Two important events in the Calder Valley are celebrated this year - the Bi-Centenary of Rochdale Canal and the 150th Anniversary of Heptonstall Parish Church.

The official opening of the canal took place on December 21 1804 and we have a rare eye-witness account in our Winter 2004/'05 issue.

Before that we will be telling the equally fascinating story of St Thomas' Church, Heptonstall, which boasts many unusual features not least the distinction of being one of only three in the country where "old" and "new" churches still stand in the same church-yard.

This summer also marks the start of exciting plans for Heptonstall Museum centred on a series of exhibitions organised by Hebden Bridge Local History Section and the Longstaff Collection, in conjunction with Calderdale's museums and arts department.

Milltown Memories Picture Editor Frank Woolrych - donning his hat as president of the Local History Section - said that he warmly welcomed the initiative and was delighted to be involved.

A visit to Heptonstall, therefore, is a "must" for all who welcome the revival of the museum, much-loved and appreciated by locals and hopefully about to take on a new lease of life. See local press for further details.

As ever this issue is packed with goodies including a tribute to artist Geoffrey Coning, best known for his superbly drawn pictorial maps but whose clever cartoons are proving surprisingly apt today, revelations of "work experience" with a difference at Mons Mill and, of course, Lloyd Greenwood's marvellously evocative series.

Enjoy a ride on the amazing Blakedean railway - and see if you can answer any of the pleas in "Desperately Seeking!"

Issy Shannon, Editor; Frank Woolrych, Picture Editor; David Fletcher, Associate Editor.

Don't miss our autumn issue on sale in September.

Read the full story in Milltown Memories, issue 8. If this or other stories stirs a memory, we'd be happy to know - send us your memories and comments.