Woodlands Day - Yarrow Valley,
How lucky were we?? A
lovely sunny day with a nice breeze welcomed around 1500 people to the
Yarrow Valley Park event. There was lots of interest shown in the
Societies display of photographs relating to old Chorley, old Whittle,
Astley Hall, Birkacre and the John Winstanley collection of flints, to
name but a few, along with our 'historical news items' folder and 'walks
and outings' folder and the 'From Romans to Roundabouts' and 'Whittle
Walks' books and 'The Birkacre Story' dvd. Other groups taking part
included: Chorley Nats., Orienteering, Bat Socy., Birds of Prey,
Woodturning, Mask Making, Fly Fishing, Duck Race, Coconut Shy and L.C.C.
Trampers, motorised scooters. At 12-30 p.m. there was the official
opening of the new footpath to the weir and viewing platform. A good day
was had by all. Well done to all the staff, who worked extremely hard
pulling it all together.
Local field walk. - The lost
Industries of Birkacre and the Yarrow Valley.
About 20 people came
along for Geoff's History Tour. We spent a couple of hours being
transported back in time, around Birkacre, from about the 13th Century.
Geoff was a mine of information and had obviously spent a lot of time
and trouble preparing his journey talk, and walk. 'Birkakre' apparently
means 'where the birch trees grow' and was tucked away from the Roman
road, which skirted it through Coppull. Birkacre was given to William de
Worthington in 1250. In 1398 permission was given to John de Bugh to
make a mill pond to divert the water, to drive a cornmill. It was a very
active area in the 1700,s comprising an iron works, corn mill, printing
works, bleach works and spinning mill and employed people from Coppull,
Adlingtonm, Charnock Richard and Chorley. In 1777 Richard Arkwright
leased buildings at Birkacre for £180 per year. Then in 1779, 2000
'wild' people from Chorley burned down part of the mill. 1 person was
drowned, 2 killed and 8 wounded. The perpetraitors went away, only to
return days later numbering 8000. That was the end of 'CHORLEY'S
CROMFORD ?? We finished the afternoon off looking at old photo's of the
area along with a nice hot chocolate from the visitor centre machine.
Stephen Sartin -
Recent Acquisitions of the Judges' Lodgings Museum, Lancaster.
Once again Stephen
treated us to a wonderful presentation of some of the recent 18th
century portrait paintings acquired by the Judges’ Lodgings museum in
Lancaster. He also showed us many other portraits in other collections
that were relevant. We saw the great, good and not so good people who
helped to form our industries and families. It was interesting to hear
about the similarities and some possible conflicts with George Romney
(from Kendal) and Joshua Reynolds, who were the artists who painted most
of the portraits we saw.
New street names on Buckshaw
Sudworth of Chorley Council recently contacted us about historical
names, family or otherwise, that could be used for street names in the
new Buckshaw Village development. Thanks to researches by John Harrison
they have accepted some suggestions. So look out for the following:
Lancashire Family History and
Heraldry Society exhibition, Astley Hall, Chorley
Chorley Historical and
Archaeological Society made our second appearance at the annual open day
of the Chorley Branch of the Lancashire Family History and Heraldry
Society at Astley Hall. This is now an annual event taking place on the
first Saturday in August. We erected our stand and display in the
Townley Parker room of the hall. There were many displays around the
hall and lots to see. Ron Chapman put on a series of illustrated
lectures in the main hall while Joan and Boyd manned the Historical
Society stand upstairs. Our display comprised mainly photographs of
field walks and various artefacts, including some from the John
Joan by our stand
We also had our own
‘Romans to Roundabouts’ book on sale along with the ‘Whittle Walks’
book. A late addition was the brand new ‘Chorley Town Centre Heritage
Trail’ brochure which hadn’t been officially released yet, but we were
allowed to hand out a few in advance of the 9th Sept release date.
A special bonus was a visit from Mr Smethurst who had been liaising with
Joan about his great grandfather who was the man who owned the North
Street, Smethurst Mill which used to be on the site now occupied by B&Q.
Ron Chapman giving one of his
Joan and Mr Smethurst.
Mike, Joan and Mr Smethurst in discussion.