Picture: Seeding dandelions

 

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 Michael Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, Littleborough. Tel. 70154.

OFFICIALS OF LITTLEBOROUGH CIVIC TRUST

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

Vice Chairman: Roy Prince, 14 Milbury Drive, Tel. 78883.

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

Treasurer: Geoff Sutcliffe, 14 Buckley Terrace, Wardle, Tel. 40369.

Membership Secretary: Lincoln Jackson, 1 Moorfield View, Shore. Tel. 70542

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Richard Evans, 8 Charles St.
Mike Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, Tel. 70154.
Rae Street, Calder Cottage, Tel. 76043.
Pauline Hopkinson, Far Hey Head Farm, Calderbrook.
Alf Tortoiseshell, Edgemoor, Blackstone Edge Old Road. 79507
Jill Roberts, 12 Whitfield Brow, Todmorden Road.
Jack Trickett, 9 Railway Street
Harry Law, 7 Railway Street

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

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PERSONNEL

We were saddened to hear of the death in March of Miss Nelly Jewitt, a longstanding member of the Trust quite possibly from the beginning. Miss Jewitt was a former teacher at Littleborough Parish School and formerly lived at Wellington Terrace. Our sympathies go out to her friends and relatives.

On a happier note, we offer our best wishes to Pauline Hopkinson who has moved down from Far Hey Head Farm to the more civilised environs of Glencoe Place, Rochdale. Pauline still wishes to be an active member of the Civic Trust despite moving over the border.

There were a number of changes on the Committee at the A.G.M. this year. Anne Lawson has resigned as Minutes Secretary and from the committee in the happiest circumstances, to start a family. We offer her and her husband many congratu-lations. Also resigning from the committee this year were Joan Cook and Rita Kay and we thank them for their work over the years. Lastly we welcome a new face, that of Mr. Harry Law, onto the Committee and hope the association is mutually rewarding.

The Editor

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WELL DONE

No doubt about it, you all deserve a pat on the back this year! Lincoln reports that around 90% of subscriptions have now been paid, our income from that source already exceeding last year's total. Therefore the subscription notice this quarter is almost entirely for the benefit of newcomers picking up the newsletter.

£1.50Ordinary Membership.
£2.50Family Membership.

Subscriptions can be given in/sent to Lincoln Jackson at the Bargain Corner, Hare Hill Road, Littleborough, or to any Committee Member.

For those of you that have bought this newsletter and would like to join the Civic Trust but would not find it convenient to see Lincoln Jackson during opening hours, we have included a slip to send to him at the back of the newsletter. It is not necessary for anyone else to use it.

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CHAIRWOMAN’S REPORT 1988 (slightly abridged)

I make no apology this year for what I think is a shorter report. This is not entirely due to lack of activity within the Trust, but because so much work has occurred this year under cover, so as to speak, in the way of letter writing and many phone calls principally concerning applications and problems surrounding them.

We have dealt with a great deal of Planning and as I said in my report last year, planning takes up an enormous amount of Committee time. The whole aspect of Planning is going through a great period of change. With the increasing loss of powers by Local Authorities with more and more control coming from Central Government and not only in Planning matters, the work of the Environmental Society is going to become more difficult in the future. Already it has become obvious to us locally that on occasion the planners, both 0fficers and Councillors, do not seem to take the same interest as formerly in caring about the locality. This situation will get worse as time goes on, and it will certainly make us more vigilant with the applications that are put forward. One aspect which particularly concerns us is the reticence expressed by the planners in connection with illegal building and their unwillingness to enforce regulations.

We began the 1987 period as we have ended it in 1988 with Environment Week and the meeting at the Visitors Centre at Hollingworth Lake. Those attended last year all said how much they had enjoyed themselves; apart from some of them getting extremely wet during our organized evening walk, but it was good to have an opportunity to swop ideas and meet each other in pleasant surroundings. Last year the Civic Trust organised a "Roses and Raspberries" photographic exhibition, picking out some delightful and some awful places in the locality with the hope that perhaps this might stir up some action from visitors to the Centre.

Picture: CPRE poster

We also had a talk and film show and exhibition from the Keep Britain Tidy Group - preaching to the converted I'm afraid. This year we were approached by Sue Jeeves of the Council for the Protection of Rural England asking if we were prepared to let her come and talk about the work of the Council and show some slides, so we were delighted to incorporate her visit into Environment Week. Once again I think I can say on behalf of all who attended how much the evening was appreciated.

Again this year we welcomed representatives from local Environmental Groups - and I have personally received several messages of thanks for our effort.

Talking of thank-yous there are several I should like to have minuted this year. For organising the exhibitions at the Lake, for the two Environment Weeks and also for organising the food and wine on both occasions, thanks must go to Jill Roberts, Anne Lawson, Joan Cook and Pauline Hopkinson. If some people think that we do not appear to do much in improving the environ¬ment, we can certainly organise a good binge! I should also like to express the thanks of the Trust to Rita Kay, our Minutes Secretary for the past seven years. It is not an easy job and we are grateful to Rita for her years of service; we thank Anne Lawson for continuing with this task. Thanks must also be given here through my report to Mrs. Beaumont, the Caretaker at the Council Offices. Although she does know how grateful we are mention must be made of the fact that we feel she certainly had quite a lot to do with the Trust finally acquiring the use of a room at the Council Offices for the sole use of the Trust. This is somewhere we can store papers and equipment, and has made it possible for some members to actually reclaim the use of their spare rooms again! Thank you too to the Vice-Chairman for his persistence in pursuing our request for the use of such a room. I should also like to take this opportunity to mention Eleanor Dale Assistant Warden at Hollingworth Lake for all her help when we have used the Visitors Centre and finally but not least, we do thank George Kelsall for giving up his time again and Chairing our A.G.M.

During the year the Trust sent representatives to Chester for their Civic Trust day of get-together for all Civic Trusts in the North West. It was an interesting day of talks, discussion and finally a walk round the fascinating city of Chester. Those of us who attended hoped that perhaps we might be able to host a similar occasion in the future in Littleborough; the Coach House being the obvious venue.

Photograph: Chatsworth Bridge

A visit arranged to Chatsworth Park in September, for the first Festival of the National Parks, was organised thanks to Jill Roberts and we were delighted that the Princess of Wales attended as well! It was a most pleasant, warm day out, and the sight of 35 hot air balloons, at the close of proceedings, rising slowly into the sky will be something I will remember for a long time.

Hard physical work has been put into our efforts together with the Groundwork team to complete the garden at Shop Wood. Although the site is at present crying out for a good weed, the work put into this scheme has made a great improvement to the area. We were sorry the Mayor was unable to attend in May of last year when we were photographed with a Shell Certificate for our efforts, with Shell providing money for the garden.

The Trust followed up its earlier visit to the Plysu factory at Milton Keynes with a visit to their new factory at Littleborough and were favourably impressed with what they saw there. Needless to say, recently, the site next to the factory seems to have become somewhat of a tip with rubble and old Portakabins, we wonder exactly what is going on there, but the Trust Chairman is following this up.

We were delighted that our suggestion to the owners of Stubley Hall, that the Hall should be entered in the Country House Awards Competition was taken up. This was a competition run jointly by the Conservation Foundation, Messrs. Jackson-Stops and Staff and the Sunday Times for buildings which have been converted successfully into something which retained its original quality and was to be used either domestically or for the benefit of the community. Although Stubley was successful in reaching a place in the first short list, this was as far as it got; however, it did bring the Hall to the notice of a great deal of people nationally. The Civic Trust was also represented at the official opening of the Hall in November.

Recently Blue plaques have appeared on some buildings in the Square. These have been produced, principally at the instigation of Rochdale Environment Officer, Peter Bell, in conjunction with the Trust. These plaques give a potted history of the building and should be of interest to visitors. I must be honest here, when I admit that I had to be persuaded that these plaques would add something of interest to the buildings concerned. I felt that they would lose their impact if they were undervalued by the quantity of plaques all together in a small area. I do however wish they had been green and not blue, but this is a personal preference. It will be interesting to see how people react to them.

We are worried that the plans to build a Doctor's surgery in the Square do not seem to be progressing very fast and as we feared, as soon as the tenants of the shops left, an eyesore would soon develop. A really welcoming sight this, to visitors to Littleborough! We have been in touch with the Head Office of the Co-op the owners of the property, who appreciate our concern but give no definite news re progress. We are also concerned that when premises do become vacant, nine times out of ten, permission is given for them to become Estate, Solicitor or Building Society Offices. Surely these are not the only people now with money to buy or rent shop premises? We are all deter¬mined that any new applications for shop premises will receive our particular attention.

However, all the Trust's news is not frustrating. We are, as I am sure you are too, delighted to see the wall along Hollingworth Road being repaired at long last. Our continual efforts to have this job done have finally borne fruit. It has taken a long time and we trust it will be even longer before the vandals try again to destroy it. Groundwork's efforts at Rock Nook and in other places give us heart and the continual opening up of the Canal locks, particularly the one at Fothergill and Harvey, open up exciting prospects for the future.

We have been asked quite frequently why the Trust seems to keep such a low profile in Littleborough - this is probably a mistake on our part, but hopefully with the co-operation of the Rochdale Observer, we trust that in the future our activities will appear more frequently on the Littleborough page. Even to appear as we did recently, in the Talking Point column is publicity! However, we can only make news so to speak, when there is something worthy of reporting - reports on our Committee meetings, are not really the stuff that sells newspapers. Information on Footpath walks do appear pretty regularly, and here I must say that the majority of Civic Trust members are of the walking fraternity. As I mentioned last year, the people who have helped us with our horticultural efforts, if not already Trust members, do not seem to want to join us later, our requests over the last few years to find out if existing members wanted us to start monthly meetings again have fallen on deaf ears. These meetings were a good way of keeping in touch with our members and encouraging new ones. The problem of falling rolls does not only happen in the schools.

The membership of the Trust is not growing and it should be. This is a problem that concerns us all and sometimes the lack of support does impede our activities when there is so much actual work to be done. We find it difficult to get enough people together for things like litter clearing, wall repairing, surveying old buildings, etc. etc., all things we have wanted to do but have not done, due to lack of support. The Committee are considering in the future how we can alter the situation.

I apologise to any Committee member if I have omitted to mention them or their particular activity but I am sure I have talked enough. I did say that this was to be a shorter report than last years but I now wonder? I thank all the Committee for their attendance during the past year and all the work done, which has been carried out on behalf of the Trust. Thank you to all.

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FOOTPATH WALKS.

We have been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have joined the Civic Trust after or even before walking with us in the last couple of months and Lincoln must take most of the credit for this. We have written to Calderdale M.B. about the trouble encountered at Gorpley Farm on 10th April and are currently engaged in reviewing a provisional revised footpath map kindly loaned to us by Rochdale M.B.C.

Members and others wishing to attend the walks should note that a fair proportion of the walks this summer will involve the use of member's cars. Passengers should be prepared, in such cases, to make a contribution towards petrol expenses. Collection and distribution of the contributions shall be the responsibility of the walk leader.

The Summer 1988 programme was drawn up at two meetings of the Footpaths Group. We would e delighted to have more members contributing walks and ideas. The Autumn programme will have been decided by the time you read this but at the time of going to press it had not. The meeting to discuss the Winter 1989 programme will be sometime in the Autumn so don't worry, there'll be another newsletter by then.

Sunday, JUNE 19th. LEADER - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Littleborough Square 2.00pm.
Whitfield - Mawrode - Timbercliffe -Longley Hey - Gatehouse

5 miles.

Sunday, JULY 3rd. LEADER - ALF WARD. Meet Littleborough Square 2.00pm
To be decided.

Sunday, JULY 17th. LEADER - GEOFF SUTCLIFFE. Meet Littleborough Square 9.30am
Ribchester - Hurst Green.

10 miles.

Wednesday, JULY 27th. Meet Littleborough Square 7.00pm

An evening stroll.

Sunday, JULY 31st. LEADER - GEOFF SUTCLIFFE. LMeet Littleborough Square 1.30pm./ or Stansfield School,
Todmorden Road 1.40pm.
Calderbrook - Reddyshore - Cranberry Dam - Turn Slack.

6 miles.

Sunday, AUGUST 14th. LEADER - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Littleborough Square 9.30am.
Belmont Circular

Wednesday, AUGUST 17th. LEADER - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Littleborough Square 7.00pm.
Stoodley Pike and Withens Clough.

3-4 miles.

Sunday, AUGUST 28th. Meet Littleborough Square 2.00pm.
An afernoon walk to be decided.

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LITTLEBOROUGH HISTORICAL AND ARCHÆOLOGICAL SOCIETY

Events to be held at the Coach House at 8.00pm:

Thursday, June 9th. Local History Files.

Thursday, July 14th. A Lancashire Night.

Thursday, August 11th. To be arranged.

Thursday, September 8th. Mr. Newman. - On Tap. North West Water.

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REVIEW

Picture: Front of book

RAMBLING ON – Mike Harding (Arrow £2.50)

Mike Harding is a decent, unpretentious northern comedian. He is also becoming famous as a very enthusiastic rambler and is currently President of the Ramblers’ Association. In this capacity he wrote an introduction for Barry Pilton's brilliantly funny “One Man And His Dog” so I had high hopes for this, his own humorous look at rambling.

Unfortunately, I was to be disappointed. For the most part "Rambling On" is so painfully unamusing it could have been written by Willie Rushton. Where Pilton's book exposed ramblers idiosyncrasies and the rambling world's pitfalls with devastating accuracy, Harding relies on exaggeration and over-categorisation in his description of different types of ramblers. What is worse, Harding often strays way off the point imposing a tenuous rambling link to satirise other aspects of life that have no relevance here. What can one make of this, from the "Rambling and Art" chapter? "The great Nijinsky, while on a Rambling tour in the Yorkshire Dales, amazed the residents of the small market town of Hawes by dancing "L'Apres Midi D'Un Faun" in the town square on market day accompanied by George Bernard Shaw on comb and paper and Sarah Bernhardt on spoons". I suppose one could call it surreal but plain silly would be more appropriate. Sadly the title is not the pun its author intended it to be.

MICHAEL FARRELL

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COACH HOUSE FETE

Picture: wine bottles

Once again we will be having a bottle stall at the Coach House Fete on Saturday 23rd July, 1988, hopefully with better weather than last year. We will again be largely dependent on your generosity to provide the prizes.

Any contributions you can make can be handed in to Lincoln Jackson at "The Bargain Corner" on Harehill Road. Alternatively if you would find this difficult, phone a committee member and we will arrange a personal collection (but not the night before please).

Thank you in advance for your help.

MICHAEL FARRELL

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I/We would like to join Littleborough Civic Trust and enclose a cheque/P.0. for £2.50/£1.50.

 

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Thanks to:
K. Farrell for typing the stencils.
Roy Prince for the printing and cover design.
Pauline Hopkinson for overseeing the distribution.
All contributors and distributors.


Editor: Michael Farrell