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Magical scenes light up Town Hall

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

On Monday afternoon Hebden Bridge residents encountered a festive surprise when a 62ft Christmas themed projection landed unannounced in the centre of town. The colourful animation features magical scenes including snowy rooftops, a sparkling Christmas tree and a glimpse of the main man himself - Santa and his reindeer.

Projected on to the Old Building - part of the Hebden Bridge Town Hall site - the animated display is visible from the Old Packhorse Bridge off Bridgegate and runs on a timed loop. The projection will be shown from 14th – 19th December after sunset, although Hebden Bridge Community Association (HBCA) the Charity behind the project are keeping the exact timings under wraps to prevent crowds and to ensure Covd-19 distancing measures can be observed by those passing by.
The display represents a dramatic departure from the Charity’s past festive fare of free mulled wine and mice pies following the annual Christmas lights switch on, Christmas craft fairs and Dave Nelson’s Christmas Singalong amongst other seasonal events.

As observed by Ebony Andrews, the Town Hall’s Events Coordinator: Hebden Bridge Town Hall has historically played a key role in the Town’s various Christmas celebrations, but like all event-based venues the Charity has had to think a little differently this year about how we can reach out to our communities to show that we are still here, and that we’re thinking about them.

The projection - entitled SPOTLIGHT, also represents the first phase of a series of projects of an ongoing feasibility study being undertaken by HBCA primarily concerning the Victorian part of the Town Hall site, known as the Old Building. Boasting a designated Council Chamber and original Victorian features, the site is an important part of the heritage of Hebden Bridge.

Opened in 1897 and Grade II listed, the Old Building is distinct from the contemporary and perhaps better-known extension which includes the large Waterfront Hall and Town Hall Café. HBCA owns and maintains the whole building and is now looking to how it can be improved through increasing community access, maximising its usable spaces and celebrating its unique history and heritage, as explained by Graham Mynott, Executive Director:

"The projection quite literally shines a spotlight on the Old Building highlighting one of the key areas we are looking to improve for community benefit in the next few years. The timing of SPOTLIGHT is especially poignant for the organisation since 2020 marked 10 years since the site was transferred from Calderdale Council to the Community Association, and it welcomes in the next phase of what we hope will be another successful decade for the Charity."

2020 has been a challenging year for so many people in different ways, and it is our hope that Hebden Bridge Community Association are able to bring just a bit of much-needed festive cheer, as well as an opportunity for reflection, to the community this Christmas.

The projection runs from 14th – 19th December and will be displayed intermittently after sunset, providing plenty of time for passers-by to catch a glimpse. Featuring a mixture of beautiful, thought provoking and fun animations, SPOTLIGHT is funded by Hebden Bridge Community Association with additional financial support from Hebden Royd Town Council. The animation was produced by the Hebden Bridge based motion graphics studio Rogue Robot.