Working with the Pendle witches
Published: 18th Aug 2012 15:43:38
The story of the Pendle witch trials helps bring in over £85m to the local economy each year, according to council figures.
The town is littered with references to the 1612 trials which resulted in 10 people being hanged for witchcraft.
They have spawned many commercial spin offs today - including the name of an express bus service to Manchester and a brand of beer.
But not everyone wants to bask in the area's association with the trials. The Bishop of Burnley campaigned against a giant artwork installation on Pendle Hill to mark the anniversary of the trials.
But there are some who make a living from the town's notorious history.
Maureen Stopforth, 72, runs the Witches Galore shop Newchurch-in-Pendle.
She said: "Every day is different. I get people coming in from all over the world - I've had people from Russia to Australia visit and even a Canadian couple on their honeymoon."
She said Americans in particular are fascinated by the area's heritage.
"I think they're intrigued because they haven't got our history and when they come here they love it because the countryside is so stunning and unspoilt.
"They say it is like stepping back in time."
The shop and tearoom sells witch memorabilia ranging from crystals to cards and handmade models of witches. Mrs Stopforth added: "A lot of customers collect them - one woman has a collection of over 300."
Her best seller is Robert Neill's book Mist Over Pendle. "I can't be without that book; it flies off the shelf.".
Neil McDonald, 50, has been running tours for nine years with his 15-seater minibus.
Even now he said the hairs on the back of his neck stand up when he traces the gruelling journey the witches made from Pendle to their trial at Lancaster Castle in 1612.
"I still get an eerie feeling when I take people on the journey over the tops," he said.
"They (the witches) will have been exhausted, hungry and frightened. They probably knew they were being dragged to their death.
"I love anything to do with cults or anything that is hidden.
"And the people who come on the tour are the same. They love the story but then it has all ingredients of a blockbuster novel."
He said his favourite part of his 10-hour tour is at St Mary the Virgin Church in Gisburn, where a cast iron unmarked grave is rumoured to be Jennet Preston's.
Author of Wardstone Chronicles Joseph Delaney, from Preston, was so fascinated by the Pendle witches he devoted two of his best-selling books to them.
The Spooks series are all set in a mythical Lancashire, which he calls County, and he decided "to confront the Pendle Witches" in the fourth book, the Spook's Battle.
He invented his own version of Pendle witches because "otherwise I would have been a prisoner of the historical events".
"The trials really stimulated my imagination," he said, "and [Pendle Hill] too casts a spell over me with its brooding presence."
He said the Spook's Battle is his favourite book from the series.
"I discover my plots and often they need a lot of re-drafting to achieve a sound structure but that was the exception.
"It flowed from my imagination as if it already existed."
Mr Delaney often does talks in Lancashire schools and said children are "fascinated by the fact that the events happened so close to home".
At 00:01:17 in BusinessThe UK has edged up the global rankings in a major annual economic survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
At 23:56:35 in HeadlinesTwo US men who spent three decades in prison for rape and murder, one of them on death row, have been released after DNA evidence proved their innocence.
At 23:19:39 in SportBritain's Andy Murray is relishing the prospect of facing world number one Novak Djokovic in a US Open night session.
At 22:55:30 in SportManager Gordon Strachan admits Scotland are in a battle for second spot as they prepare to kick off their campaign to reach the 2016 European Championships.
At 22:40:28 in HeadlinesA British hostage is among those being held by Islamic State militants, Number 10 has confirmed.
At 22:22:11 in SportOlympic track cycling champion Laura Trott has left the Wiggle-Honda road racing team and signed for British outfit Matrix Fitness Vulpine.
At 22:21:45 in SportChampions Cliftonville surrendered top spot in the Irish Premiership as a result of being by Linfield.
At 21:57:38 in SportGael Monfils dug deep to beat seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov and reach the US Open quarter-finals.
At 21:49:53 in SportBallymena bounced back from Friday's defeat at Glenavon by narrowly beating Institute at the Showgrounds.
At 21:45:54 in SportRoss County chairman Roy MacGregor says Patrick Kluivert remains in contention to become the Staggies' new manager.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Working with the Pendle witches [Online] (Updated 18th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1446974/Working-with-the-Pendle-witches [Accessed 3rd Sep 2014]
News In Other Categories
Apple has confirmed that some celebrities' iCloud accounts were broken into, but says it has found no evidence that this was caused by a breach of its security systems.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
A man has been found guilty of bombarding a Labour MP with abusive messages on Twitter after she supported a feminist campaign.
Britain's Andy Murray is relishing the prospect of facing world number one Novak Djokovic in a US Open night session.