Former pit transformed into stunning holiday accommodation

Mayor Councillor Ann Kenyon with Rossendale Holiday Cottages director Rachel Wilson in the latest cottage to be opened at the Water site.

A FORMER colliery site has been transformed into a stunning collection of holiday cottages and glamping pods attracting hundreds of people into Rossendale.

Jonny and Rachel Wilson, from Summerseat, bought the 20 acre-site on Dean Lane, Water, in 2010 on a speculative basis. With a background in marketing promotion for prestigious hotels, Jonny has travelled the world and used that knowledge to develop Rossendale Holiday Cottages.

The first three cottages opened in 2014 and now eight have been developed with the latest two Bluebell and Buttercup being officially opened by the Mayor of Rossendale Councillor Ann Kenyon.

Councillor Kenyon said: “It is fantastic and a big asset to the Valley because we are short of holiday accommodation for families visiting their relatives. I had heard about the development but visiting it has exceeded all my expectations; I would come here for a break.”

Jonny said: “We have a unique place here in a great location, the best facilities, staff and places for people to visit in Rossendale.”

Glamping pods were added from 2016 and permission has been granted for subterranean accommodation, which will be built into the hillside with a grass roof.

Jonny said: “We will be building eight luxury guest bedrooms, a swimming pool and health spa. We will be able to offer treatments and there will also be a small bar and bistro. We will still be encouraging visitors to explore the local area and we provide all our guests with a book of places to go to and where to eat.

“All of our accommodation has been built and developed by local tradesmen to a very high specification and wherever possible we source from local businesses.”

The company currently employs 10 people but that will expand to around 18 when the next development opens in 2020.

Jules Grady from Ramsbottom has previously stayed at Rossendale Holiday Cottages on a yoga retreat. She said: “It is an idyllic location and you almost feel like you are in a part of rural England, Scotland or Wales. I would never have thought to come to Rossendale on a retreat but it really works as a venue.”

In the Spring, a children’s play area will be opening with a fort, zip wire and play equipment. Already 4,000 native deciduous trees have been planted and Rachel said they were looking to add evergreen trees and shrubs to provide all year round greenery.

As well as the popular yoga and cycling themed weekends, Jonny said the location lends itself to corporate retreats for business professionals or team building activities.

For more information visit www.rossendaleholidaycottages.co.uk, email stay@rossendaleholidaycottages.co.uk or call 01706 534364.

by Catherine Smyth Media

Ale Trail Proves Big Hit

REAL ale lovers snapped up the chance to join a bus-led Hop and Grain Ale Trail, which toured Rossendale, Todmorden and Burnley. The initiative, which was a first for Lancashire, saw more than 350 people buying tickets for £12, which entitled them to hop on and off a succession of buses that toured a circular route from noon to 11pm. One of the departure points was Northern Whisper, next to Rawtenstall Market on Newchurch Road.

Events manager Michael Ormerod said: “I was approached by Hop and Grain Events Ltd and asked whether we were interested in taking part in as they have held these in different parts of the country. At Northern Whisper we sold 84 tickets with people hopping on the buses are different times of the day.
“We are delighted to have played a part in bringing 350 to Rossendale to see what a beautiful area the Valley is. Recently we welcomed people from Morecambe, Leeds and eight people from Bolton. This trail has been so successful we will also be holding another organised by the same company in September.”

Every person on the trail was given a pink wristband so they could hop on the buses and celebrating his 40th birthday was James Wright of Newchurch.
James and his wife Rebecca, along with his brother Chris and his wife Charlie from Somerset, hopped on the bus at Northern Whisper. He said: “It is my 40th birthday on Wednesday and we decided to start the celebrations early.
What appealed about this was we are not restricted to train times and we will get to see some new places that we have never been to before.”

Rebecca said: “I like the idea of being able to get on and off at different locations and stay as long as we want and then be able to get on a bus to take us back to our departure point.”

Friends Marcus and Suzanne Edwards, from North Wales, and Dave and Jenny Toner, from Runcorn, founded Hop and Grain Events Ltd a year ago.
Marcus said: “We don’t include chains as we want to promote locally based pubs. Real ale is a massive market and we see this as a way of boosting trade in the industry. It is about having a fun experience and we encourage people to drink responsibly.”

As well as Northern Whisper the trail went to The Crown in Bacup, the Golden Lion and the Hare and Hounds in Todmorden, The Kettledrum Inn, Cliviger, The Talbot in Burnley and The White Bull and The Masons’ Arms in Crawshawbooth.

Story by Catherine Smyth

Themed Events Organised by Dementia Friendly Rossendale

A SERIES of special reminiscence events to mark Dementia Awareness Week will also embrace the Royal Wedding and the FA Cup Final. Dementia Friendly Rossendale had already planned to host an event at Kay Street Baptist Church, Rawtenstall, on Saturday May 19 from 10am to noon when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their plan to marry on the same day.
As the FA Cup is also on May 19, organisers Paula Bond and Sue Hemsley, co-vice-chair of Dementia Friendly Rossendale, decided to combine both celebrations into a theme.

Paula said: “The event is open for everyone, carers and those living with dementia and their families. We are asking people to bring along an item that relates to their wedding or a sporting occasion that will spark a memory. We have a local artist Andrew Holland who is coming along for free to make card prints which will be an outline on a wedding or a sporting theme. Our visitors will get the chance to pick one and decorate it if they wish with confetti or glitter. We also have a poet Tony Curry giving his time for free who will get basic background information on the person and then make a personalised poem which will be put inside the card. Everyone who comes along will then have a very personal keepsake to take away with them along with a wedding favour or a chocolate football.”

Sue will decorate a wedding cake with fresh flowers, wedding dresses will be on display along with a bouquet and corsages as well as sporting equipment and football scarves. Whitworth Museum has provided a box of Royal memorabilia to prompt conversation. Wedding and sporting music will be played while the activities take place and Sixth Form students from Alder Grange School will be assisting.

For the third year there will also three steam special trains on the East Lancashire Railway when more than 250 passengers both care homes residents and individuals who live along the length of the line will enjoy a subsidised trip.

Sue said: “They will be travelling from Bury through to Rawtenstall and back again and be served with a lunch for just £3.50. We have been fundraising all year and have also been given generous donations to help with all of the events. The trains on May 16 and 17 are already full but there are some places available on Friday May 18 when the Mayors of Bury and Rossendale will also be attending.”

Paula added: “It is all about raising awareness and about bringing back memories. People living with dementia have long-term memories and events like this can help to bring those memories back.”
On October 13 Dementia Friendly Rossendale will also be holding a concert involving local bands and groups at St Mary’s Church, Rawtenstall

Story by Catherine Smyth Media

Top 40 Named as Finalists in Rossendale Business Awards

Photo by  Liz Henson Photography

Words by Catherine Smyth Media

NEARLY 40 businesses have been named as finalists for Rossendale Business Awards .

An amazing 152 businesses were nominated this year giving judges a very difficult decision to whittle those down to just a handful for each category.

The awards are organised by Valley at Work, which connects local businesses, and chair Rob Carder said: “The feedback from every judge was how difficult it was to decide finalists this year, because the quality of all of the entries was so high. Continue reading “Top 40 Named as Finalists in Rossendale Business Awards”