Burnley and District Historical Society latest talk from 'Footsteps' Wainwright editor
and live on Freeview channel 276
The illustrated lecture was presented by Nick Burton who has written several books on walking and local walks, and is the editor of “Footsteps” the magazine of the Wainwright Society.
Tom Leonard (1864-1948) was a Congregational minister in Colne whose Christian principles led to him taking actions to improve the lives of his parishioners.
Starting in 1891 he took local mill workers from the town on outdoor holidays in the countryside enabling them to get much needed fresh air and exercise. He created the Co-operative Holidays Association and the Holiday Fellowship and was a founder member of the Youth Hostels Association.
Tom Stephenson (1893-1987) grew up in Whalley and began his working life at the age of 13 in a local mill. After his first week at work he climbed Pendle Hill and contrasted the wide open countryside around him with the conditions in workplaces. This inspired him to campaign for better access to the countryside for working class people.
He championed the creation of National Parks and the right of working class people to roam, something which had previously been restricted by wealthy landowners protecting grouse shooting for the upper classes.
He became secretary of the Ramblers Association and as a journalist at the Daily Herald wrote an article in 1935 “A long Green Trail” describing linking the Pennines to Scotland. From this followed a 30 year campaign to create The Pennine Way which was officially opened in 1965. Tom wrote the first official guide.
Nick Burton together with Bob Sproule and in association with the Mid Pennine Arts Association have devised a 25 mile walking route “The Two Toms Trail” with three separate leaflets for walkers.
The Mid Pennine Arts Association are working to have plaques placed at key points along the route commemorating the Two Toms.
The next meeting of the society will be the Annual General Meeting on December 13th at St John’s Church hall, Ivy Street, at 2pm. Following the meeting there will be a short illustrated presentation by Denise North on the subject of “The Famous Christmas Truce of 1914”.