Lightcliffe and District Local History Society held its first meeting in September 1997, a tentative move to ascertain what interest there might be in the formation of a permanent group. The response was sufficiently encouraging, with forty-five people in attendance, for a programme to be arranged for the following winter.

In the years since 1997 the society has continued to attract a large, discriminating audience to each of its five meetings a year, and members have learned much about the Lightcliffe area and beyond from a variety of speakers and from each other.

They have heard accounts of the history of local schools and sports clubs, recalled the shops of their childhood, delighted in the tale of how the Hipperholme Home Guard helped to win the war.

They have followed the stories of the rhubarb fields of Priestley Green, the once mighty firm of Brookes Limited, internationally famous for its Nonslip stone.

They have been fascinated by erudite accounts of the lives of such local characters as Anne Lister, Oliver Heywood, the woodcarver HP Jackson of Coley, and philanthropist Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker; have wandered in their imaginations through the ancient houses of Crow Nest, Shibden Hall, Holme House, Hellewell Syke and Coley Hall.

These successful and enjoyable evenings have been shared by a large group of villagers, each of whom has added his or her contribution to the pursuit of local social history in a spirit of rigorous inquiry tempered by friendliness, humour and a glass of wine. 


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Do you have old photos and pictures? If local history didn’t start yesterday, pre-1980s certainly counts. Please look for photos of our area or of group events and send them to Ian Philp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or pass copies to him at a meeting. Additional information will help. Examples might include a school class, a sports team or a scene from a play in 1970 with a few names. Old views of buildings in our area would also be very welcome.

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 If you are looking into your family history you may find Lightcliffe Churchyard's website useful. Under Burial Records, enter a name & search.