Save The Ribble

A blog dedicated to preserving the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the River Ribble, and opposing the Riverworks 'vision' to build a barrage on our River and develop on our riverbanks, floodplains and green spaces, causing damage to wildlife and the environment and increasing the risk of flooding to our homes. Save the Ribble Campaign is not responsible for the content of external blogs or websites which link here.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Save The Ribble Blog Updates

Our blog is getting more successful every day, and we keep trying to improve the blog to make the reader's experience better.

If you look at the 'links' section on the right hand side of the blog, you can now download our leaflet and window poster. These posters have been making a big impression in some parts of Preston - I recently visited the 'Fortune House' Chinese takeaway at the bottom of Fishergate Hill, the car in front of me had a 'Save The Ribble' poster in the back window! Download your own poster, put it in your house window, your car window, or on your work noticeboard and help spread the word!

Other changes include a link to our 'site feed' - I'm not sure exactly how this works, but people who do understand it can use it to get Save The Ribble posts as soon as they are posted - it can also be used to feed into blog aggregators.

Our blog is very popular with other bloggers - no less than 64 other blogs have posted links here, putting us in the top 40,000 blogs on Technorati's rankings - this doesn't sound that impressive, until you realise that there are 1.4million blogs on their list!

Another innovation is the set of links to examples of the History of The Ribble, from very recent events, such as the gallant canoeists who have been canoeing down from Kendal to Manchester to raise money for charity - they found that the Ribble link had clearly not been designed for kayaks - they found it very difficult to manouvre through the locks. They got a very hospitable reception from regulars at the 'Cotty Brook' and then they successfully crossed the river, finding the incoming tidal bore to be a boon when they surfed it five miles up the River Douglas.

There's a link to the history of the 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints', who held their famous baptisms on a stony bank of the Ribble - an area that is still visited by Mormons today, and that would be submerged if the Riverworks proposals are ever implemented.

Other interesting bits of Ribble History include the key role played by the river during the English Civil War. Cromwell battled with the Scottish Royalists driving them down from Church St to the Ribble. An interesting part of this story is about how Hamilton, leader of the Scots, was forced to swim for his life across the River to Penwortham Holme, which at the time was an island - this event is not even commemorated with a plaque.

York celebrates it's heritage, and it's Viking links, Preston ignores these, despite the enormous significance of the Cuerdale Hoard - which shows how the whole of the Ribble Valley was a vital area for Vikings, and possibly a staging post for an aborted attempt to re-invade Dublin.

The story of the Roman settlement at Ribchester is really interesting too, as are the stories of the Setantii and Brigantes, the original ancient celtic inhabitants of the region who worshipped the river ribble as a goddess, with their reverence for nature, the ideas in the Riverworks proposals would seem like the worst kind of blasphemy to this ancient culture.

Preston City Council could be emphasising some of the amazing history of the River Ribble as a way to promote it, (any other city would have set up a 'Civil War Trail years ago), but instead seem more intent on turning it into a dead, sterile area, with banks encased in concrete, the life-giving tides blocked by their barrage and the beautiful fields that line it's banks turned into housing estates, shopping arcades and car parks.

We are always open to suggestions about how we could improve the blog further, for suggestions for articles (or even actual articles), for your points of view and your ideas. If you have a website you think we should link to let us know, please feel free to post them as comments below!

PS You may be wondering what the lists of words are at the bottom of every article.
These are 'technorati tags' that some people use to navigate between blogs, they help people find articles that are relevant to their area of interest - for example, clicking on 'setantii' would take you to a list of all the other posts that have been tagged 'setantii' (if there are any- which there aren't - another first for the Save The Ribble blog!).

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"The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart" Tanako Shozo Save The Ribble Logo