52 residents # 42 Proud

There are many Springhill residents who have cause to be proud:

EH Holden, the second headmaster of Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, was doubtless proud of many of his students.

Many parents would be proud of their children, often the first in their families to go to university.

Near-resident Jim Meadowcroft would have been proud of his snooker career.

Rev Thomas Jenkins would have been proud of those in his congregation who wrestled with their faith when times were difficult.

Rev James Barton Turner, pastor of Sion Baptist, would have been proud of those in his congregation who objected to conscription on conscientious grounds.

Jack Watkins who was born to a long line of cotton weavers, left school aged 14 in 1942 with no qualifications, took a job in an office, rose to be Company Secretary (of Riley's snooker, another link between Springhill and snooker), sat his bar exams but never practised as a barrister, did a BA in music and studied theology in the Methodist Church. Amongst other things. Pictured here c 1965.


John Watkins 2 640

52 residents # 41 Newest

The 'newest' property in the Springhill area, New Croft House, wasn't expected to be completed by this time but after planning permission was granted in February 2020 there was an expectation that work would be progressing over the summer. Well covid, and possibly other issues, put paid to that and seven months later the only progress is half a dozen trees felled, a wall dug out and three patches of the lane edge cleared of grass. These latter are rapidly recolonising, as nature is wont to do.

In the meantime the expectation is that it will look something like this.


front elevation

52 residents # 40 Oldest

The oldest surviving building in Springhill is Polefield Cottage, dated 1642.

polefield front

datestone Polefield

52 residents # 39 Should be a Movie

I am not a movie person but offer a couple of suggestions:

- The story of 2020 and covid from the point of view of a local community. I'm sure a good screenwriter could do something with that, although thankfully Springhill has been pretty well unaffected to date - long may that continue.

- The story of the WW1 German airship which got lost and dropped a couple of bombs over the area - one as Heightside and one at Lea Bank. Apparently the pilot thought the River Irwell was the Rochdale Canal and that he was heading into Manchester. More details can be found from links on this page.

- I suspect there is a film in the life of Charles Patrick somewhere. He lived in various places in the UK, emigrated to Canada where he served in the cavalry reserves, somehow found his way to Rochdale, exaggerated (probably) his overseas service for home advantage, inspected factories, hunted, won prizes for his pigs, owned loads of land and married into loads more, had more than one brush with the Chancery (and other courts), was involved in local politics, endowed schools and churches and generally didn't give a damn.

52 residents # 38 On the Map

This is the 1 km square containing Springhill from the 1891 OS map. A walk covering this area with old and modern photographs is linked here.


one square C19 600