IT seems that Holmfirth has always been associated with the BBC's long-running series Last of the Summer Wine.
For the last 30 years Holmfirth has been affectionately known as `Summer Wine Land'.
Many of the hamlets around Holmfirth have also had Compo and Co filming on their doorstep.
The nickname would certainly have surprised the area's first inhabitants, who began settling in Holmfirth over 1,000 years ago.
In Saxon and medieval times Holmfirth was a hunting forest used by the medieval lords of Wakefield. Indeed, the name Holmfirth means `sparse woodland belonging to Holme'.
By 1200 there were some settlers in the area - records show there was a corn mill with a few houses built around the mill.
The town, or village as it was then, had begun to grow. At that time, and until the advent of the Industrial Revolution, residents built their homes higher up the valley rather than in the valley bottom.
This was certainly the case in the 1700s when, although increasing, the population remained overwhelmingly rural - living and working on the farms and in cottage industries higher up the slopes.
It was only during the late 18th century that this changed. In 1784 John Fallas, a woollen clothier, acquired some properties in the valley bottom and the mills (which had to be built near rivers, thus requiring workers and their dwellings to be nearer the river) came to Holmfirth.
The Industrial Revolution had arrived and it would transform the small village into a thriving mill town.
Ironically, the one thing that brought the mills to Holmfirth - the abundant supply of water in the area which was needed to power the mills - would also cause tragedy: the 1852 Flood.
It is certain that the area had been prone to floods in the past but prior to the Industrial Revolution the valley bottom would have been virtually empty and so the consequences of these floods would have been less severe.
Indeed, in 1738 and 1777 floods occurred but did not have the catastrophic consequences of the 1852 Flood in which 81 lives were lost, whole families were wiped out, property amounting to almost £250,000 was destroyed and thousands were left homeless and jobless.
From the late 18th century until the 20th century many people living in Holmfirth and the surrounding areas found their livelihood in the textile industry. And even as late as 1941 Holmfirth was described as a `town busy with wool'. The town still has strong links with the textile industry, but it is fair to say Holmfirth's prosperity today arises to a great degree out of the success of The Last of the Summer Wine which has placed it firmly on the tourist map.
Of course, this is not the first time that film crews and cameras have been seen on the streets of Holmfirth.
Early in the 20th century the streets were settings for many of Bamforth's moving pictures. James Bamforth, who was a talented artist, started painting the backgrounds of life models for lantern slides. The `king of the lantern slides', as he became known, then began producing films and his company was the first in Britain to make films for entertainment.
The streets of Holmfirth were often brought to a standstill when the films were being made and locals were often seen in the streets plastered with custard pies, being drenched by fire hoses or buckets of whitewash!
Holmfirth is no longer a `town busy with wool' but is a town bustling with tourists willing to spend their money at Sid's Cafe, looking for Nora Batty's house and even traces of her wrinkled stockings!
1000 – 1200: First recorded settlers, although it is likely that the area had been inhabited prior to this.
Late 1300s: There were 175 taxable inhabitants in Holmfirth (a married couple counted as one).
1476: The first stone church was built. It is probable that there had been a wooden one on the same site prior to this.
1500: A chapel-of-ease is built in Holmfirth. Worshippers no longer had to travel the four or five miles to Almondbury Parish Church.
1597: Th'owd Towzer is believed to have been built in this year. Th'owd Towzer is a building near the Holy Trinity Church. It was originally the church lockup. It has had various roles over the years: a mortuary, an ambulance station, a jail and a fire station.
1642: The English Civil War begins. Holmfirth sends 100 musketeers to join Oliver Cromwell's armies (the Roundheads).
1650: Holmfirth people petition for the chapelry of Holmfirth to be a separate parish.
1651: Holmfirth becomes a separate parish.
1660: After the Restoration Holmfirth loses its status as a separate parish and reverts to a chapel-of-ease. Perhaps a punishment for Holmfirth's role in the Civil War!
1738: Sunday, May 7 – first recorded Holmfirth flood. Fortunately, there was no loss of life.
1776: The first Spinning Jenny is introduced in the area.
1777: Wednesday, July 23 – a thunderstorm causes the River Holme to burst its banks. Three lives were lost as a result of this flood.
1788: The present day Holy Trinity Church is built.
1801: Th'owd Genn is erected to mark the end of the war with France.
1812: Luddite activity begins in Holmfirth and the surrounding villages.
1821: September 21 - heavy rainstorms cause yet another flood. Again there was no loss of life.
1838: The Town Hall is built by public subscription.
1850: Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company open the branch line to Holmfirth. The Druids' Hall is built for the Ancient Order of Druids Friendly Society at a cost of £1,800. It has since been used for various purposes: entertainment, a hotel and a drill hall but is now the home of the Freemasons.
1852: February 5 - `The Great Flood'. This flood has been described as `probably the greatest single disaster ever to befall the Holme Valley', claiming 81 lives.
1858: The population in Holmfirth had increased so much that it once again became an independent parish.
1860: Victoria Bridge is built. Prior to this Upper Bridge and Toll House was the main entrance to Holmfirth.
1865: A wooden railway viaduct at Mytholmbridge collapsed causing the Holmfirth railway line to be shut for one and a half years.
1867: The train service resumes when a new stone viaduct is completed to replace the wooden one.
1870: The firm Bamforth & Co is established by James Bamforth.
1872: On July 8, one thousand weavers went on strike.
1911: Death of James Bamforth. He was described in one local newspaper as `one of Holmfirth's most honoured townsmen'.
1912: The Valley Theatre opens its doors.
1914: Steam wagons from B Mellor and Sons help with the transportation of troops.
1944: Whit Monday. The last of the Great Floods. Called the `Forgotten Flood' because it occurred a few days before the Allied invasion of Normandy. There was a news blackout at this time and it was ten days later when the flood was reported. By the time it was reported it was a minor event - the news being all about the Allied invasion.
1959: October 31 - Holmfirth passenger line closes. The goods service continues for another six years.
1995: Digley Reservoir was almost empty as a result of a drought.
1999: July 12 - Bill Owen, who played Compo in Last of the Summer Wine, died. His character died as well - the rest of the cast attending both his real life funeral and the funeral of his character Compo a few months later. He is buried at St John's Church, Upperthong overlooking Summer Wine Country.