GEOFF CRAMBIE: Alkincoates Park tree planting in Second World War

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It’s back in time 70 years this week with an enigmatic picture from circa 1941. Yes, here during those long dark days of the Second World-War, we can see a happy group of children from Primet Junior School planting a tree at the top of Alkincoats Park.

The mystery of this wartime photo is the significance of these Colne school pupils actually planting a tree (silver birch perhaps?) during World War Two?

The young girl in the trendy beret to the right of the tree (note all 16 youngsters are all wearing headgear) is Mary Hartley, whose daughter, Susan Driver, says her Mum, now aged 81, can remember the tree planting occasion as a most happy day out with her school-friends in the park. Mary would go on to marry Jim Ellis, and set up their home on Burnley Road, where they still live to this very day.

The Alkincoats Park estate including the now tragically lost mansion hall, was sold (92½ acres) to Colne Borough Council by Colonel John R. Parker exactly 90 years ago in 1921, for the sum of £24,082! The bargain of the century.

Today, the park and woodland have magnificent flora and fauna due to some wonderful hard-working and dedicated volunteers who deserve a huge bouquet. Take a bow, Carol Riley, and all your woodland colleagues.

Towering oak, sycamore, horse chestnut and beech trees echo with the sweet sound of willow-warbler, goldfinch and songthrush. Ancient yew and elm trees see gyrating grey squirrels on high while red admiral and meadow-brown fluttering butterflies dance among the stunning blue forget-me-nots and sublime red campion.

It is a true wildlife haven for every one of us.