Partnership forms to aid recycling in Rossendale

Bright & Beautiful Rossendale franchisee Nicola Bailey with crisp packets ready for recycling

A PARTNERSHIP has been struck between eco-housekeeping company Bright & Beautiful Rossendale and Helmshore Recycling.

Many items that can’t be recycled in the blue bin, including felt tip pens, crisp packets and ink cartridges, can now be left at Nicola Bailey’s cleaning franchise shop on Bank Street, Rawtenstall.

Nicola said: “We had a customer call in who explained that he had been taking recyclables to a lady in Bury. He was pleased to find out he now has somewhere local to go, so much so he came back in to take more flyers for Helmshore Recycling and said he would be distributing them among his friends.”

This month is a special one for Nicola as Bright & Beautiful Rossendale is celebrating eight years in business.

She said: “When I took on the franchise, I initially worked from home in Rawtenstall and I was on my own. It was hard. Now I employ 14 people and own a shop; I never thought I would be where I am now.”

Last year the business won the Service Business trophy at Rossendale Business Awards, organised by Valley at Work.

In January, Nicola took the plunge and opened in the former photo shop, and has never looked back. She said: “I had very specific requirements. The shop needed to have storage for the cleaning teams’ equipment, a front of house, room for the washers and dryers and office space, so I had to find the right place.

“Since opening we are bursting at the seams; there was a real need for a laundry service and dry cleaners in the town centre.”

As well as offering a collection point for Helmshore Recycling, run by Samantha Woodend and her daughter Caitlin, Nicola has also slashed her company’s use of single-use plastics by buying products in bulk containers and decanting into reusable spray bottles.

She said: “Our products have always been eco-friendly, now we use them in as environmentally friendly way as possible.”

As part of the company’s eighth birthday celebrations, Bright & Beautiful will be opening a base in Bolton.

Nicola said: “At the moment teams have to collect equipment and products from Rawtenstall when cleaning for Bolton customers, but it is more environmentally friendly to have a base nearer the clients. We are actively marketing in that area and I will be looking to take on another team of three when we have built up the client base.”

For more information contact Nicola on 01706 396668 or visit www.brightandbeautifulhome.com/rossendale

by Catherine Smyth Media

Quizzers raise nearly £840 for local Cancer Research UK group

Picture: Liz Henson Photography

QUIZZERS put their knowledge to the test to help raise £837 for the Cancer Research UK Bacup Committee.

At the Rose ‘n’ Bowl in Stacksteads, 144 attendees enjoyed tackling a host of questions from history to TV show photos, dingbats to music. The committee is currently raising money to fund research into an into ‘early warning’ blood test which can detect if melanoma will return, being carries out by a team led by Prof Richard Marais at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.

The next fundraising event will be a curry and quiz at the Ashoka in Rawtenstall on Thursday October 17, 6.30pm for 7pm cost £15 per person.

On Saturday December 7 a Christmas Fayre will be held at Central Methodist Church from 10am-noon admission adults £1 and children 50p.

Advice Charity’s 80 Years of Free Service

AN ADVICE charity that has helped thousands of people across Rossendale and Hyndburn celebrated its 80th birthday with an open house.

Memories came flooding back for the scores of visitors to the Citizens’ Advice Rossendale and Hyndburn offices at Stubbylee Hall, Bacup. Not least Rossendale’s Mayor Councillor Barbara Ashworth who used to be the manager of Bacup.

She said: “I first started as a volunteer in 1978 and then I got a paid job at Heywood. I returned to Rossendale as manager in Bacup when the Citizens’ Advice Bureau was based in Pioneer Buildings.”

Coun Ashworth was manager for six years and recalled how in those days the bulk of the agency’s funding was from the local authority.

Present manager of Rossendale and Hyndburn Rachel Whippy said: “Now we seek grants and funding from trusts and foundations and we only receive around 25 per cent from local authorities.”

The Citizens’ Advice Bureau was founded nationally on September 4 1939. On April 4 1940 the Bacup office opened in the town’s library and on September 3 1940 the Accrington and District CAB opened.

A time line was created by supervisor at Hyndburn CA Julia Hannaford and files of newspaper cuttings told the stories of both offices. A ledger from 1944 caused great interest and included in the inquiries were lots of claims for missing laundry, a request for a permit for wellies, pensions for soldiers missing in action and mothers trying to trace American soldiers for child maintenance.

Linda Allen, 74, from Whitworth, began volunteering with the bureau 30 years ago. She said: “I started when my youngest son had got married and my oldest was already married and I thought I would like to do some volunteering.

“I was initially an adviser in Whitworth, and I was there when Princess Anne came to open the new office. When Whitworth closed I then began volunteering in Bacup, first at Pioneer Buildings, then King Street and now at Stubblylee Hall and this is the best place. I now do just one or two days a week, reception and filing. Today has brought back lots of memories and I have made many good friends here over the years.”

The agency is constantly evolving and has just launched a new project across Rossendale and Hyndburn funded by a grant from the Henry Smith Foundation.

Rachel explained: “We identified that there was a need in a certain group of clients – mainly single adults who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We were giving advice and help, but then when they left the service it wasn’t always being implemented. They would find themselves in the same circumstances and return to us for assistance.

“This funding enables us to have two new posts to cover both offices to help them get a tenancy, assist in learning how to budget and manage their money and hopefully break the cycle.”

For more information on the Citizens’ Advice contact 0300 456 2552 or visit www.carh.org.uk

by Catherine Smyth Media

Talking Newspaper Celebrates 40th Anniversary

LISTENERS, readers, volunteers and dignitaries packed a steam train to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rossendale Talking Newspaper.

It was 1979 when the first Chairman Barry Lonsdale launched the audible version of the Rossendale Free Press and present Chairman Rodney Poucher, who has been involved since 1986, took over the chairmanship 10 years ago.

He said: “When the Talking Newspaper started we recorded the Rossendale Free Press onto 90 minute tapes and it would be distributed to 160 people. The tapes would then be returned and recorded over each week. Nine years ago in 2010 we went digital and started recording on to a memory stick which the Royal Mail distributes for free. At the moment we have 40-45 listeners.”

Jane King, 83, from Bacup, said: “My right eye went about 12 years ago and then about two years ago my left one went and now it is very hazy. I could not see the steam engine because it merged in with the background. I have always had the newspaper ever since I lived in Bacup and thanks to the Talking Newspaper I can now ‘read’ it again.”

There was a lovely atmosphere on the train as readers and listeners mingled and shared stories.

Sheila Brierley, 71, from Helmshore, said: “I can’t read the newspaper anymore because I have macular degeneration and so have had the Talking Newspaper for four to five months. Malcolm, my husband, used to read the news to me off the internet, but now I have a machine and I get a USB and can listen to it myself. I can also use it for audio books. I now know what is going on and what is coming up in Rossendale.”

The paper does not just help people with sight problems keep up to date, it is also useful for people who have dementia or who for whatever reason struggle to hold a newspaper and turn the pages.

Members of 38th Rossendale Scout Group from Beavers to Explorer Scouts were guest readers this year and have selected the Talking Newspaper as its charity of the year and representatives were on the train.

The Mayor of Rossendale Councillor Barbara Ashworth said: “It has been a lovely journey and I have learnt about something I didn’t know that much about. The paper is not just for people who have eyesight problems but lots of other issues too; including dementia.”

Also on the train was Rossendale Council Leader Councillor Alyson Barnes who was one of the readers for the first nine years when she moved to Rossendale.

Rodney added: “We have 57 people involved as volunteers, both readers, those who arrange distribution and the committee. Since 1979 we have had about 300 volunteers involved who have read 1,962 editions of the Rossendale Free Press.”

Anyone wanting to have an audio copy of the paper can contact Rodney on 01706 213962.

by Catherine Smyth Media

Salon’s 50th Celebration Raises £4k for Good Causes

Photo Naomi Entwistle Photography

A SPARKLING Sixties-style celebration to mark a business’s 50th anniversary raised more than £4,000 for three good causes.

It was in 1969 when Tony Winder and his then wife Patricia opened Antony and Patricia’s Hair Salon in Rawtenstall (A&P), initially in premises on Newchurch Road. Many visitors attending the celebration at The Whitaker, in Rawtenstall, entered into the spirit by dressing in ’60s style clothing.

A&P moved to a former laundrette premises in Bank Street in 1972 and the business has never stopped evolving, opening Bosun’s Barbers on the upper deck in 2016 and the hugely successful Noah’s Ark Children’s Salon in 2018. However one thing that hasn’t changed is its director Tony Winder – who is still steering the ship.

Tony, 72, said: “I am very grateful to everyone who has come along tonight to make this celebration so special. I started my career in 1962 at Les Howarth’s barber’s in Haslingden and then was a camp barber in Butlins and on one day in Filey I did 65 haircuts in one 9-6 day and still had an hour for lunch.

“A lot has changed over the years with the business but one of our outstanding success stories has been Noah’s Ark that attracts children from all over the North West one that travelled from London.”

More than 150 guests attended the evening including actor Jane Horrocks, originally from Rossendale, who was guest celebrity. The star, best known for ‘Little Voice’ and her character Bubbles in ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, recounted her days modelling in one of Tony’s hair shows as a punk.

Describing the salon as like a ‘home from home’, she said: “I have very fond memories. My mum also modelled in the shows and Tony would always do a demonstration of every generation of hair. To have a punk hairstyle in the show was fantastic for the Valley.”

Guest Julie Kszych, a long time skiing friend of Tony and his wife Karina, who is also a director of A&P, heard about the party when the friends met in Switzerland in January and made a 5,000 journey from her home in Florida for the celebrations. Julie, who used the trip to catch up with several friends in the UK, said: “My motto has always been savour the moment. This is the first time I have been to Rossendale. Tony and Karina are a lovely couple.”

The event included charity fundraisers, food and entertainment from Sarah Davis and singer Charlotte May and Thomas and was raising money for Civic Pride Rossendale, Tor View Specialist Learning Community and the Manchester and District Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND). John Edmondson, who went on to run his own salon in Monton, has MND. He said: “I was 17 when I joined A&P as an apprentice, my sister Christine was already there. Tony was very strict but in a professional way and he wanted to get the best out of you. There were lots of practical jokes – like when an apprentice was sent out to get a bucket of steam – but he taught me well and for 26 years I had my own salon.”

On behalf of Tor View, Clare Mulderrig explained how the school had grown from 40 pupils to more than 200 from nursery to further education and this year was offering 20 independent college places.

A&P has long been a supporter of Civic Pride Rossendale and trustee Lynn Smith said: “We thank Tony from the bottom of our hearts for everything he has done.”

The current team at A&P joined former colleagues, many of whom had been apprentices under Tony’s tutelage, to recount and reflect their time at the salon.

Tony used his speech to announce that he was now going to be taking Tuesday’s off, would be coming into work at 9am instead of 8am and was going to begin planning for his retirement.

Towards the end of the evening, former Tony Blair spin-doctor and fellow Claret supporter Alastair Campbell also called in to wish Tony well.

by Catherine Smyth Media

One Year On, Two Awards, The Hub of the Community – Anna’s Cafe Bar

A RURAL village bar that has become the heart of a remote community celebrated its first anniversary by picking up a second business award.

In June 2018 when Anna Preece opened Anna’s Cafe Bar on Burnley Road, Weir, Bacup, she looked up and down the busy main road wondering if anyone would visit… and they did. By lunchtime the café was packed and after just eight weeks the business had already achieved the target Anna had set for six months.

The success continued and in November Anna’s was the ‘Invest in Rossendale’ award winner at Rossendale Business Awards, and now at the Rossendale Lifestyle Awards it picked up ‘Bar of the Year’.

Anna, 44, used to be a full-time mum, make soup and bake bread to sell locally and was a part-time copywriter. Now, along with her husband Dave, she is partner in the business, which has offered full and part-time employment to many in a village where there are few job opportunities.

She said: “At the Lifestyle Awards Councillor Sean Serridge was announcing the winner and as he used to live in the village until recently and visits here, I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if he presented the award to us.’ Then he did. It was such a strong category with so many great bars as finalists I didn’t think we would win it.”

Initially, Anna and Dave were looking to rent the premises, which used to be a shop, and had started the planning process only for the owners to announce they were selling to a third party. Anna said: “I was gutted, but then that fell through and we were offered the building and were able to raise the money to buy it. We got the deeds in February and the first thing I did was come in and start knocking walls down.”

Anna and Dave have two children Poppy, 15, and Huey, 12, and Anna said it has been important for them to understand that hard work reaps its own rewards. She said: “Before we opened I was worried about how it would go, but I sort of knew it was going to work. I always knew what I wanted to do with the building and had a vision, but this has become so much bigger.

“We are now a hub for the community to meet, socialise, get to know their neighbours and hold parties. We have also had a visitor come all the way from Leeds – how many cafes did he pass on his way just to come here?”

Meeting a real need in the remote village by providing a warm and welcoming place, has ensured Anna’s is packed every weekend and tables need to be booked in advance. Now Anna is considering an Anna’s 2 and possibly an Anna’s 3 in other areas, replicating the successful template of the Weir business.

She said: “These awards are as much for my team as they are absolutely key to Anna’s being as successful as it is. We knew we had high quality products, we only use high quality ingredients and everything is home-made, but the excellent service, welcome and making people feel comfortable is just as important as we want them to come back.”

Anna’s also gives back and has donated nearly £1,300 vouchers to charities and community groups since it opened.

by Catherine Smyth Media

Nine Days of Heritage Activities Across Rossendale

FROM Asian comedy, to a traditional carnival procession, dialect song and dance to a comedy night – the nine-day Rossendale Heritage Festival has something for everyone.

When it was realised that a number of heritage events were happening across Rossendale at the same time, organisers got together to see how they could work in unison to promote all the attractions and boost visitor numbers.

The result will be a hectic nine day festival starting on Saturday June 29 at 11am with an interactive storytelling session at Haslingden Library all about Ramadan. Eight days later it will conclude on Sunday July 7 at 6pm when the Larks of Dean Quire will sing historic Hymns at Goodshaw Chapel at the annual sermon.

Marketing and publicity officer at The Boo, in Waterfoot, Michelle Darwin said: “We have been working in partnership with all different venues all across Rossendale. We have Smash Bengali at The Whitaker in Rawtenstall at 6pm on Saturday June 29, he is a British Bengali YouTuber Hashu who fuses his two cultures in his own unique style of comedy.

“As part of the heritage festival there will also be two parades. The first being on Sunday June 30 to mark the Centenary of Bacup and Stacksteads Carnival which started with a Peace Procession in 1919, to celebrate the signing of the Armistice. Then on the penultimate day of the festival, Waterfoot Wakes procession will be held celebrating the traditional Wakes Holidays when mills would close and the workers would enjoy a week off work.”

The Wakes celebrations will be held in venues across Waterfoot from June 4-7 and include a ceilidh and a meal and comedy night, when the audience will dine at the Old Library Café, before attending a comedy night at The Boo to watch a preview of two Edinburgh Fringe acts. Two acoustic nights will be held – at Anna’s Café Bar in Weir on Monday July 1 and at The Whitaker on Wednesday July 3.

Also on the final weekend of the heritage festival a two-day Dialect-I-Fest celebration will be held at The Whitaker in Rawtenstall with stages inside the hall and in the park hosting live acts, music, song, dance and brass bands. Rosso has been asked to switch one of its service buses for a liveried bus for the duration of the festival.

At Bacup Natural History Society Museum an exhibition to mark 100 years of the town’s carnival opens this Saturday June 15 and will be on throughout the Heritage Festival until Sunday July 7. A Heritage Lottery Grant awarded to Community Assets Standing Tall, a charity seeking to have historical assets listed to ensure their preservation, has brought the festival together and helped to fund workshops.

Programmes listing all the events for the festival have been distributed across Rossendale and for more information log on to https://www.horseandbamboo.org/ or contact The Boo on 01706 220241.

by Catherine Smyth Media

Valley packed with events for first Rossendale Heritage Festival

2018 Bacup and Stacksteads Carnival – photo: Liz Henson Photography

A HUGE summer heritage festival will see 10 days of activities and events held across Rossendale for all cultures and ages.

The first Rossendale Heritage Festival will run from Friday June 28 to Sunday July 7 beginning with an event at The Boo Theatre in Waterfoot and concluding with the annual festival service at historic Goodshaw Chapel.

Activities will begin in earnest on Saturday June 29 when South Asian heritage and arts group Apna Rossendale will be holding an event in Haslingden. That first weekend will round off with the traditional Bacup and Stacksteads Carnival, which this year is celebrating the centenary of the Peace Procession of 1919, the forerunner of the present day event.

A Heritage Lottery Fund grant has been obtained by Bacup Natural History Society to help youth groups and schools recreate parade entries from 100 years ago. Artist in residence at The Boo Alastair Price is the parade and outreach co-ordinator for Waterfoot Wakes, a two-day festival that will be held on July 6 and 7 at the end of the festival.

He said: “When we held the first Waterfoot Wakes last year we realised that there seemed to be a lot of events happening in Rossendale over a short period of time in the early summer. We thought a heritage festival would be a great way of bringing all kinds of different events together under one umbrella. It will mean all of the activities will be better promoted and we will make sure people get to know more about what is going on.”

Cacophony Arkestra lead the Waterfoot Wakes 2018

Rossendale Heritage Festival is being backed by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant secured by CAST – Community Assets Standing Tall – a charity set up to identify and preserve assets that the community values.

A small group has been formed of representatives from the different events and information for a programme is currently being compiled. Alastair will be running a series of workshops to help participants make parade entries for the carnival and also the Waterfoot Wakes procession and these visual representations will be based around assets that CAST has identified. At the same time as Waterfoot Wakes, Rawtenstall Annual Fair will be happening with events all weekend at The Whitaker in Rawtenstall.

Fair organiser Sid Calderbank is Chairman of The Lancashire Society and is co-ordinating a large group of performers who will be taking to the stage to keep traditional Lancashire dialect songs and poetry alive for present generations.

Alastair is also a member of Cacophony Arkestra – a musical carnival procession entry that will be appearing in both parades. He said: “The festival will be a cultural celebration and will be an opportunity to bring together people of all ages and communities. We have a living heritage and it is about making that accessible to a modern day audience.”

Organisers are keen to hear of heritage related events and meetings that are happening over duration of the festival so they can be publicised in the programme. For more information contact Esther Ferry-Kennington at the Horse and Bamboo Theatre on 01706 220241 or email esther@horseandbamboo.org

Nowt Poncy and VIC join forces

A SAUCE manufacturer and a veterans’ charity have joined forces.

The Nowt Poncy Food Company was founded in Water, Rossendale, in 2016 and now has five successful sauces, which sell UK-wide. Co-founders Jools and Karen Abel wanted to make sure their business gave something back and as Jools’ father was in the Royal Navy and Karen’s father completed his National Service they chose to link up with Veterans In Communities. The Haslingden-based veterans’ charity works all over East Lancashire and also parts of Greater Manchester.

Karen, a former headteacher, and Jools, a time-served mechanical engineer who spent time in the photographic equipment repair industry, now work full-time building their business and brand. Karen said: “We have lived in Rossendale for 30 years and we have read about VIC and the work the charity does in the newspapers.

“When we first started the business we said that once we take on staff we wanted to employ veterans. We would like to be able to offer veterans a chance and also help them to resettle in Civvy Street. As veterans they will be used to following specific methodology and so they will have the skills that we are looking for.

“The training they have had will be something they can bring to our business and we are very committed to the idea of giving back.”

Nowt Poncy is currently seeking to relocate its manufacturing base from Hyndburn to Rossendale and is looking for commercial kitchens that are maybe underused and could offer to rent their premises.

All the company’s sauces are based on authentic recipes including an Italian tomato and basil, a New Orleans based Creole and a North Indian curry. They also supply seven types of pasta. The company’s products are available in 70 retailers across the UK, predominantly in the North. Nowt Poncy has also just begun supplying an outlet in London. Locally, they sell sauces in Rowan’s Butcher’s in Waterfoot, Riley’s Butchers in Crawshawbooth, Simply Vegetarian in Rawtenstall and the town’s market.

Jools said: “To start with we will be providing VIC with a small percentage from all the sauces we sell. We are also offering to support social events that VIC arranges when they are providing catering and we will provide contributions towards emergency food parcels for veterans.”

The VIC Centre in Bury Road is open during the holiday period when other charities close, and when it ‘opens all hours’ food is always provided for those who drop in to enjoy the banter.

Operations Manager Bob Elliott said: “We are very grateful to Nowt Poncy for the generous offer of support for VIC. This is a partnership which we hope will be able to grow and develop over the years to the benefit of both organisations and hopefully will also lead to job opportunities for veterans who have left the armed forces and are transitioning to civilian life.”

To find out more about Nowt Poncy visit www.nowtponcy.co.uk

By Catherine Smyth Media