ROCK royalty added some stardust to an event held to raise cash to help restore a key feature of Pendle’s heritage.

Bobby Elliott, drummer with The Hollies, was the special guest at the garden open day held at the Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford on Sunday.

The Friends of Pendle Heritage group hopes to restore the 18th century walled garden which needs repointing and is suffering from box blight.

As well as celebrity guests, there were strawberry teas, bargeware painting, talks by the Bee Lady and music from oboe player Martha Hardman.

Mr Eliott, 75, who was born in Burnley and now lives near Colne, said: “It is a treasure trove of local history.

“I’m local but I did not know about the community museum so I have been having a wander around there.

“The Friends of Pendle Heritage are very dedicated.

“It is important to raise public awareness and get the younger generations involved.

“It is their heritage.”

Having kept diaries since he was 10-years-old, Mr Elliott is currently working on his autobiography which has the working title of ‘it ain’t heavy. It’s my story’ based on one of The Hollies' best loved songs.

He said: “It’s a journey from being 3,000ft down a pit in Burnley to a few weeks later standing shoulder to shoulder with Beatles.”

The Hollies have also recently returned from a tour in Australia and New Zealand with their British tour due to start in the spring.

Meanwhile the keen birdwatcher will continue to promote and celebrate East Lancashire’s heritage in his new role as patron of the Friends of Pendle Heritage.

Barbara Smith, fundraiser for the Friends, said the group need to raise about £10,000 to do various things at the Park Hill site which they believe has buildings dating back to the 13th century.

She said: “We want to develop the walled garden and get the community involved.

“We have plans to make it dementia friendly and turn it into a sensory garden.”

Roger Grimshaw, treasurer, said: “There is lots going on here all the time. It is about leaving this for the next generation.”