Today I've come to Todmorden. Until the boundary reformation by the Local Government Act in 1888, Todmorden was half in Lancashire and half in Yorkshire! The beautiful Town Hall:
straddles the Walsden Water (one of the boundaries) and at one time it was possible to dance in the Town Hall ballroom, forward and back, across the two counties! At the top it has both Lancashire and Yorkshire written on it:
So why has a food blogger come to Todmorden? I have come to find out more about Incredible Edible Todmorden, a group who grow and campaign for local food.
As I stepped of the train at Todmorden, I could see bowls of herbs:
In the station car park there were even more things to see or pick:
There were helpful signs telling you what the crop was and what to with it:
I decided to follow a walking tour I'd found on the Incredible Edible Todmorden web site. This took me to the Abraham Ormerod Medical Centre, a building that's clearly seen better days:
The building has an interesting history (it's the place place where Harold Shipman began his career as a G.P.). It was a gift to the town from the Ormerod family (who operated mills in the area). It was opened in 1938 by the Princess Royal, but has a rather sad history sine then. There's an interesting video here about how it got into such a state. Nevertheless Incredible Edible Todmorden have managed to get a bed here:
I've now learnt that the site is going to be an ASDA supermarket...
200 metres up the road is Todmorden Community College:
and guess what, there's more Incredible Edible Todmorden plots here:Next stop was the graveyard:
and guess what, there's a graveyard plot even here:
I'm not going to make any comments about composting here! The plot was planted by children and helpers from the National School.
I then visited Ferney Lee Old Peoples Home:
where I spotted these Malus Wisley crab apples:
I love the way they've tried to involve all sections of the community.
Some of the beds here have been adopted:
and Incredible Edible Todmorden also have a greenhouse here:
Walking back along the Burnley Road, I found a herb garden, where you are encouraged to have a sniff:
and the next stop was the Police Station!
By now I'd decided that Todmorden is such a nice and friendly place, so I was surprised that they even needed a Police Station! I'd seen signs not only telling you to help yourself, but also offering advice on what to do with produce!
Maybe this was the only crime they have to deal with ;-)?
Anyway there were even plots at the Police Station, my guide said "Check whether law and order rules in the raised beds here":
Next stop was the theatre:
(my guide told me vegetables have their part to play).
Then it was over the road to the Health Centre, where there were fruit trees at the front:
and an apothecary’s garden at the back:
I then went along the canal:
with more produce and advice:
Next stop was Mary’s Garden:
"a labour of love by leading volunteer Mary Clear".
My tour finished at the Unitarian Church:
I also visited the market and a fantastic co-op called The Bear, which I'll cover in subsequent posts. As I wandered through the town I could see that businesses supported Incredible Edible Todmorden, and also Totally Locally:
another initiative which helps keep money in local communities. Everyone I spoke to was enthusiastic about Incredible Edible Todmorden. It seemed a very happy place and I felt that Incredible Edible Todmorden had helped it to become that way.
Best of all, it's spreading. There's an Incredible Edible in Macclesfield, Rossendale, Wakefield, Wilmslow and York, and other initiatives across the country. If you've not yet visited I suggest you go and become inspired!