It has been brought to our notice that the web site has not had any additions for some time – so now to make amends!


The Trust is alive and well, with a healthy bank balance and rising membership. Our Weavers’ Cottage HQ has new windows, replicating the ones that were there in the 1940s, when they were believed to be original. We are busy putting our collection back together in new exhibition mode, and look forward to welcoming visitors again this

Also, hopefully, Rawtenstall will soon be more presentable and accessible. We have had almost ten years of delays, disruption and road closures, which have seriously hampered the life of the town.

Picking up from one of the last comments on the site, it must be said that the Council’s decision to pull out of the many ambitious scheme put forward for Valley Centre Part 2 seems to have been widely welcomed. Well, it was predicted that it wouldn’t work, and now’s the time to go back to the drawing board and make something of the space we are left with.

Of course we have the new bus station at last, and surely more can be of that? If the retail spaces facing the empty square aren’t taken up by commercial users, can we find community uses for them? Just as the former Astoria was linked to the old square for both indoor and outdoor events, can these covered spaces be used for presentations,
exhibitions etc. linked to events on the new space? Above all let’s be positive about this – it is a great opportunity to get something worth while out of all the effort and change.

But this comes with a warning; our town centres, Bacup, Rawtenstall and now Haslingden, are Conservation Areas, and that means all that goes with them. The idea of Conservation Areas was put forward over 50 years ago, with the idea of carefully nurturing what was felt to be worth treasuring from the work of previous generations. That did not mean preservation without change, but to guard against unsympathetic change to things people love, and there is a great danger that the input of unprecedented amounts of money from Government grants could lead to bold and unsympathetic interventions. This is something that must be monitored; while we add our own imprints to our towns, care must be taken not to eradicate what has survived from the past, and that includes the feel and character of the place as well as the buildings themselves. Current buzz words and phrases such as ‘harm and benefit’ need to be properly understood, and above all, the people who live and work in those places should be consulted at an early stage on any proposals.

There is a lot of work for Civic Trusts and Societies like ours to do not only in Rossendale but across the whole country, and Rossendale Civic Trust is a part of that national movement, and will continue to work with colleagues at all levels and in all places to make our environment better for all.


Craft Fair 2017

The third annual craft fair is next week, and we’ve been busy cramming every stall we can into the Weavers’ Cottage.

From Paper Craft to Chair Seating. Felt Work to Tweed. Next weekend (7th & 8th October) we’re going to fill the Weavers’ Cottage with traditional arts and crafts form across Lancashire.

As well as our usual weaving demonstrations we will also have; Soap making, hand crafted jewellery, baskets, cards, Yarn craft and all manor of other trades.

We will also have food, live music and more!

Doors are going be open from 11.00am to 4.30pm on both days, please come on down and see what we have to offer!

Another Excellent Open Day at Grane Mill

A warm welcome awaited the many enthusiasts who travelled from near and far
on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, 9th and 10th September, 2017, to visit the Scheduled Ancient Monument, Grane Mill, Laneside Road (just off Bury Road), Haslingden, to experience the workings of the preserved engine.
The engine, which has been restored by Messrs. David Arnfield and Anthony Pilling, has now been given protection as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and, as from 24th August ,
2017,  the whole mill is now listed as Grade 11*.  This is to enable the cohesive management of this important complex as one unit for the future, which hopefully, one day, will be a major
historical asset in reminding people of Lancashire’s great past.
S. S. Stott of Haslingden built the engine.  It is a 500 horse power, horizontal cross compound engine.  It drove 15 ropes which connected with shafting in the mill and powered over 1000 looms.  It also generated the electricity for lighting the mill.
The weekend was a huge success for both adults and children alike and a “must entry”, in the future, on the engine enthusiast’s calendar to visit this remarkable and, until recently, relatively unknown Boiler restoration situated within the Rossendale Valley.
A special “thank you” to all those who helped to make the weekend event such a huge success (Dave, Anthony, Kathy, Harry, Josh, Vera, Joy and Radio Lancashire).
A little gem in the Industrial crown!

Kenneth Lees 1927-2017

We are sad to report that Kenneth Lees, founder member of Rawtenstall Civic Society and committee member of Rossendale Civic Trust, died this afternoon. Just a few days short of his 90th birthday.

We would like thank him for his endless enthusiasm, passion and commitment to Rossendale over the many years he was our colleague.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

Rawtenstall Market December 2016

Our stall on Rawtenstall Christmas Market 2016 Photo by Peter Wood

Congratulations to everyone who organised and took part in Rawtenstall Market in the fantastic Christmas Market this Saturday.

Rawtenstall’s traditional indoor market had it’s Annual Christmas event on Saturday 10th December and we are glad to report it was very busy, as always. As usual the traders and public helped create a strong festive atmosphere welcoming people from across the country to our town.

Local groups and charities, including ourselves, the local scouts, churches and even wildlife preservation groups participated to make it a special occasion. It really goes to show what a community we have and how it can come together with a little effort for a good cause.


Good news September 2016

Many, many thanks to all members and friends who helped out and visited our end of season Craft Fair at the Cottage over the weekend.

Visiter numbers this summer have topped the 600 mark for the first time since 2002 and loosen our car parking space to Ilex Mill, the Health Centre and 12 years of disruptive roadworks.

Lancashire County Council have agreed to lift the parking ban at the top end of Fall Barn Road, so that should help our weekday use the Cottage grow again. specially the Tuesday afternoon History Group

Continue reading Good news September 2016

Craft Fair at the Cottage


This weekend is our second annual Craft Fair at the Weavers Cottage. Where we hope to showcase traditional arts and crafts from around Lancashire and North Yorkshire.

This year we have lace makers, stone masons, glass carvers, wood workers and even iron forgers. All demonstrating their skills for the visiting public.

Come on down and see whats happening. Doors open 11 am on Saturday and Sunday!