Life in the ‘hidden’ Yorkshire village which has lost all its pubs and where ‘gangsters become psychotic on weed’

After living in Mixenden for over a decade, shopworker Martin has a pretty good handle on what makes the place tick.

His first impression of Mixenden was that it felt quite isolated and ‘hidden’ even though it lies only three miles from the centre of Halifax.

The absence of pubs – ‘Mixy’ once had three boozers and a nightclub – don’t really bother him, but the issues of crime and antisocial behaviour certainly do.

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“It’s a funny thing, when I first came here you would not think it (Mixenden) was here because it is hidden in a valley.”

Others have previously pointed out that Mixenden does indeed feel isolated as it sits in a valley on the edge of rugged moorland.

Martin, 59, says the lack of pubs isn’t a major concern.

Shop worker Martin says crime is a big issue in Mixenden and Halifax in general

“I am not a pub man. The fact is, nowadays, going out to the pub a lot of people don’t feel safe. There is a lot of criminal activity and you only have to look a bit tipsy and they are onto you at the cash machine, taking your money.”

Martin says crime is a problem for both Mixenden and Halifax town centre.

As Martin chatted to YorkshireLive, 80-year-old Mixenden resident Hilary, originally from Huddersfield, chipped in with her own opinions of the area she has called home for 26 years.

“I won’t tell you what I think of it,” she warns.

“What do they do? They drink, they smoke drugs. But nobody bothers me – I don’t drink and I don’t smoke.

Warning sign in Mixenden, Halifax warning people not to drink alcohol in the street
(Image: Andrew Robinson)

“I moved here in 1996 and there was a pub around here but they all gave up. The place has gone to waste.”

Hilary, who was raised in Deighton, Huddersfield, said she was fond of Mixenden “in the beginning” but she’s not so keen as she once was.

One thing she does love is Taylor’s convenience store on Dodge Holme Road, near to the high-rise blocks where she lives.

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“This shop is a miracle especially since we got locked up (during lockdown). You can’t beat it if you’ve not got a lot of money. £10 will go a long way in here but not in town it doesn’t.”

Some residents say Mixenden would really benefit from a decent community pub.

Mixenden, Halifax

Lisa, who is 52 and originally from Bradford, said: “There’s no community hub.

“I was living in Plymouth for 11 years and when I came here I met the kindest most friendly people. I love living here.”

She adds: “I just think a pub with Sunday dinners would be a meeting place, a central point. I think, with the people around here, I don’t think it (a pub) would go crazy. There are kind people on this estate – and we are well policed. They (police) are always around here.”

General store in Mixenden, Halifax

The good news is that work on the planned ‘Mixenden hub’ – GP surgery, pharmacy, library and community garden – could finally start in December following delays.

Calderdale Council describes the proposed Mixenden Road hub as a place “where people can look after their health, learn, relax, and socialise.”

Lisa says a decent place to meet new people – such as a pub – helps bring people together.

“When I moved here I didn’t know anybody – and a pub would have been a starting point. The only other place (to meet people) is the bus stop and corner shop.”

After settling in, Lisa says she “loves it” in Mixenden.

The Spring Head cafe, bar and shop on Heath Hill Road, Halifax

“Eyebrows were raised when I said I was moving here. I have been here three years and I don’t see me moving out. I love it and I feel very safe.”

A man waiting at a bus stop outside the flats said Mixenden had its up and downs.

He didn’t want to be named but said: “It’s like any bloody village – you have ups and downs. Show me a village without problems. It’s alright here. I think they pulled the last pub down years ago.”

Another resident said it was obvious to everyone that Mixenden lacks facilities.

High rise flats and a police/council warning sign in Mixenden, Halifax

“There’s nothing at all in Mixenden. There’s nowt for teenagers, there’s nowt for anybody. The teenagers hang around all day outside the shop. I don’t think they cause a nuisance but there’s nowt for them to do.

“I think there is something of a gang culture. They take weed and it makes them psychotic.”

At Mixenden Fisheries on Clough Lane, two women behind the counter were busy serving chips with curry sauce as school pupils made their way home.

Mixenden Fisheries, Mixenden, Halifax

They said a ‘foodie pub’ would be welcomed in Mixenden, but suggested several other options for those willing to travel a little way.

Options include The Crossroads Inn on Mount Tabor Road, Wainstalls, which is about a mile from Mill Lane, Mixenden, or The Spring Head cafe, bar and shop on Heath Hill Road, about 1.5miles away.

One of the chip shop workers said: “I like a carvery so I go to Toby’s at Ainley Top (Huddersfield). I don’t drink really – I am a foodie. If there was a foodie pub (around Mixenden) I would probably go to it.”

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YorkshireLive – Halifax