Learn, Laugh, Live


Alfresco History Inaugural Meeting 

Tuesday 4th June 2024 at Todmorden College

17 members took part in the meeting, and shared thoughts about its scope, meetings and organisation. 

There was general agreement that the focus should not be on recent history, and that the groups should be complementary to the two other history groups. 

A number of those present were motivated as relative newcomers to the area to find out about very local historical buildings. Others were interested in remains from the Roman era to the Middle Ages, particularly those that can be found within a relatively small radius.  Pre-history and archaeology were mentioned by a few.

It was agreed that the pattern of group activity would be to alternate between visits to historical sites and meetings to review past visits and plan future ones, and that activities should be approximately monthly.  It was also suggested that due to scheduling difficulties, activities should not necessarily take place on a fixed day of the week. This might be necessitated when visiting venues that need to be booked.

While the group is getting off the ground, and it is difficult to be sure of numbers in advance, venues will be selected that can be reached by public transport, although car-sharing is acceptable to many members, and the hire of the Scout minibus can be considered.

Several venues of historic interest were mentioned at various points in the discussion.  Two emerged as candidates for early visits, because they came with offers to lead and research the availability of guides: Heptonstall Trail and Halifax Minster / Calderdale Museum.  Among other locations mentioned were:

  • Blackheath Barrow at Todmorden Golf Club (Bronze Age - Barbara Wigley is finding out more about this) See Archaeology on Calderdale Council website.
  • Ribchester
  • Chester
  • York
  • Whalley Abbey
  • Queen Street Mill, Burnley
  • Heritage Centre, Barrowford
  • Ilkley Moor
  • Bramhall Hall (Ernie Rogan recommends and will lead a trip there)

Among local organisations and sources of information that can be helpful are:

Programme for next three months

19th June 11:00 Heptonstall Trail (Meet near café).  Travel via 596 bus 10:36 from Hebden Bridge Station; 10:38 from New Road (Stop HB4)

A Wednesday afternoon in July (to be advised). Halifax Minster (and Calderdale Museum?)  Railway Station is more convenient than bus terminus.

21st August at 1:30—3:00 pm in Tod College:  Review and Planning meeting. Bill Black will book. This can be expected to cost in the region of £1.50 - £2 per person attending towards room hire.


Steph Haworth, who is leading the Heptonstall Trail outing, and has previous experience as a convenor, has offered to act as a convenor, although she will not be available all year. Additional members willing to share the role of convenor, and e.g. group treasurer will need to come forward.  Bill B will make the room booking for 21/8, and will set up a groups.io discussion forum for members of the group.