Picture: Winter Scene


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.


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

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


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 Tortoishell, Sedgmoor, Blackstone Edge Old Road. 79507
Janet Bell, 9 Salley Street, Calderbrook. 76551
Jill Roberts, 12 Whitfield Brow, Todmorden Road.
Joan Cook, 2 Calderbrook Terrace.
Ann Lawson, 81 Todmorden Road.
Jack Trickett, 9 Railway Street

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



It is a sad task to record that we have lost three members since the last newsletter. All three had been members for a number of years and they will be sadly missed

In October Mrs. Jones of Lower Calderbrook passed away. Though I personally cannot recall meeting her, she took a keen interest in our work, particularly regarding planning applications in her vicinity. Her death coincided with that of Mr. Ernest Martin whom long-serving members of the Footpaths Group will remember as "Little Ernie". Ernest walked with the Group in the late '70's despite residing in Rochdale and continued to subscribe to the Trust long after he stopped walking with us.

More recently, we were saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Donald Uttley of Heywood. The space that the "Rochdale Observer" had to devote to listing his achievements was a fitting tribute to the energy and enthusiasm of a man who will be missed by many. Our deepest sympathy goes to his widow who is also a member of the Trust.




Picture: Wheelbarrow full of soil with seedling on top

I believe the question of Shop/Shot Wood has been resolved; by approximately 25 – 0; the 'Shops' have the vote - so Shop Wood it is and many thanks to all those who either wrote to me, the Rochdale Observer or telephoned in response to my enquiry.

Thanks also to those who helped with the re-arrangement of the 60 tonnes of top soil (our treasurer did wonder who moved the other tonne) and the planting of over 200 whips and bushes at Shop Wood. 30 people of assorted ages turned up to help with the operations and our gratitude must go to the Oldham and Rochdale Groundwork Trust who ordered plants and helped with the scheme and to the Shell Better Britain Campaign who awarded us £500 towards the cost.

Neville Heron's talk and slide show at the Coach House on Pennine Trees and Wildlife was extremely enjoyable and interesting - Many thanks Neville!

For those who somehow may have missed the news about Plysu, the minibus trip down to Milton Keynes, paid for by Plysu was felt to be very successful and allayed a lot of fears about the Company and its operations. Our subsequent public meeting on their planning application was well attended by over 50 people and reflected the concern of many local residents. It gave all parties an opportunity to express their opinions and to obtain further information from Mr. Whale a Planning Officer and Alan Murphy the Chairman of the Planning Sub-Committee.

I earnestly believe that the Trust does have an important role to play in these issues and therefore your continued support is so important in helping the Trust to help your environment in your town. The details of the Plysu planning application and photographs can be seen at the Coach House.

Rochdale Metropolitan Borough has now appointed a Conservation Officer, Mr. Peter Bell. He is very interested in Littleborough and in improving the environment, especially within the Conservation Areas, so if you do have any ideas please do not hesitate to contact him at Rochdale Planning Dept., tel. 47474 - or any committee member will forward your views.

Drawing: Co-op buildings in their heydays

What we are losing?

Our most recent concern is the planning application now submitted by the Co-op to demolish their 2-storey premises in Hare Hill Road and replace them with a car park for 11 cars. Although the property is in a poor state of repair it is an important feature of the Littleborough townscape and the only reason for the extension of the Conservation Area to Bare Hill Street. The restoration of the building into small shopping units with living or office accommodation over could prove to be of more economic and social benefit than a tiny car park. If you do not agree with the application please do write to the Borough Planning and Estates Officer. It is only by making your views known that you can ever hope to affect a Council decision.





Would members please note that subscriptions for 1987 are NOW due. The Membership Secretary was very pleased to report a substantial reduction in those members outstanding with their payments last year and we hope this trend will continue. The rates are once again:

Ordinary membership£1.50
Junior / O. A. P. membership£1.00
Family membershiip£2.00

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



During the past few weekends we have been excavating at Ragholes Farm near Piethorne Reservoir; mainly the barn and shippons. The farm is, we think, about 18th century on the site of a possible 13th century building.

Meetings. We now meet at the Coach House Heritage Centre at 8.00pm.

February 12th.To be arranged.
March 13th.Open Meeting.
April 6th.Roman Medicine. Dr.Knox.

Guided walks from Hollingworth Lake as follows:

Sunday February 8th. 1.30pm.Water Supply walk. Feeder channel for Rochdale Canal. 5 miles.
Sunday March 8th. 10.30am.Watergrove Link. 10 miles.




Picture: Parking sign

Parking in Littleborough has been and will be a recurring topic for discussion.

I cannot claim that what I offer here is original thinking - rather it is a collection of snippets gleaned from various sources and, in particular, from a meeting held before Christmas at the Coach House under the chairmanship of Keith Parry and attended by representatives of various interested parties including the Acting Borough Planning Officer.

Because there is no large space in Littleborough that could solve our parking problems, each time a reasonable area of land becomes available it is suggested as a possible car park and each time such an area is put to another use a lost opportunity is bemoaned.

It does seem that, the longer the delay in doing something about parking, the more complex the solution becomes.

The Local Authority will tell us that we have a car park that is hardly ever used. Yes, we have. On Peel Street a car park is empty for most of the time because, most people will say, it is in the wrong place. But say the planners, if you go to Manchester or Rochdale, you will probably have much further from the car park to the shops than from Peel Street to the shops in Littleborough. True - but there is a different character to the shopping activity in Littleborough. It is more localised and calls are shorter and more frequent.

On-street parking is favoured, but on-street parking brings its problems, especially at a time when we have so many holes in the roads and the prospect of long disruption during the new sewer operations. On-street parking can still allow for adequate traffic flow, if the traffic movement is one-way. It has been suggested that Lodge Street should become 'one-way’ and; this seems reasonable enough, but how many more streets could become one-way without causing howls of protest?

There are, of course, many car owners living in Littleborough who have no garage or parking space on their own property. Their cars have to be left in the street, so a large proportion of on-street car spaces are in constant use.

Spaces can be created by demolition. Demolish the old Co-op buildings on Hare Hill Road and you have a car park for eleven - not a popular move.

It is looking likely that one or two areas off Victoria Street will be earmarked for car parks in the not-too-distant future. We do need parking in Littleborough Centre for the locals.

We wish to encourage tourists in Littleborough and they also need car parks, but we expect tourists to walk round, so, provided that we display adequate signs, the Peel Street park would serve quite well along with the space at the Coach House.

When the canal is opened up again, there will be a demand for parking facilities somewhere near the docking points. We must bear this in mind.

The Civic Trust will, of course, work with other groups to improve the parking facilities in Littleborough. In the past, we have contacted Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council to express concern about Littleborough's parking, to offer suggestions and to urge the Authority to give priority to the problem.




A happy new year to all members of the Footpaths Group. I must personally apologise for missing the walk I was due to lead on December 21st. and thank Lincoln for taking over at short notice and for copping the blame for what I'm told was a rather muddy trek. As you may have noticed we have been caught out recently with walks not being covered by the newsletter. In future, we will print them in full as far as they go at the time of going to press.

The Winter 1987 programme was drawn up at a meeting of the Footpaths Group in November. We would be delighted to have more members contributing walks and ideas. The Summer 1987 programme will be discussed at a meeting at Harehill Park Council Offices on 17th February At 8.00pm. Please come along, refreshments are available.

January 18th. LEADER - ALAS ASHWORTH. Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm. or Stakehill Road, Slattocks
1.45pm. Tandle Hill Circular.

5 miles.

February 1st. LEADER ROY - PRINCE. Meet Ogden Car Park at 1.45pm.
Ogden Circular.

5 miles.

February 15th. LEADER - LINCOLN JACKSON. Meet Littleborough Square 1.45pm.
Canal Towpath - Bent House - Owlet Hall - Schofield Hall - Syke Farm.

5½ miles.

March 1st. LEADER - GEOFF SUTCLIFFE. Meet Littleborough Square 1.45pm.
Stubley Mill Road - Wuerdle Farm - Greengate - Ashbrook Hey - Howarth Knoll - Birch Road - Starring.

5 miles.

March 15th. LEADER - LEONARD SUTCLIFFE. Meet Littleborough Square 1.45pm. (Cars to Todmorden).
Todmorden Circular.

5 miles.

March 29th. LEADER - MIKE FARRELL. Meet Littleborough Square. 1.45pm.
Clough Road - Handle Hall - Sladen Fold - Lydgate.

5-6 miles.

APRIL 12th. LEADER - ALF WARD. Meet Littleborough Square 1.45pm. (Cars to Ashworth).
Ashworth Valley.

5-6 miles.

APRIL 26th. LEADER - JOE TAYLOR. Meet Littleborough Square 1.45pm. (Cars to Jumbles Reservoir, Holcombe, Bolton Road).
Jumbles Circular.

6 miles.



Drawing: Signpost

Part of the function of Littleborough Civic Trust, through its Footpath Group, is to ensure the maintenance of public rights of way in Littleborough. This involves keeping paths open and unobstructed, checking on stiles and keeping a watch on way marking.

If we are concerned about any of these things, we report the problem to Rochdale M.B.C. Engineer's Dept. who give the matter their attention. We are pleased to say that our secretary, Judith Schofield, has fostered a good relationship with the Department and things do get done.

If you know of a blocked path, an unsatisfactory stile or a missing sign, please let us know. At present, the signs are the most likely cause for concern. A few years ago the Authority signposted all public rights of way from metalled roads (an obligation which it has), but some of the arms have disappeared from their posts and now we wish to list all missing signs so that we may take the necessary steps to have them replaced.

We would like the Authority to go further with the waymarking than it has in the past and instead of its standard "public footpath" sign we would favour "public footpath to......".




1983. I took over the newsletter from Roy. An experiment with subscription collectors was tried. Wednesday evening walks were successfully introduced. The Coach House Heritage Centre was opened. The Trust decided after lengthy discussion to allow the Footpaths Group to ban dogs from the walks. It was also decided not to issue the summer newsletter it being felt that it was dangerously unrepresentative of the Trust.

1984. Judith Schofield took over as secretary. Alma Harper passed away in October. The Summit tunnel fire occurred. Turn Slack dam was destroyed. The Trust A.G.M. was held in the Coach House for the first time.

1985. Betty Pickis took over as chairwoman with Roy Prince as the vice-chairman. We made steady progress towards, another garden at Station Approach and getting a better deal from the Local Authority on planning matters. Tom Walker died in the summer.

The Trust decided not to become directly involved in the Town Centre Action Group but hoped future co-operation would be possible.

1986. I'm not going to pre-empt the Chairwoman's end of year report but with a full committee once again we have not been inactive and I, for one, think we are good for another fifteen years at least.


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

Why not buy Pennine Magazine through your Civic Trust????

Not only will you help the Civic Trust funds and be helping Pennine Heritage with their conservation work in the area (which includes restoring Clegg Hall) but you will also have a good read.

Excellent value at 95p bi-monthly.

To have your order delivered regularly please contact the Secretary, Judith Schofield, Tel. 76015 or any other Committee Member.



The Housing and Planning Bill, which introduces a witches’ brew of minor changes to the planning system is wending its way through Parliament. Off particular concern to CPRE are proposals for Simplified Planning Zones which would allow local authorities to grant blanket planning permissions for types of development of their own choosing in places of their own choosing.

This is supposed to achieve urban regeneration, but as drafted in the Bill, could simply encourage development on city edges or in Green Belts. CPRE has been sponsoring amendments to the Bill to secure the necessary safeguards. This approach met with sympathy from Kenneth Baker, the Environment Secretary when CPRE's Chairman and others raised the matter with him in February at a meeting to discuss planning issues.

Extract from The Countryside Campaigner, Summer 1986.


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

Editor: Michael Farrell