Holt Street recreation ground is situated at the rear of Talbot Street.
Early plans show that the rec was never meant to be, James, Holt, Cecil, and Oswald Streets were all meant to continue like Burton and Talbot Streets, making a grid system of streets 4 deep.
Holt street rec used to have a war pill box situated on it at the top.
The ground on the rec is very marshy and soft, a couple of natural springs an still be found here at the top of the land towards Tottleworth, as the land borders on fields.
There was only a small section used for playing apparatus, these at one time included a sand pit, roundabout, slide, see-saw, and swings. These were removed from the land about 1995, when the lease was due for renewal. The lease was renewed for 10 years, but the playing apparatus was never replaced.
There was a football pitch here as well. This was used by Rishton Football Club for many years until playing fields were built on the former tip site at Norden. Now the pitch is gone, and all that remains in this picture is a solitary goalpost.
Concrete changing rooms were built in the corner of the rec near to Holt farm, for the football team to change in. These were fenced off to stop vandalism, but were demolished in 1998 - 99.
In 1935 prices were obtained for Iron Fences at Holt Street Recreation Ground. A sum of £250 was included in the Council Estimates for the financial year, for Holt Street Recreation Ground. Most of these iron railing have disappeared now, most of them being stolen for scrap by gypsies, but part of these railings can still be seen at certain points round the ground. The railings surrounded the entire ground, which is quite a lot of fencing!
Complaints were received on the 2nd July 1936, of animals grazing on Holt Street Recreation ground and steps were taken in the matter. Tenders were invited for the painting of the fencing, and The Council surveyor was instructed to have the depressions filled in and rolled.
The Council Surveyor reported on the new fencing on Holt Street Recreation Ground, on the 6th August 1936, and as requested he had prepared a specification and invited tenders for the painting of. The tender of Mr. Milton McIntosh, amounting to £21 19s 0d was accepted.
On the 3rd June 1937, Quotes were obtained for unclimable iron railings to replace the existing post and wire fence that existed round Holt Street recreation ground by the council. A tender received from Messrs Thomas Blackburn & Sons Ltd., Preston for fencing on Holt Street recreation ground for £4 11s 2d per linear yard was accepted on the 10th July 1937.
The question of providing seats on Holt Street recreation ground and the footpath to Tottleworth was raised and discussed by the council committee on the 5th July 1938. Gifts of seats were offered by Councillor Worsley (on behalf of the Regnal Circle No. 2) and Councillor Tattersall for use on Holt Street Recreation ground, and by Councillor Sanderson for use on Tottleworth footpath. It was resolved by the council that the offers be accepted, and best thanks offered to the donors for their generosity, and that the surveyor should obtain and fix the seats in the positions referred to.
2 additional seats were to be obtained and fixed at the Holt Street Recreation ground, it was decided by the council on the 21st July 1938. Councillor Sturzaker donated a third seat, and was thanked by the council.
These seats have since been replaced, but seating is still on the rec. The seats were placed along the boundary side of Holt Street, I think there were 3 in all.
On the 1st June 1939, Tenders were invited for the drainage work on Holt Street Recreation Ground by the Rishton Urban District Council. The tender submitted by Mr. James Haworth, of Black Lane Head Cottage, Clayton Le Moors, at a cost of 2/3 per rood (7 yards), labour only, was accepted. In July the surveyor reported to the Council that the contractor, Mr. J. Haworth, assigned to carry out drainage work to Holt Street Recreation Ground, wished to terminate the contract. The matter was left in the hands of the Chairman and Surveyor. The surveyor interviewed two of the people who had tendered for the work on Holt Street ground, for drainage work, and as a result, engaged the services of Edward Mercer, of Dinckley, who commenced work on the 1st August 1939.
The Council Surveyor reported that he had received an offer from Mr. Mellett, on the 14th June 1940, to mow the grass on Holt Street Recreation Ground, and he told the Council that he had accepted the offer, after confirmation from the Chairman of the Council.
"As a child I remember going to the recreation ground and talking to each other through the drains there. One of my friends would go to one drain cover near to the corner of the football pitch, and I would go to another one next to the slide. The covers were connected with a drain tunnel, and by talking through the covers we could hear each other talking. It was like having tin cans without the string in-between!" Web Author.
The Council Surveyor reported that a portion of the wall of the culvert at Holt Recreation Ground had collapsed on the 9th July 1942. The Surveyor was instructed to arrange for the necessary repairs to be carried out by excavation from the surface as soon as the time is opportune and in the meantime arrange for the culvert covers to be underpinned as a precautionary measure.
A letter was read from the Headmaster of the Rishton Senior School on the 8th September 1942, requesting the use of the Holt Street Recreation Ground for Sports purposes. Resolved that the use of this ground for this purpose be conceded.
The Surveyor submitted plans showing a proposed lay-out of temporary housing at Tottleworth and at Butler Street on the 5th April 1945. An application was made for fifty temporary houses. The Surveyor was also to submit an alternative lay-out for temporary housing on Holt Recreation Ground.
A letter was read from the Rishton Football Club requesting the tenancy of the Holt Street Recreation Ground on the 24th July 1947. The application was granted. It was further Resolved— That the rental for the above tenancy be £3 10s. 0d. per annum payable at the end of the football season when a re-application must be made for the continuation of the annual tenancy.
On the 12th July 1951, The concrete cricket wicket had been completed, and the football field rolled and sown. The Council Surveyor was instructed to level off the mounds of earth, etc., left on the field.
Repairs to the Concrete cricket pitch were deferred on the 13th August 1953, and the officials were requested to include provision for these in the succeeding year's estimates. It was further Resolved—That amounts be included in the next estimates for the regular mowing of the two Recreation Grounds.
There is now very little left on the recreation ground, it has been stripped down to a bare plain field, and rumour has been rife since 2000 that the land was finally going to be built on.
The Area Council approved a funding request of £650.00 for refurbishment of the existing benches, a new bench and bin for the Bottom Rec on the 24th January 2002.
Councillor Myles provided an update at the Rishton Area Council meeting on the 30th January 2003, and advised that there was no intention of changing the land from green belt to brown. In the Council’s Best Value review in 2000 the Council agreed to reduce 20% of its land held within the Leisure portfolio. The rec. was one of the pieces of land allocated to the 20%. reduction. To change this would require a change to policy and although this is possible consideration should be given to utilising alternative pieces of land, for example Chapel Street Flats. Councillor Myles agreed that there is a need for play provision both above and below the bridge and ideally local community groups could work together using local knowledge to produce the best option for the recreation areas.
Councillor Myles reported that there had been extensive improvements that year on 5 play areas in the Borough and that there are approximately 30 play areas in total across the Borough. The aim of the Council was to improve 4 play areas each year.
In August 2003, it was reported at a local meeting that the Council had TURNED DOWN an offer from the Dunkenhalgh estate to buy the lease from them, saying that they had no use of it. The Council have since done a U turn on the land and there may be works in the pipeline to improve the land.
The lease was renewed on Holt Street Recreation area in 2003, and in September of that year, the football pitch was marked out once more, and the goal posts repaired.
On the 19th November 2003, Hyndburn Borough Council proposed a 5 year plan for Holt Street Recreation ground, spending up to £180,000 on parks in the borough over this time. Holt Street had been earmarked for its share of funding during year 2 of this plan (2004), with up to £48,000 being laid aside by the Council. Money was offered from Rishton United Juniors Football club, who was being run by Jim Baron at the time, after they had been successful in raising funds to start a girls football team.
It was reported at Rishton Area Council meeting on the 20th April 2005, that instructions had been given to the Council's Legal Department on 17th January agreeing to an extension of the lease.
The Council had agreed to a 14 year lease with the option to extend this by a further 6 years providing a possible 20 years lease for funding purposes. The Dunkenhalgh Estate had been contacted but no response had been received to that date. A further reminder had been sent to the Dunkenhalgh Estate on 8th April. A resident expressed concern at the lack of progress on this matter.
Rishton Area Council had also allocated £3,500 for a feasibility study into Holt Street Recreation Ground, which would take place as soon as the lease was secured.
Council minute 1937 - 38