To many, Ramsbottom is known for being a place that always shows up on maps titled “Funniest Town Names Across Britain”. But, to the people who live here, the humour and light-heartedness of the town and its attractions goes so much further.
Of course, it would be wrong to start this article without referring to the age-old argument of whether Ramsbottom is a town or a village. To placate readers, I’ll use them interchangeably from here on. I wouldn’t want to start yet another debate on social media. Namingly, that local legendary Facebook page known as ‘What’s on in Ramsbottom’. To answer the question, now that the pandemic is finally lifting, everything is going on in Ramsbottom.
September saw the return of two major village-loved events: Head for The Hills Festival and The World-Famous Black Pudding Lobbing Competition. For the former, the locals got on a bus to Burrs Country Park in Bury and showed our neighbours across the Irwell that we know good music. For the latter, the locals were alive with giddy excitement at showing our neighbours across the Pennines that we know how to make our savoury puddings much more robust.
When I bought my first house in Rammy, a Prestwich-dwelling friend looked at the place on Rightmove and commented that my new home was an unimaginable distance away from the closest Metrolink station. Oh no, I said. Here in Rammy, we travel by Steam Train. Have done since the 1800s. And, since 2021, we also get around on an open-top, bright blue tour bus known as the Rammy Rambler.
Even the town nuisances do things differently. I won’t go into detail, but any local will happily enlighten you on the scandals surrounding explicit pothole graffiti, bath-loads of soap bubbles, or inflatable dinosaurs dressed as politicians.The Ramsbottom Jigsaw Festival also returned in September. It has left us all puzzling over whether or not the Christmas Market will get to return in November and – of course – the Chocolate Festival in March. As much as we complain about those Bridge Street closures, the town just hasn’t been the same without a river of chocolate running alongside the Irwell.
Mmm, chocolate. We do that well in Rammy. And tapas. And cheese, lots of cheese. And wine. And afternoon tea. And coffee – it’s the best fuel for running around telling everyone how good our dining scene is.
We know it’s going to be a good day when Friends of Nuttall Park open up their tearoom. In fact, the only thing better than a hot vimto halfway around your afternoon stroll is knowing that, no matter which direction you go around the park, the flowers will be blooming, the town perfectly maintained, and everyone in it will be thankful to live in a bubble of such local charm.
I love living in Rammy, I love the people here, and I even love the sheep. We may have a silly name, but we know how to wear it with pride.
By Madeleine Webb