This year about 30 of us braved the cold and trudged up to the gathering place under cloudy skies.  But there was a clear view of Pendle, a hazy view of surrounding towns, Manchester and the hills of North Wales.  And it didn’t rain.

Nine of us walked up from Todmorden, past the Basin Stone, where Chartists also used to gather, along Gaddings dam, past one of Simon Armitage’s stanza stones, on to the White House to meet up with others and then, finally, up to the gathering place below the rocky outcrop at the end of the Blackstone Edge ridge.  Four others walked up from Littleborough and the rest assembled in the carpark below the White House pub and walked up from there.  Two, alas, headed off in the wrong direction and only reached the gathering place after everyone else had left.  Hopefully they’ll be able to try again next year.

We sang and we picnicked, but this year didn’t linger long as it was so cold.  Behind us 3 climbers were scaling the outcrop and before us a couple of paragliders were circling.

Andrew Bibby read some of Ernest Jones’s words, taken from reports of his speeches in the contemporary press.

Bob Sproule spoke about the Pendle radicals and a project to create walking routes to link together the places associated with them. This is a Mid-Pennine Arts programme.

Barbara Sanders told us about research into the life of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, which is a part of the  Pendle Hill Song Fellowship project.

Thanks to everyone who turned out in the cold to join the gathering, but special thanks to the speakers and to Barbara Sanders and Moira Hill for leading the singing.

Pictures below from David Hedley, Barbara Sanders and Bob Sproule.

Gwyneth Morgan





remembering the Chartists