All the Calder Valley, including Hebden Bridge was devastated by the floods over the Christmas and New Year period. It was encouraging to meet 10 members of the club in the square at Hebden Bridge after the big clean up. There was still evidence of the damage done to many shops and businesses. We decided to have a coffee at a local shop before setting off out of the valley.
As we walked out of the valley towards Stoodley Pike, water was pouring down the road as the ground was waterlogged. Sheltered at first until we reached The Pennine Way, we then had to battle very strong winds to reach the shelter of the monument at 400m. The original monument was built between 1814 and 1815 to commemorate the defeat of Napolean at the Battle of Waterloo.
After lunch in the shelter of the monument we headed east along Dicks Lane. The moorland was saturated and almost impossible to cross without wellingtons or even chest high waders away from the tracks.
Eventually we reached ‘The Honesty Box’ at Old Chambers. This is a well maintained unattended garden shed where hikers can buy refreshment. There is a kettle, a fridge with milk, sugar, tea or coffee, home made cakes, free range eggs and ice cream in a freezer. All payed for by putting cash into a collection tin. There are a few seats in the shed and one outside. A number in the party said that in many years of hiking in the UK they had never previously come across such an ‘Honesty Box’.
The Honesty Box near Hebden Bridge. Refreshments for hikers. Photo by Derek Field.
We met a local resident and his dog enjoying his visit and learned from him about the devastation caused by the floods and about the community spirit during the clean up. The outdoor specialist shop ‘Mountain Wild’ which Sue Nixon wrote about in the last issue of The Yorkshire Mountaineer had been flooded. Kate’s shop called ‘Dynamite’ which sells bargain Patagonia items was also affected.