Mill Bank Book Reprint 2020

The book ‘Mill Bank. The Story of a West Yorkshire Village’ has been reprinted and is available £10 by contacting Ruth Beazley on 0775 3748 482 or

‘Mill Bank’ is based on Hazel Whiteley’s memories from childhood, her family connections with Mill Bank and her research into the history of the village. She gives humorous anecdotes about village life in the early twentieth century when Mill Bank was a thriving, self-sufficient community with double the present population.

Hazel’s father was the youngest son of Annie Cartwright’s seventeen children and Annie ran one of the many village shops during the 1940s.

Hazel describes how villagers worked together in times of crisis, for example when bankruptcy hit Kebroyd Mills in 1902 and almost all working people were made redundant overnight; during two World Wars, and later in the 1960s, when the Council was determined to demolish the village. Determined action taken by villagers, including Hazel saved the village and it achieved Conservation Area status in the 1970s.

Hazel’s research traces the history of the village from pre-historic times to the end of the 20th century. It includes information about the nine mills that used to be within walking distance, the seven village pubs and over forty shops and services that were also available locally. Today there are no mills, no shops and only one pub.

Ruth Beazley has edited the book and included other stories told to her by others over the past thirty years.

Mill Bank Calendar 2019

The new Mill Bank calendar 2019 is now available! Please support us by buying at least one calendar – they make great Christmas and birthday presents.

Price: £7 each or 2 for £12

Available from:

  • Ruth Beazley, 66 Lower Mill Bank Road, Mill Bank, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 3EQ Tel: 01422 823 110
  • Linda Kemp, 54 Victoria Terrace, Mill Bank, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 3EQ Tel: 01422 823 687
  • Triangle Post Office
  • Toll House Jewellery, Ripponden

New Book Available to Buy Now

The new book Mill Bank: The Story of a West Yorkshire Village is available to buy now for only £7.

Update August 2018 – Change of ISBN number
If you bought a Mill Bank book before the end of July 2018 please change the ISBN number to 978-0-9932204-4-9. The ISBN number can found on the first page.

Copies can be purchased now from Triangle Post Office and will available for sale from Sowerby Bridge and Ripponden libraries in September 2018. 

The book can also be ordered from Ruth by email or by phone 01422 823110. £7 or £10 for postal delivery.

Mill Bank Book Launch

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new book this month! 

All welcome to the launch event on 14th July at St. Mary’s School, Mill Bank, HX6 3EJ 14:30 – 16:30. Copies of the book can be purchased at the event for £7.

Update August 2018 – Change of ISBN number
If you bought a Mill Bank book before the end of July 2018 please change the ISBN number to 978-0-9932204-4-9. The ISBN number can found on the first page.

Mill Bank. The Story of the village told by Hazel Whiteley and edited by Ruth Beazley describes her childhood experiences in Mill Bank. With humorous anecdotes about village life in the early twentieth century; a thriving, self-sufficient community with double the present population; threats of village demolition in the 1960’s and the determined action taken by villagers to save the village and achieve Conservation Area status in the 1970’s.

Hazel Whiteley approached Ruth Beazley in 2017 donating her writing to the Mill Bank archives. These described her childhood experience in the village and her family connections with Mill Bank. She had also researched the history of the village when Mill Bank was threatened with demolition in the 1960’s. Ruth then worked with Hazel to compile a book, including some of her own research, over the following eighteen months.

The book can also be ordered from Ruth by e mail or by phone 01422 823110. £7 or £10 for postal delivery.


Drawing Workshop at Café Mill Bank

Café Mill Bank is proud to host Claire Murray’s drawing workshop on Saturday 14 July 2018. The workshop will cost £55 which includes tuition, materials, refreshments and a 2-course lunch.

The workshop is open to all abilities, whether you are an experienced artist or novice beginner, and teaching will be differentiated to accommodate all levels. 

There will also be a raffle on the day with an opportunity to win a signed print of one of Claire’s paintings!

For more information and to book please visit


Spring Update

Hi All,

Spring is staring to stir! After such a wet and cold winter we deserve some warmth? However it does mean that we have much work to do around the village to get it ready for the Spring Judging of Yorkshire in Bloom. Any help you can give will be gratefully received. Can you let me know if you have some time available to help. The areas where we will need some help are in the following areas; Graveyard, behind the Mill Bank Stone, the snicket down to the Graveyard, the triangle of ground opposite the Old Coop, Nathan Lane Car Park plus Nathan Lane, By the stream going into Fiddlewood and by the stream on the Calderdale Way ( a tree which blew down in the gales needs to be removed). Please try and help.
There is also some repairs needed around the village;- the Calderdale Way sign has been knocked  down in the gales; the raised beds on the playing field need to be replaced/repaired. If anyone is handy with sort of work please let me know.

School Quiet Area;

As part of work with the school children we are helping build a contemplation/quiet area for them. We are clearing and area near to the school but we need some help clearing out a lot of old roots. If anyone has the use of a rotavator or other mechanical device that would be very helpful.

History Boards;

Gary McCall has produced a prototype of one of the Boards and we are currently looking at this to ensure we have the correct balance between map, images and copy. Once we have this agreed Gary will go ahead with producing the Boards for us.


Dog Poo;

I have reported this to Calderdale and they have kindly cleared the mess. They have indicated that anyone caught causing this is liable to an £80 fine. I believe that my last message has got home because there is certainly less new deposits occurring? We do propose to put some bags available at the notice boards for villagers to use and then to deposit them in the two bins, made available for them – by side of the Broadband Box above the graveyard and by the stream as one goes into Fiddlewood.

Book Club;

If you would like to attend the Mill Bank Book Club please contact John Anderson The Club meets monthly on the last Thursday of each month at the Alma at 7.30pm.


If you know of villagers, current or those that may have left the village and who would like to keep in contact please let me have their e mail addresses so that I can add them to the regular email Newsletter.

The Mill Bank Group


Mill Bank in Bloom achievements 2002 – 2014

Gold award and ’Best small village in Yorkshire’ 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 in the Yorkshire in Bloom Competition.

The Mill Bank Group

In 2002 the village felt neglected and there was little community activity. The Mill Bank Group was formed to rescue and renovate public areas and undertake activities to improve the quality of life for local people. The first project was to create a community garden from the Methodist graveyard which had been neglected for over forty years. This is now an attractive quiet spot in the heart of the village featuring a village poem by the late Glyn Hughes who used to live in Mill Bank.

The Group is a non profit making organisation run by volunteers and is open to everybody living in and around Mill Bank. Every attempt is made to conserve the best of the past and ensure that developments are sympathetic to the environment and culture of the area.

Mill Bank Group activities and achievements 2002 – 2013

Creation of a Community Garden in the Methodist graveyard
Creation of a kitchen garden for St Mary’s school
Creation of bog and wild flower gardens
Maintenance of Plant boxes around the Village.
Herb Planters in village for use by all villagers
Village name stone erected
Thousands of bulbs planted
Commissioned community poem erected in garden
Area behind name stone re landscaped and maintained
Benches installed in garden and beside stream
Renovation of walls, railings and gates
New rubbish bins installed and maintained
Litter and dog pollution addressed
Christmas lights lit in tree annually
Repairs to banks of stream and wild flowers planted
Bird feeders, bird, bat and butterfly boxes constructed
Mini orchard and soft fruit area planted
Raised veg. beds installed for those without gardens
Maintenance to grit bins, street furniture and phone box
Contact e-mail network of local people set up
Mill Bank Facebook page established
Two books, annual calendars, walks leaflets and newsletters published
A happy working relationship established with St Mary’s School
A bug haven built on the playing fields
Sympathetic and sustainable planting throughout the village.
Coordination of the “Save the bus” Campaign
Work started on establishing the Mill Bank Website.

Social awareness

The experience of people getting together to enhance the environment generates a sense of pride in the local community. The Group also promotes an appreciation of past history and an awareness of place in time. To this end we have produced three social history publications and a ‘Walks about Mill Bank’ leaflet published in 2009. A number of recently established social groups are now flourishing. The group supported a villager with her exhibition at local libraries on the Triangle Women’s Hostel by applying for a grant on her behalf. The exhibition has been a huge success.

Organisation and communication

The group has a management committee and holds an AGM in the autumn. Each year there is a consultation exercise, usually a spring ‘walk-about’ to identify priorities. This year we have undertaken a more detailed consultation exercise. The village notice board is well used and newsletters are circulated quarterly. The two notice boards will be replaced this year by local volunteers. There is an active e mail network for regular volunteers. The Halifax Courier publishes stories of our achievements and the newsletters are available on our Facebook page.

Recent Projects

In 2011 the Group completed a community planting project. This was particularly popular and aimed at people who do not have gardens. Raised vegetable beds were installed and a mini orchard was planted. Herb tubs and the soft fruit area for use by all villagers are also popular. Volunteers continue run the school gardening club on Fridays. We plan to establish a History Board in the village tracing the history of the village. This will be supported by the School children and other interested villagers.


Our core work is funded through the sale of the annual village calendar and other merchandise. We need £1,500 p.a. for base activities and grants for special projects are obtained from a variety of sources. We aim to be as self sufficient as possible.


The work of The Group has had a noticeable impact on the village and the local estate agent claims our work has increased the value of properties in the village. People tell us they appreciate our work and we have been rewarded with top awards from Yorkshire in Bloom.