Drawing: Spring Leaves

Spring 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.


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

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

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

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


Chairman's Report to the Annnual General Meeting

1981 was a year for taking stock. We entered our eleventh year as a Civic Trust and decided to emphasise Footpath Walking and access to the countryside locally, following the lead given by last year's Retiring Chairwoman, Rae Street.

The Public Meeting held in Littleborough on 21st May was extremely successful, being well supported by voluntary groups, representatives of the statutory authorities and the National Farmers' Union. It was quite obvious that a large measure of agreement about footpath walking and access to rights of way existed among these groups. Ways of achieving greater cooperation in the future were put forward by the Water Authority, the Countryside Commission and the National Farmers' Union; we are grateful for their positive help. It is equally obvious that the machinery for dealing with blockages and diversions rests with the Local Authority, which is experiencing difficulties in meeting its obligation to inspect blockage's and secure their removal. The Trust will be following up this aspect of footpath walking in the coming year. Particular thanks are due to Vice-Chairman Geoffrey Sutcliffe, for his tight organisation of the meeting.

The year saw the first recreational use of any stretch of water owned by the Water Authority. Water skiing by very carefully controlled arrangements started at Chelburn Reservoir (Canoeing, we are told, will be allowed at Norden soon).

During the year the Civic Trust has given a large measure of its time and energies to supporting the work of the Coach House Trust in adapting the Coach House for community use. We are particularly encouraged to see the scheme going ahead with the assistance of a Manpower Services Youth Opportunities Scheme to complement the voluntary work and fund raising that so many organisations have contributed to during the last two years.

The old Toll House

What we started with

We were also pleased to note that another scheme jointly undertaken with two other amenity societies has been completed; after eight years of work, the restoration of the Steanor Bottom Toll House is a fact: it seemed only a short while ago we were trying to find a way of preventing the tottering shell of the building from being removed from the site stone by stone and re-erected in the grounds of Castle Museum, York.

In reviewing the year, I am prompted to review the progress made in improving the environment during eleven years locally. Much has been accomplished and much help has been given: a Country Park established, conservation areas designated, buildings renovated, saved or improved, trees planted, statutory bodies taking a positive role in protection and improvement. But all this work and support is increasingly necessary because, at the same time, there has been a deterioration locally as well. Two buildings burnt down, one gone, one perhaps after five years to be rebuilt, but all that time a deplorable eyesore in the centre of Littleborough.

We have good farming land in the valley being used as a dump for disused industrial sheds, illegal and unsightly burning of rubbish where this can be got away with and constituting always an annoyance and health hazard to residents. A plantation of young trees planted as a screen to improve an industrial site uprooted to clear the land for tipping. Walls and fences broken and not maintained by their owners and recently, mature 100 year old trees ruined by hungry sheep and ponies because of inadequate stock management.

The environment is more vulnerable to both exploitation and carelessness than ever. Regrettably, standards of concern and care have declined in this sector of our activities as in others.

Putting it at its crudest, we can only take comfort from the thought that without all we have tried to do and occasionally achieved, things would now be a great deal worse.

For the coming year the emphasis for the Trust will fall on environmental improvement and all that implies. Our main Public Meeting in May will be devoted to that theme and Impact has promised support.

Finally, I must pay tribute to Harry Dearden who died in the autumn. Always an active worker and positive member of our Committee, Harry had a feeling for the natural environment and was prepared to put his money where his mouth was to support it.

More recently we were saddened to hear of County Councillor Derek Mellor's death; he was a good friend to the environment and his contribution will be greatly missed, but we know that others will come forward to carry on the good work.



On to 1982

The Annual General Meeting produced its Customary crop of changes. Don Pickis and Geoff Sutcliffe vacate the positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman and I take over with Betty Pickis as an able and experienced Vice-Chairwoman. Bernard (or should it be Bernard and Jacqui?) Harrison continues as Secretary. Beryl Jackson continues as Treasurer, but is now Beryl Heywood (a fact which threw the minutes slightly "out of flunter"). Rita Kay continues as Minutes Secretary, Roy Prince as Newsletter Editor and John Hindle as Footpaths Group Secretary.

Pauline Hopkinson was elected as a new member of the Committee and Judith Schofield, previously co-opted, was made a full member. Michael Farrell was reco-opted as a junior, non-voting member. Subsequently, we had one resignation, that of Tommy Walker, who expressed a wish to "leave it to the younger ones" - which is flattering! We thank Tommy for all his work during his years on the Committee. This resignation leaves us with a Committee vacancy and we are (genuinely) eager to fill it. If you feel you are able to give up one Tuesday evening a month, we would like to hear from you.



Easter Events.

Good Friday and Easter Saturday. Guided tour of the Coach House Project at 2.30pm. Donation to Coach House Trust Funds, please.

Easter Sunday and Monday. Keith Parry will lead a Guided Walk along the Heritage Trail at 2.30pm from the Coach House. 50p - proceeds to Coach House Trust Fund.


Environmental Improvement

The Trust's 'Theme for the Year’ is Environmental Improvement in general and Litter in particular. In »connection with the former, we have written to the Metropolitan Borough Council about a number of schemes which have been outstanding for some time. The answers were detailed and extremely useful and we thanked them for the care they had taken.

1) Calderbrook and Summit Quarries. This improvement was passed from G.M.C. to Rochdale and has been outstanding for a long time. The position is that the Council has bought Calderbrook, but is still negotiating for the quarry at Summit. The constraining factor is the availability of grant aid from the D. of E.

2) The Peel Street/Featherstall Road Community-based Action Area. This is still at the discussion stage, but the Council may decide to go ahead after a report from the Planning Deptartment on April 21st. We have indicated our support for the scheme.

3) Todmorden Road. The site has now been landscaped; at the eleventh hour some car-parking has been incorporated after pressure from local shopkeepers.

4) Conservation Areas. Rakewood, Hollingworth and Whittaker are now designated as such. We have been advised informally that if we think Whittaker is "at risk", we should ask for spot listing on some of the buildings.

These answers to our questions are entirely, satisfactory. Two others are not so satisfying.

5) Gasworks Site. The D. of E. has approved the reclamation scheme in principle but "Finance will depend on Derelict Land Grant Approval (from the D. of E.) .... but the allocation of money will depend on factors outside the Council's control". Residents living close to the site who were present at the Public Meeting held some time ago insist that they understood that Grant Aid (£90,000) was available. It seems likely that the Council did not take up the grant-aid offered before the deadline.

6) River Valley Policy. Responsibility for improvement (identified in the County Structure Plan) will be the responsibility of the Borough and rather than a Subject Plan it is suggested that future schemes will take the form of a Management Plan.

The letter says "I do not hold out any hopes of immediate action .... the main difficulty being lack of manpower to carry out detailed survey work (this produced the comment "What, with a no-redundancy policy and three million unemployed?" from one Committee Member) and, of course, the always present question of finance. The Council is concentrating its efforts on the Irk and Boardman Brook Valleys at Middleton which are affected by the proposed Manchester Outer Ring Road.

Cartoon: Silhouette of man surveying

In view of this, we are proposing to carry out our own survey of a small part of the valley where minor improvement would produce major results, the area we have in mind is from Sladen Wood Mill south to Grove.

A Public Meeting to discuss Litter is to be held on May 20th and these topics will, no doubt, also be given an airing, the meeting is to be held at the United Reformed Church, Victoria Street, beginning at 8.00pm. Please make every effort to attend. We shall be distributing a specially commissioned poster, "Littleborough not Litterborough" and the more posters seen around the area the better!



Sponsored Walk

The Footpath Group has decided to organise a sponsored walk on Saturday, 5th June by way of contribution towards the Civic Trust's effort in support of the Coach House Project. John Hindle, the Secretary of the Group, will undertake to walk the High Gates Way, a distance of 40 miles. John hopes to do it inside 18 hours, starting at 6.00am. We hope all members of the Civic Trust will give their support.


Typing assistance required.

Will anyone prepared to volunteer to type stencils for the newsletter, please contact the editor.


Footpath Group Walks

April 4th. Leader - Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet at Lawflat at 1.45pm
Dog Road - Clough House Lane - Ciss Hill - Rydings Lane - Fafflety Brow - Man Stone Edge - Brown Wardle -
Middle Hill - Sheep Cote - Hades Hill End - Higher Hades - Higher Slack - Crock - Ramsden Road - Sheriff Hall.

April 18th. Leader Richard Evans. Meet in Littleborough Square at 9.00am.
Cars to Hurst Green. Ribchester Roundabout. Distance 13½ miles.

(To help defray costs a donation of £1-80 per person will be asked for.)

May 2nd. Leader - Michael Farrel. Meet in Littleborough Square at 1.50pm for the bus to Sladen Wood.
Smithy Nook - Long Hill - Grimes -Dearden's Pasture -Forest House - Blue Pot Brook - Top o'th Clough -
Turn Slack Clough – Green Wells - Lower Turn Slack Hill - Flight Hill - Old Charles Hill - Fox Stones Hill - Forest House
- Cuckoo Hill - Pasture House - Stoney Field - Higher Newgate - Gorsey Hill Wood - Gale - Benthouse Bridge -
Canal Towpath.

May 16th. Leader - Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet in Littleborough Square at 9.00am. Cars to Yorkshire Dales.

(To help defray costs a donation of £2.50/£3.00 per person will be asked for.)

May 30th. Leader Helen Bray. Meet at King William IV, Shore, at 1-45p.m.
Higher Shore -. Moorgate - Willow Stile - Wardle Brook; — Hades Hill - Middle Hill - Cry Pasture - Bread Ing -
Slack Gate — Brown Wardle - Stid Fold - Hurstead Nook - Lawflat - Waterhouse Farm - Birch Hill- Starring Wood -
Middle Starring

Cartoon: man walking

June 13th. Leader Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet at Hollingworth Lake Information Centre at 2.00pm.
Rakewood - Roadfield Farm - Tunshill Lane - Rough Bank -Carr Farm - Lower Crows Nest - Flash House - Annis Hill -
Dickie Steps - Turnough.

June 27th. Leader Richard Evans. Meet in Littleborough Square at 1.50pm. Bus to Temple Lane.
Reddyshore Scout Gate - Moor Bank Clough - Ferny Hill - Owler Clough Head - Allenden Hill - Stubley Cross Hill -
Crook Moor - Clay Pots Hill - Higher Stone Pits - Lower Stone Pits.

July 11th. Meet in Littleborough Square at 10.30am. Bus to Ripponden.
Ryburn Circular. Approximately 11 miles.

Action soon, please. Walk on Sunday 22nd August starting from Norden Bus Terminus. Meet in Littleborough Square at 1.15pm.
The walk will finish at Millcroft Tea Gardens where it is intended to have a Potato Pie Supper at about 6.00pm. The cost will be approximately £1.20.

Will anyone wishing to join the party please give their names to John Hindle by 13th June together with a 50p deposit, as a firm booking will have to be made?


Calling all Dancers

Silhouette of dancers

Two of our members have come up with a new idea for fund raising. Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw will be hosting a regular series of Saturday Night Dances, 7.30pm – 10.30pm beginning on 15th May at the United Reformed Church.

There will be old time, modern and some sequence dances. Admission 50p.


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

Coach Trip

Sketch outline: Coach

A Coach Trip has been arranged for Thursday, 10th June, starting from Littleborough Square at 7.30pm.

The trip to Automobilia will cost approximately £2 including admission. Light refreshments will be available.

For bookings contact Mrs. J. Harrison or any Committee Member.

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

Now that social events are once more being arranged, any suggestions for social activities would be welcomed. Please let Jacqui Harrison have your suggestions.


Littleborough Historical and Archæological Society.

Work is progressing on the rooms the Society has obtained at the former day nursery on Townhouse Road. Filing cabinets have been acquired, shelving erected and most of the Group’s archives are now stored there. The collection, consisting of flints, photographs, newspaper cuttings, books and pamphlets of the area can now be perused by any member wishing to make use of them.

Meetings for the time being will continue at the Oddfellows’ Room, 66, Church Street, the next one being on Thursday, 11th. March when Mr. Hurst will be talking about and showing Local Films.

On Thursday, 8th April the subject will be Roman Coins and the speaker is Mr. Pierce, Chairman of Todmorden Antiquarian Society.

The last meeting of the present programme is the Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 13th May. All meetings commence at 8.00pm.

The History Trail booklet published by the Society six years ago and which has been unavailable for some time, has now been reprinted and is on sale again, price 20p.



Littleborough Rambling Club.

Since our last article there have been one or two changes in personnel. Vacancies on the Committee have now risen to five following the departure of Francis Hampton. New members are welcome, especially those willing to take a hand in the running of the Club. There is no membership charge; just turn up for a walk or ring our Secretary, Michael Butterworth.

To clear up any misunderstanding about the Club, it is perfectly feasible to be in both the Rambling Club and the L. C. T. Footpath Group. Our walks are arranged so that they never clash with those of the Footpaths Group. It is definitely not an exclusively young people's club. One of our most enthusiastic members is approaching sixty.

Officers 1982.

Chairman - Shaun Hampton Tell. 74779
Secretary - Michael Butterworth Tel. 78678.
Treasurer - Helen Farrell

Walks organiser - Michael Farrell (70154) Committee - Andrew Harrison (78013).


March 14th. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm. Windy Bank and Blackstone Edge Reservoir.

March 28th. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm. 1.42pm bus to Gauxholme.

April 25th. Meet in the Square at 9.00am. Robin Hood Bed - Piethorne.

May 9th. Sun Hotel at 1.30pm. Brown Wardle - Lower Stone Pits.

May 23rd. Square for 10.55am bus to White House. Stoodley Pike and Hebden Bridge.

June 6th. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm. Garden's Pasture - Reddyshore Scout Gate.



Editor: Roy Prince