Rossendale Free Press
It’s an idyllic life in hamlet where just 366 people live
NESTLED amongst the western edge of the Pennines between Haslingden Grane and the village of Hoddlesden lies the tiny hamlet of Pickup Bank.
Made up of less than 1,000 acres it is one of the smallest parishes in Lancashire and at the last count, in 2011, was home to just 366 people.
Many who live in this part of East Lancashire will have fond memories of Old Rosins - a 17th Century former hotel and pub in Pickup Bank which was once home to one of the best Sunday lunches for miles.
Sadly Old Rosins closed a number of years ago and was later bought by one of Pickup Bank’s best-known residents - Steve Hartley who set up Darwen-based metal fabrication firm WEC Group 38 years ago.
Steve is known within Pickup Bank and beyond for the private helicopter he flies from his home.
Despite its incredibly small population Pickup
Bank has three listed buildings; Sniddleholme farmhouse which dates back to 1656, the Sunday School which was built in 1835 and Bank Fold Farmhouse (1735).
Because of its topography, and with parts of the parish lying at over 1,000ft above sea level, when it snows in this part of Lancashire Pickup Bank is often cut off with residents finding themselves ‘stranded’.
Eileen Howarth lived in Pickup Bank more than 65 years ago when she was a youngster.
“Back in those days, when I was a girl, not everyone had a car like they do today,” the 75-year-old said.
“I remember my mum used to have food and supplies stocked up for when it snowed because we knew that it was likely going to be a few days, if not more, until we could
get to the nearest shop.
“That might have been almost 70 years ago but it’s still very much the same today.
“The roads are very narrow and aren’t gritted so when it snows Pickup Bank isn’t accessible. It’s like something out of Heartbeat.”
In just over a century the population of Pickup Bank has almost halved. The census of 1901 recorded 603 residents
which has since dwindled to 366. In 1630, when the parish became populated, it was known as Piccopbank.
Despite the small population of Pickup
Bank it is considered by many as somewhere they would love to live.
“I remember when we moved from Pickup Bank to Darwen my father would say that he sold our house because his colleagues kept asking him how much he would sell it for,” Eileen, a retired private secretary, said.
“When I was at school a lot of my friends would say they wished they lived in Pickup Bank. We had the moors and the hills as our playground and back then we would play out for hours and hours until we heard our mums shouting for us to come inside. It’s a lovely place to live but it’s not often that a house comes up for sale.”