Anne Lister, Shibden Hall, and the BBC drama Gentleman Jack have put Halifax on the map. Thousands of fans will descend on the town for the Anne Lister Birthday Weekend on 1st– 5th April this year. Would it not be wonderful if lots of them came by rail? Women in Community Rail and Discover Amazing Women by Rail are doing a stall in the Piece Hall on Saturday 4 April at the Makers Fair. Most of the weekend’s paid events are already sold out with people coming from the USA and beyond. Some events are at the Minster right next to Halifax station. Shibden Hall could be extremely crowded that weekend.
Maybe choosing a less busy time, for walkers it’s an invigorating climb (give yourself an hour) from Halifax station to Shibden Hall and Park via Magna Via, the ancient packhorse route over Beacon Hill, with spectacular views. The route also links to a 9km Anne Lister Walk around the delightful Shibden Valley (map and guide for sale from www.christophergoddard.net).
For the less adventurous a shuttle bus would help. And actually we could do with a permanent “hopper”, linking stations, town, Dean Clough and heritage attractions such as Bankfield Museum as well as Shibden Hall. With regeneration plans in the pipeline for both bus and train stations and new round-town bus circulation, let’s hope inter-modal links will be transformed over the next few years. —RL/JSW