Crime is so low in the real Happy Valley that they turned the police station into an antique mall
On TV it’s plagued by drugs, rape and murder, but in real life the Happy Valley series’ main location – Hebden Bridge in the Upper Calder Valley – has such a low crime rate that the local police station has been closed.
As the most serious offenses recently logged were a spot of random graffiti and some youths smoking cannabis, it is one of the quietest areas for West Yorkshire Police.
The “cop shop” became an antique center and the local policeman patrols the market town on his bicycle.
But while crime may be low, visitor numbers have skyrocketed. The hordes of tourists flocking to Hebden Bridge to see filming locations and marvel at the show’s actors filming scenes have prompted some locals to make no secret of their desperation at the city’s newfound fame. A blunt message in graffiti on scaffolding surrounding a shop reads: “Move back to London.”
Quiet: Hebden Bridge, where many Happy Valley scenes are filmed
In reality, the Happy Valley series’ main location – Hebden Bridge in the Upper Calder Valley (pictured) – has such a low crime rate that the local police station has been closed
This kind of hostility toward outsiders — known as “offcumden” by locals — may be fueled by the rise in vacation rentals, which is driving up property prices and forcing families to move to cheaper nearby towns.
There are currently more than 1,000 listings on Airbnb and Booking.com and it can cost up to £150 a night to stay in the area.
In fact, the double-fronted Victorian terraced house outside of the city center that serves as the home of Sgt Catherine Cawood has doubled in value from £200,000 to £400,000 in the nine years since Happy Valley first appeared on our screens.
Perhaps predictably, the home is the most popular tourist attraction, with its residents and their neighbors regularly knocking on their doors inquisitive Happy Valley fans. Despite some locals’ resentment of the town’s celebrity status, most residents have welcomed the spotlight Happy Valley has thrown at their close-knit community and the boost that’s being brought about by the influx of paying visitors from around the world.
Locals are happy to point out filming locations to visitors from across the UK and a growing number overseas, with fans now even coming from the US, Sweden and China.
Some locals don’t like the newfound glory
Even on a cold, gray, rainy January day, there was a steady stream of visitors taking selfies with Sgt. Cawood’s house in the background and the backyard, where she often smoked cigarettes to relieve stress.
According to locals, attendance increases when filming takes place or when the series airs. Sharon Slade, who has lived in Hebden for 36 years, is a big fan of the show – some of the filming took place near her home – but says that while the storyline is good, it doesn’t reflect life in this quiet corner of the Caldertal.
Jenny Lunt, manager of The Shoulder Of Mutton pub, said the show’s star Sarah Lancashire (pictured) was a regular there during filming
“Hebden Bridge is a wonderfully peaceful place to live. It’s a crime-free place, barring someone who might do the odd piece of weed,” she said.
Park warden Robert Taylor, 59, added: “Hebden is such a lovely place to live and not how it was portrayed on TV. We don’t even have a police shop.”
The quaint and charming attractions of Hebden Bridge, with its welcoming shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs, clearly didn’t escape the cast of Happy Valley.
Jenny Lunt, manager of The Shoulder Of Mutton pub, said series star Sarah Lancashire was a regular there during filming. ‘She came here to enjoy her local food and a bit of local hospitality. She’s even bringing her husband and little dog with her,” she revealed.
My Beloved Trouser City – by Mrs. Thatcher’s combative aide
By Sir Bernard Ingham, Margaret Thatcher’s chief press secretary
Life in Hebden Bridge before the Second World War was idyllic.
I was born in 1932 in the hospital in nearby Halifax. Our stone townhouse on Albion Terrace had a lovely view of the valley. I used to wake up in the morning looking out over what had been a deer park in Norman times. My brother always said Hebden Bridge was the best place to grow up during the war because we were so deep in the valley the enemy couldn’t find us.
Planes flew overhead, but the closest we came to a bomb was in Halifax.
At that time Hebden was a small industrial town, very industrious, full of chapels and churches; I went to the Baptist chapel and Sunday school. There were many choirs – especially male choirs. There were also plenty of pubs although you didn’t see many people drunk. And fish and chip shops – the shop ran with them.
At that time Hebden was a small industrial town, very industrious, full of chapels and churches; I went to the Baptist chapel and Sunday school
I don’t think I could have grown up in a better place. There was a lot of unemployment in the 1930s, but we didn’t see it.
But over time, the textile industry on which the city depended – it was called Trouser City because it produced up to a million pairs a year – faltered. When the mills began to close, many of the small terraced houses stood empty.
In the 1970s hippies moved in and made a bit of a mess of the place. That didn’t go down well with the proud locals.
It also became the UK’s lesbian capital, with more female couples than any other city.
When I was making a film about Hebden Bridge for the BBC, I met a group of women at a lesbian bar.
I asked how many lesbians there were in town and was told “at least a hundred”. But I said considering Hebden has a population of 25,000 people…lesbian capital my foot!
Over time, various newcomers have made Hebden their home. And now it’s popular with modern trendies, Hebden is something of a foreign place to me.
The Hebden Bridge that I remember could never have been considered trendy!
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/crime-is-so-low-in-the-real-happy-valley-they-turned-the-police-station-into-an-antiques-centre/ Crime is so low in the real Happy Valley that they turned the police station into an antique mall