Expert calls for more effort to make Pendle Witch heritage a major money-spinner (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Expert calls for more effort to make Pendle Witch heritage a major money-spinner
AT FIRST glance, the borough of Pendle and the town of Salem in Massachusetts don’t appear to have much in common.
In fact, both places are famous for their historic witch trials and their haunting tales.
But while half a million people will celebrate Hallowe’en in Salem, Pendle has only just started to capitalise on the tourism potential.
Every Hallowe’en, revellers are advised not to head to Pendle Hill, but witches expert and tourism guide Simon Entwistle is calling for an organised event to be held on the hill every Hallowe’en.
He said: “We are certainly behind America in terms of celebrating Hallowe’en.
“It is a massive event over there.
“I think we could have a co-ordinated event on the flatter section of Pendle Hill, which could be properly ticketed and managed.
“Pendle is a massive attraction for people at Hallowe’en because of the witches.
“You could have seating and a stage and have various acts performing. It would be a huge success.
“I think it is the British health and safety rules which are stopping us from making the most of Hallowe’en.”
Others believe the area is now catching up with its Stateside counterparts.
Maureen Stopforth, who has run the Witches Galore gift shop in Newchurch-in-Pendle for more than 30 years, said: “We’ve been here for over 30 years and it is just bigger and bigger every year.
“This year we have been inundated with visitors and requests.
“There was a lot going on for the 400th anniversary of the witches last year and I think that has carried on this year.
“Pendle Hill is like Blackpool Promenade at this time of year.”
Pendle Council has put on events for Hallowe’en this year, with several taking place over the weekend.
Coun Paul White, the council’s leader for tourism, said: “From ghost walks to witch experiences, there are lots of spooky happenings in Pendle this Hallowe’en.”
Some of this year’s Hallowe’en highlights
- Pumpkin trail around Gawthorpe Hall from 12pm to 4pm. £2 per child
- Simon Entwistle gives a talk on the Pendle Witches trial at Bannister’s Restaurant in Boundary Mill from 4pm. Book by ringing 01282 856200
- Pumpkin carving competition at Brockholes Wetlands Nature Reserve, 11am to 3pm. £3 for a pumpkin and £2 for carving kit
- Pumpkin carving at Wellbeing Farm, Turton, 10 to noon and 1pm to 3pm. £8.50
- Hallowe’en masks craft making at Clitheroe Castle and Museum, 11am to 4pm. 50p
- Hallowe’en craft session, Queen Street Textile Museum, Burnley, 10am to noon. £2
- Ghost hunt, Oswaldtwistle Mills, 9.30am to 5pm. 50p. Call 01254 871025.
- Twilight Tours around Gawthorpe Hall from 7pm. Book on 01282 771004
- Simon Entwistle gives a talk on the Pendle Witches at Barley Village Hall from 7pm and 8.30pm
- Hallowe’en fancy dress party at HAPPA, Shores Hey Farm, Briercliffe, 5pm to 6.30pm. £2
- Monster mash family event, Scott Park, Burnley, 1pm to 3pm
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