Snow on trees

 

Winter's Scene

MEETINGS

Annual General Meeting. Thursday 20 January 8pm.

AGENDA

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CIVIC TRUST DIARY SPRING 1977

All meetings to be hold at "Oddfellows", 66 Church St. at 8pm unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, January 10 A G M

Thursday, February 17"THE ROCHDALE REVIVED"
Keith Parry outlines the pesent canal restoration plans and its implications for the future.

FRIDAY MARCH 11 GRAND FANCY DRESS DANCE - LITTLEBOROUGH CRICKET CLUB

Thursday April 21 "THE CAMERA AND THE LOCAL HISTORIAN” Chris Makepeace - author oF "Manchester as it was."

Looking forward...,..
A number of ideas have been put forward regarding coach trips: Barnard Castle, Beverley and Shrewsbury.

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CONSERVATION?

Cartoon house in fear of demolition

We wrote to Rochdale MB in August to ask if anything could be done to save the Hamer Toll House (former Police Station) on Halifax Road, Rochdale. Strictly speaking, this is not on our ‘patch’, but we were concerned as two of the tollhouses on the Rochdale - Todmorden Turnpike are still in existence - and It would be good to have a third.

Here is an extract from their recent reply...

“… …the Borough Housing Officer instigated a thorough investigation of the feasibility of restoring the Toll House for residential use. As a result a report, prepared by the Borough Architect, was presented to the Housing Services Committee, which resolved not to restore the building but to have it demolished.

An estimate of the cost of restoration was £21,500 which was considered to be excessive given the location of the Toll House on a busy main road.....

Demolish. It seems so easy. And another potential asset disappears.

But it seems to Trust members that at this time of economic recession, energy and initiative must be found to work out what we can do with a limited amount of money and resources. Surely a lower estimate for at least partial restoration could have been found? Surely the Council could have been more resourceful - and ultimately gained a useful building?

When we were first alerted to the problem of Steanor Bottom Toll House we were told by many well-meaning people that the task of restoration was impossible! That was in 1972, with the economic recession hardly begun. Now it has been rebuilt and we expect that it will not be too long before it is in use as a dwelling house. Nor will it have cost £21,500.

But It has cost time - and energy - and initiative!

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LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY

Membership is now 37 and following the Exhibition in September we have managed to collect well over 100 photos of Old Littleborough. If anyone has any old photos or interesting documents or papers, we can copy them and let you have them back. Contact: Alan Luke - tel 79949.

Meetings - 8pm,'Oddfellows,' 66 Church Street.

January 13. Miss A Linkman. "Archive Recovery".

February 10. Mr. C. Butterworth. "Old Littleborough"

March 10. Mrs. M. Lord "Lancashire Dialect".

April 14. Mr. J. Hodgson. "Miscellany".

May 12. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING.

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ROCHDALE CANAL SOCIETY.

Manpower Services Commission has now sanctioned the £208,000 Job Creation Scheme to extend restoration to Littleborough. Plans are now in hand to form a Trust to 'mastermind' the whole project and ultimately act as the Operating Authority. Further details at the Civic Trust’s February Meeting.

Volunteer working parties are held monthly - at Long Lees Lock, Warland. Everyone is welcome. Dates.... January 15/16, February 19/20. Details from Brian Holden - tel. 46132.

Towpath Walk…….January 2nd. 2pm, The Wharf.
Littleborough to Walsden.

Meeting……………..Wednesday, January 19th., Beach Hotel, Hollingworth Lake. Dr. Hugh Malet, “The Use of Canal Packet Boats”

Subsequent winter meetings will be in the Calderdale area. Details of these and membership from Brian Holden.

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Footpath Group

Pennine Way Walk, April 11th. 1976 - the second of the Footpath Group's walks along the Pennine Way.

The walk was from Thornton-in-Craven to Airton - a distance of nine miles through very pleasant countryside.

We left Thornton by Cam Lane, passing some houses on both sides. Leaving these behind we passed Old Cote and followed a path with fields on our left with sheep grazing in them. We followed a well-defined path over a slight rise and down to Langber Beck, which we crossed, then going over Langber Hill to join the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The Pennine Way follows this for a couple of' hundred yards, then leaves via Bridge 160. It passes behind East Marton Church and follows a field path to the A59

Crossing the road, we followed the lane past the Public House. Passing over the canal and turning left, we followed it until we came upon a wall stile on the right. Here we left the lane and walking across the field made for the trees in front of us, then we rejoined the lane for a hundred yards or so, then, climbing a rise we crossed Crickle Beck and after passing through a number of fields we stopped at the top of Scalebar Hill for a view of Gargrave and Airedale.

Photograph: Church Lane, Gargrave

Church Street, Gargrave

We dropped to a farm track and after crossing the railway were soon passing the school and entering Gargrave by way of Church Lane.

Here we had lunch by the river Aire, where we had a few spots of rain.

Leaving via West Street, we crossed over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and walked along a pleasant tree-lined lane for about a mile where we left it to climb Harrows Hill. From here one gets a view, in particular to the right, down to Ashton Hall.

Following a well-defined path we crossed Eshton Moor and on crossing a footbridge followed the West bank of the river Aire to Newfield Bridge. Here we crossed the bridge to continue the last mile or so to Airton along the East bank of the river. Here we ended our walk.

To be continued, later in the year.

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WALKS

January 16th. Leader - Margaret Padmanabhan. Meet The Square 1.30pm or Fisherman's Inn 1.45pm.

BEAR HILL - HOLLINGWORTH FOLD - CANAL FEEDER - BREARLEY BROOK - WHITTAKER - OWLET HALL - LYDGATE - GATEHOUSE – WINDYBANk 4 ½ Miles

January 30th. Leader John Hindle. Meet The Square, 1.30pm.

STUBLEY MILL ROAD - ARM ROAD - STARRING HILL - BENCH CARR - ASHBROOK HEY FARM - GREENFIELD LANE - WUERDLE ~ STUBLEY MILL ROAD. 5 Miles

February 13th. Leader Roy Prince. Meet TheSquare 1.30pm

CANAL TOWPATH - LIGHTOWIERS FARM - WOODCOCK INN - LONG LEY HEY FARM - LEECH - CHELBURN -SUMMIT. 4 Miles

February 27th. Leader - Richard Evans. Meet The Square 1.30

CANAL TOWPATH - DELPH - MAWRODE FARM - LIGHTHOUSE - GRIMES FARM - LONG CLOUGH - LOITER NEWGATE - TOWN HOUSE. 4½ Miles

March 13th. FULL DAY WALK :

Meet The Square 9am. Private Cars to Todmorden for 9.30am Halifax Bus.

CHARLESTON – WALSHAW RESERVOIRS - PENNINE WAY - HARDCASTLE CRAGS - HEBDEN BRIDGE. 12 Miles.

It is advisable to bring a flask and something to eat for this walk.

March 27th. Leader - John Hindle. Meet The Square 1.45pm to catch 1.55pm bus to Mill Bank.

MILL BANK - SPOUT FIELD - HUBBERTON GREEN - MIREY LANE - OLD CRIB - LUDDENDENFOOT. 4 Miles.

NOTE: NO WALK EASTER SUNDAY

April 17th. Leader - Richard Evans Meet The Square 1.30pm to catch 1.42pm bus to Mytholm.

MYTHOLM CHURCH - COLDEN WATER - LUMB BANK - SLACK - NORTH WELL - HEPTONSTALL - HEBDEN BRIDGE 4 Miles.

April 23rd/24th. WEEKEND WALK Meet The Square. Saturday 3.pm.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast at Horton-in~Ribblesdale

SUNDAY HORTON-IN-RIBBLESDA LE TO HAWES 14 ½ Miles

Silhouette of two hikers

FUTURE FULL-DAY WALKS

May 8th. Leader - Roy Prince. Meet The Square 9am

PATELEY BRIDGE CIRCULAR 9 Miles

June 19th. Leader - John Hindle. Meet The Square 9am.

SETTLE CIRCULAR 10 Miles.

July 17th. Leader - Margaret Padmanabhan. Meet The Square 9am

BOLTON ABBEY 4 miles ILKLEY MOOR 3 miles

August 14th. TO BE ARRANGED

September 11th. Leader - Allan Luke. Meet The Square 9am

RIVINGTON CIRCULAR 9 Miles

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GRANTS FOR FOOTPATHS

The Countryside Commission is making grants available to Public and Private bodies, both to help with the initial cost of implementing schemes of improvement to footpaths and for the purchase of tools, equipment and materials etc. It would be appreciated if anyone knows of a public foot path which may benefit from such a scheme could let us know.

For further information or any suggestions regarding footpath walks please contact:

John Hindle. Tel 70407 or

Lincoln Jackson Tel 77487 or 70542

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MEMORIES OF OLD LITTLEBOROUGH

We have had several replies to our request in the last Newsletter for memories of old Littleborough. Many thanks to everyone who has got in touch with us. We shall be publishing some notes in each issue of the Newsletter, so we are still pleased to hear from anyone.

Mr. Lund gave us this picture of the area around the Red Lion and the former Canal Wharf before the First World War. His father moved to Littleborough - then a thriving industrial village - to find work and his Mother also found work as a weaver at Brookfield Mill in the same area.

Incidentally, to make the journey from Todmordon, Mr Lund tells us he and his brothers were given a ball and told "to kick it until you reach the 'Boro'. Cheap Fare!

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

Although Littleborough seems much the same as it did 60 years ago, yet like so many other villages many changes have taken place in the social life and outlook of the people. One of my first recollections of Littleborough was to file past the coffin of the late Dr. Alfred Salts, Vicar of Littleborough, on the occasion of a show of public respect. My family came from Todmordon, where I attended the Roomfield Council School. The Headmaster was Mr. Crabtree who was also 'Pro' for Todmorden Cricket Club. By coincidence, when we camo to live in Littleborough, I attended the Central School - the Headmaster, Mr Buxton, was 'Pro’ for Littleborough.

Round about the Red Lion was a busy part of Littleboro' in those days. William Burrill, the carrier, stabled some of his carthorses in the Red Lion Yard. Baker's shoeing forge was nearby; there was a hay and straw (later coal) merchant next door and the canal wharf was in full working operation and very busy at the time - full of barges loading and unloading.

Cromwell Cottage, at the corner of Ealees Road and now demolished, was a small, low-roofed house and Oliver Cromwell was reputed to have slept there. In my early years it was occupied by a large but poor family and I used to wonder how such a large family managed to sleep there.. The old School House nearby never seems to have been given the attention that its historical interest deserves. Built by one of the Halliwell family, it is claimed that at one time this was the only school between Rochdale and Todmorden.

Up Ealees Road was the C.L.B Institute and in its early days was a well-equipped gymnasium, with a reading room and a billiard room. It served successfully as a boys' club for many years, but was often misused and supervision was badly lacking. Mr. Mclntyre, curate of .the Parish Church and later Vicar of Wardle often came to the Institute. What a "good" sport and genuine person he was!

Opposite Cromwell Cottage was Harris's Grocers shop, which was always a convenient meeting place for the youngsters who lived about. At Durn, Hodgkinson's newsagents served the same purpose.

Errand-boys seemed to be always in demand by butchers, bakers and grocers, and from my own experience it could, be a. pretty tough job. I would leave the baker's shop about 9.30 on a Saturday morning, and, making calls on the way, travel to Limefield Terrace, then cross The Valley to Lydgate Inn, and back to the shop by way of Gatehouse and the Rake Inn. After some dinner at the shop there would be another journey to Sladen Fold, and lastly a visit to Lawson's Coffee House with 72 rice buns for the princely sum of 1s/6d, and were carefully counted before payment. My own wages for the day were 1s/6d.

A big mill-fire is always an exciting spectacle, and the fire at the Uber Mill in Durn Brow about 1916 was no exception to the rule. We lived in Halliwell Street at the time, and had a grandstand view from the railway embankment. Prom a red glow at the top corner window the fire spread until it was out of control and the roof fell in. Later, the lower side wall fell on to the detatched house of Mr, Travis, then the rear wall fell into tho canal and the front wall collapsed into the roadway. In the grey morning light it was a grim sight to see the twisted metal and the smouldering filth. Fire is a costly enemy in war and peace.

During the First World War the owners made a good living serving tea, cakes and sandwiches to the soldiers on their day off. The troops camped at Hollingworth Lake in the Ealees valley and would walk down the footpath to Littlebborough.

Brookfield Mill stood in the centre of the area behind the canal wharf. The stone building just inside the entrance was its front facade. The brick building with the sign ‘Brookfield Engineering ' was the back part of the same mill. The Filling Station on the corner of Canal Street is made up of two canal warehouses at right-angles. The covered space in between was a yard. Recently, a Civic Trust working party uncovered most of the stone setts which pave the wharf area and revealed the line of moorings rings and base of an old crane.

When the canal is re-opened this could be a very useful area. Boats coming to Littleborough will moor here. The Trust has already suggested to the Council that the Wharf area could be improved in much the same way as the Crawford Street area has been treated – upgrading the existing buildings and perhaps providing workshops for small ‘craft’ industries. Long term, the site might also provide facilities for a youth activity centre, a small museum and perhaps a couple of shops catering for the waterborne holidaymakers. The Wharf is important. It will after all be a gateway to Littleborough.

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Editor: Roy Prince