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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


previews, reviews, interviews, and recommendations with Steve Cooke




Since 1894, the Castleton Literary and Scientific Society has presented meetings and lectures maintaining the early society constitution:

“The object shall be to arrange lectures, essays, and discussions that will enable members to be in touch with modern thought and criticism in all branches of general culture and scientific research.”

The Society was founded as the Castleton Wesleyan Mutual Improvement Society in 1894. Meetings were held in the church schoolroom with a view to improving adult education, and by 1897 the Society had become the Castleton Literary and Scientific Society - reflecting its widening appeal. The Society moved to the Carnegie Library (pictured) after its opening in 1906 providing lectures and discussion during the Winter months. Meetings have continued throughout except for a short period during World War II.

Following closure of Castleton Library in 2007, meetings are now held in the Castleton Community Centre on Friday evenings at 7.00 pm from October to March, together with a Christmas lunch and lunch at the end of the lecture season.

2023 - 2024 programme their 129th Year

29 Sept 2023

Presidents Evening - Egyptian Adventures.

Mrs Diane Cornforth

13 Oct 2023

The history of theatre in Manchester looks at the various buildings and characters and the

plays and themes of this rich and unique tradition.

John Alker

27 Oct 2023

The history of the whole area we now know Castleton, from Sudden to the Norton Grange. Including the development of houses, industry, shops and churches from early 1700's to the present. Leon Macleod

​10 Nov 2023

The Inn at the Top. This is a laugh a minute tour of the quirks and foibles, highs and lows of running Britain back in the1970s and 1980s.

Neil Hanson

24 Nov 2023

"Uncle Percy and the Cats Eyes" Percy Shaw OBE was an English inventor and

businessman. He patented the reflective road studs or "Cats Eyes" in 1934. Diane Shaw

1 Dec 2023

Christmas Lunch

8 Dec 2023

"it's behind you" A peek into the history of pantomime. Mark is the author of three books and now combines running a successful retail business with regular broadcasting for Your Manchester a weekly online arts programme.

Mark Llewellin

​12 Jan 2024

Book Evening - read from your favourite text.

​26 Jan 2024

Tales of a Customs Officer. Hear Brian Topping tell of his many years during the

1970's and 80's as a serving Customs Officer in the former department of HM Customs and Excise, at Heathrow Airport. He will provide an entertaining journey through the many situations he came across when dealing with passengers and his involvement investigating smugglers.

Brian Topping

9 Feb 2024

China - some roads less travelled.

Adrian Cornforth

​23 Feb 2024

Writers on tap creative writing group performance.

Val Chapman

​1 Mar 2024

Annual Lunch

8 Mar 2024

AGM and Quiz night - all welcome

Unless otherwise stated meetings are at Castleton Community Centre at 7pm on the date shown

For further details contact: Diane Cornforth 01706 650343, Barry Hobson 07724135099,

Membership £25 per year, Non-members £3 per evening.

Castleton Literary and Scientific Society, Castleton Community Centre, Manchester Road, Castleton, Rochdale OL11 3AF


PREVIEW By Dr Joe Dawson

Renovation of the town hall is proceeding and exciting prospects are much in the news as the project comes nearer to fruition. One aspect has not been to the fore, that is the renowned JJ Binns organ that has dominated the wall opposite the Magna Carta mural. It is important that it is not overlooked.

ORTOA (Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside Organists’ Association) has been promoting organ music since 1908. Principally Rochdale-based, it has organised celebrity organ recitals on Rochdale Town Hall instrument, featuring some of the organ world’s finest exponents.

The ORTOA committee, as voluntary custodians, waited anxiously for the protective coverings to come off so that the instrument can enjoy some necessary restoration itself and resume its rightful place. Assurances have been made that the necessary work will proceed soon and hopefully the region’s music lovers will be further informed.

Meanwhile the ORTOA continues to use the opportunity to focus on other significant instruments in its patch, such as at St Chad’s Rochdale Parish Church and St Paul’s Royton Parish Church.

Saturday 2nd September at 3 pm DAVID GREALY (Leeds) plays the wonderful Lewis organ in ALBION UNITED REFORMED CHURCH, STAMFORD STREET, ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE, OL6 6QQ. David comes with great experience in performing in Ireland, Britain and Germany.


Friday 01 September

Promises and Lies – The UB40 Years

The world's premier show in celebration of ‘The Kings of Reggae’ – experience all the hits from The UB40 Years culminating in over 100 million record sales.

Fronted by international Ali Campbell tribute Andy Bagnall plus a line-up of handpicked, supremely talented musicians.

In this reggae pop extravaganza expect to hear ‘Homely Girl’, ‘Red Red Wine’, ‘One In Ten’, ‘If It Happens Again’, ‘(I Cant Help) Falling In Love With You‘, ‘Kingstone Town’, ‘Many Rivers To Cross’, ‘Higher Ground’, ‘Cherry Oh Baby’, ‘Sing Our Own Song’, ‘Rat in Mi Kitchen’, ‘King’, ‘Don’t Break My Heart’, ‘So Here I Am, ‘I Got You Babe‘ and many, many more.

Tickets from £25.50

Phone: Middleton Arena 0300 303 8633 



Middleton Arena, LCpl Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton M24 1AG

Thursday 31 August

Chatty Café

Come and join Living Well at the Chatty Café every Thursday from 10.30am - 12.30pm at Bean Café inside Number One Riverside.

Most of us experience the feeling of loneliness and isolation at some point in our lives.

Have a chat, take a break, connect or let go of a worry.

Phone: 01706 392210


10.30am - 12.30pm

Bean Café, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU

31 August 2023 - 02 September 2023

Visit Fireground Museum

Join us at Fireground this week to discover Greater Manchester's firefighting story.

Fire museum attractions are on show inside the museum including our collection of historic firefighting artefacts from the 18th century to present day, plus home-made refreshments in the new Fireground Café, and souvenirs from our fantastic new gift shop! We have a wide choice ranging from toddler to collector.

Fireground is open to visitors on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10am - 4pm.

Under 4s are free, Children (aged 4-15) and Concessions £5, Adults £7 and Family (4 people) £20.

Phone: Fireground 01706 341219

Fireground, Maclure Road, Rochdale OL11 1DN

Saturday 02 September

Wardle Village Fete & Fun Dog Show

Fun filled day with Roch Valley Radio, cocktail cart, Dolly's Catering van, singers, dancers, Alwood Donkeys, welly wanging, 3-legged racing, wheelbarrow racing, a huge variety of stalls with vendors from the local area. Lots of fun for all the family!

Fun Dog Show sponsored by Country Kitchen.

Fun classes for all the family with goody bags and rosettes to 4th place. Rosette and trophy for Best in Show and rosette for Reserve.

The Mayor of Rochdale will be officially declaring the event open.

Come along and have a bit of fun and laughter.


Phone: Michele Way 07748 988242



Wardle Recreation Ground, Alpine Drive, Rochdale OL12 9NL

Saturday 02 September

The Take That Experience

As Take That celebrate over 30 years as the UK's number one boy band, The Take That Experience mark over a decade together as their most popular and recognised tribute act.

With acclaimed vocal performances, stunning replica costumes and iconic dance routines,

The Take That Experience recreate the magic of Take That live on stage with their ‘Greatest Hits Tour’.

This incredible show features hit after hit from Take That’s career spanning three decades – from classic 90s hits through to their most recent triumphs. Songs include Pray, Relight My Fire, Patience, Shine, These Days, Rule The World and Amore.

With a record-breaking 12 number ones and 28 Top 40 hits, the Take That catalogue is more than enough to keep you coming Back For Good again and again. The Take That Experience pays tribute to Gary Barlow, Howard Donald & Mark Owen, setting the scene.

for an electrifying night.

To book your tickets please visit the link below or call the Box Office on 0300 303 8633.

= Tickets from £27

Phone: Middleton Arena 0300 303 8633 



Middleton Arena, LCpl Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton M24 1AG

Sunday 03 September

Friends of Hare Hill Park Band Concert - Blackley Brass Band

Kick back and relax to the sound of a brass band in Hare Hill Park.

Refreshments will be on sale. Please bring your own chair or picnic blanket as we only have a limited number of chairs available.

All these events are possible thanks to volunteers who give up their time to make them happen. If you would like to get involved and help with the events in Littleborough, please submit your details here:


Phone: LEAF 07931 992393

3pm - 5pm

Hare Hill Park, Hare Hill Road, Littleborough OL15 9HE

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