Social history

Alan Fowler; 01422 842828;
3rd Friday in the month, 10.15, TCRC room

Alan Fowler; 01422 842828;
3rd Friday in the month, 10.15, TCRC room

Social History Group will be discussing Walter Greenwood ‘s autobiography with reference to the ‘ Great War’ when he began working in a pawnbrokers . The group will continue its reading of autobiography ‘s by reading the life of Neville Cardus who grew up in Manchester .

If anyone wanted to join the Group this might be a good moment. New members are welcome .

Let’s go

Linda Cook; 01706 817254; (Available to All Members). Various locations, phone Convenor for details.

Linda Cook; 01706 817254; (Available to All Members). Various locations, phone Convenor for details.

We organise outings every 4 to 6 weeks, with a break over holiday periods. Our group is open to the whole membership and we try to select diverse places of interest so as to appeal to as many people as possible. We usually travel by coach, leaving Todmorden around 9.00/9.30a.m, arriving back approx. 6.00/7.00pm, depending on traffic, but occasionally travel by train. Our trips are announced at the monthly meetings where booking forms are available, and also sent by email around the members group. Bookings are taken on a first come basis.

48 members recently enjoyed the first Let’s Go trip of 2019 to The World of Glass at St. Helens.  Following refreshments we were shown the Pilkington Crystal Collection and the St Helens Heritage Collection containing rare pieces from the Ancient Egyptians Romans and Chinese.  We watched a   special effect film explaining the story of glass making, and ventured beneath the furnace of the Victorian cone building and explored the underground tunnels to experience what life was like in a Victorian glass factory.  Probably the highlight of the day was watching the age old craft of glass blowing by one of their team of talented glassblowers.    There is an art collection on display along with contemporary pieces, and a magnificent chandelier which once hung in Manchester Airport.

Wednesday July 18th 2018


On a slightly cooler day of late 53 members thoroughly enjoyed a visit to Holker Hall in the Lake District, the private home of Lucy Cavendish and her husband Tor McLaren. The estate is only a short distance from Morecambe Bay with the Lakeland hills in the background.

The house dates from the early 1600 and has passed by inheritance to the present owners. Following a disastrous fire in 1871 the new wing was rebuilt in the neo-Elizabethan Gothic style. There are no ropes or barriers in the house and visitors can wander at leisure. The craftsmanship in the house is superb and the cantilever grand staircase was hand carved by the estate workers with much of the furniture brought from the Chatsworth estate after the fire. Many royal visitors have been entertained here. The views from nearly all of the windows are outstanding. The award winning formal gardens are stunning; the Great Holker Lime was voted one of Britain’s grandest trees with a girth of 7-9 metres.

We departed in the afternoon for a short visit to Grange over Sands where we could have a stroll up the prom and round the duck pond and refreshments before returning home.

tower          G O Sands



Thursday 22 March 2018: Cheshire Falconry

P1020578 (2)Another reasonable day greeted members as we set off to visit the Cheshire Falconry at the Blakemere Village Outlet.

Robert, the expert, who “flew” the birds of prey for us, explained about each in detail; their origins, hunting techniques, and the care needed to keep them in condition. These birds fly for the public for only 6 months in the year, needing to rest and replenish the oils on their feathers. The cutest, and noisiest, was the Barn or Screech Owl: and it did !

After lunch members moved on to the Lion Salt Museum , just a few miles away. This efficiently run establishment had our guides waiting for us, as we arrived. The guides explained in detail about Romans finding salt, the geology of the area and how the industry grew. At its height, there were some 17 salt manufacturers in the area. The industry became so important railway branch lines were laid to carry the finished product away. This Museum has won various awards. The enthusiasm and expertise of the staff was evident.


French Conversation

Anne Foster; 01706 814623;
2.00 to 4.00pm, alternating between the Fire Station Community Room and the upstairs room in the Fielden Centre. Pease contact Anne.

Anne Foster; 01706 814623;
2.00 to 4.00pm, alternating between the Fire Station Community Room and the upstairs room in the Fielden Centre. Pease contact Anne.

A smallish group of people with some spoken French who wish to improve their conversational skills by participating in an informal group,covering topics which are of practical use or of interest to the participants.

IMG_20161026_140932                              OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Creative Writing Group

Barbara Griffiths; 01706 876984;
2nd and 4th Thursdays, every month. 2.00 – 4.00pm, TCRC room.

Barbara Griffiths; 01706 876984;
2nd and 4th Thursdays, every month. 2.00 – 4.00pm, TCRC room.

2017 was very much a good year for the Creative Writing Group as we gained some new members who not only fitted into our close knit group really well but also brought with them some new ideas and some different styles of writing. Our topics for the year have been wide and varied and, although we are usually all writing to the same topic each month, we are often offered prose, poetry, reporting, play script or monologue.

A selection of the topics covered last year included: –

Throw Out The Old/Sweet Seventeen   The Rocket Ship/Interview  Celebrations/Showers, Flowers And Fools   A Fairytale/ May Or May Not    Fear/Swinging And Sliding    Just Passing The Time Of Day/Misunderstanding  Missing/Absentmindedness     The October Revolution       The Plot/Why Didn’t I Say Something?


“On  The Spot” activities included writing poems, descriptions of characters, places or objects, writing from a story start or to a given ending and developing lateral thinking. Many of these activities caused some of us to step out of our comfort zone but we all agree, at the end of each session, that it has been both satisfying and good fun even if it has stretched us somewhat!

Barbara Griffiths (Convenor)

This is a collaborative/co-operative group, comprising people who write in poetry or prose for any reason/at any level. There are about fifteen of us, with a core of seven or eight. The first anthology has recently been published.


Topics explored so far include: The Dance, Rights, Cream, Pen, Local Current Affairs, Red Herrings, The Warmest Season, The Argos Catalogue, Christmas. More to come!

We are pleased to announce the release of our new book On TheWriteLines, which is available  from at the price of £7.99p plus post and packing.

Concert party

Rita Olley; 01706 819926;
Friday, 2.00 – 4.00pm, Various locations

Rita Olley; 01706 819926;
Friday, 2.00 – 4.00pm, Various locations

Do you like to “sing along” but never thought of joining a choir?

Do you like to trip the light fantastic but thought you weren’t “strictly” material?

Do you like a good laugh even if the joke isn’t that funny?

Do you like to make people smile?  

Have you ever thought of joining the Senior Moments Concert Party? No talent needed, just a wish to bring joy and fun to the residents of care homes.

Concert Christmas

We meet most Fridays 2pm to 4pm for rehearsals.

Practical Art

Wendy Coates; 01706 344821;
and Mike Peace;
Alternate Fridays, 11.00am – 1.30pm, Fielden Centre

Wendy Coates; 01706 344821;
and Mike Peace;
Alternate Fridays, 11.00am – 1.30pm, Fielden Centre

We have had a busy year, with rising numbers in the group. We now have thirty two members and if everyone came one Friday, we would be sitting on the windowsills at the Fielden! We also have another new associate convenor, Corinne Roberts, who brings her long experience in Art teaching so generously to the group. She joins Mike Peace as the second Professional artist to teach the class.

We have had a varied programme, as usual, from how to use our own photos in paintings, adjusting the composition by using framing, to technical lessons on aerial perspective and strategies with watercolour. We looked at painting perfect watercolour skies with Sue Hayter and drawing techniques with Mike. Corinne introduced us to the delights of Oil pastels, one session devoted to using them as resists. Two new media, Inktense and Scraperboard have been experimented with and we have used Acrylics as well as watercolours. As a fun last session before Christmas, we painted silk scarves in the dipping method and had a Jacob’s Join party.

In this New Year we hope to introduce everyone to the delights of block and mono printing( when we can assemble the equipment needed!  ) and also to mixed media as used in a more abstract approach.

At the general meeting in March, we have the five minute slot to explain what the Practical Art class is all about and hope to show the large mural we produced on Todmorden and the surrounding area, as well as some of the other wonderful pictures painted by our talented members We may also have our own exhibition, if we can find a suitable venue in town and organise a couple of visits to art galleries, as requested in our survey of what people wanted from their group and how they saw the Practical Art going forward in the next year or so. We are also setting up a library system so members can borrow books and videos from our increasing store. Roy Harfield, who with Liz, has  just downsized and so has been ‘ considering’ what to keep, has generously donated many beautiful picture frames from his days as a professional photographer, to sell as a boost to Practical Art funds. We may use the money raised to buy equipment for group use or put it towards a Life Study model or an outside demonstration.

The practical Art Group have been trying our hand at drawing and painting reflective surfaces. We are also holding a sketchbook competition to inspire members to use one throughout the summer and this will be judged later in the year.Our group is now full and people wishing to join us will go on a waiting list.

In the words of Clive Dunn “Don’t panic!”, we have Mike to lead us gently into topics and I think you’ll find it interesting and fun to look at other ways of seeing and painting.


our combinedIMG_1331

effort making 

this splendid 

wall hanging


In July, weather permitting, we hope to have a painting session outside as we did last year.

Concentration !
Concentration !

artists 1artists 2

Art Appreciation / History

Mary Findon; 01706 814022;
1st Thursday of the month, 2.00 – 3.30 pm, Fielden Centre

Mary Findon; 01706 814022;
1st Thursday of the month, 2.00 – 3.30 pm, Fielden Centre

Colony Art Gallery in Rochdale.

The group was treated to some fantastic art and  the chance to talk to Anthony and Richard about the work on display as well as hot drinks and much better biscuits than we usually get at our meetings.

Art Appreciation at Colony Art colony art visit

We were able to get much closer to the work than is usually possible in the galleries we visit.

colony art work

In addition we could go into Richard’s (Fitton) studio as well even if we had be careful to avoid getting covered in paint!

richard fittons studio

Summery of Activities 2017

The group meets once a month.  There were four visits out in 2017.  We went to The Haworth Gallery in Accrington to see their Tiffany glass collection in February and followed this up with a visit to John Ditchfield’s Studio on The Fylde in May.  August saw the group at The Hepworth in Wakefield to see several exhibitions including the Howard Hodgkin exhibition ’Painting India’.  Then in November it was the newly reopened Leeds City Art Gallery with exhibitions ranging from the 20th century radical sculptor Joseph Beuys to the sketches of the 19th century water-colourist Joseph Cotman.

The remaining meetings were held in Todmorden and included visiting speakers:  local ceramist/artist Gary Thomas speaking about his work on paper and Angela Jarman speaking about her Aunt Peggy the famous botanical artist Margaret Mee.    Group members gave presentations on a range of topics including The Mosaics of Ravenna, The Radical Eye exhibition of Elton John’s photographic collection, Photographers different approaches to photographing people, Chagall’s stained glass, the glass worker Sam Herman, Art That Works.  Many of the group turned up for a talk on ‘Yarns – Is Knitting an Art Form?’  wearing red hats or scarves and some knitted during the talk.  We were also introduced to an image of a knitted full size red Ferrari in another talk on The Art of Knitting.  One of the highlights of the year was delivery of a piece of ‘performance art’ during a short talk on Dadaism.

We started the year by viewing and discussing a DVD on Auerbach and finished the year with our annual quiz which ended with several tie break questions to decide which team would receive the ‘wooden spoon’ prize.IMG_4203 prize giving at art appreciation talk

This group enjoys a variety of activities including:

  • Visits to exhibitions and galleries
  • Attending lectures
  • Viewing and discussing videos / DVD’s on art-related topics
  • Discussing individual artists or artistic movements
  • Others that develop along with the group.

The group will not restrict itself to paintings but may also cover photography, sculpture, architecture etc. dependent on member’s interests.