Picture: Falling snow and candle

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 Judith Schofield, 4, Bottoms, Crag Vale. Tel. 0422 885173

OFFICIALS OF LITTLEBOROUGH CIVIC TRUST

Chairman: Don Pickis, Lightowlers, Blackstone Edge. Tel. 378849

Vice Chairman: Dan Docker, 93 Church Street. 372001

Secretary: Michael Farrell, 41, Hollingworth Road. 370154

Treasurer: Geoff Sutcliffe, 14 Buckley Terrace, Wardle, Tel. 40369.

Membership Secretary: Lincoln Jackson, 1 Moorfield View, Shore. Tel. 370542

Minutes Secretary: Betty Pickis, Lightowlers. 378849.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

David Hall, 6 Nelson Street
Pauline Hopkinson, 12, Glencoe Place, Rochdale. 522447
Peter Jackson, 8, Chelburn View. 373112
Roy Prince, 14 Milbury Drive, Tel. 378883.
Jill Roberts, 12 Whitfield Brow, Todmorden Road.74175
Judith Schofield, 4, Bottoms, Crag Vale. 0422 885173
Rae Street, Calder Cottage. 378043
John Street, Calder Cottage. 378043
Joe Taylor, 136a Market Street, Whitworth. 344711
Alf Tortoishell, Edgemoor, Blackstone Edge Old Road. 378849

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

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A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MEMBERS AND READERS

From the May 1982 edition of "Lancashire Life"

Quote: "So does Littleborough neglect itself? Far from it. Today's active Civic Trust has a notable ancestor in the Beautiful Littleborough Society, founded in 1919 ". end of quote

Peter Jackson

A NEW YEAR . . . . A NEW HORIZON

These Newsletters and New Years seem to come around with amazing alacrity! 1993....a new year and potentially many new (as well as the continuing older) issues for the Civic Trust.

There is one issue which will be of great significance in 1993 - this is the U D P, or to give it its full title The Unitary Development Plan. The Planning Officers at Rochdale Council have had the massive task of preparing this plan which will set out policies for the Borough for the next 10 years. It is a very important Plan. If you are at all interested in any type of land use, from proposed industrial to open space to educational to residential to leisure and so on, anywhere in the Rochdale M. B. C. area, this Plan is of importance to you.

The draft Plan will be deposited in the New Year and there will be press announcements. You personally or through the Civic Trust or through any large or small group will be able to make comments. If you need help, of course the Planning Officers will be able to help, but so will your Civic Trust. Do not think "Oh, there is no chance of my idea having any effect... RUBBISH ! ! ! The Plan will be publicised to obtain public comment.

As many people will know, the Littleborough Civic Trust is part of the South Pennine Association or the SPA for short. (This association was formed in 1974 by voluntary groups on both sides of the Pennines.

It seeks to achieve environmental improvements, help create employment opportunities and at the same time safeguard the very special character of the South Pennines). The SPA has made many submissions on the Calderdale UDP which was deposited last year, some months ahead of Rochdale (not necessarily a good thing). The SPA has addressed these submissions at the following Public Inquiry which has now been going on for some months. After all this time and so far into the proceedings, only this last month we received for comment a change in policy, proposed in response to continued pressure on and representations to, the Council. - Your voice, your views, your comments can and do count. So, keep an eye open and do go and look at the Plan. Once it has received final approval after the consultation period and a probable Public Inquiry, it will be extremely difficult to change.... it will be there for 10 years (into the 21st Century!!).

Back to New Horizons, it is now evident that the South Pennines is being aggressively targeted as a zone suitable for Wind Farm development (See article below). Therefore proposed Wind Farm policies in the UDP will be of particular significance . . . . So, with much to look forward to and with much to do in the New Year Welcome to 1993 with Littleborough Civic Trust.

Editor

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FAMOUS LAST WORDS

Picture: Summit Tunnel entrance

Summit Tunnel entrance when opened

With the Summit Tunnel sesquicentennial celebrations still fresh in the mind, Littleborough Civic Trust newsletter readers may be interested to know what was actually said at the completion ceremony held inside the great Tunnel on Wednesday 9th December 1840:

At 12 noon precisely a hilltop fusillade of cannon signalled a start to the ceremony. George Stephenson opened the proceedings by eulogising his Tunnel Engineer, Barnard Dickinson, the man chosen to perform the ceremony of laying the last brick. G. S. then presented Dickinson with an ornate silver trowel embellished with an engraving of the Summit portal, a crest and an inscription.

Typical of the great man, he concluded his short oration with a witticism ..."I have only to add, when you key in the last brick you will be sure to take care and not waste the cement".

Amidst prolonged cheering and clapping Dickinson then laid the 23rd millionth brick. When order was restored he addressed the assemblage, expressing his most sincere and hearty thanks for the very great honour bestowed upon him that day, for the gift of the beautiful and munificent silver trowel and for the cordial co-operation he had enjoyed during the building of the Tunnel. He then made his now famous and strangely prophetic statement; ..."The work is finished and defies the rage of tempest, fire , or war or wasting age". The Engineer's remarks foreshadowed the calamitous events of Thursday 20th December 1984 the day the Tunnel was engulfed by fire.

After touching briefly on the subject of human suffering and the many casualties sustained during the building of the Tunnel, but without specifying the actual numbers involved, Dickinson then became quite animated, speaking in accentuated tones and gesticulating wildly; the Engineer continued by haranguing all and sundry, saying, "The opening of this railway will no doubt occasion a great change in present channel communications; The back-bone of England may be said to be broken - it's spinal marrow, the Summit Tunnel, has been touched.

Blackstone Edge! thou art no more - the grouse may still feed upon thy heather - the canal company may drain every drop of moisture from thy barren surface to sustain them in their extremity; but thy inns shal1 be deserted - thy roads wi11 become sheep walks - no traveller will henceforth toil up thy/steep side, or admire thy rugged beauty..."

Proprietors of certain Pennine hostelries note with some relief that not all B. Dickinson's doom ridden prophesies actually materialised.

Allen Holt 1992

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FOOTPATH WALKS

Since the summer newsletter, we have been concerned with a number of footpath issues. We are trying to pre-empt a problem developing at Humber Farm, where the new occupant was not aware of the footpath through the yard when purchasing the property. We have also been in touch with the local authority over the Parish Paths Scheme, which could mean funds being made available for the improvement of local paths.

The winter 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 23rd February at 8.00pm. Please come along: refreshments available.

 

FOOTPATH WALKS PROGRAMME

SUNDAY January 10th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm or at Smithybridge station car park at 1.45pm.
Leader: JOHN HINDLE
Route: Fletchers Road - Wild House - Peanock Lane - Little Clegg.

Distance 6 Miles.

SUNDAY January 24th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm or at Ogden car park at 2.00pm.
Leader MICHAEL FARRELL.
Route: Ogden Circular.

Distance 5 Miles.

SUNDAY February 7th: Meet Littleborough Square at l.30pm.
Leader ROY PRINCE.
Route: Windy Bank - Leach - Che1burn - Canal Towpath.

Distance 5 Miles.

SUNDAY February 21st: Meet Littleborough Square at l.30pm.
Leader JOHN HINDLE.
Route: Gorsey Hill - Grimes - Pasture House.

Distance 5+ Miles.

SUNDAY March 7th: Meet Littleborough Square at l.30pm. or Royd Lane 2.00pm.
Leader HELEN BRAY.
Route: Ryburn Circular.

Distance 5 Miles.

Silhouette of walkers

SUNDAY March 21st: Meet Littleborough Square at l.30pm or Wild House Lane picnic site at 1.45pm.
Leader MICHAEL FARRELL.
Route Birchinley - Tunshill - Turnough.

Distance 5 Miles.

SUNDAY April 4th: Meet Littleborough Square at 9.30am.
Leader JOHN HINDLE.
Route: Newsome Dean Circular.

Distance 9 Miles (approx.)

SUNDAY April 18th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm or Todmorden Market 2.00pm.
Leader GEOFF SUTCLIFFE.
Route: Todmorden Circular.

Distance 6 Miles.

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BLOTS ON OUR HORIZONS??

WINDFARMS - ARE THEY ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?

Now the windfarm at Cliviger is in place and the landscape implications are very apparent, and now advertisements have appeared in Pennine newspapers requiring land for windfarms, a few more comments for you to ponder:-

Photograph: Wind turbines

1. The Government estimates wind power could meet 10% of national energy requirements - this implies 1,800 windfarms with 20 machines on each 'farm'.

2. The South Pennines has been identified by the Government as an upland area with great potential for wind power developments.

3. The 'best' wind speed areas identified around Rochdale stretch from Calderbrook towards Bacup, lands east of Whitworth and lands from Warland Reservoir along the Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council boundary to Castleshaw Moor.

. Windfarms are dependent upon being very heavily subsidised. The Government guarantees under its present policies, approx. 11.5p per unit for 'wind' energy, compared to around 3p per unit for normal 'coal fired' energy.

5. The Secretary of State for Environment recently overturned the Inspector's recommendation against a proposed windfarm of 15 turbines at Kirby Moor.

6. Average machines (or turbines) are approximately 30 metres to their hub (as high as the lighting mast in Littleborough town centre) and have 2 or 3 rotating vanes.

7. Each turbine requires massive foundations - approx. 50ft. in diameter, massive earth removal operations and the construction of tons of concrete (together with all that limestone - alien to our acid moorlands). Massive and deep access tracks are required for the many heavy wagons needed during construction.

8. Windfarms require vast areas of land - the developers, a property company, ask for 100 acres or more for each 'farm'.

9. They require the construction of more power cables for distribution.

10. The blanket peat on our moorland has taken over 8000 years to develop. Once disturbed, restoration is extremely difficult and mainly results in erosion and loss of this fragile habitat.

11. Who will pay for the removal of the machines, foundations & access tracks & for the restoration of land if Government policy should change or if they should become obsolete?

12. Windfarms are NOT NEEDED - THE OVER-PRODUCTION OF ENERGY IS NOW ESTIMATED IN EXCESS OF 35% WHAT A WASTE ! ! ! ! !

Judith Schofield.

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OUR SOUTH PENNINE UPLANDS

The following extract was written by Trudy Robinson for the South Pennine Association. I am sure many members will, like myself, recognise, share and be touched by her feelings for our uplands.

J A S

"All my life I have walked freely on these hills. We used to go along the old Cold Edge Road to Howarth in the early thirties - in those days it was just a dirt road with causey stones leading from the quarry towards the Withins.

Photograph: Pennine Way

I have travelled abroad and walked in the mountains, but I always love to come back to our moors - there is something about them that really touches you to the core. It is a wonderful experience to be out on the tops with the wind in your hair and just the calls of the Curlew, the Lark, and the Peewit to break the silence. I only wish I had the ability to express the feeling adequately. I have also taken visitors from abroad for walks over the hills. Something of that same feeling has touched them. You know, because they either go silent or just look around and sigh.

I remember the special pleasure of a lady from Lahore. She arrived in a beautiful silk sari, but exchanged it for a pair of my daughter's trousers, a tee shirt and an anorak. We packed a picnic in a rucksack and walked and walked. I will never forget her sitting in a rock, eating her sandwiches and gazing around at the views. She thought it was sheer bliss, taking her back to childhood outings in the Himalayan foothills.

From these open hills there is a vista of slopes and scarps striding away into the distance -a source of inspiration for writers, artists and photographers. This is the land of our Poet Laureate. It is our aim to ensure that this unique landscape will continue to provide inspiration for generations to come - a retreat for those seeking spiritual renewal.

We are so lucky to have all this on our doorstep. I hope we can treasure it for our grandchildren and their children, so that it is something special for them too.

Gertrude Robinson

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

Quote for the New Year

"The secret of success in life is for man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes "

Disraeli

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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.

 

Acknowledgements

The Editor and staff wish to thank all those people who have contributed to this edition of the Newsletter with a special thanks to those who assemble and distribute the Newsletter.

 

Editor: Judith Schofield

 

 

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