Farming was the greatest industry in the village.  however due to the amount of trade and transport links at one time it was nicknamed ‘Little London’. In Domesday the village is noted to have grown reeds for rush bearling (placing them on floors in the chapels and other buildings to act as floor coverings). It also grew them for tallow or candlewax. the term 'On the wagon' originated with rush bearing.  One fellow had to sit atop the rushes as they were carted to ensure that they did not fall, he had to be sober; hence on the wagon. 

Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival