1932 - That Was the Year That...

1932 - That Was the Year That...

The Hebden was crossed by an old wooden bridge long before the present structure - from which Hebden Bridge derived its name - was erected in 1510. The stone three-arched bridge has been repaired and strengthened many times since the 16th century, when the river was much lower and wider. The bridge was scheduled as an ancient monument in 1932. Code no 058 HBLSS
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February 23: Over 600 people marched through Todmorden in support of a protest against mass unemployment and the means test, organised by the National Unemployed Workers Movement. Five men including author William Holt were arrested when they tried to break into the Public Assistance Office. Charges included assault, unlawfully inciting others to obstruct the police, breach of the peace and unlawful assembly.

March 16: Hearing of charges against the "Todmorden Communists" ended after 26 hours. They were committed for trial at Leeds Assizes.

April 21: Rowdy demonstrations heralded the opening of the trial of five "Todmorden Communists."

May 6: The trial ended. Despite an eloquent speech in which Holt - described as a Communist organiser and political agitator - denied the charges, he was jailed for nine months. Walter Newell, 36, and Edwin Rowan Howell, 24, were found guilty on various counts and were bound over. The two other defendants, Fred Sutcliffe, 38, and William George Silman, 56, were cleared. (Holt wrote about his experiences in "I Was a Prisoner" published after his release).

May 27: The old packhorse bridge in Hebden Bridge scheduled as an ancient monument.

September 27: Public meeting held in Hebden Bridge voted in favour of Sunday opening of cinemas.

November 19: Centenary of Luddenden Foot Methodist Church.


Read the full story in Milltown Memories, issue 12. If this or other stories stirs a memory, we'd be happy to know - send us your memories and comments.