Saddleworth White Rose Society


in the county of York





Newsletter No 29 Winter 2005/2006



   Traditional County Boundaries

The wisdom of removing county boundary signs, around 1974 by local authorities, from the Traditional County Boundaries, has recently been called into question. Most of the 39 traditional counties of England have existed since before the Norman Conquest, they are an integral part of the history and culture of our nation and they provide a stable geography for our country. Whilst administrative boundaries can and do continually change traditional boundaries do not. We believe it is time these boundary markers were returned, to there rightful places, on the true Traditional County boundaries.



The scene above depicts the unveiling ceremony of the Real County boundary signpost on the A59 at Swanside Beck, Sawley near Skipton on 23 Oct 04



Signs like the one illustrated above have been erected on all the main roads at the true county boundary, in that part of Craven, Yorkshire, which is currently administered by the Lancashire (administrative) County Council. The Traditional County boundary signs were removed in 1974, as were those in Saddleworth when the Greater Manchester (administrative) County was created. On the opposite side of the A59 facing on coming traffic is a sign telling motorists they are entering The Historic County Palatine of Lancaster. These signs were erected with the full approval of Lancashire (administrative) County Council Further confusion arises because the Post Office chooses to use their own preferred system of postal addressing which, by their own admission, is not necessarily the true address of a location. However there is no legal obligation why the occupiers of properties cannot use their true address, if they so wish, as many do.

It was never the governments intention to replace the traditional counties with administrative ones, the Maude Report states “ Traditional County loyalties attach to the geographical County. The Counties of England commanded the allegiance of their inhabitants for a thousand years before they became service-running agencies and will continue to do so for another thousand years after they cease to be such

Regarding local directional signposting, the Department of Transport leaflet “Traditional Direction Signs” advocates the retention, repair and maintenance of historic finger posts, many of which were located around Saddleworth at least up until 1974. These gave the name of the Historic County and grid reference in a cast iron circular frame on top of the post, an example of which albeit without the fingers, can be viewed at Saddleworth Museum The one illustrated in the photograph is one of the signs presumably removed by OMBC in the 1970’s. The direction fingers have been removed and unusually on this particular one, no grid reference is displayed.                                                                           

photo courtesy Saddleworth Museum


Todmorden recognises  the Real Boundary

The photograph below depicts the monument with the red rose of Lancashire and the white rose of Yorkshire at St Mary’s Way, Todmorden, close to the Town Hall, through which runs the real Yorkshire/Lancashire boundary. It is one of several monuments sculpted by David Wynn, local sculptor, and commissioned by Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council under whose administrative control  Todmorden was placed in 1974

photogragh courtesy of Roger & Chris Sewell


County Watch visits Lancashire....

On Saturday 12 Nov 05 an organisation called County Watch exercised a right, which we all have, to removed illegal road signs (131 (2) of the 1980 Highways Act). In this case they were the 34 “Welcome to Lancashire” signs erected by the “administrative Lancashire County Council”, around their administrative boundary, an authority which, despite it’s name and it’s claims, only administers a fraction of that county. The real boundary of Lancashire and legal one, is the traditional one which, like the Yorkshire boundary and the boundaries of all the 32 traditional counties of England, has been in existence for over a thousand years and were not abolished in 1974 when local government reorganisation took place.

County Watch, carefully removed the offending signs, which wrongly implied, they were on the Lancashire boundary, informed that local authority of their actions, then transported the signs to the nearest Real Lancashire County boundary and informed the authority where their signs could be collected. If administrative LCC do decide to sue County Watch, we believe, if justice is carried out, they will lose their case and we wish County Watch every success.

… and Yorkshire

On Saturday 26 Nov 05 Saddleworth had a visit from County Watch, when several OMBC road signs on the Yorkshire/Lancashire boundary, although not in themselves illegal, were adorned with the words “Welcome to Yorkshire”. We must agree a long overdue sight on our county boundary and one which we believe should not have been removed in 1974.


One of the OMBC road signs amended to show the location of the Real County boundary.



Note; The boundary at Haddens on the Stockport Road/Mossley Road is not the actual county boundary, this is located at the  traffic lights at Top Mossley, hence the title Yorkshire Ward, Mossley



SWRS member & Saddleworth Parish Councillor, Ken Hulme has asked Professor Ted Cantle who is conducting a £50,000 review on OMBC's progress on building community cohesion following the riots in 2001, to include Saddleworth in his new report.

Cllr Hulme said relations between Saddleworth and OMBC have deteriorated considerably in the past couple of years. Community Cohesion in the Borough shouldn't just be confined to race relations. I hope Professor Cantle will also include the increasingly troubled relationship between Saddleworth and OMB in his review of the state of Community Cohesion in the Borough.

I believe that if Professor Cantle visits Saddleworth and talks to a representative cross section of the local community he will find a serious breakdown in Community Cohesion.  For many in Saddleworth, OMBC is seen as a serious threat to the future well being and prosperity of the area. Given the choice they would vote in large numbers  to leave the Borough. OMBC appear to be pursuing a policy of 'levelling down'  Saddleworth and transferring services and resources into the inner  urban areas. Regeneration in the Borough is seen as a competition for resources between the various Districts with Saddleworth the loser.

Folk in Saddleworth might not riot and throw petrol bombs but that doesn't mean they should be disregarded or discriminated against.  The tide of Council Tax rebellion may soon be reaching Saddleworth.

Professor Ted Cantle a visiting professor at Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University is former Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council. He was appointed to conduct the review in his capacity of associate Director at the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA).       Cllr  Hulme.


  Lancashire Hot-Pot Lunch with FORL

On Saturday 19 Nov 05 SWRS enjoyed the annual Lancashire Hot-Pot lunch with Friends of Real Lancashire, at the Kings Arms Hotel, Grains Bar. This event is held each year, close to the real county boundary in recognition of the boundaries continued legal existence and also marks the beginning of  FORL’s celebration of their County Day, 27 Nov.



The Mayor of OMB Cllr Kay Knox standing with from left to right seated Mrs & Cllr Derek Heffernon Saddleworth Parish Council, Cllr Jim McArdle OMB Council and Cllr David Dunning Shaw & Crompton Parish Council





The guests included the Mayor of OMB Cllr Kay Knox, Chairman of Shaw & Crompton Parish Council Cllr David Dunning, Cllr Derek Heffernen Saddleworth Parish Council and the Chairmen of FORL & Yorkshire Ridings Society Mr Chris Dawson and Cllr Colin Holt respectively. Gifts of Yorkshire and Lancashire produce were exchanged between the two societies, these being donated to Shawside Nursing Home, Shaw, Lancashire and Stoneswood House, Delph, Yorkshire. After the exchange of gifts and speeches, entertainment was provided by Mr & Mrs Brian White of FORL, both members of the George Formby Society and accomplished eukalali players. The guests were treated to both George Formby songs and other popular Lancashire songs.


Mr Brian White of FORL with his eukalali



Mrs Theresa Cheetham

We are sad to report the death of SWRS member Mrs Teresa Cheetham, late of Chew Vale, Greenfield and formerly of Ball Grove, Uppermill, the small Saddleworth hamlet of weavers cottages where she spent her married life with late husband Bob. Mother of Ernest also a member of SWRS and mother in law of Jean, treasurer of Saddleworth Branch, YCWA. Our condolences to all her family including grandsons Stephen and wife Emma, and Michael, also great-grand children Ellanor, Hannah, Robert and Alistair.

Mr Haydn Bradbury

Man of Saddleworth   -  Yorkshireman


Haydn and I started school together at the age of 4 years, at Diggle Council School. He was a friend for life, both at work and play. A man who would help others as much as himself. He loved his sport and regularly watched Diggle football team. Most of all he loved Whit Friday and helped to organise the Uppermill Brass Band contest. He helped advise the film crew when the film “Brassed Off” was shot in Saddleworth. He will be sorely missed. Haydn, while helping others, was still his own man, the best.                               Fred Holroyd