Picture: Tree blossom

 

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 Michael Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, Littleborough. Tel. 70154.

OFFICIALS OF LITTLEBOROUGH CIVIC TRUST

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

Vice Chairman: Roy Prince, 14 Milbury Drive, Tel. 78883.

Secretary: Judith Schofield, 3 Green Clough, Todmorden Road, Littleborough. Tel. 76015

Treasurer: Geoff Sutcliffe, 14 Buckley Terrace, Wardle, Tel. 40369.

Membership Secretary: Lincoln Jackson, 1 Moorfield View, Shore. Tel. 70542

Minutes Secretary: Margery Hopkins, 1 Rock Nook.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Richard Evans, 8 Charles St.
Mike Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, 70154.
Rae Street, Calder Cottage, 76043.
Pauline Hopkinson, Far Hey Head Farm, Calderbrook. 74175
Alf Tortoiseshell, Edgemoor, Blackstone Edge Old Road. 79507
Jill Roberts, 12 Whitfield Brow, Todmorden Road.
Jack Trickett, 4 Railway Street. 76508
Harry Law, 7 Railway Street
David Hall, 6 Nelson Street

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

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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

This is an early notice but as this will probably be the last Newsletter before then we are announcing our Annual General Meeting now. It will be held this year on Thursday, May 4th at 8.00pm. in the Coach House Heritage Centre, Lodge Street, Littleborough.

All members of Littleborough Civic Trust are invited to stand for the Committee. The Committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the Harehill Park Council Offices to discuss planning applications, future events, footpaths, correspondence, environmental issues and any other relevant issues and to hear reports from the various bodies on which we are represented.

If you would like to serve on the Committee the Secretary would be delighted to hear from you. Nominations from the floor will be accepted. If you do not wish to stand, please try to attend the A.G.M. and have your say.

AGENDA

1. Apologies.6. Footpaths Group Report.
2. Minutes of the last A.G.M.7. Election of Officers.
3. Matters arising.8. Future Events.
4. Chairman's Report.9. Any other business.
5. Officers' Reports.

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PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION

£50. 1st PRIZE and Runner Up Prizes.

Free Entry - all ages and entries welcome.

Theme: "Littleborough To-day".

The Closing Date will be 10th April, 1989.

Please help your Civic Trust foster pride in the Littleborough environment. We know it’s a good environment; please help us to show it.

Further details from myself (Tel. 76015), Lincoln Jackson or Littleborough Community School.

JUDITH SCHOFIELD

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SUBSCRIPTIONS

Subscriptions for 1989 have been due from 1st January. The rates are unchanged at:

£1.50 Ordinary Membership.£2.50 Family Membership.

Subscriptions can be given in/sent to Lincoln Jackson at the Bargain Corner, Hare Hill Road, Littleborough, or to any Committee Member. The response so far has been encouraging.

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COMMITTEE NEWS

Well, different members of the committee have been involved in a wide variety of activities over the past quarter.

First, the meetings at the Coach House seem to have gathered momentum. "Local Birds" proved very popular and Mr. Sharpe's presentation of Scottish Islands in "Islay and Friends" was enthralling and beautifully presented. We are hoping to arrange a talk by the Local Moorland Rescue Team for our next evening - so please watch for the announcement.

In the meantime, we have Environment Week coming up, now in its 5th year and nationally growing annually.

Rochdale Observer has agreed to sponsor our Photo Comp., on the theme "Littleborough Today" - see separate announcement. Please do take part - entries will be exhibited in the Coach House during Environment Week and we hope to make a calendar for 1990 with the best of the entries. Your participation is essential to make events successful and effective.

Also ,we intend to run our Environment Quiz during The Week, on Thursday, 27th April, at the Coach House - come and watch or take part with the Birds and Bees or Flowers and Trees.

A sub-committee led by a very energetic Jill Roberts has been working hard for the Dinner Dance on March 11th, at which we will be pleased to see our Patron, Lord Barnett. The local shopkeepers and industries have been most generous with donations and gifts for the raffle.

Good news on the Lydgate Inn; the Inn, former Mill and Lodge is For Sale, the agents contacted us to obtain information on the premises and say they hope the whole will be developed in its entirety and suitably landscaped. We received a reply regarding our inquiry into future works on Littleborough roads and pavements - it’s a case of good news and bad news. The good news "significant reinstatement work should be undertaken in the next financial year"; the bad news - "initial discussions with the Statutory Undertakers indicate they still have significant works to undertake"; however, "streets… will be monitored and works undertaken to ensure that they are maintained in a safe condition".

Recently we have made submissions on many planning proposal the main ones being:

Petrol station and restaurant at Summit rejected by the Trust, which preferred the previously proposed (and rejected) small residential development.

The depositing of silt/peat from Blackstone Edge Reservoir where it is proposed to divert the Pennine Way.

The proposed development at Rakewood in view of the potential traffic hazard in the Country Park.

The proposed additional warehouse on Todmorden Road where the applicant has still not followed outstanding planning obligations.

The appeal against the Hot Food Takeaway at 19 Hare Hill Rd.; still considered to be an unsuitable use in this part of the Conservation Area.

The proposed conversion of barn buildings and residential development by Bents Farm, Blackstone Edge Rd., objected to as in no way appropriate for this part of the Green Belt.

Proposed residential development on Calderbrook Road has been welcomed as it appears a sympathetic environmental improvement.

Finally, a day-long seminar organised by the Mersey Basin Campaign for voluntary organisations into the potential effects of the Water Bill proved most depressing.

The implications for the North West where our Water Authority owns, depending on source, between 120,000 and 150,000 acres, are very far reaching for future landscape, conservation and recreation in the area and for which the Bill at present contains "NO safeguards". We propose to approach our Patron for his support in this matter.

If anyone has any views, examples of lost rights or requires any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

JUDITH SCHOFIELD

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FOOTPATH WALKS

A happy New Year to all members of the Footpaths Group. Attendances have been very good lately - it is a long time since we were regularly getting over twenty.

For the summer programme a number of walks outside the area have been included. So as to ensure that local paths are not neglected, it is hoped that these will be covered by individual members on an informal basis.

The Summer Programme 1989 was drawn up at a meeting in February. We would be delighted to have more members contributing walks and ideas. The autumn 1987 programme will be discussed at a meeting at Harehill Park Council Offices on Tuesday 18th July at 8.00pm. Please come along; refreshments are available.

Silhouette of a walker

Sunday, MARCH 26th. Leader - ALF WARD. Meet 1.30pm. Square.
Ogden - Wicken Hall Clough. (Will include a refreshment stop at the Shippon).

5 miles.

Sunday, April 9th. Note: No organised walk (Contact M. Farrell 70154 nearer the time for possible informal walk).

Sunday , April 23rd. Leader - ALF WARD. Meet Square 1.30pm.
Norden Circular.

5 miles.

Sunday, MAY 7th. Ramblers' Rally at Rivington in connection with the proposed privatisation of water resources
and associated land. (Details will be available later.) (Contact Joe Taylor, Tel. 344711).

Sunday, MAY 21st. Leader - GEOFF SUTCLIFFE. Meet in Littleborough Square at 9.00am.
Dales Circular.

10 miles.

Sunday, JUNE 4th. Leader - ALF WARD. Meet in Littleborough Square at 10.30am.
Marsden Packhorse Road - Close Gate Bridge - Haigh.

8 miles.

Sunday, JUNE 18th. Leader - GEORGE LEE. Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm.
Humber - Lydgate - Higher Calderbrook.

5 miles.

Sunday, JULY 2nd. Leader - GEOFF SUTCUFFE. Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30 p.m.
Stoodley Pike - Withens Gate - Swillington.

6 miles.

Sunday, JULY 16th. Leader - LINCOLN JACKSON. Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm.
Shore circular.

5 miles.

Sunday, JULY 30th. Leader - ROY PRINCE. Meet Littleborough Square at 9.15am.
Edale - Jacobs Ladder - Edale Cross - Hayfield.(There will be an opportunity for those who wish to have
high tea in Hayfield before returning to Littleborough)

8 miles.

Sunday, AUGUST 13th. Leader - JOHN HINDLE. Meet Littleborough Square at 1.25pm. Bus to Summit.
Warland Clough - Ramsden Wood - Walsden Station

6¼ miles.

Sunday, AUGUST 27th. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Littleborough Square at 9.30am.
Delmont Circular.

12 miles.

Sunday, SEPTEMBER 10th. Leader - ALF WARD. Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45 p.m.
Saddleworth History Walk. (A packed tea recommended).

6 miles.

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LITTLEBOROUGH LOCAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY

All meetings at the Coach House 8 p.m. Refreshments provided. For more details contact Alan Luke. Tel. 79949.

Thursday, 13th April. Mr. T. Hignett. Slides of Old Milnrow.

Thursday, 20th April. Open Night. Society Collection.

10th May. The Annual General Meeting.

We are holding a BEER-BRASS Night on Saturday 22nd April at 8.00pm. Details can be obtained from Mr. Alan Luke. Tel. 79949.

RICHARD EVANS. Hon. Sec.

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THE WATER BILL

Picture: Keep out notice and fence

100 years ago, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, people flocked to this area to work. Towns and villages grew from nothing and the spread of factories, terraced houses, roads and railways led to lasting changes in the countryside. Large areas of moorland were enclosed for reservoirs to supply water to the new towns. To keep this water pure, farms were emptied on the gathering grounds, whole villages decayed, like Coolam at Ramsden Wood and Cowclough at Whitworth, or were actually flooded to create the reservoirs as at Watergrove and Greenbooth. Since then local industry has declined, and populations likewise. There is no longer such a demand for water nor such concern for it’s purity. We have grown accustomed to the picturesque ruins and the vast open moorland where we have freedom to roam. We take it all for granted - but not for much longer. Water is going to be "privatised".

This vital service will no longer be ours by right. It will be a business run for profit. The first effects are already being felt. Reservoirs are being opened up for water sports, at Gown and Watergrove. Quiet recreation doesn't count. It doesn't make any money. The high moorland is being fenced in preparation for being sold off, as at Naden and Ramsden Wood, the open access vanishing behind ugly barbed wire. Some land is already sold, at Spring Mill, Whitworth and Greenfold, Crawshawbooth. There, the reservoir has been drained, the grand stone architecture destroyed and the land "restored to agricultural purposes" - in fact, a muddy swamp.

This is why I feel concerned when I read that Michael considers the fencing at Inchfield and Deacon Pasture Moor to be “outside our province". 25% of all the open moorland in this area is owned by the Water Authorities and it is certainly our responsi-bility, as walkers, to see that this land is not exploited a second time.

The rights of way are safe, says Michael, but they're not. Anyone who is familiar with the Definitive Map realises that as many paths used by the public were left off, as were put on it. Only definitive paths are safe. The rest must now be claimed or lost. Any concessionary path will go immediately on a change of land ownership. If you don't believe me, look at the Healey Dell Nature Trail; wiped out completely by a housing estate at the Shawclough Station site. It was only a concessionary path so we had no right to keep it.

If you love our moorland and don't want it changed, show that you care. There is a rally at Rivington arranged by the Ramblers Association on May 7th. The Footpath Group will be there. All supporters are welcome.

Betty Taylor
Littleborough and Whitworth Footpaths Group.

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EDITOR'S NOTE

In answer to the two points raised against my introductory piece to the Walks last issue, in the above article:-

1. Point 2(a) of our Constitution states that one of our main objects is "To protect and preserve and stimulate public interest in the Littleborough area, which area is hereinafter referred to as "the area of benefit". In saying that Inchfield Moor "is strictly outside our Province" I was stating a fact not a personal opinion.

2. I did not state that "the rights of way are safe" but that there are "stiles in the fence were crossed by established public rights of way". I do not think a public right of way can be said to have been established in law until it is placed on the Definitive Map, so my statement only referred to Definitive paths. If this was not sufficiently clear, I apologise.

Notwithstanding the above I was delighted to print a response to last issue’s invitation to comment on this matter and would encourage other people to do likewise.

MICHAEL FARRELL

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Thanks to:
K. Farrell for typing the stencils.
Roy Prince for the printing and cover design.
Pauline Hopkinson for overseeing the distribution.
All contributors and distributors.


Editor: Michael Farrell