Mrs Ibbits’ Christmas Comes To Life

by Catherine Smyth Media

A WARTIME Christmas was unwrapped by visitors who attended Bacup Natural History Society Museum on Saturday (Dec 5).

Mrs Ibbits’ Make Do and Mend Christmas was funded by Bacup’s Townscape Heritage Initiative, THI, and run by Bacup Pride and the Nat.

Along with a tea dance held at Bacup Cricket Club on Thursday, Mrs Ibbits’ Christmas marked the end of two weeks of community events organised by the THI for Owd Bacup fortnight.

The Nat was filled with Time Travellers in ’40s outfits. Member of the THI Board Councillor Barbara Ashworth said: “The Time Traveller is an initiative that will run while the project lasts.

“We started with the First World War, then the 1940s, next year will be the ’60s, then the ’80s and right up to the present day in 2018 when the THI will finish and the town centre of Bacup will look fantastic.”

At the Nat, visitors made natural decorations using paper and sticks, answered questions on a 1940s quiz and learnt what life was like in Bacup and beyond.

Bacup Pride member Trish Brindle said: “Children were really quite shocked when they saw just how few sweets they would have received when there was rationing.

“This is all about raising awareness of what was happening in this area and outside Bacup and it is about making people understand what it was like in their grandparents’ day.

“We are also doing an oral history project to capture people’s memories and hopefully that will be finished in time for Easter Saturday.”

In 2014 Rossendale Council secured £2million of regeneration money for Bacup through the Heritage Lottery Townscape Heritage Initiative.

Work is currently taking place in Bacup town centre to renovate shop fronts and restore them back to their original facades and restoring features on buildings. This includes the shops in Pioneer Building, the shops on St James Street and the REAL building.

The project also aims to make the town more pedestrian friendly through proposals to improve St James Square.

The THI project also supports events to engage the public and increase their understanding of Bacup’s history and rich built heritage.

For more information on the THI visit

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