Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

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Jan 2015 Feb 2015 Mar 2015 Apr 2015 May 2015 Jun 2015
Jul 2015 Aug 2015 Sep 2015 Oct 2015 Nov 2015 Dec 2015
May 2015

Wed 20 May 2015
Leyland / Clayton Reservoir Heritage Monument.


The old Leyland / Clayton water supply reservoir was demolished in 2013. A small scale replica monument was built in Nov 2014 by the A6 opposite the Pines Hotel, Clayton-le-Woods. The information board was officially opened this morning (Wed 20 May) at 11am. Dr David Hunt of South Ribble Museum did the honours. Rosemary Boyd of Chorley Historical Society pulled the chord. The illustrated information board tells the history from 1883 to its demolition in 2013.

Before the unveiling in the rain

Before the unveiling

Before the unveiling

Rosemary receives a bouquet after
unveiling the information board.



Tue 12 May 2015
Jonathan Ali – How to Read a War Memorial


At the outset Jonathan asked a couple of questions. First question; had anyone heard of a place called Hawkshaw? Just one or two hands were raised. Second question; had anyone heard of Ramsbottom? Virtually everyone one raise their hands.
Jonathan went on to state that Hawkshaw, or its proper name of Hawkshaw Lane End, is a parish, close to Ramsbottom, created in 1892. It is an isolated moorland village and is where Jonathan grew up. Since 1998, he has carried out a research project on the stories behind the names of those from the village who fought in the First World War.
He revealed his age to be 46 and has been a member of its Methodist chapel since he was aged 3. His research project started due an interest in the chapel’s roll of honour that named the men who fought and died in the war.
A paper roll of honour was held by each of Hawkshaw’s 3 churches that named the casualties of their respective congregations.
Jonathan went through his chapel’s roll of honour in order of the dates of the men’s enlistment; first the regulars in 1914, after them were the Territorials, then Kitchener’s volunteers up to late 1915. Finally, conscripts, those that came of age from 1914 onwards.

Jonathan Ali and his book

 Roll of Honour displays were mass produced

He singled out many of the men’s names and described the background to many of their lives. The local school’s headmaster, Thomas Beckett urged the local men folk to enlist and ‘do their bit’. It was only as the war wore on and the casualties mounted that he became more circumspect and by 1917 his mood was described as ‘bleak’.
Out of a population of between 800 and 1,000, 167 men enlisted, 40 died and another 40 were wounded. The higher than average casualty was explained that only one of the men joined a ‘Pals’ battalion. All the rest were in other regiments and were involved in offences with the consequent high casualty rates.
Jonathan spoke with intelligence and passion about his project. His presentation is a fitting tribute to all 140 men named that includes those both killed and those who survived, on a marble memorial at Hawkshaw Lane End.

Peter Robinson

'Our Boys' The Great War in a Lancashire Village
Jonathan Ali



Sat  27th, Sun 28th, Mon 29th June 2015

Visit to Stirling to visit Stirling Castle, Bannockburn Museum, Falkirk Wheel and the Antonine Wall.
A Channel5 programme of Stirling Castle, home of kings and felons can be seen here.

This year’s trip on 27-29 June is to Scotland, taking in Falkirk and Stirling.

Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its strategic location has made it an important fortification from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain. Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle.