Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views



June 2007


Wed 27 Jun 2007

The Community Archives’ Development Group
held a one day conference on ‘Shared Community Memories’
at the University College, London.

It 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.

The Cloisters.

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 presentation.

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 worthwhile.

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 Archives website:

The Audience

Then three case studies followed.
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 produced.

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!


Mon 25 Jun 2007

The Cherry Tree to Chorley Railway line.

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 capacity.

Brinscall Railway Station - late 1950s


Sun 24 Jun 2007

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.


Tue 12 Jun 2007

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.


Sat 09 Jun 2007

Imaging Everest: The Serpa's Tale

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

Wed 06 Jun 2007

The North West Sound Archive - Clitheroe.

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.

The 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 gramophone records.

Some of the oldest recordings - wax cylinders.

Sun 03 Jun 2007

Re-launch of the Adlington Circular Walk.


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 to Roundabouts'

Lindsy Hoyle MP opens the walk.

Vicky Duxbury of Groundwork prepares the ribbon.