Memories of old Newchurch

Collection recaptures days gone by*


THOUGH Newchurch-in-Rossendale has lost most of its 17th and 18th century cottages and houses, it still has the atmosphere of a village. Standing on the hill above Rawtenstall, it now has a new, modern look. But its links with the past are not forgotten.

The village butcher's shop, which has served the needs of the small community for three generations and is now run by the two Rothwell brothers, Herbert and Dick, carries out a dual function. The youngest of the brothers, Mr. Dick Rothwell, collects old photographs, letters and Press cuttings about the village and its history. The cuttings and letters go into a giant scrapbook he has compiled, and the photographs are hung on the wall of the shop.

He began the collection 10 years ago when the bulldozers arrived in the village to flatten the old, condemned buildings. "So much of the history of Rossendale is tied up here in the village of Newchurch that I felt this was a job well worth doing." he said.

Newchurch had its origin in the old turnpike which ran from Whalley. through Haslingden to Rochdale.

The first building was the "Newchurch" in 1511. It was first, a chapel of ease to Whalley and was rebuilt in 1561, 1753 and in 1824 to its present form. Newchurch was then thriving, with Rawtenstall and Bacup mere villages. Mr. Rothwell's hobby combines the history of the village and of the football team centred on Newchurch - Rossendale United.

"New pictures keep turning up with more to add to the history - so the scrapbook grows month by month," he said.


One of the photographs from Mr. Rothwell's collection is shown on the right. It shows Church Street. Newchurch, as it was 60 years ago. Standing almost in the centre of the picture, beside the group of children, is Mrs. Ivy Entwistle who still lives in the street today. On the far left of the picture is Mrs. Entwistle's mother.

As a comparison, our second photograph shows Church Street as it is now and Mrs. Entwistle now 73 is pictured standing where she stood for that first 'snap' of so many years ago.

Lancashire Evening Telegraph

29th April 1970

Mrs. Entwistle (right of centre) in Church Street 60 years ago.

Church Street as it now, with Mrs. Entwistle standing as before.

*The view photo collection here