The Carding Shed sits in the village of Hepworth, close to Holmfirth. (For the unfamiliar, this is also where Last of the Summer Wine was set). It is reached just off the main road, well away from any noise, at Dobroyd Mills.
Dobroyd Mills, which dominates the village, was once a major contributor to the West Yorkshire textile industry, producing fine worsted cloth for export. The Carding Shed housed the machines used for carding, a process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes wool fibres prepared for the spinning of cloth.
On arrival it looks like any other building/warehouse, but on closer inspection there are slight differences. Just at the side of the main door are two rather large sets of traffic lights. And what sits beyond is vintage car after car, now home to IK Classics Garage Services. Some are in immaculate condition, others in the middle of renovation, and many being safely stored for their owners.
Back indoors there is the delightful ‘Oil Can Café’, serving delicious homemade cakes, sandwiches and tasty looking pie and chips. The warming homemade mushroom soup was comfort food on a wet, winter day.
The waitresses stand in traditional vintage style brightly coloured tops and gathered skirts with hair and glasses to match this ‘throwback’ theme. Tea is served in pretty vintage cups and saucers.
Overhead hang vintage bikes and laundry hanging out to dry. Bunting and fairy lights add to the post-war atmosphere, as well as old petrol filling station signs, tandems and unicycles.
More cars grace the dance floor right next to the café seating area. On certain nights the dance floor hosts brass bands, swing bands and Motown and soul.
There are shops which include High Society Vintage Clothes, beautifully high quality clothing and accessories which encompass vintage fashion from the 1940s to the 1960s. Also the Hepworth Emporium and the Retro Shed which have some amazing vintage and retro items for sale.
It is hard to believe that this exists outside of a street style environment, but great to see all these things under one roof, in a small village in West Yorkshire.