Film ID: YFA 5599 Video of YFA_5599 Sowerby Bridge CALENDAR MAGAZINE: SOWERBY BRIDGE 1985 Visitor TabsDescription The primary focus of this news piece is Sowerby Bridge’s mission to bring tourism and greater prosperity to their town by restoring their architectural heritage and improving river canoeing. A large portion of the film depicts work on the river underneath the town’s bridge and interviews with workers and local residents. This film was made as part of the 1980s Yorkshire Television series ‘Calendar Magazine’. A handful of wide shots of Sowerby Bridge open the film, showcasing its many blackened Victorian terraced houses, green surrounding countryside, and bustling centre. A narrator speaks over the images and offers background information on the town’s industrial past. This is followed by shots showing the abject neglect that the town’s once imposing mills and factories have suffered. The narrator claims that such dereliction is typical of Yorkshire’s surviving Victorian industrial architecture. Shortly after this, the narrator examines the town’s significant contribution to the industrial revolution during the 19th Century. In support of this verbal information, the camera screens shots of old machinery slowly rusting and decaying outside the mills. Then there is a brief interview with a Sowerby Bridge café owner who talks proudly of the town’s industrial heritage and his support for attracting tourists to the town. The camera then moves to the town’s river underneath the bridge. There are shots of diggers beginning work on the river bed and interested bystanders watching on. Frank Goodman, the site engineer, is then interviewed. As Goodman is being interviewed, there are shots of him canoeing down the river. He highlights the difficulty with their job in making the river both fun and safe for canoeists. West Yorkshire County Councillor, John Brisby, is then interviewed regarding the conversion of the town’s mills into hotels and craft workshops. Brisby hopes that these developments will help bring in tourists. In the closing stages of the film, the narrator gives some final comments on the town’s ambitions. The Halifax Canoe club are said to be very enthusiastic about the developments on the river. A wide shot of the club paddling down the river brings the film to an end. Context This heart-warming film shows the rejuvenation of Sowerby Bridge into an attractive place for tourists. The start of the film tells us of the town’s proud industrial heritage, but also its financial hardships in the late 20th Century. Numerous people are interviewed about the town’s exciting plans as diggers get to work and its new look begins to take shape. Sowerby Bridge is named after the 14th Century bridge that crossed the river. The town grew immeasurably during the industrial revolution and became known for its production of woven textiles. In recent times the town has achieved national exposure as the setting for Sally Wainwright’s TV drama Happy Valley.