Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

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Sep 2016

Thu 29 Sep 2016
2017 Civic Awards


The 2017 Civic Awards were held in the Council Chambers at Chorley Town Hall on Thu 29 Sep 2016. After many years of hard work to preserve the memory and information about the demolished underground Leyland Reservoir at Clayton-le-Woods it was good to see that one of the awards was for CHAS member Rosemary Boyd. Unfortunately Rosemary was unable to attend so our chairman Joan Dickinson accepted the award for Rosemary from Her Worship the Mayor of Chorley Councillor Doreen Dickinson. Dr David Hunt of South Ribble Museum and Art Gallery also attended.



Tue 13 Sep 2016
Boyd Harris: A Review of researches and activities over the past 12 months


When the formal business of the Annual General Meeting had been completed, Boyd Harris delivered his annual presentation touching on his various researches and activities over the past 12 months. As always it started with a summary of “hits” on the Society’s website, and was illustrated with excellent photographs, usually taken by Boyd himself, but sometimes drawn from other historical sources.

Alston Hall no longer available
for educational courses.

Mon 28 Sep 2015 the Super/Blood/Harvest Moon. A rare event.

The last fly-past of Avro Vulcan XH558 bomber over Hoghton Tower on Sat 19th Sep 2015

From the former category, this writer’s favourite was of the Super/Harvest/Blood Moon, but closely followed by the last flying Avro Vulcan passing over Hoghton Tower (History from two very different eras!).
Anyone who has seen Boyd’s presentations over the years will recognise continuing story threads. These include the Clayton Reservoir/Memorial, cycling (The excellent 2nd Chorley Grand Prix); Withnell Fold (Millenium Green opening, and James Miller VC); Chorley Hygienic Laundry (New home for Bowen Pies with a display of historic photographs of the laundry).

Monday 18th Apr 2016 was the 80th anniversary of the triangulation pillar

It looks as if this list is to be joined by Robert Parke’s former home at Withnell Hall and Lock Farm on Town Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, which is undergoing “renovation”.
Boyd’s presentations often highlight to the audience the risks/dangers facing our communities and community heritage. This year he marked the change of use of Alston Hall, the Christmas Floods around the remains of Kem Mill, the vulnerability of a listed folly at Brindle Lodge, the threat to Lancashire’s Museums (highlighting Helmshore) and the passing of post offices.

Bowen Pies on the site of
the old Hygienic Laundry

An important feature of Boyd’s presentations is always celebrating success and progress. This year he covered the Euxton War Memorial and display board, the forthcoming recognition of the Clayton Reservoir Memorial by Chorley Civic Society, the 80th anniversary of trig points, the national Community Archives conference, and the current exhibition of photographs taken by Captain William Geoffrey Chambers at South Ribble Museum.

Closure of the Whittle-le-Woods Post Office

Threatened closure of Helmshore Museum

Helmshore Museum interior


A final, but common theme to Boyd’s presentations is that of travel. This year he took us to Bhutan, Scotland (Killiecrankie, Ruthven Barracks, Kingussie, Loch Ewe, Mull, Jedburgh, Prestonpans, Leith/Royal Yacht Britannia), Ireland (Henry Ford, the anniversary of the Easter Rising 1916, Roger Casement, The Irish Famine, Tom Crean and the Tralee and Dingle Railway), and Sweden (largest iron ore mine, the Sami people and Borg Mesch a Swedish photographer).
The word eclectic must have been invented just to describe Boyd’s presentations! As always this year’s was stimulating and enjoyed by all.

John Harrison

South Ribble Museum and exhibition of photographs by Capt. William Geoffrey Chambers (1897 - 1918)