News & Events


23 September 2020

Autumn 2020 Newsletter

Autumn 2020 newsletter

Autumn 2020 1

 Dear Members and Friends of Clitheroe Civic Society

As we approach the start another cycle of Meetings and Talks, commencing with the AGM on 7th September, we have reverted to ‘Newsletter’ format. This follows the three earlier ‘Bulletins’ that were prepared as we all tried to find our feet in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. The difference will, I hope, appear negligible - if not even better!.
During the summer recess, Officers and Committee members have met formally, informally, and ‘virtually’, to ensure that Clitheroe Civic Society will continue to both function and thrive. This despite the constrictions and regulations that we are having to abide by for the time being. We have, I believe, another very varied and interesting programme of Talks and Presentations to look forward to over the coming nine months. Details of these, though ‘trailed’ in the Summer News Bulletins, are now confirmed - to the best of our abilities - later in this Newsletter.
Members who would like to make their own contribution to these ‘occasional’ Newsletters are warmly invited to do so, and I know that some are already planning to do so in the near future. This is welcomed, will give you the opportunity to get alternative views on matters which are likely to be of concern and interest to members – and, most importantly - give me a bit of a break from being the sole contributor!


First up are extract from - and/or links to - other events and presentations, local and national, which may be of interest to members and others who may also have picked up this Newsletter. As previously requested, if anyone reading this edition has suggestions for similar links which you consider may also interest members please do let me know and these then can be included into future Newsletters.

Civic Voice: ‘Local Building Wishes’

Though this Society is not a member of Civic Voice, your Chairman is, and we continue to benefit from the nationwide perspective this organisation can bring, from time to time, to this Society.  ‘CV’ has recently been campaigning for the retention and strengthening of Local Planning Authority control over Local Development plans and, in particular, housing development. This is in recognition of the seemingly ever-increasing demands by the National Housing Building lobby for the release of more land over and above that approved in Local Plans and Adopted Core Strategies. Clitheroe - and the Ribble Valley - continues to be subject to these opportunistic applications such as that recently approved by the Planning Inspectorate at Henthorn Road. A new application has also just been lodged at Highmoor Farm for a further ‘up to 125 dwelling’. Though included into Housing and Economic Development Plan Document (HED DPD) in October 2019 this later bid was never subject to public consultation.
Details of CV’s campaign for a balanced housing development policy can be seen at:

Lancashire Local History Federation Newsletter: Issue N0 32, August 2020

Articles which may be of interest to CCS members featured in the Edition of the LLHF Newsletter include:
• Community Archives and Heritage Group activities:
• Northern Plague Stones by Maggie B Dickinson
• The Catholic Record Society: recent release of digital versions of 79 volumes of its journal from 1904 to 2006. listed by Mike Winstanley.
This Month’s Newsletter can be viewed at

Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership Newsletter

Autumn 2020 2Though PHLP’s Volunteering activities are not taking place at the moment there is a great programme of locally based initiatives and online resources which are accessible via their website. This can all be viewed at
Current events include: HODs Events; Travelling with the Romans; John Muir Family Award; Job Opportunities with ‘The Ribble Rivers Trust’ & ‘In-Situ’; Downham & Chatburn Bridleway & Downham Info Centre; New Pendle Hill Meadows Project; the Read the Sense of Place Project – and much more




Current CCS Activities & Initiatives

Clitheroe Civic Society & The Town Wells Working Group Campaign

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This month sees the revival of our ongoing campaign to secure a future for the town’s three ancient public wells under the banner of ‘Save the Clitheroe Town Wells Campaign’. This Society feels that our elected representatives have allowed Ribble Valley Borough Council Officers to dominate the debate on need to secure their future. This can only be achieved by all three wells – not just one – being taken into registered ownership by the Council.
Towards this end a new strategy has been developed over the course of this year, and was approved unanimously at the General Committee Meeting on 10th August 2020.  The essential aspects of this are set out here in the proposed Ten Stage Action Plan.

One: Reconvene and formally establish the Town Wells Working Group, seek to extend Community membership of the Group and - together - promote a wider public and elected councillor engagement with this campaign.

Two: Re-engage with RVBC, commencing with further investigation of the February 2020 offer for a grant, with the aim of the Council joining the TWWG to communally secure the futureAutumn 2020 4 of the Town Wells with this campaign.

Three: Secure the necessary funds to commission a Conservation Management Plan (CMP). This to scope the extent and costs of the anticipated surveys, studies and consolidation and repair works required , along with potential Grant Aid once the registration of all three wells is achieved. This to be used to promote the campaign on the basis of fact. Within any CMP commissioned the issue of ownership significance must also be included as an integral part.

Four: The Council to acknowledge the principle of necessity for some form of registered ownership for all three wells to secure their future. This in the light of the NHLF’s negative response to the Council’s enquiry about securing grant aid for work to sites without benefit of a registered title deed (as previously advised by this Society)

Five: Work, using public and elected representative pressure, for the Council’s acceptance that they are the only body that can apply for registered ownership of all three wells and, with the assistance and participation of others, oversee a long terAutumn 2020 5m, comprehensive project to secure their future.

Six: Secure the reconsideration of the future of all three town wells by RVBC Councillors and secure their acknowledgement of their ownership and maintenance responsibility, the legality of making registration applications to the Land Registry for the two unregistered wells, and a resolution to do so.

Seven: Applications to be made to register ownership with the Land Registry by the Council. These to be based on their successful approach for the registration of Stock Well in November 2019 – where no title deed could be found – and the extensive and overwhelming evidence amassed by CCS. This evidence confirms that this Council - and their administrative forebears have - by their recorded and continuous actions - ‘de facto’ responsibility for Heild and St Mary’s Wells.

Eight: Having established the type of registration application considered to have best chance of success, such applications for Heild and Stocks Well to be submitted to the Land Registry.

Nine: Following the registration of Heild and St Mary’s Wells, the Conservation Management Plan to be acted on cooperatively under the direction of the TWWG – which by will, hopefully, include the Council as Partners. This will establish a Programme for implementing the CMP , along with a budget costed outline scheme and programme of comprehensive investigation, consolidation, repair, interpretation and future maintenance.

Ten: Using this community developed programme, commence raising the necessary funding to implement the CMP. This CMP will form the basis of discussions with NHLFAutumn 2020 6
and other agencies to secure the funds for a phased programme of conservation, interpretation, and future management , to implement these.
The support of all members and like-minded friends, to raise the significance of these heritage assets with our Council will be called on once again over the coming weeks and months. Though we all, inevitably, will have to modify some lifelong expectations these must not be allowed to develop into excuses for inaction in the conservation of our most significant historic assets. They are the evidence of our unique and ancient Pennine Market town’s history.
Our Conservation Area, one of the oldest in England, already suffers from long term underfunding and management neglect. Neither Coronavirus, nor the disregard for established historic responsibility by our elected representatives and Officers, must be allowed to prevail over the urgent need to save these three unique heritage assets.
More on this later! 

 3 King Street Clitheroe - Another Avoidable ‘Eyesore’

Autumn 2020 7The Society continues to monitor and, where necessary, try to engage with Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Local Planning Authority (LPA) with regards to any development proposals which we believe will either benefit - or harm - the amenity of the Civil Parish of Clitheroe and, in particular, the Conservation Area. Few developments have caused more concern in recent years than the sorry events which have taken place in King Street over the last thirteen months.
The Developer/Applicant commenced rebuilding works earlier this year. The plans approved following the illegal demolition of the King Street Building had numerous ‘conditions’ attached to them and, in the Society’s opinion, over long and protracted negotiations have been allowed to continue between applicant/agent, the LPA and LCC. This has resulted in relaxing some of the original ‘conditions’ which prevented direct access to the site from King Street. Public amenity and safety have been sacrificed to enable a speedier operations by the applicant/developer –simply has not happened.
Works proceed on a ‘come day - go day’ basis, Many of the most important conditions - applied to control safety issues for workforce and public, and ensure appropriate building materials are used – have either been relaxed or are not yet agreed at this time.Autumn 2020 8
The Society has continued to express its concern about the lack of safe working practices on the site and the lack of a confirmed list of principle external materials - most recently in emails to the LPA on 27th & 28th August. At the time of the issuing of this Newsletter there has been no indication of what or when these issues are to be determined and the applicant/developer plods along regardless.
Given the importance of this re-development at the heart of the town’s Conservation Area - and one of its busiest thoroughfares - the Society will continue to encourage the LPA to take effective action on this so that this eyesore can be finally removed from the town centre. Members, or others, reading this article who share these concerns are encouraged to make their views known via there local Councillor and the Economic Development & Planning Officer, Nicola Hopkins @ Nicola Hopkins

Heritage Open Days 2020: 11th – 19th September 2020

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 organisations, 5,500 events and 46,000 volunteers. Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community, and history. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences.
Details should also be posted onto the CCS website by the time this Newsletter is distributed and a visit the HODs Website will also show all the other events which are taking place, locally and nationwide - and they are FREE! (How Much? – Free!)
This year we are promoting the three events listed below along with and the link to the HOD website giving full details of how to participate.
Elijah and Frederick Cawthorne: Ribble Valley's Hidden Landscape Artists: A virtual and interactive Presentation running throughout the festival Guided Tour of Bellmanpark Estate Clitheroe: ‘Live’ Guided Tours on 20th Sept. only. The Road to Up-Brooks Clitheroe: A virtual Presentation of John Lamberts AGM presentation running throughout the festival

Summer 2020 Bulletin Quiz Time: The Answers!!

At long last – the answers to the Picture Quiz featured in last Bulletin issued in May. These are listed below - and relate numerically - with No1 in the top l.h. corner of the picture panel, down to No14 in the bottom r.h. corner
1. Cast lead rainwater ‘head’ at rear/side elevation of No 15 Shawbridge Street
2. Ventilating loft at Waterloo Mill (occupied by Alan Richards @ ground floor)
3. Wrought iron gate & railings at Rock Cottage (No 22 Church Street)
4. Carved stone ‘boss’ over south porch entrance to St. Mary Magdalene’s Church
5. Painted advertisement to gable wall of ‘Seasons’ (Nos. 14 & 16 King Street)
6. Passage entrance gateway to rear of Almonds (No 19 Church Street)
7 Half-moon steps into West Churchyard of St. Mary Magdalene’s Church
8 Gable wall with ‘Arts & Crafts’ detailing to Harry Garlick’s shop (No 26 King St.)
9 Bottom of wrought iron handrail and stone steps up from the Market Car Park
10 Wrought iron railings to side entrance of No. 6 Parson Lane
11 Stone steps up to rear first floor of 82 Lowergate (now a Conservation Area disaster, ignored by the LPA & Conservation Officer) off Strang Stee.
12 Wrought iron finial cross to south entrance of United Reformed Church, off Strang Stee.
13 Entrance door c/w with double fanlight and initialled, dated, key stone at No 10 Parson Lane
14 A cast iron GPO telephone cable connection box at Castle Gate – adjacent to Steele’s Solicitors. (A good example of what should be protected by a ‘Local List’ - which our Local Planning Department has no interesting promoting!)
Well done to all who took part in this, unintentionally, street furniture and ironmongery themed quiz. No prizes once again though I’m afraid - even for a 100% correct score! Hopefully it was enjoyed once again by all who took part and exercised your powers of recollection, investigation - and your legs too!

Autumn 2020 Newsletter Quiz

Autumn 2020 9This ‘Picture Quiz’ has an intentional theme of modern designed buildings within the Conservation Area which, in your Chairman’s opinion, are good examples of how modern they can fit harmoniously into our historic town centre. (I can feel the noose descending already! )
Answers will be provided in the Winter Newsletter which will be published in December. In the meantime, Good Luck!






Public Meetings

The current requirements of the Coronavirus Regulations prevent us from organising actual communal meetings and the General Committee has taken the view that this is likely to remain so until at least the end of the year. Just as soon as we, and the Management at St Michael & St John’s Assembly Hall, feel it is possibly to safely return there - and in meaningful numbers we will do so, but not before.
This will not prevent our meetings and activities continuing, however. All of our speakers for the coming cycle of ‘Meetings’ and Presentations have agreed to present them in a virtual manner and some will also include an element of live presentation – as will be the case for our post AGM talk by John Lambert on ‘The Road to Upbrooks’.
Participation in these virtual meetings will of course require the use of Online Conferencing technology and the Committee and many members have already trialled the use of ZOOM. There have been a few hiccups for some - and laughs for most - as we have come to terms with its use. It cannot replace the experience of live, personal meetings. In the present circumstances however, we consider this to be the best alternative available – enabling our Society to continue and, hopefully, to flourish in the face of the present adversities which the Corona outbreak has presented us all with.
Advice on how to use Zoom has already been issued to members and will shortly be uploaded to the website. For those who have yet to try I can only request that you do so as it is not so daunting as it may seem. Should additional advice be need with this, John Spencer @ is also on hand.
Should members have friends who may wish to visit any of our ‘Virtual Meetings’ details of how they can do can be obtained from our Treasurer Barbara Alty @ These too will also be shortly uploaded to our website. As visitor subscriptions are one of the Society’s principle sources of income, after Member’s Sub’s, you are all encouraged to invite friends and family to attend this year’s cycle of Virtual Meetings and Talks.
There has been one change to Speakers listed in the last News Bulletin and the confirmed list and dates in now as follows. For the time being please note that – until further notice – the location of these gatherings is your own front room!

Sept 7th      AGM & John Lambert The Road to Up-Brooks
Oct 5th       Nick Burton Pendle Radicals
Nov 2nd     TBC North West Air Ambulance in Lancashire
Dec 7th      Rev. Andy Froud The Real Father Christmas

Jan 4th      Jack Speers The Re-Wilding of Primrose Lodge
Feb 1st      Dr Andrew Clayton The History of Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
Mar 1st      Stephen Illingworth The Pilgrimage of Grace in the Ribble Valley
April 6th*   Steve Ragnall Dale Head – The Musical
May 3rd    Jane Entwistle The Restoration Works at Bellmanpark Limekilns

*The April 2020 Keynote meeting of ‘Ribble Valley on Film’, at the Grand, has been cancelled and a provisional revised date of 15th September made. The April Meeting will now take place on the 6th. It may be that an alternative to the intended ‘Musical’ presentation about Dale Head may have to be considered. More on nearer the date.

Members Notices

Tony Goodbody 1934-2020

It is with very regret that I have to record here Tony’s passing on 14th June. His funeral service was conducted by Andy Froud on 26th June and broadcast via a ‘live stream’ from Accrington Crematorium Chapel. In the circumstances, this was a beautifully conducted service by Andy and his wit and warmth, for a man a who clearly meant a lot to him personally - and indeed everyone who knew Tony. It spoke for all of us unable to attend the service. Some form of Celebration of Tony’s long and varied life, and his career, is to be arranged at some point in the future when the opportunity presents itself. Members of the Society will be kept informed about this.

It is hoped that there will be at least something of interest to the diverse group of Members of Clitheroe Civic Society who have taken the trouble to read through the latest of the ‘Occasional Newsletter’. Comments on this Newsletter and indeed any of the ongoing activities of the Society are both welcomed and invited at the AGM and any time during the coming year.
In preparing these Newsletters it gives me and - I hope - all of you, the opportunity to consider what Officers, Committee Members, and many not so ‘Ordinary’ Members have been engaged with on behalf of this Society over the past year. We will continue to do so over the coming year on your behalf and - more importantly - the wider community, in support of maintaining the historic, social and physical fabric of our ancient Market Town.
With regards and best wishes to all our members,
Steve Burke,
Clitheroe Civic Society.
4th September 2020

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More News & Events...


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27 October 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.

19 June 2020

Honorary Life member Tony Goodbody sadly died in hospital on Sunday 14th June.

27 April 2020

An addition to the Spring newsletter

7 April 2020

From Ribble Valley to Van Diemen's Land

The story of salmon and trout in the southern ocean.

28 March 2020

One of an occasional series of Newsletters to Members to keep you informed on the Society’s activities.

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