Just giving – Just loads!

sowerby bridge west yorkshire flooded

By Steve Duncan – Community Foundation For Calderdale

The Calder Valley Flood Appeal – Time to Reflect Boxing Day

As a new year approached and I was tucking into some tasty Boxing Day fayre with my wife Alex and parents in Thirsk, the BBC News came on showing unbelievable scenes of flooding in Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd and in numerous places across Calderdale. The images that most struck me showed floating cars in front of the new Sowerby Bridge swimming pool; this was my home town under water. It was shocking and unreal!

I turned to Alex and my parents and told them that this would be the end of the Christmas holiday for me. I needed to get to the office and co-ordinate our response to the unfolding disaster.

My colleague at the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Emma Woods-Bolger, also had her Boxing day festivities rudely interrupted – and she quickly uploaded an appeal page onto our website (www.cffc.co.uk) and started posting about the floods and our appeal across our social media accounts.

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Curried away with pies & peace

curried away with pies and peace

Written by Shirley Kumar

(Yes we are going for the cheesiest headline prize!)

Boxing Day 2015: Some 2,720 households and 1,250 businesses watched helplessly as up to 6ft of water engulfed their homes and premises.

Cold, wet and in shock, the last thing the valley folk thought they needed was comfort food. But with chefs bringing curry to the little old lady serving tea and biscuits from a wicker basket – clearly others thought differently. Food was to become a symbol of unity.

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Tales from social media

tales from social media

During the floods, the goodness and humanity of people was laid out for all to see across social media, and particularly on the facebook groups of Calderdale. As time went on these beautiful stories got lost below posts on insurance, Government actions and more. We wanted to share them for posterity, and to help us remember the time when we all came together. We live in a beautiful place.

Christine Davenport 31st January Halifax

There’s a lot of people in the area who came out to help but didn’t want to be named. They came in silently, mopped, swept, cleared, patrolled, made flood safe’ish, and helped make and distribute sand bags around the town. They saw a chance to help out, blended in without fuss then walked away when they tired. I met a number of these silent heroes while driving and handing out chips and butties with my grandson around the valley through the night. Many didn’t live in the area but came to help. You will probably be watching this site so on behalf of the many people you helped. A very massive thank you from us all here in the valley xx

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The Flood – A children’s book

a flood story book

Artist and writer Rachel Kemp, has written a book for children about the floods in Calderdale it very quickly became an Amazon best seller. On boxing Day 2015, Storm Eva took it’s toll on the Calder Valley. With enormous floods and devastation, who would have thought this tragedy would pull communities together and with a scrub-a-dub-dub and plenty of muscle, they all worked together in this time of trouble.

The book is called simply The Flood. This is the original artwork from the book. You can find it on Amazon by searching for Rachel Kemp or by clicking here .

Rachel has already received some lovely reviews:

This book is a fabulous summary of the recent events in Calder Valley. The illustrations are fantastic and such a wonderful representation of the area.

***** Beautifully written.

Lovely little story explaining not only the floods, but how everyone pulled together to help fix the damage caused and get the Valley back on its feet.
Beautifully illustrated, my two year old daughter enjoyed finding different
things in the pictures. I highly recommend.


DRINK? 15 Market Street, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7JB

tel: 07956 218721     email:  drink-h-bridge@hotmail.com

OUR WATERMARK PRODUCT We are selling the cask beer from one of the pumps to donate to the Watermark Fund. It will be a local beer that will change regularly.



WHERE CAN YOU BUY YOUR STUFF? You can buy it from our shop in the heart of Hebden Bridge.


ABOUT US drink are a beer shop, tasting Room & lounge serving locally produced beers. Cask & kegged beers if you fancy drinking in and a wide selection of bottles and cans to take away. 

WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO JOIN IN WITH THE WATERMARK PROJECT? We love the community spirit displayed after the 2015 floods and we want that to continue. On Boxing day we had an amazing amount of support, at one point 12 people were helping in the shop, people we had never met willing to get stuck in and clear up. Lots of new friendships were made and a community was united.

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Craggies – Watermark Burger

CRAGGIES The Craggs Country Business Park, New Road, Cragg Vale Hebden, West Yorkshire, HX7 5TT  tel: 01422 417417     email:  info@craggies.net     www.craggies.net

OUR WATERMARK PRODUCT We are selling our ‘Blazing Burger’ in the cafe as a meal with fries and salad to donate to the Watermark Fund. The Blazing Burger is slightly Spicy locally sourced meat, and was created to celebrate our friends “Blazing Saddles” Mountain Bike shop moving in next door to us, after they had to move from Hebden Bridge after the floods of Boxing Day 2015.



WHERE CAN YOU BUY YOUR STUFF? You can buy it in the Craggies Cafe, or you can buy the burger on it’s own from our butchery counter (which sells at £1, and 10p from each sale goes to the Watermark Fund). 


ABOUT US Craggies is a Deli, Butcher & Cafe set in the beautiful Pennine landscape. We specialise in local produce, and our on-site butchery sources high welfare meat, only from farmers we know personally. A lot of the farms that supply us can be seen from our car park! Our cafe has the most amazing views with our food sourced locally, and our shop sells fresh bread baked daily in Hebden Bridge, our own pies and cakes, baked on site every day and much more.

WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO JOIN IN WITH THE WATERMARK PROJECT? We believe in community. Every business in our area affects each other. If one business gets hit, it has a knock on effect to us all. When the floods hit this time, our friends, suppliers, staff and people we work with were all affected. Watermark is a way of us contributing to our local economy so that these people have a fund to go to if the floods happen again. To coin a phrase “We’re all in this together”.