This page of the website is a space for villagers past and present to share information and the latest news on what’s happening in our community. If anyone has any recent photos (particularly seasonal photos) taken in and around the village which might be of interest to other villagers, please e-mail them to Yvonne Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will put them on the web site for others to enjoy.
The number of fish in the pond has increased dramatically in recent years so, to protect their habitat and maintain a healthy pond, the village committee contacted The Environment Agency for advice. After a thorough health check on sample fish taken during the autumn of 2015 an Agency officer trawled the pond and took away approximately 500 fish to stock ponds used by community projects teaching children how to fish. He advised that the remaining fish should now thrive and would need checking again in five years time.
He named some of the species of fish present as: Rudd, Roach, Crucian Carp and Perch. Crucian Carp are quite rare and for conservation purposes left all of this species in our pond.
Belthorn is a small village in Lancashire, with stunning views over the moors to the Ribble estuary and Fylde Coast to the west, and Pendle Hill to the east. It was originally a small, traditional coal mining and hand weaving community of approximately 220 houses, and it is situated on the edge of the West Pennine moors in Pennine Lancashire between Blackburn and Haslingden.
Belthorn is located about 3 miles (5km) southeast of Blackburn, just off the B6232, close to Junction 5 of the M65. The nearest main line rail station is at Blackburn, with a regular bus service from Blackburn, Haslingden and Rawtenstall. For details of public transport links, telephone Lancashire County Council’s TravelWise Information Line on 0870 608 2608.
Belthorn is one of the highest villages in Lancashire, rising from 275m above sea level in the north-west of the village to 300m in the south-east. The village acquired its name from the 1701 house named ‘The Bell in the Thorn’ where a bell placed in a thorn bush would be rung to summon a fresh horse to replace a tired one bringing a load up the hill. Most of the cottages are typical of weavers’ cottages built in the 19th century.
Situated on the edge of an escarpment, the weather and views can be dramatic ranging from hurricane force winds to still clear evenings with views to the southern Lake District and Isle of Man some 90 miles away. Living here requires a degree of pioneering spirit! The village was bypassed in the last century by the B6232 which winds up over the moors following a scenic route into Haslingden. Regrettably in recent years the use of this road has increased dramatically as many now use it as a short cut to the new M65 motorway. The increase in traffic has led to a spate of tragic accidents.
The origins of Belthorn are vague. Almost certainly there were small prehistoric settlements here but any traces have long since been erased by later activities. In recent history the village was a staging post for pack horse trains. In this era there was a thriving handloom industry evident by the style of the older cottages in the village. With the industrial revolution the main industry became coal and fire clay mining with many small drift mines being established at the foot of the escarpment and later, much larger and deeper shaft workings linking mines as far away as Oswaldtwistle. Despite this grim sounding industrial heritage there is little to see with most of the mine surface workings now leveled and returned to a natural state, grazed by sheep and cattle.
There is little industry in Belthorn now. In contrast to a hundred or so years ago most of the inhabitants commute to jobs as far away as Leeds and Manchester.
Syke Mill at the foot of the village was turned to carpet production, then furniture manufacture, and is now occupied by two companies involved in the fabrication of insulation materials. Unfortunately, the local Post Office and village store closed down in 2008 as part of a programme of Post Office closures. The commercial centre of the village now comprises of the community owned pub – The Dog Inn.
There is a small book containing photographs and information about the origins of Belthorn, which was written by the former Headmaster of Belthorn School, Mike Rothwell. The book has sadly now sold out and will not be re-printed but is available to download on the link provided on “The Belthorn Book” page of this website.
Numerous requests have been made for dog owners to be more responsible for any mess their dog makes in public areas such as pavements and on the Recreation Area which is an area for the children of the village to enjoy. The village’s various children’s football teams train on the Recreation Area and the dog waste is not only a health hazard to the children but also to all those who wish to enjoy the Recreation space.
Please could dog owners who walk their dogs please clean up the waste they produce so as to keep the areas free from dog mess. There are numerous dog bins in and around the village for the waste.
Regular incidents of dog owners not picking up after their pet, or allowing it to roam, can be reported anonymously to the Dog Warden on the number below.
If anybody notes any stray dogs or unsupervised dogs in the village these should also be reported to the local dog wardens either in Blackburn or Hyndburn:
Blackburn Dog Wardens 01254 585397 – Hyndburn Dog Wardens 01254 388111
TRAFFIC IN BELTHORN
Traffic through Belthorn is an on-going concern for villagers so although the text about the major hold ups through the village has been deleted, the photo of one of the incidents has been retained in the hope that our campaign – fronted by Councillor Peter Britcliffe, Leader of Hyndburn’s Conservative Party, aided by the village committee and many members of the community – has been successful and that we will never again experience such regular traffic congestion.
BELTHORN VILLAGE COMMITTEE
Belthorn has a village committee of volunteers who help address village issues and organise a range of community fund-raising events and activities throughout the year.
Recent minutes of meetings are available to download below.
The committee is in need of additional members who are able to devote time to get involved in village life, help maintain Belthorn’s village traditions and be involved in arranging social and environmental events. It would be great if the committee had enough willing and able members to arrange social events, especially now that the Dog Inn has opened to provide a perfect venue.
Please help us to help the village by contacting myself, committee secretary (Marianne Davies – email: email@example.com) or any committee member if you are interested in becoming involved, in any way, to help improve Belthorn village life for villagers of all ages.
Meetings are held in The Dog Inn on the first Wednesday of every month at 6.00pm. All are welcome to attend.
Current Committee Members are:
Tina Walker – Chair Judith Hamilton (Treasurer)
Marianne Davies (Secretary) Yvonne Brown
Cath McGurk Lesley Dunn
Graham Slater Sean Starkie
Please come along and spare any amount of time you can to volunteering and gain personal satisfaction from working to improve life in Belthorn and maintain is traditional, rural village environment.
Minutes of current and previous Committee meetings are available to read and download below to help you to keep up to date with the work of the Committee.
Also available for download are the annual accounts for the Village Fund.
Belthorn Committee fund-raising
The Committee is reliant upon donations and fund raising in order to continue putting on events for the benefit of the village and its residents. All donations go into Committee Funds and are accounted for in the Committee meetings’ minutes unless received at an event, in which case they are accounted for by the treasurer when reporting to the committee on the amounts received from the event.
If anyone would like to donate to the Belthorn Village Committee, all contributions towards village funds are gratefully received. The Belthorn Village Committee is the generic name for The Belthorn Village Hall Fund which is a registered charity. The Committee is run by volunteers who are villagers (or connected to the village) and donate their time and effort for the benefit of the village and its residents. Any monetary donations received will go towards future village events and projects.
Minutes of Belthorn Village Committee meetings:
THE BELTHORN BOOK
I am really pleased to have the kind permission of Mike Rothwell to reproduce his book about Belthorn on the website for you to download and read. The book has some wonderful photographs of Belthorn in days gone by, as well as some fascinating history and research done by Mike himself.
Unfortunately, all copies of the book have now been sold, so unless you can get hold of a second hand copy, this website is the only place where you can access it!
We decided to record past years’ scarecrows in the village Scarecrow competition for posterity! So welcome to the rogues’ gallery – what a handsome lot they are! If anyone knows the names and creators of those we don’t know, please contact us and we’ll include them! Images to follow
Most Belthorn residents will already know that the boundary between Hyndburn Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council areas runs through the centre of our village. You should be able to tell which Council area your home falls into by who you pay your Council Tax to and which Council empties your bins.
In the Hyndburn Council part of the village, some services (Education and Social Services, for example) are provided by Lancashire County Council, whereas in the Blackburn with Darwen Council part of the village, all local Council services are provided by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. This is because Blackburn with Darwen is what is known as a ‘unitary’ local authority, whereas Hyndburn is one of a number of district Councils which are included in the Lancashire County Council area. I hope this isn’t too confusing!
Anyway, depending on which part of the village you live in you may need to contact either Hyndburn Council or Blackburn with Darwen Council about services.
Details about all three Councils are included here so that you can contact whichever Council applies to your home, and depending on what service you are interested in.
The ‘Hyndburn’ part of the village falls within the St. Oswalds ward of the local Council, and within the Oswaldwtwistle township.
Who is my local Councillor?
Following the 22 May 2014 Local and European Elections. the following councillor was elected to the St Oswalds ward which covers Belthorn
Councillor Paul Thompson
UK Independence Party
07872 968 783
For more general information on services provided by Hyndburn Council, look on their website –
Lancashire County Council
There is one county councillor for Oswaldtwistle, and his details are set out below;
Councillor Peter Britcliffe
106 New Lane
Tel; 01254 381147
For more information about services provided by Lancashire County Council, look on their website –
Blackburn with Darwen Council
The part of the village which comes under Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council falls within the East Rural ward of the borough, for which there is one Councillor, as listed below. She was re-elected at the 22 May 2014 Local Election.
Councillor Julie Slater
19 Elswick Street
Darwen BB3 3DX
Mob: 077987 42030
Blackburn with Darwen Council Leader
Labour Councillor Mohammed Khan
Leader of the Council
48 Lancaster Place
Blackburn BB2 6JT
Tel: 01254 696935
For more information on services provided by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, look on their website –
Members of Parliament
To add to an already complicated situation, Belthorn has three Members of Parliament, as it is at the point where three parliamentary constituencies meet.
The northern end of the village, roughly from the War Memorial going out towards Guide, falls within the Blackburn constituency, which is served by Kate Hollern. She is in the Labour Party.
You can find out more about her including her contact and surgery details, through her website.
The right hand side of the village (same side as the Dog) going up the hill southwards from the War Memorial, comes under the Rossendale and Darwen consituency, which is served by Jake Berry MP. He is from the Conservative Party.
You can find out more about Jake Berry, including his contact and surgery details, through his website – to be advised soon.
The left hand side of the village as you travel southwards up the hill, mostly comes under the Hyndburn constituency, which is served by Sara Britcliffe MP from the Conservative Party.
You can find out more about Sara Britcliffe, including surgery and contact details, through the website – to be advised soon.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Local fireman Stephen Horrocks advised villagers that the Fire Service will attend villagers’ homes to install free smoke alarms and give fire safety advice. For further details or to book an appointment please contact Stephen on: firstname.lastname@example.org
The local Police can be contacted on 01254 222125. Please contact the Neighbourhood Policing Team for advice and guidance on 01254 222135, mobile: 07534 501300 or e-mail DarwenandRural.NPT@lancashire.pnn.police.uk but to report an ongoing crime or incident, you must ring 0845 125 3545.
Mobile Library Service
The mobile library now comes to Belthorn on a Thursday on a 2 week rota stopping at the following locations:
2.30pm – Top Fold
2.45pm – Rydal Mount
3.00pm – Dog Inn
It has a good selection of books, including children’s
Here is a selection of useful Belthorn related websites. If you would like to add to the list, please let us have your ideas by submitting the form on the Contact Us page.
On this site you will find the contact details for Belthorn local neighbourhood police officers.
The Prospects Foundation is a community based environmental charity which offers many environmental activities, courses, workshops and events. They also administer the windfarm’s environmental grant set up by the windfarm company to fund projects, that fit into their set themes, which would be of benefit to local Hyndburn communities. Belthorn Village Committee represents the village and attends meetings of this organisation as part of the Oswaldtwistle panel.
Hyndburn Green Spaces Forum is an environmental organisation which meets monthly with the aim of improving the borough’s green spaces, parks, villages etc. Belthorn Village Committee represents the village at meetings of this organisation.
This is wikipedia’s entry for Belthorn. True or false?
The above is a link to the Life and Times of Oswaldtwistle website – lots of interesting local content and photographs.