Photograph: Stream in Lydgate Clough

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.


Chairwoman: Judith Schofield, 4, Bottoms, Crag Vale. 0422 885173

Vice Chairman:John Street, Calder Cottage. 378043

Secretary: Michael Farrell, 41, Hollingworth Road, Littleborough. Tel. 370154

Treasurer: Peter Jackson, 8 Chelburn View, Littleborough. Tel. 373112

Membership Secretary: Lincoln Jackson, 1 Moorfield View, Shore. Tel. 370542

Minutes Secretary: Chris Wilkinson, 3, Fair View, Littleborough. 374020


Dan Docker, 93 Church Street, Littleborough. Tel. 372001
David Hall, 6 Nelson Street, Littleborough.
Don Pickis, Lightowlers. 378849.
Betty Pickis, Lightowlers. 378849.
Jill Roberts, 10 Townhouse Road
Rae Street, Calder Cottage. 378043
Joe Taylor, 136a Market Street, Whitworth. 344711

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



Perched 20 feet up in an Oak tree in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I had a little shelter from the bone-aching cold of an easterly wind. It had been a long wait, but as a small group of deer drifted into view through the shadows of the forest, I almost wished that they would flee and save themselves. They did not, and as my eye lined up the rear-most deer through the sights of my 30-30 rifle, the 150 yards separating my quarry and I seemed to dissolve. As my numb finger curled around the trigger, taking the first strain, I had time to ponder the events that led to me hunting for food in the wilds of Virginia.

Where had I really begun? My interest in wildlife and the environment has always been there (though I have never been averse to taking animals for food if the situation demanded). That however is not what brought me here.

The chain of events that really brought me here began at a Littleborough Civic Trust meeting several years ago, when I and other members of the Committee decided to form a tree group with an aim to increase the native tree cover in the Littleborough area. The subsequent activities of this tree group are well known to the Civic Trust members - and I like to think that we have only just begun!!

As I worked alongside other members of the tree group and the other stalwart volunteers we attracted, and as we worked with the various organisations on the planning of Barkers Wood, I had a growing awareness that this was what I wanted to do full time. I suppose I had always known, but forestry (i.e. rows of pines) had never really attracted me, and anyway, I had no relevant qualifications, having abandoned the educational process after doing A-levels some 10 years previously.

It was only by chance that I saw the HND (Higher National Diploma) Arboriculture course advertised in the Tree Council magazine "Tree News" in August 1993. It was only in vain hope that I 'phoned up to see if I could pursue it part time. It was with expected sadness I learned that would be impossible. Hmm... what if...?

What if I gave up work and did the full time would we cope, Julie and I, with three young children and another on the way .... what would the job prospects be at the end of the course... where would I live whilst studying ... ? A thousand and one questions.

I took an interview at the college anyway, and having been accepted, I had three weeks to decide (before the course actually started). Julie and I discussed the situation and decided to take the risk (we only got married so that we could jump into things with four feet instead of two!).

I gave up work, and September '93 found me lodging in Lancashire beginning the three year course. Initially I found going back to school very hard; it was to get harder still. Luckily, it was a good bunch of people on the course, some of whom had been even longer out of education than I. I stayed at Bilsborrow through the weekdays, coming home for most weekends (luckily Jacob, our youngest child, arranged himself to be born during one of these weekends).

The first year successfully completed, the second year was to be a work placement. With all the options before us, Julie and I carefully weighed up which was best from the educational and family viewpoint. Again we jumped in with all feet available, and so it was after a considerable logistics exercise on extremely limited funds that the family found itself taking up residence for a period of 12 months in Charlottesville, Virginia, erstwhile home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the declaration of independence, and home to the University of Virginia.

Not only is the area steeped in history, but the natural beauty is outstanding too, large rivers, vast tracts of forest, country estates and of course the Blue Ridge Mountains. Forty miles down me road is Schuyler, home of T. V.’s "The Waltons".

So as 1 squeezed the trigger, and filled the freezer with venison for the price of a bullet, I realised I owed much of my reason for being here to Littleborough Civic Trust, the Tree Group in particular.

True a student’s wage does not go very far in supporting a family of six, but by careful spending, extra work, and a little hunting, we are not only surviving, but having a wonderful time.

Dan Docker


ENVIRONMENT WEEK   19th - 29th May

Photograph: Black bag full of rubbish

Once again L.C.T. is making a contribution to Environment Week - and we're back again at the Station approach. The Trust has been working with the Town Centre Action Group and the Historical Society on a new Welcome Board for Station Approach and we thought that, now Lo-Cost site has become more established, this is an opportune time to tidy up the Approach by further planting at the Civic Trust Garden site and the totally predictable need to clean up the litter which has collected over the winter.

Please do come and help on Sunday 21st May at 10.00am at the Approach.

Footnote: Nothing is ever certain but the last time we had such an event those who took part enjoyed some excellent food and drink!



Picture: House sinking due to subsidence

The headline may be alarmist but anyone who can remember back to 31st January 1995 will realise that with acres of surface water where it should not be and cellars full of dirty water something is badly wrong. In fact the National Rivers Authority (N.W. Region) have recognised the problem for some time and have initiated the River Roch Comprehensive Flood Alleviation Scheme. Our Trust had input into the first stage, which was welcomed, and we now have a copy of the Consultation Document from Chris Blandford Associates. Manned and unmanned public displays were arranged at the Coach House and the Wheatsheaf Lending Library in Rochdale. Make no mistake we are nearly literally in this up to our ankles and just possibly our heads. Anyone with a concern or a query can contact Judith Scofield, John Street or Don Pickis.



We are experimenting with giving a small area of the newsletter to some worthwhile cause relating to our area of interest and our community - and thus of interest to you. Please tell us if you welcome such contributions.

When Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor blew up in Russia (1986) of the hundreds of tons of radioactive waste released 70% fell over the population of a small country called Belarus, which within weeks became a zone of complete ecological disaster. We got a minor and diluted sample in Britain and lambs in some parts of Cumbria and Wales can still not be marketed. Over a million children in Belarus are suffering appalling disease and birth defects as a result. They need everything and a group in Littleborough are working with others (from many countries) to give hope where there is every justification for despair.

We can do many small things, so if you want to know more contact Pat Sanchez at 3 High Peak, Blackstone Edge Old Road, Littleborough. 01706 370117.



Cartoon of tree
Cartoon of tree

After reading Dan Dockers letter (above) you can't forget the Tree Nursery ... but if you have, it is the first Saturday in the month at the Todmorden Road site from 10ish - 12ish. Further details from Committee members but come prepared for a heady experience!




Map of bridleway

"The Pennine Bridleway looks set to become the country's first National Trail designed specifically for horse-riders and cyclists" - Countryside Commission News.

We are extremely fortunate in that part of this new National Trail crosses Wardle and Littleborough on its way to Summit.

On Tuesday 28th March at 8.00 pm at the Coach House Lodge Street, Sue Hogg will be talking about the Trail. Sue has been involved with the establishment of this trail over many years and has fought many battles over its route, its funding and its acceptance.

The Trail in this area is targeted for early development; it is an important new national recreational route. Please do come along. Refreshments will also be available.




Littleborough Civic Trust A.G.M. will be held on Thursday 27th April at 8.00pm at the Coach House, Lodge Street, Littleborough.

The meeting is open to members and to the general public. Any member of the Civic Trust is eligible for election to the Committee; however those nominated must have given their permission to the nominator. Nominations can be made at the meeting or made in writing to the secretary, up to 7 days prior to the meeting.

As in previous years alongside the business of the evening we have always looked for a prominent speaker in our field to talk about their area of interest. This year we are very pleased to welcome Kathy Fishwick who is a pillar of the Federation of Lancashire Civic Societies, has often spoken for all N.W. Societies, and is deeply involved in finding a new and stable relationship between organisations such as ours and the National Civic Society. Her talk and knowledge will be of real value to anyone who shares the values we think about when the Civic Trust movement is discussed.









8.00 PM TO 10 PM

A warm welcome is extended to all Civic Trust members and their friends to a Textile Evening to be held at my home, 10 Town House Road, on Thursday 6th April 1995 between 8.00pm and 10.00pm all in aid of Civic Trust funds.

Zoe Dawson will have her extensive display of embroidered towels, facecloths, pictures and many other crafts for guests to purchase.

Coffee and biscuits will be served and you can try your luck in the raffle.

Please do come along to a different kind of evening.

Jill Roberts: note my new address



This is now the official short name for the company which has been formed to carry the development of a residential centre in Littleborough forward. Two of the Directors are members of your society (John Street and Don Pickis), which is a designated partner in the venture. We achieved Charitable Status (at last!) and with the strong support of all involved are hopeful of obtaining the final finance needed during the first quarter. This is now a very well researched charitable operation and we once again are inviting anyone in the Littleborough Area to talk to us and investigate if they can play a part now or as it develops. Simply contact the Secretary: John Street 378043.



Since the last newsletter we can report little progress on the Carriage Drive claim. We are sure that a lot of Littleborough people would be dismayed if this path was lost to the public but the appeals in the last two newsletters so far seem to have fallen on deaf cars. Again, if you can help, please get in touch.

In other areas there is some news to report. The obstruction at Hill Top Farm has been removed, thanks to the intervention of the Footpaths Officer at Rochdale. He has also written to the landowner at Leach Farm over the problems there and promised to take another look at the Lydgate Inn situation.

The summer 1995 programme was drawn up at a meeting of the Footpaths Group in February. We would be delighted to have more members contributing walks and ideas. The autumn programme 1995 will be drawn up at a meeting at Harehill Park council offices on Tuesday 4th July at 8.00 pm. Please come along - refreshments will be available.

Sunday APRIL 2nd: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm.
Leader - George Lee
Rock Nook - Bottomley - Warland

5 miles

Sunday APRIL 16th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30 pm Cars to Norden Centre
Leader - Joe Taylor
Millcroft Tea Gardens circular

5 miles

Sunday APRIL 30th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30 pm
Leader - Joe Taylor
Birley circular

5/6 miles

Sunday MAY 14th: Meet Littleborough Square at
Leader - Geoff Sutcliffe
Wharfedale circular

10 miles

Sunday May 28th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30 pm
Leader - Joe Taylor
Greenfield - Dove Stones Reservoir.

6˝ miles

Sunday JUNE 11th: Meet Littleborough Square at 2.00 pm
Leader - Michael Farrell
Whitfield - Allenden Mill - Shore

5/6 miles

Sunday JUNE 25th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm
Leader - John Hindle
Ogden Circular

6 miles

Sunday JULY 9th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm
for hill walk - Horden Moor

6 miles

Meet Bingley Station at 2.00pm
Leader - Michael Farrell
afternoon walk - St Ives Estate

5˝ miles

Sunday AUGUST 6th: Meet Littleborough Square 9.30am
Leader - John Hindle
Chipping circular

8 miles

Sunday AUGUST 20th: Meet Littleborough Square 1.15 pm
Leader - Geoff Sutcliffe
Upper Worth Valley

5˝ miles


And Finally — Where do the children play? UPDATE

Cartoon: boy on slide

Since writing in the last edition of the Newsletter, the campaign for decent play equipment and safety surfaces in the playground in Hare Hill park has got... wait for it... into full swing (groan!).

The case for the playground was put to the Pennine Township meeting in February, along with various possible means for funding. All the councillors and officers present agreed that the children deserved a better deal, and one suggestion for funding - to request financial benefit from the sale of the old primary school site - has been taken up.

Assuming that money from this quarter will be forthcoming, parents will soon be asked to choose a scheme of equipment from three major manufacturers. It will then be up to the Council to choose a tender for the site which includes the work required in the playground, rather than one which is for the site alone.

We can only hope that the outcome is in the children's favour.

Anne Lawson



The Editor and Staff wish to thank all those people who have contributed to this edition with a special thanks to those who assemble and distribute the Newsletter and to K. Parry who designed the cover for use on LCT Newsletters in the mid 1970's.

Editor: Judith Schofield