Photograph: Dandelion launching seeds


Summer Seeding

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.


Chairwoman: Rae Street, Calder Cottage, Hare Hill Road. Tel. 78043.

Vice Chairman: Don Pickis, Lightowlers, Blackstone Edge. Tel. 78849.

Secretary: Bernard Harrison, Tumblin’ Croft, Paul Row. Tel. 78013.

Treasurer: Steven Moss, 183, Todmorden Road, Tel. 79496.

Press Officer: Keith Parry, 3, Prospect Street, Tel.79883.

Minutes Secretary: Betty Pickis, Lightowlers, Blackstone Edge. Tel. 78849.

Footpaths Secretary: Brian Clarke, 6, Oak Hill, Bents Farm. Tel. 73410.

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



Open meetings will be held on the third Thursday of each month as below. The meetings will be held at the Oddfellows’ Room, 66, Church Street and will begin at 8.00pm. unless otherwise notified.

September 21st, October 19th, November 16th, December 21st.

We shall also be organising a Dance at the Cricket Club on Friday, 24th November.

Committee meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise notified, at Calder Cottage.

Committee members please note - the May committee meeting will be postponed to Tuesday, 16th May.

This is because there is to be a PUBLIC MEETING on the newly published GREATER MANCHESTER STRUCTURE PLAN on Tuesday, 9th May at 7.30pm. in Rochdale Town Hall. Any members of the Trust wishing to borrow a copy of the document, please get in touch with Rae Street (Tel.78043) or Don Pickis (Tel. 78849).

All members of the Trust are urged to attend the meeting and anyone who would like a lift into Rochdale may get in touch with the above or Bernard Harrison, Paul Row, Calderbrook, (Tel. 78013 ).

Rae Street


Enjoying herself in Sorrento this April, one member thought she saw another Civic Trust member strolling down the main street - but she had disappeared before contact could be made.

Mutual confirmation that both adventurers had been in Sorrento at the same time was given by the Blackstone Edge milk lady who delivers milk and passes messages to both houses.


We are now well on into 1978 and there are still quite a lot of subscriptions to be paid for this year.



We have received a long and very full explanation from the Manager, N.W.W.A. Pennine Division as to why shrubs and trees have to be uprooted from the embankments at Hollingworth Lake.

The prime reason is safety and with that we cannot argue. However, there is such a long list of reasons for felling and uprooting trees, some clearly justified and some not so clearly so that it is a wonder that there are any trees left at all. We were interested to see that there was to be a symposium on "Trees and the Environment" organised by Rochdale M.B.C. Recreation and Amenities Department; we hope that they came up with some positive measures for preserving established trees.

Mature elm

Mature Elm

These are some of the reasons we have lost trees in Littleborough in the last few years:

In spite of this - or because of it - we would be very pleased to hear from any members about suitable sites for a "forest" or even an ornamental tree.




The Royal Commissions on Historical Monuments for England and Wales is anxious to obtain records in the form of drawings, photographs and reports on industrial monuments threatened with destruction or decay. They would like to make contact with anyone who has made or is prepared to make such records. If you are able to help their address is - Fortress House, 23, Savile Row, London, W1X 3A3.




Painted canal jug

The Rally is jointly organised by the I.W.A. and the Rochdale Canal Society. It is to be held at the Dale Street Car Park, the basin where the Ashton Canal joins the navigable section of the Rochdale Canal (the famous 'Manchester Nine" Locks down to Castlefield).

The organisers estimated that they could accommodate 125 boats on the moorings and have already been forced to close the bookings. This will be by far the biggest event of its kind ever held in the Manchester area.

In view of the set-back - in theory at any rate - to the restoration plans, the festival will put the accent firmly on the desirability (even necessity) of re-opening the Rochdale, and we urgently need members of the Trust on site to reinforce the canal enthusiasts’ case. The Trust will be exhibiting - concentrating on its Museum and Visitor Centre project (which relies a lot on restoring a short section of canal). Our stand will have to be staffed and we must 'make a show'!

Please help, if you can.

If the publicity is effective and the weather holds, there will be several thousand people all waiting for you to tell them of the delights of this part of Manchester's countryside. We feel ourselves out on a limb, ignored by the centralised organisations. This is a chance to put our case; and the more we are seen to be enthusiastic, the more effective our case will be.

Come along - (Dale Street runs parallel to London Road, just turn up the street at the side of Rodwell Tower and look for the big arch!) You'll see what a canal looks like when it’s navigable, meet a lot of interesting people and help the Trust. For your information, there's a bar, food and a Disco in the old warehouse on the Saturday night



Coach Outing to Coalbrookdale on 16th July

All seats are now taken despite having booked a larger coach than was originally intended. People who have booked should pay for their seats before 16th June.




At last the promised leaflets "Walks Around Littleborough" are being published. No.1 is on sale at Lincoln Jackson’s shop and at the Lake Information Centre, Nos. 2 and 3 are in the process of being printed. More walks have been planned this summer so that footpath walks around Littleborough will not be neglected when rambles outside the district take place.

Walks Planned

May 14th. Leader: Joe Taylor. Meet - The Square at 1.30pm.. Cars to Hebden Bridge.
Hebden Bridge - Craggs Widden Road - Midge Hole -Grimswood Dean - Walshaw - Gibson Mill. 5 miles.

May 28th. Leader: Lincoln Jackson. Meet - The Square at 2.00pm.
Town House - Long Clough - Hall Hey – Flight Hill - Turnslack - Willow Stile - Moorgate - Higher Shore - Shore Barn. 4 miles.

June 4th. Leader: Margaret Padmanabahn. Meet - The Square at 10am. Cars to Greenfield.
Dovestones Reservoir circular. Approx. 10 miles.

Drawing: Hiker

June 11th. Leader: John Kindle. Meet - The Square at 2.0pm. (Leaflet walk)
Ealees - Sheepbank - Dry More - Lydgato - Blackstone Edge Road — Gate House. 4 miles.

June 25th. Leader: Richard Evans. Meet - The Square at 2.00pm
Canal Towpath - Little Clegg - Sungate - Shaw Moss - Bib Knowl - Turnough - Hollingworth. 4 miles.

July 9th. Leader: Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet - The Square at 9.0am
Dales circular. Approx.10 miles

July 16th. Leader: Joe Taylor. Meet - The Square at 1.30pm. Cars to Wardle.
Wardle - Stid Slack - Lobden - Haggle Hill Nook - Long Causeway. 4 miles.

July 23rd. Leader - Richard Evans. Meet - The Square at 9.30am. Cars to Burnley.
Burnley - Entwistle Hall - Boulsworth Hill - Wycoller - Laneslaw Bridge - Bus back to Burnley. 11 miles.

August 6th. Leader - Brian Clarke. Meet - The Square at 9.45am. Cars to Hebden Bridge for 10.30am bus to Haworth.
Haworth - Top Withens - Pennine Way to Blake Dean - Hardcastle Crags. 12 miles.

August 13th. Leader - Lincoln Jackson, (Leaflet walk) Meet - The Square at 3.00pm. King Willian IV at 2.15pm.
Ratcliffe Hill - Stansfield Hill - Grimes - Handle Hall - Whitfield - Town House. 3 miles.

August 20th. Leader - Joe Taylor. Meet - The Square at 10-30am. Cars to Whitworth.
Tonacliffe - Rooley Moor - Cowpe Quarry - Waugh1s Well -Cheesden - Deepley Vale- Mill Croft - Norden Lane End. 14 miles.

September 3rd. Leader — Roy Prince. Meet - The Square at 9.00am. Cars to Hayfield.
Kinder circular. Approx. 10 miles.

You will see that two of the planned walks follow routes on the leaflets "Walks Around Littleborough".



A long time ago (at the time of the Trust's report on a Country Park at Hollingworth Lake and a Pennine Park) we outlined plans for a 'Museum'. These plans have been revived and are being put forward as a solid project for the near future.

Littleborough has a unique collection of forms of communication! We have the Roman Road, packhorse tracks, (one bit of paving is said to be the finest in the country) turnpike Roads, Steanor Bottom Toll House and another at the end of Todmorden Road, the first canal across the Pennines and the first railway. We also have some important examples of early Industrial Revolution buildings, weavers' cottages, water supply reservoirs - even a chunk of one of the country’s most important motorways (complete with viaduct).

Put these all together and it is a powerful combination. Initially we are suggesting that the exhibits should be made more widely known and some facilities created for interested visitors. We suggest a 'recommended route' network of exploratory footpaths (better signposted and firmly surfaced) based on the canal towpath. We are also suggesting the use of a building near the canal as a centre for the exhibits; leaflets and maps would be available for visitors coming to the area.

Long term the project could be expanded enormously. Vitally important to it would be the restoration of a short section of canal between Littleborough Wharf and — initially - Windybank Lock. Once operational, it would be the main means of getting from Littleborough centre (with its station, car park and buses) to the information centre. Visitors would arrive at the Wharf and be taken by boat up through the two locks to the Information Centre having the significance of Littleborough explained to them on the way. From the Centre they could fan out up the valley and over to Blackstone Edge if they wished or confine themselves to the displays at the Centre.

The Trust has the co-operation of the Rochdale Canal Society, the Local History Society and Transiclub already and first approaches regarding financing the project are encouraging. The main work on the project is well within the scope of the various government-backed employment schemes; private industry has always been alive to approaches regarding finance for projects of this kind and the volunteers have always been ready to weigh in with their invaluable help.

An extension to the main schema is the provision of some sort of information centre and centre for local activities in the middle of Littleborough - with several in mind.

This is clearly a major project for the Trust and could be pre—occupying us for a long time, but we think it is worth it. We have been accused (quite unjustly) of putting the brake on Littleborough’s development. This project could not only provide employment itself (of a kind we badly need), but could be the spur to a lot of other development which, again, might go towards solving at least our local unemployment problems.



"Improving the Environment".

Mr. Wm. Ogden, B.Sc., A.M.P.T.I. gave a most interesting talk to the Trust on 20th April.

A larger than normal group was held by Mr. Ogden’s address and the discussion which it encouraged between members of the audience until the Chairman had to "call time" at about 10.10pm.

The speaker talked about such things as the long-term effects of taking up more and more land to build houses for, and to feed, an ever expanding population; the essential influence of groups such as ours in acting between bureaucracy and authority to provide and maintain the impetus for major improvement schemes; pollution of land and water resources and such wide-ranging matters of worldwide concern that it would be impossible to report adequately on the whole talk. We look forward to more meetings which provide such keen audience participation.



Of Especial Interest to all Walkers

West Yorkshire Metropolitan Council is conducting a survey of footpath users in the Hebden Bridge area. Anyone interested in filling in a questionnaire can pick one up at the Information Centre in Hebden Bridge.

The West Yorkshire County Council’s countryside unit is looking at ways of improving the network of footpaths in the county and the Hebden Bridge area is being used as an initial experiment. On the surface, this seems to be in marked contrast to Greater Manchester Council in light of their promotion of a Parliamentary Bill under which they could apply direct to Crown Court for decisions on closures of footpaths which are, under present arrangements, subject to public enquiry.

This action of Greater Manchester Council is clause 37 of the Greater Manchester Bill and the Footpath Group joins with the Peak and Northern Footpath Society in urging all interested people to contact without delay as many M.Ps. as possible from the Greater Manchester area to ask for their support in opposing clause 37 of the Bill.

It is the intention of Littleborough Civic Trust Footpath Group to become affiliated to the Peak and Northern Footpath Society. The purpose is not to extend our walking activities, but to join with other groups to provide a stronger force, where necessary, to safeguard the interests of walkers. There are so many forces operating against those interests at the present time and small societies on their own sometimes seem unable to exert sufficient, sustained pressure to influence the authorities.

The Countryside Commission has established a regional office in Manchester.

There will be a 20 percent increase in the prices of Ordnance Survey Maps this year.

Canal towpaths are public footpaths, but they are not public bridleways and Canal Co. officials are within their rights to prevent their use by horse-riders.


What's in a Name?

Although it is generally understood that some of the earlier settlers in these parts gave their family names to the places where they settled, it is perhaps not so well known that others reversed the procedure and adopted placenames as surnames. Some of these old families were:

  • de Turnagh of Turnough
  • Schofield of Schofield Stobbeley of Stubley
  • de Derenlegh of Learnley Clegg of Little Clegg
  • Werhull of Wuerdle
  • Lihtolres of Lightowlers
  • de la Shore of Shore

Some of these ancient families, for varied reasons, soon seem to have disappeared or become extinct e.g. the de Derenleghs, having established a settlement on the site of Birch Hill Hospital and named the district Dearnley, had by the year 1400 left the district.

These old families were followed by others who, although they did not have the distinction of naming the places where they lived, were nevertheless the new "elite” being Landowners and Yeomen. The families completely dominated the areas where they lived, some of them staying in the same area for several hundred years. I list 15 such families. No doubt there were others.

  • Belfield of Cleggswood
  • Holt of Stubley Hall
  • Beswicke of Pike House
  • Ingham of Cleggswood
  • Butterworth of Windy Bank
  • Kershaw of Mawroad
  • Dearden of Handle Hall
  • Newall of Town House
  • Halliwell of Pike House
  • Stott of Bent House
  • Hamer of Wuerdle
  • Smith of Starring
  • Hill of Hollingworth
  • Travis of Whittaker
  • Whitehead of Dearnley

I find it interesting to speculate on the possibility that people with these surnames, who are alive today and whose families are known to have lived in Littleborough or its environs for several generations, may have the blood of these old families flowing in their veins.



Editor: Roy Prince