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: Pauline Hopkinson, 12 Glencoe Place, Rochdale. 522447
Richard Evans, 8 Charles St.
Mike Farrell, 41 Hollingworth Road, 70154.
Rae Street, Calder Cottage, 76043.
Alf Tortoiseshell, Edgemoor, Blackstone Edge Old Road. 79507
Jill Roberts, 12 Whitfield Brow, Todmorden Road.
Harry Law, 7 Railway Street
David Hall, 6 Nelson Street
Please pass on any suggestions that you have about the Trust and its work to any of the above.
At a recent meeting of the Committee we were pleased to elect Pauline Hopkinson to the post of Minutes Secretary. Pauline has been on the Committee since 1982. Her new position means she will no longer be part of the newsletter team so thanks should be expressed for her efforts in that area.
Also departing her post this year is Mrs. Audrey Beaumont, the caretaker at Harehill Park Council Offices who has looked after the Committee and Footpath Group Meetings since 1980. Mrs. Beaumont has been a charming and very tolerant host to us and we wish her every happiness in her new residence.
The last quarter has presented quite a mosaic of activity for your Civic Trust - from the usual planning correspondence to contributions, physically and verbally, to environmental improvement schemes, to providing a 'Gypsy Rose Lee’ together with Gypsy Caravan for the Littleborough Christmas Evening - life with the Trust is certainly not dull.
Thanks to Roy Prince and Alf Tortoishell who planted bulbs donated by Groundwork Trust in the Station Approach Garden and at the same time gave it a good Spring (?) Clean.
The Civic Trust was invited to help a host of school children and parents to plant some 200 trees at Stansfield Junior School - a lovely selection of oak, rowan, hazel and holly donated by Akzo and organised by the Council - it was a very enjoyable task.
Following our discussion with B.R., they are to resume their tidy up beside the Railway Arches and responding to our suggestion have offered to plant the banking behind the advert hoarding. Many thanks to B.R.
Mr. Leach has moved his security fence back and turfed the area beside the main road - and has now clad his breeze block building. We have been pressing for an improvement here for quite a few months (or is it years?) - Thank you Planning Dept. and Merry Christmas to Mr. Leach!
Now, the not so good news - the construction of the 30 metre lighting mast in the Town Centre Conservation Area is to proceed - unfortunately we were not informed of this as a positive proposal until it was a "fait accompli" (as stated by the Engineer's Dept.). Also of great concern are the Engineer's, at present, outline proposals for the Square. These proposals will widen the pavement outside the Wheatsheaf (the shady side of the Square) and reduce the Square itself to a T-junction with traffic lights - THIS IS OUR TOWN CENTRE CONSERVATION AREA - The Trust is proposing action, together with the Action Group, to address this situation.
On a more positive note again - and only just - the Trust has been pressing over the past two years through many avenues for Tree Preservation Orders (T.P.O.s) at Grove Lodge where outline planning permission for a large residential development has been granted. There are many trees here of ecological, historical, amenity and landscape value. Due to shortage of Council Staff it was not possible to survey the site. JCB's arrived this month to carry out a survey of site conditions, the drivers responded to our request to be careful around the trees and the Planning Dept. responded to our yell for action by arranging, within 24 hours, a Tree Survey and a report for Committee in December to recommend T.P.O's for the site. Many thanks to Planning Dept. for the prompt action - but it should not be necessary to wait for an emergency before action is taken - much could have been lost.
Earlier this quarter we arranged, with the Action Group, a meeting on site to assess Riverside improvement. The Mersey Basin Campaign Development Manager, Cllr. Allen Brett and Groundwork Trust attended and small and large schemes around the River and Railway Arches have been discussed. We will keep you informed as progress is made.
Following the submission of schemes by the Civic Trust, with the backing of the Action Group, under the Council's 'Clean and Green’ Campaign, planting has now been carried out by Groundwork at Railway Street and work has been approved in principle at the Eastwood Street site - Thanks to all concerned.
We have written with full details of Reddyshore Scout Gate to English Heritage, requesting that it be Scheduled as an Ancient Monument following the tipping on part of the paved packhorse route - we have been informed that it will be included in their Surveys. In the meantime we are working with Sue Hogg of SCOSPA to try to achieve remedial works to the tipped area.
Next, the Pylons over Blackstone Edge. The South Pennines Association (the voluntary sector of SCOSPA) is co-ordinating objections from voluntary groups (ours included) to the C.B.G.B's proposals for the Public Inquiry early next year. Calderdale M.B.C. objected to the revised proposals and we have lobbied Rochdale to do likewise - this area of moorland beside the Pennine Way is of outstanding landscape value and reconstruction is a cheap option which could well be used as a precedent by a privatised Electricity Company for future pylon construction proposals.
Finally, please do come to see Rae Street's slide presentation of American Landscapes on 25th January (see separate notice) and join us for "Coffee and Cookies”.
Well, quite a mixed bag – we look forward to greater improvements for the 1990's and to your continued, very necessary support.
JUDITH SCHOFIELD. Secretary.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all members of the Footpaths Group. Since the last newsletter we have had two footpaths inspected at Clough Bank and Higher Chelburn Reservoir and in both cases we have been promised action to see that they are cleared. We are also currently engaged in correspondence with the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society on the much delayed Definitive Map Review.
The winter 1990 programme was drawn up at a meeting in October. We would, be delighted to have more members contributing walks and ideas. The summer 1990 programme will be discussed at a meeting at Harehill Park Council Offices on Tuesday 20th February at 8.00pm. Please come along; refreshments are available.
Sunday, December 31st. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm.
Starring - Birch Hill - Wardle Fold.
Sunday, January 14th. Leader - ROY PRINCE. Meet Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre, 1.45m.
Bib Knowl - Annis Hill - Wild House.
Sunday, January 28th. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Littleborough Square. 1.45pm.
Canal Towpath - Timbercliffe - Chelburn.
Sunday, February 11th. Leader - BETTY TAYLOR. Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm. or Station Road, Broadley 1.45pm.
Sunday, February 25th. Leader - ALF WARD. Meet Littleborough Square. 1.30pm.
Hebden Bridge Circular.
Sunday, March 11th. Leader - GEOFF SUTCLIFFE. Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm.
Sunday, March 25th. Leader - LINCOLN JACKSON. Meet Littleborough Square 2.00pm.
Sladen Wood - Pasture House - Shore.
Sunday, April 8th. Leader - ALF WARD. Meet Littleborough Square. 1.30pm.
Shibden Valley Circular.
Sunday, April 22nd. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Littleborough Square 1.45pm.
Calderbrook - Reddyshore - Summit.
All meetings at the Coach House 8.00pm. Refreshments provided.
For more details contact Alan Luke: Tel: 79949.
Thursday, January 11th. Blackstone Edge Roman Road. Mr. N. Grant.
Thursday, February 8th. Celtic Heads. Mr. Kippen.
Thursday, March 8th. Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. Mr. Menders.
Thursday, April 12th. The Dean Layrocks. Mrs. A. Ridgeon.
In the Paradise Garden
Widening ripples are skimmed by water boatmen
Where the broken swan house remains
And the firefly glow.
Muddy boots and little hands
Have formed a tranquil dam
And a nymph with lyrical sway
Plays with the waterfall
As it careers to its chasm's
The tree candles nestle and wave
The whining gate swings open
And trees still show their mossy North.
See how the chestnut loves the house
And reaches forth its giant arm
Blasted by winter gale
But now the king-cups and fairy rings widen
With spore and pollen bower
And where the thistles are
There’s binding dock leaves,
The sufferer's dower.
Lush as meadow pasture
Are the days that used to be
Like the canal locks opening
And gushing, sending the bar
The barges bobbing
But soon the derelict waterway
Became a gloom of waste
Of old prams and bikes
Yielding only tiddlers that
We took home in jam jars
With string handles.
Three lines are missing here because they are indecipherable in the original newsletter copy
As the L. M. S. pugged its way
And our propitious song
Of "Money Money Money"
Running through the tunnel
As the steam train
Roared above us
Was sure never to fail
In the days that used to be.
Mrs. G. Reid-Smith, Wagga Wagga, N.S.W., Australia, lived in Littleborough until sixteen at Gale Cottage.
(Thanks are due to David Hall for bringing these to our attention).
At a time when everyone is looking back at the 1980s and looking forward to the 1990s it seems reasonable for me to join in with a look at the Trust. I must stress though that this is purely a personal viewpoint from someone who's been there from the beginning, not the "authorised version".
If we look back at the Committee elected in 1980 there are only six "survivors” namely Betty, Roy, Geoff, Lincoln, Rae and Richard, although Judith, Pauline and myself have been on it for most of the decade. Several of the 1980s contingent still subscribe to the Trust and inevitably three are no longer with us: Tommy Walker, Alma Harper and Harry Dearden.
At that time, things looked very rosy with the Coach House Project just launched, regular monthly meetings, the odd coach trip, over 30 people on the walks and the imminent (sic) restoration of the Canal. We had 150 members as opposed to our present 80 or so, though I think the earlier figure is inflated by the inclusion of 3-4 year subscription debtors, something we no longer tolerate.
Nevertheless, the decline in member involvement is I feel the most significant aspect of the 1980s. The coach trips were abandoned through lack of support in 1981. By this time, a noticeable decline in attendances at the monthly meetings had led our current chairman to write a piece in the newsletter headed "R.S.V.P.", the first of a continuous stream of appeals for more involvement from the members which drew, frankly, no response at all. The meetings ceased in 1982. You will know that recently we have tried to revive them with mixed results, but one thing is apparent - with the exception of those still serving on the Committee, the old regulars from the Oddfellows Room days have not returned to support us.
In 1981 we held a special open meeting on Footpaths organised by John Hindle which was a success in terms of the amount of interest generated although marred by the Local Authority's refusal to participate. In its wake we organised a meeting on litter in October 1982 as the culmination of months of effort. This was a complete flop with everyone letting us down at once and left us shell-shocked for some time after.
As a direct consequence of this, we withdrew from the public eye to some extent and concentrated our energies on supporting the Coach House Project. This semi-retirement led in August 1984 to my personal low point of the 80's - our pathetic lack of response to the destruction of Turn Slack Dam (we didn’t even have a meeting that month!).
By 1985 it was felt that this process had gone far enough and the Committee had a reshuffle to effect a more purposeful approach. This began with an air-clearing debate on the formation of the Town Centre Action Group, the revision of the Constitution and the payment of officers' expenses within a year. The last few years have seen such successes as our regular Environment Week meetings, increased representation on other bodies, the Dance, the restoration of the Civic Trust garden and increased co-operation with the Highway Authorities. Nevertheless, to return to the membership theme, these achievements have been in spite of member indifference and seem to have done little to change it.
Enough of looking back; though it seems to me that the 90s will see a role for the Trust in the following developments:
1. The Town Centre re-development.
2. The delayed Definitive Map Review.
3. The publication and launch of our Walks book early in 1990.
4. An effective celebration of our 20 years in 1991.
5. The Tree Nursery project.
6. A sensible scheme for Clegg Hall.
7. Increased co-operation with other groups working to the same end.
Plenty of work for the Trust to get involved in – how many people the term "the Trust" refers to is really up to YOU.
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