Intriguing lecture to be given in memory of historian Alan Petford by his former student

AN INTRIGUING lecture will be given in memory of late Saddleworth historian Alan Petford by one of his former students Dr Nigel Smith on Wednesday, July 8.

Calder Valley
The Calder Valley

The lecture, ‘Patterns in the Landscape: the Evolution of Settlement in Enclosure in the Upper Calder Valley’, is hosted by the Saddleworth Historical Society, of which Mr Petford was a founder member.

Mr Petford, who died in January at the age of 61, made an unparalleled contribution to the history of Saddleworth, and that of the South Pennines more broadly.

He wrote on a range of subjects, notably architecture, religion and the landscape.

But it was as a teacher that he is most keenly remembered – his lectures in Saddleworth were always well received and his evening classes inspired generations of students.

One of those students was Dr Nigel Smith, who said: ‘This lecture is dedicated to the memory of Alan Petford without whose enthusiasm and encouragement it may well never have been written.’

Having worked with Alan on a number of courses and publications, Dr Smith took a PhD at Lancaster University.

He added: “Taking research to this level was unquestionably linked to Alan’s influence and encouragement.”

Dr Smith’s lecture will examine the familiar landscape of the South Pennines, with its scattered farms and field patterns reaching up to the moors.

He will consider the evidence for the origins of settlement and its associated enclosures in the Upper Calder Valley and the influences in its spread up to the nineteenth century.

‘Patterns in the Landscape: the Evolution of Settlement and Enclosure in the Upper Calder Valley’ will be held at 7:30pm on Wednesday, July 8 at Saddleworth Civic Hall. Admission £3 to non-members, free to members.


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