High above a Handmade open workshop in Hebden Bridge

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Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for this year’s Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade. After capturing some of Thingumajig and Handmade’s creations at the recent Pollination Parade, director Andrew Kim asked me to come down and capture the joyously organised chaos of dozens of kids and adult helpers, all working in sync to make the parade more spectacular then ever. This was meant to be the last open session before the big day, and it was always going to be a wonderful spectacle.

Now in its fifth year, the parade gets bigger and better with every iteration. This year’s theme is ‘Enchanted Wood’, and floating high above the floor at Victoria Mill where the dress rehearsals and last-minute refinements were taking place, that woodland motif is apparent. From oak leaves to giant hedgehog and deer, the puppets and costumes look fantastic, and the excitement was palpable.

Originally scheduled for Saturday 23rd, the parade had to be rescheduled following the severe flooding which so badly affected parts of the Calder Valley on Friday 22nd. Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden were all hit by rising water levels, and on the Saturday everyone was focused on mucking in and cleaning off Hebden’s centre. However with some nifty and rapid reorganisation, the parade was rescheduled for Saturday 30th June, to happily co-exist between the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival launch and the Mytholmroyd Gala.

This is just a sneak peek… hopefully you can come along on Saturday at 11am to see the rescheduled parade… show your support for the many children and adults who’ve worked so hard to make this happen; the resilient Hebden Bridge community, and the Calder Valley in general. It might rain on our parade, but it won’t extinguish the spirits of the people which makes this part of the world so special!

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