Common Ground river campaign
The art & environmental campaign group, Common Ground (who invented parish maps, local distinctiveness, community orchards and Apple Day) has been running a campaign on the importance of rivers, brooks and running water in communities and, in particular, about the way that rivers bind us together with nature.
Their website is well worth a look: www.commonground.org.uk/index.html
They arranged ‘Confluence’, a celebration of art, poetry and nature based on the River Stour. From this came some fine artwork, available as postcards; poetry (in an anthology called The river’s voice); and a campaigning booklet called Rhynes, rivers and running brooks. Wouldn’t it be great if we celebrated our splendid Ribble with a similar art festival?
Mormons and the Ribble
Outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), it’s not generally known that the shingle beach on the Ribble on the south bank near the Tram Bridge was the site of the first European baptisms into the Church. They were celebrated on Sunday, July 30, 1837, in front of a crowd of about seven to nine thousand. The American LDS Elder Heber C. Kimball baptised nine Saints, the first being George D Watt. The Preston LDS Stake is now the older than the Mormon congregation in Salt Lake City.
Because of these pioneer baptisms, the first outside continental America, the south bank of the Ribble is a place of pilgrimage for many Latter Day Saints exploring their Mormon heritage. If a barrage is built, it’s likely that this sacred place would be submerged for ever.
You can read about the Baptisms in David M W Pickup’s The pick and flower of England (Living Legend, 1997, 3rd. ed.)
Contributed by Aidan TB.
This shingle beach, sacred to Mormons, would be lost forever under a watersports park if the barrage is built. Thanks to Greg for the picture.