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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

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:

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.

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At 10:12 pm, Blogger splitbamboo said...

I was a little surprised to see the note about the mormon baptisms. In my wife's family there is a "legend" that her ancestor was the 2nd to be baptized on that day (it is said that he and the Mr. Watt that you noted raced to the river to be the first--the Mr. Watt being the swifter).

The River Ribble is somewhat sacred to the Mormons for the event that you noted.

At 11:08 am, Blogger Riversider said...

On the subject of the River's sacred history, readers of this blog may be interested to know that Mahatma Gandhi, the great Indian spiritual leader and pacifist visited the River Ribble and spent time in meditation on it's banks around Grindleton when he visited the Lancashire Mills to see the poverty of the Mill workers in the 1930's.

Instead of insulting the river, describing it as 'bleak' and 'horrid', council leaders should be telling the truth about how beautiful our river is (as the photographs on this website prove), the wealth of wildlife it supports and the fascinating history of our River.

Doing this would be the best way to attract visitors and promote our area to the world - rather than expensive gimmicks like a water sports park!


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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