Floating on Hebden Spirit

The catalogues.

Since the beginning of July a small team of volunteers has been been working on a fundraising auction to support the businesses of Hebden Bridge following the floods.  The idea was started on Twitter by Helen Russell of Mercury Arts. "The night of the floods I watched with horror as many of my favourite haunts in Hebden were damaged and friend's lives affected," explains Helen. "I don't live in the town but both personally and professionally it is a home from home and it quickly became obvious that many others across the UK felt the same. In a moment of frustration at not being able to help I suggested on Twitter that a creative fundraising auction might send a message of support to those affected. An hour later saw a list of 20 artists wanting to donate and Hebden Spirit was born (although without a name at that point). The creative auction is helping to build something really positive out of that night. The funds raised will support initiatives to drive business back into the town and shout that Hebden is more alive and kicking than ever.  Personally I think the most valuable thing to come out of this journey is the proof that Hebden Bridge is loved by people far and wide!"

Organising the viewing

Unpacking the lots.

Numbering up the lots.

Setting out the lots.

The packing station.

Setting out the reception area for hospitality.

The Hebden Spirit creative auction took place on Friday night at The Town Hall to great success.  None of this would have happened without the generous donations from the artists and the bidders who turned up and bought the items on the night.  Thanks must go to the team that put the event together; Richard Aked from Artome for design work and putting the catalogue together, Alison Bartram from Heart Gallery for logging pieces and organising the viewing, Sarah Mason from Sarah Mason Photography for photographing all the lots, Helen Bradshaw from Metropolis Events for perfecting the hospitality, Hannah Nunn from Hannah Nunn Lamps for liaising with local artists and her excellent packing skills, Lambert Printers for producing the catalogues at cost, Jason Elliott, the masterful auctioneer of the evening, and, of course, Helen Russell from Mercury Arts for keeping us all on track.  Here at The Town Hall we donated the use of the space for free, kept all the lots safe as they arrived for the auction, supplied brilliant volunteers to help on the night and sorted the administrative element of the auction.

The bidders.

Jason Elliott, the masterful auctioneer of the evening.

And now for the announcement.  The Hebden Spirit creative auction raised £6491 which will be used to fund a Pop Up Hebden, a stand to take to Manchester Victoria and Leeds train stations to announce to the world (or at least the north of England) that Hebden Bridge is open for business and a great place for independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Pop Up Hebden will benefit all businesses in the town which in turn boosts our economic strength and allows Hebden Bridge to keep its spirit alive.