Himalayan Balsam bashing across Rossendale

Civic Pride exists to improve the local environment for all.  We achieve this by clearing litter, creating, regenerating and maintaining community gardens and other open spaces.  In addition we campaign against dog fouling.  Now we’re taking Himalayan Balsam bashing across Rossendale even more seriously.

Why remove Himalyan Balsam?

Impatiens glandulifera


Defra describes this rather attractive plant as an invasive, non-native species and lays down guidance for its destruction.  The RHS point out that it shades out light, gradually smothering other plants.


We’ve also taken advice from  Professor Rick Battarbee FRS at the Environmental Change Research Centre, University College, London.

‘… As you know HB is a non-native invasive species which poses a major threat to our native wildflowers and after dieback in winter exposes soil, especially soil on river banks, to erosion.  It’s important to remove the balsam and in its place restore a diverse community of native wildflowers.  Such a community will then support of variety of pollinators including honey bees, but also other bees, hoverflies and moths.’

Why encourage and protect bees?


Bees are the worlds most important pollinator of food crops and whilst they may be attracted by Himalayan Balsam it does not appear on the list of the most important bee attracting plants published by but more importantly, it reduces plant diversity which is so important for bees and other pollinators.

Can you, will you help?

The Rossendale valley is infested with this habitat destroying species.  We’ve had a small team clearing an area behind Rawtenstall cemetery and other areas but we can’t do it alone.  After removal we’ll be scattering wild flower seeds to help nature return the area to it’s natural state.

If you’d like to set up a group where you live please contact us at for guidance.  Hi vis jackets and wildflower seeds will be supplied free of charge.  DO IT NOW before it starts to flower.

Help us in our quest to eradicate this invasive and destructive species and provide a diverse habitat for insects, birds and other wildlife.


Each year we and our sister groups plant thousands of bulbs and plants across Rossendale to assist with biodiversity.  You’ve seen the beautiful gardens we’ve created and the bees certainly have!

Please join us as we make Rossendale a more attractive place to  live, work or run a business. Email us at or call 07955 110199.  We’d love to hear from you.

A Big, Big Thank You to Our Sponsors

Recently, a lady stepped outside her door and gave two Civic Pride volunteers a most welcome cup of tea. A small (and not unusual) act of kindness repaid with big smiles and heartfelt thanks.

At the other end of the spectrum, you, our generous benefactors give regular monthly donations to provide us with vital cash flow. Without your help, we simply couldn’t do what we do. So, here’s a massive thank you (hope you can see all the huge smiles)!

A bit of news that may interest you. In order to better secure the future of Civic Pride Rossendale, we have changed into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). With a Board of Trustees (unpaid) but still retaining our Executive Committee, we are feeling more confident about succession planning and our long-term future.

We now look after around seventeen gardens in Rawtenstall alone and help keep our streets virtually litter free. As a result, our regular shopping list includes compost, shrubs, bulbs, plants, litter pickers, gloves, trowels, spades, nuts and bolts, hose pipes, hanging baskets, watering cans, petrol, plant food and paint. Last year it also included two whiskey barrels (sadly empty but still with a wonderful aroma) which are now on the gyratory cunningly disguised as the Civic Pride Railway!

Highlights for 2019 include:

  • A further two carriages for the train (completed)
  • A greenhouse to encourage the less able to join us in growing our own plants
  • The laying of new paths in Trickett’s Memorial Ground
  • Encouraging bees, bats, birds and other flying creatures (watch out at Halloween) to visit and make their homes here
  • Enter six gardens into the RHS ‘In Your Neighbourhood’ competition (last time we had 5 ‘Outstanding’ and a ‘Thriving’ award)
  • Joint Balsam Bashing exercises with RBC staff behind the cemetery

What our amazing volunteers have done is self-evident but do you recall last summer and its ‘back to back’ sunny days? To save our plants, we had watering teams out – for several hours at a time – every couple of days! As the hose pipe ban loomed, we even started pumping water directly out of the rivers!

Everybody in Civic Pride is a volunteer but other groups do help. It would be unfair to name them as we’d be sure to miss somebody but retail staff, uniformed children’s groups, employees of national companies, local government workers, staff and pupils from local schools have all been active in Civic Pride initiatives.

Our outreach team continue to work with youngsters to hopefully generate awareness of what we do and get them on board. During a recent conversation with a locally born university student it became apparent that she thought Rawtenstall had always looked like this. Oh, the innocence of youth!

There’s so much more we could tell you; we just hope you now realise how much your support is appreciated.

On behalf of us all, thank you, thank you, thank you.




Autumn Newsletter

Armistice Day
HW Trickett, Shoe Manufacturers, Waterfoot

During the First World War around 350 of the male workers left Waterfoot to fight for their country; 44 died in the conflict and the workers who had survived wanted the sacrifice of their colleagues to be remembered. They achieved their aim in a quite unique way. In 1921 with contributions from the workforce and the management, and with money raised by the factory Choral Society concerts, Thistlemount House and its grounds were purchased. The grounds were opposite the Gaghills factory. The house and the grounds were then immediately gifted to Rawtenstall Corporation, together with £500, and a plot of land donated by Mr J H Hirst (another local businessman) to provide a pleasant open space and gardens for the people of Waterfoot to enjoy.

Nearly 100 Years Later

It’s taken 2 years and four hardworking Civic Pride (Rossendale) volunteers but Trickett’s Memorial Ground is finally ready for Remembrance Day on November 11th 2018.

Brambles cleared, areas newly planted and a huge hanging planter in the centre of the main lawn started to attract the attention of passers-by in the first few months. New benches and litter bins, old benches repainted, repainting of the railings and bus shelter were complemented with a sensory lavender border by the main path.
‘To be honest, we do just get on with it’ said Liz Hoskin who’s vision it was. ‘We never actually realise what we’ve done until someone else tells us how much better it is. Hearing the gasps and positive comments from residents makes it all worthwhile.’

To get it ready for the Remembrance ceremony a new lawn has been laid to the left of the main gate leading to the memorial. ‘The satisfaction of seeing so much achieved by such a small team is extremely gratifying’ quoted Charlotte Hocking, Finance Officer and TMG volunteer.

No longer an overgrown, neglected small park it’s been transformed into a place of peace and tranquillity used by locals and visitors alike. Financed largely by the Postcode Lottery Fund, several other organisations have also made grants and staff from Waterfoot Co-op were given time to help.

This is evidence of what a community can achieve when people just roll up their sleeves and get on with it. Well done to you all.


A Greenhouse for Rawtenstall


With the generosity of our supporters and a substantial grant from Skelton Bounty we now have sufficient money to make a start on our greenhouse project. We’ve started to clear the site and planning permission has been granted so the next job is to lay the concrete base ready for the greenhouse itself.

An Evening With KETSO

As I’m sure you won’t need reminding (!), ketso means ‘action’ in Lesotho, so when 23 volunteers, sponsors and our founder (Jan Shutt) arrived at Rawtenstall Cricket Club to answer the question:
“What needs to happen so that Civic Pride survives and flourishes into the future?”
an interesting evening was assured!

A full analysis of the finding has yet to be undertaken but it was amazing to witness the enthusiasm and quality of the ideas generated. More on this in the next newsletter.

Why Rawtenstall?

No names will be mentioned in this article but a volunteer who has only recently moved to the area commented it was the clean streets and beautiful gardens that helped her in deciding that the valley was the place she wanted to live to be near her family.

This lead to a meeting in the Siphon coffee bar to find out a little more and see if we could build a useful article around it. It appears that when the lady in question visited the estate agents she was warned that house prices were rising because people are moving up from the South. London? The South East? No…Manchester!

Having lived in the valley for over 40 years it was amazing for me to listen to the impressions of somebody who’d never seen the Valley Centre, litter strewn streets and the derelict gardens. Now that we have clean, colourful gardens with lots going on, it made me realise how much has changed, particularly in the last few years.

This was reinforced a few days later when I was interviewed by a young lady who has been tasked with compiling a report on where she lives for her university course. When asked how I thought the area had changed, she was genuinely shocked by explanation of the difference Civic Pride volunteers have made. Born at the end of the last millenium she has grown up assuming that the area had always been like this!

News from Around the Valley

Haslingden & Helmshore Civic Pride

A new name for the group to better reflect their activities as they ensure that yet another part of the valley gets the TLC it deserves.

Since the last newsletter they’ve also achieved a Civic Pride first!

One of the volunteers, Arlene, was attempting to dig a hole for some recently donated plants at Regent Street gardens when she hit a large piece of buried slate.

The following Monday Jean, Kathy and Renate tried to dig up the slate but instead, started to reveal a colourful mosaic! A bit of research identified that they were digging on the site of the original Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank!

Pendle Archaeology & Local History Group kindly volunteered to assist with a one day dig and more of the remains of a rather attractive public area floor were revealed! It’s now been backfilled awaiting a grant being organised by Proffitts and RBC after which it is hoped to make an unusual feature.

Bacup Pride

Thanks to Civic Pride Rossendale for inviting us to their recent Ketso session, I went along to represent both Bacup Pride and Stacksteads Countryside Park Group, two independent groups who have similar objectives to CPR but who each tackle these in their own ways. The discussions gave me much food for thought which I will share with both groups, thank you for making this gate-crasher feel so welcome!

The week got even better by Thursday when we attended the RHS Its Your Neighbourhood/In Bloom Awards in Southport. Despite all the challenges that this summer threw our way; road works for replacement gas main at the side of a proposed planting area, planters being fenced off as part of the THI work and of course a blistering hot summer, we were delighted to receive three awards, level 2 Improving for Barclays Bank Garden, level 4 Thriving for the Irwell Terrace Planters and a fabulous Level 5 Outstanding for the Wall of History Garden. Thanks to all who contributed in whatever way possible to ensure we achieved these awards.

Weir Pride

On Sunday November 18, Weir Pride will be hosting the first Christmas Craft Fair at the Doals Centre. From 2pm to 4pm there will be a host of stalls by local manufacturers selling everything from wooden items, and knitted gifts, to soaps, candles and paintings.

Weir Pride will also be running a number of stalls to raise money for the village. These will include a chocolate tombola, raffle, cafe and the sale of knitted and craft items made by the Knit and Natter Group. The cost of hiring the hall has been funded by a Living Well Living Better grant.

It was a hectic time for Weir in July when hundreds came along to the second Weir Village Fete. The host of new attractions, including the noisy opening ceremony by Rossendale Drum Majorettes, a pet show and children’s crafts and races ensured the park was busy all afternoon. The fete raised more than £1,400 for Kidney Research and Weir Pride.

Weir’s beautiful planting was also judged by the Royal Horticultural Society where they won several awards including a ‘Thriving’ award for Heald Lane Bloomimg Borders. It’s a pity they don’t offer prizes for woolly pom-poms judging by the picture!

Turn Village Residents Association

Our wonderful display of bedding plants in tubs around the village are coming to an end, but I hope to replace with hardy, seasonal displays to brighten the darkest of Winter days. Litter Pick and Weed Clears are continuing each month (unfortunately a necessity due to the proliferation of fast food takeaway outlets and litter louts).

Three brothers from Turn Village lost their lives within months of each other during the Great War. These heroes, along with others will be honoured on Remembrance Day by the laying of wreaths at the memorial stone.

We now have our own Christmas lights, installed on a cherry tree by the bus shelter (this area is becoming the focal point of the village). Friday 30th November, the Christmas lights will be “officially” switched on, with a community gathering around the tree. We’ll be having a lucky dip for the children, with prizes including Advent calendars and other festive treats.

Unfortunately Turn Village is no longer on an active bus route, however, the village bus shelter has been refreshed internally with a coat of paint and will soon be the venue for displaying photos of local scenes and historic images.

Turn Village Residents Association is working hard on installing fibre to all homes in the village by organising a Community Fibre Partnership. Hopefully we will be “up to speed” by Spring.

It’s obviously a great place for sunsets over Holcome Hill (Ed)

Edenfield Fingerpost Beds


In the last newsletter I forgot to get news from Liz for progress on the beautiful wild flower beds. Fortunately, I remembered this time!

At the recent “Edenfield in Bloom” awards ceremony at the Community Centre there was a brilliant turn out with lots of winners in the various categories including the “Fingerpost Beds” !

The display there has been great over a long period and now everything is slowly winding down. There are lots of wild flower seeds available from the flowers dying back so help yourselves folks! .A start has also been made on the end of season chop ready for a rest period over winter.
Have ordered a Crab apple tree (Evereste) to plant there hopefully lots of lovely blossom in the springtime.
That’s all for now…cheers everyone.


If you’re still awake…
…may I just admit that having lived in the valley for over 40 years I’d never visited Stubbylee Park until recently. Amazing! Clean, cared for and with fabulous views it’s well worth a visit! Congratulations to all concerned!

If you would like relevant news put in the next issue please email and we’ll do our best to include it. In the meantime, a huge thanks to you all for making our valley a so much more attractive place to live. Well done you!

August Newsletter

All aboard the Shuttletrain!
What’s he on about now?!?!?!

Well, you must have seen the train on the main roundabout. Yes? Well this was the brainchild of globetrotter Sue Shuttleworth who got the idea whilst cycling in Croatia. Some old beer barrels off Ebay, very skilled volunteers, plants to fill it and some extremely hard work clearing the undergrowth and there we are!

Whilst we’re on the subject of names, the main roundabout is referred to officially as the ‘gyratory’ but in Civic Pride jargon it’s the Gyro. If you remember “He’s on’t giro” you’re showing your age!

Very Villing Vonderful Volunteers!

Since the photo above was taken we’ve had a little warm, dry weather (if you can remember that far back) so how come it and the other community gardens have done so well without rain?

A year ago we fitted out the van kindly supplied by Killeleas, with removable water tanks – 50 gallons worth! We’ve been filling it from the mains supply but as a hosepipe ban loomed we investigated drawing water directly from a river. Next, we set about specifying, purchasing and testing the equipment and then training our amazing watering team!

However, don’t assume that just because we’ve seen a bit of rain that their work is done. It’s still been necessary to top the reservoirs on the planters and spray some of the other plants.

One of the team claims that whilst they were watering in the rain, two men in white coats walked towards them in a determined manner but when they saw the Civic Pride van, one turned to other and said ‘Ah, that explains it’ and drove off! Nice one Keith.

St Mary’s Way

There’s so much good work done by our Secret Gardeners that it’s perhaps unfair to pick one out one but each year there seems to be one that stands out as something even more stunning that the other stunning gardens! This year it’s the central reservation on St Mary’s Way. Well done Ian!




Trickett’s Memorial Ground

Have you seen the incredible results that our three lady volunteers are achieving in Trickett’s Memorial Ground in Waterfoot? If you’ve not been recently it would make a lovely short excursion on a sunny day. It’s on Burnley Road East next to Turnpike. Watering plants here has been the usual challenge but thanks to B&E Boys help with opening up the toilets behind the bus stop (they’ve been closed for 40 years) we hoped to solve the problem but alas, the pipes had been removed! Guess what the next project is!

Fly Tipping



In March we had a meeting with the Communities Director at RBC and she promised to remove the backlog of fly tipping and improve collection times in future. Credit where it’s due, the feedback from our Lone Rangers and the general public is that the promises have been met. Since then we had another meeting last week and were told that the 25 new incidents they knew of would be cleared that week. Well done RBC.



News from Around the Valley

Haslingden Civic Pride

Haslingden Civic Pride continues to have a strong presence in Haslingen town centre and the surrounding areas, notable by the number of flowers that can be seen and commented on by residents, businesses and visitors.

Rossendale Council have kindly provided a market stall at Haslingden Market, an excellent base which also gives access to much needed water. We now have plants in Upper and Lower Deardengate, the railings at the crossroads, the library car park, John Street car park and the flower bed at the Green Squirrel pub, as well as Station Road Helmshore. Brownies and nursery children have planted up tubs placed in Helmshore and both Brownies and Scouts have been involved in litter picking.

The major project this year and next is regenerating Regent Street park which has proved somewhat difficult for many reasons not only the weather, however it has been entered into the “It’s My Neighbourhood” RHS competition.

The group started with litter picking and continues to do this both on a group and a lone ranger basis. It is an ever present problem and thankfully volunteers are willing to go out and remove it. We now litter pick and garden.

If you are interested in volunteering we are meeting on a regular basis at the market in Haslingden at 10 am on a Monday morning, at least until October. Messages can be left on our Facebook page, Haslingden Civic Pride.

Bacup Pride

After hearing concerns about the overgrown paths around the reservoir on New Line, and having checked it out for ourselves, we appealed for local residents to join us in what we hoped would be the first activity of a new group, Friends of New Line Reservoir. Some of the paths were indeed overgrown, as was the area around the picnic area, and the dreaded Himalayan Balsam was everywhere almost ready to start popping its seeds, which would undoubtedly end up in the water with its associated problems. As we are a relatively small group we knew that Bacup Pride didn’t have the capacity to take on this additional area, but thought we could get enough interest to start a new group, that could work as part of Bacup Pride.

Our back up plan, should the residents not get involved, was to ask members of Weir Pride and Stacksteads Countryside Park Group to support the event… but we needn’t have worried as the residents and regular users of the reservoir did us and themselves, proud! Altogether some thirty plus people turned up and did battle with brambles, bashed the balsam and pruned back bushes. We had a thoroughly great time, and really appreciate the fact that members of the other groups, SCPG and Weir Pride, along with some of our own members, gave up part of their weekend to help this new organisation get off to a good start. We collected a good sized list of people interested in taking this forward.

The second session of this new group is planned for Saturday Sept 1st from 2 pm – 4pm, we will provide high-vis jackets, gloves and tools, although if people want to bring their own this is encouraged. Anyone can join in with this activity, no need to have skills or experience as there will be a number of people on hand to help and advise you. We are always pleased to see children at these activities, although they must be with an adult.

Weir Pride

A HILLTOP village held a fantastic community fete to round off a hectic month of activities in Weir. In July community group Weir Pride transformed the village with brightly coloured knitted bunting, animals and insects and a huge pompom rainbow in the playground.

Literally on every street corner a feast of flowers now grows, including several flowering jeans that got passersby stopping to snap photos. Several other displays were all in bloom in time for an inspection by the Royal Horticultural Society judges who spent an afternoon assessing the village for six ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ awards.

Events culminated in the fete when Weir Park was packed with stalls and attractions and the Mayor of Rossendale Councillor Ann Kenyon and her Mayoress Susan Kapler were led into the park by Rossendale Drum Majorettes. The fete was held for the first time last year by Leanne Hudson, whose daughter Jennifer, nearly two, was born with a serious kidney condition that required operations.

This year she was assisted in the organisation by volunteers from community group Weir Pride. Leanne said: “It was a big success and more people came, there were more attractions and we had big prizes in the raffle. “Thank you to all the sponsors, to the council, to County Councillor Jimmy Eaton for being in the stocks and to Weir Pride for all their help.

“Thank to the local businesses that supported the event and to the Majorettes and Fusion Dance and Fitness for the displays. “It was also nice that a lot of people came up to talk to me and share their own personal stories of kidney problems. It makes you realise how important research is.” Nearly £1,700 was raised on the day with funds benefiting Kidney Research UK and Weir Pride.

The knitting project was co-ordinated by Glynis Page through sessions at the Doals Centre and at Northern Primary School. She said: “The knitting project has been a wonderful community effort and we have had all ages involved. People that have worked on this didn’t know each other before the project started – they met as strangers and left as friends.”

Jade Pilling, who used to live in the village and is now in Bacup brought her son Harley, four, to play in the park. She said: “I think the village looks nice and colourful and when Harley saw it he said it is a really fun park and we needed to stop. “I loved growing up here and loved playing out for hours.”

Weir Pride will find out how it got on with the horticultural judges at an awards’ ceremony in November.

Turn Village Residents Association

Since Turn Village Residents’ Association has regrouped we have been very active in our community. Our new flower tubs are blooming superbly and are a welcome sight to many along the road. The displays will be changed seasonally to inject a splash of colour and cheer.

Our monthly Litter Pick and Weed Clear has seen a turnout of 20 residents all ready and willing to lend a helping hand. Our first litter pick resulted in a mountain of waste that required disposing of correctly. However, each month now we happily report less litter to collect.

The Weed Clear has resulted in much smarter pavements, cobbles and surrounding areas and a large area of Himalyan Balsam has been cleared from the village playing fields. We anticipate tackling as much of this invasive weed along the lanes as we can before it self seeds. (A job for this Sundays Litter Pick and Weed Clear)!

Although we no longer have an operational bus service to the village, the dreary bus shelter is in the process of being brightened up by painting the interior, then we will add framed photos of the village (old and new) and the village children are invited to submit a piece of their own artwork to be framed and displayed. Thus creating a unique feature of village life.

That’s about it but now I’ve found out how to use the software (or about 1% of it) it should be quicker next time! If you would like relevant news put in the next issue or to be added to our e-mailing list, please email and we’ll do our best to include it. In the meantime, a huge thanks to you all for making our valley a so much more attractive place to live. Well done you!
RG 23.8.2018

A Greenhouse in Rawtenstall

We’ve cleared the litter, we’ve regenerated 14 destitute gardens in Rawtenstall alone, we’re creating 3 more around the town and now we have a new challenge…………….

We want a greenhouse!

It costs thousands of pounds a year to replenish the baskets, replant overgrown gardens and plant the new ones but whilst we’re busy gardening, litter picking and discouraging dog fouling we’d like you to try something new.

How about doing a 5k run, having your head shaved, walking the three peaks,  organising a coffee morning or giving up chocolate for a month?  Whatever you like to raise funds for our new greenhouse!

Did you know that Mike and Amanda from the Casked bar opposite the Fire Station give ALL their tips to Civic Pride or that Northern Whisper donate 10p from every pint of cask beer they sell on a Thursday night?

Once the greenhouse is up and running we’re hoping that volunteers who just want to potter about doing a bit of propogating (ooh mother, is he allowed to say that?) will come and join us.  This could be your mum, dad, grandma or grandad, making new friends and enjoying a new interest!

What can you do to help us improve your town?  Find out here.

Working with Civic Pride

Rossendale is fortunate indeed to have Civic Pride volunteers working tirelessly to make it a better place to live, work, raise a family or start a business but we couldn’t achieve so much without the support of local people, businesses and other charities.

Early in April, all profits from the stunning performance of ‘Breaking the Code’, performed by Rossendale Players at the Millennium Theatre, Waterfoot were donated to Civic Pride (Rossendale) to assist us in our endeavours.

For those lucky enough to have purchased tickets it was a wonderful night, indeed it was hard to believe that the entire cast were amateurs, such was the quality of the performance.  The combined proceeds from ticket and raffle sales was an amazing £650!  Thank you!

The hard work of maintaining the gardens starts again as the seasons change but a recent donation of over 2000 plant pots, each containing an average of 5 bulbs – tulips, narcissus, daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and several others – will result in a few aching backs no doubt!  Thanks go to Heaton Park Garden Centre for their generous gift and to the many willing volunteers who will be busy planting them across the valley over the next few weeks!

Regular volunteers live across the valley but an unsolicited email offering a day’s work by around 20 staff from Daisy Communications in Nelson was a real bonus.  It appears that one of their senior managers lives in Helmshore and is so impressed by the achievements of Civic Pride he wants to donate a day’s hard graft to support them!

This is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at its best but carries advantages for the Daisy Group as well.  Team building is a vital factor for staff morale in any organisation and many thousands of days and millions of pounds are spent on outdoor pursuits in the mountains and lakes of North Wales, Scotland and Cumbria.  The end result may indeed achieve the ultimate goal of improved performance but this has the added bonus of helping the community.

It isn’t the first time Daisy Group have taken it upon themselves to put something back, last year they were working with the Ribble Rivers Trust, up to their chests in cold water dragging out shopping trollies, prams and even a motorbike!  All equipment was supplied by the Trust and the day is remembered with pride and satisfaction by those who took part.

Needless to say, this year’s tasks may not be as exciting but Civic Pride are working hard to make sure that their efforts make a real difference and are asking local businesses to provide some lunch and stand them a pint afterwards!

With several new projects about to start or already underway including repainting the metalwork on the Riverside Walk (opposite the ELR station), clearing and planting the North end of the gyratory in Rawtenstall centre and erecting a greenhouse behind Rawtenstall market to grow plants for their many barrier baskets there’s no shortage of ideas!

That of course is in addition to the routine work of weeding, planting, pruning, dead-heading and picking up litter to maintain our existing projects.  Work has also begun to cut back the undergrowth behind the fence next to the delightful garden on the first outbound layby on the spur road in order to show it at its best.

Where would we be without these dedicated volunteers, the sponsors who keep the cash flowing, the businesses who provide support in so many ways and the back up from the public bodies, including the council?  Rossendale would be a far poorer place than it is.

If you’d like to make a difference please email to discuss volunteering, arrange a meeting with the Outreach Team or if you prefer to make a donation go to and search for Civic Pride Rossendale.

A Wintry Newsletter

This weekend (the first one in March) was to have seen The Great Brrr-itish Spring Clean and we had working parties organised for Friday, Saturday and Sunday!  Unfortunately, the snow intervened but it will happen, keep reading the Weekly Witterings for details!

I walked into Rawtenstall on Thursday (market day) to post some parcels.  It was like something off a John Wayne movie although it was large pieces of litter rather than tumbleweed blowing down Bank Street!  Few shops were open and customers were a rare commodity – all that was missing was a lone rider dressed in black to ride into town and burst through the doors of one of the bars!

January 20th saw 35 people assemble in Rawtenstall Cricket Club for our AGM.  Was it the free food, the warm room or the congenial company that attracted them?  Of course, it could have simply been eager anticipation of hearing the Chair’s speech…………………………..

Regardless, officers were elected for the coming year as follows: Chair – Chris Blomerley, Vice Chair/Publicity Officer – Roger Grimshaw, Finance Officer – Charlotte Hocking, Gardens Officer – Pam Ormerod and Litter Officer – Ben Parkin.

We have big plans for 2018 including continuing the regeneration of Trickett’s Memorial Garden, clearing and replanting the Riverside Walk opposite the ELR station and erecting a greenhouse behind the market to grow our own plants.

Trickett’s has a fascinating history and a leaflet describing it is available in Waterfoot Library café and several other outlets or email for a copy.  We’ve been fortunate in obtaining grants from The Peoples Post Code Lottery, RBC, LCC, the Co-op and donations from local residents to support this project.  Co-op members who buy Co-op branded goods in Waterfoot or Haslingden will find 5p for every £1 they spend donated to us for another 9 months so please help!

The Riverside Walk is the first thing visitors arriving by train see when they arrive in Rawtenstall and at the moment it’s rather overgrown, drab and the paintwork is chipped, flaking and rusting!  We want to brighten the area with colourful planting, repaint the rusting metal work and make it look cared for.  Tesco Bags of Help are supporting us by making us one of three charities in their Bags of Help campaign during March, April and May so please make sure you ask for a token every time you shop at Tesco Rawtenstall or Haslingden and drop it into the Civic Pride box near the checkout.  With your help we can win the £4000 grant and transform yet another entrance to the town.


Erecting a greenhouse was an idea from a long-term supporter who pointed out that there are many people who may like to join in and help but need less strenuous activities than gardening or litter picking.  We’ve started fund raising, applying for planning permission and organising ourselves for this totally new venture.  Watch this space!


Northern Whisper


Whilst we’re on the subject of finance, not all our sponsors have continued to support us but thank you to Northern Whisper which is the micro-brewery and bar next to the market.  They’re donating 10p for every pint of cask beer they serve on a Thursday.



Secondly, thanks to Mike and Amanda of Casked, that’s the new micro-bar next to the Civic Pride shop on Bury Road, opposite the Fire Station.  They run the bar entirely by themselves and every tip goes into the Civic Pride box – cheers to you both!  Please support all our supporters, it makes the world go round (or is that the effect of the beer?)


We have it on good authority that Spring is only weeks away (honest)!  All the hard work of the preceding years will again prove to have been worthwhile as our town becomes a mass of colour, justly deserving the title bestowed by a visitor last year ‘The Floral Town’!

There’s lots to be done so whether you’re a potential gardener (with or without experience), a litter picker or would like to support us financially, please get in touch or call 07955 110199.


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