'Death blow' for Britannia Coconut Dancers

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Crowds watch a performance by the Coconutters in Bacup Crowds watch a performance by the Coconutters in Bacup

'A DEATH blow' has been dealt to the Britannia Coconut Dancers after it received an 'ultimatum' to pay £4,000 for traffic management or cancel their famous procession.

The dance troupe say Lancashire Police have refused to marshal traffic during their annual parade on Easter Saturday.

Coconutters treasurer, Neville Earnshaw, said Lancashire County Hall bosses had told them to either appoint a traffic management company or they will appoint one and send them the bill.

Mr Earnshaw said the 250-year-old dance through the streets of Bacup had been dealt a 'death blow'.

He said: “This act by the police and County Hall appears to be a game-changer that must result in the demise of a large slice of Bacup’s living heritage.

“This comes even though we have unanimous local support for our boundary dance from the people of Bacup and beyond.

“It is a pity that the local authorities do not share that pride in an aspect of local heritage that really puts Bacup on the map.

“Our discussions with organisers of events in other parts of the country indicate that they manage to marshal street events with volunteer stewards, with the full agreement of the local authorities and the police.

“We will make a final decisionafter we have received legal advice on the issue.”

Lancashire County Council was unavailable for comment.

Comments (33)

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6:24pm Thu 6 Feb 14

tiojo says...

There could be a good case for peaceful civil disobedience here. The Nutters should dance and everyone in Bacup should get out and support them and see what the police and the council do.
There could be a good case for peaceful civil disobedience here. The Nutters should dance and everyone in Bacup should get out and support them and see what the police and the council do. tiojo

6:25pm Thu 6 Feb 14

phil kernot says...

So let me get this right does all religious marches in blackburn do thay have to be paid for by the church , Muslim council , The catholic church etc have to pay for there's. ...?.?????? Don't think so ,,
So let me get this right does all religious marches in blackburn do thay have to be paid for by the church , Muslim council , The catholic church etc have to pay for there's. ...?.?????? Don't think so ,, phil kernot

7:35pm Thu 6 Feb 14

sen c b l says...

phil kernot wrote:
So let me get this right does all religious marches in blackburn do thay have to be paid for by the church , Muslim council , The catholic church etc have to pay for there's. ...?.?????? Don't think so ,,
Did you read the article correctly when the Muslim congregation marched at Eanam. The mosques themselves contributed to the march which meant that road blockages and police presence was all paid for and not a shilling came out of your 'dry' pocket.
[quote][p][bold]phil kernot[/bold] wrote: So let me get this right does all religious marches in blackburn do thay have to be paid for by the church , Muslim council , The catholic church etc have to pay for there's. ...?.?????? Don't think so ,,[/p][/quote]Did you read the article correctly when the Muslim congregation marched at Eanam. The mosques themselves contributed to the march which meant that road blockages and police presence was all paid for and not a shilling came out of your 'dry' pocket. sen c b l

8:27pm Thu 6 Feb 14

happycyclist says...

The authorities hate anything that is traditionally British.
The authorities hate anything that is traditionally British. happycyclist

8:39pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Steven Seagull says...

sen c b l wrote:
phil kernot wrote:
So let me get this right does all religious marches in blackburn do thay have to be paid for by the church , Muslim council , The catholic church etc have to pay for there's. ...?.?????? Don't think so ,,
Did you read the article correctly when the Muslim congregation marched at Eanam. The mosques themselves contributed to the march which meant that road blockages and police presence was all paid for and not a shilling came out of your 'dry' pocket.
Have to say Sen that I agree with you on this one. Fair play to the boys in Blackburn who paid for the costs associated with their March, I know that the Asian community can often clobber a few quid together when it comes to community stuff.

It's just a shame that the council won't offer the coconutters something towards the cost, although with massive savings to find I can see how that might not be possible.it's also a shame that the good folk of Bacup aren't able to raise a few quid to help. I don't know if they've explored the idea but maybe the lottery heritage fund might have been able to help, given that it is part of the areas heritage and tradition.
[quote][p][bold]sen c b l[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]phil kernot[/bold] wrote: So let me get this right does all religious marches in blackburn do thay have to be paid for by the church , Muslim council , The catholic church etc have to pay for there's. ...?.?????? Don't think so ,,[/p][/quote]Did you read the article correctly when the Muslim congregation marched at Eanam. The mosques themselves contributed to the march which meant that road blockages and police presence was all paid for and not a shilling came out of your 'dry' pocket.[/p][/quote]Have to say Sen that I agree with you on this one. Fair play to the boys in Blackburn who paid for the costs associated with their March, I know that the Asian community can often clobber a few quid together when it comes to community stuff. It's just a shame that the council won't offer the coconutters something towards the cost, although with massive savings to find I can see how that might not be possible.it's also a shame that the good folk of Bacup aren't able to raise a few quid to help. I don't know if they've explored the idea but maybe the lottery heritage fund might have been able to help, given that it is part of the areas heritage and tradition. Steven Seagull

8:52pm Thu 6 Feb 14

fuschia says...

The good people of Bacup are prepared to put money towards this.It's just a pity that we need to do when the Coconutters bring a lot of people to the area every Easter.If this was Rawtenstall I doubt there would be a problem.
The good people of Bacup are prepared to put money towards this.It's just a pity that we need to do when the Coconutters bring a lot of people to the area every Easter.If this was Rawtenstall I doubt there would be a problem. fuschia

9:12pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Steven Seagull says...

East_lancs_lad wrote:
Right colour wrong religion
Nobhead.
[quote][p][bold]East_lancs_lad[/bold] wrote: Right colour wrong religion[/p][/quote]Nobhead. Steven Seagull

9:17pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Doug Spencer says...

I would NEVER normally say anything like this BUT, I think that Political Correctness is behind this absurd decision. Lancashire County Council have managed to find £40,000 to "improve the safety" of a small stretch of road in Stacksteads that has NO pedestrian accidents where they are proposing the improvements, the only collisions I can remember in over 20 years living here have been either drunk or drugged drivers (nothing in the last 10 years). MAYBE, in the interest of road safety, 10% of this money could be used to provide the "required" road safety management!
Let us hope, our County Councillors (the people who are supposed to represent us) actually do their jobs and get this sorted in the coconutters favour.
I would NEVER normally say anything like this BUT, I think that Political Correctness is behind this absurd decision. Lancashire County Council have managed to find £40,000 to "improve the safety" of a small stretch of road in Stacksteads that has NO pedestrian accidents where they are proposing the improvements, the only collisions I can remember in over 20 years living here have been either drunk or drugged drivers (nothing in the last 10 years). MAYBE, in the interest of road safety, 10% of this money could be used to provide the "required" road safety management! Let us hope, our County Councillors (the people who are supposed to represent us) actually do their jobs and get this sorted in the coconutters favour. Doug Spencer

11:47pm Thu 6 Feb 14

vincerapper says...

The Leader of Lancashire County Council and Chief Constable should hang their heads in shame. They will long be remembered for what their apparent abuse of authority seems to have achieved. And the fact that the Council Council was not available for comment is unforgivable.
The Leader of Lancashire County Council and Chief Constable should hang their heads in shame. They will long be remembered for what their apparent abuse of authority seems to have achieved. And the fact that the Council Council was not available for comment is unforgivable. vincerapper

12:20am Fri 7 Feb 14

Kiwihead says...

HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY BEEN KILLED TO DEATH BECAUSE OF THIS DECISION? NO.
HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY BEEN KILLED TO DEATH BECAUSE OF THIS DECISION? NO. Kiwihead

8:22am Fri 7 Feb 14

A Darener says...

It is a good job those in authority before the wars didn't have H& S to deal with. It would have been a case of, wars are dangerous you can't go, you might get hurt. Now we would be controlled by Germany. Oh! wait a minute we are! This country has gone to the dogs!
How about civil disobedience? Sod the authorities, just get on with the march.
It is a good job those in authority before the wars didn't have H& S to deal with. It would have been a case of, wars are dangerous you can't go, you might get hurt. Now we would be controlled by Germany. Oh! wait a minute we are! This country has gone to the dogs! How about civil disobedience? Sod the authorities, just get on with the march. A Darener

8:52am Fri 7 Feb 14

rudis_dad says...

I know it's a pain the proverbial and yet another example of red tape, H&S and political correctness gone barmy, but if everyone in Bacup (or anyone who cares about traditions such as this) were to donate just £1 to the cause, I am sure that much more than £4000 could be raised. It should be a simple matter with tools like Facebook, Twitter and Just Giving at your disposal. Come on, Coconutters, don't give in - keep your heads up, get the people behind you and don't be beaten down by the man!!
I know it's a pain the proverbial and yet another example of red tape, H&S and political correctness gone barmy, but if everyone in Bacup (or anyone who cares about traditions such as this) were to donate just £1 to the cause, I am sure that much more than £4000 could be raised. It should be a simple matter with tools like Facebook, Twitter and Just Giving at your disposal. Come on, Coconutters, don't give in - keep your heads up, get the people behind you and don't be beaten down by the man!! rudis_dad

9:26am Fri 7 Feb 14

rover95 says...

Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.
Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in. rover95

10:04am Fri 7 Feb 14

A Darener says...

Saint rudis_dad strikes again!
Saint rudis_dad strikes again! A Darener

10:19am Fri 7 Feb 14

GHH says...

Make the Police work for their money - make it into a full-blown fundraising event. Pay them their £4k, & give the Nutters the rest.
Don't let the money leave Bacup. - Too much of the money in this Valley goes to Rawtenstall.
Make the Police work for their money - make it into a full-blown fundraising event. Pay them their £4k, & give the Nutters the rest. Don't let the money leave Bacup. - Too much of the money in this Valley goes to Rawtenstall. GHH

11:02am Fri 7 Feb 14

shirtbox2003 says...

Get out with the collection boxes people of Bacup and show them what your made of. when the required amount is raised make a public show of the nutters and supporters taking the bags of money to the relevant offices and get the t.v. and other media along to record it and perhaps have a mass march along the way in the form of a peaceful demonstration which will cost nothing and collect even more on the way.with some expert marketing the nutters could raise millions for charities over the coming years. just go for it ,they cant lock up everybody in Bacup.
Get out with the collection boxes people of Bacup and show them what your made of. when the required amount is raised make a public show of the nutters and supporters taking the bags of money to the relevant offices and get the t.v. and other media along to record it and perhaps have a mass march along the way in the form of a peaceful demonstration which will cost nothing and collect even more on the way.with some expert marketing the nutters could raise millions for charities over the coming years. just go for it ,they cant lock up everybody in Bacup. shirtbox2003

12:32pm Fri 7 Feb 14

rudis_dad says...

A Darener wrote:
Saint rudis_dad strikes again!
Your point being...???
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: Saint rudis_dad strikes again![/p][/quote]Your point being...??? rudis_dad

12:38pm Fri 7 Feb 14

A Darener says...

rudis_dad wrote:
A Darener wrote:
Saint rudis_dad strikes again!
Your point being...???
You correspondence on various topics seem to indicate you have a love of regulations and the law. Just because something is in law doesn't make it right. Without constant vigilance and protest against ever increasing regulation we will end up in George Orwell's 1984 scenario.
[quote][p][bold]rudis_dad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: Saint rudis_dad strikes again![/p][/quote]Your point being...???[/p][/quote]You correspondence on various topics seem to indicate you have a love of regulations and the law. Just because something is in law doesn't make it right. Without constant vigilance and protest against ever increasing regulation we will end up in George Orwell's 1984 scenario. A Darener

2:57pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Dinglebasher says...

A Darener wrote:
rudis_dad wrote:
A Darener wrote:
Saint rudis_dad strikes again!
Your point being...???
You correspondence on various topics seem to indicate you have a love of regulations and the law. Just because something is in law doesn't make it right. Without constant vigilance and protest against ever increasing regulation we will end up in George Orwell's 1984 scenario.
Going by the rozzers actions on yesterdays granada news at the Fracking melee are we not in G.O.s 1984 Already?????????
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rudis_dad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: Saint rudis_dad strikes again![/p][/quote]Your point being...???[/p][/quote]You correspondence on various topics seem to indicate you have a love of regulations and the law. Just because something is in law doesn't make it right. Without constant vigilance and protest against ever increasing regulation we will end up in George Orwell's 1984 scenario.[/p][/quote]Going by the rozzers actions on yesterdays granada news at the Fracking melee are we not in G.O.s 1984 Already????????? Dinglebasher

4:48pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Steven Seagull says...

rover95 wrote:
Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.
If you don't like this "police state" we live in then fcuk off to North Korea and see how you like it there.

bell smash.
[quote][p][bold]rover95[/bold] wrote: Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.[/p][/quote]If you don't like this "police state" we live in then fcuk off to North Korea and see how you like it there. bell smash. Steven Seagull

4:50pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Steven Seagull says...

rover95 wrote:
Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.
No surprise that such a.suggestion is coming from a deluded chin dribbling no dad who is still living in 1995.
[quote][p][bold]rover95[/bold] wrote: Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.[/p][/quote]No surprise that such a.suggestion is coming from a deluded chin dribbling no dad who is still living in 1995. Steven Seagull

4:56pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

Steven Seagull wrote:
rover95 wrote:
Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.
If you don't like this "police state" we live in then fcuk off to North Korea and see how you like it there.

bell smash.
And where do you live? By the sound of it, you'd be best off in a cave with metal bars across the front, where we can throw peanuts and bananas at you.
[quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rover95[/bold] wrote: Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.[/p][/quote]If you don't like this "police state" we live in then fcuk off to North Korea and see how you like it there. bell smash.[/p][/quote]And where do you live? By the sound of it, you'd be best off in a cave with metal bars across the front, where we can throw peanuts and bananas at you. Darren1951

5:22pm Fri 7 Feb 14

shirtbox2003 says...

Lets stick to finding solutions and not quibbling amongst ourselves .
Lets stick to finding solutions and not quibbling amongst ourselves . shirtbox2003

5:41pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Birtrumthegreat says...

Is it coz they is black ?
Is it coz they is black ? Birtrumthegreat

5:44pm Fri 7 Feb 14

onsidecobra says...

Let the dancers dance as I suspect they were doing so prior to the 'Old Bill' ever being though of. Maybe the council are trying to save money so they can buy lots of 'high viz' jackets for their legions of employees?
Let the dancers dance as I suspect they were doing so prior to the 'Old Bill' ever being though of. Maybe the council are trying to save money so they can buy lots of 'high viz' jackets for their legions of employees? onsidecobra

5:45pm Fri 7 Feb 14

onsidecobra says...

Birtrumthegreat wrote:
Is it coz they is black ?
I suspect so Watson!
[quote][p][bold]Birtrumthegreat[/bold] wrote: Is it coz they is black ?[/p][/quote]I suspect so Watson! onsidecobra

6:28pm Fri 7 Feb 14

rudis_dad says...

A Darener wrote:
rudis_dad wrote:
A Darener wrote:
Saint rudis_dad strikes again!
Your point being...???
You correspondence on various topics seem to indicate you have a love of regulations and the law. Just because something is in law doesn't make it right. Without constant vigilance and protest against ever increasing regulation we will end up in George Orwell's 1984 scenario.
Might not be a bad thing - it worked in the Soviet Union for 70-odd years.
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rudis_dad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: Saint rudis_dad strikes again![/p][/quote]Your point being...???[/p][/quote]You correspondence on various topics seem to indicate you have a love of regulations and the law. Just because something is in law doesn't make it right. Without constant vigilance and protest against ever increasing regulation we will end up in George Orwell's 1984 scenario.[/p][/quote]Might not be a bad thing - it worked in the Soviet Union for 70-odd years. rudis_dad

8:22pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Steven Seagull says...

Darren1951 wrote:
Steven Seagull wrote:
rover95 wrote:
Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.
If you don't like this "police state" we live in then fcuk off to North Korea and see how you like it there.

bell smash.
And where do you live? By the sound of it, you'd be best off in a cave with metal bars across the front, where we can throw peanuts and bananas at you.
But I like peanuts and bananas.
[quote][p][bold]Darren1951[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rover95[/bold] wrote: Just do it anyway, with permission or not. It's time for everyone to stick 2 fingers up at this police state we live in.[/p][/quote]If you don't like this "police state" we live in then fcuk off to North Korea and see how you like it there. bell smash.[/p][/quote]And where do you live? By the sound of it, you'd be best off in a cave with metal bars across the front, where we can throw peanuts and bananas at you.[/p][/quote]But I like peanuts and bananas. Steven Seagull

8:38am Sat 8 Feb 14

A Darener says...

rudis_dad wrote:
A Darener wrote:
rudis_dad wrote:
A Darener wrote:
Saint rudis_dad strikes again!
Your point being...???
You correspondence on various topics seem to indicate you have a love of regulations and the law. Just because something is in law doesn't make it right. Without constant vigilance and protest against ever increasing regulation we will end up in George Orwell's 1984 scenario.
Might not be a bad thing - it worked in the Soviet Union for 70-odd years.
I suspect you didn't live there then?
[quote][p][bold]rudis_dad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rudis_dad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: Saint rudis_dad strikes again![/p][/quote]Your point being...???[/p][/quote]You correspondence on various topics seem to indicate you have a love of regulations and the law. Just because something is in law doesn't make it right. Without constant vigilance and protest against ever increasing regulation we will end up in George Orwell's 1984 scenario.[/p][/quote]Might not be a bad thing - it worked in the Soviet Union for 70-odd years.[/p][/quote]I suspect you didn't live there then? A Darener

9:19am Sat 8 Feb 14

Loving lances says...

If the council was not available to comment then the LT should have asked Labour county councillors Alyson Barnes, Sean Serridge and Jackie Oakes. If the precious Tory council had done this then these members would have screamed blue murder. They must support the policy.
If the Nutters are so popular then their supporters will
be able to pay for the charges .
If the council was not available to comment then the LT should have asked Labour county councillors Alyson Barnes, Sean Serridge and Jackie Oakes. If the precious Tory council had done this then these members would have screamed blue murder. They must support the policy. If the Nutters are so popular then their supporters will be able to pay for the charges . Loving lances

9:21am Sat 8 Feb 14

Loving lances says...

Doug Spencer wrote:
I would NEVER normally say anything like this BUT, I think that Political Correctness is behind this absurd decision. Lancashire County Council have managed to find £40,000 to "improve the safety" of a small stretch of road in Stacksteads that has NO pedestrian accidents where they are proposing the improvements, the only collisions I can remember in over 20 years living here have been either drunk or drugged drivers (nothing in the last 10 years). MAYBE, in the interest of road safety, 10% of this money could be used to provide the "required" road safety management!
Let us hope, our County Councillors (the people who are supposed to represent us) actually do their jobs and get this sorted in the coconutters favour.
Well said Doug.
[quote][p][bold]Doug Spencer[/bold] wrote: I would NEVER normally say anything like this BUT, I think that Political Correctness is behind this absurd decision. Lancashire County Council have managed to find £40,000 to "improve the safety" of a small stretch of road in Stacksteads that has NO pedestrian accidents where they are proposing the improvements, the only collisions I can remember in over 20 years living here have been either drunk or drugged drivers (nothing in the last 10 years). MAYBE, in the interest of road safety, 10% of this money could be used to provide the "required" road safety management! Let us hope, our County Councillors (the people who are supposed to represent us) actually do their jobs and get this sorted in the coconutters favour.[/p][/quote]Well said Doug. Loving lances

2:21pm Sat 8 Feb 14

vicn1956 says...

Remember the quote-shortened version-
when they came to arrest........I did nothing........when they came for me there was no one left to protest.
Bit by bit this country is being changed to....what? By people with a vision for this country very different from the one we used to have.
Remember the quote-shortened version- when they came to arrest........I did nothing........when they came for me there was no one left to protest. Bit by bit this country is being changed to....what? By people with a vision for this country very different from the one we used to have. vicn1956

11:04pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Billbumbil says...

I'm an ex-pAt, and THE one thing that has brought me back to Bacup over the years since I left (1975) has been the Coconutters.

I wouldn't give the authorities a penny for Policing a traditional event, it sets a dangerous precedent. If community policing is the way of the future and good relations with Mr Bobby are to be fostered, surely as this is Bacup's longest running community event , it should be seen as an ideal and exemplary opportunity for the police to work together with the people of Bacup?

Approach the problem professionally , offer a plan that will work, meet who you have to face to face and tell then it IS happening, ask the powers that be what's your choice of publicty .. good story or bad story? Get on with the dancing. "Dance and be damned" might be a slogan to adopt if things need to get bolshy .

THIS ISN'T HOT AIR
I live in Ireland now, in Cashel, a town about 1/3 the size of Bacup, last year I helped organize the Cannoball Run, it took a lot of effort and some hard negotiating, a half dozen meetings with the County Police Superintendent for example .

One Sunday in August we had 12,000 visitors, to see 130 supercars roaring through the streets. We did it all on volunteer effort, volunteer stewarding was a key part of it, supercars are harder to marshall than a dozen dancers by the way. A registered safety consultant gave us his time for free. We had a huge amount of good will and practical free hands on help from the local council. We paid the police not a penny, in fact they were delighted to help out. We raised over 25K for a children's hospice. Everyone won.
Keep on clogging lads.
I'm an ex-pAt, and THE one thing that has brought me back to Bacup over the years since I left (1975) has been the Coconutters. I wouldn't give the authorities a penny for Policing a traditional event, it sets a dangerous precedent. If community policing is the way of the future and good relations with Mr Bobby are to be fostered, surely as this is Bacup's longest running community event , it should be seen as an ideal and exemplary opportunity for the police to work together with the people of Bacup? Approach the problem professionally , offer a plan that will work, meet who you have to face to face and tell then it IS happening, ask the powers that be what's your choice of publicty .. good story or bad story? Get on with the dancing. "Dance and be damned" might be a slogan to adopt if things need to get bolshy . THIS ISN'T HOT AIR I live in Ireland now, in Cashel, a town about 1/3 the size of Bacup, last year I helped organize the Cannoball Run, it took a lot of effort and some hard negotiating, a half dozen meetings with the County Police Superintendent for example . One Sunday in August we had 12,000 visitors, to see 130 supercars roaring through the streets. We did it all on volunteer effort, volunteer stewarding was a key part of it, supercars are harder to marshall than a dozen dancers by the way. A registered safety consultant gave us his time for free. We had a huge amount of good will and practical free hands on help from the local council. We paid the police not a penny, in fact they were delighted to help out. We raised over 25K for a children's hospice. Everyone won. Keep on clogging lads. Billbumbil

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