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Burnley & Pendle AGM



Dear Brethren

As the new Masonic season is upon us, I have a simple message which I would like us all to consider and then carry forward in all that we do – let’s make it a good one.
Every season is not just another season. It is an opportunity first and foremost to enjoy ourselves and enjoy our Freemasonry, because when we do just that so much good happens as a consequence.

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a positive attitude and a drive to make every meeting and every member count, so ensuring ‘retention’ is more than just a word

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a commitment not to miss that next meeting or the practice for it and us all contributing to making it the best ceremony that it can be

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a need to become more involved, to take on that bit of work in a ceremony, to want to be an active part of the team

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a confidence to speak openly about our membership with non-Masons and make ‘recruitment’ also more than just a word

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a desire to visit our neighbouring Lodges and halls, to support our events and make sure that a Brother you have never met becomes a Brother you want to meet again

  •  With fun and enjoyment comes a better understanding of the charities that we support – especially at this time the RMBI and the ELMC. Nobody is an expert in either and there is a new aspect to discover every day about their amazing work and another reason to keep supporting them.

    Brethren, fun and enjoyment are just as infectious as boredom and apathy. A lot of the time it is all about choice. Let’s make our membership of Freemasonry mean even more this season by us all simply making the most of it. It doesn’t cost you any more money but the benefits are priceless.

    I look forward to seeing you all in the coming months and together, making this season the best yet. Let’s make it a good one.

    Yours fraternally,

    WBro Martin P. Roche, PSGD

    Assistant Provincial Grand Master – Northern Area




"We are now some 19 months away from the end of our RMBI 2015 Festival and it is worth just pausing to remember who we are trying to assist and why.
There still seems to be some confusing messages about our Festival and who we are helping. The simple thing we all need to focus on is that the beneficiaries of your kindness are our own Brethren and their families. They are not strangers. They are not a group of people who all live in the south of England. They are members of our own Province. They live in our own Ecclesholme as well as living in any one of the other 16 RMBI homes. They are members of our own extended family whom we have never had the pleasure of meeting. More importantly, never had the joy of appreciating how our kindness, how our generosity, how our commitment to them has done more than help them. And we need to be very, very clear on this. For all of them it has changed their lives. But changed them in a very fundamental way. I am not speaking about giving them something extra, a benefit. It is something far more profound. We are giving them something that you and I take for granted: quality of life and above all else, something that has no price, that we all expect for ourselves and our loved ones – dignity.

The RMBI may have provided the services, the infrastructure to make that happen, but you have done it. You have made it happen. You have changed and improved the lives of people you will never know with your money in a way which may have a monetary value, but possess a worth in human terms which is priceless. On a daily basis you are changing peoples’ lives.

As Freemasons through our Festival we are given the amazing opportunity to change peoples’ lives. The lives of a unique extended family which only a fraternity such as ours can be privileged to affect.

Every day and with every pound you are touching and improving a life. That means that every pound counts. And for every pound we divert away from this vital work, we diminish the benefit we are imparting.

I therefore implore you. We have 19 months left and in that time, you may only have one installation left to make a difference through your charitable giving. So simply reflect on what I have written and consider in this last, final push to make all your giving count towards our extended family within the RMBI. Just for one year. Yes, we all have our favourite charities, me included. I would gladly give every penny I will ever possess to The Stroke Association if I thought it would help prevent another loss like the one I experienced. And you all have the same stories. But as a Freemason, I balance that against a greater responsibility. I simply ask you to make the same consideration as I have. By all means, personally support those good causes which are close to your heart through your own personal charitable giving. But when it comes to Masonic giving by your Lodge, remember where that specific money can make the greatest difference and where our priorities really need to sit. And that has got to be first and foremost with the RMBI.

So. When your Lodge next sit down to consider who you are giving your Masonic charitable monies to, remember the beneficiaries of the RMBI. They have no voice but ours, no money but ours, no help but ours, no one else to rely on but us.

I am immensely grateful and humbled for what you are all doing and you all have my unreserved thanks, gratitude and respect."

WBro Martin P Roche PSGD
Assistant Provincial Grand Master

Grand Charity Donation to Pendleside Hospice

A cheque was presented to Burnley Hospice on behalf of the Freemasons Grand Charity.
In total the amount given in 2013 across the country was £600,000. and since 1984 that total stands at 10.5 Million Pounds.


Left to right: The District Chairman, Paul Thornton; Keith Jackson; Jeff Ward, Deputy Chairman; Roy Langtree; Michael Squires;
Ian Mac Donald, District Charity Steward and Christina Cope, the Hospice Fundraising Manager.


This article appeared in the Burnley Express on Friday December 5th



Burnley & Pendle District Defibrillator Presentation

Padiham Masonic Hall was the venue where more than 60 members and wives attended a very interesting and informative evening to mark the end of the drive to have an emergency defibrillator in the four Masonic Halls in the district.

The meeting commenced promptly at 7pm when the Deputy Chairman, Jeff Ward, introduced some of the distinguished guests present which included the Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Degree, Keith Partington Schofield, APGM Norman Cope and the Provincial Grand Almoner, Brian Carter, along with Simon Doyle the Chief Co-ordinator for the First Response Team and his team of 9 members who were supporting the event giving instruction and talks in the various sections.

In his opening remarks Simon thanked not only everyone for being with us but also all the Lodges, Chapters, Individual brethren within the District , and for the kind support given by the Mark Degree to make a success of the appeal. He then handed over to the Provincial Grand Almoner who gave an insight into what  1st Responders do and gave examples of where other defibrillators were installed before he  handed over to Simon Doyle to begin what was a serious, but at times hilarious, meeting in the way Simon went through various points.

As can be seen by the many photos everyone became involved at having a go at “reviving the Little Annies” who were “collapsed on the floor”. Even the Mark Provincial Grand Master and the APGM got down to it (I’ll bet Christina was amused finally seeing Norman on his knees). Frank Simpson insisted on reviving the Deputy Chairman (much to everyone’s chagrin) although he put a sticker on his shoes saying “do not revive” whilst Jeff was not looking.

The evening was closed by the Provincial Grand Master for the Mark Degree, RWBro Keith Partington Schofield, who had offered to fund any shortfall in the purchase of the defibrillators through the East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund and took the opportunity to present Simon and his team with a cheque for £200 in appreciation of their hard work.

From the number of comments and e-mails received after the event many members have said how much they had enjoyed the presentation and felt much more confident should they ever need to use the equipment in an emergency  (everyone present being given a card to mark their new found qualification). It is recommended by Simon Doyle that every 12 months or so members should have a refresher talk.


Simon Doyle opening the evening and explaining what will take place


Simon Doyle demonstrates the method of resuscitation

Simon demonstrating how to use the defibrillator.

Putting it all into practice!

This one’s definitely dead!                         Norman tries his luck with ‘Annie’!


RWBro.Schofield presents a cheque to the 1st Responders.




On a cold, grey, wet autumn evening summer came back to Hewlett Court where the ‘Sun’ in ‘Sun House’ was shown in the smiles of the residents, carers, the builders and representatives with their wives from the districts who have funded the project, met to hand it over.

To the sound of celebratory Champagne corks popping, WBro Charles Ward Chm of the Comforts Fund welcomed everyone and to thank all those who have been with the project from start to finish. He reserved special thanks to the funding districts whose generosity enabled all of it to happen; namely Burnley & Pendle, East Ribble and Salford (represented this evening by the District Charity Steward Ian Whitehead) as well as ELMC and the Comforts- Fund.

He also went to great lengths to thank all those who had worked on building and completing the project namely the Chmn of Burnley & Pendle District Paul Thornton & his Deputy Chmn Jeff Ward; the Chmn of East Ribble David Lightbown & his Assistant District Charity Steward Mike Stubbs. Special thanks were also given to Michael Emmott who is not yet a brother (but soon to be) a member of the staff and husband of the Home Manager (Alison) who has done so much work in the background by clearing, demolishing and afterwards cleaning the courtyard. Charles also thanked himself (naturally) and WBro Matthar Sambe (Big Chief of course) for painting the Summerhouse,  at this point it must be pointed out the builders agreed when seeing “Big Chief”, there was probably enough paint on him to have given another coat to the Summerhouse.

All who attended agreed it has been a worthwhile project especially considering there is a 20 year guarantee on the materials and because the summerhouse has heating and lighting for all year round use which should bring a place of relaxation, peace and time for quiet reflection to the residents. When Bro Stuart Metcalfe of Borough & Ashlar Lodge installed the electricity he added the bonus of a double waterproof socket on the outside of the building, so that Santa Ward (Oops!) can have his Christmas Tree lit up nice and safe without using extensions.

Charles Ward watched by Mike & Allison Emmott (house Manager) Mrs. Sue Lightbown & residents.

L to R: Jeff Ward, Mrs. Wynne Whitehead, Ian Whitehead, Paul Thornton
Mrs. Carol Ward, Mrs Kathryn Thornton & David Lightbown.

Caught in the act! Mrs. Whitehead snapping “the intruders” David Lightbown,
Ian Whitehead Sue Lightbown, Jeff Ward & Charles Ward (no they’re not related!)

One resident is already taking advantage of the new Summerhouse in the daytime

Of course --It’s Teddy the Hewlett Court Mascot wearing his ‘Friends of Hewlett Court’ golf shirt (these can be purchased from Charles).


New Members with APGM, WBro Martin Paul Roche PSGD, at Borough & Ashlar Lodge

For the meeting of the above Lodge our APGM sent out personal invitations to members who had been initiated during the past two years, with one brother travelling all the way from Andover. Sadly several of them were not able to attend either due to holidays or work commitments, but what an interesting and great fun night it turned out to be.

In attendance, besides our APGM, was WBro Paul Aspinall AProvGP, representing the Royal Arch, the Provincial Grand Orator, WBro Fred Lomax PProvJGW, and a District delegation led by the District Chairman WBro Paul Thornton PProvJGW. The Worshipful Master Tom Kinsman opened the Lodge after which WBro Roche was admitted along with the distinguished brethren above. The brethren were saluted in due form, followed by the Worshipful Master offering the Gavel to our APGM, who very kindly accepted it.

WBro Roche, who was in great form, thanked the Lodge for hosting the meeting and proceeded to introduce the delegation. WBro Paul Aspinall gave a brief insight of the Royal Arch and afterwards a very interesting oration was given by WBro Fred Lomax, prompting several thoughts and observations.

WBro Roche then requested the Lodge DC to escort him and WBro Aspinall to the North where he had a few personal words with each new member and presented each of them with a Certificate, thanking them for joining Freemasonry and attending on the evening. The business of the Lodge continued until after the second rising when WBro Roche and the delegation retired for the Social Board.

Many comments were made during “the gathering” at the bar especially from our new members and the brethren from their own Lodges who had attended in support. Each said the sending out of a personal invitation made them feel truly welcome in Freemasonry proving to be one of the highlights of the membership so far.

The Social Board followed the theme of the evening with the emphasis on fun and enjoyment supported by an excellent hot buffet with several choices of meals and was so good, with brethren returning for more, showing a great compliment to the arrangements at Nelson House.

Bro Ray Evans of Abbey Lodge responded on behalf of the visitors in a hilarious way and he too thanked our new members remembering each one by name.
The Social Board ended at 10:15 pm

Our photos show our new members with WBro Roche, the members of the delegation and Master of the Lodge in the gathering at the bar and during the Social Board.


WBro Roche speaking with new members


Gathering at the bar


An interesting Social Board


WBro Roche speaking with new members




Hewlett Court Summerhouse

Following a request from Hewlett Court to help in replacing the Pergola which had become unsafe three districts joined together namely Burnley & Pendle, East Ribble and Salford, all donating £500 towards making it happen. The request was also supported by ELMC & the Comforts Fund.
Finally, after much negotiation  the Deputy Chairman of Burnley and Pendle placed the order after approval by everyone, including the residents at Hewlett Court. Much fun was had in receiving it and erecting the summerhouse.


As you can see the Summerhouse arrived and required moving manually into the central courtyard and here we see the members who did this, namely  Bros. Stuart Metcalfe, Jonathan Jackson, Jeff Ward, “Big Mick” (from Hewlett Court) & Mike Stubbs.


After the foundations were laid by the Chairman & Deputy Chairman of Burnley & Pendle the Summerhouse was ready to be built the following week,  great fun (though at times frustrating) was had by all on a hot sunny Sunday.



Our photos show the Chairmen of Burnley & Pendle & East Ribble together with Deputy Chairman of Burnley and Pendle & the East Ribble Assistant Charity Steward. The group was well supervised by the Chairman of the Comforts Fund and amply nourished with plenty of tea, coffee soup and hot beef sandwiches (thank you Allison & Debs).


The  hand-over will take place on the evening of 8th October.


Another consignment of Teddies for Burnley General Hospital


Thanks to the generosity of the ELMC Community Fund more boxes of Teddies have been donated to Burnley General Hospital. Pictured is Junior (yes..that’s his name!)  being consoled by a teddy given to him by an Urgent Care Nurse. Also pictured is WBro Ian Macdonald, the Burnley & Pendle District Charity Steward.


The Burnley and Pendle Antient Ritual Demonstration Team


The Burnley and Pendle Antient Ritual Demonstration Team which is based at Colne has been resurrected with the sole purpose of raising money for the East Lancashire 2015 Festival which is supporting the RMBI.
The original team was formed in 1970 by WBro Francis Stuart Jackson who also researched and wrote the ceremonies of initiation and passing as they would have been carried out in 1759. WBro Jackson also wrote a Royal Arch ceremony for the same era which includes the Passing of the Veils. This original team continued for over 22 years and during that time travelled all over the UK raising thousands of pounds for charity.

In early 2011 WBro John Hudson a member of Pendle Lodge, happened on a copy of the original initiation ritual and after seeking the permission of WBro Jackson, which was readily given, formed a new team from interested freemasons of Burnley, Nelson and Colne again for the sole purpose of raising money for charity. Once formed it was unanimously decided by the team that all proceeds from our demonstrations would go to the East Lancashire 2015 Festival.

Fortunately a number of the original props had been stored in the cellars of Burnley Masonic Hall and these were brought out into the light of day and recycled for our present day performances. Other props were obtained from ebay and car boot sales and our costumes were made by the daughter of one of our original members, mainly using curtain material from market stalls. Suffice it to say that two of our members of a somewhat rotund disposition have since gone upmarket in a bid to outdo the rest and have had new costumes made to measure by theatrical costumiers.

With a full set of props, costumes, wigs and willing volunteers we were now ready to commence practicing and this continued until the end of 2011. In January 2012 the big night arrived for the team and we gave a first performance to the rather discerning brethren of Pendleside Lodge of Installed Masters. Our efforts fortunately were well received and we raised the magnificent sum of over £600 – not bad for a bunch of amateur aspiring thespians.

This then spurred us on to greater things and over the last two and a half years we have given 10 performances with a further four already booked. These performances have mainly taken place in East and West Lancashire but in July of this year we were invited to perform for the Province of Essex at the Lodge of Beneficence in Southend where again we were exceptionally well received, raising £500 for our efforts.
To date the team have raised over £4600 for the Festival and as previously mentioned with a further four in the pipeline this will take the total raised to over £6200.

The team performs by candlelight dressed in the costume of the period where like most lodges in the 1750’s there is a decided social atmosphere where drinking, eating, smoking and singing are by no means uncommon during the ceremony.

If your Lodge would like to raise money for Charity and have a wonderful, enjoyable, convivial evening to boot simply type ‘1759 demonstration team’ into your search engine, fill in and send back the contact sheet and your enquiry will receive our best attention. Our website also contains photo’s, write ups etc of our various performances and also contains an introduction by our President, WBro Martin Roach PSGD, APGM which is well worth the read.








No animals were harmed during Abbey Lodge Fund-Raising Event!


On Thursday August 7th over 50 "shooters" shot down hundreds of Clays at Coniston Cold near Skipton in the Annual Charity Shoot.  The Event was organised by John Cooper of Abbey Lodge No 2529 with proceeds going to the EL2015 Festival and certain non-masonic charities.  This is its ninth year and the Event has raised many thousands of pounds for charity.

As usual the sponsors, many of whom are not Freemasons, supported the event making it such a success.  The weather as usual was excellent and everybody there enjoyed every minute.  The Worshipful Master of Abbey Lodge No 2529 Bro Alan Dunnicliff also presented a cheque to the  Riding for the Disabled Dyneley Branch to help in their wonderful work.




Pendleside Hospice Ladies Walk

Once again Burnley & Pendle Freemasons helped to marshal  the route keeping the 800 Ladies who took part in the annual Hospice Ladies Walk safe and on the right track! 
It is estimated that about £50,000 was raised for the Hospice. 

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Some of the Brethren that helped marshal the walk.
If any Brethren would like to help in this or any other events please contact me.( Paul Thornton.)


Nelson House Hosts
The Gordon Birtwistles Prostate Scanner Appeal
And raises £3383

On Saturday 17th May a fund-raising event for Gordon Birtwistles prostate scanner appeal was held at Nelson house, Nelson Square, Burnley. The event was sponsored by The Masons at Nelson House, organised by Nicola Everitt, Maureen Heys and Philip Preston.

The evening consisted of a tombola, raffle and auction. There were 168 people attended on the evening. The Freemasons lodges donated to the total, thanks to Abbey Lodge, Hurstwood Lodge, Area Charity Stewards Community Fund, Thursby Lodge, Brun Lodge and Silent Temple Lodge.

Many businesses and friends in the local area donated prizes for the tombola, raffle and auction. Thanks to Pennine print, Continentals Restaurant, James Anderson, Burnley football club, Aldos Restaurant, Finch bakery, Vicky Bennett, Ninos Restaurant ,Beijing Restaurant, Carlos Restaurant, Bannys Restaurant, 197 Bistro, John Cooper, Pendle Leisure Trust, Crow Wood, Lola Grace, Usha Restaurant, Ring o Bells Restaurant , Junction 12, Apeks Marine, and the many others who donated prizes and money for the event. In total an amazing £3383 was raised.

Left to Right: Kathleen Birtwistle, Gordon Birtwistle, Victoria Lister, Maureen Heys, Nicola Everitt, Diane Ireland, Philip Preston.


Burnley & Pendle District Almoners Roadshow
22nd May 2014 at Burnley Masonic Hall.

Thanks to the dedicated work of our District Mentor, Steve Jansen, the keenly anticipated visit by the Provincial Grand Mentor, Alan Kirwilliam, together with Ian Wilson, the District Mentor for Salford, the evening proved to be a great success with 16 of the Lodges within the district represented, together with other brethren who showed interest.

Steve Jansen opened the evening by introducing our two worthy brethren. In his usual relaxed and expert manner Alan Kirwilliam and Ian Johnson then gave a very interesting and informative talk further explained with a PowerPoint presentation.

Following the presentation those attending were asked to form work groups to give their thoughts, impression and suggestions on how to improve mentoring within our Province and the major topics discussed.
Many interesting observations and ideas were put forward with some being quite innovative to which Alan added there were some not thought of before and had been duly noted.

The Provincial Mentor then thanked all those who attended for their time and interest shown by being there.
The District Mentor then returned thanks to Alan and Ian then closed the meeting.

Ian Wilson Presenting


Points put across


Steve Jansen with our two presenters





Visit to Ecclesholme

The Deputy District Chairman for Burnley and Pendle, WBro Jeff Ward, organised a trip for the Almoners and Charity Stewards to have a look around Ecclesholme, our RMBI home, on 15th May.

We were greeted by Bev Niland, the Manager of the Home, who did a presentation and then a tour of the home. This was all well received by all who attended.
Jeff Ward on behalf of the District then thanked Bev Niland for a most enjoyable visit and then presented her with some jars of old style sweets to go in the old time shop within the home. This is where the residents can then obtain them and then enjoy them.

If you are able to, it is well worth a visit to the home to see where some of the Festival money is used in such an excellent way


Burnley & Pendle District Quiz

This year the annual District quiz was held at Colne Masonic Hall on Saturday 17th May, the Quizmaster being ,once again, Mr John Dodd. It was a lively and good natured occasion with very little blood spilt, there was a wide range of questions and everyone going away with at least one more snippit of 'useless information'! On this occasion the quiz was won by the aptly named 'The Ancients' who's combined age nigh on equalled that of the rest of the room! (I am not bitter at not winning this time....honest!).At half-time an excellent pie & peas supper was provided by Margaret Jesson and the evening concluded with a raffle. It was a most enjoyable evening that raised £210 for the 2015 Festival.




WBro Ronald Cleveland Foster, PProvSGW, 50 years of excellence.


WBro Ronald Cleveland Foster, PProvSGW, celebrated his 50th Anniversary in Freemasonry on the 18th. March, 2014. The Colne Lodge room was full and our APGM, WBro Martin Roche, PSGD officiated, accompanied by a Provincial delegation.

It may be expected that any Brother who exhibited WBro Foster’s vitality and energy would also be accomplished in other areas of his life. However, the assembled Brethren were absolutely amazed when his CV, ably delivered by his close friend, WBro Les Greenwood, PAGSuptWks, was read to them.

In addition to his Masonry, WBro Foster has had an outstanding record of public service. It is difficult to imagine how one individual could pack so much into such a short period, giving his time and resources selflessly and tirelessly, excelling in all that he undertook.

In his business life, he went from humble beginnings to become a partner in Cleveland Guest engineering, turning it into a highly successful company. He retired as Managing Director in 1990. Far from resting on his laurels, WBro Foster then became a non-executive Director of Burnley Healthcare Trust, Chairman of Pendle Enterprise Trust, a Trustee of Pendle Heritage Trust, a Governor of Mansfield High School, President of Barrowford Agricultural Show, President of Pendle Conservative Association, Secretary of Colne Rotary Club, Committee Member of East Lancs Training and Enterprise Council and a member of the Probation Liaison Committee, Pendle Petty Sessions, amongst others.

Sadly, WBro Foster has recently moved to Wells in Somerset to be near his daughter and is now a joining member of Benevolent Lodge, No. 446, which meets in Wells Cathedral. He remains a member of his mother lodge, Roses Lodge, No. 5140, a joining member of Royal Lancashire Lodge, No. 116, Pendleside Lodge of Installed Masters, No. 9111, of which he is a Past Master, and Cana Chapter. Suffice it to say that he is now heavily involved in many projects within his local area.

WBro Foster has served the Craft and the community in an outstanding manner, a wonderful example of Freemasonry in action. His strong sense of duty, coupled with his good sense and sound judgement, have enriched all those who are privileged to know him. The approbation of his Brethren certainly endorsed the affection and esteem in which he is held.
“Ron, we’re all looking forward to your 60th”.







Huntroyd Lodge No 6385
Met on Wednesday 26th February 2014
At Padiham Masonic Hall
To celebrate WBro John Yates
50 years in Freemasonry

38 Brethren turned up to celebrate WBro John Yates' 50th including the APGM, WBro Martin Roche PSGD together with a District Delegation including WBro Andrew Procter ProvAGDC and the District Chairman, WBro Paul Thornton and several other Grand Officers.

 After the APGM had given an address to the Brethren and made a presentation to the birthday boy, WBro Yates, WBro W.A.Young PProvSGW stood up in the lodge and said a few words about John which were very heartfelt and very well received by the Brethren. We then all enjoyed a superb festive board downstairs.


WBro John Yates, PProvJGW; APGM WBro Martin Roche, PSGD and WBro W.A.Young, PProv SGW



Pendle Lodge No. 4703, first meeting in our new home!


Pendle Lodge’s move from the Nelson building to Colne Masonic Hall was a happy affair, tinged with a little sadness, rather than the other way around. The first meeting in our new environment was Pendle Christmas Lodge meeting and dinner, always a resounding success and usually involving a taxi ride home. A number of our visitors come from Portugal, bringing with them several bottles of very good port and the entire meeting is unfailingly well attended. The occasion was marked, as usual, with a Brass Band and we welcomed Gentleman guests to the Festive board.

Earlier the same evening the officers of Pendle Lodge took the opportunity to have a quick practice in our new and slightly unfamiliar surroundings. However, all feelings of unease were quickly dispelled, when we met members from Colne Masonic Hall who greeted us with “welcome to your new home”, making the officers and Brethren feel a strong sense of belonging from the outset.

There followed a highly successful meeting, with Bro. Ian Salthouse WM and his Officers contriving to look comfortable and relaxed in their positions, despite this being the first Lodge after our Installation. The catering, by Mrs. Maureen Howarth, was nothing short of sumptuous. As may be seen in the accompanying photographs, a thoroughly enjoyable Masonic celebration was had by all.

Report by WBro Bob Summers, PPSGD








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If you have any new stories you would like to see published here, please contact

WBro Graham Smith, District Communications Officer for Burnley and Pendle District.

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