On the north side of the Calder Valley, above Sowerby Bridge is the intriguingly named village of Friendly.
Nobody seems to know the origin of this settlement’s name.
We set out (and failed) to find out where the village gets its name from.
But, almost as importantly, we went to find out how friendly Friendly is.
Did our reporter leave with a smile on his face or a flea in his ear?
In short, the former. Friendly is friendly. I would say averagely friendly for a place of its size in the Calder Valley, which is itself a fairly friendly place.
So compared to say, Todmorden, Friendly is averagely friendly. Compared to London, Friendly is very, very friendly.
As I don’t live in Friendly it’s hard to say exactly how friendly Friendly it is so I asked some people who do.
Matt Barton runs the Copper Cow pub which used to be The Friendly Inn.
“We’re relatively friendly and welcoming,” says Matt, 37.
“I had one guy who was an absolute a******e – but he’s moved out…
“There are lots of people here that are [friendly].”
I ask Daniel Johnson who runs Friendly Fisheries if Friendly is friendly.
“Of course it is,” says Daniel, 42.
“The view; I mean, look at it.”
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Friendly does indeed have a cracking view up the rural Calder Valley, even from the main road. Maybe the long, bucolic view first thing in the morning puts people in an amicable mood.
Friendly has an avenue called Friendly Avenue. Is Friendly Avenue the friendliest street in Friendly?
Nick Webster, who lives on the avenue, says: “Neither yes, nor no.
“It’s unremarkable in its ordinariness.”
Nick, who has lived in Friendly for 15 years, agrees Friendly is friendly although he says it’s typical for a place of its size.
Gillian Howarth, 62, is typically friendly for someone from Friendly.
“People watch out for each other,” she says smiling.
In conclusion then, Friendly is friendly.
Do you know where Friendly gets its name from? It appears on an Ordnance Survey map from around 1890 so it’s been called Friendly for some time.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you know.
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