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.
Chairwoman: Judith Schofield, 4, Bottoms, Crag Vale. 0422 885173
Vice Chairman:John Street, Calder Cottage. 378043
Secretary: Michael Farrell, 41, Hollingworth Road, Littleborough. Tel. 370154
Treasurer: Peter Jackson, 8 Chelburn View, Littleborough. Tel. 373112
Membership Secretary: Lincoln Jackson, 1 Moorfield View, Shore. Tel. 370542
Minutes Secretary: Chris Wilkinson, 3, Fair View, Littleborough. 374020
Dan Docker, 93 Church Street, Littleborough. Tel. 372001
David Hall, 6 Nelson Street, Littleborough.
Don Pickis, Lightowlers. 378849.
Betty Pickis, Lightowlers. 378849.
Jill Roberts, 12 Whitfield Brow, Todmorden Road.74175
Rae Street, Calder Cottage. 378043
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.
(Widening Civic Trust Membership)
As our readers will recall, we focused our attention on this theme as it applied to the "Energy Scene" during last summer. With planning applications for windfarms in our own local authority and in adjoining Calderdale still in the pipeline, debate and discussion, action and reaction are set to exercise local communities, amenity groups and prospective developers for some years to come. Also, with the possible advent of applications to develop small scale generation plants fuelled by coppiced woodlands we can expect the "scene" to become even more diversified.
All this talk of "renewables", concentrating as it did on finite resources of energy, must have hit a responsive note with members of your committee. Some of us, ever more conscious of our own finite resources of time as well as energy, were forced to face the questions, "Where do we find new active members?" "How can we involve increasingly, people younger than ourselves?" "If it's worth doing, how do we carry on the good work?" and "Haw do we renew ourselves?".
A practical answer was prompted by the Civic Trust's Tree Nursery Project and the increasing involvement of young people in its work. Care of the environment and in particular, care for trees is as the jargon has it, "an ongoing commitment", something requiring continuous attention and in due course, renewal when older specimens need to be replaced.
Littleborough Civic Trust has therefore introduced as a first step, a group membership category for schools: this for a modest annual fee covers all staff, pupils, parents and governors.
In this way the Trust can involve a much wider membership in practical projects such as tree planting schemes at Barker's Wood Community Woodland at Bents Farm. Most of the primary schools in Littleborough are currently involved in this project. It is hoped they will continue to be so over the coming years and take a direct role in the stewardship and husbandry of the woodland thereby growing in experience, skill and care with the living things they have planted and tended.
Additionally Civic Trust members are available to visit local schools, to assist with existing environmental schemes and to suggest help in introducing new ones.
In more than one sense then, we have gone "back to out roots' drawing on the inspiration of our predecessor organisation, The Beautiful Littleborough Society, set up just after the First World War. Amongst its other aims, broadly similar to our own in the Civic Trust, appeared this commitment - "to systematically plant trees and shrubs... to encourage the training of children in the care of flowers and growths."
This aim, expressed with admirable directness, cannot easily be improved upon: the Trust hopes that this aim will remain a "live" issue.
AND . . . Following on from new shoots . . .
On Monday 21st November, members of the Civic Trust had quite a delightful surprise! We were invited to the official opening of Barkers Wood, (it actually stopped raining and the sun shone) together with children and staff from the local schools who have participated in the scheme, local Councillors, Council Officers, Woodland and Forestry Officers and Mrs Barker. At the Ceremony we were presented by the Mayor with tools to help us with our Tree Nursery. So, now there are no excuses for not coming to help - (1st Saturday of the Month) - we have forks, spades, trowels and hoes for all - see you on Jan 7th!!
Many thanks also to Leisure Services and Planning for all their help.
Judith Schofield, Chairwoman.
There is no doubt that car traffic cannot continue to increase at its present rate if there is to be a healthy environment. It now seems that there is a clear Hnk between air pollution, especially poisonous gases from cars, and an increase in asthma and other respiratory diseases. There could be no-one in Littleborough who doesn't know a child with asthma. Not only air pollution but noise and hazards from dense traffic have all become worse in the last few years.
People will only stop using private cars when there is a convenient, cheap public transport service. And it is here that an efficient rail service could offer at least part of the solution. In Littleborough there is a historic station, built by far-seeing engineers, as the plaques outside testify. The buildings are part of the Central Conservation Area. But what is needed now is not a historic monument but a viable modern service. George Stephenson, surely, would have wanted to keep the best of the old but develop it for our times.
There must be an efficient service, a service where the trains arrive on time. In 5 journeys taken to and from Littleborough in one week none were on time. One was delayed by 50 minutes.
In its heyday, Littleborough Station had a waiting room with a coal fire, good seats and toilets. The existing Waiting Room on the Manchester' side is worse than useless. Somebody should tell Railway Managers that rain falls horizontally in the Pennines and that people hate sitting on wet seats. Yet, a few miles down the line, at Hebden Bridge, there is a splendid, carpeted Waiting Room. Why can it be done in Yorkshire and not Lancashire?
It would be very useful to have a public phone box at the Station. (Especially as the trains are so often late)
The staff at the Station are very helpful but often now it is not staffed. Perhaps it would be a good idea if the information boards were kept in working order.
New or re-opened, stations are popular - look at the success of Smithy Bridge. In the Rochdale Unitary Development Plan 4 new stations on our line were proposed, 2 of which would be particularly helpful for Littleborough people - Summit and Slattocks. The latter would be useful for people working at Slattocks Industrial Estate and Hopwood Hall College and also for students at the College.
Our local rail campaigning group is S.T.O.R M., the Secretary is Mr S. Greenwood, 2, Oxford Ave., Rochdale. OL11 4DP - do join!
Let's look for the next heyday for the rail line through Littleborough!
When we moved to Littleborough 12 years ago, I remember going for a walk around the village and being very impressed. And 2 minutes from our house I found a lovely park with bandstand, children's play park, playing fields and all surrounded by wonderful hills. Magnificent!
Twelve years on, and we now have children who love a trip to the park. But sadly there is now very little for them to play on - 2 sets of swings, a slide, climbing frame and sandpit. Sounds enough? Perhaps until you realise that with the exception of the climbing frame, the equipment is set on a hard surface, the park is open to dogs and it leaves little for our children to enjoy in SAFETY.
Several weeks ago a little girl suffered head injuries after falling from a swing and spent time in hospital. She is now, understandably, nervous of the swings.
Over recent years, many councils have replaced outdated equipment with exciting new adventure playgrounds, full of imaginative and sturdy items for all age groups, set on cork chip or rubberised surfaces for safety. Trafford, for example, have designed parks which are divided into toddler and older areas, ensuring safe play for little ones and fun for older children. They are enclosed, with a self-shutting gate to keep dogs out and it is now a pleasure for parents to take their children out to play — a) the children have plenty to do and ENJOY themselves with the equipment and b) seating is provided for parents to supervise in comfort!
Recently I have spoken to several mums about our park and found that they take their children to Todmorden, 6 miles away! One has journeyed to Hebden Bridge and another visits Springfield Park on the other side of Rochdale!
Does anyone else, like me, think that our children deserve better? That we should be investing in our children for the future? Littleborough consists mainly of older type housing with little or no garden space; that's why we NEED open spaces, for adults and children alike. But for our children especially we need play items to stimulate the imagination, to develop physical skills and to keep them occupied and happy. Distant hills may look nice but are no use to mums with little ones in push chairs!
As Littleborough is often held up as a model visitor's centre, isn't it a shame that we haven't even amenities for the young residents?
If you feel moved to join in an effort to get our children some decent play equipment, please contact me. Tel 0706 379604
- An Update -
Apart from the enhancement to the facilities and attractions of Littleborough that could ensue from the proposed development, the other immediate interest for our local Chic Trust is the fact that we have been deeply involved in creating the scheme and will have provided two directors on the Company Board when it is registered. So we have both interest and responsibility.
The scheme set out to create a residential centre, primarily for young people, at our Community campus on Calderbrook Road. The objectives have undoubtedly developed over the four years of planning and persuading that have now elapsed. The heart of the objective is still the enrichment of life and job opportunities for our young people locally, in the authority and the region by a blend of holiday and education based on our wonderful local facilities. The content will cover arts, leisure and sport, with a strong accent on how these can be reconciled with a proper concern for the environment The main development has been an increasing recognition of the contribution the activities can make to job opportunities, real education qualifications and regeneration of our area.
What are the achievements so far? Between the Littleborough Feasibility Study in 1990 and 1993 we had established a management structure, created a business plan, obtained a building agreement and 21 year lease on the property involved, and obtained full planning permission to convert the property and surrounding land to the new use. We also assembled a number of partners who could command the respect of the outside world when we embarked on a project that could employ perhaps ten people and spend some £300.000 to meet the business plan objectives.
We entered 1994 with two key objectives. The first was to achieve Charitable status. This has traditionally not been a great hurdle but in the last year there has been a drive by the Government to tighten up the definition and the advantages the status bestows. We have talked to the Charity Commissioners and to their advising lawyers. The whole process has been very lengthy but they are now helping us to a Constitution for the Company which should be exemplary. The difficulty has been that two of our major bids for money in 1994 are on hold, because we cannot be considered until we achieve the status.
The second objective was to obtain £120.000 to trigger the conversion. The good side is the flow of compliments we have received for the quality and credibility of our submission including national recognition. We achieved qualification for a Single Regeneration Budget bid to the Ministerial Committee in Whitehall against severe competition, and await a final decision. We have been awarded modest but significant amounts of money. Finally we have had a steady flow of support from local people, local business and all our partners - this is like life blood.
A look at the end of 1994 and 1995 can be sensibly optimistic, we will obtain charitable status and we are well placed to succeed with our funding. The exciting bit will then be the detailed planning for what we do over the following 21 years!!
John Street, Vice Chairman.
Since the last newsletter we have begun the process of collecting evidence for the claiming of Carriage Drive as a public footpath. Again I would appeal to anyone who cares about the future of this route to contact a member of the Committee or Footpath Group - all evidence is vital and we will only have one bite at the cherry! We have also been assured that the landowner responsible for tipping over the Lydgate Clough footpath will be prosecuted if matters are not rectified.
The Winter/Spring 1995 programme was drawn up at a meeting of the Footpaths Group in October. We would be delighted to have more members contributing walks and ideas. The Summer programme 1995 will be drawn up at a meeting at Harehill Park Council Offices on Tuesday 28th February at 8pm. Please come along! Refreshments are available.
Sunday DECEMBER 11th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm
Leader: Lincoln Jackson
Sunday DECEMBER 25th: No walk - Enjoy your Turkey!
Sunday JANUARY 8th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm
Leader: Michael Farrell
Ealees - Whittaker - Booth Hollings - Rakewood
Sunday JANUARY 22nd: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm
Leader: John Hindle
Townhouse - Hey Bottom - Clough Road - Shore
Sunday FEBRUARY 5th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm or Lawflat at 1.45pm
Leader: Geoff Sutcliffe
Wardle - Rydings - Healey Stones
Sunday FEBRUARY 19th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm
Leader Michael Farrell
Gorsey Wood - Hill Top - Calderbrook
Sunday MARCH 5th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm
Leader John Hindle
Cars to Todmorden Market Car Park
Sunday MARCH 19th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm. Cars to Todmorden Market Car Park.
Leader: Geoff Sutcliffe
Sunday APRIL 2nd: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.45pm
Leader: George Lee
Rock Nook - Bottomley - Warland
Sunday APRIL 16th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm. Cars to Norden Centre.
Leader: Joe Taylor
Millcroft Tea Gardens Circular
Sunday APRIL 30th: Meet Littleborough Square at 1.30pm
Leader: Joe Taylor
A Very Merry Christmas to All and may 1995 be a Successful Happy Year!! After typing out this newsletter it makes you realise just how much, so many people care about Littleborough, its folk and its character - it definitely is worthwhile being a member of such an organisation!!
The Editor and Staff wish to thank all those people who have contributed to this edition with a special thanks to those who assemble and distribute the Newsletter and to K. Parry who designed the cover for use on LCT Newsletters in the mid 1970's.
Editor: Judith Schofield
CLICK LOGO TO GO BACK TO NEWSLETTERS LIST