A Roundup of 2017

Phew!  What a year that was.  Following a successful AGM in February, Spring duly arrived and beautiful gardens appeared as if by magic across Rawtenstall.  The hard work in designing, clearing, weeding and planting had finally paid off.

The Lone Rangers kept the area clear of litter and the initial trials with anti-dog poo stencils proved to be remarkably effective.  Time to consolidate our position, welcome our new volunteers and congratulate ourselves on a job well done.

Hang on, what’s this?  It’s the end of April and an email arrives to say we’ve won the Queens Award for Voluntary Service (the MBE for Volunteer Groups) but we can’t announce it until June 2nd! Try keeping a secret like that – we did, but only just!

Press and social media releases prepared, a radio interview organised and plans to find a democratic way of choosing 10 volunteers to represent us at the award ceremony in September and then at last, word is out! Facebook and Twitter responses were generous with their praise and support, the media gave us good coverage of the ceremony when the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, The Rt Hon the Lord Shuttleworth KG, KCVO presented the award together with a certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen.  We were conscious that the award had been won not just by the lucky ten or indeed just the current volunteers but by countless others as well who worked so hard but for may different reasons are no longer volunteers.  A sincere thank you to you all.

A ‘Celebrating Community’ event in October enticed several members of sister groups to join local dignitaries and volunteers, even if Storm Brian did keep most of the public away!

Opened by Ted Robbins and attended by Jake Berry MP, Alyson Barnes, Leader of the Council and David Foxcroft, County Councillor, the presentation was made by the Mayor and Mayoress Councillor and Mrs Crawforth.

Without doubt the most talked about garden in the valley is the embankment opposite ASDA but thanks and congratulations to the 5 Secret Gardeners who entered the RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood competition and walked away with 4 Outstanding and one Thriving award!  Congratulations also to our colleagues across the valley who were also successful.


We’ve added 14 new barrier baskets (and moved a few others) to make the area leading from the railway station to Bank Street more attractive for visitors arriving by train.  The cost of replanting these twice yearly is huge and for this we rely on and warmly thank our marvellous sponsors without whom it would not be possible.  If you know of anyone else who could sponsor us, please email to enable us to continue our work.

Have you visited Trickett’s Memorial Ground in Waterfoot recently? About two years ago a couple of new volunteers started clearing the Mill End area of Waterfoot, including the Heys by collecting litter, cutting back overgrown hedges, weeding pavements and steps etc.  Their numbers are growing and they’ve now turned their attention to Trickett’s; grants have been won and a 12 month campaign with the local Co-op has started (call in to Waterfoot Co-op for more details).  This is a fantastic project but what will it be entered in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ in 2018 I wonder?

Meanwhile just up the road in Whitewell Bottom a new team of volunteers cleared a huge banking of Himalayan Balsam and have now been frantically planting bulbs ready for the Spring.

It’s not all hard work though, a dozen hungry volunteers enjoyed convivial company on the ELR Red Rose Diner in October which was followed by the annual Christmas Shindig at the Whitaker.  The restauarnt had been beautifully decorated, the food as usual was exceptional (quite a challenge for 28 people eating together) and the company congenial.  Unfortunately the snow started soon after dinner finished which made for an interesting return home!  We are a disparate bunch with only varying degrees of madness to connect us which is proven beyond doubt by some of our number who not only read the Weekly Witterings but even profess to enjoy them!

Civic Pride Rossendale AGM is at 6.30pm on February 20th 2018 at Rawtenstall Cricket Club, Bacup Road, Rawtenstall.  Please get it in your diary, it’s the first important event of the year!

Congratulations to Weir Pride who have just completed their first full year with as much focuson the community as on litter and gardens.  Having said that they picked up an ‘Advancing’ Award at the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ presentations, planted scores of trees around Weir Park, hundreds of daffodils and tulips not to mention hanging baskets to brighten up the village. There’ve been lots of social activities with trips to the theatre, lunches, afternoon tea (cue little finger correctly raised) and even a spa day.  Working closely with the primary school children who were presented with certificates, they even found time to involve themselves with nearby Bacup’s events.  A new village noticeboard, a defibrillator and a knit and natter (S&B?) group round off a fantastic year.  Well done one and all.

Haslingden Civic Pride really took off during 2017 by forming a committee, opening a bank account and positively chasing grants and sponsors.  Having previously focussed on litter picking at which they’ve been extremely effective, they moved into gardening and successfully entered their garden outside the Green Squirrel on Manchester Road into the IYN competitionbeing awarded a ‘Thriving’ certificate.  Plans are afoot to do more and currently they’re working on the gardens behind the library.

Bacup had a busy year resulting in far less litter, some lovely gardens, including The Wall of History garden on Yorkshire Street and Pride Corner (St James Square/Market Street) with yet another award for the IYN competition.  Their plant pot festival attracted some unwelcome attention when one of their exhibits, Nellie the Elephant was stolen and then returned but in a rather sorry state.

Information on Bacup is limited because in common with the other groups they use Facebook, unlike the technophobic author of this letter!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our sponsors, volunteers and supporters.  Without your continued support our valley would be a much poorer place.  Thank you one and all.

RG 13.12.17


Queens Award for Voluntary Service



We have pleasure today, in announcing that Civic Pride Rossendale has been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

It’s been a long haul since we were first nominated for this award by Alyson Barnes (Leader of the Council) and seconded by Jake Berry MP. Two assessments, two presentations and untold hours of hard graft by our wonderful, willing volunteers later and here we are!

Our citation reads:

Civic Pride Rossendale

Eliminating litter, regenerating community gardens and encouraging others

Details of the Award Ceremony which will be undertaken by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire in County Hall at Preston, will be published as soon as we receive them.

There is no higher award for a UK voluntary group and so on behalf of the people of Rossendale, thank you to all our volunteers, past and present, sponsors and supporters for your help in so many ways.

May Newsletter

Well, what glorious Spring weather we’ve enjoyed so far. We had an email last week from TESCO asking if we had any pictures of the Haslingden Road gardens that they kindly funded last year. Our official photographer, Jean Neville, duly went out to take some new ones and it’s amazing how quickly the area is maturing.

Maintenance is of course essential, weeds seem to grow even faster than our plants but in addition to our increasing number of individual Secret Gardeners, members of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints have been out in force and expect to continue!

Virtually all the gardens now have somebody looking after them but even more SGs are needed. Please contact 07811 735926 if you’d like to be involved.
We can’t claim to have solved the litter problem but my goodness, there’s so much less! Well done all you Lone Rangers. Sue and Barry have been working hard with the local Scout groups (all ages and both sexes) to try and instil some social responsibility and prevent future littering. It truly is important work they’re doing, thank you both.

We’ve recently launched a trial, stencilling ‘Bag It, Bin It’ signs in bright yellow paint in key locations across Rawtenstall. Early signs are very encouraging so our thanks go out to Keith Ormerod who is our new Dog Pooh Czar! As he asked recently ‘Who is that man in the mask with the yellow fingers?’! Did you hear about the man in Stacksteads who was fined £75 for not cleaning it up! Result. Other Pride groups are currently looking at stencils so hopefully it’ll become valley wide.
Talking of other groups, congratulations to CP Haslingden, a constitution has been agreed, a committee formed and pansies planted in the barrier baskets in the town centre. Onwards and upwards!


April Newsletter

Spring is bursting out all over, the daffodils are dancing, the litter’s on its way to landfill and the weeds are just waiting to be dug up and disposed of!

As you’ll know, we had an incredibly successful 3 day Great British Spring Clean. I’m not just talking about the 274 bags of litter that were collected across the borough, I’m also referring to our fabulous new volunteers.
Waterfoot centre (WC) has been a problem for a long time, the only real way to stay on top of it is with more volunteers. Lo and behold! In addition to the 6 new volunteers from Newchurch we’ve had 3 more from Cowpe (Jack, Jo and Julie) who’re already making a difference to the surrounding areas. Danny from Newchurch has taken it upon himself to clear the accumulated mud, grass and leaves from the Heys which is a task of heroic proportions but he’s making good progress and we’re trying to get LCC to clear the newly discovered drains!
Have you ever been asked why you do it? If so, this email from St Nicholas’ Church is a good answer:

Good morning
I have been asked by the members of the PCC at St. Nicholas Church, Newchurch, to thank you all for your sterling efforts in clearing up the areas around our church, earlier this month.
Throughout the year, we welcome many visitors to our grade 2 listed building and also many look around the graveyard so it is especially important that the surrounding area is well presented.
Please be assured that the work you do is much appreciated.
Kind regards
Christine Worrell

You may recall that Ben organised a mass litter pick a few weeks ago, which was attended by Norman and Elaine from Whitewell Bottom (WB). There’s a large expanse of banking as you enter WB heading North which is covered in masses of dead Himalayan Balsam (HB) and literally thousands and thousands of new HB seedlings. Determined to eradicate it, Norman has started enlisting local residents who are showing what a lovely community they are by offering to join in droves although a date has yet to be set for the first HB bashing session.

Moving on, (literally) I’m sorry to announce that our Litter Manager, Ben Parkin, will be out of action for about 12 months, his employers want him to attend training in London. However, he will be back – won’t you Ben? I’m sure you’ll all join me in thanking him for the great work he’s done for us already (and that that he’ll be doing on his return)! Hope it all goes well.

Have you driven through Haslingden recently? It’s looking so much better for the huge efforts our colleagues there have put into litter collection but this horticultural thing seems to be infectious – they’re now planning on moving into gardening, albeit in a small way to start with! Not only that, they’re looking at creating an autonomous group – Civic Pride Haslingden (CPH)! We’ll continue to give you all the support we can guys, we’ve even managed to pass on details from a few potential new volunteers.

We’ve created new sections under Local Groups for Newchurch and Whitewell Bottom but most of these sections could do with updating so if you’re involved, please send us new info and pictures.
Easter will soon be upon us and so our personal window dresser Suzy, has been hard at work in the shop windows. She’s done a lovely job but she called this :

‘Eggs and Chicks’

which is the worst yoke I’ve heard for a long time!

CPITVGreat British Spring Clean

Well, if this weekend didn’t prove how much pride there is in our valley, I don’t know what will! Civic Pride Rossendale organised a litter pick in Newchurch on Friday morning. The village centre always looks good so we split into two teams – one to attack the Heys and the other, Staghills Road.C.Pr.Big Clean Mar.3rd.2017-10-Edit low res

We were joined by four members of Newchurch Village Community Association (NVCA), who we’re confident will now be out there on a regular basis (won’t you guys)! We also welcomed the CEO and Operations Manager from RBC together with Cllr Lamb who took an hour out of their busy schedules to clear Top Barn Lane with three ‘full to bursting’ bags to bring the area total to 27!
Saturday saw two more NVCA members join two Whitewell Bottom and two Rawtenstall CP volunteers who between them collected 38 bags with plenty more to be done! Is there anyone in Waterfoot who’d like to lead a hands-on (JDI) team? We’ll give you all the support you need!C.Pr.Big Clean Sat.Mar.4th.2017-16-Edit

Sunday brought rain but 16 volunteers from Haslingden CP and Rawtenstall (hope you’ve all dried out now) cleared 50 bags off Carrs Industrial Estate. Last year the tally was 274 so that’s some improvement and is testimony to the work of a couple of volunteers whose businesses are on the estate.






Meanwhile, nearly 20 hardy people from Weir Pride completed what must have been the highest and certainly the coldest litter pick of the weekend! Up and down the main road and the streets in the village. The organisers were delighted to see four young children also came along. 9 bags but then they don’t have takeaways in Weir!

IMG_0929 low res
Bacup Pride met outside the T’Owd Con Club on Friday, then Saturday and Sunday at the Wall of History Garden. Saturday afternoon they spent visiting the new Stubbylee Pump Track (cycle track) followed by a litter-pick around the park/New Line area. 71 bags plus 3 TV sets!

Add this to what was collected the previous Saturday in Rawtenstall and we have a total of 259 bags. Now that’s some achievement!


We’re getting there!

Haslingden Carrs 1 low res

Carrs Industrial Estate 2016

C.Pr.Big Clean Sun.Mar.5th.2017-99 low res

Carrs Industrial Estate 2017


Time March(es) On!

CPITVI mentioned in the last newsletter that we’d have more to say about sponsors this time, so here’s a list which isn’t quite complete because not everybody wants the publicity. Please support them when possible, for our part we offer our sincere thanks for their help.

Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar, NJH Wealth Management, Yvonne Malley, John Malley, ThomsonFM, Beta Group, Killelea Structural Steelwork, LJ&R Footwear, Orbital Design, Studio 51, HallmarkFIX …the list is growing rapidly so if you’d like to be included please email to arrange a meeting.

Sponsorship is essential to our future but so are our volunteers so thank you one and all.

Due to the sheer scale of our activities, eight volunteer managers and heads of department positions have been created to help reduce the workload on the four officers. At our AGM, Chris Blomerley was elected as Chair, Roger Grimshaw – Vice Chair, Helen Thomas-Laight – Operations Officer and Catherine Wilkinson – Finance Officer. Joyce Livesey, our secretary has finally hung up her pen and paper but Lynn Smith has ‘volunteered’ to take over! Thank you Lynn.

The other positions are Head of the Secret Gardeners – Pam Ormerod, Outreach – Sue & Barry Flint, Rivers Team Mangers – Eddie Grimshaw and Josie Malloy, Head of Sponsorship Development – Hazel Cridford, Head of Social Media – Jackie Taylor, Litter Manager – Ben Parkin and Stores Manager – Sue Reah-Davies.

Before we finish with the AGM, one of our volunteers wrote to give her apologies for not attending. She’d read through the report we’re filing with the Charity Commission and commented ‘I’m so proud to be a part of this organisation…’. I think that sums up it up nicely, thank you.

Gdns.May 17th-12 LRThe Secret Gardeners are really taking off, so thanks to those of you who have already offered to look after a garden or part of a garden. If you’d like to join in, please remember that you don’t need masses of experience but you do need to be willing to get out there and get your hands dirty (literally)! Horticultural advice is available from out gardening gnu guru Helen whilst Pam is proving how effective she is in her role as Head of Secret Gardeners. We’ve produced a Secret Gardeners Handbook, if you’d like a copy please contact Pam

As previously mentioned we have a new store but it doesn’t have as much space as we need so RBC have kindly offered us the old mortuary on the understanding that Chris and I don’t emulate Burke and Hare! For those of you who don’t know where it’s located, it’s in the dead centre of town. Think about it! However, quote of the month goes to Paul McHenry their Ops Manager. Paul and I were discussing various subjects when he suddenly asked me ‘How soon do you want to be in the mortuary Roger?’

We’re in the midst of real change, the pioneering work is complete; the challenge now is to build on the foundations that you, our wonderful volunteers have laid. To do this we constantly need more help. In addition to Secret Gardeners and litter pickers, is there anybody out there who would like to help with the website (full-ish training will be given) or even IT support? (we’re in the midst of installing Microsoft Office 365)!

If you’d like to help in any way please call 07955 110199 or email

The following press release was sent to the Free Press last week:
‘Civic Pride (Rossendale) will be supporting the Great British Spring Clean over the weekend of Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th March. This national event is being promoted by Keep Britain Tidy and we will be organising litter picks as follows:
Friday 3rd March 10am to 12 noon in Newchurch.
Meet outside The Boars Head.

Saturday 4th March 10am to 1.00pm. Waterfoot. Meet in the main car park Waterfoot
(behind the bus turnaround).
Sunday 5th March. 10am to 1.00pm. Carrs Industrial Estate.
Meet junction of St Crispin Way, Bentwood Road, Flip Lane
All equipment will be supplied so please come along and join us. Everybody welcome but children under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The amount of visible litter has decreased considerably over the last few years thanks to the efforts of the fabulous volunteers in various Pride groups across our valley. We’re therefore pleased to hear that Rossendale Borough Council continue to prosecute fly tippers – at least four cases in the last year with fines and costs totalling around £1000 in each case.’

Haslingden Carrs 1 low res

This is a part of what was collected off Carrs IE last March!

Finally, a gentle reminder from last month’s Newsletter. Monday 20th March our very own Robert MacDonald will be entertaining an audience at Edenfield Community Centre with a talk about the Munros. A Munro is a Scottish mountain over 3000 feet in height – all 282 of them. It’s the ambition of many walkers to ‘bag’ everyone but Robert has climbed them more than once! Come to the talk and find out for yourself what he’s achieved!

RG 1.3.17


Please control your excitement but it’s nearly time for the AGM!  A quick grovel from me before we start because it’s on 8th February not 9th as stated in the last newsletter.  Sorry!

There’s so much to tell you as Civic Pride keeps striding on clearing litter and maintaining gardens as it goes.  In no particular order and forgive me (again) if I’ve missed anything.  If you have some interesting news, please email me.

Last time we outlined the new roles we’ve created to ease the workload but I didn’t mention Sue Reah-Davies who has offered to look after the new stores.  This includes getting the gear ready for the working sessions, labelling, organising, recording and checking so many thanks Sue!  Talking of the stores, the move has now been completed to our new premises garage #2 behind the market. Van Handover-6-Edit low res

It’s rather fortuitous that it’s a garage because Chris and Hazel recently attended a local Business Leaders meeting instigated by RBC to present our case for sponsorship to some of the larger employers in the valley. Hazel is now arranging follow up meetings but an immediate response came from Bob Killelea of Killelea Steels who in addition to making a monthly payment, has donated a van to assist with moving kit for the working parties, even more necessary now that the store is so far away from many of our gardens.  Chris immediately took it on a test drive – he’s not stopped talking about the orange flashing light since!

More news on sponsorship next time.

You may recall that we organised a mass litterpick on 2nd January and welcome to our new volunteers who met on James Street car park in Rawtenstall on the Monday Bank Holiday.  Meanwhile the Haslingden group were hard at it and collected an awful lot of litter –  wrappings, cans, bottles, cigarette ends, used nappies etc!  Delightful.

Sticking with litter for a moment we’re planning a big litterpick on 25th February and then on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th March we’re planning to take part in the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.  More details nearer the time via our very own weekly addition to the long history of fine English literature – the Weekly Witterings!  Did you see the recent letter in The Free Press highlighting how one of our volunteers found a phone, traced the owner and received a £20 reward for his efforts – since donated to Civic Pride!

In the middle of the month RBC arranged traffic management to clear Grane Road of huge amounts of litter and even a dead deer!  It took two and a half days and looked lovely until some clown threw a newspaper across the verge on the same day as it was cleared.  However, our thanks to the team who carry out this operation twice a year.

Moving on to gardening, have you looked closely at the banking on St Mary’s Way recently?  I’m assured that it’s been planted to provide colour every month of the year and this month it’s hellebores although you may need to look carefully as the plants are still young and small.

Obviously, there’s a limit to what can be done in the gardens at this time of year but our Thursday morning sessions are still popular and our Secret Gardeners are getting them ready for Spring.

Goodshaw Pride have now virtually completed their garden which we helped them to get started.  They obtained a grant from RBC and did all the hard work and judging by their recent comments, are really proud of what they’ve achieved.  Justifiably.  Well done to the team.

Do you know of someone who’d like to start a gardening project but are unsure how to start? Maybe you know someone who loves gardening but haven’t one of their own.  In either case we’d like to hear from them.

Bacup Pride and Weir Pride are active as ever and putting on extra sessions which is always good to hear.  We’d like to have more news from you for the next newsletter please guys!

Finally, another date for your diary.  Monday 20th March Robert MacDonald will be entertaining an audience at Edenfield Community Centre with a talk about the Scottish Munros.  A Munro is a mountain over 3000 feet in height – all 282 of them.  It’s the ambition of many walkers to ‘bag’ every one but Robert has climbed them more than once!  Come to the talk and find out for yourself what he’s achieved.  You may be surprised but then again as the photograph shows, he’s not a man to take it easy!

2016-06-02 11.44.04 small

RG 23.1.17

2016 Review

As we approach the end of another successful year for Civic Pride it may be appropriate to review some of the highlights. Silver Gilt and Best Newcomer – again – (don’t ask!) for Britain in Bloom, ‘Thriving’ in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ competition and another assessment for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Well done to all our fantastic volunteers. Talking of BiB, a copy of the judge’s report makes very interesting reading (did I really write that?). Trouble is it seems to be encouraging the gardeners to enter again in 2017!
The Christmas party was as good as ever thanks to the stunning food (thank you Whitaker) and marvelous company. If you missed it, make sure you attend next year. We had a number of new faces who thoroughly enjoyed it as well as a lot of old ones (make of that what you will)! Still in a festive mood, the CP shop windows are full of glitz so thanks to all concerned. If anybody has polystyrene balls that they can donate for January snow please let Suzy know
Raising our profile has been a priority this year and thanks must go to our Twitter Ace, who’s done an amazing job, supported by good coverage in the press (including The Scribbler) and local radio.
Thank you to all those who responded to our request for views on communication. It seems that we’ve basically got it right with QT, T’Witterings, Newsletter and email. Facebook and other social media had little interest internally.
It is no exaggeration to say that in 2016 we’ve seen major changes in the way we operate and these will continue into the New Year to ensure that the transition from the creation to the maintenance of gardens runs smoothly. This requires not only a different mindset but a new funding stream because whilst grants are available for new projects, they are rarely awarded to keep projects running. We’re therefore incredibly pleased to have Mr Fitzpatrck’s as our main sponsor in addition to several others who support us financially and in other ways. Thank you one and all. Full details can be seen here.
The workload for our aging Chair (how old are you in 2017 Mr Blomerley?) and annoyingly young Operations Officer Helen needed reducing and so we’ve created some new positions to ease the strain, formalised some others and kept a few as they are.
Outreach – Sue and Barry Flint. They’ve been doing a fabulous job of this for a couple of years’ now with local schools, scouts, guides, cubs, brownies, youth clubs D of E etc etc
Litter – Ben Parkin. Hopefully things will be back to normal in the New Year after his new arrival (the baby, not the kitchen – although which was most stressful is possibly debatable)!
Sponsorship Development. Hazel Cridford. Hazel introduced us to Mr Fitzpatrick’s and L&JR Footwear and is a perfect choice for this new position.
Social Media. Jackie Taylor. Jackie had never used Twitter before but we now have more than 800 followers!
Rivers Team. Josie Malloy and Eddie Grimshaw (no relation!). Following the devastating floods a year ago, Eddie and Josie filled a huge quantity of bin bags with rubbish before they even heard of CP! They’ve not really stopped since!
Gardening. Pam Ormerod. We’ve finally decided on a name for our fabulous Lone Stars who are taking on a designated garden. The Secret Gardeners (a cross between Enid Blyton and John le Carré) these volunteers are key to our future success, so if you’d like to join, please let us know. Pam’s role be will very much one of coordination to take some of the work off Helen.
Waterfoot. Liz and Ian Hoskin. Have you walked down Turnpike recently? Noticed the area around Burnley Road East/Booth Road? Trickett’s Memorial Gardens? Liz takes on the gardening whilst Ian picks the litter. Amazing results.

The roles of the four officers will be reviewed at the AGM (please don’t nod off at the mention of the AGM)! Nic Bailey has recently resigned from her position of Administration Officer due to time pressures and whilst we are grateful for her fulfilling that role for the last couple of years, I’m sure we all understand. Catherine Wilkinson has been co-opted into the position for the remainder of the term of office. Get the date in your diaries please. Thursday 9th February 7.30pm. Venue, agenda etc will follow later.

Finally, (honest) we’re holding a special detox, healthy exercise and fitness session but ONLY for our wonderful volunteers. January 2nd 2017, James Street car park (outside Hamer’s Chapel of Rest). No turkey (sandwiches, stew, curry, risotto), mince pies, Christmas cake, chocolates, glasses of sherry or other festive items allowed! Flasks of tea and coffee will however be very welcome. The exercise will come from clearing litter from Bacup Road and its adjoining streets – parts of it are absolutely appalling. Sexy hi vis vests, fancy litter picking wands and gorgeous green bags will be available without charge. How lucky we are to be able join in this prestigious event which will be faithfully reported by the Rossendale Free Press, Lancashire Evening Telegraph, BBC Radio Lancashire, Sky News, CNN etc (or not as the case maybe).

Have a wonderful Christmas and remember that when helping Civic Pride – only do what you’re comfortable doing and don’t feel guilty if you don’t do as much as you meant to. After all, we’re all volunteers!

RG 16.12.2016

Senior Civic Pride Official Arrested for Flashing in Town Square



It doesn’t seem like a month since our last newsletter (maybe that’s because it’s not) but there’s just so much going on!

Another award has arrived, this time for the RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood competition.  We entered The Old Fold Garden (the one opposite Mr Fitzpatrick’s) and won a Level 4 Award – THRIVING – one point short of OUTSTANDING!  ‘It was great to see how this area has been transformed … from a foreboding, litter strewn, overgrown forgotten corner … into a superb blast of colour which will lift the spirits of all who sit and enjoy the results of their hard work.’  RHS Judge Stephen Lowe.

Welcome and thank you to our new Patrons: NJH Wealth Management and Supporters: Orbital Design, Studio 51 and HallmarkFIX.  The importance of regular financial contributions cannot be over emphasised now that we have so many gardens to look after.  It’s a tribute to both our volunteers and our benefactors that the importance of our work in contributing to the success of the town is being recognised in this way.

Civic Pride is coming of age.  We’re still just a group of enthusiastic amateurs’ keen to regenerate our area but some of us (no names, no pack drill!) are finding it harder and harder to devote the same amount of time and energy in between doctor’s appointments, visits to the physio and longer periods of recuperation!
We need massive amounts of time and energy from our volunteers to maintain what we’ve achieved but new recruits are not easy to come by.  We’re finding new ways of working which includes small teams taking on individual gardens (Garden Groupies), sub-contracting specific tasks and spreading the load of managing the organisation but still we need more volunteers. So if you (or someone you know) have thought about joining/re-joining us, please stop thinking and get in touch!

Our imminent eviction from our stores at the Town Hall (due to their demolition) has led to RBC lending us a large garage behind Rawtenstall market.  This enables us to implement a long held ambition to buy a secondhand van specifically for transporting plants and equipment between the stores and the working parties.  We now have somewhere secure to keep it between working sessions.  The damage that has been inflicted on volunteer’s cars over the past few years is just not sustainable!

We’re having a gate put into some fencing near to this new store (thank you JS Liftrucks) which will create space for those green things (that everybody seems so keen on) to be stored.

Have you seen the newly planted winter barrier baskets?  They’re lovely but keep an eye on the banking on St Mary’s Way as our horticultural guru tells me that it’s designed for colour somewhere on it, very month of the year!
Not so lovely, please consider the following.

We estimate that 3,000 bags of litter will be collected across the borough this year.  That sounds like a lot of litter, particularly when you consider that each bag weighs around 6kgs when full! So, that’s about 18 tons of litter that will be picked up across the valley this year.  Let’s put it another way.  Each bag contains an average of between 500 and 600 items.  Paper, crisp packets, take away containers, bottles, cans, wipes, cigarette ends and even ladies knickers and other items of clothing!

OK, so let’s do the maths. 3000 x 500 (the lower figure) is 1,500,000 pieces of litter that will be collected from Rossendale streets in 2016. One and a half MILLION pieces of litter!  The A682 from the fire station roundabout to the A59 is about a mile long. It has two verges and a central reservation. Civic Pride volunteers clear it of litter regularly. On the last few occasions it’s been done every 10 days. Each time, we’ve collected over 3.5 bags. That’s around 2000 items of litter or 200 pieces that are thrown out of the windows of vehicles every single day – 8 for every hour of the day on this one short piece of road!

These are mind blowing facts but without our fabulous Lone Ranger litter pickers we’d be living in a sea of litter!

Finally, we’ve still got a few spaces for the annual shindig on 15th December at the Whitaker.  7pm for 7.45pm at £25.00 per head.  Come and join us, good beer, fine wines, glorious food and the company….well you can’t have everything can you!

Welcome to our first newsletter

Welcome to our first newsletter.  We’re conscious that we don’t always communicate terribly well with our volunteers and others who are so key to our success. Yes, we have the infamous Weekly Witterings but those are mainly to tell you what’s going to happen but CPITV (catchy huh?) will give you a monthly (possibly!) news digest.

We’ve just gained ‘Best Newcomer’ and a silver gilt award in the RHS NW Britain in Bloom in recognition of the incredible efforts of our wonderful team of volunteers.   We now have 13 gardens in Rawtenstall which require a huge amount of hard graft and money to maintain (what a great link to the next subject Ed.)
Grants for new projects are available but not easy to obtain (TESCO gave us £10k for the Haslingden Road gardens) but they’re rarely available for maintenance.  This is why so many prestigious and expensive projects launched with a great fanfare disappear into oblivion a few years later, there simply wasn’t a practical plan for keeping them going.

Civic Pride is determined not to fall into that trap which is why we’ve now embarked on a campaign to attract more Patrons, Sponsors and Supporters to help us with regular donations.  Did you notice the Mr Fitzpatrick’s logo at the top of the page?  We’re pleased to announce that Ashleigh Morley, Proprietor, is now supporting us as our Main Sponsor.  We think it’s a perfect fit(z!) and hope that you’ll support them and join us in wishing them every success in the future.  Other businesses are signing up as well but we’ll keep you posted on those in our next newsletter.

The last Thursday in October was our second assessment for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) which went very well, indeed our assessors were extremely kind with their comments.  This award is an MBE for charities and so if you know a deserving charity in Lancashire (or elsewhere) why not nominate them?

At the Rossendale Awards early in November we picked up a Highly Commended certificate in the Community Business category.  The worthy winners were The Whitaker, the venue of our Christmas party, so congratulations from us all.

On that subject, a few places are still available, so if you’ve been active in working with or supporting Civic Pride this year, get your cheque book out and get organised.  After all it is THE social event of the year!  Get the date in your diary now – Thursday 15th December.  7.00pm for 7.45pm.

We’ve had another successful meeting with the CEO and Leader of RBC followed by a presentation to the senior management team.  Their support in acting quickly and positively to our requests for help are greatly appreciated by us all, I’m sure.  As a result of the latter discussions we’ve been given the opportunity to have a poster in every Rosso bus (100+) so many thanks to their MD, Phil Smith, for that.

Finally, our beloved (Special) Operations Officer Helen, has introduced a new scheme for all you ardent horticulturalists to make an even greater contribution to our community gardens than you already do!  She’s looking for volunteers to take ‘ownership’ of a particular garden(s) and look after it/them at a time to suit you.  Full support will be given (please remember to wear it!) in terms of advice, plants and equipment.  Once you identify the times that suit you best we’ll cajole others into helping you!

Sounds like a plan to me, so give Helen a call on 07595 985309 and remember that there are free drinks at Mr Fitzpatrick’s whilst you’re doing your bit for CP so make sure you’ve got your Hi Viz on!  The lovely Ashleigh and Annie will make you most welcome.
RG 11.11.16