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February 4, 2019 cpark752

As part of LGBT History month 2019, we’re sharing personal stories of significant, life-changing moments of acceptance or understanding from our local LGBT+ community.

“Shall not promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

Local Government Act, 1988 – Prohibition on promoting homosexuality by teaching or by publishing material.
Chris Park

 Put yourself in the place of a 13 year old in the Lake District in 1988. The world was in the midst of the AIDS crisis and homophobic articles were common in the national press.

I was the 13 year old that Mrs Thatcher was trying to “protect”. Sadly for her it had the opposite effect.

 Gay rights didn’t make it to the Lakes, so TV was the only connection to the outside world. Bringing this revolting clause presented a call to arms, organisations like Stonewall appeared and words Gay and Pride were bandied around. I’d always known I was different but now I wasn’t alone.

It couldn’t have been a better signpost for me, if Margaret T thought homosexuality was wrong, it must be right. 

That isn’t to say I had an easy time of it. The 80s were dark and by bringing homophobia to the masses, we all copped it one way or another. 

Section 28 was only repealed 15 years ago. We need to remember that our previous Prime Minister was incredibly vocal in keeping it until he did a U-turn in 2009. Our current “leader” has consistently voted against LGBT rights. 

As for Section 28, we should never forget or we will allow prejudice like this to thrive again. As for its effectiveness, sorry Mrs T, but this gay wasn’t for turning. 


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January 25, 2019 Nicola Jones0

Happy Valley Pride is an eclectic, alternative and inclusive, week-long festival for everyone. Celebrating LGBT+ life in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas.  This year, it will be taking place earlier than in previous years, during the week of 22 to 28 July 2019.

Founded in 2015, the festival has rapidly grown in size and stature – last year we attracted over 3,000 attendees across 15 events and 7 days. Set in the stunning location of the Calder Valley (recently recognised in National Geographic’s Cool List 2019) we’ve built an enviable reputation for creating a distinctive, LGBT+ arts-focused programme.

The decision to move the festival was taken to guarantee the calibre of artists and performers now expected of Happy Valley Pride, as the previous dates were close to other key festivals, notably Edinburgh Festival.

Our Chair and Festival Programmer, Tim Whitehead:

“In the last couple of years, we have managed to attract an incredibly diverse and reputable range of artists. Camille O’Sullivan (recently voted in the Top 25 Jools Holland’s performances) headlined last year, due to an unusual change in schedule. In 2016, BBC Radio 4 regular, Zoe Lyons was another coup and a total sell out. We were aware of other artists we’d loved to welcome to Happy Valley Pride, yet missed out simply because they were booked for Edinburgh. We’re now planning a superb week, which we’re excited will offer something special for everyone and offer our best Pride yet.

At the heart of this, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to to the local community and businesses who have supported us in funding the festival, such as local artist, Kate Lycett, whose unique artwork donation attracted national interest via our art auction.”

Which brings us on to the first confirmed event for 2019 – the auspicious return of legendary London-club night, Duckie. Having lured them to Yorkshire from their Vauxhall Tavern residency – last year’s inaugural visit to The Trades Club sold out in 48hrs post-announcement. Its cult cabaret line up of renowned performance artists is bound to guarantee Happy Valley Pride will stand above the Pride crowd.

With a growing Committee of volunteer trustees and loyal festival team, we’ve quickly built a strong reputation and year-round profile via social nights, community involvement and regular Trades’ Club fundraiser nights. Working alongside local schools and other community groups, we seek to raise understanding and acceptance of the LGBT+ community via art projects.

With plenty still to do, those interested in getting involved please visit the ‘Get Involved‘ page for more info.

Camille O’Sullivan performed at Hope Baptist Church for Happy Valley Pride 2018

Kate Lycett’s – Tree of Life which raised funds via our art exhibition and auction in  2018


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April 29, 2018 0

In this, our third year, we are delighted to announce, our annual art exhibition, which will continue to be a key part of the festival, running throughout August.  We are now welcoming local artists to help support our organisation, with donations of artwork, working on personal interpretations to align with this year’s theme – REVOLUTION.

Held at Nelsons Wine Bar, we have grown year on year, with last year’s exhibits, supporting our LGBT+ Heroes theme. Submissions raised the bar, both in quality and also gained significant, further publicity and funds.

The Revolution ‘theme’, will continue to coordinate our involvement with other local organisations across Hebden Bridge, building up to the festival, which last year included being part of the Arts Festival ‘tree trail’ and creating a competition to reward local primary school children for their creations.  

We believe, Revolution offers an equally, soul-stirring and strong theme, which will galvanise those artistic souls amongst you, to help make 2018’s exhibition another thought-provoking and visually inspiring talking point throughout the festival and beyond.

All forms of artwork will be considered, whether it be sculpture (not too big please), ceramic, 3D, Textile, Acrylic, oil, pencil and ink. However, we would ask that artists who kindly donate their work, are willing to donate all proceeds generated by the sale to our not-for-profit organisation.

Our Exhibition Opening Event will take place at Nelson’s Wine Bar in Hebden Bridge on There will be live music from local performer Magdalen.

***STOP PRESS*** We are proud to feature an original piece by renowned local artist Kate Lycett, specifically created for Happy Valley Pride. This wonderful artwork will be auctioned alongside other items and winning bids will be revealed at the Pink Picnic on Sunday. Further announcements will be made on social media.

Closing Date Extended to Friday 13th July

David Anthony Kennedy

david@happyvalleypride.com