Day Corrie writer Peter celebated his first Communion

IT is back in time half a century this week with an excellent picture from 1953 showing the children of Sacred Heart Church, Colne, smiling out in the sun after their very first Holy Communion.

Taken in the churchyard, the picture shows many well-known local names and faces who are 50 years on, still living in the Pendle area today.

The photograph from the past is the proud possession of Mrs Vivienne Smith of Mitchell Street, Colne, whose husband, James, is the most enterprising character, being, in both business and pleasure, a true Dickensian personality.

Vivienne herself, then just seven years old with her maiden name of Rowan, can be seen on the middle row third from the right, complete with her blonde, curled hair. The two priests on the front row are (on the left) Canon Dorren and (on the right) Father Brennan, both still remembered in the town today.

Other names of note on the picture include (back row second from the left) young Chris James, who then lived in the very top house in Knotts Lane and, indeed, today all these years on, has the original cast-iron street sign in his present family home on Knightsbridge Avenue; Chris James's well-known brothers are Stuart, the railway historian and schoolteacher and Barry, the notable ornithologist, whose travels to see rare bird species have taken him thousands of miles.

Seventh from the left on back row is author and Coronation Street script-writer Peter Whalley. Peter takes his name from the Colne street where he was born - none other than Peter Street, of course!

Twelfth from the left on the back row is Dennis Hatfield, who was one of the affable Austin Hatfield's sons. Austin was the Sacred Heart Church school headmaster for many years and also a very fine artist.

On the middle row, far left, is another most talented artist, Michael O'Connor. However, Mick's artistry was with a football, being in the 1960s a superb player with Colne Dynamoes.

On the front row, fifth from the left, is Jennifer Edmondson, better known today as the wife of the Golden Arrow champion of yesteryear, the laconic Dave Allen. Jennifer herself is well-known throughout the area, having been a home-carer for many years.

On the far right of the front row is Cecilia Duckett, whose family have been a part of the Sacred Heart Church for decades. Fifty years on, Cecilia now lives in Michigan, America, with her husband, David Pickup, and their family.

Also to be seen on our nostalgic portrait are: Gillian, Jean and John Weatherall, Diane and John McGrath, Maureen Dwyer, Barbara Stobbs, Donald Carlisle and Kevin Whalley, who with all the others on that far-off day were captured on film.