Using the contents of the Pennine Heritage photo archive and an interview with local historian David Fletcher as our source material, we’re looking back at the history of Calrec’s Nutclough Mill HQ and the town of Hebden Bridge, where Calrec was founded.
We’ve reached the 1960s. It was a sad time for both mill and town.
The UK clothing industry was importing cheaper textiles from the East. One by one, the town’s mills had been shut down and lay empty. They were an eyesore; ugly, dirty, vandalised, and gutted by fire. The local rivers were in a bad way too, poisoned by years of industrial pollution. People were fleeing South in search of work. Hebden Bridge was in terminal decline.
In the mid-Sixties, May 12, 1965 to be precise, a group of residents set to work to help make the area a decent place to live again and to restore some civic pride. They began to re-build some of the town’s most important historic buildings, clear up the rubbish, and clean the rivers. It was the dawn of a new era in Hebden Bridge’s fortunes.