Positive Covid19 Result

The Barlow – Covid19 Positive Result

Hello everybody…….we have had a member of staff test positive for Covid19 this morning (feeling a little bit grim but in no danger) and so have taken the decision to close with immediate effect and instigate a deep clean as per BwD guidelines and we will re-open Thursday morning, apologies for the inconvenience…….

Mike Fay – Chair of Trustees



People may be aware that earlier this year the Barlow was successful in being awarded a grant from the Postcode Local Trust to fund restoration works to the 3-acre Barlow Woodlands.  People may also be aware that some footpath and vegetation clearance work had commenced utilising Community Payback teams.  Sadly, the corona virus outbreak has put a stop to the work of the Payback teams.

Also, an Open Day had been planned to take place in March to publicise the proposed works and invite comments but, unfortunately, this event was also an early casualty of the corona virus outbreak and had to be cancelled.

We are still not in a position to get the Community Payback teams back to work or to hold a public Open Day but we are glad to be able to report that we are in a position to make a start on improving the management of the woodlands.

Now that the bird nesting season is over, John Gaffney Tree Services have been engaged to work with the Barlow to cutback invasive and non-native vegetation, remove and chip dead and diseased trees and put in place a plan for the long term environmentally friendly management of the woodlands.

Other elements of our proposals still include the improvement and re-surfacing of the footpath network, improved wildlife habitats and wetland areas, new tree planting, the provision of benches and picnic tables, the development of activity areas for young people as part of plans to see the woodlands become an outdoor classroom, together with producing a walk trail leaflet and erecting new information boards.

As soon as we are able, we will be hoping to get further works underway and we would like to be able to organise volunteer working parties to support the work being carried out by our tree services providers and, hopefully, our Community Payback teams.

If you are interested in getting involved, we would like to hear from you – please leave your name and contact details with the Barlow Office and we will get back to you.


Tel.  01204 852216

Email  info@thebarlow.co.uk

Paul Allen – Barlow Trustee – Woodlands Project Co-ordinator

September 2020

Chairman’s Update 17th August

Hello all,

At a recent Trustees meeting it was decided that the Barlow Institute Charity will not, for the foreseeable future, pursue its interest in securing a Public Works Loan from Blackburn with Darwen, in order to finance a new roof on the Barlow building. The reason for this is very much Community based, we as a community are slowly coming out of Lockdown into a new normal that none of us can accurately define and we are also heading into a potentially long and deep worldwide financial recession and the Trustees feel that this is the wrong time for the Barlow to be imposing any further burden of taxation on members of our community. This does not mean we are abandoning our plans to replace the roof on the building, quite the opposite, as after our overall duty to support the Community, our number 1 priority is to get the building into a state where it is safe and watertight and to get there we are determined to find another way. Work is close to fruition on creating a specification that will pass BwD planning and can be sent out to contractors for proposals, once we have clear and fixed costings for the job we will dig deep into our coffers and find a way to fund it, this will curtail our ability to match fund into the near future but all other works can wait once we have a safe and watertight building.

2020 has been a strange year in many ways but we have been able to fix the crumbling car park, new boilers being installed are imminent, the front fascia of the building will have new double glazed windows hopefully by winter, we have managed to sustain dozens of families within our community with snacks and meals, hundreds of shopping and pharmacy trips have been made by volunteers for folk isolating or shielding, we’ve supported the Cricket Club in creating a wonderful new scoreboard/film screen, we have plans in at BwD for a fantastic new multi-use games arena, and plans are afoot to refurbish the playground area with new and upgraded equipment ……… yes, it’s been a strange year!

A massive effort from so many people over so little time, thank you all!

Mike Fay




Hello all, as you know this year has been somewhat disrupted by events beyond all of our control, our intention at the 2020 AGM was to ask all in our community what they felt the Barlow should be doing to support the community. We will hold the AGM as soon as we are able to fill the main hall.
We’ve changed quite a few things so far this year but we really need to do much more to align ourselves with what the people of North Turton need and want from their local community Charity. So we need you to tell us!!
Please either comment below, send a private message, email info@thebarlow.co.uk, or simply speak to any of the Trustees regarding what you feel is needed.
Many of you are members of the Covid Support WhatsApp group which has provided a base for help and support around the Parish over the last four months or so, we are planning to continue with this group permanently and add other methods of contact as a Group aiming to provide permanent support for those in our community that require it.
In the short term and as soon as we are able we are looking to provide provision for Dance Classes, Martial Arts Classes, and Ballroom Dancing Classes in the main hall on week day evenings, supported by the Reading Room Cafe/Bar. In 2021 we are looking to have at least one major event per week at The Barlow with Private Parties, Weddings, concerts, and theatre/cinema style entertainment etc with an aim to create enough surplus income to subsidise the Community activities such as the Luncheon Club, Memory Cafe, and Toddler Group to the point where no charges are necessary.
We sincerely want to get to the point where the answer is ‘YES’ , and then think ‘how do we make that happen’ ………all views welcome….
Mike Fay – Chairman

Reopening The Barlow

Hello all,

The specific policy and guidelines for a general reopening of the Barlow is currently being written, will be issued as soon as possible, and we will assess and amend each time government advice changes. Each of our user groups and events will have their own journey out of lockdown and we have been conscious not to have a ‘one size fits all’ approach as circumstances are different for each group. We have also taken a conscious decision not to ask anybody in shielding or isolation mode for their plans as we do not want to put anybody in a position where their safety may be compromised or they feel uncomfortable in any way.

As individual groups have pro-actively come to us we have given advice and help dependent on the position at the time and of course nothing is ‘set in stone’. The only function that is up and running is the snooker table which was felt to be a socially distanced pastime in any circumstances so when we were asked if it could be used and after due advice we gave permission. I think the next step will be getting the Reading Room to the point of providing a takeaway service via a one-way system from the main entrance to the corner entrance to the Reading Room, and I know that Sara, Lynn, and Philip are all supportive of opening as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so. At present we are only taking a very small number of tentative forward bookings and only with a strong caveat of our being open at the time and we have no specific target dates to fully reopen. The Singing for fun group have asked if they can resume socially distanced after July 4 and this is being considered at present.

Some of you may have seen the works done to the Car Park during lockdown and this is now in great condition for parking so we would ask if at all possible you could park on the car park and leave the road for those in need of a short route into the building.

We have had huge amounts of work in keeping our community fed and watered during lockdown and coordinating approximately 30 helpers with around 50 recipients has taken up most of our Barlow time in recent months and we have had a number of ‘pop up’ giveaway days for snacks and drinks both at the Barlow and in Belmont.

We have also heavily supported the Scarecrow Festival and the Edgworth Rocks initiative.

Most of the things that we are doing are well known via various social media bulletins but if anybody feels that you need more information then please do not hesitate to contact me whilst we continue our journey out of lockdown.


Mike Fay



I hope you and your families are safe and well.
The Barlow is still in the midst of the lockdown but there has been huge activity from a small army of volunteers looking after the needs and supporting a whole raft of people within our community with a vast array of services and help. If you need anything at all or know of anybody who needs support within our community please let me know and we will look to find whatever is required.
Most of our current ‘business as usual’ is on hold but there is still a small team of people working on the Woodland project and we are making progress on a funding bid for heating and window services. We are also hoping to carry out some painting and decorating improvements and a start has been made on cleaning and re-varnishing the floors.
Those of you who have passed the Barlow this week will have seen that road planings have been used as a base to improve the layout and safety of the Barlow car park. A new concrete base has also been laid at the entrance to again improve the safety of pedestrians and avoid damage to cars. Many thanks to all the Cricket Club members who freely gave up their time during the week to undertake this hard work and to minimise the cost. Social distancing was maintained at all times.
On Tuesday, whilst the work was taking place, an article was published in the Lancashire Telegraph regarding plans to place double yellow lines on Bolton Road. Surprisingly, neither the Barlow nor the Cricket Club had been informed. We are seeking clarification of plans from BwD Council.
This would inevitably result in a greater demand for parking spaces on the car park.
With this as a consideration, and the fact that the road planings would only improve the car park for 1-2 years, I am pleased to inform you that on Thursday, the Barlow Trustees and the ECRC Committee agreed to collaboratively fund the laying of a 50mm tarmac layer on top of the new base. Parking spaces will then be marked out, thereby optimising the capacity of the 1,350 sq metre area.
Thanks to a member of the cricket club who regularly utilises a tarmac company through his professional capacity, we will undertake the works at an excellent cost.
Speed has been of the essence due to the current availability of the tarmac contractor during these difficult times.
The area was surveyed Friday April 24 and work will commence on Monday to further prep the base with the tarmac being laid on Tuesday. They will then return later in the week to paint the lines, including provision for disabled parking spaces.
Many thanks to all of the fantastic volunteers who are giving their time in both supporting our community and undertaking these improvement works.
Mike Fay – Chairman

Help from the Barlow during the Coronavirus Crisis

The Trustees at the Barlow have looked to ensure that a copy of the CV Leaflet Blue has been hand delivered to every household in North Turton Parish, however it appears that we have missed a small number of properties so please find the detail and the support numbers available to you below, if the individual that you call cannot immediately answer your query they have full back up and a small army of volunteers ready to help and support.

Mike Fay
Chairman of the Board of Trustees