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Since medieval times, people in Cragg Vale have had no need to travel to spa towns such as Buxton, Harrogate or Bath to “take the waters” because we have our very own ‘spa’ here in our beautiful valley. The Cragg Vale Spaw (northern dialect) is reputed to be at least 300 years old and it was the custom for people to gather there in early spring. Whether or not the(sulphurous!) water had a medicinal effect is debatable but there are anecdotes from local octogenarians of its curative and restorative properties. In 1906, a report of a pilgrimage to the Cragg Spa and then to Blackstone Edge, noted numbers were becoming fewer and only 500people went on to the White House where the Hebden Bridge Band was playing!

On 1st May 2010 Cragg Vale Community Association restarted ‘Spaw Sunday’ as an annual event with music, dancing, a blessing of the water and a community picnic. We are not likely to see 500 people at our celebrations on Sunday 8th May 2022 - the Community Association would have difficulty feeding them all! However, everyone, of any age, is invited to come and join in – and you don’t actually have to ‘take the waters’!

Meet at St. John’s Church at 2.30pm pm for music and dancing from Ryburn Longswords and join the procession from St John’s Church across the field, past Papermill Cottage, the Robin Hood, and on to the spa. If anyone wants a shorter walk, simply wait at the Robin Hood Inn until the procession comes past and join us for a short walk down the tarmac path to Spa Laithe Farm and the spa. The blessing will take place at around 3pm, followed by the picnic, weather permitting, and then we return to the Robin Hood for more music and dancing.

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