Drawing: Butterflies

 

Spring Flowers

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.

OFFICERS OF LITTLEBOROUGH CIVIC TRUST

Chairman: Keith Parry, 3, Prospect Street. Tel.79883.

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

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

Treasurer: Bernard Harrison, 5 Paul Row, Tel. 78013

Minutes Secretary: Rita Kay, 2, Lodgeville, Rakewood Road. Tel. 79573

Newsletter Editor: Michael Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, Littleborough. Tel. 79573

ORDINARY MEMBERS

Richard Evans, 8 Charles St.
Roy Prince, 14 Milbury Drive, Tel. 78883.
Geoff Sutcliffe, 14 Buckley Terrace, Wardle, Tel. 40369.
Mike Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, Tel. 70154.
Lincoln Jackson, 1 Moorfield View, Shore, Tel. 70542.
Rae Street, Calder Cottage, Tel. 76043.
Pauline Hopkinson, Far Hey Head Farm, Calderbrook.
Beryl Heywood, 27 Howarth Street. Tel. 73476.
Tom Walker, 70 West View, Ealees. Tel. 79573

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

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TWO FAREWELLS

Earlier this year Mr. Don Pickis resigned from the Civic Trust Committee after many years’ service first as Vice Chairman and then Chairman in 1981. I am sure all Trust members would like to thank Don for the tremendous amount of work he has put into the Trust’s Activities. He will continue to be a keen member of the Trust.

Mr. Roy Prince has announced his retirement from teaching and also from printing the newsletter. Everyone concerned with the newsletter would like to thank Roy for his efforts.

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1984 AND ALL THAT.

The year in which British Rail announced its intention of re-opening the railway station at Smithy Bridge marks the centenary of the station pedestrian subway.

When in 1839 the Manchester and Liverpool Company opened the line there was only a level crossing at Smithy Bridge, shown on the 1854 Ordnance Survey map as Smithy Gate. In 1868 the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, as it had then become, opened the station, and in 1884 the pedestrian subway.

The Subway was built by J. B. Walsh, a railway contractor who had almost completed the work when his bankruptcy was declared. Fortunately his father Mr. U. B. Walsh came to his rescue and completed the contract.

The white tiled subway was opened in August 1884 and cost £2000.

ALAN HOLT

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MORE FOR US LESS FOR THEM

 

Photograph: Moorland scene

What part do human beings play in the overall evolutionary process? It could be that eventually human beings will eliminate from the Earth all living things that are not directly beneficial to Man. That may be a long way off, but we have been aware for some time of the effects of the drive to convert more of the habitat of plants and creatures to Man's use.

We are told that, already in our own country we are at the critical point - almost too late to stop. Good agricultural land is disappearing under concrete, while the E.E.C. subsidies make it profitable for farmers in many areas to drain rough grazing land and put it to the plough, in the process destroying the habitat of many forms of wild life.

So, in Britain, having depleted the forests and the good grade farmland (often created in the first place from woodland), we are starting on the marshes, the heaths and the sea shores. How long, we wonder, will it be before the so-far relatively untouched moorlands come in for attention?

At a local level, our effect on the environment and on the other forms of life that share it is noticeable, though perhaps not as dramatic as the destruction of vast rain forests, pollution of mangrove swamps, creation of acid lakes etc. Locally we might claim that, while there have been debits, there have also been credits which might appear to bring about a reasonable balance i.e. losses of green land on the one hand and clearing of derelict land and some improvement in the air we breathe on the other. The trouble is that the green land is lost for good and reclaimed derelict land can never be an adequate replacement for it. In fact, there is a very good argument from an ecologist's point of view for not attempting to tidy up derelict land too much, because this too destroys wild life habitat.

In general the skylines around Littleborough are not spoilt by unsympathetic development. We hope that the moorland hills will remain unmarred by exploitation. Perhaps what will save them in the end is the need for water. Water catchments, for the moment, are well protected and so there might be a future for wild-life around Littleborough.

ROY PRINCE

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THE LITTLEBROOUGH HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Our Winter programme has just ended, having seen good attendances and quite a few new members. We had a very good trip in May to Grassington Folk Museum and Bolton Abbey including a walk on the Lead Mine Trail at Grassington.

FUTURE EVENTS

16th August. "Antiques Roadshow”
13th September Ironbridge Gorge Museum - J.P.Malam.
11th October Development of Mill Architecture. - D.Wardell

The Society will also be holding a history trail on Sunday 26th August at 2.00pm starting from the Coach House. This one is called "A Village Walk" and is a five mile trail led by Mr. R. Evans.

We will also be contributing to Littleborough Carnival on Sunday 6th August and at the Village Fete, The Coach House, Saturday 21st July. Could you please contribute any unwanted books for our stall at the Carnival, contact Lincoln Jackson at "The Bargain Corner", Hare Hill Road.

Walks from Hollingworth Lake Visitors’ Centre led by Richard Evans.

July 22nd. 11.00am. Old Mills of Littleborough. 11 miles.
August 12th. 2.00pm. Reddyshore Scoutgate 6 miles.
September 9th. 2.00pm. Lydgate Valley 6 miles.

RICHARD EVANS

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ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS

Derelict Land in Rochdale M. B. C.

Spoil Heaps, 26 Hectares. Excavations and pits, 125 hectares. Abandoned British Rail land, 18 hectares. Other, 125 hectares.

This totals 211 hectares which comes to 6.2 per cent. of the total of derelict land in the Greater Manchester Council area. Out of 10 districts, Rochdale has the third lowest total - only Tameside with 3.8 percent and Trafford with 5.1 per cent have less. Wigan with 30.7 per cent has the highest.

A headline to a report in the Guardian, 22nd February read “Cure for Britain’s rotting Statues worries the Preservation Lobby”. Apparently statues are being destroyed by air pollution, in particular acid rain. British Industry being one of the culprits has come up with a cure – a colourless resin called Brethane, but the preservation lobby are not happy about its use. They contend that the "cure" could prove a greater disaster than the pollution. Previous so-called cures have in fact accelerated the decay and Brethane has no solvent to remove it if this is the case.

JOHN HINDLE

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FOOTPATH WALKS

Attendances have fluctuated again recently with only three turning up for the walk on the 1st July. Last year's lowest was five. However, on April 22nd we got exactly 20 which beat last year's highest one of 19. It must however be admitted that seven of those who turned up were solely members of the Whitworth Group. However on May 6th the Footpaths group attracted 21 people to Lincoln's Walk around Shore, the first time we have got over 20 for well over a year.

The 1984 walks programme was drawn up at a meeting by members of the Footpaths Group.

Please do not bring your dog along or you may be asked to turn back.

JULY 29th. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Square 1.50pm for bus to Summit.
Chelburn Moor circuit.

AUGUST 12th. Leader - ALF WARD Meet Square 1.30pm.
New Hey circular.

AUGUST 26th. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL Meet Square 1.30pm.
Cragg Vale Circular.

SEPTEMBER 9th. Leader - JOE TAYLOR. Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm or the Deerplay Inn 2.00pm.
Cliviger Circular.

7 miles.

SEPTEMBER 23rd. Leader - JOHN HINDLE. Meet Square 10.40am for bus to Baitings.
Crow Hill circular.

12 miles.

OCTOBER 7th. Leader - RICHARD EVANS. Meet Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre. 2.00p.m.
Brearley - Schofield Hall – Rakewood.

6 miles.

OCTOBER 21st. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL Meet Square 1.30pm.
Castleshaw Roman Fort circular.

 

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THE SETTLE – CARLISLE RAILWAY

Being resident in Leeds for half the year these days, I decided I could send in an objection to British Rail regarding the threatened closure of the historic Settle - Carlisle line. For the benefit of those who are not quite sure what it's all about, this article should help to fill in a few gaps.

The first suggestion of closure came in 1959 after the introduction of diesel locomotives between Crewe and Carlisle when the British Transport Commission considered the possibility of closing much of the line. In 1963 "Butcher" Beeching proposed to close the line. The Ministry of Transport rejected this idea because of the hardship it would cause to the Pennine communities along the line. In 1967 BR’s long term plans included the withdrawal of passenger services and closure of the line between Appleby and Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

Since then, British Rail have gradually run down the line attempting "closure by Stealth" refusing to recognise the utility and potential of the line. First, all the stations besides Settle and Appleby were destaffed and pay trains introduced. In 1970, local passenger services were stopped and the unstaffed stations closed down, only seven years after the rejection of Beeching's proposal. Bus services were introduced which have satisfied no one and so the communities have to suffer very inadequate public transport provision.

In 1975 West Yorkshire Public Transport Executive and the Dales National Park Authority sponsored the successful “Dales Rail” service for walkers on Sundays. This failed to convince British Rail that there was a future for the line and in May 1982 axed the Inter-City services along the line and Sunday workings. It was only at this point that people realised what was going on. We are now left with an appalling ser¬vice: two badly timetabled services each way and an early train from Settle to Leeds. British Rail is simply not interested in making any effort to see if the line could be made profitable or not.

In 1983, the dreadful Serpell Report was published but in its favour closing the Settle-Carlisle line was only recommended in the most severe of its many options. In August 1983, British Rail, having waited for the Penrith by-election, (where the line was a major issue and could have decided the result had the three candidates not been in agreement that the line must stay open) to go by, finally announced their intention to close the line. In October, a strong Commons statement by the Ministry of Transport denied that any "major route closures" were in the pipe-line.

Photograph: Ribblehead Viaduct

British Rail's major justification has been that it cannot afford the £6 million apparently needed to make the magnificent Ribblehead viaduct safe for the future. However, in "New Civil Engineer" magazine recently an informed source claimed that really only £183,000 was needed. British Rail also claims to be making a huge loss by running the line yet at a public meeting, in Skipton last year, a local councillor gave voice to the rumour that the line had actually made a profit the previous year. A recent TV programme suggested that British Rail had indulged in a bit of skulduggery concerning the figures with a ludicrous over-estimate of diesel fuel costs.

These are the holes in B.R.'s argument. If anyone is interested I will write on the positive aspects of the line in the next newsletter.

MICHAEL FARRELL

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THE CIVIC TRUST GUIDE TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL OFFICERS

Councillors are the local authority and could legally administer all services themselves but the complexity of the task means that tasks must be delegated to “council officers and beyond them to the "manual workers.” Councillors can decide the number and structure of these officers but some officers must be appointed by law e.g. chief education officer and coroner.

Cartoon of Librarian

Other officers such as librarians, architects, housing managers etc. are generally regarded as being necessary.

Officers have two main roles, to administer the services and advise councillors on matters concerning those services. In practice most decisions are made by the officers while the councillors discuss policy issues and only intervene when a major decision is called for. When bringing a complaint against a local authority, it is important to find out who will be judging it, councillor or officer. It should also be remembered that an officer’s word is not final and can be over-ruled by the council.

MICHAEL FARRELL

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WILL WE BE RULING SOON?

Cartoon: Lecturer

The present “revival” of Britain's and the world's economy is not being accompanied by any significant reduction in unemployment and this apparent contradiction may prove to be the much-needed trigger for a major reappraisal of the industrial imperative.

To green economists there is no contradiction. Christopher Hulne in the Guardian states that the reason for the contradiction is that while “demand and output have been growing quite strongly they have not been growing strongly enough”. This response is typical of Neo-Keynesian thinking and could be made by Labour and Alliance economists. There is a desperate need for demand stimulation. Conservatives too see the need but deny that there is at present the room.

All conventional thinking then is dominated by the idea of continued growth in demand for goods and services through industrial expansion whether under a capitalist or Marxist system. If the side-effects of growth are bad (as increasingly recognised as being) they are still not as bad as doing without the growth. If the costs of coping with the side effects appear to be unacceptable to the grower he does not do the coping - it is left to other people to pick up often much later.

The idea that there might be limits to growth is beginning to catch on. There are external limits which include the approaching exhaustion of many non-renewable resources (e.g. fossil fuels), the over-exploitation of renewable resources preventing reproduction, the over-loading of the world's waste disposal systems and the deliberate destruction of habitats and species (some useful.)

The internal limits are the tendency of the system to produce extremely skewed distributions of income, the apparent failure of affluence to produce social harmony and the pressure to place economic considerations above social and humane considerations.

It is time the environmentalists and ecologists challenged this thinking and constructed a model which has other primary motivations. We are a growing band as the economic system fails through internal contradictions and external limits. Fritz Schumacher said “If we go on fighting this battle with nature and win we will find we are on the losing side". Let’s hope this will soon be realised in influential circles.

from "Another Economist" - TONY BEAMISH

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Thanks to:
Keith Parry for the cover design.
Roy Prince for printing the newsletter
K. Farrell for typing the stencils.
All contributors


Editor: Roy Prince