GEOFF CRAMBIE: The days of Roughlee amusement park

This picture from the past is a wonderful village scene which is the once much-visited venue of the Roughlee amusement park.

Yes, this week’s nostalgic look-back photo was kindly given to me over a decade ago by the amicable well-known Roughlee postman and my former Royal Mail colleague, Stewart Bateman.

This superb 1920s scenic view shows just how popular the venue was - note on the right, the sign for the boating lake which was, for many years, the mill lodge for the old mill seen in the centre and which is today long demolished.

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In front of the mill are the amusement park’s swingboats which today sadly are also long gone and no longer here are the donkeys which gave rides to thousands of happy children over the years. And indeed happily, the building on the left top is still with us today, being the famous Bay Horse Inn whose landlords have included, Edgar Crabtree, during the 1940s and 1950s and, Ted Smith, during the 1960s.

The amusement park was run for decades by the affable Alfred Waine, followed by his son, the memorable, Maurice Waine, both still fondly remembered in the village today.

My own evocative memories of Roughlee are my dear mum and dad, back in the 1940s and 1950s, taking me for swingboat rides which were magical indeed and then, during the 1970s on a hot summer’s day, my dear wife Ruth would pack up a most tasty picnic and then Ruth, myself and our children, Shaun and Janette, would set off from our Lancaster Street home in Colne for a glorious countryside walk to Roughlee and its famous amusement park.

First up, a ride high in the summer sky for Shaun and Janette on those big much loved swingboats, followed by a trip to the boating lake and then our picnic full of goodies with lots of Tizer and cream soda pop.

They were truly days to treasure.

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