IF you could travel back in time to 1968 you would find that East Lancashire was a hive of activity.

All over the area volunteers, businesses and local councils were in full-on clean up mode.

The year before an appeal had gone out to improve the image of the North West where decades of industry had left many civic buildings covered in dirt, streams and cuttings had become dumping grounds for litter and basically, the area was looking a mess.

The good folk of East Lancashire responded to the challenge magnificently and - along with other areas around the North West - threw themselves whole heartedly into Operation Springclean.

A number of towns held competitions for their own Miss Springclean who became figureheads for the campaign.

Youth groups, schools, factories and businesses all contributed with many buildings being sandblasted to remove years of grime.

And all the efforts paid off with the Queen visiting the area in September to admire the results of their work.