Rossendale & Hyndburn Community Page

Rossendale is a district with borough status in Lancashire, England, holding a number of small former mill towns centred on the valley of the River Irwell in the industrial North West. Rossendale combines modest size urban development with rural villages and is immediately south of the more populated town of Burnley, east of Blackburn and north of Bolton, Bury, Manchester and Rochdale, centred 15 miles (24 km) north of Manchester.

In the 2001 census the population of Rossendale was 65,652, spread between the larger towns of Bacup, Haslingden and Rawtenstall; the villages of Crawshawbooth, Edenfield, Helmshore, Waterfoot, Whitworth; and as well as Britannia, Broadclough, Chatterton, Cloughfold, Cowpe, Irwell Vale, Loveclough, Newchurch, Shawforth, Stacksteads, Stubbins, Turn and Weir. The population at the 2011 Census had risen to 67,922.

The district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, from the municipal boroughs of Bacup, Haslingden, Rawtenstall, part of Ramsbottom Urban District and Whitworth Urban District.

Rossendale is twinned with the German town of Bocholt, located close to the Netherlands border.

The name “Rossendale” may also refer geographically to Rossendale Valley, and historically refers to the medieval Forest or “Chase” of Rossendale, which encompassed approximately the same area as the modern district.

Rossendale is part of the Rossendale and Darwen constituency. 

All of Rossendale is unparished, except for Whitworth, which has a town council.

There are many groups and clubs in Rossendale & Hyndburn, which play an important part in the community. Here are some groups you can find on Rossendale & Hyndburn Online:

Groups & Club

AN 85-year-old Rossendale author has penned a picture of when ‘The Valley’ was golden and prosperous in the latter half of the 19th century.

Former journalist Chris Aspin has chronicled when local working men and women formed co-operative stores and cotton mills which left the more famous Rochdale Pioneers of the movement in the shade.

The lifelong Helmshore resident details how their efforts sparked global interest in the 136-page volume The Golden Valley – When Rossendale Led The World.

Mr Aspin, a former Lancashire Telegraph employee, has written more than 20 books about the borough, East Lancashire and the cotton industry. Aspin adds, “Rossendale during the second half of the 19th century attracted world-wide interest. It was there that working men and women formed not just co-operative stores but also co-operative mills which were by far the most successful in the cotton trade’s long history.”

“’The Golden Valley’ prospered prodigiously and if Rossendalians had heard of Karl Marx and his ‘Communist manifesto’ they would have laughed him off the stage.

A time of wealth

“At the very moment he was predicting revolution by the downtrodden poor, the co-operators were enjoying the fruits of their endeavours. So wealthy did this corner of Lancashire become that both British and foreign investors regularly sought finance there.

“Self-made men like Henry Whittaker Trickett, who was the world’s largest producer of slippers, and William John Porritt, who ploughed the fortune he made from making industrial felts into the new seaside resort of St Anne’s, exemplified the Valley spirit.”

Mr Aspin tells how even Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli was impressed by the Valley’s reputation and success.

He chronicles how laws reducing factory working hours gave local people the time to set up their co-operative mills and companies as the railways enabled them to bring in raw materials and send out finished products while supplying them with better food.

Churches and Chapels

Mr Aspin details the role chapels and churches played in Rossendale’s self-reliant success.

He said: “Almost all the money made by local enterprise was reinvested in the district and this growing wealth boosted the wellbeing of a largely contented population which believed progress would continue unabated.

“The masters built their mansions; the co-operators built mills and, along with several of the friendly societies, substantial houses that are still with us.

“The district had gained a much-envied reputation and the people who lived through the golden years had good reason to believe there was nowhere in Great Britain a more independent and progressive community.”