Drawing: Poppies


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.

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


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 & Membership Secretary: Beryl Jackson, 27, Howarth Street.

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.


The Committee would welcome any new ideas for activities or projects



Here are some extracts from our comment on the recently-published Structure Plan.

Very briefly, we were pleased to read the statements made on the environment (improvement), on economic policies (encouragement of small businesses, tourism, new uses for old sites), conservation ( new uses for old buildings, areas of special character e.g. Pennine Uplands), refuse disposal (investment in treatment plant), and “green belt". On this the policy for Littleborough is seen to depend on both immediately local criteria and those of more regional significance. The Plan states: "This will set a limit on the urban expansion of Rochdale, will protect the special character of Wardle and Littleborough and will harmonise Greater Manchester's proposals with the adjoining proposals of West Yorkshire County Council."

Copies of the Trust's full comments on the Structure Plan are available from the Vice Chairman, Don Pickis, Lightowlers, Blackstone Edge. Tel. 78849.




Duncan McLennan left us in May to take a job in London. The Committee thanked him for his contribution and wished him well in his new job.

Beryl Jackson has kindly agreed to be the new Hon. Treasurer as well as Membership Secretary. Beryl has done a marvellous job in her brief time as Membership Secretary and we are pleased to announce that within the last few months no less than 15 new members have joined us.

We welcome those new members and hope that they enjoy our activities.

* * * * * * * * * * *


Bulky Rubbish If after spring (or summer) cleaning any householder has bulky rubbish to dispose of, remember the excellent service provided by the Environmental Health Dept., The tip at Entwistle Rd. is always open or a phone call will probably result in free collection.



Meetings will be held at the Oddfellows’ Room, 66, Church Street, Littleborough beginning at 8.00pm. on the following dates. Details will be announced later.

Thursday, 20th September
Thursday, 18th October
Thursday, 22nd November
Thursday, 20th December.



Cartoon drawing: Coach

The Civic Trust and Local History Society joint trip to Ravenglass and Muncaster Castle is fully-booked. We set off from the Square at 9.00am.

York and Beningbrough Hall

This year we are organising a second outing on Sunday, 16th September. We shall leave the Square at 9.00am. to arrive in York at about 11.00am. Members may then visit anywhere that specially interests them in York - the Railway Museum, the Minster, the Treasurer's House etc...

After lunch the party will make its way to Beningbrough Hall, a National Trust property newly opened this year. To quote from the leaflet: “built in 1716. In a tour of the principal rooms, stables and grounds, the visitor will experience much of the atmosphere of the 18th century. Facilities include a novel series of exhibitions for all the family, first-class refreshment and catering facilities and a shop stocking all the famous range of National Trust gifts."

The cost will be £3 including entrance fee for adults, £1.50 for children. Deposit £1 adults, 50p children. Names and deposits, please, to Rae Street, Calder Cottage, Tel. 78043; John Hindle, 5, Chichester Close, Tel. 70407 or David Grayson, 23, Clough Road, Tel. 76262.

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

Make a note now! This year’s DANCE. Friday, 2nd November at the Cricket Club.



At their last meeting, the Trust Committee resolved that a note should be put in this newsletter in appreciation of the splendid plantings of trees and shrubs made recently by private individuals. These give pleasure to many people other than their owners. Sites which were mentioned were Shore Lane Farm, Owlet Hall, the Old Mill Cottage, Ealees and Lanefoot Farm, Ealees. And the greatest pleasure may come from, not a large isolated site, but a busy corner site such as the one at the junction of Lodge Street and Townhouse Road, where Mr. and Mrs. Howarth have planted shrubs with colour the year round Thanks to one and all from tree and garden lovers (environmentalists by another name). We realise, of course, that there are many other sites in the area worthy of praise,but not mentioned above and we do appreciate the work done by everyone who is trying to brighten up our environment. RAE STREET. The Annual Canal Rally will be held on Sunday, 26th August, at Summit Level.

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

Trees and Gardens

At their last meeting, the Trust Committee resolved that a note should be put in this newsletter in appreciation of the splendid plantings of trees and shrubs made recently by private individuals. These give pleasure to many people other than their owners.

Sites which were mentioned were Shore Lane Farm, Owlet Hall, the Old Mill Cottage, Ealees and Lanefoot Farm, Ealees. And the greatest pleasure may come from, not a large isolated site, but a busy corner site such as the one at the junction of Lodge Street and Townhouse Road, where Mr. and Mrs. Howarth have planted shrubs with colour the year round.

Thanks to one and all from tree and garden lovers (environmentalists by another name).

We realise, of course, that there are many other sites in the area worthy of praise,but not mentioned above and we do appreciate the work done by everyone who is trying to brighten up our environment.


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

The Annual Canal Rally will be held on Sunday, 26th August, at Summit Level.



In the country it is either a footpath or a bridleway. On footpaths the public has right of passage on foot only. On bridleways people have the right of passage on horseback and by bicycle, but have to give way on meeting people on foot. However, the path must be used as part of a bona fide journey, i.e. to get from A to B, and if it is not used in this way the user is deemed to be trespassing.

If one wishes to find out if a certain path is a public right of way, one has the right to inspect the definitive map at the local Council Office. Littleborough’s, along with the rest, are now at the Planning Department in Rochdale.

However, it must be pointed out that a path not on a definitive map might still be public whilst, on the other hand, some paths shown on O.S. maps need not be public rights of way. A public right of way does not cease to exist because it is not used - once a highway, always a highway.

As many of us are aware, motorbikes are sometimes ridden over public paths. This is illegal, as is their use by cars.

Gates and stiles on paths are the responsibility of the owner, but the Highway Authority must contribute a quarter of the cost - more, if it wishes. If the landowner fails to maintain his means of access, the Authority may, after 14 days’ notice, do the job themselves and then send the bill to the owner.

Photograph: Footpath sign

Only footpaths and bridleways which meet metalled roads must be signposted.

If, when walking along a footpath, you come across an obstruction on the line of the public right of way, you may remove as much of it as is necessary for you to get through but, as explained earlier, you may not go back for tools - your journey would then not be legal, but you may trespass as far as is necessary to round any obstruction.

To report a blockage all you have to do is to get in touch with the Borough Engineer’s Dept. or report it to the Civic Trust.

Rights of way might cross fields in which there is a bull. As far as we know, this is allowed in Lancashire providing it is accompanied by cows.

If in doubt about any matter, be sure to check with the Local Authority.




Earlier this year members of the footpaths group met to draw up a programme of walks up to the end of 1979. The programme included several walks with starting points some distance from Littleborough to which parties would generally be conveyed by members’ cars.

Since the time that the programme was compiled, petrol has become a rarer and more expensive commodity. As there would be a number of difficulties involved in attempting to replace some of the walks with more local ones, we are to carry out the arrangements already made, but our series of walks for next year will have to be arranged with petrol very much in mind.

July 22nd. Leader - Roy Jackson. Meet at the Lake Information Centre at 2.00pm.
Bear Hill - Syke - Owlet Hall - Lydgate Clough – Sladen - Summit — Bus or Towpath back to Littleborough. 4+miles

August 1st (Wednesday). Leader - Lincoln Jackson. Meet in Littleborough Square at 7.00pm. or the Lake Bank Car Park at 7.00pm.
Lake circular.

August 5th. Leader - John Hindle. Meet in the Square at 9.00am. Cars to Malham.
Malham Circular. 8 miles.

August 12th. Leader - John Hindle.Meet in the Square at 9.15am. for 9.30 bus.
Calderdale Way (second leg) Jerusalem Farm to Brighouse, 16 miles.

August 26th. Leader - Richard Evans. Meet at junction Smithy Bridge Rd./New Rd. at 9.00am.
Boundary walk. 18 miles.

Silhoutte: Hiker

September 9th. Leader - Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm. or at King William IV 2.00pm.
Higher Shore - Moorgate - Willow Style - Stewards Barn -Hades Mill - Lee - Cry Pasture - Broad Ing - Brown Hill -Stid Slack Farm - Stid Fold - Hurstead Nook - Clough House Farm – Wardle Square – Pedlar Brow Lane 6 miles.

September 23rd. Leader — Joe Taylor. Meet in the Square at 1.00pm. Cars to Higher Ford.
Lake Burwain - White Moor - Gisburn Old Road - Higher Ford. 7 miles.

October 7th. Leader - Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet in the Square at 1.45pm. Cars to Law Flat for 2.00pm.
Wardle Road - Hey Wood - Thrum Hall - Harridge - Healey Dell - Ending Rake - Hamer Pasture - Pot House. 5+ miles.

October 21st. Leader – Margaret Padmanabhan. Meet in the Square at 2.00pm.
Moorcock Inn – Swainrod Lane – Leach –Wilmars – Stoneyfield – Grimes – Long Clough – Lower Newgate – Hill Top Farm – Whitefield – New Platt Farm – Riverside. 6+ miles

November 4th. Leader - Lincoln Jackson. Meet in the Square at 2.00pm.
Canal Towpath - Greenvale - Shop Wood - Handle Hall - Higher Calderbrook - Pasture House - Black Forrest - Grimes Farm -Near Hey Head - Hey Bottom - Higher Gale - Riverside. 5 miles.

November 18th. Leader - Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm. for 1.40 bus to Summit.
Reddyshore Scout Gate - Whiteslack Gate - Cranberry Moss - North Ramsden - Foulclough Road - Inchfield Road – Walsden. 5miles.

December 2nd. Leader — Richard Evans. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm. or King William IV 2.00pm.
Middlewood Lane - Top O'th East - Dobbin Hill - Little Town - Newgate - Wardle Brook - Willow Style - Moorgate. 4 miles.

December 16th. Leader - John Hindle. Meet in the Square at 1.30pm.
Canal Towpath — Stubley Mill Road — Wuerdle Farm - Greenfield Lane — Ashbrook Hey Farm - Bench Carr - Middle Starring - Stubley Lane. 6 miles.

December 30th. Leader — Lincoln Jackson. Meet in the Square at 1.30p.m.
Canal Towpath - Benthouse Bridge - Gorsey Bank - Whitfield Farm - Hill Top Farm - Hey Bottom - Near Hey Head - Handle Hall — Pack Horse Road — Town House. 4+ miles.



Those amongst us who have walked regularly these past couple of years or so will have noticed how well-attended the walks have been. If we get less than say fifteen, we tend to say "not well-attended today", but it wasn't always like that. I would like to take you back to the beginning of the group.

Arnold O'Brien, then the Footpath Inspector for the Manchester Branch of the Ramblers’ Association, came and gave us a talk. This was when the Civic Trust met in the old Liberal Club on Butterworth Street. It was early in 1972 and, funnily enough, I missed it, but Arnold, who I knew quite well, suggested we formed a footpath group and we did.

Our first walk was in May 1972 and it was well-supported, which was rare in those days. We only had three regulars - Lincoln Jackson, Fred Herte, who did all our 6" maps, and myself, supported from time to time by Bert Cannon. If we had six people out, we thought we were doing well. Quite often we only had a couple, but we persevered. The people who did come with us were not walkers in the real sense of the word, but people who wanted a nice gentle Sunday afternoon stroll of about three miles.

In those early days I had two ambitions for the group -to get ten people on a walk and to do a full-day walk. I can't recall when we first began to be a well-supported group, but when I go on a walking week-end surrounded by another fifteen or so really keen walkers or go on a Sunday afternoon walk with over twenty in the party, I think back to those early days and think it was a struggle, but it was worth it and I'm glad we persevered.

To finish this piece about the group, I'd like to thank those early supporters, especially Lincoln, Fred and Bert. The last two now have other interests, but Lincoln is still as enthusiastic as he ever was. Without them, I don't think the group would have survived for more than a year or two.

Finally, thanks to everyone who supports the walks now and especially the ones who lead walks. I can see the group going from strength to strength for years to come - I hope so, as I have made many friends through it and I think that other members have too.


Drawing: Lily leaves on a pond


Littleborough Local History Society

A very successful and interesting evening trip to Shibden Hall, Halifax took place on Wednesday, 13th June.

We have now re-started the Churchyard Survey.

There will be another history trail walk on 26th August, 2.00pm.

Autumn programme - Thursdays at 8.00pm. in Oddfellows' Room:

September 13th - Mr.C.Harding, M.Ed., "Romans in the N. West."

October llth - Mr.K.Howarth, "Tape recording local history."

New members are welcome. Please contact Mr.R.Evans, 8 Charles St. or Mr.A.Luke, 101, Todmorden Rd. Tel. 79949.


Back to Public Transport

Cartoon: Omnibus

With the ever-increasing price of oil and the knowledge that our resources are limited, public attention is turning once again to Public Transport. Locally we are well served – a regular train service to Manchester and Leeds, buses to Rochdale, Todmorden, Burnley and Halifax and a local network serving Shore, Calderbrook, High Peak and Hollingworth Lake.

But basically our public transport services have stayed the same for decades; now is the time for a fresh look at them.

At our exhibition we considered a new local network of two routes serving Shore, Calderbrook - Stansfield and back to the Square with a second circular route to Dearnley-Smithy Bridge-Hollingworth Lake back to the Square. The service would operate as frequently as possible, using smaller-than-average buses and be on a flat-fare system. In suburban London, for example, passengers pay l0p per journey or £1 for a ticket ‘strip’ allowing for fifteen journeys. Low fares, plus a frequent service encourage people to use buses where they would normally take a car or walk and the population of Littleborough and its distribution in places like Stansfield and Smithy Bridge make a service like this a viable proposition.

This local network would serve Littleborough's needs and the links to Todmorden and Rochdale would be separate.

Clearly, though, the railway is the most efficient means of mass-transportation and our local line is capable of far better use. We need Smithy Bridge Station reinstating to cater for the big increase in population in that area - the new local bus service would act as a feeder link to it. Further down the line there are similar opportunities for new stations and bus-feeders, turning the railway into the kind of rapid-transit system being developed on the Continent and, significantly, on Tyneside.

The line needs electrifying and would be run with lightweight units of the kind found again on the Continent and being tried out in this country on an experimental basis. And electricity is the answer to our local bus service as well - even in the first instance. Battery-operated vehicles are on the market now, but are only efficient on short routes (and, of course, they need frequent charging of the batteries). Our local routes are short and we have a number of possible central sites available where buses could be given their overnight charge.

"Pie in the sky"? Another fantasy from a crackpot environmental group? A battery bus is running on the Centreline route in Manchester now, New York is seriously thinking about going back to trams and the Glasgow Under¬ground is due to be re-opened soon. And they said it was pie in the sky when we suggested that the old Tannery Site could be equipped with a rail-link. Now the Transport Company which has taken the site is proposing to do just that. Perhaps Portakabin may follow suit.

And an interesting footnote. Hebden Bridge now has a local bus route backed by their Parish Council. Metro Calderdale prophesied disaster, but now that the service, is a success and beginning to pay its way, they nre making a take-over bid.



Anyone Interested?

The Manchester and Leeds Railway opened from Manchester to Littleborough 140 years ago on July 3rd. An event of major importance takes place next year when the Liverpool and Manchester, the world’s first passenger railway, celebrates its 150th anniversary.

The Liverpool Road Station Society was founded in January 1978 with two main purposes in mind: restoration of the original buildings as museums and co-ordination of Manchester's celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

The Society welcomes new members. Subscription - ordinary or group £2, junior £1, Details available from Keith Parry or from the Hon. Membership Sec., 17, Roseleigh Avenue, Manchester M19 2NP.

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

Drawing: An exhibition stand

The exhibition stands we bought with the aid of the grant from the Council make it much easier for us to mount a display of various topics concerned with the Trust. If you know of an event where the display might be suitable, we would give it our earnest consideration! Contact Keith Parry (79883)

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

National Tree Week this year will run from 10th to 16th November. The theme is "Plant a tree for our children - Let them grow together".

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

A Job Creation-type scheme is to start soon on the canal between Mytholmroyd and Hebble End, just this side of Hebden Bridge. The sponsors are the West Yorkshire County Council. They have also come up with a firm costing of the removal of the blockage at Sowerby Bridge. It looks as though West Yorkshire mean business. The Sowerby Bridge blockage is the most serious on the canal between Littleborough and the navigable section at the Yorkshire end. The removing of this major blockage would open up the possibility of trans-Pennine navigation sooner than we thought.

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

The Nature Conservancy Council commissioned a study of urban wildlife in the West Midlands; it shows that industrial wasteland provides some of the richest habitats. By the way, have you noticed the Gasworks site lately?

Photograph: Swans on towpath

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

The New Cover

We thank Keith Parry for our cover, which gives a view of the valley from above Sladen about the year 1845 and shows the trans-Pennine transport system as it was.

Our thanks are also due to all contributors and those who distribute the newsletter.


Editor: Roy Prince