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Ambitious plans for Glossop fest

Plans were in full swing in preparation for the 1971 Glossop Festival, where it was set to be ‘one of the most ambitious projects ever tackled’ in the town.

On April 17, piped bands were planned to lead a costume carnival  parade to Dinting, where a Victorian transport ‘special’ with a real steam train was planned.

The train, arranged by the Bahama Steam Locomotive Society, would then puff and whistle into Glossop to lead a ‘vintage transport cavalcade’ ahead of the grand opening of the Festival Exhibition at Glossop School. 

The evening would come to a close with a costume Festival Ball in the Victoria Hall.

Each section of the planning committee were busy contacting each organisation and society in the borough to ‘sound out’ ideas for the upcoming festival, hoping to arrive at a framework plan the following year in 1970. 

Ideas for the exhibition were quickly pouring in, with the plan to contrast ‘old and new’ across life in the borough.

“The old might depict the ‘Howard’ period and projects being discussed are a recreation of Victorian Glossop, with a street, teashop and old time music hall,” detailed an article in The Chronicle. 

“The new will take us from the present into the future with modern transport, street design, computers, telecommunications and concern for the preservation of natural beauty.” 

The ideas were set to be pooled at a meeting to which every service and organisation involved was invited.

The summer would see a host of colourful events, including an arty day out in Manor Park, a Flower Festival produced by the Council of Churches, an open air jazz festival and even an impressive fireworks display.

November would bring a season of concerts and productions, with a big Gilbert and Sullivan show, a local massed band concert conducted by Harry Mortimer and an international performed set to take to the Glossop stage.

The plans were pipped to rival the centenary celebrations held in the town back in 1966.


Main image:

WILD WEST: Girls and boys at Chisworth Methodists dressed to impress for their Western Show.


Dateline from our files - what happened 50 years ago: 

  • The newly circulated seven-sided 50p coin was being met with ‘considerable criticism.’ The public were concerned the new coin was too similar to the new two shillings or ten pence piece.
  • St James Church in Whitfield was packed for public baptisms that were held once a month. Five babies were baptised - one of them being the child of the church organist and his wife.
  • The Glossop branch of the Cats’ Protection League raised £23 from efforts at their stall in Glossop Market. They were also looking for homes for some ‘lovely cats and kittens.’ 
  • Female workers at the Volcrepe factory in Glossop were sent home when a fire broke out among waste rubber on the ground floor. The blaze was extinguished by firemen in 30 minutes and there was little damage. 
  • Glossop Special Constable George Bowden was fined £5 when he admitted speeding on Mottram Road. “I am one of hundreds of motorists who feel the road should have a 40mph limit near the top,” he said. He admitted to driving at 42-45mph.
  • Glossop was on the receiving end of some surprisingly pleasant weather, despite many neighbouring areas suffering with fog and mist. Manor Park was reportedly ‘packed at weekend as though we were still in midsummer.’ 
  • Glossop Centre was getting so popular that the coffee bar was running short on seats! Members of the evening study groups found they had to stand up in the lounge and drink. 
  • The votes were pouring in for The Miss Reporter contest - with many flooding in from far and wide. One of the latest came from a soldier serving with a missile regiment in Germany. 
  • An experimental shoppers’ special bus service was being introduced between Simmondley and Glossop. 
  • A Mini Traveller car was found submerged in Tintwistle Reservoir. The number plates had been taken off and police were trying to find the owner by the engine and body numbers. 
  • A young man appeared at Glossop Magistrates’ Court and was fined £2 for stealing a pint glass. Seventeen-year-old Anthony Healey from Hattersley had stolen it from the Spread Eagle Hotel in Woolley Bridge.
  • A ME Kirkby wrote a strongly worded letter to the editor titled ‘We are not Martians’, after ill-feeling between Glossopians and newcomers to Gamesley. 
  • The clock of Christ Church, Tintwistle, had stopped working after the mechanism wore out. Vicar Rev TM Boultbee said it would cost £90 to repair.


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