I’d set off expecting a mile walk along the trail. The teacher who told me about it forgot to mention you had to walk 2 miles from the car park in Barley just to get to the start point at Aitken Wood. NB The pamphlet advises you that you need 2-3 hours to get round.
Someone else told me it was a bit steep and I took this to mean the trek up past the reservoirs – not the actual trek up through the forest. There’ll have to be a cable car to get me up there again!
The story of the Pendle Witches has long been familiar round these parts and the sculpture trail is an excellent way to get involved with local history.
The sculpture trail is very well done. A combination of sculptures and plaques produced by four artists: Phillipe Handford, Steve Blaylock, Martyn Bednarczuk, and Sarah McDade.
I was in the company of two coach loads of primary school children who swarmed over everything making it almost impossible to get clear photographs and the wet overcast weather didn’t help either.
However here are a few of the sculptures starting with one of a witch-finder based on the local magistrate Roger Nowell who started the investigation and subsequent prosecutions. He’s shown with papers with Alice Nutter’s name on the top.
There are also bats, an owl, a spider’s web and a copse of broomsticks among other interesting sculptures made from wood, ceramic and steel, plus ten ceramic plaques which symbolise the ten people prosecuted as witches back in 1612.
There is even a symbolic Quaker tree which represents where the Quaker movement started when George Fox had a religious vision on top of Pendle Hill in 1652.
Certainly when we visited one of the venues, Whittaker Park, it was sparsely attended.
And other venues around town looked empty with none of the live music I expected. Perhaps they were saving themselves for the evening.
Anyway here are some pictures to remind you of those days of flower power and hippy trippy stuff!
There was even a row of mini cars to remind us we actually used to make popular cars in the UK.
I’ve already posted about what my local Tesco store is doing to help people with this disorder and I noticed that the Rawtenstall branch of ASDA, in association with the National Autistic Society is doing its bit as well.
The Meet Jenny activity was inspired by the way her 4-year old boy was helped by using symbols and pictures. So her little helper activity is a velcro-backed visual shopping list showing a range of items. It helps people with autism to avoid being overloaded with information.
So I was determined to go along this year. I was also keen to see how they were making use of the new staging area built on Sandygate as part of the canal-side development.
Although it takes place at the weekend it doesn’t run over to the bank holiday for some reason so Sunday was the only day we could go – along with two lively grandchildren.
So down Sandygate to the main hub; food-stalls, live music from the flamboyant Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band and rat-pack style music from The Boogie Bill Roberts Trio, free canoe rides, art & craft workshops, henna hand-painting and lots more.
We didn’t spend much time at the Inn on the Wharf end of the festival which is where the rides and other play activities were based. (Organisers please note that The Inn on the Wharf wan’t up to scratch with out of order ladies toilets and no chilled bottles of beer on a day that they wished they could have every weekend).
We’d hoped to go for a ride on the canal taxi but it was only a one-way trip with long queues. So no chance to re-create that Titanic moment from the last time we did it in 2015.
Keeping a wary eye on the kids’ whereabouts I found lots of interesting photo opportunities but not enough time to capture it all. Here are some of the pictures I took.
NB I wish I’d taken some of the diverse food stalls but was too busy eating some Lancashire hotpot with mushy peas and red cabbage!
The Caudwell Children Charity (founded by phone millionaire John Caudwell) has abandoned its “Locked in for Autism” stunt after criticism from people on an online petition which said that it was offensive to suggest that’s how people with an autistic spectrum disorder had to live their lives.
Alexis Ragaliauskas has autism and set up the petition saying “It’s very dehumanising and insulting. Caudwell Children need to get with the times. They are saying autism is like being trapped in a box which is offensive – quite a lot of autistic people throughout history have been restrained and put in boxes”.
Tesco is a big supporter of such causes and a member of staff at the Burnley branch volunteered to stay in the glass box for 50 hours (see my post). I learned since that she raised over £2,000 so well done Alison.
Tesco has now withdrawn its support for the stunt. Whether because of the petition or perhaps the revelations in a Sunday Times report last month that the charity was funding pseudoscience therapies for people with autism raised alarm bells.
Caldwell Children has apologised “for any distress caused as that was most certainly not (the) intention”.
I feel sorry for Tesco, which has started other initiatives in my local store
However people need to be wary when they donate to charities which are spending money on unproven remedies.
Alison Booth, a member of staff, has volunteered to live inside a glass cage for 50 hours to raise money for the Caudwell Children charity.
She says “I’m really passionate about generating much needed understanding and acceptance of autism and can’t wait to help Caudwell Children raise vital funds for their support services. Wish me luck”
It’s not the only support this Tesco store provides. See earlier post
Well done Tesco!