Martyn was of Northern blood, born near Mossley in 1951 where he spent much of his young life.
He later moved to the Oldham area and in 1978, along with his Wife, son and two daughters, he moved to Sholver where the family home is still present today.
Following his time in the Armed Forces, Martyn enjoyed a number of jobs which included pioneering Youth Worker, delivery driver, Ambulance man and Coach Driving. He also had a passion for music, both as a part of many bands as guitarist and vocalist, as well as watching performances. The bands which he fronted, performed in many of the pubs and clubs on both sides of the Pennines, as well as studio work too.
The story of Martyn Atkinson
Martyn felt that there was a lack of opportunities in the area for young people, with increasing vandalism and petty crime from bored youngsters. So, in July 1985, Martyn set up an Environmental Youth Organisation which was pioneering for its time by allowing young people to make the policy decisions for the group. The group grew and soon adopted the title of ‘The Sholver Rangers’, moving through community areas of the estate doing jobs to improve the appearance of the areas, driven by Martyn’s enthusiasm.
Not satisfied, the group then adopted buildings for meeting rooms and activities along with almost ten acres of derelict land. With the help of Groundwork Trust, this land has been transformed into the Fulwood Nature Reserve with wildlife ponds, access pathways, sculpture areas and over 60,000 trees planted on what is now a haven for wildlife.
Martyn’s drive and determination to improve on its success saw the centre open up to schools for Environmental studies, took in youth offenders on social care programmes, unemployed workers under the “Back to the Community” scheme as well as meetings promoting the organisation to many, including Paddy Ashdown and Princess Diana.
Martyn dedicated his life to the Rangers which will always be a lasting legacy of him. Apart from a thriving youth organisation which became a registered charity under the Rangers Foundation, a successful wildlife hospital was created, a sports pitch for archery, camping and sports as well as giving many, many young people fond memories of the time they spent as part of the Sholver Rangers. Many of the contributions for this bench have been made by such people, so sit for a while, take in what is around you and enjoy what has been created by the vision of this man, Martyn Atkinson.
Find my story
Rory Wilson-Barratt14th February 2021
Rose Johnstone19th February 2021
Nicola Robinson4th February 2021