Re­view of 2018

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page -

HERE is a snap­shot of some of the sto­ries that got our read­ers talk­ing in the first half of 2018.

The con­clud­ing part of our Re­view of the Year will be in next week’s paper.


Fresh from see­ing in the New Year Rossendale res­i­dents awoke to sev­eral cen­time­tres of snow­fall. Out­breaks of snow and ice re­turned sev­eral times as the Val­ley shiv­ered through­out the first few months of 2018, with the Beast from the East in early March hit­ting schools, waste ser­vices and com­mu­nity cen­tres.

Four houses on Her­bert Street in Stack­steads bat­tled a rat in­fes­ta­tion after heaps of ‘dis­gust­ing’ rub­bish re­sulted in an out­break of the ver­min. Coun­cil in­spec­tors cleared a ‘big pile of waste’, and slammed the ‘dis­gust­ing be­hav­iour’ of fly­tip­pers.


Green­gro­cers were hang­ing up their aprons after decades of ser­vice. Lor­raine Kennedy and part­ner Tim Ri­ley re­luc­tantly sold the Coun­try Gar­den in Rawten­stall after 20 years. While Bacup le­gend Rod­ney Hutchin­son had run the Ser­vice Stores since 1960. Mes­sages of thanks and good­will to Rod­ney poured in on so­cial me­dia from grate­ful cus­tomers, and traders set up col­lec­tion boxes for him.

Dra­matic new im­ages re­vealed how Rawten­stall town cen­tre could be trans­formed. Rossendale coun­cil re­leased new 3D-pic­tures mock­ing up how an ‘en­hanced’ Phase Two of the town’s £5.4 mil­lion Spin­ning Point de­vel­op­ment would look if ap­proved.


Hun­dreds of steam en­thu­si­asts lined the plat­form to see the iconic Fly­ing Scots­man at Rawten­stall sta­tion. The Mayor of Rossendale, Coun Colin Craw­forth, of­fi­cially wel­comed the Scots­man back to the rail­way by cut­ting a red rib­bon on the foot­plate of the lo­co­mo­tive.

D Gre­gory & Sons Butch­ers in Bacup cel­e­brated 50 years in busi­ness. Derek Gre­gory started off as a Satur­day lad at a Stack­steads shop.


A for­mer can­cer pa­tient placed on a ‘won­der drug’ in 2006 was en­joy­ing life with her teenage triplets. Louise McGuin­ness, of Rawten­stall, had been di­ag­nosed with first breast can­cer and then liver le­sions and given six months to live when her 13-year-old triplets Han­nah, Char­lotte and Cameron were aged just two.

Cam­paign­ers ex­pressed their joy after plans were un­veiled to re-open Helmshore Mills Tex­tile Mu­seum, moth­balled since 2016. The fol­low­ing month a beau­ti­ful sum- mer’s day blessed the un­veil­ing of the mills with The East Lan­cashire Rail­way putting on a free vin­tage bus ser­vice from Rams­bot­tom Sta­tion to the mu­seum, to com­ple­ment its war week­end.


Water­foot Pri­mary School pupils had a ‘corker in Ma­jorca’ with Dick and Dom after win­ning a na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. Jet2hol­i­days’ Ul­ti­mate School Trip was to Sol Kat­mandu Park and Re­sort in Ma­jorca.

As Prince Harry and new wife and ac­tress Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sus- sex, tied the knot on Satur­day, fans and well-wish­ers all over Rossendale cel­e­brated the spe­cial oc­ca­sion.


Home own­ers feared for their safety after fall­ing rocks and de­bris crashed down around their homes from a cliff edge at Cliff Bank Ham­let, Water­foot. Large chunks of rock tum­bled from the 20-me­tre high cliff face near homes and cars. Michelle Lord said: “It was just like a bomb go­ing off - a mas­sive ‘bang’.

A bak­ing hot Bacup and Stack­steads Car­ni­val saw thou­sands at­tend Moor­lands Park, Bacup, and a packed pro­ces­sion. Or­gan­is­ers were de­lighted when the fab­u­lous weather brought the crowds out - even though the an­nual cel­e­bra­tion was also com­pet­ing with the Eng­land ver­sus Panama World Cup match.

●● “The beast from the East” in Bacup pic­tured by David Green­wood, of Bacup Cam­era Club

●● Louise McGuin­ness, from Rossendale, who had been on Her­ceptin for 11 years after be­ing di­ag­nosed with ter­mi­nal liver can­cer is pic­tured with her triplets Han­nah, Char­lotte and Cameron in 2005. They are all now teenagers

●● Tim Ri­ley and Lor­raine Kennedy leav­ing The Veg Shop (Coun­try Gar­den), on Bank Street, Rawten­stall

●● Im­ages re­leased by Rossendale coun­cil show­ing the amended and ‘en­hanced’ de­sign for Phase Two of the Spin­ning Point Pro­ject

The Water­foot Pri­mary class ar­rive at Sol Kat­mandu Park & Re­sort in Ma­jorca for their ‘Ul­ti­mate School Trip’

Liz Hen­son Pho­tog­ra­phy

●● St Saviour’s win­ning walk­ing pa­rade at Bacup and Stack­steads Car­ni­val

●● A rock fall at the Cliff Bank Ham­let, off Burn­ley Road in Water­foot shocked nearby res­i­dents

●● Rossendale Mayor Colin Craw­forth on the foot­plate of the Fly­ing Scots­man dur­ing the loco’s visit to Rawten­stall Sta­tion, East Lan­cashire Rail­way

●● Helmshore Mills tex­tile mu­seum re-open­ing

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