Pattern: Snowflake


Winter Snowscape

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.



All meetings are held on Thursdays at the Oddfellows' Room, 66, Church Street, Littleborough, beginning at 8.00pm

Thursday, 25th January - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
(Please note the change of date i.e. the fourth instead of the third Thursday.)

Thursday, 15th February & Thursday, 15th March
One meeting on 'Open Space' and one on 'Open air Museums'
Details to be announced


Earlier this year Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council sent out a circular letter asking for applications for neighbourhood facilities to be paid for out of a special fund. We requested equipment for showing slides including a projector etc. for which we are pleased to say we have been granted just over £800.

We hope to make the equipment available to other voluntary organisations and will announce details of how it can be borrowed in the New Year.

Rae Street

ROCHDALE CANAL SOCIETY have organised their lectures for the next six months. The talks are held on Wednesdays from now until May 1979. Further details may be obtained from Mr.B.Holden, 24, Passmonds Crescent, Rochdale. Telephone 46132.



We like our members to know that we are not just parochial (though we are very proud of being parochial) but take an active interest in the many issues in Greater Manchester - we have commented on the Strategic Plan for the North West, are represented on the Pennine Park Association and make comments on any county or regional reports which we think are of special importance for our area, for example "Green Belt and Open Space".

Photograph: The Manchester Arms

The Manchester Arms
© Manchester Libraries

However, here is a very particular interest. Those of you who travel to Manchester by train to shop or to work cannot fail to have noticed how the area around Victoria Station has deteriorated. And this area includes several historic buildings - recognised when it was designated a 'Conservation Area’. One building owned by British Rail, the former ‘Manchester Arms’, is (or rather was) a handsome detached Georgian town house, one of the last surviving in Central Manchester. British Rail want to demolish the building, but Manchester City Council have several times refused permission. Now there is to be a Public Enquiry on Tuesday, 27th February 1979 in Manchester Town Hall. The Trust will be objecting to the demolition on the following grounds:-

  1. This is one of the last remaining Georgian detached houses in Central Manchester of significant architectural interest.
  2. It is in an important position outside a main-line station. If the North West is serious about wishing to attract more foreign visitors, it is the genuine, old, distinguished buildings which will attract them, not pseudo frontages in stark, new buildings.
  3. It has historic connections; from its garden, it is said, the first balloon ascent in Manchester was made - hence, Balloon Street.
  4. It is a building for which a use could easily be found. Indeed, it was a popular pub (and as such was probably the second-oldest pub in Central Manchester).

If any members wish to make individual representations, they should write to:

The Inspector, Department of the Environment,
c/o Town Hall,
Manchester M60 2IA.
ref. APP/5082/E/78/148.




Drawing: Tree in silhouette

Three years ago we presented trees to each of the churches in Littleborough. At that time St. Mary’s Church asked for a postponement as they were in the throes of having the new primary school built. Consequently, for National Tree Week this year, we renewed the offer, which was immediately accepted by the Headmaster, Mr. Chapman. He and his wife particularly like the mountain ash, so one was ordered and delivered and then planted by the children. We are all just crossing our fingers that it survived the following week’s frost.


Total Losses of trees in the last 25 years are estimated at 50 million. In addition to commercial plantings, we need 100 million trees over the next 25 years to make good and an annual planting of 3 million trees to replace normal wastage.



Rochdale Field Naturalists’ Field Excursions.

January 6th - Littleborough.

January 21st - Martin Mere.

February 10th - Ogden.

February 24th - Wharfedale.

Anyone interested in the above will be made welcome. For further details contact Mr. O’Brien, 62, Beachfield Road, Milnrow. Telephone 32403.




Anyone is welcome to join in any of the walks. There is no need to make any arrangement - just turn up at the meeting place.

December 10th. Leader - John Hindle. Meet in The Square at 1.15pm. for l.32pm. bus to Walsden.
Walsden - South Hollingworth - Higher Scout - Lodge Hall Knowl Top - Warland Clough - Chelburn. 4 miles.

December 24th. Leader - Richard Evans. Meet in The Square at 3.00pm.
Canal Towpath — Green Vale - Shottwood — Calderbrook — Long Hill — Grimes — Hey Bottom — Higher Gale - Town House. 4 miles.

December 31st. Leader - Lincoln Jackson. Meet in The Square at 2.00pm.
Canal Towpath - Clegg Hall - Shaw Moss - Three Lane Ends Lower Cleggswood Farm. 3+ miles.

Drawing: Rucksack and boots

January 7th. Leader - Roy Jackson. Meet at The Lake Information Centre at 3.00pm.
Hollingworth Fold - Benny Hill - Higher Booth Hollins -Syke Moor - Sheepbank - Whittaker - Lane Foot - Ealees. 4 miles.

January 2lst. Leader - Margaret Padmanabhan. Meet in The Square at 1.30pm. for 1.47pm. bus to Stansfield.
Higher Calderbrook - Reddyshore Scout Gate - Rough Stones - Salter Rake Gate - Shurcrack - Longfield Farm - Fielden Square. 5 miles.

February 4th. Leader - Roy Prince. Meet at The Lake Information Centre at 3.00pm.
Hollingworth Fold - Water House - Ben Heyes - Norman Hill -Ogden - Doldrum - Dick Hill - Rakewood. 5+ miles.

February 18th. Leader - Geoffrey Sutcliffe. Meet in The Square at l.45pm. for 2.00pm. bus to the White House.
Pennine Way - Gaddings Dam - Basin Stones - Knowl Wood - Walsden. 6 miles.

March 4th. Leader - Duncan McLennan. Meet in The Square at 1.30pm. Cars to Cragg Vale.
Cragg Vale circular, 6 miles.

March 18th. Leader - Joe Taylor. Meet in The Square at 1.45pm. Cars to Law Flat for 3.00pm.
Law Flat - Shawforth - Lobden Brown Wardle - Watergrove - Law Flat, 5 miles.

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The Calderdale Way

After a lot of hard work, the Calderdale Way has now been opened as a long-distance footpath.

For those who wish to have full details, a very fine book is available - priced 45p and well worth the money. Briefly, the walk is 50 miles long and passes through some very beautiful countryside. It starts and finishes at Clayhouse, Greetland. The Footpaths Group members are interested in walking it and might attempt it next year, probably in three or four sections.




A stile, according to the dictionary definition, is an arrangement of steps or the like, contrived to allow a passage over or through a fence to one person at a time while forming a barrier to sheep or cattle.

You might think that everyone attempting to devise something too narrow for the average cow and too clever for the average sheep, while providing easy access to walkers, would come up with a similar answer — not so. One or two members on our footpaths walks have talked about the possibility of carrying out a survey of stiles and perhaps classifying them by typos. This would not bo easy as no two stiles are alike and there are so many hybrids that it would be difficult to fit them into definite categories. This survey might well be undertaken c.t some future time, but in the meantime I thought that perhaps we might take a look at some of the types.

Some of the stiles that can be seen locally, especially the stone ones, testify to the skill of their creators of many years ago. A few more, of less durable materials, are a credit to the land-owners or farmers who maintain them. Some are so ingenious that they attract much admiration. Many, however, present a forbidding barrier to walkers and do anything but encourage their use.

Photograph: A wooden stile

The least complicated stile (apparently) is a simple stepover - a single crosspiece on two uprights. With this stile it is essential to have a puddle of mud on one side and a large, loosely-seated, stone on the other. (If the mud doesn't get you, the rocking stone will.

Perhaps the least obtrusive is the wall ladder, which is made by inserting flat stones in the wall itself so -that they pass through the wall to protrude on either side to provide a step wide enough for only one foot. Decide which foot to set off with and, when you reach the top step, you are sure to be on the wrong foot to turn round, cross the wall and descend the other side.

Then there is the stile that resembles the one by the side of which the Crooked Man's fortunes took a turn for the better and this one is viewed with apprehension by the walker from first sight. However, he mounts it and, feeling insecure, he weighs up the various possibilities open to him for a safe dismount, but then he is suddenly committed by a movement from the stile itself so he jumps and, with luck, might finish the right way up on the right side of the fence.

Photograph: A stone gap stile

There are many variations on the "Hampton Court" stile. Some even have a gate included and these test not only the walker's intelligence, but also his slimness. The walker's weight is also put to the test by the simple gap in the wall or gap between two poles. This gap is often V-shaped and then presents no real problem - except to people with very big boots or over-weight ankles.

Perhaps the most annoying stile of all is a sort of Jack the Ripper. It can be any shape, but must have a nail or piece of wire placed strategically so as to hook up and tear the walker's anorak while remaining unobtrusive and so undetected.

Although I have treated the subject light-heartedly here, there can be no doubt that the business of maintaining stiles is a very serious matter. Looking at it from the land-owner's point of view, does he really want to encourage people to walk over his land no matter how careful the walkers are? He knows, of course, that a right of way exists and presumably knew it when he became the owner or tenant of the land. The walker insists, quite correctly, that rights of way must be preserved and means of access maintained.

Where does the solution lie? The answer is - with the Local Authority. Although the Local Authority is not responsible for doing the work, it is responsible for seeing that the work is done


* * * * * * * * * * *

Rochdale Lit. and Si. Society.

A winter programme of meetings to be held in the Champness Hall has now been organised. Details may be obtained from J.Hindle.



We have to admit that it takes more than a little effort for even the most enthusiastic members of the Trust to leave the comfort of their own homes and go out into the weather to attend one of our Thursday evening meetings, not knowing whether or not the talk that they are going to hear will justify the effort.

Drawing: Lecture

There have, without doubt, been some excellent meetings during 1978. Each one has been well worth the effort for those who attended and, on one or two occasions, there might have been problems had there been even a moderate increase in the attendance.

Some of the meetings held earlier have been reported upon, but we must thank the County Public Relations Officer for an interesting talk on l6th November and anyone in the large group that assembled to see Marjorie Haigh's slides taken during her stay in Mexico and to hear her interesting commentary will tell you that the event was a great success. It certainly brightened an October evening.

There is still one other good thing to come in 1978:

On 21st December - "A Japanese Evening".
A talk and demonstration by Joyce Wilson who visited Japan in the spring of this year.
Admission is by ticket priced 50p obtainable from Lincoln Jackson.


Local History Society Notes

Meetings are held on the second Thursday in each month at the Oddfellows Room, 66, Church Street, Littleborough

Everyone welcome.

December 14th Mrs. Ridgeon - "Whitworth Doctors".

January 12th Mr.J.Swain - "Men of Rochdale". The film story of the start of the Co-op.

February 8th Mrs.Humphreys - "Postcards".

March 8th Miss D.Winterbotham (from Worsley) -"Lancashire. Farming".

The Society has finished its fieldwork for the winter. The work of recording inscriptions on gravestones in the Parish Churchyard will continue in the spring.

If anyone is interested in joining the Society they should contact L. Jackson, Hare Hill Road, R.Evans, 8, Charles Street or A.Luke, 161, Todmorden Road. Tel. 79949.

We publish a bi-monthly newslatter of the Society's activities with items of interest and results of research by some of our members. R. E.


Thanks to
Keith Parry for the cover design.
All contributors.
Those who distribute the newsletter.

Editor: Roy Prince