Bringing history alive on the streets of Clitheroe

Local women take a step back in time
Local women take a step back in time

Hundreds of people are expected to descend into Clitheoroe next weekend and take a step back in time to celebrate the town's history and culture.

A street parade through the town centre to commemorate 1919’s peace processions, with music, banners and actors bringing the past alive, will kick-start a fun-packed day on Saturday, September 14th.

A special service was held last year led by the Rev. Andy Froud

A special service was held last year led by the Rev. Andy Froud

The procession will start from Clitheroe Parish Church on Church Brow at 10-15 am.

The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times has been the starting point for the research into the events of the past, with painstaking research being led by local historian Shirley Penman.

As part of the national Heritage Open Days festival, the day’s programme is designed to engage everyone in the family. This includes displays at Platform Gallery to trace the history behind the Ribble Valley theme of Rivers of Peace and Protest, decorating pebbles for the River of Peace art installation at the Clitheroe Castle and a Soldier Quest Trail for young people to find the men who lived and worked in Clitheroe, and lost their lives during the two World Wars.

Different aspects of Clitheroe’s history are on offer with a self-guided trail round Clitheroe’s historic buildings, the chance to imagine being locked in the cells under Clitheroe Library, recorded memories of the home front in the Second World War and of the development of the jet engine to hear at Clitheroe Castle, with news items from 1919 to read on the way up from castle gates.

The special print of the soldier who represents all soldiers in Clitheroe.

The special print of the soldier who represents all soldiers in Clitheroe.

A firefighter of today, complete with a fire engine, will be outside the Platform Gallery to talk about Clitheroe’s fire service of yesteryear, while the Quaker Meeting House 2 will host a display about Conscientious Objectors, which invites visitors to consider how they would react to conscription. In the market, the Pendle Radicals will be telling their story from their Shepherd’s Hut, while Phil Knight will be offering stories, songs and monologues from the past at the Ale House on Castle Street. The day’s activities close back at Clitheroe Parish Church (which is open all day for self-guided tours) at 4 pm, when the Grand Choir will sing the piece especially written to commemorate the end of the First World War.

Other events in Ribble Valley during Heritage Open Days, which runs from Friday, September 13th until September 22nd, include a tour of Bellman Park focusing on its social, industrial and agricultural significance, a walk taking in Clitheroe’s three wells, a "tower tour" at St Mary and All Saints Parish Church, Whalley, an evening at Hurst Green ABC Memorial Hall with Ribble Valley Stanza poets, a guided tour of some of Clitheroe’s historic inns and a celebration of place with creative play and crafts at Trinity Methodist Church, Clitheroe.

For full details of these free events (and how to book where applicable) log onto heritageopendays.org.uk or contact Maureen Fenton on maureenafenton@gmail.com or 07710 409457) or Ruth Thompson thompsdunc@aol.com or 07873202064.