Clitheroe town centre, and in particular the conservation area and nearby places of public resort, came to the attention of Clitheroe Civic Society.  Like many others, they recalled times past when the area had the luxury of more council employees and perhaps more funding to create the image that they fondly remembered. As the Covid 19 restrictions were gradually lifted, members of the executive of Clitheroe Civic Society took stock of the situation

Clitheroe Civic Society (CCS) Secretary, John Spencer explained that after bemoaning the situation, a decision was made to engage on a course of action to gradually bring about improvements to the general appearance of the town centre and to introduce colour and interest by way of floral planting.  John added,
“It is all so easy to complain about the situation and point the finger, but we came to the conclusion that instead of being negative, we would take positive action to bring about improvements, and hopefully encourage others to do similar things”. 

It was clear that the work of CCS was being noticed and as a result, both Ribble Valley Council and Clitheroe Town Council provided financial grants that enabled the group to purchase and plant out the areas already mentioned. 

The biggest surprise of all was an approach by a local man, David Lightbown, representing East Lancashire Masonic Charities (ELMC), who had noticed the improvements being brought about and through the charity that he represented, wished to contribute to the initiative and together with CCS, act in a partnership to benefit the town, its residents and visitors.  David, who is a director of East Lancs Masonic Charity, added his comment by saying,

 “The provision of finance for the benefit of local communities is the principal purpose of our charity and it has been a pleasure to provide funding toward this really worthwhile initiative, and we look forward to seeing the results as the trees and plants mature and flower in due season”. 

David Lightbown Presents the ELMC Cheque

At the December meeting of CCS, a number of Freemasons representing local lodges and ELMC attended a formal hand-over and provided a cheque to CCS chairman, Peter Llewellyn, who commented, “We are so grateful to the ELMC for their generosity, and also to all of the others who have supported our ambitions, which has enabled us to do so much to improve the appearance of the town centre.  We really do appreciate the partnership approach to matters such as this and look forward to further cooperation if the opportunities arise”.   

Following the unexpected infusion of funding, 3 large civic planters were ordered, together with trees, hundreds of bulbs and seasonal plants for the winter months.  Another most welcome surprise came along by virtue of a financial grant, which can best be described as discretionary funding allocation by the Town’s County Councillor, Sue Hind.  This final grant enabled CCS to amend the order from 3 to 4 planters and thereby realise the dream of providing a total of 4 planters within the town centre area.

On Sunday 4th December, the dream became a reality when a team of workers assembled to locate and stock the planters with compost, trees, hundreds of tulip bulbs and seasonal plants.  Each planter has been provided with acknowledgement plaques.  Reflecting on the achievements, CCS Chairman, Peter Llewellyn, concluded,

“It really has been a pleasure to work in harmony with others and apart from thanking our various sponsors, who have enabled us to turn an idea into reality, I must also express my appreciation to both officers and ground working staff of RVBC, who have seen the opportunity that working together can achieve for the benefit of the general public.” 

Submitted by John Spencer


Clitheroe Civic Society