Rivington Pike turns blue in thanks to NHS key workers

Tens of thousands of people in Chorley and Bolton witnessed Rivington Pike turn blue last night (Thu May 21) in tribute to the NHS and other key workers.

The Pike Tower, one the area’s most prominent landmarks, was bathed in a brilliant blue glow as part of the ‘clap for carers’ – a now weekly national thank you to workers on the coronavirus front line.

The event was the brainchild of Chorley firm CDS Events UK with support from another local firm Paul K Sound, as well as United Utilities, Rivington Heritage Trust and Chorley Council, which owns the Pike structure itself.

CDS’ Chris Beesley said, with so many public events cancelled because of lockdown, the firm’s traditional workload had tumbled so they had hit on the idea of lighting up buildings for free to raise a smile.
One recent cancelled event was the Rivington Terraced Gardens’ Festival of Light, which couldn’t take place because of social distancing restrictions.

“That’s where I got the idea. I love the terraced gardens. I grew up playing there as a kid. We’ve lit up quite a few buildings in blue across Chorley during the lockdown. It’s all for free. I just like to see people’s reactions. There’s not much good news at the moment so if we can make people smile, that’s it, job done as far as I am concerned,” said Chris.

The stunning two-hour light show saw all four sides of the Grade II listed structure adorned with messages of support for carers from the people of Chorley, United Utilities, Rivington Terraced Gardens and Chorley Council.

At almost 1,200 ft (343m) high, the pike is visible from much of Chorley and Horwich.

United Utilities land agent Dan Fowler said it was an honour to have been part of making it happen, especially as 80 per cent of United Utilities staff were also classed as key workers because of their role in maintaining essential services.

“We couldn’t let anyone know in advance for fear too many people might try to come up at once to get a closer look, but the effect was stunning.”

Andrew Suter, the Heritage Programmes Manager for Groundwork, on behalf of Rivington Heritage Trust, said: “'We were incredibly happy to provide access and help coordinate activities on site.  It was crucial that plans were kept secret beforehand and during set up to ensure we avoided attracting crowds.”
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council commented “Not only did it look absolutely fantastic, it’s great to be involved with something that shows appreciation for key workers during this difficult time.”

Chris is now hoping for a chance to repeat the Pike light up in a few weeks’ time with the addition of new laser equipment the firm recently invested in.