Photograph:

Littleborough Civic Trust is a voluntary body affiliated to the national Civic Trust. It was established in 1971 and exists to conserve and enhance the environment of Littleborough.
Its committee and officers are elected at an Annual General Meeting in April, although new members are always welcome.

Committee Members 2000 - 2001

CHAIRMAN: John Street, Calder Cottage. Tel. 378043

SECRETARY: Iain Gerrard, 2 Pikehouse Cottages. Tel. 377829

TREASURER: Peter Jackson, 8 Chelburn View, Littleborough. Tel. 373112

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: Jill Roberts, 34 Brown Street, Littleborough. Tel. 375426

MINUTES SECRETARY: Chris Wilkinson, 3, Fair View, Littleborough. Tel. 374020

NEWSLETTER EDITOR: Chris Wilkinson, as above

PUBLICITY OFFICER: Elaine Gerrard, 2, Pikehouse Cottages, Tel. 377829

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Judith Schofield, 4, Bottoms, Crag Vale. 01422 885173
Don Pickis, Lightowlers. Tel. 378849.
Betty Pickis, Lightowlers. Tel. 378849.
Rae Street, Calder Cottage. Tel. 378043
Joe Taylor, 136a Market Street, Whitworth. Tel. 344711

 

The Newsletter is produced four times a year. The views expressed in it do not necessarily reflect the views of the Trust. Contributions are welcome and should be sent to the Editor who thanks contributors to this edition. Copy for the summer edition is required before the 8th December.

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Talking Points

Iain Gerrard reports on topics discussed at recent Committee meetings.

Those of us involved in the Township Design Statement (John Street in the main!) are ploughing through the necessary form filling for an application for funding for the work under the Local Initiative Heritage Scheme. This, it is hoped, will be completed by the end of the year and, if successful, will enable the real work to begin early next year.

The Meeting we organised on the 28th of September went down very well, pulling in over 60 interested members and residents to listen to the latest facts on the progress of the work on the Canal, as given by Jim Swindells of British Waterways. Jim gave an entertaining talk but the real interest was in the meat of his words in which he explained lucidly what the situation was and what British Waterways intended to do about it. l have written separately about this most important subject.

The land by the Cricket Club has still not been entirely resolved as I described in the last newsletter. Basically there are two pieces of adjacent land involved and we have at present got agreement with the Cricket Club to rent and improve only one of these - admittedly the most important one. We are pursuing the other one and have at present no reason to believe we will not be successful in obtaining the Cricket Club's permission. John Street and Jill Roberts recently met Martin Riley [RMBC Environmental Officer on the site, and he was both enthusiastic and of the opinion that he may be able to offer substantial practical help through Groundwork and the Prince's Trust. The Committee felt that this particular project should be given a name and has decided to call it the Gordon Harvey Project from now on.

Our November Do on the 25th of last month was also successful making a slight profit for all three societies involved. We gave away £3000 to six local causes chosen by our members. £500 went to each of the following: Littleborough Lions, The Coach House, the Chernobyl Children's Charity, the Field Of Dreams, the Old People's Welfare and the Littleborough Historical & Archæological Society. An extremely tasty hotpot supper was enjoyed by all and music was supplied by the Rochdale Youth Band: Impulsive Folk, and by Sue and Mark Thornton. The film we promised to show in the last newsletter, unfortunately proved to be too much for us to complete in the time available, and we had to fall back on one of the Rochdale area as a whole. It was nevertheless an interesting and well-produced film and is, for those interested, available through the Rochdale Observer at £12.99.

While the Local Authority have labelled the Canal Street area as suitable for development for tourism and leisure they nevertheless appear to be giving it low priority. We are exceedingly concerned that some positive progress should be made in this and have written to them to say so. In the meantime we have contacted the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to ask for their help, sending to them a detailed description of the area and why we think it is worth preserving [Many photographs accompanied the submission emphasising the considerable age of some of the buildings. They have referred the matter to English Heritage to consider listing the buildings and the area.

Photograph: Dilapitaed bandstand

The Bandstand in Hare Hill Park has been left to deteriorate for many years and more recently has been attacked by vandals and is now in a parlous state. Concern for its welfare has been mentioned to the Local Authority through our involvement with the Environmental Group of the Pennines Townships. The matter was discussed at the last meeting of the Pennines Township Committee and, although considered worthy of some action sometime in the future, was felt to be less important than other projects. While we understand that with a limited budget, and faced with the considerable cost of a total repair [£3000O?], the Pennines Township may feel their limited resources would be stretched too far, the fact is that within a short time there will be no bandstand left to renovate! We feel that if it were to be listed it might prove more difficult to ignore and might also attract funding and we are investigating this possibility.

Albert Street. Jill Roberts has brought the state of this unmade thoroughfare to the Committees attention. It was felt that it might be possible to get help from the Prince's Trust in a clean-up operation. ln the meantime, daffodil bulbs obtained from RMBC [those of you with long memories will recall we were offered some last year but took up the offer too late] have been collected and will be planted [hopefully, have been, by the time you read this] in the grass banks at the side of the path.

We have been concerned about the use of ‘Beware of the Bull‘ signs which have been placed on public rights of way by farmers. The feeling among the Committee at the moment is that while these are intimidating they are probably not illegal. Some members feel that it can not be right to place a dangerous animal in a field unseparated from a public footpath, on the other hand if the animal is not dangerous why put the signs up anyway’? For the sake of the fainthearted, both known instances of this occurring locally, have been checked out personally by your intrepid writer and his dogs and the bulls are docile! The dogs weren't too keen though!

We have written to the owners of Hollinbrook House to congratulate them on the tasteful improvements made to the facade. We don't seem to do this very often and perhaps we should where merited. Or is it that so little work deserves any merit........?

The vandalised seat in the bus station. We have been advised to apply to the Pennines Township Committee for funds to replace this as recent attempts by other means appear to be failing. It was felt in our Committee that a replacement seat might, if we are successful in our bid, be better placed, more used, and safer from vandalism if positioned in front of the Roundhouse. What do you think?

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Lots of Dobbins Crossing

Sketch of a line of packhorses on trail

30 years after the Pennine Way, the Pennine Bridleway reaches Littleborough.
Chris Wilkinson reports progress on its construction.

You may have read about the Summit ‘Dobbin Crossing’ (as some local has christened it) in the Rochdale Observer, but how much do you know about why it's there? Why should someone think it's worth spending the reported £50,000 on a signalised road crossing for horse riders next to the Summit pub?

In 1995 the Secretary of State for the Environment approved a project to develop a 208 mile horse riding route between Carsington in Derbyshire and Kirkby Stephen. The project was submitted by the then Countryside Commission, who had received a proposal for such a Trail from a horse riding member of the gentry, Lady Mary Towneley.

The idea of the Pennine Bridleway is to provide a distinctive facility for horse riders and cyclists which would encourage ‘green’ tourism. In the same way as the Pennine Way and the C2C Cycle Route are said to have encouraged people to spend money on bed and breakfast accommodation, pub lunches, hostels, camp sites and outdoor equipment shops, the Bridleway is anticipated to encourage spending on all these and stabling as well. By this means, money will be injected into the economies of some ‘deprived’ rural areas in Northern England.

Funded mainly by the now Countryside Agency, Sport England lottery money and Local Authorities, the Trail was originally intended to open in 2003. This has been put back to 2004, although a 44 mile loop off the main Trail, around the Rossendale uplands is due to open in Spring 2001. The loop has been named the Mary Towneley loop and does actually pass through her husband's Estate. Both main Trail and Loop pass through Littleborough.

The main Trail comes from the south past Piethorn Reservoir, climbs to Tunshill Lane, drops down into Longden End Valley and then follows the track to Rakewood. At Hollingworth Lake it turns right to Syke Farm and then follows the moor bottom road to Lydgate. It skirts Stormer Hill to cross the A58 at Fence Nook, then follows the track to Leaches Farm. It passes Chelburn Reservoir and crosses the A6033 by the Summit pub before heading into Calderdale via Reddyshore Scout Gate.

The loop leaves the main route at Calderbrook Road and heads for Higher Calderbrook where it turns right for Grimes‘ Farm. It skirts Ringing Pots Hill, crosses Turn Slack, passes High Lea Slack before picking up the track from Higher Shore to Watergrove Reservoir. It heads towards Brown Wardle Hill before heading south west to Brown Hill and down Whitworth Rake into Whitworth and beyond.

As a Joe Public with a habit of wandering around the local hills, from what I can see, the main route is some way off completion. Most of the route uses existing footpaths which will need legal and /or physical upgrading before they would be suitable for use by horses. Landowners may object to this, so completing the route will probably not be easy.

Whilst there is evidence of work at Summit and Syke - and some road signs on the A58, a lot of work will be needed at Chelburn to create a usable route. On the other hand, a lot of work has been done recently to improve the Loop Trail west of Grimes‘ Farm and this section could well be ready for Spring. Previously indistinct paths have been surfaced, drains have been dug and small bridges or fords built. The Trail can at present be followed simply by looking for the grey stone of the new surfacing. The work is being done in appalling weather, so if the drains work now, they should stand a chance of doing so in the future.

So, what is it like to use? Well, I've walked it and like much of the scenery around here, it's great in parts. There are some panoramic views of typical Pennine scenery, but as is often the case, particularly on this side of the Pennines, includes some views of tatty farmsteads/builder's yards.

Although I'm not a horse rider, I think that a facility like the Pennine Bridleway is a good idea. It’s not that long since horses provided our main means of transportation and it's a shame that the routes they travelled fell into disuse and were subsequently misdefined on the ‘definitive map’ of public rights of way. There are a lot of horse owners around here and they don't have many safe places to ride. Horses provide a more environmentally-friendly means of travel than the car, so I'm all for encouraging people to see the countryside (or even visit the shops!) from the saddle. However, there is also a danger that people will drive their horses to the Bridleway. Indeed, there is evidence that good cycle paths (like those in the Peak District) have encouraged more, rather than fewer car journeys into the countryside. So, a lot depends on how the Trail is marketed and what facilities are available locally.

You will no doubt want to make up your own mind on these issues, so, to help in this matter, I'm in the process of producing a brief guide to the Pen- nine Bridleway through Littleborough. Adopting the technology of the day, I'm intending to have a go at putting this guide on the LCT website.

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Meeting the Director of the Civic Trust

John Street

On the 9th of September we had the opportunity to meet Michael Gwilliam the current director of the National Civic Trust (our parent body). He proved to be a good speaker and for some ten minutes he outlined the range of activities and general health of the central body. It was very interesting in that we, as a small society do not appear to be fully aware of our Trusts’ activities nor do we use them to best advantage.

A simple example would be an awareness of the content of the ‘Civic Society Briefing‘ , which is published regularly. Perhaps we should summarise the most important developments for our own newsletter and web site? The latest issue announced the availability of a Regional Heritage Officer who could possibly give very important help in the preparation of material relating to the ‘regeneration of Littleborough', which is currently sparked off by the prospect of getting the canal open by 2002.

Another part of the issue was a report on the value of a bandstand in Chester and their steps to preserve it. This is exactly the kind of material we need to help preserve ours in the Hare Hill Park, which to my eye is a finer example of valuable heritage than the Chester one but is woefully neglected at present.

The main reason for the Director attending the meeting of Civic Trust societies in the North West was the urgent need to get all the societies (some 120) to move rapidly to an agreement which would supply, through a democratic process, single representatives who could speak for us all at a Regional level. The Government has delegated considerable powers to Regional agencies such as the North West Development Agency and our voice must be heard. Of all the regions in Britain the North West remains the only one where the existing Civic Trusts have not met this challenge.

Our problem has been that we historically had no less than five Federations or groups of societies based on the variety of geography and types of employment in the northwest. Each Federation felt threatened by being amalgamated and represented as the northwest. The contrary fact is that we will only get one seat in each Regional set up: which will be perhaps six in all. To summarise, the meeting was very successful and finally agreed on how each society could nominate possible candidates and how to select a panel of ten from such nominations. This process should be complete in a month. The second step is for the panel to assess the major ‘interest areas‘ which coincide with the five or six regional 'Quango' structures and nominate the individual to speak for us all in that forum.

All societies in the northwest will know these interest areas within two months. The whole arrangement will be reviewed at the end of one year and enough money is available to allow anyone who wishes to put themselves forward for consideration without too much concern about cost. The Director accepted these decisions with enthusiasm, as a big step forward in what is a complex and possibly contentious area. We left the venue (The Friends Meeting House, in Manchester) with the feeling that it had been a Saturday afternoon well spent.

Finally there can be little doubt that the recent steps made by your Society to put it on line with web site and E mail capabilities will be justified. It means there will be less need to travel in situations such as Regional representation, there will be less expense and a better spread of knowledge and decision making. I felt quite proud to stick my hand up when the Director asked for a show of hands on the topic. Only about a third of the societies had actually got the facilities though most were ‘thinking or ‘developing’ some subset.

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Grave Relations

Betty Pickis

Recently I wrote in the Newsletter about my ancestors who were connected with chalk mining in Kent. This provoked quite a bit of interest so here's another theme I've recently become very interested in, due principally from my research into my paternal Grandmother's death and subsequent burial in 1908 - Graveyards.

Picture: a grave stone

Actually I've always been fascinated by graveyards. This interest l believe, stemmed from walks taken as a child with our ‘live in’ help who, I learnt later, was smitten by the local curate and used to meet him regularly in the local churchyard. My sister and I were obviously taken along to allay my parents‘ suspicions, but I really enjoyed these visits when l could wander around and read all the headstones and memorials.

Six years ago I obtained a copy of my Grandmother's death certificate. This of course stated the date and cause of her death but gave no indication of where she had been buried. My father during his lifetime never talked about his mother, understandably as he was only six when she died, leaving in addition to my father, a daughter of three and a new born baby of two weeks. I had no idea where I might find her grave. The only other information I had, taken from her death certificate, was that my Grandparents lived ‘in Dulwich in the county of Surrey’. This part of the County is now part of Greater London and I discovered that within its boundaries there were a great many cemeteries and church graveyards.

Knowing my Grandparents were not serious churchgoers I decided to try the cemeteries within easy reach of Dulwich first and if I didn't have any success I would then try further afield.

Luck was on my side because I found that the first cemetery I contacted, the West Norwood, was where she was buried.

After much correspondence and armed with a large map of the burial ground I was able to establish exactly where my Grandmother's grave would be. Before actually visiting West Norwood with my husband in early 1996 we were distressed to learn that although the grave was still there (Grave no. 32246. Square 98) there was no headstone to identify its occupant. However, the super- intendent of the Cemetery had had a small plaque made and put on the grave to mark it, prior to our visit, which I felt was a very kind thing to do.

I learnt quite a lot about graveyards on this visit. Traditionally all graves used to face east and generally this practice was carried on until the late 1950's when I suppose space in certain graveyards became limited and this tradition was stopped. In my Grandmother's case all the graves round her plot faced east. No explanation was given but her grave we discovered was north/ south.

Photograph: West Norwood cemetary gates arch

West Norwood cemetary gates and arch

West Norwood cemetery is a fascinating place with lots of flower beds as well as many mature trees, but sadly during the years since the last war there has been a constant battle between the Cemetery Officials and the Local Authority who began, in the early 1960's, a scheme of so-called tidying up the graveyard, removing and destroying some headstones and also re-using some of the older graves. Many headstones have gone for ever and although I'm sad my grandmother's was obviously one of these the memorials to many famous people have also gone too.

Unfortunately, among the memorials that have fallen into disrepair or been removed are several mausoleums which have become derelict so that their original architectural merit and visual impact have been seriously compromised. Luckily the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery are actively engaged in trying to restore some part of this heritage to its original glory (this might seem to some people a waste of money but it is very noticeable that some Mediterranean countries seem to take much greater care of their graveyards than we do).

However, the graves of Mrs Beeton (of household Management fame), Sir Henry Tate (sugar), Mr Lawson Johnston (Bovril), James Epps (Cocoa), Mr. Edgar (of Swann and Edgar, Piccadilly, London), William Morris, Joseph Whittaker (of the Almanac) and many, many other famous people are still there for all to see.

When we were leaving the Cemetery I was shown the entry in the grave book for 1908 where it mentioned my grandfather had purchased the grave space for £6 6 shillings and the grave was able to hold four occupants. In 1996 the ownership of Grave no. 32246 was transferred to me at a cost of £62! Rather different from what my grandfather paid in 1908, but at least I feel I now have a real family connection with West Norwood Cemetery. I don't intend to make use of the facility there, but since the Cemetery Authorities and the Local Authority have now, I hope, sorted out their differences, nobody else can either, without my consent!

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The Kemp Stone

Allan Holt

In 1870 my great-grandfather took his six year old son onto the open moor near Reddyshore Scout Gate, Calder- brook to see the Kemp Stone. In due course the offspring took his own children to see it, and during the following century l was directed there by the youngest of those siblings, who is now a hearty 91 year old. It was therefore right and proper that my eldest son should become the first member of the fifth generation of the family to visit the monolith and pay homage to his ancestors.

The Kemp Stone lies a good half mile from the packhorse road and is approached over soggy ground. As we neared the outcrop the rock manifests itself by its sheer size. Many years ago it had been described to me somewhat optimistically as ‘big as a bus’, albeit a single-decker! We examined it closely for any carvings dates/initials etc., but were disappointed by what few there are. Fortunately the rock has not suffered disfigurement by the graffiti artists; there are no exhortations to Led Zeppelin!

Sadly the Kemp Stone is no longer listed on modern maps, in fact, the only map in my possession which actually names the stone is an Ordnance Survey Map for 1854. Nor have l been able to discover why it was so named, but then neither could Henry Fishwick, in his ‘History of the Parish of Rochdale' 1889, he wrote:

Kemp Stone

‘On the moors a little to the west of Allerscholes, and not far from Reddyshore Scout is a large piece of rock with a flat top which is known by this name. There is no evidence to show how long it has been so designated. Its name may therefore be of great antiquity or of comparatively recent origin.’

On leaving the Kemp Stone we made our way across the moor to Turn Slack Dam, then up the hill to the Long Causeway before dropping down to Watergrove reservoir and then on to my son's house in Wardle for the evening meal. it had been a superb day out in glorious weather, with an added bonus — a photograph taken at the Kemp Stone was entered in a competition for the 2001 Rochdale Springhill Hospice Calendar - and it won!

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Rochdale needs . . .

Betty Taylor

Rochdale needs to alter completely the allocation of land for building in the Local District Plan. The only way to stop the grabbing of green space for more and more unnecessary houses is to alter the designation of the land, surrounding and occasionally within, the urban boundary of the town.

Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 has just tightened the rules on building in the green belt. 60% of housing development must be on brown field sites. These should be genuine re-usable former industrial sites, not countryside areas which were deserted by the early textile industry a hundred years ago. Like Healey Dell, for instance. A properly planned and thought out green belt policy would protect such sites but Rochdale hasn't got one. The greater portion of land in the Borough is designated as white or green land and this can be built on, if applied for, and in Rochdale it will be.

It took Rochdale so long to process the last District Plan and get it running that it is now completely out of date. Acceptable vacancy levels have fallen in the North West from 4% to 2%. Only five year's supply of land for development need be designated and future needs should be planned according to actual need now, not on what developers think we should have in the future.

In East Lancashire, which you'll be pleased to know includes the whole of the old County for planning purposes, the birth rate is falling, houses are standing empty, much Council property is un-let-able, never mind saleable, good houses are being demolished, 350 houses are for sale each week in the Rossendale Free Press and more in The Rochdale Observer. Do we really need say any more?

Much Planning Guidance already exists which should protect all sites of special interest like Conservation Areas, Parks and Open Spaces, like Cronkeyshaw Common which were given to the people of Rochdale, not the present transient Council, who are only required to preserve it from development. To enforce this Planning Guidance we need back up from the Council's Legal Department, who are very effective when they do act but seem to fall asleep again in between. Many destructive planning applications have gone through because the local councillors either failed to consult their voters or simply did not know their own patches well enough to see the danger. We really need a team of volunteers to watch their own areas and report anything suspicious that others might miss.

Have you noticed how there is always a rush of planning applications at the height of the holiday season? I wonder why? We once returned from holiday to find that a planning application which we had strenuously opposed had been granted with the access road going through our office. Good job we weren't on a world cruise or we would have had no place to come back to.

In June this year we went away for only 10 days but during that time two controversial plans had been passed - three storey flats on Cronkeyshaw Common and similar in Healey Dell. Where was our legal department when the common land was threatened? Where were the local councillors? Can they be trusted anyway to act in our best interests or will they take fright and run at the faintest threat from a developer? I could tell you but l don't want to be sued either!

Unitary Development Plan - what a boring title! It sends the reader straight to sleep. Local District Plan, same thing — that's a bit better — it suggests that you and l have an interest in it and we certainly do. June 2001 will arrive all too soon so ‘tree huggers and mud lovers‘ unite. Your comments can change all that needs changing and leave the rest alone.

Planning is too important a subject to be left to the planners.

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Open Forum on the Restoration of the Rochdale Canal

Iain Gerrard reports

The Open Forum, organised by the Littleborough Civic Trust, to publicise the now-certain opening of the Rochdale Canal, attracted over 60 people to the Littleborough Coach House on the 28th. of September, including all three of our Littleborough Councillors.

John Street, the Trust's Chairman, opened the meeting by remarking on how twenty years ago he had been part of a group which had been involved in a protest meeting regarding the doubtful future of the Rochdale Canal. At that time few would have dared to predict the now-bright future for the canal. He praised all the many people who, over the years, had put so much time and effort into the regeneration of the canal.

He quickly introduced Andy Zuntz, Rochdale M.B.C.'s Director of Regeneration, who gave a short talk on the purpose of his department and how he could help the various regeneration projects made possible by the canal's existence as a working waterway. He emphasised that there was no grand plan but rather an organic progression of development largely driven by market forces. He did however say that through planning controls and active guidance from his department the market forces would not be allowed to put any beneficial development of the town at risk.

Broadly, he saw future development locally as being that of more hotel accommodation, bed and breakfast places and the like, to encourage more people to stay for longer periods, using the town as a springboard for forays into the South Pennines, without encouraging a consequent increase in visitors-by-car.

He concluded by saying that he felt there was almost a guarantee of a fabulous outcome to all of this for the future. He then answered questions from the audience before leaving to a round of applause.

He was followed by Jim Swindells, British Waterways‘ Deputy Project Manager for the South Pennine Ring of canals and ‘The Man’ responsible for the work on the Rochdale Canal both now and in the future. John Street introduced him as a man steeped in canals, interested in them since he had been a child, and who was an enthusiast outside his job with British Waterways.

Jim was keen to establish a few facts regarding the canal and the promise, which he made, that the canal would be open to through traffic by the summer of 2002. He himself had been, until recently, responsible for all maintenance and water management on the Lancashire side of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. He was proud to say that he had managed to keep the canal open to traffic during the driest summer and, at the same time, when the amount of traffic had been at its highest. He pointed out that British Waterways was still a nationalised industry, virtually one of the last, and had been allowed to stay nationalised because of its proven track record in both financial and practical matters relating to the maintenance and running of canals. They are now responsible for some 2500 miles of canal nationwide.

He affirmed that the Rochdale Canal was now wholly owned by the Waterways Trust, a charitable body capable of getting and controlling the finance required, and who, once possession had been obtained, had contracted British Waterways to carry out the restoration work and to continue to maintain it in the future. The Restoration Project covered all of the canal from the Summit to Ancoats Street in Manchester, all necessary funding was in place and all work required to ensure the opening of the canal to through traffic would be done by Spring/Summer 2002.

He added to John Street's opening remarks by saying that had it not been for the enthusiasts and amateurs who had managed to get the canal to the point it was now at, British Waterways simply wouldn't have been interested.

He was keen to stress that British Waterways, with much experience behind them, wanted to involve local communities, to educate and get them interested, and to realise the immense benefits which could come from this watery artery: economic, educational and leisure. By that he meant Local Groups, Local People, Councils, Transport Authorities, Police and so on... anyone who might benefit. Bad areas (some inner parts of the Manchester conurbation) could stop the traffic and damage the benefit to others, but these could be improved to a decent standard simply by involving those around them. He was in little doubt that Littleborough had the potential of becoming a ‘honey- pot‘ site with the right help and drive.

On the practical side he said that there were 16 separate sites along the canal which required major work within the Restoration Project. These were all being let to various contractors within the following couple of weeks (early October) and work would begin on site around the turn of the year. He assured everyone that their timing would be carefully managed to avoid any unnecessary disruption to local people and traffic.

Many people were uncertain about the water supply for the canal which was considered to be inadequate. This he conceded saying that there were two possible ways out of that particular dilemma: either back pumping of water from lower down the canal to the Summit level, or purchasing more reservoirs. He felt sure that if all the water supplies currently being pursued were obtained they would be adequate and the back-pumping option would not be required.

He answered many questions from the floor and received a warm round of applause at the end.

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

It is worth mentioning that before the above meeting some Committee members had a separate chat with Jim and put forward our concerns for the Littleborough flight of locks. These have been in effect unusable for the last three years and we felt that Littleborough had already lost out because of this, while towns like Todmorden and Hebden were already reaping the benefits. We asked that any work required to open the flight be put in hand as soon as possible, to get the canal down to Littleborough opened by next summer rather than 2002. We can't claim to have got anything which would not have been done anyway, but are pleased to say that, since October, work has been going on along this length, the intention being to have it open and usable for traffic by Christmas!

Needless to say the particularly wet weather we've been experiencing lately hasn't helped, but progress has been maintained and we have every reason to hope that the work will be done by spring.

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Littleborough Civic Trust Footpath Group

Winter 2000-01 Walks Programme

Sunday 17th December   Clegg Hall - Higher Abbotts - Ealees (4.5 miles)
Meet at Littleborough station car park at 1.45 pm
Leader: M. Farrell

Sunday 31st December    No Walk

Sunday 14th January       Moorgate - Gauzholme -North Hollingworth (4 miles)
Meet at Littleborough station car park at 1.30 pm. Cars to Hollins Road (Walsden Post Office).
Leader: G. Sutcliffe

Sunday 28th January       Howarth Knoll - Higher Shore - Alder Bank (4.5 miles)
Meet at Law Flat, Wardle Road at 1.45 pm.
Leader: G. Sutcliffe

Sunday 11th February    Townhouse - Clough Road - Middlewood Lane (4.75 miles)
Meet at Littleborough station car park at 1.45 pm.
Leader: J. Taylor

Sunday 25th February    Warland - Lower Scout - Walsden (4.5 miles)
Meet at Littleborough station car park at 1.30 pm.
Leader: G. Sutcliffe

Sunday 11th March       Hollingworth Lake - Tunshill - Syke (6 miles)
Meet at Littleborough station car park at 1.45 pm.
Leader: K. Kiernan

Sunday 25th March Shop Wood - Reddyshore - Long Causeway (7.5 miles)
Meet Littleborough station car park at 1.45 pm.
Leader: M. Farrell

New walkers are always welcome. Come prepared for mud and rain and bring, if desired, a small drink or ‘munch’. Please note also that dogs are not allowed on the walks. If you need a lift, it’s polite to share the driver’s petrol costs.

For further information on any of the walks ring Joe Taylor on 01706 344711

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Editor: Chris Wilkinson

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