I’m not usually the first to admit that I’m wrong. My plan was to stay in my pub all day and not even visit Hebden Bridge but I’ve run out of toothpaste so I had to descend the 200m into town. That’s 200m down, not along.
The first thing I saw was a supermarket where I bought toothpaste and fruit. Then over the road I found a cafe. I was still feeling a little bit grumpy despite firing off a helpful email to Contours but I encountered that magic combination of a cappuccino, a pretty waitress and a slice of rocky road and I soon felt on top of the world. It’s the last day of the half price eating out Government sponsored promotion so I had to double the tip to ensure the hardworking staff didn’t inadvertently suffer. I left 70p.
What a peach of a place is Hebden Bridge. It has almost everything. Organic bread, lots of pubs with accommodation (one even had an 80s disco), food shops, toy shops, book shops, unusual restaurants, two markets, a river with little bridges and cafes galore. Buskers everywhere. It’s a bank holiday and with half price dining, the place was packed, despite it sadly being a corona virus hotspot.
There was a funky sushi stall in the market. The owner didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He’d completely sold out and it wasn’t even lunchtime yet.
Can you imagine anything more funky than an authentic Tibetan restaurant? There it is in the centre of town. I know a thing or two about Tibetan cuisine because I had a holiday in Tibet in 1987. There are two National dishes: the yak burger which was only served in the Lhasa hotel and dynamite fish. The latter dish was mostly served by the Chinese who would throw a stick of dynamite into a lake and then scoop up the fish with their nets. So, I crossed the road to see the menu but sadly the restaurant was closed with the virus. It’s a shame because I was just in the mood for a glass of Chang, although I doubt they’d have sold it.
I went into a funky record shop and browsed through the vinyl like we used to do. I saw so many LPs which I couldn’t afford at the time and I still can’t because they’re now collectors items. There was one which still had its price of 50p printed on the back but it’s now £22 in reasonable condition. So many old friends, presumably their owners have passed on because nobody would part with such treasures after so long.
In among all the records was the original Broadway cast recording of A Chorus Line. Not really my cup of tea but it brought back memories of a long weekend in NYC in 1979. Carol & I were travelling down the east coast by Greyhound and we stayed with her friends, Donna & Karen who had an apartment on 10th Avenue at 78th Street. Donna is my age and had just left A Chorus Line after three and a half years. She sang me her solo and gave an account of life on Broadway that would make Harvey Weinstein blush. I was tempted to ask the shop owner to play that song, to hear her voice rolling back the decades.
Authentic Tibetan cuisine
The White Swan
The White Lion
The telephone box is also the library
Sushi sold out
Funky window displays