A Very Weedy Witter

Dear Civic Pride,

With so much to catch up with this year, it’s been another busy week for all our volunteers. Sometimes it may seem as if we’re painting the Forth Bridge, especially with our gardening commitments. No sooner is one garden given a CPR horticultural makeover, then the next one is sprouting weeds and growing abundantly in all the wrong directions.

Still, with true northern grit, our gardening teams just keep on going, producing the most colourful gardens and planting that Rossendale has ever seen. Just take a look from St. Mary’s Way down to the Metal Tree Bed on Bury Road. Feedback from local people is very supportive, and it’s been great to receive so many positive comments recently. Spend an afternoon working on the Embankment in Rawtenstall or Trickett’s Memorial Ground in Waterfoot and you’ll notice the number of “Thank you’s” from passersby. It feels good to be making such a difference to our locality.

Also working steadily this week, litter picking and pavement weed clearance continues in our town centres and beyond. Recently, volunteers have noticed the increasing amount of weeds growing on paved surfaces: We have raised this point (several times) with the Council who are currently looking for contractors to deal with the problem.

More details of Civic Pride litter picking activities are to be found on Facebook and QT, and if you would like to join the Lone Rangers contact [email protected] who will provide equipment and an encouraging push in the right direction.

As you’re reading this, nine Lone Rangers have just been out on the bypass removing litter prior to the Council Mowing on Monday and Tuesday. Don’t worry if you’ve missed this one, we were given very short notice! And there’s always next time….details as soon as we have them.

Here’s what else is happening this coming week:-

Waterfoot – Trickett’s Memorial Ground.
Monday July 27th – 09:30am onwards – Lots of planting, pruning and weeding.

Monday 27th July – 9:00am onwards – Meet at Hill Street Playground for litter picking duties.
Wednesday 29th July – 6:00pm onwards – Jubilee Gardens for gardening and tidying.

Peaceful plot @ Rawtenstall Cemetery
Tuesday 28th July – 10am for Balsam Bashing. Contact Moira [email protected] for more details if you would like to join in and help reclaim biodiversity and support wildlife within their natural habitat. No gardening experience required: The super invasive Himalayan Balsam needs hand pulling or cutting off below the lowest node on the stem with the aim of stopping seed production.

Three sessions this week all focusing on the Town Square for pruning, weeding and clearing pathing stones.

Tuesday 28th July – 10am until Noon
Thursday 30th July – 10am until Noon
Sunday 2nd August – 10am until Noon

Please come along and help restore the gardens and our Town Square scenery.

Advanced notice: Himalayan Balsam Bashing Session – Sunday 9th August at 10 am – Meet at Rawtenstall In-Bound Layby (just before McDonalds) to prevent the Balsam from invading the areas around CPR’s layby gardens.

Litter pickers and trowels at the ready; we’ve got work to do, and while we are meeting in groups outdoors, please be aware that the session leaders are obliged to keep a written record of who attends each session for Covid 19 Track and Trace purposes.

Helen Thomas
Vice Chair

View from the Back Room

Nightmare on Bank Street

In 2012 RBC took the decision to demolish the Valley Centre on Bank Street, Rawtenstall. A typical, concrete Arndale Centre from the early 1970s it was by then the haunt of druggies and under-age drinkers.

Having demolished it, a low-cost Town Square was created and opened by Bobby Elliott, drummer to the Hollies. Who? No, the Hollies! This was quite appropriate because the Hollies played at the Old Astoria (but so did the Who) as opposed to the New Astoria which was on the first floor of the Arndale Centre while the Old Astoria was on the site of the Old Fold Garden. Did you follow that?

Standing on Bank Street with your back to the shops, walk over to the corner of Bank Street/Kay Street to the raised garden and look at the mosaics. Whose name do you see?

So, there we are. A new Town Square, empty flower beds and masses of tarmac, paving and a council without the means to do anything more about it…

Will the whole area be left to deteriorate? Will the flower beds ever be planted? For the next thrilling instalment, make sure you keep reading View from the Back Room, only available here in the Weekly Witterings!

Roger G