Photograph: Crocus

The newsletter editor is always pleased to receive articles 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 wishing to contrubute material to the newsletter will first seek the approval of the editor.

OFFICIALS OF LITTLEBOROUGH CIVIC TRUST

Chairman: John Street, Calder Cottage. Tel. 378043

Secretary: Barbara Daveron, 38 James Street, Dearnley Tel. 378664

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

Membership Secretary: Jill Roberts, 34 Brown Street, Littleborough. Tel. 375426

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

Editor: Joanne Jackson, 8 Chelburn View, Littleborough. Tel. 373112

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Judith Schofield, 4, Bottoms, Crag Vale. 01422 885173
Michael Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road. Tel. 370154
Don Pickis, Lightowlers. Tel. 378849.
Betty Pickis, Lightowlers. Tel. 378849.
Rae Street, Calder Cottage. Tel. 378043
Joe Taylor, 136a Market Street, Whitworth. Tel. 344711

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

 

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Cartoon: Spring flowers

Welcome to the Spring edition of the Civic Trust Newsletter.

Spring certainly seems to have come early this year, after a particularly mild winter our gardens and hedgerows were already showing signs of new life in February. Within the Civic Trust there have been a number of changes recently some happy and some sad. Anne Lawson has stepped down as editor of the newsletter and thanks to the help of Anne and other committee members, I have taken up the position. Finally on behalf of the Civic Trust I would like to thank Anne for all her hard work and time spent as the editor. Editor.

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Dates for your Diary

Shorehurst Project - Sunday 29th March, 11.00am. Meet near Ribble Avenue, opposite the new houses on the old Shore Mill site. There will be a clean-up and planting day. Come along an help the Shorehurst Project, everyone is welcome.

Annual General Meeting - Thursday 23rd April, 8.00pm, at Littleborough Coach House. A review of the last year and an opportunity to find out more about the Civic Trust and it's work. Everyone is welcome.

National Spring Clean — Sunday 26th April, from 10.00am until 1.00pm.
This year’s spring clean will take place in the area between the Cricket Club and the allotments along the footpath. Tools, tabards and a skip will be provided, everyone is welcome to come along and help, meet people and make a difference.

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

Congratulations to Michael Farrell, who got married at the end of November and moved to Bolton. Michael is a Civic Trust committee member and a leading light with the footpath group. Best wishes for the future to both Mr and Mrs Farrell from the Civic Trust.

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Lincoln was always there.

The death of Lincoln Jackson, just before Christmas was a great shock to everyone not least the members of Littleborough Civic Trust.

For many years he was our Membership Secretary and he could tell you immediately who had/or had not paid their subscriptions! He also knew the number of members on the roll, who was ill or had left the district and who had just joined. He was a mine of information.

He made himself available at any time on behalf of the Trust and because he was so accessible in his shop in Hare Hill Road, you knew "Lincoln would always be there".

He was also a keen and active member of the 'Trust’s Footpath Group. Personally, l came to rely on Lincoln quite a lot during the time I was Trust Chairwoman during the l980’s and found that he was a person you could depend on. If you asked him to do something you knew it would be done - whatever the problems.

Now a little time has elapsed since Lincoln died and we on the Civic Trust Committee are coming to realise his full worth and how much he is missed. We are considering ideas for an enduring memorial to his memory.

Betty Pickis.

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Lincoln Jackson. Lincoln had been an active committee member of the Civic Trust from its foundation in l97l. But I remember Lincoln from when l first moved to Littleborough over 30 years ago, knowing no-one here, and his friendliness in the shop, even then nicknamed "little Woolworths".

Lincoln cared about Littleborough: its history, the moors and fields and the footpaths. But he didn’t just talk - although he was always ready to chat about concerns in the shop - he actively went out and cleaned and tidied. Notably he worked on the graveyard at St Barnabas, but also he’d be with us on Civic Trust tidying projects.

Many in the Civic Trust will remember him best as a founder member and supporter of the Footpath Group. He walked many miles of the local area and was constantly trying to free blockages on public paths so that they were open for everyone’s enjoyment.

He served us well too as Membership Secretary, assiduously collecting dues and helping to distribute the Newsletter. Indeed, the shop became the focal point for the exchange of information or gossip on the ’village’. Our sincere sympathies go to his family. I am sure the best way we can respect his memory is to keep working for those things Lincoln cared for; to preserve the best of our environment to pass on to future generations.

Rae Street.

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ALAN LAWSON (6 July 1934 - I2 January 1998)

I have been asked to write a little about Alan Lawson whom so many Civic Trust members knew well. It isn't .easy, as Alan died in January, in my company, from natural causes. My response to the request was that I wished to write a celebration of a fine friendship and a very good man. I think of the six years when I saw much of Alan, although we were both conventionally ’busy’, after we had both retired.

As a young man Alan always enjoyed mechanics, distinguished himself at school, college and university, to become a professional engineer. Able, reliable, even-tempered, fair and dedicated to ’doing a job properly’, he was a caring man who achieved considerable success in his professional career. Retirement didn’t mean he stopped his activities. Ile continued giving a great deal of time to the Littleborough community through his work at the Coach House and through his outstanding contribution to the Honresfeld Leonard Cheshire home and indeed, the wider Leonard Cheshire organisation.

He was a man, too, to whom I owe a personal debt of gratitude. Originally Alan had commenced our relationship with the sentence, "I always thought you were slightly mad..." But he it was who came to my help after a serious accident. From that time I had a friend who helped me cut hedges, put me in a car and made it possible for me to get out into the countryside and, when things got better, shared holidays with me in Wales, the Lakes and Spain.

What better proof of the respect he commanded, the family love he cherished, the love he had for the area and the people who lived here, than the number who came to his funeral. There was not an empty seat in the church; there was no room anywhere, people could not get into the church porch. We were even surprised to find some twelve rock-climbers who had come to pay their respects to a man they had only known for a few years.

I was privileged to be with him when he died. To all those who cared for him I can say that to the very moments of his death, he was free of pain, happy and enjoying himself.

I am sure you will share with me deep concern and sympathy for his wife, Pam, and all the family who were the centre of his life. It is hard to imagine their grievous loss. ln the nature of things Alan loved his grandchildren dearly and surely they will give back strength and hope to the family.

John Street.

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Membership Secretary and Subscription Payment.

Due to the death of Lincoln Jackson our membership secretary at the end of last year, many of you may be wondering how to pay your subscriptions. May we, the committee, apologise for the delay in appointing and arranging the position. Our new Membership Secretary is JILL ROBERTS, who I’m sure many of you may know. The main intention of this article is to inform all members at the same time of the new arrangements for payment of your subscriptions. Many of you I know, used to ’pop’ into Lincoln’s shop and pay him direct and I’m sure out of respect for his family at this time, you will agree that this can no longer continue.

After discussion regarding membership, the committee agreed that some changes could be tried with regard to you our members, but firstly I want to explain the new procedure for paying subscriptions :- Either mail (note: no coins by post please) or deliver by hand to Jill your subscription at the address below:

JILL ROBERTS,
34 BROWN STREET,
LITTLEBOROUGH
OL15 8BW

Jill’s telephone number is (01706) 375426 and I’m sure Jill will be glad to direct anyone who wishes to continue to deliver their subscriptions by hand whilst shopping in Littleborough and are not sure of the whereabouts of Brown Street.

Secondly, at the end of the newsletter you will find a subscription form. We would be grateful if you would complete the form and return it to Jill in the envelope provided with this issue. The form can also be used for new members to join us. This form will be a standard part of the newsletter for the foreseeable future.

Thirdly, we would ask you to consider any small or large way in which you would care to undertake as a member, in other words, to take an active role on occasions. (Not full time). One aspect for instance is the delivery of the newsletters; we are short of people willing to spend perhaps half an hour every quarter to undertake this simple task. In giving us an idea of those members willing to become more active in any way would perhaps consider informing Jill with your subscription. The membership form on the rear cover will be amended for the summer issue for this purpose.

Finally, thank you all for your patience and we hope that the new arrangements meet with your approval, and that if anyone has any suggestions regarding this new approach please contact me on (01706) 373112.

Peter Jackson (Hon. Treasurer)

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Wind Turbines - Another View.

Lest anyone think that Littleborough Civic Trust isn’t a ’broad church’, I’d like to offer a variation on the views about wind turbines which have been previously expressed in these pages.

Cartoon: Birds talking

I’d like to start by arguing that wind turbines are useful things. They don’t pollute air, water or land and they don’t run on non-renewable fuels such as oil. gas, coal and uranium. A single turbine, like one of those at Cliviger can keep 250 houses supplied with electricity. This makes them ideal for windy places and small communities. For somewhere like Littleborough, 30 turbines could meet the domestic power needs of half its dwellings, a fact not to be sniffed at.

The big issue seems to be that some people don’t like the look of them, particularly in certain locations. Personally I find pylons and telecommunications masts (like on Blackstone Edge Old Road) very ugly, but the occasional cluster of wind turbines quite attractive. Since the Cliviger turbines now feature on a picture postcard and are included in guides to Greater Manchester I believe that I am not alone in this view.

However I wouldn't just say that their attractiveness is a matter of personal preference because I believe there should be rules about their siting. They obviously have to go in windy places, but I would keep them out of our most attractive areas such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I would also avoid locally attractive features such as Blackstone Edge. However, I would not rule them out on a featureless wilderness such as Great Hill. Rules can be used to avoid bad siting.

Wind Turbines will clearly have a great visual impact on the landscape, but we have to ask ourselves what it is that makes that landscape attractive. l would suggest that if carefully positioned, turbines can become as pleasant a pan of the man-made landscape character of the area as Stoodley Pike, the Blackstone Edge reservoirs, the canal and the valley settlements.

Chris Wilkinson.

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National Spring Clean — 1st to 30th April 1998.

Poster: National Spring Clean

Tidy Britain Group's National Spring Clean is almost upon us once more and for the first time the campaign will run for the whole month of April in 1998.

Anyone can get involved with this excellent anti-litter campaign to clean up their local area, local authorities, community or voluntary groups, schools and businesses, individuals or youth groups.

Litter is a great problem within all our communities, throughout the country. Everyday we can see overflowing litter bins, empty crisp packets and empty fast food packaging. Litter is not only an eyesore though, it is also potentially dangerous, attracting rats in search of food, — causing fire hazards in areas of accumulated litter , pollution and a danger to wildlife which can get caught up in discarded items.

The National Spring Clean Campaign gives everyone the opportunity to take action within their own community, to make a difference and take pride in their environment. During 1997, 3 million people took part throughout the country and collected 18,000 tonnes of litter.

So whether your group is large or small, or individually you wish to take part you can join in with National Spring Clean. To register contact Tidy Britain Group on telephone number (0990) 885577 or (01942) 824620 and they will provide a FREE clean-up kit, information, guidelines, posters, competitions, plastic tabards and much more, or why not come along to the Civic Trust’s own event as mentioned in the diary dates.

Editor.

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On Private Cleanliness And Public Squalor

(An article originally written in May 1968)

At the beginning of the century, from 1900 to his death in 1922, Gordon Harvey, enlightened factory owner, Liberal MP for Rochdale and favourite of the Manchester Guardian, conducted single-handed an operation spring clean for his own corner of the North-West, Littleborough. His ideas anticipated the aims of the Civic Trust.

Of trees "he was passionately fond". With his encouragement local firms planted trees around their factories and reservoirs; his own factories were well landscaped and, even after years of non-interest among managers, still look imposing. Would that the modern chemical works, with its absentee American landlords, was as well disguised. He was at pains to prove that the local countryside, where woods had been ravaged at the onset of the Industrial Revolution, could be regenerated by planting trees and shrubs, in spite of the smoky atmosphere and bleak climate. Rather than migrate to the softness of Cheshire he chose to live in Littleborough where he enjoyed walks on the surrounding Pennine Hills. He was one of those endearing potty Englishmen who scatter wild flower seeds from the railway carriage window. Under his direction, in 1920, the Beautiful Littleborough Society was founded, a forerunner of the Civic Trust. Although perhaps not living up to the aspirations of its title many of the Society’s projects — planting trees on the main roads into the town, laying out gardens - still survive.

But Gordon Harvey’s real pioneering work was concerned with smoke control. At an early stage he and his engineer brother designed their factories to consume their own smoke. Before the First World War houses which had smokeless gas heating were built by the brothers for the factory workers. ln 1915 he introduced into Parliament the first English Bill to compel "every furnace or fireplace, other than domestic, to be constructed or altered so as to consume smoke". The bill was submerged.

Over half a century later the local U.D.C. has not yet established a smokeless zone, the Clean Air Act notwithstanding. As for making any contribution to Operation Spring Clean, in the opinion of one Councillor, “It’s surprising how clean the town is". Yes, indeed, yes. It is surprising how little soot you can scoop from the window-sills, how few smuts you can wipe from the baby’s face. When complaints were made about unsightly industrial development stated a worthy Councillor, "When they bought those houses they did not pay for the view." "Trees" according to another visionary, "are too difficult to establish to bother planting."

This is the region of private cleanliness and public squalor. Housewives who scour doorsteps and wash flags, stoke coal fires. Factory owners who decorate their house gates with wrought iron, fill brooks with discarded cans, cover fields with rusty scrap metal. Councillors who vote money for the tulips in the park, have houses demolished only to leave ugly waste tips.

A Manchester Guardian leader in 1922 stated "Mr. Harvey is of the type which makes it possible to speak of the industrial revolution without blushing and would others but follow in his footsteps we might contemplate industrial Lancashire pride." They did not, and we have little to be proud of. Would Gordon Harvey have been saddened? Certainly, that the campaign was not supported with more enthusiasm. One guesses that he would have welcomed the legislation and the new technology to fight grime; domestic smokeless fuel heating or the cleaning of outside stonework. He planted the hillside behind his house with trees and the stream was bordered with shrubs and daffodils, and of this he wrote "l would rather be said by admiring pedestrians who walk by my house to be the man who did this gracious thing, than I would add a province to the Empire." And there is his memorial. A green centre making Littleborough unique among these bleak East Lancashire towns. Change does come too: the Harvey’s eighteenth century house has been converted into flats, new houses are built and occupied by commuters. Will these new residents have a fresh consciousness of their environment?

Afterthought - 30 years later.

Thirty years later and there is very little that l would change, except for one point. I definitely had councillors in my sights and l would like to say that in the last few years the Council and Councillors, have been most supportive about cleaning litter; the other side of that is, of course, that with the increase in packaging and ’care only about your own patch’, there has been an increase in litter, on the streets, on open spaces, fields and paths. People always seem to imagine it’s someone else’s job to clean up. We seem to have quite lost a sense of collective pride in the town. But on the positive side, the Civic Trust really has helped. We’ve managed to keep the "green heart" (just), we’ve planted new trees, we have saved old buildings and cleared skip loads of litter. Current projects like Shorehurst (see diary dates) cheer us up, just when we’re down cheered at the mattress dump in Shop Wood. And we will just keep on picking up the packets and hoping others follow... Air pollution however is another story.

Rae Street.

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It was interesting to find in the Manchester Evening News (Saturday 28th February 1998) that their featured walk was one local to us here in Littleborough. The walk makes its way along the canal bank from Littleborough up towards Summit and then up past the Chelburn Reservoirs, across to the A58 and across Stormer Hill to Lydgate. Then following the signposts the walk continues to Owlet Hall and Ealees before heading back down to Littleborough. (Please see map below).

Editor

Drawing: Map of a walk

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Footpath Walks List

Since the last Newsletter we have had some communication from Rochdale MBC regarding footpath 123, but it is ambiguously worded, and we are seeking clarification. We were also disturbed recently to find a number of blockages on the path between Townhouse and Middle Newgate, which has previously been trouble-free. While we believe them to be the result of poor workmanship rather than malice, this is a popular and useful path requiring speedy attention.

The Winter 97/98 programme was drawn up at a meeting of the Footpaths Group in September. We would be delighted to have further contributions of walks and ideas for the Group. The next meeting will be at Harehill Park Council Offices on 27th January at 8.00pm to decide the Spring 1998 Programme. Everyone is very welcome to attend.

Leaders' 'phone numbers: Harry 378368; David 370050; Michael 0120459568; Joe 344711.

Sunday 29th MARCH - Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm. Cars to Todmorden Market Car Park
Leader - Geoff Sutcliffe
Hole Bottom - Whirlaw - Hartley Royd - Knotts Wood

Distance - 5 miles

Sunday 12th APRIL (Easter Sunday) - Meet Littleborough Square 1.45pm
Leader - Harry Ratcliffe
Local Walk - Dry Mere

Distance - 5 miles

Sunday 26th APRIL - Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm. Cars to Tottington Centre Car Park
Leader - Michael Farrell
Tottington Circular

Distance - 5/6 miles

Sunday 10th MAY - Meet White House 2.00pm
Leader - Harry Ratcliffe
Light Hazzles - Warland Reservoir - Stoney Edge - Whiteholme - Middle Hill

Distance - 5½ miles

Sunday 24th MAY - Meet Littleborough Square 9.00am, then by car
Leader - Geoff Sutcliffe
Dales Walk

Distance - 10 miles approx.

Sunday 7th JUNE - Meet Littleborough Square 1.45pm
Leader - David Costa
Reddyshore Scout Gate - Cranberry Dam

Distance - 7 miles

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Editor: Joanne Jackson

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