Do you re­mem­ber?

Rossendale Free Press - - Memory Lane -

IN this week’s Mem­ory Lane fea­ture we are open­ing up the floor to read­ers and ask­ing you to get in touch with your mem­o­ries of the hugely pop­u­lar win­ter sports cen­tre, Ski Rossendale.

Our reg­u­lar nos­tal­gia con­trib­u­tor Peter Fisher has sent us a se­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs of the slope on Haslingden Old Road, Rawten­stall, but can you re­mem­ber which year they were taken?

We have looked back into the his­tory of Ski Rossendale, and want to hear from any­one who re­mem­bers the scenes in these pic­tures.

The ini­tial plans for the ski cen­tre were drawn up and dated Novem­ber 28, 1972, and the slope fi­nally opened in the mid­dle of 1973 at a cost of £58,000.

In 1979 Ski Rossendale was given an in­jec­tion of cash and a to­bog­gan run was opened, but it only stayed open for one week be­fore it was dis­man­tled, as it was deemed far too dan­ger­ous due to sev­eral ac­ci­dents.

In the 1980s all re­gional and many na­tional schools took their pupils to learn to ski at the slope, and by 1981 more than 3,000 peo­ple a week were us­ing it - this num­ber in­creased to 4,300 by 1984. Also in 1984, Ski Rossendale was ad­ver­tised at Eus­ton Sta­tion in Lon­don in a bid to show there was more go­ing on ‘north of the Wat­ford gap’.

A mys­tery busi­ness­man tried to buy the slope from the coun­cil in 1986, of­fer­ing £1,200,000. He was turned down, but tried his luck again in 1987 - and was re­jected a sec­ond time.

In 1987 the coun­cil con­sid­ered a take-over bid by a Lon­don-based com­pany which wanted to in­vest £1,100,000 with a 125-year lease from the coun­cil. How­ever the coun­cil would only of­fer a 25-year lease and the plans were then with­drawn.

The club house was also opened in 1987.

In 1994 there were big changes at Ski Rossendale, with a fi­nan­cial in­jec­tion of £380,000, and the slope was trans­ferred into a Leisure Trust port­fo­lio to be run by the coun­cil.

From 1995 to 2010, the grounds and equip­ment be­came ‘tired’ due to a lack of in­vest­ment and the slope fi­nally closed to the pub­lic in April 2011.

The cen­tre was then put out to ten­der and Ski Rossendale So­cial En­ter­prise won, open­ing the slope again at the end of the sum­mer.

Our first pic­ture of the week (top) shows Rod Hull and his emu get­ting a help­ing hand from young Steven Barnes on the slopes as BBC TV cam­eras were record­ing.

Next (above) we have a shot of Peter Nut­tall, the winner of a ju­nior race at an event held on the slopes. He can be seen wend­ing his way down the course in the slalom com­pe­ti­tion.

Be­low that is a pic­ture show­ing a group of young­sters ready for a ski class, and fi­nally (left) there is a pic­ture of a visit from ski leg­end Ed­die the Ea­gle.

Do you re­mem­ber what years these pic­tures were taken - or do you have any mem­o­ries of your own to share?

Please get in touch with the news­desk.

Many thanks to all our reg­u­lar nos­tal­gia con­trib­u­tors.

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