Drawing: Butterflies

 

The newsletter editor is always pleased to receive contributions to be considered for inclusion. The views expressed in the newsletter do not necessarily 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: Judith Schofield, 3 Green Clough, Todmorden Road, Littleborough. Tel. 76015

Treasurer: Bernard Harrison, 5 Paul Row, Tel. 78013

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

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

ORDINARY MEMBERS

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.
Lincoln Jackson, 1 Moorfield View, Shore, Tel. 70542.
Rae Street, Calder Cottage, Tel. 76043.
Pauline Hopkinson, Far Hey Head Farm, Calderbrook.
Beryl Heywood, 27 Howarth Street. Tel. 73476.
Tom Walker, 70 West View, Ealees. Tel. 79573

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

There are a number of vacant seats on the committee; if you would like to serve on it, the Secretary would be delighted to hear from you.

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The Editor apologises for the poor quality of the last newsletter (the printing, not the articles). This was due to technical difficulties which we hope have been remedied.

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DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

Coach House Events

October 7th. Ploughman's Lunch at the Cricket Club

October l0th,llth,12th. "A Sense Of Place." An evening of words and pictures devised and presented by Keith Parry.
The presentations start at 8.00pm each evening. Admission is by ticket only; these can be obtained from the Heritage Centre (2-5 p.m.) The cost is 75p including refreshments, Members are requested to contribute refreshments: please contact Betty Pickis for further details if you think you can help.

October 13th. Car Boot Sale in the Coach House Yard.

December 1st. Car Boot Sale at the Conservative Club.

December 24th. Carols at the Coach House - Further information from the Coach House.

Local Historical Society

We are hoping to move our collection into the old reading room at the Littleborough Library this winter.

October 11th. Development of Mill Architecture. D. Wardell.

November 8th. English Heritage - R. Kershaw.

December 13th. A talk from an Archivist at Greater Manchester County Records Office.

January 10th. Food Through The Ages - Mrs. D. Steele.

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SPREADING THE WORD

Thanks are due to the Coach House Heritage Centre for selling a prodigious number of copies of the last newsletter. And this despite there being many other publications on sale and the poor quality of the printing.

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ON TV

TV REVIEWS in the "dailies" give the impression that anybody who turns on his/her set is either an idiot or a masochist. However, even rubbish can be entertaining or instructive. The trick is to avoid boring rubbish (e.g. ITV sitcoms)

Let's examine those programmes with a Northern flavour. "Brass has just finished its highly successful run having parodied Northern industrial life of fifty years ago. Some found it offensive; I was merely disappointed. Half of the appeal of "Juliet Bravo" is trying to work out where the outside shots were filmed. I'd guess that the majority were filmed in the South Lancashire area (Bacup/Burnley/Accrington) with occasional forays into Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. Whatever, the intriguing glimpses of the towns compensate for the sometimes rather thin storylines. Then we have that old warhorse, "Coronation Street” where the burning question of recent episodes has been whether Mavis will marry the wet Derek or the ludicrous Victor.

Drawing: tv

BBC North’s "The Pennine Challenge" about 4 youngsters walking the Pennine Way had some brilliant photography (c/o Sid Perou) and a well-versed if rather patronising narrator. Where the programme failed was when the film crew turned their rifle microphones to the participants’ conversations. As these consisted almost entirely of banalities such as "Oh look the sun's coming out" or "It's a bit steep up here isn't it?", it didn't do much for the walker's image.

I've never been a fan of "Open Space" since they stonewalled my suggestion that they should make a film about the Coach House Project and the latest series shows no signs of improvement. Claiming to represent the views of ordinary British people, one can only hope that the programmes are never seen abroad. Every half-hour programme seems to consist of a long series of complaints - very negative and not in the least entertaining.

What is disappointing is BBC North West's failure to produce a really worthwhile programme. Brian Redhead's "Home Ground" was spasmodically interesting but mostly rather tedious. Bill Grundy's "Voices From The Past" was a brave idea which suffered from being stretched over two series. "Sweet And Sour" had a certain idiosyncratic charm; a quality completely absent from the awful "Lynda Lee's People" which sees a patronising female journalist who left the north-west over twenty years ago, gushing over the unfortunate interviewee like she's been a friend for years.

"The Lancashire Lads" represents probably SBC North West's best attempt. Devised and written by its presenter Bill Grundy, the content was excellent. Bill warmed to his subject, the dialect poets of the last century without becoming too maudlin and his scripts included a generous helping of the poet's work.

However, the TV crews did him a great disservice with the dullest presentation imaginable. The cartoons and small pieces of film which accompanied the recitations were reasonable but Bill was planted in a spot and then had to stay there for the rest of the programme. This was particularly infuriating in the programme on Edwin Waugh which opened with a shot of Bill standing in front of Robin Hood's Bed (I surmise that he was standing just off the A58 somewhere near to Stormer Bar). Hopes of seeing more of Littleborough were gradually eroded as Bill stood rooted to the spot for the duration of the programme. The inevitable conclusion one comes to is that the budget for the series was not very high.

MICHAEL FARRELL

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FOOTPATH WALKS

It's been an interesting summer for the Footpaths Group. Attendances have varied from 14 on Aug 26th to only 3 on July 1st. We have been pleased to welcome back Alan Ashworth and his wife Joyce after a seven year sojourn in Wigan. Alan was leading walks for the Group before I was a member and now lives in Bamford. It has become necessary to reiterate that dogs are not allowed on our walks as is the case with the Rambler's Association.

The 1984 walks programme was compiled by members of the Footpath Group at meetings earlier this year. We would be delighted to have more members contributing walks and ideas. The Winter 1985 programme will be discussed at a meeting at Harehill Park Council Offices on Tuesday 20th November at 7.30pm. Please come along.

OCTOBER 7th Leader - RICHARD EVANS. Meet Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre 2.00pm
Brearley - Benny Hill - Schofield Hall - Booth Hollings - Castle Hill - Rakewood.

6 miles.

OCTOBER 21st. Leader - MIKE FARRELL. Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm.
Castleshaw Roman Fort circular

6½ miles.

NOVEMBER 4th. Leader - GEOFFREY SUTCLIFFE. Meet Littleborough Square. 1.30pm
or Lawflat 1.45pm.
Healey Dell circular.

5½ miles.

NOVEMBER 18th. Leader - ROY PRINCE. Meet Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre 1.30pm.
Ogden circular.

6½ miles.

DECEMBER 2nd. Leader - LINCOLN JACKSON. Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm.
Higher Gale – Whitfield - Pasture House – Grimes - Clough.

4½ miles.

DECEMBER 16th. Leader - ROY PRINCE. Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm.
Wuerdle Farm - Greenfield Lane - Dyehouse Lane - Clegg Hall - Hollingworth Lake - Ealees.

4½ miles.

DECEMBER 30th. Leader - RICHARD EVANS. Meet Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre 1.30pm.
Ealees - Fielden Farm – Knowl – Lydgate - Clough Road - Sheep Bank – Whittaker - Syke.

4 miles.

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CARS AND CAR-PARKS

Cartoon: cars in a muddle

Cars are with us for good (or bad, however you see it). It follows that car-parks are needed where people shop.

Even better are “parks for cars". Car parks are considerably improved with trees and landscaping. Think of the carparks in the shopping areas of Hebden Bridge. Yet Littleborough now has no central car-park.

Well-positioned car-parks must be beneficial for a town. It is surely safer, and better to look at, to reduce street parking and provide well-designed car-parks? Many people-traders, members of amenity groups - have asked for a central car-park. Let's all keep on asking. And if you have any ideas on the siting of car-parks, let the Civic Trust Committee know, so they can pass it on to the authority.

RAE STREET

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ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS

The Aire Valley Trunk Road

A new trunk road is planned for the picturesque Aire valley above Bradford. Traffic in the area has previously been on the A629, still in good repair and seemingly able to cope with the volume so the necessity of major "improvements" is debatable.

There are a number of alternative routes for the new road. One of the proposed routes for this road runs through parks, beautiful countryside and the Saltaire village Conservation area, entailing the destruction of the railway station there, opened this May. The inspector from the Depart¬ment of Transport who conducted the public enquiry on this plan, concluded in his 1980 report that it was an unnecessary road which would "desecrate the most beautiful part of the Aire valley for ever” In spite of this the Minister of Transport, Nicholas Ridley is reported to favour the Saltaire scheme. What is possibly even more surprising is that the Minister Trans¬port Committee appear to agree with him. However if the road did run through Saltaire the money would come from Whitehall; if another route were chosen the county council would foot the bill.

At the Department of Transport's "Public Consultation Exercise", the Saltaire route appeared under the heading "the route recomm¬ended by the inspector" which he denounced immediately as a blatant untruth! All this is" deeply disturbing. When I return to Leeds, I will attempt to involve Leeds University Union in the Aire valley resident's struggle against the plan. Everyone should be concerned that this sort of thing is going on. This week Saltaire Station, next week, the Coach House.

MIKE FARRELL.

A New Transport Guide

G.M.T. have just published a very useful booklet "Travel Guide To The West Pennine Moors". On one side is printed a map stretching from Bolton in the South to Rishton in the North and from Chorley in the west to Ramsbottom in the east. It gives details of bus and train services and routes in the area plus the addresses of the operators who cover the area along with telephone numbers - also details of bargain tickets. On the reverse are details of walks, maps, leaflets, places to visit and how to get there.

News From The Lakes

At a height of 1000 feet on the slopes of Blencathra Centre, bought by the Lake District National Park Authority in 1976,it provides comfortable self-catering facilities in the way of five hostels and eight cottages. The cottages accommodate 2-6 people and are available for week periods during the season or part weeks out of season. The hostels cater for groups between 16-36 people. They have kitchens, dining/lounge, toilets, showers and a drying room. The bedrooms sleep between 2-6 people. For further enquiries, send an S.A.E.to Blencathra’s Centre, Threlkeld, Keswick.

Two books with regard to the Lake District have just been published, "The Good Guide To the Lakes" published by Forster Davies £2.95 and "The A.A./Ordnance Survey Leisure Guide To The Lake District" £6.95. This book is described as a complete guide in every way.

According to the, latest census, the resident population of the Lake District was 40,674 and that of these 9,721 (23.9%) were retired and that the number of young children(up to 14 years) had dropped from 20.6% to 17%.To me this seems an uneasy trend; it begs a number of questions. Is the area becoming swamped with old people, are villages, dying and are there enough children to keep the schools open?

JOHN HINDLE

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Photograph: 1915 tram in Rochdale

This photograph taken in Rochdale Town Centre in 1915 was kindly donated by Tommy Walker.

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COACH HOUSE NEWS

The Coach House Trust has been invited to send a delegate to the National Heritage Centres Conference at the English Tourist Board HQ in London on Oct14th. We have also - along with three or four other centres in the country - been invited to bring along a small exhibition describing the Heritage Centre and its themes.

This is a great compliment!

Staging an exhibition like this takes money, so we have asked the Mayor if the Council will help. He is investigating. To guard against them saying "No", the Civic Trust has agreed to sponsor the three evenings at the Heritage Centre(see above). We hope to raise £100 by these evenings to pay for the exhibition and Keith, "Our Delegate’s" fee to London. The Civic Trust has kindly agreed to pay his fee for the conference (£19).There are a number of influential speakers and visitors to the conference, including Patrick Cormack M.P. and Andrew Faulds M.P.- joint Chairmen of the Parliamentary Heritage Group. It will be a good opportunity to lobby support for the project.

We are generating useful extra income - notably from the Car Boot Sales organised by L.A.D.S. No problems from our point of view as the event takes place outside - we merely serve coffee and sell our books and pottery etc. as usual.

The Guided Walks arranged by the Council's Recreation and Amenity Department - services provided by us have not been a success, To date we have benefitted to the tune of just £2.00. We offered advice but it wasn't heeded. Maybe next time it will be!

KEITH PARRY

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THE CANAL RESTORATION,

Evidence points to the Rochdale Canal having a tremendous potential for recreation and tourism - and Littleborough can benefit more, more quickly and more easily, than and with less environmental impact than any other town on the Trans-Pennine section (currently being restored).

Even without the essential link to Manchester, the Trans-Pennine section is viable. It offers one of the most spect¬acular canal journeys in the country. The Heritage - that unique weave of History, Landscape and People - gives an immediate and fascinating "Sense Of Place". The rhythm of life here is paced to suit the individual.

This is a Broad navigation, so the largest type of inland waterways’ craft can use it. Restored, it will be capable of offering 1st class mooring facilities and servicing -fuel, water, refuse disposal and toilet pump-out(+ charge points for electric-powered boats).It may not, long term, be a favourite with the purist, but it will be attractive to the visitor who wants first-class facilities, a pleasant environ¬ment, lots to see and do, and not too many hazards.

Photograph: Canal bridge at Ealees

The critics who say it is heavily-locked and this is a grave disadvantage, ignore the fact that this will make it more likely that craft on the Rochdale will stay on the Rochdale -benefitting the local economy all the way. A week would be none-too-long a stay to complete the round trip of the top section - with time spent at the Lake, on the moors above Littleborough in Hebden Bridge, exploring Cragg Vale and extensions to Hali¬fax and Rochdale at either end.

Littleborough has canal-side sites which can offer mooring, hire-craft bases, service points and developments linked to the canal rather than the canal itself. Situated as it is (and with a growing awareness of its potential for recreation and tourism), Littleborough could become a major focus for development. There are 7 million within 75miles, half the population of England is within easy travelling distance and a million or so people have the Rochdale canal virtually on their doorsteps. If 1 in 10000 takes enough interest in the canal to get afloat there could be 100 craft based on the canal immediately. Initial research suggests that this statistic could be a considerable underestimate.

KEITH PARRY

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THE CIVIC TRUST GUIDE TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT 3: Elections

To vote in a local election, one must be over 18, of British or Irish nationality and living in the ward on October 10th. "Residence" could cover students, people working elsewhere and even squatters in some cases. Information for the electoral register is collected by the electoral regist¬ration officer who is employed by the borough council. He then publishes three lists: A. the up-to-date register, B. Electors who have appeared for the first time and C. Electors who were on the previous list but have now been disqualified. Occasionally he may include the additions and omissions (noted as such) on the one register. These lists must go on show to the public by the 28th November.

Objections must be submitted by 16th December.

The Electoral Registration Officer is generally obliged to give a public hearing to any claims or objections received.

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FOOTPATH NEWS

In 1983, I found 144 blockages on 120 footpaths. 100 of these were found on 84 local footpaths (Littleborough, Milnrow & Wardle).The other 44 blockages on 36 footpaths were outside these former urban districts. That breaks down as one footpath found blocked every 6.67 miles and a blockage every 5.56 miles.

So far in 1984 (23/9/84) the position is worse with 133 blockages on 118 footpaths. 88 of these are local on 75 footpaths. Broken down, this shows that there were blockages every 5.5 miles and an actual blockage every 4.48 miles.

JOHN HINDLE

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A Typical Walk

Fourteen people turned up for the seven mile walk around Cragg Vale on August 26th. It was a warm day but there was a heat-haze which robbed us of some grand views. The walk commenced with a steep climb to the edge of the moors.

Fears that we may be heading for a farm where two members had had an unpleasant experience with seven loose dogs were quickly dispelled and we were able to look in safety at the farm from a vantage-point 300ft above. Walking past Bell House, we headed down to the river emerging near the "Robin Hood". Walking on the other side of the valley we passed "Smithy Steads Restaurant” and walked down into Mytholmroyd. A cons¬ensus favoured tea at Mytholmroyd Farm restaurant which welcomed us boots and all. With reservations about the charge for the cakes offered, it was a good finale.

MICHAEL FARRELL

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Thanks to:
Keith Parry for the cover design.
Roy Prince for printing the newsletter (despite the last issue)
The Coach House Trust and Rochdale Resource Centre for providing facilites
All contributors and distributors


Editor: Roy Prince