News & Events
Spring 2020 Newsletter
One of an occasional series of Newsletters to Members to keep you informed on the Society’s activities.
This a truncated version of the occasional Newsletter that we would normally have produced about now. The reason for this is clearly that the lack of social contact we now have has curtailed most – but not all – of our activities.
Details of those activities we have had to cancel, those which continue – and some new ventures are all set out in the Bulletin and we hope that these will help sustain the passion we all share for Clitheroe’s past, present and - without doubt - its future.
Too late to make the Bulletin, we have just received confirmation from Julia Brettell at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Julia is the National Programme’s Leader and she has agreed to coming talk to us about the work of the V&A in London but also its regional initiatives and interests. As many will know the ‘V&A’ is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. This is, I believe, something of a coup for the Society. With some of this year’s scheduled events ‘stacking up’ we are assured of a busy, informative and varied year once we do get back to business.
Dear Members and Friends of Clitheroe Civic Society
Given the unprecedented circumstances we are now subject to the usual Newsletter we would normally be issuing is now shortened into a simple Bulletin, as follows.
NWFA: Ribble Valley on Film 8th April @ the Grand
Many may already be aware that our annual ‘Keynote’ meeting has now been cancelled. This is the statement issued by the Grand earlier this month:
‘ As the health and wellbeing of our staff and community is paramount, we have decided to take a proactive approach in containing the outbreak of Covid-19 by closing The Grand to the general public until Monday 20th April. All events, classes and projects during this time have been either postponed or cancelled and we will be contacting all ticket holders to advise on rescheduled dates.’
Everyone involved in preparing for this event is disappointed but the effort which has gone into its planning will not be lost. Members who received complimentary tickets for this event should retain these as the presentation has been rescheduled for Tuesday 15th September 2020. This will of course be subject to review during June/July and we will keep members informed as more information becomes available. We are advised by Matt Evans at the Grand that all tickets which have been purchased for this event should also be held for use then.
CCS Public Meeting and Presentation Monday 4th May:
The Archaeological Landscape of the Ribble Valley presentation by David Johnson
This event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at some point in the future.
CCS Annual Outing 2020 to Ripon 18th June 2020
This event has also been cancelled due to the general restrictions on social activities and gatherings. We have liaised with Ripon Civic Society Committee Members and made an initial ‘reconnaissance’ visit. This will be a great day out for members and friends and we look forward to making this visit at some time next year now.
CCS General Committee Meeting:
This meeting has been cancelled. It is hoped to hold some form of ‘digital exchange’. Just how successful this turn out to be remains to be seen. We are frequently advised that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and will take this as our maxim on this.
Clitheroe Town Wells Initiative
Since October last year the Society, and our legal advisors, have worked hard to prepare a draft ownership application for consideration by Ribble Valley Borough Council for a submission by them to the Land Registry. This was at their suggestion and, if accepted, would have enabled them to make application to register both Heild and St Mary’s Wells. Council Officers ultimately rejected this proposal and, despite offering a grant to the Society ‘to tidy up the wells’, they effectively continue to stonewall this initiative.
A copy of our most recent correspondence sent to the Council Leader on 11th March has been uploaded to our Website. This indicates the current positions of the Council and the Society. We will continue to pursue - alongside others in the wider community - secure a future for these three unique heritage assets and seek members and friends continued support for this campaign.
The present limitations on direct social interaction will slow further action on this campaign but will not stop it. Life and the conservation of our historic heritage assets , at the core of this Society, must continue. Further information and details will be posted onto the Website, other Social Media sources - and the Press - as these develop.
The Clitheroe Library Clock: An On line Presentation
Many will have been impressed with the mechanical splendour of the 1905 Potts & Sons Ltd. of Leeds clock mechanism housed inside the Carnegie Library Tower. Fewer may be aware of the fascinating story behind this memorial.
Published Historical Author, CCS member and regular speaker at our Public Meeting Presentations, Steve Ragnall, has been preparing a video presentation on the Clitheroe Library Clock. Prevented from presenting this at a Public Meeting for the foreseeable future this will be available to Members via the Society’s Website within the next week - on the retitled Meetings & Presentations page. This will be a departure for us, and you too. If successful - and appreciated - it could be the start of something new, reaching parts of the community we have not been able to previously. Triumph over Adversity! Please do let us have your views on this once it is uploaded to the website.
Clitheroe and Ribble Valley Reflections
Our nascent Clitheroe Sound Archive has been setback somewhat due, initially, to the absence - for various reasons - of most of our team of interviewers, followed now by our inability to able to conduct face to face interviews. To counter this we intend to trial a new approach to collecting people’s reflections and reminiscences about their lives here in Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley. Our ‘working title’ for this is Clitheroe and Ribble Valley Reflections and a page will shortly be opened on the Society’s website under this title to receive these. When running this idea past our Records Archivist, Shirley Penman, and our Sound Archivist Andrew Schofield these are extracts of their observations about the proposal - which can’t be bettered in my opinion:
Shirley: ‘I think the idea of life in a market town like Clitheroe is brilliant and hope that some of the members who have lived here for a long time can give us a reflection of what life was like. Farming experiences , father in lime burning , early transport, “coil chaps ‘n’ thur hosses !! “ - so many strands could be brought together either in spoken word or writing.
Andrew: ‘…..we could ask people to type out some memories & send them in. As people are going to have a lot of time on their hands this could well be a great idea. …… I’ve also got quite a lot (75-80 A5 pages) of Clitheroe extracts already transcribed. We can use some of these to kick it off’.
Your own reflections and reminiscences of just how the current pandemic is affecting your life could be a good starting point but, equally, any record of your life here in Clitheroe & the Ribble Valley could prove to be a great antidote to the rather bleak prospects we are all facing at the moment. Alternatively you could ‘simply’ provide a transcript of happier past-times for the information and possibly amusement of those who will follow us in the future in this wonderfully unique part of the North of England.
For my own part I intend to start by recounting just how I came here as a ‘missionary’ to the County Palatine from over the border in ‘God’s Country’ back in 1974. Later I hope to be able to explore and record just how much my family and I have appreciated making that move here all those years ago.
And finally - COVID-19 !
This advice was recently sent to us by the Pendle Hill Partnership:
‘Please stay safe, and we encourage you to follow the government guidelines of social distancing (if you are not suffering from any symptoms and live in a symptom free household) or self-isolating (if you are). Social distancing includes avoiding all 'unnecessary' travel – which includes driving to go out for a walk or to a picnic spot.
Some of you may have seen photos from ‘honey pot’ sites locally and also right across the UK, over the weekend (21st/22nd March), with mass amounts of people descending on popular sites, including some of the ones on and around Pendle Hill. Please do not do this! Stay at home, stay local and go for quieter walks from your front door if possible. Please help us protect everyone including our rural village communities. The outdoors will be there for us when this is all over’.
We are advised by Council Leader, Stephen Atkinson, that Ribble Valley Borough will be rolling out their plans for the establishment of a ‘Community Hub’ to serve the Borough during the present crisis. Meantime this is the Councils current statement:
Community Support for those affected by the Coronavirus
Do you need extra help during the Coronavirus outbreak – or do you want to offer a helping hand?
Ribble Valley Borough Council has set up a dedicated phone number - 01200 414597 - to help the most vulnerable people in our community who are facing difficulties, worries and loneliness as a result of Coronavirus.
Further information can be found on our Community Support for those affected by the Coronavirus page. Elsewhere on their website they also announced: We are suspending all paper white sack collections until further notice’.
Clitheroe Civic Society has offered to assist and promote this initiative in any way we able to do so via the membership. More details will, no doubt, be made public in the near future and how we might be able to assist in this communal effort.
This concludes this Spring Bulletin.
With regards and best wishes to all our members and friends.
Steve Burke, Chairman, Clitheroe Civic Society. 25th March 2020
In the light of the information and guidance from Clitheroe Town Council this year’s wreath laying, on behalf of the Society, will be undertaken by the Society’s Officers and Shirley Penman. This will take place at 1.00pm on Monday 9th November. Two additional attendees, already nominated, will make up the party of six representing the Society in accordance with the current Government Guidelines. Regrettably, these guidelines do not permit more to attend.
Honorary Life member Tony Goodbody sadly died in hospital on Sunday 14th June.
An addition to the Spring newsletter
From Ribble Valley to Van Diemen's Land
The story of salmon and trout in the southern ocean.
One of an occasional series of Newsletters to Members to keep you informed on the Society’s activities.