News & Events


2 December 2020

December 2020 Newsletter

December 2020 Newsletter


Dear Members and Friends of Clitheroe Civic Society

Here is the sixth and final Newsletter of the year. Officers of the Society hope that these Bulletins, Newsletters, and our programme of Online Public Meetings and presentations, have helped in some small way to divert your attention from the unprecedented events of this year.

As ever, members who would like to make their own contribution to what have now developed into ‘seasonal’ Issues are warmly invited to do so. This will certainly be welcomed by your Chairman as it will help to share the load and provide the opportunity to get alternative views on matters which are likely to be of concern and interest to members. 

Since the Autumn Newsletter, which coincided with our AGM and the first of the 2020-21 cycle of Public Meetings and Talks and the General Committee meeting on 12th October, the following matters of note have taken place:

  • a reconvened meeting of all representatives of the Town Wells Working Group (TWWG) to relaunch the campaign to ‘Save Clitheroe’s Town Wells’,
  • the setting up a Clitheroe Civic Society Facebook Group to enable greater online interaction between members and other members of the public who share our aims and
  • a ‘tweaked’ Programme of Public Meetings for this year’s cycle to accommodate some of the implications of the ongoing pandemic.

On 4th November, Officers and Shirley Penman, conducted this year’s wreath laying service at the Cenotaph on behalf of the Society. Regrettably this was much reduced in numbers in compliance with the prevailing covid regulations.


First up are extracts from - and/or links to - other organisation’s events and presentations, local and national, which may be of interest to members and others who may also have picked up this Newsletter.
Civic Voice:

This is the link to CV’s November Newsletter:  For those interested in the ongoing review of the National Planning Regulations and their local application this can be viewed @
Additionally, details of a campaign dear to the Chairman’s heart, CV’s ‘Street Clutter Campaign’ can be viewed @ In the absence of action or information from our Local Authority on these issues this site is a good source of information and your Chairman will be sitting in on his first ‘webinar on ‘Modern Methods of Meaningful Participation: High Streets with Commonplace’ in December. More on that in the New Year.
Historic England

Of particular interest to the Society over the last two years has been the Gov’t backed HE promoted – and confusingly similarly titled - ‘High Street Heritage Action Zones’ and ‘Heritage Action Zones’ initiatives which can be viewed @:
These initiatives invited historic towns across England to bid for funds to assist with the conservation and regeneration of their historic areas and high streets. Regrettably RVBC’s bid, which the Society supported, failed. Yet again Clitheroe was passed over in favour of other neighbouring towns and cities, including Lancaster, Burnley, Bacup and Skipton. All have benefited financially and physically from similar initiatives this Century – but not Clitheroe. Attempts to find out from RVBC’s Director of Economic Development and Planning and Chair of their Planning Committee as to why ‘our’ bids fail and what are the prospects for the long overdue regeneration of our historic town centre remain unanswered.
The Society will continue to encourage our elected representatives and Officers to address this issue.
Lancashire Local History Federation Newsletter: Issue No.33 November 2020

The latest edition of the Newsletter can be viewed @  Here you will find a fascinating presentations which range from the general to the highly academic.
Our Lancashire

The Society has recently registered with the ‘Our Lancashire’ initiative. This is an umbrella organisation supported by Lancashire County and the Police and Crime Commissioner. The invitation to join was made by of RVBC’s recently appointed Community Engagement Officer, Gail Barton. Officers met with Gail on 23rd November to ‘engage’ with her on our relaunched ‘Save the Clitheroe Town Wells’ campaign. More on that below. We look forward to working with Gail in the future and engaging further with our elected Representatives and Officers in our Council.
Links to the many and varied organisations and events supported by ‘Our Lancashire’ can be viewed at This provides links to regional and local organisations. By simply entering your postcode, access can be gained to many of the local societies and groups operating in and around Clitheroe. Well worth a look!
Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership Newsletter

Pendle Hill partnership
Though 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. These can all be viewed at We look forward to the recommencement of their live projects.



Current CCS Activities & Initiatives

Clitheroe Civic Society Facebook Group
The Society has, at last, caught up with 21st Century media and set up a Facebook Group. An informative email shot was sent out all Members by our Secretary, John Spencer, in mid-November, with the invitation for them to visit the site - and use it too! The intention is for this to develop into a location where members - and like-minded members of the public - who share the Society’s interest in and concern for our historic town - to exchange related views and information.
Facebook pictureFor the moment this is set up as a ‘private group’, requiring application to join. However, this is readily achievable and already members and non-members are signing up and some interesting and informative exchanges are taking place. At this period when direct social interaction is limited this looks to be timely development. Access to view the Group and obtain details about registering can be obtained @
We are currently running a competition for an image to front the Facebook Group page. The image currently fronting the Group, shown above, is temporary and selected to coincide with the Armistice and Remembrance Days.
Anyone, once registered as a member of the group, is invited to submit an image which they consider could best represent the Society as a permanent front page image for the Group. Entries will be assessed by the Committee at their next meeting on 14th December 2020. Regrettably, no prizes, just the esteem of fronting this new venture.
Clitheroe Town Wells Working Group & CCS ‘Save Clitheroe Town Wells Campaign’

The Ten Stage Action plan which CCS developed over the summer was reviewed by all representatives of the various Clitheroe Community organisations who make up the TWWG and was unanimously approved at their ‘Zoom’ meeting on Wednesday 4th November. The minutes of that meeting can be seen in Appendix 11 (Projects / Town Wells / Appendix 11)  

From this meeting an invitation to address Clitheroe Town Council (CTC) at their meeting on 16th November. was made to your Chairman seeking formal support from CTC.
The presentation was positively received and following CTC’s further review of the evidence amassed by the Society as to why Ribble Valley Borough Council could and should formally accept their proven responsibility for all three town wells, a vote is to be taken on this at CTC meeting on 7th December.
Those members, and others, reading this Newsletter who support this campaign are urged to encourage their elected Ward Councilors to join with the TWWG and this Society in this initiative. Details of the Ward Councillors, and their contact details, can be viewed at
It is hoped that details of how the vote went on this can be relayed to members and visitors attending our next Public Meeting and Talk which takes place on the same night as the Town Council Meeting . TWWG is currently considering setting up Clitheroe Town Wells Facebook Page. More details on this following its December 9th meeting, when this will be determined. 

Even we, can not recall
Who owned the land, who built the walls.
But here we remain, here we still stand
Since clash of roses over wild north land
and we served all, well!

Charters were writ, our pure waters ran
We slaked your thirst; you filled your can.
All partook freely, with rare a thought
Of where, by who, this bounty brought
Yet still, we served you, well!

With clear, free water you prospered, then grew
Beyond our means - too many - of you.
Dams, pipes, valves - now your supply.
Yet still you cared, realised, knew why. Because,
we had served you, well!

We can still quench a thirsty mind, that will look, for stories running through us - off hill, to brook.
For we are old - happen th’oldest, in this land, and
We can tell these – in turn – if you’ll lend a hand
to those that served you. Well?
St Mary, Heild & Stock. Clitheroe, 1st Dec. 2020

3 King Street Clitheroe

At last the Phoenix rises from the ashes of this dangerously mismanaged project by all involved with it. The only consolation that can be taken from the sorry events which have taken place, and been allowed to take place here, is that the original approved design was a good one, and when this much delayed project is complete the finished result should compliment the Conservation Area. Despite the attempts of the applicant/developer to reduce many of the original approved traditional materials, most - though regrettably not all - of these have been resisted by the Planning Officer. Whether this defence of the essence of the approved scheme would have taken place without the sustained engagement of the Society with the LPA cannot be known. Also what may never be known is the promised content of the report into the dangerous and illegal progressive demolition of this building of townscape significance - at the heart of the Conservation Area. We can only hope that lessons have been learnt which will prevent similar cavalier contracts threatening our Conservation Area and the safety of the public who sustain it.

Bellmanpark Limekilns

BellmanparkThe on-site investigation and stabilisation work have been suspended during the summer and autumn period. This is due to a combination of the impact of Covid 19 Regulations and the presence of a single bat! As soon as we have further information from the Lead Consultant for the project, Jane Entwistle, this will be announced. Jane will be presenting a detailed review of the whole project, since its commencement at the start of this momentous year, in May next year.


Clitheroe Advertiser and Times Bound Volumes Restoration

CAT1The project to save the bound volumes of the Clitheroe Advertiser and time commenced in 2014 when Committee Member Alan Dixon noted that these volumes, now stored in Burnley, were in danger of being put in the skip. They were rescued by Alan and members Shirley Penman and John Rowley. Thus commenced our growing Archive in the Attic of the Town Hall courtesy of Clitheroe Town Council.

We have now had confirmation from Leyland Bookbinder & Restorer, Peter Doyle, that the last batch of volumes has been restored and refurbished and is ready for delivery. Subject to compliance with Covid Regulations we hope to take possession of these w/c 30th November.


This could not have happened without the support of the Bowland Trust, one of the many organisations (and individuals) who have benefited from access to this invaluable resource. The grant the Trust provided, along with the public sponsorship organised by the Society, has ensured that this resource will be available for the next generation’s use. BT also financed the digitisation of the Microfiche files kept in Clitheroe Library and thanks to our Web Master, John Flanagan, these are now steadily being uploaded to our website and can be viewed @


Autumn 2020 Newsletter Quiz Time: The Answers!!

The Autumn Newsletter Picture Quiz featured details from Modern buildings within the Conservation Area. These are shown again here. The Society believes these to be good examples of how the new can complement the old and maintain this relationship as part of the essential evolution of our historic town centres.

The answers are listed below numerically - with No1 in the top l.h. corner of the picture panel, down to No12 in the bottom r.h. corner.Autumn 2020 9

1 Back York Street entrance door detail to The Grand: ABP Architects
2 First Floor Balcony on extension to converted Coach House, Fern Court: A/D unknown
3 Chimney Stack detail The Coach House Pimlico Road: SPA Architects
4 Rainwater Collection Buts Holmes Mill Redevelopment: Stanton Andrew Architects
5 Converted Shop Store to Residence, 102 Lowergate: Peter Hitchen Architects
6 New extension to Clitheroe Grammar School, Well Terrace: SPA Architects
7 Conversion of Brennand Street Garage to three residences: SPA Architects
8 Roof and Eaves detail, Holmes Mill Redevelopment: Stanton Andrew Architects
9 Roof Patio to upper residential area of 102 Lowergate: Peter Hitchen Architects
10 Courtyard Extension to United Reformed Church, Strang Stee: Edward Hill Architect
11 Door and window details, conversion of Brennand Street Garage: SPA Architects
12 Patio area detail, The Atrium, Clitheroe Castle: Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams Architects


Winter 2020 Picture Quiz: Finials and Pediments – where are they?


 As usual the answers to the ‘ no prize’ quiz will be given in the Spring 2021 Newsletter. For those viewing the digital version of the Newsletter, remember you can zoom into these images. This will be the last picture quiz for a while, as other ways of testing your knowledge of Clitheroe’s Townscape and History are considered. Any suggestions from members on this will be most welcome.

Public Meetings
The continuing 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 the end of our current cycle of meetings in May 2021. This is set out again below and, we hope, will remain without further change!


 2020-21 revised prog

 Advice on how to use Zoom has already been issued to members . For those who have yet to try, once again I can only request that you do so, as it is not as daunting as it may seem. Should additional advice be needed with this, John Spencer @ is also on hand.

As visitor subscriptions are one of the Society’s principal sources of income after Member’s Sub’s, please do encourage your friends and family to attend the remaining Virtual Meetings and Talks in this year’s cycle – the December meeting, given its seasonal topic, as advertised below - should be of wide interest.

2020-12 poster

 Members Notices
Bob Owen JonesOnce more, and with much regret, we have to record the passing of another of this Society’s members - Robert Owen Jones - but known to most simply as ‘Bob’. He died peacefully on November 6th, 2020, at the grand age of 95 years and returned to Clitheroe following a family service on 19th November.
Bob was a former Head Teacher of Pendle Primary School. A scholar of the town’s local history and, above all, a gentleman. He was an early campaigner to secure a future for our three Public Town Wells and was also responsible writing the very first edition of the Society’s Clitheroe Town Trail in the 1970’s. Your current Chairman had the pleasure of first meeting, and working, with him on that publication.
We know from his family that Bob was pleased to see that both of these initiatives are still at the heart of this Society. As we continue with these, and other initiatives to conserve the town’s historic assets, we are inspired by Bob - and others of his generation - to do so, despite all the obstacles.

End Notes

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 this latest Seasonal Newsletter. Comments on this Newsletter and indeed any of the ongoing activities of the Society are invited and will assist in enabling future issues to continue to inform you of our ongoing activities.
What the coming year has for us remains to be seen, but there are many constants - such as the wealth of social and built history this town has - and needs to conserve – which can help us to look beyond some of current worrying aspects of modern life.
With your continued support during these trying times, Clitheroe Civic Society will continue to do all it can over the coming year on your behalf, and to the benefit of the wider community, to support and promote the unique historic, social, and physical fabric of this ancient Market Town.
With regards and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all our members,
Steve Burke,
Clitheroe Civic Society.
1st December 2020




















Chairman: Steve Burke, 6 Claremont Avenue, Clitheroe, BB7 1JN. 01200 425528

Treasurer: Barbara Alty, Shaw Cottage Shawbridge St Clitheroe BB7 1LZ 01200 42935

Secretary: John Spencer,1 Berkeley Square, Clitheroe, BB7 2RQ 01200 425204 lunesdalebmw@g

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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.

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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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