Post Reply
User avatar
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 89296
Joined: 23 Jan 2012, 12:01
Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley »


Over the years I have collected many old images of Barlick and you've seen many of them in my articles. I don't know whether it has ever struck you but in most of the pictures from around 1900 one thing stands out, the fact that if you go back and make a photograph of the same scene now there are many more trees. In fact some are impossible to do again because from the same viewpoint, the subject is entirely hidden by foliage on trees that have obviously grown since the original image was done. The picture I use this week is a good example. It is of the bandstand in Letcliffe Park and in it you have a further view beyond the subject of houses below the park. These are completely hidden today.
As I said in my last article, the two main factors leading to deforestation are change of land use and harvesting for fuel, both domestic and industrial. In the last century there has been relatively little change of use of land and wood is not the main domestic fuel. There is another factor, we value trees far more as elements of the landscape today and there are laws which govern whether trees can be felled or not. Many important trees have Preservation Orders attached to them. The result is that the trees have been left in peace for a century and what we see today is the result of these factors.
It's reasonable to assume from the amount of growth in the last century that if the town hadn't grown as it has and there was less development, a couple of centuries or more of growth would result in a significant forest, no less than the original Barnoldswick Wood. We even have evidence of how big trees can grow in Barlick. If you walk up the path that leads from the bottom of West Close Road to Westfield Drive and look to your left as you climb the slight rise you will see in one of the back gardens at the end of Colin Street a very large tree stump. Until it became unsafe and had to be lopped this was one of the biggest ash trees I have ever seen. You can see from the girth of what remains that it was enormous. In the days when we had the old Barnoldswick Wood there must have been many trees that size and it becomes clear why we were noted as a source of very large timbers.
So there you are, in an uncertain world I can promise you that in another 200 years Barlick could have a new claim to fame exceeding even Barlick in Bloom! We could be famous for having the largest trees in the area. Who knows, we might even become as important a source of large timbers as we were in the 13th century when Johanne le Tourneur was felling trees and making carts for Bolton Priory.


The bandstand in Letcliffe Park in 1920. You can't see the houses today.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!
Post Reply

Return to “Stanley's View”