The Community Archives’
held a one day conference on ‘Shared Community Memories’
at the University College, London.
was a sunny morning as I walked across the main quadrangle into the
hallowed halls of the college. After registration we walked though the
impressive cloisters to the Darwin Lecture Theatre where the
presentations were to be given.
On the way we passed an interesting wooden cabinet containing the
dressed remains of the English Philosopher
Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832).
Click here for more information.
Tony Benn gives the first
The Darwin Lecture Theatre
The first speaker was
Tony Benn. He has maintained his own personal archive for most of his
life and he captured the audience with his incredible span of memories
and experiences which were delivered flawlessly with wit and enthusiasm.
One of his earliest records was a pamphlet which he collected at the age
of 10. It was titled ‘The Price of Coal’ and referred to the terrible
loss of life that mining coal caused. Just his presentation made the day
He was followed by Dr
Andrew Flinn who spoke mostly on community histories and archives and
their preservation, ownership and use of. One phrase used was: Listening
to the past, Speaking to the future.
David Mander, a consultant Archivist, followed. He spoke about the
impact and surveys of Community Archives.
The morning session finished with a presentation by Anna Grundy who
spoke about funding, grants and ways to apply.
In the afternoon Jack Latimer explained the working of the Community
Then three case studies
For me these were the best part of the day.
Case 1 - By Richard Roberts and Eluned Evans.
Eluned gave a wonderfully illustrated presentation of the archive
collected on her local area.
Case 2 - Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre.
East Tilbury Essex.
Another lavishly illustrated presentation all about the British Bata
Shoe Company Limited.
The shoe factory and adjacent housing was all built to a standardised
pattern. Factories were built all over the world including
Czechoslovakia where the Bata name is still treated with reverence.
There was even a branch in Adlington.
Team sports were very important and it was said that if you were good at
sports you got a job at Bata.
Case 3 – Was a
presentation by Peter Yiacoumi on the ‘Cypriot Diaspora Project’.
For many years the Cypriots have been migrating to the UK to start a new
life. Once here they created businesses, schools and churches, making an
important contribution to British society. The aim of the Cypriot
Diaspora Project is to record the many fascinating stories of these
migrants that came to the UK before 1960.
Extracts were then shown from an excellent video that the group had
From a personal point of view, I found the afternoon sessions more
interesting that the morning, except for Tony Benn or course.
An interesting mural in the Cloisters.
Though I can't figure out what's going on!
The Cherry Tree to Chorley
At Brindle Historical
Society Steve Williams gave one of his excellent presentations, this
time on the Chorley to Cherry Tree railway line. The line was opened in
1869 and shortened the rail route from Chorley to Blackburn by 15miles.
Previously the goods, mainly coal, had to travel via Preston. Steve
showed photos of the construction of the route and also the 4 stations
along the line; Cherry Tree, Withnell (Abbey Village), Brinscall and
Heapey. Many of the photos have never been see before, including a
spectacular sequence of the nine arches of the Chorley Rail viaduct over
the Leeds Liverpool canal being blown up in 1968. He rounded the evening
off with some spectacular film footage of the steam engines passing
through the stations.
Brindle Village Hall was full to
Brinscall Railway Station - late 1950s
Pincock area of Euxton fieldwalk.
Considering the rainy
morning there was quite a good turn out for Mike’s historical walk
around the Pincock area of Euxton. The rain soon stopped and we had
pleasant and later sunny weather for the walk. Mike firstly took us to
look at the railway viaduct originally build by the London and North
Western Railway. Then we headed up the A49 to Cross Houses and the site
of and old stone cross, now missing, and the location of the old chain
gate which controlled the road traffic in the days of tolls. Back to
Pincock we walked along the river bank where terraces of houses used to
be then to the empty Riverside Cottage which used to be a paper mill,
probably in the 1600s.
Riverside Cottage - once a Paper Mill.
Riverside Cottage - a hole in the door
was just big enough to poke my camera through.
Riverside Cottage - marks on the wall
show where the water-wheel was.
The converted Bobbin Mill
It seems a shame that the
building has been empty for so long as it seems ideal for renovation.
Further downstream one of the old mill races had been renovated. Further
along the Old Bobbin Mill is now a very palatial residence. An
interesting date stone could be seen in the retaining wall on the right
with the inscription ‘Richard Johns 1662’. The wall is directly below
Armetriding Farm, reputedly the oldest buildings in Euxton. Further up
the lane Mike pointed out a very nice tennon top gate post almost
totally hidden on the hedge. We reached Dawbers Lane and returned to the
A49, looking at the old Catholic School on the way. After a brief look
at Euxton Hall we completed the walk.
We were treated to a very
special evening of the life and times of a Roman Soldier presented by
Derek Forrest. Derek has been a member of the Ermine Street Guard
re-enactment group for over two decades and to make the evening even
more realistic he was totally in-character by wearing the uniform of a
Roman Soldier of about 80AD.
Derek with a new recruit.
Imaging Everest: The Serpa's
On Sat 9th June 2007 the
'Imaging Everest; The Serpa's Tale' exhibition was opened at the South
Ribble Museum, Leyland. It runs until 29th Sept 2007. It is being run in
conjunction with the Royal Geographic Society and shows many pictures
from various Everest expeditions including the successful summit climb
in 1953. Though not available at the opening there will be some images
by the late Stanley Jeeves who went to Everest in 1954.
Ed Hillary and Shepa Tenzing - 1953
The 1953 Everest Team
The North West Sound Archive -
The annual open day for
the North West Sound Archive was held in its offices at the Old
Steward’s Office, Clitheroe Castle, Clitheroe. This was the last meeting
at this location because they are moving later in the year. Andrew
Schofield, who visited our Society in June 2004, gave us a fascinating
tour of the archive. If you wanted to listen to all the recordings you
will need to put something like 100 years aside to do it.
The North West Sound Archive
Some of the 110,000 recordings.
North West Sound Archive was established in 1979 to "record, collect and
preserve sound recordings of the life, character, history and traditions
of the north west of England". After several homes in Manchester the
Archive moved to Clitheroe Castle- premises occupied since 1982.
Recordings include dialect, music, local radio programmes and the sounds
of the region (textile machinery, railway engines etc).The Archive, and
its collections, continue to grow steadily and today it holds over
110,000 items. Preserved, amongst others, are the memories of cotton
mill workers, engineers, canal workers, railway workers, colliers, even
conversations with prisoners in Strangeways. Important collections
include The Survey of English Dialects, Folk Music, Jodrell Bank Radio
Astronomy Collection, Manchester Jewish Museum Oral History Collection,
Childrens' playsongs, Manchester Ship Canal memories, Bolton Oral
History Survey, Birdsong, and an extensive collection of 78rpm shellac
Some of the oldest recordings - wax
Re-launch of the Adlington
Although the Adlington
circular walk has been in existence for about 10 years some parts had
fallen into disrepair. The whole walk has now had new way-markers fitted
and new gates etc. The walk was officially opened by Lindsay Hoyle MP.
Some sections of the walk are covered in our own publication 'Romans
Lindsy Hoyle MP opens the walk.
Vicky Duxbury of Groundwork prepares the