RAP - This WAS Rochdale

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RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  Hinch on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:01 pm

Got a copy of RAP sent to me this week. No 79 June 1979. Cost 9p.

Wow! I'd almost forgotten how good it was. Some of the stories show just how much - or how little the town has changed:-

Local firms show record profits with Shiloh Spinners share price doubling in a year, Thomas Robinson of Fishwick Street recorded their biggest increase in turnover up by 17% and Babcock & Wilcox; owners of Whipp & Bourne up by 18% to £777 million. Little did they know what was coming just a few years hence.

Woolworths on Royale Barn Road had been forced to increase pay by ACAS following a strike the year before but their staff were still paid low wages of between £50-70 pw whilst the 8 senior managers were each given T-Reg 1.6 Cortinas.

The fate of John Bright's Nursery on Whitworth Rd was sealed as it was announced that it would close the following February. It quoted Cllr. Norman Smith as being less than consistant in his support against the closure saying he believed that mothers with children under 5 should be at home with them anyway.

The local Liberal/Tory pact looked flakey with the Libs down to only 2 wards plus a seat at Smallbridge,

In this issue, RAP broke the story about a police file on Cyril Smith going 'missing' at Preston police HQ. As we now know, it was taken away by Special Branch.

The ABC cinema was premiering 'The Deerhunter' The Broadfield hotel was reviewed and got a crap two-star rating though the meal for two with wine came to £15,36 including 10% service charge.

The best story, carrying on from Salty's thread of the MEN Group's piss-poor reporting centred on Heywood's Gaskell Swimming Pool on Starkey Street and built only 4 years earlier in 1975. The Heywood Advertiser had blamed its closure on vandalism. In the RAP piece headed 'Wet Reporting', RAP demonstrated clearly that the pool had been purchased in haste by Heywood Council prior to the township's merger with Rochdale & Middleton. It had sold Gooden Farm to Yates Ltd for £135,00 in order to raise most of the £176,867 purchase price from Walter Holmes Ltd. The purchase was a disaster.

Like some similar pools built at various sites in the UK, the Gaskell Pool was made of fibreglass supported by a wooden frame and erected on an unsuitable peaty soil base. The timbers quickly turned black and rotted, the seals leaked and the pool cracked. Simples.

However, the Advertiser, like the Observer, loved bad news stories involving young people. RAP concluded, "Heywood's pool was in fact as cheap and nasty as the Observer Group's journalism.... Vandals, hooligans and the rest are simply not responsible..."

A GREAT read.

All in all it paints a picture of, 'same sh*t, different day'.


Last edited by Hinch on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:40 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  cyfrifia on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:13 pm

Yes, that's a good description of Rochdale's long slow journey down the toilet.

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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  Atlas on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:01 am

I was once the main feature of a RAP article - but you will have to buy the 4th and last of my autobiographies to find out why. Very Happy S-O-R-R-Y. Very Happy
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  teamplayer2 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:03 am

No you are not s-o-r-r-y.That is tight. Wink
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  Hinch on Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:50 am

Did you sue 'em for libel Atlas or did you 'do a Cyril' and decided that discretion was the better part of valour?
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  keithatrochdale on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:25 pm

If RAP was so good, why is it not on sale to-day?



Last edited by keithatrochdale on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  Hinch on Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:29 pm

They bought a printing press and concentrated on printing for other people. They had a lot of big contracts with councils, trade unions and charities.

The RAP magazine was a labour of love and was only intended to cover costs. I did a few bits for them. Caught them re-date stamping pallet loads of butter at Asda and took photos. Even did an overseas assignment for them once.

The trade union mag I edited and won prizes for was heavily influenced by RAP.

The Council Watch feature on RO takes me back to the good old days.
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  Guest on Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:42 pm

Atlas wrote:I was once the main feature of a RAP article - but you will have to buy the 4th and last of my autobiographies to find out why. Very Happy S-O-R-R-Y. Very Happy

Atlas: I suspect "advertising" smoke signals are wafting around somewhere here, Shocked

The old copies of RAP are supposed to be kept in Rochdale and Whitworth Libraries, commented about last year by one of RAP's two co-founders, David Bartlett, who was living retired, aged 74, on the Isle of Wight at that time.

I've read one 'old' RAP copy that featured a story about the local Turkish Baths - unrepeatable, creasingly hilarious and definitely alternative.









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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  Atlas on Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:31 pm

But of course mojo hill. If nought but a main chancer at times. Nevertheless - t'is true. Did I sue Hinch. No. The story was true in all aspects. Given that my part in it 'wasn't' the main thrust of the exposee I didn't do otherwise than tell David that - 'some day the people you purport to bat for will beat you to death with one' - to which he just smiled and bid me a good-day. I 'secretly' supported most of what DB was doing in his bid to 'out' the fat cats and con-men of the town. T'is in my nature to do so at all times both locally and nationally if at all possible. Strange bird some would say -. And they'd be right. Wink Smile
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  keithatrochdale on Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:36 am

Mojo Hill wrote:

Atlas: I suspect "advertising" smoke signals are wafting around somewhere here, Shocked

The old copies of RAP are supposed to be kept in Rochdale and Whitworth Libraries, commented about last year by one of RAP's two co-founders, David Bartlett, who was living retired, aged 74, on the Isle of Wight at that time.


Was that the same David Bartlett who was involved with the fun and games at ROFTA before it folded?


Last edited by keithatrochdale on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  Hinch on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:17 am

Yes. I think he did some training as a Baptist minster once and then lectured at the college for several years. He became a Quaker later on and his house on Spotland Road became the official Meeting House.

If RO pisses Colin Lambert off, it's a good job he wasn't around when RAP was kicking butt. They would have crucified him.
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Re: RAP - This WAS Rochdale

Post  johnb on Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:35 pm

More than training. If memory serves he was actually ordained.
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