Berni Inn Function Room and Restaurant: Whitworth’s Hidden Gem

Berni Inn function room and wedding venue Whitworth

In 2012, Berni and her team opened the doors to a family-run steakhouse restaurant on Market Street in Whitworth. However, Berni quickly came to the realisation that the restaurant had far more potential. The spacious venue (which is located above a Fudge Factory, yum!) is in a great central location in Whitworth and has a large car park.

Continue reading “Berni Inn Function Room and Restaurant: Whitworth’s Hidden Gem”

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

Fantastic Fun Family Flowerpot Festival … returns

FANTASTIC flowerpot sculptures are set to adorn businesses, houses and streets around Bacup and beyond.

The zany celebration brings out the creative side in young and old and also encourages people to explore their neighbourhoods to see the spectacular displays which will be on show from summer to September.

Chairman of Bacup Pride Pat Smith said: “This is the third year that Bacup Pride has organised the festival and we are very grateful to our funders Reaps Moss Community Fund and also Newground for the use of premises. The grants enable free making workshops to be offered and we have a plentiful supply of plant pots for anyone who wants to make a sculpture.”

The first workshop was held at the Doals Centre in Weir and was a huge success. Now a whole series of workshops have been announced at the annexe across from Stubbylee Hall in Stubbylee Park.

The free making sessions will be on Thursdays June 13, 20 and 27 from 10am to 12 noon and also on Sundays June 16 and 23 from 1.30pm-4pm.

Making a sculpture is easier than you think and at all the making sessions there are helpers on hand who can assist with the creation.

Pat said: “The idea of having a flowerpot festival came about after visiting Settle and happening across their event. It was amazing to go round following the trail admiring all the different sculptures and seeing parts of Settle I never knew existed.

“We brought the idea back to Bacup and people loved getting involved in making and creating. We also saw lots of people and youth groups touring their town to check out the sculptures. Last year we had a rock star hanging off a house on New Line and then in the town centre a bride and groom were in the window of Icing on the Cake in Pioneer Buildings.

“On St James Street there were a series of sea creatures in the window of Beauty Culture and there was a lost little sheep in the gardens of Trinity Baptist Church on Market Street. The imagination people put into their flowerpot creations never ceases to amaze me and this year will be no exception.

“Please join in, please have a go and make sure you put your sculpture on display and fill in the form so we can include it in the trail.”

All the information on the making workshops will be on the Facebook page Bacup Flowerpot Festival.

Bacup Pride will be having a stall at Bacup and Stacksteads Centenary Carnival on Sunday June 30 in Moorlands Park where people can find out more about the event and the organisation. For an application form please email bacupride@gmail.com or call Pat on 07751 380 392.

by Catherine Smyth Media

Charities Benefit as Salon Celebrates Golden Anniversary

THREE charities will benefit from a celebration to mark the golden anniversary of a Rawtenstall business.

Antony and Patricia Hair Salon first opened on Newchurch Road on October 17 1969 and Director Tony Winder is still steering the ship and overseeing developments which now include nautical-themed Bosun’s Barbers and a children’s salon Noah’s Ark to complement the ladies’ salon.

The salon relocated to Bank Street in 1972 and has been a key business on the high street ever since training hundreds of apprentices and stylists who now run their own successful salons.

Tony said: “On Saturday August 31, I will be inviting people to The Whitaker, in Rawtenstall, where there will be food and entertainment and attendees will be asked to make a donation and support fundraising that will benefit three worthy causes. I have selected Civic Pride Rossendale because of the amazing job they do to keep the Valley clean and tidy.

“Money will also be raised for the Manchester and District branch of Motor Neurone Disease Association because a former trainee of mine in the late ’70s John Edmondson was diagnosed with the disease two years ago. He ran a successful salon in Monton, Manchester. The third charity to benefit will be Tor View Specialist Learning Community because of the links the salon has had since we opened our special autism room ‘The Lifeboat’ in the children’s salon.”

Former staff and current colleagues, loyal and lapsed clients, friends and family will receive special invitations and all guests are asked to make a donation into a charity fund. The event is limited to 125 guests and the charities will be involved with organising fundraisers on the night.

Local artistes will be providing entertainment. This includes, the Lomax Brothers, singer Charlotte May Tomlinson and friend Joe Teoli.

Chairman of the Friends of Tor View Vanessa Prater has been a client of the salon since before the specialist Noah’s Ark Children’s Salon opened. She said: “I have four children and one has complex special needs and since Noah’s Ark opened I have been a real advocate. Staff are all well trained and it is a relaxed, child-friendly and welcoming place making it a much nicer experience for the whole family.

“We are bidding to get a sports hall at the school, as we are the only secondary school in the Valley without one.”

Tony used to be president of Rossendale Valley Motorbike Show and when the organisation disbanded Civic Pride Rossendale was one of the beneficiaries from the left over funds. Chairman Chris Blomerley said: “Tony has always been a great supporter of us and we are delighted that Civic Pride Rossendale has been invited to be a part of the celebration of Antony and Patricia’s 50 very successful years in business.”

The organisation is always busy and has just taken delivery of a grant-funded commercial greenhouse to offer opportunities to volunteers of all abilities to be able to help the organisation. For further information contact Charlotte or Haidee on 01706 217129 or visit the Antony and Patricia Facebook page.

by Catherine Smyth Media

Memorial bench and silhouette soldier to be unveiled in Bacup

A COMMEMORATIVE bench and silhouette soldier statue will be unveiled in Newgate Gardens, Bacup, the ‘hidden gem’ next to town’s museum.

Bacup Natural History Society and Museum, based on Yorkshire Street, has been hosting a series of events since 2014 to coincide with the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Nat secretary Wendy Watters successfully secured three Heritage Lottery Fund grants, which have paid for major developments at the museum.

She said: “On Easter Saturday April 20, we will be holding another Meet the Tommy event when Scott Knowles will come dressed in period uniform and he will stage a First World War display. At 11.30am the ceremony will take place in Newgate Gardens, next door to The Nat, and we have invited Pat Smith and Andrew Walmsley from Bacup Pride to do the unveiling.

“We had 32 members of The Nat who served in the First World War, but five did not come home – these were brothers Fred and Frank Horrocks, William Pickup, Alex Pounder and Samuel Myerscough. The latest successful lottery bid was for a Sharing Heritage grant and the bench and statue will be in memory of those five.

“Newgate Gardens really is a hidden gem. Bacup Pride do an outstanding job taking care of the steep flower beds that lead to the gardens and inside there is so much of Bacup’s history to explore. On Bacup Nat’s website there is a pdf available that people can download so they can find out the history behind the stones and artefacts that are contained in the garden.”

The Britannia Coconutters have agreed to take time out of their very busy boundary-to-boundary dance on Easter Saturday to call in at Newgate Gardens in the afternoon to dance. Heritage Lottery grants have led to developments at the museum including the Fern Hill Room, which captures a scene from Fern Hill Auxiliary Hospital that was based in Stacksteads during the First World War and looked after soldiers who had been injured in action.

Mrs Ibbitt’s Shop and parlour was also created in an underused storage room and ongoing work has been carried out with primary school pupils and uniformed movements. This year marks the 140th anniversary of Bacup Nat – originally known as ‘The Muck and Flea Club’. Events to celebrate that milestone continue throughout the year and have included working in tandem with Bacup and Stacksteads Carnival.

This year organisers BASCO will be celebrating the centenary of the Peace Procession, the forerunner of the present day event, and grants from the Nat have assisted parade entries and shop displays. The Sharing Heritage project will conclude with an event in August at The Nat.

by Catherine Smyth Media

International opera star Sean Ruane and friends take to Bacup theatre stage

Sean Ruane Photos Liz Henson Photography

A SHOWCASE of home grown talent will be given a huge stage when tenor Sean Ruane returns to his roots – Bacup Royal Court Theatre.

The international opera star started his career in the theatre’s footlights and is delighted to be able to offer a variety of local acts the chance to perform in the 500-seater auditorium.

Sean said: “This is not about me it is about giving the incredible talent that we have in Rossendale a platform. This night will be much more than just opera; it will be a real variety show with something for everyone. The Lomax Brothers Aaron and Guy are in-between ships and cruises on Friday May 31 and so fortunately they are able to bring their original musical act to the stage.

“Since September I have been working with Linsey Hernon to set up St Anne’s Community Choir in Edgeside and their musical director is Ruth McCartney. The choir has between 35-40 members aged from Year 6 in primary school right up to singers in their 70s and they are absolutely brilliant. Linsey approached me to help set up the choir and an outreach programme for St Anne’s.”

He said the choir’s largest audience had been in the church and so the Bacup performance will be a huge venue and the funds they will raise by attending the event will help to keep the choir going.

Singers Jade Schofield and Rachel Spencer, who owns Sophia Management and Casting Agency, will also be performing. Sean said: “Rachel is a really good singer and Jade is in Valley Aloud Community Choir and has experience of performing. I want her to take it to the next level and give her the experience of going solo.”

From starting as a singer in Bacup, Sean’s career has taken him all over the world to sing on many different stages and sporting venues. He now runs his own company Chant Productions, working with young people, groups and businesses to develop choirs and perform.

He said: “I wanted to put on the show because in Rossendale we have really good singers here because of their vowels, ok sometimes you have to correct their pronunciation, but they have a real quality in their voices.”

Also taking to the stage will be 12-year-old Danny Dunning and 11-year-old Max Harwood-Lomax – who has inherited his father’s performance skills. Sean spotted Danny’s potential when he was singing a Hymn in a concert at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School that he was attending. Fortunately he already knew his dad Robert because he has tuned Sean’s pianos.

He said: “His dad sent me videos of Danny singing and I asked if he could perform in the concert – before his voice drops and he becomes a baritone.”

Tickets for the one night only show on Friday May 31 at 7.30pm are available at Wishes Galore in Rochdale Road, Bacup, priced £12.

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

Centres urged to work together

AN INNOVATIVE scheme aims to unite groups and encourage the sharing of community premises and services across Rossendale.

It is hoped a pilot project can be set up to link the voluntary, community and faith sectors from Haslingden to Bacup and all towns and communities in between.

So far two discussion meetings have been held to discuss ‘more than medicine’ to look at how groups with community premises can work together to ensure the sustainability of the individual facilities.

REAL – Rossendale Enterprise Anchor Limited – is an organisation which has supported the community of Rossendale since 2008.

It encourages the sharing of skills and called together different groups to explain how the scheme could work.

Chair of REAL Hazel Harding said: “Organisations across Rossendale should be working more closely together, to increase their income, share some services and maximise the offer across the Valley.

“Although REAL has put forward this idea, it will be a collective of community groups that will lead it and take the idea forward.

“It’s about working together to meet need, to enable Rossendale and its people to flourish. By putting forward a combined offer, we hope to be able to attract significant funding to ensure the viability of all these centres.”

Already Haslingden Community Link, Veterans In Communities, Crawshawbooth Community Centre and Whitewell Bottom Community Centre have formed links.

Six ‘more than medicine’ events were held in Haslingden when patients with conditions including diabetes, COPD and anxiety and depression got to meet in an informal setting to discuss with experienced professionals and learn from each other.

Hazel said: “This was a huge success, and was like a mass consultation. It could be easily be replicated in another community centre to tackle issues that are prevalent to the local area.”

It is hoped that other groups that have their own facilities including the Doals Centre, the A, B and D Centre and the churches in Rawtenstall will also link up.

Hazel explained: “If three centres are running the same activity then they dilute the number of attendees, but if they work together then the courses will be well attended and more sustainable.

“There is community transport available to make different venues accessible for all and this is a way of ensuring the future viability of all the centres, which our towns and villages need.”

The next meeting is on Thursday February 28 at Haslingden Community Link at 4pm and voluntary groups interested are welcome to attend.

Once a partnership has been formed, the intention is to bid for funding for a Rossendale-wide pilot project.

If successful, larger funding will be sought to sustain the scheme and the Rossendale model could be then used as a template for other areas across Lancashire.

To find out more email realadmin@realtd.co.uk

Fabulous Fossils go on Show

Fossil Expert Arthur Baldwin with a 300 million year old fossil found in Sharneyford, Bacup.

FANTASTIC fossils dating back 450 million years will be available for visitors to examine.

The Fossil Fest at Bacup’s Natural History Museum on Sunday February 3 will launch a series of 2019 celebrations for the 140th anniversary of the society.

Bacup Nat Secretary Wendy Watters said: “We have an amazing collection of fossils at the Nat and many that people will have never seen.

“Our fossil expert Arthur Baldwin will be bringing in items from his own personal collection that will amaze the visitors. We are also asking children to bring in their own items for Arthur to identify and examine.

“They will be able to view them using the microscope and if parents bring their smart phones they can also take pictures. We will be having a special dinosaur guest and the children will be asked to name the dinosaur to win a fossil hunting kit.”

The event will be open from 10.30am to 3pm and all children under 12 will receive a small specimen freebie and a goodie bag.

Some of the many fossils at Bacup’s Natural History Society Museum

The Nat started life in a terraced cottage in 1878 on Rochdale Road and in 1947 it relocated to the former Hare and Hounds public house on Yorkshire Street, where it has been based ever since.

Wendy successfully secured a further Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Grant for £10,000 to cover a series of events. She said: “Inside the Nat there will be a timeline display explaining the history of the society and the town over each of the decades. There will be a lot of information about things that happened in Bacup that visitors may not even be aware of.

“We have ordered a special bench which will be unveiled at Newgate Garden on Easter Saturday. It is being made by David Ogilvie Engineering in Kilmarnock, Scotland, and has an intricate design on the back featuring all the armed forces, a war horse, ambulance and poppies. The company is also going to be making a silent soldier statue, which shows a soldier in mourning and that is going to be a permanent fixture in the garden.”

Events will cuminate in the 100th anniversary of the Peace Procession, which was the forerunner of the town’s carnival.

She said: “We are working with Bacup and Stacksteads Carnival to celebrate the centenary by encouraging youth groups and schools to recreate parade entries from the 1919 procession and also shop window displays. We are providing a small grant for those groups we work with if they take part in the carnival procession on Sunday June 30 to celebrate the Peace Procession anniversary.”

The Nat is open every Thursday from 7.30pm to about 10pm and the third Saturday of every month from 10.30am to 1pm.

by Catherine Smyth Media