down and needs a serious makeover, writes Holmfirth Writer David Walker.

To explore what can be done, a group of local cricket enthusiasts with a range of business and management skills have been meeting since May 2012. They have met thirteen times in all.

The guys are: Dave Hutchinson (Treasurer), Malcolm Ellis (Aedas architects), Bill Parker (Chairman), Charles Greaves, Chris Farrell, Peter Green, Rob Moore and Chris Humphries.

Progress has been steady. A development plan is 90% complete. It contains a history of Honley CC and the project, including cricket achievements, community interaction and fund-raising successes. It lists the problems that have been encountered and their solutions. Support has come from sports clubs, including Holmfirth Harriers and local institutions such as Holmfirth High School. Steve Archer from the Yorkshire Cricket Board has been both consultant and link with the English Cricket Board.

The group are keen to retain the pagoda as part of the new build. The options include  a grant-funded top of the range facility for all (disabled access as well) through to a less ambitious locally funded scheme. £10k is already in the bank from the local council.

Shalliley Books ( has pledged the profit from sales of the well received cricket anthology ‘It’s not Lord’s’. This part of the fund currently stands at £600 with more to come from sales by the group.

Once the development plan is complete, the group can go ahead with further fund-raising.

From Estonia…to Holme Valley Memorial Hospital

Local author Max Boyle’s late mother, Erika, “escaped” from Estonia at the end of the Second World War to come and work at Holme Valley Memorial Hospital.  Max has now written an amazing travelogue about Estonia dedicated to the memory of his mother.

Max has kindly written the following to introduce his publication, which is now on sale online and at local bookshops:

“During World War Two, Estonia was occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. When, towards the end of the war, it became clear that their country was to be incorporated into the Soviet Union, ten per cent of the Estonian population chose to seek refuge abroad, in preference to life ( or, quite possibly, death) under Stalin’s rule.

“My now late mother, Erika,  was among them. As a girl of seventeen in the village of Kadrina, she left the farm where she lived and took a boat to Germany, where she lived for a spell in an Allied-run displaced persons’ camp. From there she came to Britain as one of the ‘Baltic Cygnets’ or ‘Baltic Swans’, ie young women from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who came here to fill the labour gap in British hospitals.

“She was a nurse at the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital before in 1953 marrying my now late father, a Scot who had come to Huddersfield to take up employment at the ICI. She lived thereafter for most of her adult life in Newsome, where I still live.

“In summer 2011 I travelled to Estonia and have written a book about the experience, which I dedicated to the memory of my mother. The Indrawn Heart: An Estonian Journey is published by Lakeshore Press, USA, who specialise in books on Estonia (‘lakeshore press’ in any search engine).
“The book is a travelogue but incorporates an enquiry into the reputedly reticent and insular character of the Estonians. This is done via a number of short interviews with Estonians on a poem by the nineteenth-century Estonian writer Juhan Liiv which speaks of Estonia and its ‘indrawn heart’. The key stanza runs:
                                    You are a little land
                                    and little your speech;
                                    you have an indrawn heart
                                    they cannot reach!
“Copies of the book can be ordered from the Lakeshore Press website. In due course the book will feature on the Amazon websites,  in independent bookshops in Yorkshire and possibly in Waterstone’s branches. I envisage that the UK retail price will be £8.99. The price when ordering from Lakeshore Press is $14 plus postage.”

Holme Moss Route Closure

You may have heard the bulletins on BBC Radio Leeds about the Holme Moss road closure – and possibly dreading in case its snow causing the blockage. However, its all due to a landslip and we asked Derbyshire County Council to provide full details for our readers.

Their email said: “Work to repair a road in Holme Moss will start on Monday (Dec 9) while Derbyshire County Council carries out emergency road repairs.

 ”The A6024 Holme Moss Road will be closed from 9-29 December between the A628 north to the county boundary.

 ”This is to allow temporary repairs caused by a landslip and diversions will be in place by the A635, B6106, A616 and A628.”

 Councillor Dean Collins, Deputy Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport said: “A landslip underneath the road has caused subsidence which could be dangerous for road users.

“This work will help make the route safer especially with winter approaching and we’ll be looking for a more permanent solution next spring.

“We apologise for any inconvenience which may be caused while these important works are carried out and will be making every effort to open it earlier than planned.”

Holme Valley Committee: The Big Financial Debate

The Holme Valley Area Committee is to meet on December 12 to receive a presentation on the council’s financial proposals and areas out for consultation.

 Cllr Nigel Patrick (pictured right) Chair of the Area Committee said: “This is your chance to debate the Cabinet’s budget proposals for next year and ask questions of the finance officers who will be present. The consultation on the proposals is due to end on Friday December 20 and a final decision will be made by Council in February.’

 You can complete the Kirklees Council Budget 2014 survey online by following this link . The consultation period ends on Friday 20th December.

 Other agenda items include updates on neighbourhood policing and Area Committee delegated budgets.

 The meeting is at 7pm at New Mill Christ Church, Sude Hill, New Mill, Holmfirth, HD9 7DT on Thursday December 12.

Selling the Dream: New Mill MV Choir’s Mission

By Holmfirth writer David Walker

New Mill Male Voice Choir has a constitution and a mission statement.

The object of the choir shall be the study and practice of choral music, in order to foster public knowledge and appreciation of such music by means of public performance and to assist and support such charitable institutions or purposes as the Committee shall from time to time determine.

There is a small group who sell merchandise – pens, notebooks, choir anniversary book, CDs. The members also try and sell the choir, especially to the local community. It is New Mill’s choir, something that local people can be proud of. The group also helps to promote concerts.

With these objectives in mind, we arranged to set up a stall in the Holmfirth Saturday Craft Market. We were upstairs, so not massive footfall. But you get on with what you’ve got. Steve Flyn, our webmaster, came up with a load of drip mats with the choir logo – £1 for ten.

We were quiet, apart from one master salesman who stood defiant on the pavement and would not let passers-by pass. His speciality was the drip mat. His first victim a ruddy-faced stout party. “Good day sir, you look like a man who could use a drip mat.”
“Oh, do I? I don’t drink, but I’ll buy them for your bare-faced cheek.”
His last and by no means least sale was made to a man who was making his third pass, or trying to. On his first two he had politely declined the fantastic opportunity to be the proud owner of ten beer mats with the NMMVC logo. Third time lucky, “Oh go on then, I’ll buy them to stop you from accosting me,” said with a smile I hasten to add.

And who was the salesman? None other than the choir’s Musical Director, Alan Brierley.
choir’s formal website
choir’s social media site
a short history of the choir in pictures and music

Looking Ahead to January – Blood Doner Session

Bit of advance notice for Holmfirth people but nevertheless most important, the blood donation team have emailed us about their next session during January.

This will take place at the usual location, The Huntsman, Greenfield Road, Holmfirth, between 1.15 and 3.30m, and 5.15pm and 7.30pm, on Wednesday, January 15.

New or regular donors  can make an appointment to donate, or find out more information about giving blood, by calling 0300 123 23 23 or via

It’s Today! The Big Holmfirth Lights Switch On

It’s here at last! Today Saturday, November 23. The big Holmfirth Switch On! Come and join the Mayor of Kirklees at this thoroughly festive annual event.

Activities including bands/music, sing-a-long carols and a mini fair ground, refreshments, stalls and Santa’s grotto.

The lights will be switched on by celebrity Matthew Corbett.

The opening ceremony will be performed at around 5pm on the balcony of the Riverside Shopping Centre overlooking Market Square, which is adjacent to Town Gate car park and Holmfirth Bus Station.

Lookout for the fireworks to round off the amazing afternoon. And remember to wrap up before venturing into Holmfirth this afternoon – its going to be a cold one today!

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