Updated: Tuesday, 25th February 2020 @ 8:29pm

Iconic Rochdale jewellers receive blue plaque as council bids to boost town's tourism

Iconic Rochdale jewellers receive blue plaque as council bids to boost town's tourism

By Mark Shales

Celebrating the past could be the key to unlocking Rochdale’s future according to the town’s oldest family-run business after they were honoured with an historic blue plaque.

Butterworth Brothers jewellers started trading in the Victorian era and have been situated in Drake Street since 1903 – the company passing down the family line.

Louise Butterworth, 62, whose grandfather first started the business, currently owns the shop and believes Rochdale’s history could help open the town up to tourists.

“Certainly we have to focus on the future and I can only hope that what’s going on in the town will get better and will attract people,” she told MM.

“If anyone is exploring the town the blue plaques are definitely something to look for.

“We’ve got a long way to go in Rochdale but the signs are it should be getting much better for attracting tourism.

“I think it’s very nice that the council is recognising the long-standing family businesses in the town.”

The plaque at Butterworth’s marks the start of a new council-led campaign celebrating famous people, places and events around Rochdale with more plaques set to appear.

Rochdale boasts a colourful history and is recognised as the home of the modern-day cooperative movement.

In 1844 Rochdale Pioneers set out the Rochdale Principles, which still form the basis of the global cooperative movement today.

The town was also used as the springboard for overturning the notorious Corn Laws that governed the import and export of grain to Britain by 19th-century politician John Bright.

Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor James Gartside, is glad the town’s illustrious history is being recognised.

“I think it’s wonderful that historic sites such as Butterworth’s are being honoured in this way,” he said.

“The plaques are a reminder of the hard work and endeavour put in by so many people down the years.”

Butterworth’s is situated on the new Metrolink route in the town and Ms Butterworth thanked those who supported her business during the building works.

Picture courtesy of Rochdale Council, with thanks

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