Picture: Shady pathway

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

Chairman: Don Pickis, Lightowlers, Blackstone Edge. Tel. 78849

Vice Chairman: Dan Docker, 93 Church Street. 72001

Secretary: Judith Schofield, 4 Bottoms, Cragg Vale, Mytholmroyd. (0472) 885173

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

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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.74175
David Hall, 6 Nelson Street
Betty Pickis, Lightowlers. 78849.
Roy Prince, 14 Milbury Drive, Tel. 78883.
Anne Lawson, 81 Todmorden Road. 79604
Joe Taylor, 136a Market Street, Whitworth. 344711

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

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A LITTLE WORD ABOUT...FINANCE

All members will have noticed that in the past five years the cost of postage has gone up by at least 50% while petrol prices and telephone charges have also risen significantly. One thing that has not risen in tandem is the membership fees of the Civic Trust

Taken together these two factors mean that, unfortunately, if the Trust is going to maintain its current level of activities subscriptions have had to be increased. Therefore the Civic Trust committee reluctantly announces that for 1992 the subscription rates will be:

2.50Single person membership
£4.00Family membership

While we're on the subject of subscriptions, it has been noted that a number of members still owe their subscriptions for 1991. This of course does not help the situation

Please check the back of the newsletter to see if you are in arrears. If so, please make an effort to settle your account with LIncoln Jackson as soon as possible at The Bargain Corner, Harehill Road

MICHAEL FARRELL

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MIXED METAPHORS

On hearing that Hrafnsdaal, a pseudo-Nordic village is to be built at Summit, my first reaction was: Oh no not another theme park! Reassured that I had not inadvertently missed the excavation of a Viking long ship in the dried-up bed of Lower Chelburn reservoir it seemed appropriate to ask the question - why Summit? No doubt someone will correct me if proved wrong in assuming that Summit’s tenuous links are linguistical.

Picture: Degging or watering can

Watering can
or Degging can?

Whenever we move house in these parts we are said to have flitted, and when a watering-can becomes a degging-can we are unwittingly honouring a Nordic influence in our manner of speech. A commonplace link with our feral ancestors, which hardly singles Summit out as somewhere special or unique in Norse history; to repeat – why Summit?

And after Summit Yorvik, what then? A concrete Neolithic henge or perhaps a UPVC Romanesque villa to celebrate Littleborough’s glorious, albeit as yet unauthenticated, Roman past? Above all else the tourist industry should be honest, tangible and historically accurate. Littleborough and its environs has much to offer the tourist without such flights of fancy.

If only ail this locally generated "tourism energy" could be channelled into the area's most important project viz the reopening throughout of the Rochdale Canal; Then and only then will Littleborough achieve its long cherished aspirations of becoming a major south Pennine tourist centre.

ALLEN HOLT

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FOOTPATH WALKS

On John Hindle’s walk in November we were pleased to note that improvements to the obstructed footpaths at Whittaker have finally been carried out. We have also learned recently that Rochdale MBC have appointed a new footpaths officer, a Mr. David Lloyd. It is very tempting to surmise that these two events are connected.

The last newsletter's appeal for walkers of mountain-tops attained, drew a response from one of our longest-serving members, the veteran peak-baggers Bill and Phyllis Gilbody. They did not want the list published but be assured it was phenomenal. We were very sad to learn that Bill has not been well recently and everyone in the Footpaths Group hopes he makes a full recovery.

On the same note we were very pleased that Lincoln Jackson was able to come out on a walk with us recently after a long period out of action.

You may recall a couple of issues back we mentioned proposals for a new right of way behind Birch Hill Hospital. Because of objections from the landowner this will now go to a public enquiry at Rochdale Town Hall on 19th December (10 am). The Trust will be sending a representative and a report will appear in the next issue.

The Winter/Spring programme was drawn up at a meeting in November. We would be delighted to have more members contributing walks and ideas. The Summer programme will be drawn up at a meeting at Harehill Park Council Offices on Tuesday 25th February at 8.00 pm. Please come along; refreshments are available.

Sunday, December 29th. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Square 1.30 pm or King William IV, Shore 1.45pm.
Starring - Watergrove Circular.

5 miles.

Sunday, January 12th. Leader - GEOFF SUTCLIFFE. Meet Square 1.30pm or Lawflat 1.45pm.
Healey Circular.

5 miles.

Sunday, January 26th. Leader - ALF WARD. Meet Littleborough Square 1.30pm or Railway Street, Newhey
1.45pm.
Ogden Circular.

5 miles.

Sunday, February 9th. Leader - JOHN HINDLE. Meet Square 1.30pm or Harbour Lane, Milnrow 1.45pm.
Bryney Heys - Stanney Brook.

6 miles.

Sunday, February 23rd. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Square 1.45pm.
Humber - Green Halghs Sladen Fold.

5 miles.

Sunday, March 8th. Leader - JOHN HINDLE. Meet Square 1.30pm or Lawflat 1.45pm.
Stid Fold - Lower House Lane- Ring Lows Lane.

6 miles.

Sunday, March 22nd. Leader - MICHAEL FARRELL. Meet Square 1.25pm for 1.34pm bus to Ramsden Wood.
Cranberry Dam - Long Causeway - Turn Slack.

5 miles.

Sunday, April 5th. Leader - GEOFF SUTCLIFFE. Meet Square 1.45pm.
Gorpley Clough Circular.

6 miles.

Sunday, April 19th. Leader - ROY PRINCE. Meet Square 2.00pm.
Clegg Hall Circular.

4-5 miles

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WALKING THE CUMBRIA WAY

It was the TV programme that started it. 'Seventy miles in six days?' "I could do that, I thought and I will!". James and Marion said they'd come and soon Ross and Donald signed on as well.

One thing was clear: our combined ages were well over 250 years, so it wasn't going to be a back-packing job. We'd left it a bit late to book bed and breakfast for a party of five, but two evenings on the telephone soon achieved that.

So, there we were one fine morning at Ulverston. Of course we thought at our age it would be a mistake to rush things, so we started gently with a cup of coffee while we tried to sort out the day's route on the map - 15 miles to Torver and a great day's walk it was.

Photograph: Beacon Tarn, Cumbria

Beacon Tarn

Farm lanes, hayfields, a half-mile of minor road, sharp turn by a garden gate, across the beck, over the common, up the hill and down again, past Beacon Tarn to Coniston Lake (sic - it's Coniston Water - Ed).

There must have been a dozen assorted stiles and gates. Handsome steps in stone walls, a DIY iron ladder, a little gate at the end of a bridge over a beck, which might have once been part of an ancient sheet iron advertisement sign, gates fastened with chains, clips, bits of wire, binder twine etc. There was sunshine all dayh, sometimes hazy, then clear, with a cool breeze from behind us. But our packs felt like loads of solid slate by the time we reached the lakeside. There we stoked up with Kendal mint cake, chocolate and Mars bars, the indispensible Walker's Fuel, for the last lap, and by 6pm we reached our overnight stop.

The food was wonderful. Huge help-yourself breakfasts with platefuls of bacon, eggs and various extras, and the evening meals — there seemed to be mountains of chips every night, and we ate them all. The Inn at Elterwater produced superb Cumberland sausage (though it's expensive - Ed's note) and the one at Caldbeck later on had excellent home made bread with the soup and local lamb chops.

Photograph: Stake Pass

Stake Pass

Every day was different. Rain drizzled gently down on us as we went from Coniston village to Tarn Hows, the way wandering and winding through the woods. We ate our lunch sitting on dry rocks under two big yew tres and as we walked up the Brathay to Elterwater the sky steadily opened into blueness. The langdale Pikes, scowling when hey first came into view were in bright sunchine by tea-time

On Day Three, the way led to the head of Langdale and over the Stake Pass to Langstrath. This was the steepest part of the way, but the National Trust has done valuable work on the path and it was easygoing. At the top we had our first sight of Skiddaw, an important landmark; we were certainly getting on. In the evening we made a pilgrimage to a certain bridge in Borrowdale, where Grandfather, who with his pals must have been a bit of a yobbo in his time, had carved on the arch an inscription reading "The foundation stone of this bridge was laid by a hen". It can still be read. The next stage was easy, a mere stroll from Stonethwaite to Keswick by the west shore of Derwentwater. There was a time to wander round the shops and down to the lake after a good dinner. The town was full of life after 10pm.

Photograph: Lingy Hill hut

Lingy Hill hut, formerly a shooting box

In the morning there was cloud on all the tops, but it lifted after a brief shower as we climbed into the col behind Latrigg and across the flank of Skiddaw to Skiddaw House, which was deserted. Then down Mosedale as far as the disused Wolfram mine then up to the hut on Lingy Hill. In the hut there is a logbook, in which we duly made our mark.

The Cumbria Way is much in evidence: among the dozens of walkers that had been there before us were a three year old child and the members of an Open Heart Club. From the top of High Pike we could see, far behind, the snow patches on Great End that had been high above us three days before. And we had actually walked every stop of the way from there to here. Donald made out that he could see Ulverston where we had started from, but he was imagining things. So we blessed out luck; we'd had perfect weather, no difficulty with route finding, thanks largely to Marion, and our overnight stops had been good and all different: an old Lakeland cottage, a bed and breakfast establishement, a luxurious private house, a hotel and a farm. Marvellous. Very satisfactory.

But we spoke too soon. We were making for a cup of tea in Caldbeck when James was knocked sideways by the bulge in a huge elm tree overhanging the path by the river (it has been cut down since then and not before time). He landed on the rocks by the beck, five feet down, with a spectacular bruise on his forehead and another on his leg. Next morning he limped gamely through the woods to Sebergham with an improvised walking stick.

Photograph: Carlisle gas holder

Carlisle gas holder

Those Caldbeck woods have a special line in sticky mud, even in dry weather. It was our last day. The route lay by the River Caldew almost all the way to Carlisle: fifteen miles. We reckoned we could make it now. At Bridge End we sat on a wall licking ice cream while Donald phoned to tell his wife of our imminent arrival. Seven miles to go. There were two landmarks to look for on the Carlisle horizon: Dixon's chimney and the elegant Victorian gasholder with urns and iron trellis work around the top: it's a listed BUILDING. Sure enough they were there and two kingfishers along the river at Cummersdale. After that council houses, the municipal rubbish dump and finally Carlisle station.

We had a superb dinner that night and no chips!

J. C. P.

(This article was reproduced by kind permission of the Association of National Park and Countryside Voluntary Wardens).

 

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Acknowledgements:
Tameside MBC for providing word processor facilities
Alf Tortoishell for overseeing the distribution
All contributors and distributors.

We wish to thank the Countryside Commission and the Yorkshire Bank PLC for their generous financial assistance which has enabled Littleborough Civic Trust to obtain reprographic equipment for the production of this newsletter and other printed items.

   

Editor: Michael Farrell