Rawtenstall Past & Present
The towns of the Rossendale Valley entered a period of major growth during the Industrial Revolution. The climate and weather, as well as Rawtenstall’s close proximity to Manchester was beneficial for the blossoming cotton industry in the town.
Today Rawtenstall is a vibrant town of tourism, which nods to its historic textile past with the Weaver’s Cottage, one of the finest examples of an 18th century loom shop, complete with a Victorian kitchen, a clog shop, working “tippler toilets” and a tea room serving light refreshments.
There is also the Rossendale Museum, once a mill owner’s home and set within the tranquil Whitaker Park, which unravels the local and social history of the area. Also on the path to the past is Fitzpatrick’s, Britain’s last remaining temperance bar which carries on the traditional non-alcoholic delights with different flavoured cordial.
Rawtenstall Market is also a thriving traditional market where you can find almost anything under one roof, with a variety of traders and products. On offer is much more than fruit and veg. Whether you need pet food and accessories, quality meat, cakes, biscuits and speciality foods, or new blinds for your home among many more items and services, look no further than your friendly Rossendale market.
With the lively present still tinged with the magic of the past, we took a look into Rawtenstall’s history with author Kathy Fishwick, to see just how Rawtenstall has changed. Her book ‘Rawtenstall Through Time’ (Amberley, £14.99, www.amberley-books.com) is part of the number one best selling colour local history series, with over 250,000 copies sold.
Rawtenstall’s original railway station stood alongside the track, with the line continuing to Bacup. The main building with waiting rooms for those travelling to Bury and Manchester is seen here in October 1964. The line re-opened as a heritage steam line in 1991, and the new station building was built across the line of the former route to Bacup.
To see more pictures of Rawtenstall past and present pick up a copy of the February/March edition of Northern Life available from selected newsagents and supermarkets or to subscribe and never miss an issue go to the Northern Life online store.