Gordon Wilkinson paints Rawtenstall

PUBLISHED: 10:47 05 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:40 20 February 2013

Gordon Wilkinson paints Rawtenstall

Gordon Wilkinson paints Rawtenstall

Artist Gordon Wilkinson paints a town is steeped in industrial heritage. Rachel Wareing reports

Amid the rolling fields and fells of the Rossendale Valley lies the town of Rawtenstall. During the age of the industrial revolution, this community flourished and the indelible marks of mill life can be seen around every corner.

Blending with the back drop of luscious green fields, rows and rows of stone terraced houses form this fine old town. Over the years it has become increasingly popular with visitors as they are drawn to its historic buildings, breathtaking landscapes and fine walking country.

A link to its past heritage, the towns station remains a stop on the famous East Lancashire Railway route. After arriving on one of the iconic steam locomotives visitors can enjoy a gentle stroll from the terminus into the town.

For those looking to journey back in time and a taste, Fitzpartricks is in a must. Here, in Britains last remaining temperance bar, guests of all ages can sample the non-alcoholic, herbal delights of a sarsaparilla cordial.

You can never have too many shoes and no where is this truer than in Rawstenstall. The town is home to Lamberts Mill Footwear Museum. This unique attraction allows visitors to see what life was like when the area was a thriving shoe manufacturing borough. Alongside the museum, the shop and tea room boast many Lancashire products for all the family to enjoy.

Continuing on the nostalgic theme, Weavers Cottage is a place not to be missed for those interested in industrial heritage. Superbly restored, this cottage is one of the finest example of an 18th century loomshop. Still containing working machinery it is a true part of the countys history.

Back in the present, Thursdays and Saturdays provides what is described as the The Worlds Friendliest Market. This has both outdoor stalls as well as an indoor hall. The traders bring the place to life with their unique friendly and personal service with stalls ranging from food delicacies to clothing, electrical items to stationery.

With so many attractions, the only problem is fitting everything in and still managing to catch your last train home.

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