Drawing: Wheat sheaf and pumbkins

The newsletter editor is always pleased to receive contributions to be considered for inclusion.

Not all views expressed in the newsletter reflect official LCT policy or opinion.

It is expected that anyone who wishes to make use of any material from the newsletter will seek the approval of the editor.

Newsletter Editor: Roy Prince, 14, Milbury Drive. Tel. 78883.

OFFICERS OF LITTLEBOROUGH CIVIC TRUST

Chairwoman: Rae Street, Calder Cottage, Hare Hill Road. Tel. 78043.

Vice Chairman: Don Pickis, Lightowlers, Blackstone Edge. Tel. 78849.

Secretary: Bernard Harrison, Tumblin’ Croft, Paul Row. Tel. 78013.

Treasurer & Membership Secretary: Beryl Jackson, 27, Howarth Street.

Press Officer: Keith Parry, 3, Prospect Street, Tel.79883.

Minutes Secretary: Betty Pickis, Lightowlers, Blackstone Edge. Tel. 78849.

Footpaths Secretary: John Hindle, 5, Chichester Close. Tel. 70407

 

We thank Brian Clarke who was the Footpaths Secretary for some time for all the work that he did on behalf of Littleborough Civic Trust. Brian continues as a member of the Committee and an active member of the footpaths group.

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Pennine Park Conference

On Saturday, 22nd September, the Chairman attended a conference on the Pennine Park. There already exists a Pennine Park Association of which the Trust was a founder member; the conference was organised to revitalise the idea.

The Chairman, David Fletcher of Calder Civic Trust, in his opening remarks placed emphasis on recreation in its widest sense as a !growth industry’. He also stressed the importance of management of our resources.

Lord Winstanley, Chairman of the Countryside Commission and the second speaker, said how gratified he was to find the impulse for the idea of a 'Pennine Park’ coming from the actual residents of the area. He saw the role of the Commission, in establishing 'Parks’, as improving conditions and opportunities for, on the one hand, farmers and landowners and on the other hand, users of informal recreation in the countryside.

Photograph: Pennine Way signpost

Professor Alan Patmore, in his talk 'Land and Leisure', followed up the last point by saying how relatively cheap the improvement of facilities could be. For example, we have in this country 120,000 miles of public footpaths - way marking etc. for all of these would not be as expensive as one sports centre.

Marcus Binney, architectural journalist, inaugurator of Save and last speaker of the morning, outlined the benefits which can come from restoring and finding new uses for historic buildings - not least to the traders in the area. I have only touched on a very few of the points made in what was an extremely interesting and lively conference. We will let members know of any follow-up.

The conference was held in the newly-opened Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge, a converted Baptist chapel with a splendid hall. Further details may be obtained from Judith Young, The Birchcliffe Centre, Hebden Bridge, W. Yorks. Telephone: 2843626.

RAE STREET.

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Historic Buildings

A meeting was held on Wednesday, 3rd October at the Council Offices, Littleborough. The topic under discussion was the bringing up to date of the Historic Buildings List in Littleborough.

Represented were the Littleborough Civic Trust, the Littleborough Local History Society, the Wardle Historical Society and Littleborough Community Association. The chair was taken by John Edwards of the Community Association.

There, to advise, were Mr. E. Hilton of Rochdale M.B.C. and Mr. C. Makepeace of G.M.C. Councillor Mrs. M. Giffin was also in attendance.

It was decided that members of the above societies would be asked to help in the survey of Littleborough and any members of the public who showed interest would also be welcome

All interested would be invited to a meeting at the Council Offices on Wednesday, 12th December at 8.00pm.

The work will entail giving a detailed description of any building considered worthy of listing.

Will anyone interested please contact John Hindle (Tel. 70407)?

JOHN HINDLE

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The Steanor Bottom Society

Drawing: Woman with tray of cakes

On Saturday, 1st December THE STEANOR BOTTOM SOCIETY is holding a "Mini" Christmas Fair in the United Reformed Church Hall between 1.45pm and 5.00pm.

There will be produce and gift stalls and afternoon teas will be served.

Funds raised will support the administrative costs of running the Society and arranging publicity and a programme of activities for the future. One of the main objects of the Society is to promote interest in and concern for the packhorse and turnpike roads in the surrounding Pennines.

It is hoped to complete the Toll House Restoration Project during the coming year - a scheme which should be self-supporting through the eventual sale of the property.

Please join us on 1st December and look for some of your most modestly priced Christmas presents.

DON PICKIS.

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Winter Programme

All open meetings are held on Thursdays at 8.00pm in the Oddfellows’ Room, 66, Church Street, Littleborough.

18th October 'Crime Prevention’ - a talk with cine film by a Rochdale Police Officer.

15th November Open Forum - A Community Centre For Littleborough.
Come along, ask questions and let us know your views.
(Please note the date, as the one given in the last issue was incorrect.)

20th December A Journey to the Far East1 - talk with slides by Mr. Ron Watson.
In addition to photos of Singapore, Bangkok, Sydney and Adelaide, Mr. Watson will be talking about
conservation
and walking in the National Parks of Australia. There will be a Christmas supper. Tickets 50p from
Lincoln Jackson's.

1980

17th January Annual General Meeting.

21st February Open Meeting - details to be announced

20th March ‘Comparisons of Old and New Todmorden'
Illustrated talk by Mr. Geoff Knowles of Todmorden. Everyone who saw Mr. Knowles's views of the
Calderdale Way will not want to miss this evening.

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Friday, 2nd November 1979, THE GRAND BUFFET DANCE AT LITTLEBOROUGH CRICKET CLUB.

The annual dance will again feature a home-made buffet which was such a success last year. Dancing to the Ideal Trio. Tickets from Lincoln Jackson, 3, Hare Hill Road or any member of the Committee.

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Footpath Group Walks

Drawing: Stickman walker

November 4th. Leader - Lincoln Jackson. Meet in the Square at 2.00pm.
Canal Towpath - Greenvale - Shop Wood - Handle Hall - Higher Calderbrook - Pasture House - Black Forrest - Grimes Farm - Near Hey Head — Hey Bottom - Higher Gale - Riverside. 5 miles.

November 18th. Leader Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet in the Square at 1-30p.m. for the 1.40pm bus to Summit.
Roddyshore Scout Gate — Whiteslack Gate - Cranberry Moss -North Ramsdon - Foulclough Road - Inchfield Road - Walsden. 5 miles.

December 2nd. Leader Richard Evans. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm or King William IV at 2.00pm.
Middlewood Lane - Top 0'th East - Dobbin Hill - Little Town - Newgate - Wardle Brook — Willow Style - Moorgate. 4 miles.

December 16th. Leader John Hindle. (Please note that this walk is a different one from that published in the last newsletter for this date.)
Meet in the Square at 1.15pm or at King Wm. IV at 1.30pm.
Lake View - High Lee — High Let Slack — Willow Style - Crook Long Causeway - Crook Moor - Lower Turn Slack Hill - Higher Shore. 5 miles.

December 30th. Leader Lincoln Jackson. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm.
Canal Towpath - Benthouse Bridge - Gorsey Bank - Whitfield Farm - Hill Top Farm - Hey Bottom - Near Hey Head - Handle Hall - Pack Horse Road — Town House. 4 miles.

In the programme for the beginning of 1980, which follows, you will notice that no leaders' names are given as yet.

January 13th. Walk No. 1. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm.
Ealces - Brearley Brook - Canal Drain - Hollingworth Fold - Old Lodge Inn - Schofield Hall Farm - Benny Hill - Syke Farm - Whittaker - Lanefoot Farm. 4+ miles.

January 27th. Walk No. 2. Meet in the Square at 2.30pm.
Canal Towpath - Bent House - Gate House - Higher Windy Bank - Fielden Farm - Owlet Hall - Lydgate - Huiaber Farm - Lanefoot - Ealees. 4 miles.

February 10th, Walk No. 3. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm.
Canal Towpath - Brown Brow Hill - Moss Cottages - Higher Eafield Farm - Stubley Mill Road - Middle Starring - Shore - Higher Shore — High Lee — ABC Steps - Lower Cleggswood - Hollingworth Road. 4 miles.

February 24th. Walk No. 4. Meet in the Square at 1.25pm for 1.32pm. bus to Gale.
Whitfield Farm - Hill Top Farm - Hey Head Farm - Grimes Farm - Top 0'th Plough - Blue Pot Brook - Ringing Pots Hill - Grimes Farm — St. James the Great - Shott Wood - Bent House Bridge - Canal Towpath. 4+ miles.

March 9th. Walk No. 5. Meet at the Beach Hotel at 1.45pm
Hollingworth Lake - Tumough — Roundhouse — Antioch - Higher Abbots - Higher Fold - Syke - Higher Booth Hollins Mill - Rakewood - Dickey Steps - Higher Bib Knowl - Shaw Moss. 4+ miles

March 23rd. Walk No. 6. Meet in the Square at 1.45pm for the 2.00pm bus to White House - Aiggin Stone - Roman Road — Packhorse Road — Higher Peak -Swainrod Lane - Sladen Fold - Gale - Carriage Drive. 5 miles.

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If...

I have in the past found that when seriously provoked to put pen to paper in order to make a point or put forward an idea on some current burning issue or problem, I usually break forth into verse or even parody a well-known poem in order to get my message across!

"If you can keep your head above water
And stop the soap from getting in your eyes”. . sort of thing!

During the last few weeks we have been bombarded by the media (and we've all experienced this financially too) on the question of the energy crisis and all this will mean to us and how the shortage of petrol will eventually change our way of life. I have pondered on this a lot and so consequently have become more and more outraged by the number of young teenagers who ride along the canal towpath on high-powered motorbikes; a menace to everyone enjoying a quiet walk and, what is worse, using up precious energy needed for more important consumption. “Where do those youngsters come from?” you may ask. What are their parents thinking of allowing underaged, unlicenced, 14 year-olds to act in this way?

"If you can ask and sometimes get an answer
Though what they said you cannot oft repeat…”

I had difficulty in catching up with some motorcyclists and those I ran to ground (usually having difficulty getting their machines past the obstructions placed on the towpath for just this purpose) their answers to my simple questions of "why not use the road and not use the towpath" or "didn't they realise petrol was becoming a luxury etc.", were rude and unrepeatable...

However, back to the poetry. I had intended to vent my feelings about the waste of our natural resources via a parody of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" and, in fact, it began as follows:

"If you can keep your cool when all about you
see the folly of our human grab and greed…
(The way we've squandered all our world could offer
And for our children1s children took no heed)...

If you can justify your lack of action
In speaking out against the wrongs you see,
Yours is the earth and everything that's in it
And it won't amount to much, I'm telling thee!"

but the muses left rather hurriedly and I felt it was really an insult to Mr. Kipling to use his efforts to help me express my feelings on this question of waste of our natural resources and how we are going to try to overcome the problems which loom ahead.

I have no ready-made solutions. Perhaps this might be the opportunity we have been waiting for, for people to pool their ideas and talents to try to ease, if not solve, the problem. It will be no use saying, when we use the last drop of oil or put the last lump of coal on the fire, "If only..."

BETTY PICKIS.

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Wet, but a fine start.

The winter programme of open evenings, held upon the third Thursday of the month, at the Oddfellows' Room, Church Street, opened on a very wet and windy September evening. However, those who braved the elements were well rewarded with a slide show of magnificent Pennine scenery.

The slide show, with supporting sound commentary, entitled 'The Calderdale Way' was the combined work of the Halifax, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden Photographic Societies. It was a very professionally produced piece of work with one slide fading away as another came into focus. In some 296 slides it took us from the preparation and inauguration of the Calderdale Way through village and hamlet, across field and moorland, over bridge and stile, by river, stream and canal round the 50 mile circular route. The slides revealed the often neglected beauty and some of the history of the area. Of particularly high quality were the slides of some of the birds and flowers of the area. For those members who have walked part or all of the Calderdale Way, it was a memorable evening,

GEOFFREY SUTCLIFFE

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As mentioned in a previous newsletter, a booklet entitled 'The Calderdale Way' is available, price 50p.

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Beningbrough Hall near York

"Hitler ought to have dropped a bomb on it" said one member of the Planning Committee for the area, so you can be certain that Beningbrough Hall was well worth preserving and is well worth visiting. Disappointing that the September Civic Trust outing had to be cancelled for lack of support, but I imagine things will be different next year.

The house has been very carefully restored, the garden cleared and a pleasant restaurant fitted tastefully into the total complex. The upper storey has been made over to a permanent exhibition of pictures from the National Portrait Gallery following the scheme tried successfully at Montacute House in Somerset.

The fully-equipped Edwardian laundry and the taped discussion between the Mistress and her housekeeper of the week's menus give a fascinating glimpse of the life¬style, and routine work required to maintain it, of the country house just before the First World War.

DON PICKIS

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Authority Spending on Footpaths

Mr. Michael Spicer, M.P., in a recent adjournment debate on rural footpaths came up with a few interesting facts: Hereford and Worcester spent £5,000 a year on maintaining 5,000 miles of paths - £1 a mile; West Sussex spent £100,000 a year on 2,000 miles - £50 a mile; Oxfordshire's budget for this year is £16,300 - £10 a mile which is about average for most counties.

The long distance paths, though maintained by local authorities, are paid for by 100 per cent grants from the Countryside Commission and expenditure is currently £75 per milo per annum. There are 120,000 miles of path in England and Wales requiring £6 million which represents one fiftieth of a penny on the rates.

For 1978-79 the expenditure on leisure and recreational pursuits was £185 million and, when one considers that more people walk than take part in any other recreational activity, £6 million is pathetic.

JOHN HINDLE.

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Littleborough Local History Society

By the time this is in print we should have completed our project of recording the inscriptions in the grave-yard at Littleborough Parish Church. There are over 600 graves. Among the items we have found are that a workhouse existed at Shore and that the earliest gravestone is of a man called John Mitchell, who died in 1680.

We have also started a photographic survey of the Conservation Area and hope sometime later in the year to combine with other interested societies in the updating of the list of Listed Buildings.

Open meetings on the 2nd Thursday in each month at the Oddfellows' Room, 66, Church Street, beginning at 8p.m.

11th October – Mr. K. Howarth of Bury. "Tape recording local history".

8th November - Mr. D. O'Neill of Todmorden. "Transport".

13th December - Mr. T. Bentley. "Slides of old Rochdale".

10th January - Mr.B.Holden. "Heraldry".

EVERYONE WELCOME.

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ARE YOU SURE THAT YOUR SUBSCRIPTION FOR 1979 HAS BEEN PAID?

Thanks to Keith Parry for the cover,
all contributors,
those who see to the distribution.

Don't forget National Tree Week is 10th - 16th November.

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Editor: Roy Prince