Drawing: Pumpkins and leaves

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.

OFFICERS OF LITTLEBOROUGH CIVIC TRUST

Chairman: Keith Parry, 3, Prospect Street. Tel.79883.

Vice Chairwoman: Betty Pickis, Lightowlers, Blackstone Edge. Tel. 78849

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

Treasurer & Membership Secretary: Beryl Heywood, 27, Howarth Street. Tel. 73476

Minutes Secretary: Rita Kay, 2, Lodgeville, Rakewood Road. Tel. 79573

Newsletter Editor: Michael Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, Littleborough. Tel. 79573

ORDINARY MEMBERS

John Hindle, 5 Chichester Close, Tel. 70407.
Judith Schofield, 3 Green Clough, Todmorden Road, Littleborough, Tel. 76015.
Richard Evans, 8 Charles St.
Roy Prince, 14 Milbury Drive, Tel. 78883.
Geoff Sutcliffe, 14 Buckley Terrace, Wardle, Tel. 40369.
Mike Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, Tel. 70154.
Don Pickis (see Vice Chairman).
Lincoln Jackson, 1 Moorfield View, Shore, Tel. 70542.
Rae Street, Calder Cottage, Tel. 76043.
Pauline Hopkinson, Far Hey Head Farm, Calderbrook.

Jackie Harrison resigned from the Committee in September.

Please pass on any suggestions that you have about the Trust and its work to any of the above.

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AN APOLOGY

Members might be wondering why they received a broad sheet instead of a newsletter this summer. This unfortunately occurred because the Civic Trust Committee felt obliged to withdraw the summer newsletter as certain articles were thought unsuitable for publication. The Civic Trust Committee apologies for any feelings of deprivation which members may have suffered.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

1984 Subscriptions are now due. If your 1983 subscriptions are still outstanding please contact the Treasurer, Beryl Heywood, as soon as possible.

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CIVIC TRUST Annual General Meeting

The A.G.M. will be he3d in the Coach House Centre on Thursday the 19th January, 1984, at 8.00pm. Please do your best to come along as this is one of the few opportunities we get to meet our members.

Agenda

1. Minutes of last A.G.M.

2. Chairman's Report

3. Treasurer's Report.

4. Footpath Report.

5. Election of Officers.

6. Any Other Business

The Trust's Committee is in need of new blood. If you can give one (Tuesday) evening a month you can give us a much-needed transfusion. We can take nominations "from the floor" at the AGM or you can contact the Chairman beforehand.

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CHAIRMAN'S NOTES.

Parking.

The persistent parking problem in Littleborough is a step nearer a solution, and a worthwhile meeting at the Heritage centre (jointly arranged by the Trust and the Traders' Association) helped in the solution. The Rochdale M.B.C. Engineer's Dept. outlined their proposals which included a suggestion (originally ours) to use small vacant areas of land for off-street parking. Two of those proposed sites (one next to the Coach House the other near Victoria Street) met with their approval but the real answer to the problem lies in retrieving the "Chapel" carpark off Victoria Street. Negotiations are the hurdles. Naturally, the Chapel Authorities want as short a lease as possible at as high a rental as possible, the Council the opposite.

It was a lively meeting. Council Officers and Councillors present were left in no doubt that local traders are exasperated by the delay and desperate to find a solution. Some progress was made and some obstacles demolished by a determined argument from the shopkeepers (l hope it was unbiased of me as Chairman, to suggest that if Rochdale M.B.C. could find £3,000 for the Toad Lane Conservation Area they could surely finance this comparatively minor work in the Central Littleborough Conservation Area). Typically, the short-term solution was “local grown" - a temporary lease on the Chapel site negotiated with the Chapel Authorities from the Traders Association and three local Banks. Long term the Council seems much more ready to find the money for a permanent solution.

The Coach House.

At the Official Opening of the Heritage Centre on October 29th, my job was to "explain the Centre". Standing there in front of the assembled M.P.'s, M.E.P's., Councillors etc. I felt a sudden surge of pride. I was proud of what we have achieved over the past 4 years, but also proud of the kind of people we are here in Littleborough.

Each of the Groups involved in the project had a representative at the Opening - the visible manifestation of the help we have received from hundreds of Littleborough people.

Don't worry, we made sure the V.I.P's knew all about the supporting groups and the many events that have helped to raise money for the scheme. We also made sure the "Authority" bodies knew that if they granted money to the Scheme they weren’t giving it away - they were investing in the areas future and there would be a return on that investment in the shape of development and general wellbeing.

Drawing: Frog smiling

Ready, get set...

A very successful Coffee Morning at the Centre raised £70.00 for the project. We also found that the Centre can be converted into a "High class café” with little difficulty - so the Coffee Morning will no doubt be repeated. The next fund raising event is on January 28th at the High School, and its frog racing. Don't ask me what that means! Tickets on sale at the Centre.

There's a long way to go yet, and your help is now needed more than ever. But as Lord Barnett said "Here is a group of people who didn’t wait, but got up off their backsides and did something". Trouble is, when you get up of it, you leave your backside exposed! But never mind, already we can "feel" the Heritage Centre is a success. Please, call in - you'll enjoy it. It is open every day of the year: Monday - Friday 2.00pm – 5.00pm, Saturday 10.00pm – 5.00pm and Sunday 1.00pm – 5.00pm. In addition to its information on Heritage Themes it has local books and crafts and a drinks dispenser. Please pay us a visit - after all, it's your centre too.

KEITH PARRY

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LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY

The following meetings will be held:

Thursday 12th Jan.1984. Mr. S. Poole. Archæology of Piethorne Brook.

Thursday 9th Feb. 0pen Evening. Society Collection.

Thursday 8th March. Mr. B. Hall. Mr. R. Frost. The Weavers Triangle

Thursday 12th April. To be arranged.

Thursday 10th May. Annual General Meeting.

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TRAVEL NEWS

(compiled by R. Evans and K. Parry).

Wayfarer Tickets.

I thought I would write a piece on two days out I have had recently on, firstly, a Peak Wayfarer Ticket from Greater Manchester Transport Authority and, secondly, a Day Rover Ticket from Metro.

On the first, the Peak Wayfarer, I caught the train from Littleborough to Manchester Victoria, and made my way to Piccadilly where I caught the train to Buxton and spent an enjoyable time looking round the Spa town, visiting the local museum and having a nice lunch. I then caught the train to Disley where I went to Lyme Park and had a guided tour around Lyme Hall. The ticket cost me £2.50 and 50p to get in Lyme Hall.

Silhouette: front of bus

Secondly I went to Ilkley via a bus to Halifax and then a train to Leeds. I then caught a train along the Wharfedale line to Ilkley - a lovely country ride. Arriving at Ilkley I went to the Roman Fort (Olbianaca) and visited the Manor House Museum of local history which is relevant to Littleborough because the Blackstone Edge Roman Road went to Ilkley. I then walked via Hebers Ghyll and onto Ilkley Moor, and the Cow and Calf rocks. Returning I was obliged to get off the train at Todmorden and complete the journey by Bus. The Day Rover costs £2.00. Both it and the Peak Wayfarer may well disappear if the Government abolishes the Metropolitan Counties.

RICHARD EVANS

The Threat to the Caldervale Line.

BR Logo of lion over crown

Our local railway line nay be threatened - again. Rumour has it that British Rail plan to cut the present hourly service to a two hourly one, with the last train back from Manchester at 9.30pm. Effectively this destroys the service. It will not be possible to use the train for an evening visit to Manchester and if you cannot work out when the next train is you will be more likely to use alternative forms of transport. Officially, this line is among the most heavily subsidised in the country but figures have a habit of depending on who's issuing them. Experience shows that even off-peak trains are well used by national (non-intercity) standards. At the same time as this rumour circulated British Rail announced a new service from Leeds to Hebden Bridge, then by way of the divider Gorge Line to Burnley - on a two hourly basis. Sheer coincidence?

Rail action groups already exist in Hebden Bridge and Todmorden and if you would like to organise one here, let us know. We'll help you. If you are in any doubt, think of the consequences of losing that convenient hourly, twenty-five minute service with Manchester and beyond. The alternatives are take the car or use the bus - a journey that takes three times as long. And - please - use the train. 40 minutes past the hour to Manchester (supplemented, at peak hours), 2 minutes to the hour from Victoria. Journey time is under 25 minutes. Off peak return fare £1.66.

KEITH PARRY

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FOOTPATH NEWS.

(compiled by G. Sutcliffe, J. Hindle and M. Farrell).

The Wolds Way.

Since the inauguration of the Pennine Way in 1965, the number of long distance walks (L.D.W.'s) has grown steadily with each passing year and there are now 12 officially recognised and waymarked, L.D.W's. The latest one is the Wolds Way from Hessle-on-Humber across the Yorkshire Wolds to end just north of Filey Brigg. Here it links with the Cleveland Way which continues northwards along the coast to Ssltburn before turning- westwards, then southwards so making a horseshoe before it ends in the delightful market town of Helmsley. TO link the two "arms" of the horseshoe is an unofficial L. D. W. of some 50 miles called the missing link to the Cleveland Way, which runs between Scarborough and Helmsley.

During the Wakes holiday 1982, I intended to walk the Cleveland Way and its missing link. You may recall however that the Wakes of 1982 were extremely wet and there was a further hazard in the form of Barry Prudhom lurking in Dalby Forest through which part of the Missing link passes. I therefore completed only the Cleveland Way and left the missing link for another occasion. With the opening of the Wolds Way this became a practical possibility and I was able to walk the two in June this year. The weather encountered was just the opposite to 1982 with plenty of glorious sunshine and hardly a speck of rain.

Wolds Way sign

The Wolds Way starts and ends unpretentiously the start, near a pub and small ship repair yard, follows the riverbank under the magnificent Humber Bridge. I found the first few miles of the walk rather uninspiring and I was glad to leave the river and work my way onto the Wolds. In its early stages, the Wolds Way either passes through or close by picturesque villages but later there are fewer contacts with civilisation and company is in the form of the skylark and the odd startled pheasant. The characteristics of the Yorkshire Wolds are its many dry valleys of ice age origin, the absence of any streams, the occasional dewpond, and the way man has used the land to create an extremely productive crop growing area, though this can be a nuisance to walkers, as the crops often encroach upon the path.

The 80 miles of the Wolds Way can be conveniently covered in 5 stages though, to fit in with B. and B. accommodation, not of equal length. My shortest lengths were approx. 12 miles, my longest 21 miles. Accommodation was good and sometimes very good indeed.

Of the two walks, however, I enjoyed the missing link the most, for its greater variety of scenery together with interesting villages providing excellent accommodation. Walking any L.D.W. is both challenging and relaxing and can be recommended as a way of seeing some of our most magnificent countryside.

Geoff Sutcliffe

The Persistent Blockage Problem.

As most of you are aware, I was Footpath Group secretary for a number of years until I resigned because I became disillusioned by the lack of results in getting illegal blockages removed. Whether this was due to lack of will or a low priority by the Local Authority, I do not know but very few blockages have been removed in the last few years.

cartoon: blocked doorway

Just an example...

Let’s take as an example the walk the Littleborough Footpath Group did as their last walk of the year. This was on the 18th December and followed a route that we have followed for the last three years. The first year we walked this was 1980 December 28th. when we found a number of blockages. We informed the Borough Engineers Dept. and received a reply on the 6th of January - "my Inspector will endeavour to deal with them, as soon as possible". On the 27th December 1981, we again did this walk and found the same footpaths blocked. A reply to our letter brought this response from the Borough Engineer – “action will be taken when the work load permits".

On the 18th Dec, 1983 these public rights of way were still blocked. It seems this department does not put a very high priority on carrying out its statutory obligations. Incidentally these footpaths are within half a mile of the Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre and within the area management zone. On 11 local walks of the Footpath Group which I have attended 49 blockages were found on 41 footpaths. On a walk in September, 8 miles in length, we found 13 footpaths blocked by 18 blockages, of which 7 came within the Hollingworth Lake area management zone. Makes one think.

JOHN HILTON

Footpath Group Review of the Year.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all readers from the Footpath Group. 1983 has been a year of interesting and contrasting which we feel has justified the reversal back to the old system of occasional meetings where the walks are chosen by all the regulars rather than one official. The reintroduction of evening walks on summer Wednesdays has also been successful and more should appear on 1984's programme. The many blockages remain but Lincoln Jackson was successful in getting a couple removed this summer.

During the year we purchased six-inch maps of Littleborough to help the walk leaders.

Weather-wise we have been rather unlucky this year. Joe Taylor's walk on 17th July started in a thunderstorm. The seven intrepid members who turned up for Helen Bray's walk on 10th April were forced off it by blizzards, while my walk on 9th October, was undertaken in a continuous downpour.

The most popular leader this year appears to have been Roy Prince who drew 59 people altogether for his four walks.

The total attendance for the whole year was 538. A final mention should go to the Taylors and the Dawsons both of whom provided refreshments on selective walks this year.

MICHAEL FARRELL

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FOOTPATH WALKS.

The early 1984 walks programme was drawn up at a meeting by members of the Footpath Group. We would be delighted to have other members contribute walks and ideas. There will be a meeting to discuss the Summer Programme on the 21st February 1984 in the Harehill Park Council Offices at 8.00pm. Please come along.

JANUARY 1st. Leader - RICHARD EVANS. Meet Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre 11.00am.
Roman Road, Pennine Way. 10 miles.

JANUARY 13th. Leader MIKE FARRELL. Meet Square 1.30pm.
Canal Towpath - Sladen Mill - Lydgate - Booth Hollins - Schofield Hall - Lane Foot. 5 miles.

Picture: Hiker

JANUARY 29th. Leader - JOHN HINDLE. Meet 1.30pm at the King William.
Dobbin Hill - Pedlar Brow.

FEBRUARY 12th. Leader ALF WARD. Meet Square 1.30pm. Cars to Ogden.
Ogden Circular. 5 miles.

FEBRUARY 26th. Leader JOE TAYLOR. Meet Square 1.30pm.
Crawshaw Booth Circular. 7 miles.

MARCH 11th. Leader J0HN HINDLE. Meet Square 2.00pm.
Reddyshore Leach - Canal Towpath.

MARCH 25th. Leader HELEN BRAY. Meet Square 2.00pm.
Lanefoot - Drymere - Pennine Way. 6 miles.

APRIL 8th. Leader JOHK HINDLE. Meet for 9.50pm train to Todmorden.
Whirlaw -Portsmouth - Sourhall. 10 miles.

APRIL 22nd. Leader - THE TAYLORS. Meet Square 1.30pm. Cars to Lanehead.
Waughs Well Walk. 8 miles.

And finally let me say once again. Please attend your Annual General Meeting. In Leeds a similar organisation had to issue an ultimatum to its villagers, either 50 of you turn up or we'll give up. It would be tragic if the Littleborough Civic Trust had to take similar action.

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Thanks to:
Keith Parry for the cover design.
Roy Prince for printing the newsletter
Mrs. Farrell for typing the stencils.
All contributors


Editor: Roy Prince