Despatch Rider Lewis Banham spent the Second World War in Europe bravely delivering messages to troops on the front line.

Now, more than 70 years later, he has been rewarded with the Dutch Liberation Medal for helping to free the Netherlands.

The 94-year-old was also reunited with the same model of bike that he rode during the war and was his constant companion. The experience brought back memories to Lewis who was only too happy to tell his tale, and I was privileged to be able to write about it.

He is a member of Haslingden-based Veterans In Communities where he enjoys the art group and going on social inclusion trips.

Here’s my story on the Rossendale Free Press and the Lancashire Telegraph sites.

Photographs by William Ogden.


August is traditionally a quieter time for me and although I submitted less stories to the press because my school contracts had also taken a sabatical, I was extremely busy with a school newspaper for the project Wonderful Things and running a news day, ably assisted by three volunteers, two from Fearns Community Sports College and one from Northern Primary School.

I also wandered over to Hyndburn three times to complete ad hoc news articles for Emerson and RenwickNorth West Logistics and actor and producer Jennifer Chippindale. Another ad hoc job was for Chris Worswick of Wooden Horse Studio who is looking forward to welcoming people on an art trail into her home.

Another story for Veterans In Communities about Outreach Worker Steve Butterworth’s poem Pale Maiden, which has been made into a song and performed by the Port Stanley Community Choir in The Falklands was used in both the Lancashire Telegraph and Rossendale Free Press.

My contract to promote Rossendale Business Awards has continued over the summer with more stories about foodie businesses including butchers, Dearden Tea Rooms and a special Free Press award for businesses that give back to their community. I am delighted to say that I have been nominated for an award again, so thank you to my nominee. Last year I was honoured to share the Sole Trader category trophy with my good friend Liz Hall from Liz Henson Photography.

I have still been writing school stories and my GCSE copy for Fearns and Whitworth Community High School was used widely. One story even ended up on the Basingstoke Gazette site.

For the past few years I have carried out ongoing work with charity the M3 Project in Rawtenstall and I have been tasked to capture the stories of householders and young people on the project that helps to find accommodation for homeless 16-25 year olds. Check out the stories here.

As all three of my schools are back the next date will contain a plethora of school news. My school newspapers at Northern, Britannia and Coal Clough will resume in September and October so here’s to another busy month.

For all business cuttings and to keep up with the latest CSM news ‘like’ my Facebook business page.

If you have a story to tell – give me a bell.