Phil Hawden

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Phil has spent 28 years working in Sowerby Bridge. He is a founder and producer of the town’s Winterlight Festival and has been actively involved in negotiating the Community Asset Transfer of the Fire & Water buildings with Calderdale MBC. Phil also advises other local groups through The Community Foundation.

“I hope that Fire & Water will see an increased sense of pride and ownership by the local community in something unique that provides the people of Sowerby Bridge, with their active support and involvement, with a centre of excellence.”

Phil Hawden

Musician and writer Isolde Davey was moved to attempt to link the artistic community in Sowerby Bridge by forming Artsbridge in 2013. With an overwhelmingly positive response, the group became quickly established and expanded their remit to also promoting arts in the town.

Isolde has striven to develop a range of activities to bring the community together including children’s art, poetry & photography competitions along with various bands and musicians in a range of venues across the town plus spoken-word & theatre events. She is also a key member of the Sowerby Bridge Winterlight group.

Frank Darnley

Frank has worked as an artist for 30 years and lived in Triangle, a mile down the road from Sowerby Bridge, for the past two decades. He has a studio at Dean Clough in Halifax where he creates his own artwork and collaborates with other artists and theatre companies. Frank also teaches in local schools and colleges and has served as chair of governors at his children’s local primary school where he remains a parent governor.

Dot Foster

I have lived in Sowerby Bridge for the last 11 years, and was elected as a local councillor in 2014. I am a school governor at 3 local schools and also work as a caseworker, although I have a background in horticulture. I am always keen to get involved with local projects and Fire and Water is a really exciting opportunity to bring back into use derelict buildings in the centre of the town for the benefit of the community. The potential for the buildings is enormous, from performance space to offices, creative spaces to riverside garden. I am looking forward to continue to help make this dream a reality.

Phil Hawden

Malcolm is a semi-retired Structural Engineer and Landlord.

“Having been heavily involved in the restoration of Soweby Bridge Wharf many years ago I liked the concept of the Fire & Water project and I am very keen to see it through to completion.”

Clare Nestor

Tom has always had a keen interest in Calderdale groups and charities. Over the years he has been a volunteer with Square Chapel and the Overgate Hospice and has served as administrator and fundraiser for Halifax’s Arch-Way Project. Since 1998 he has been an active part of the organisational committee for the Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival.

“Sowerby Bridge deserves a project like Fire & Water – a hub to host community activities and entertainment, to support employment and education, to promote the town’s history and heritage and to showcase the talents of our many local artists.”

Viv Jorisson

Viv has been in property construction, management and letting for over 40 years. She is a member of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust Advisory Panel (now part of The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community) and was greatly involved in the restoration of Sowerby Bridge Wharf. She is very enthusiastic about the Fire & Water Project and the effect it will have on Sowerby Bridge.

Clare Nestor

Clare moved to Sowerby Bridge in 2011. In order to get involved with the local community, she volunteered for DIY SOS at Fire & Water and ArtSBridge. She works for national Citizens Advice in volunteering development and has served as trustee and Chair of KirkleesLaw Centre and the Welcome Centre Food Bank.

She brings a wide range of skills and experience in the third-sector and is prepared to roll up her sleeves and do whatever is needed to bring Fire & Water to fruition and help make Sowerby Bridge the best possible place to live and work.

Freda Davis

Freda moved to Calderdale in 1981 and worked as a teacher, trainer, advice worker and mental health advocate in a varied career until retirement. She also spent many hours in voluntary work helping to develop the Calderdale and Kirklees WomenCentre, between 1983 and 2013.

Freda lives in Triangle, and since retiring has developed her skills in art and printmaking. She is a member of Sowerby Bridge ArtCircle and is also Treasurer of Healthy Minds (Calderdale Wellbeing). Freda is a member of the Green Party and has stood several times for election in Ryburn Ward.