Thu 10 Nov 2016
Lizzie Jones - And a new
'Margaret Paston' a mediaeval wife based
on the ‘Paston Letters’
St Laurence’s parish church was again the venue for Lizzie
Jones’ latest dramalogue. Lizzie said the Paston letters dated
from 3 generations of the Paston family from near Norwich.
Written during the Wars of the Roses they amounted to over 1,000
documents; letters to and from family members, associates and
Margaret, Lizzie’s subject matter, married John
Paston and were the middle of the 3 generations. Although
written in times of conflict they were not political in tone.
They did, though, shed light on matters that affected a
landowning, property owning family.
As was typical with their
class, there’s was an arranged marriage, which produced 6
children. John was said not to be romantic but they both cared
for each other. John worked in law and spent much time away in
Their letters illustrated the lawless times they
Through acquisitions they owned several properties, Caister
Castle, for one. They were subject to attack and occupation by
powerful claimants to the properties. Circumstances meant that
Margaret was alone in the properties when they were under
The family eventually died out in the late 18th
century when the letters were discovered.
Life was tough for
much of the population, even if you owned land and property.
Once again, in her inimitable style, Lizzie brought to life a
character mentioned only in letters dating back 500 years.
Tue 08 Nov 2016
Ian Bagshaw - Lancashire
Ian announced his return to the society and said he would cover
3 aspects of Chorley; people, places and artifacts.
an image of a blue plaque at Hollinshead School, stating
Sir Norman Haworth, a Nobel prize winner in chemistry in
1937, attended that school. Born in 1883, his working life
started aged 14 at a local bleach and dye works. He was
encouraged into further education and his brilliance in organic
chemistry led to an outstanding academic life. His research on
carbohydrates and vitamin C led to his Nobel prize.
unconventional character was Leonora Carrington. Daughter of a
wealthy local mill owner, she was by all accounts a
strong-minded child. Difficult to control at school her abiding
interest was art. Her education in art took her to Chelsea and
Florence and her style developed into surrealism. Her colourful
life saw her marry 3 times, escape from wartime Europe to Mexico
where she became a much-loved and important surrealist artist
being awarded an OBE. She died aged 94 in 2011.
Sir Norman Haworth
Ian’s third local person, Stanley Hough, was of much lower
profile but a no less interesting life. Documents found in an
envelope documented Stanley’s life through school in the 1930’s.
Starting with a, not too, positive report but leading to one the
school’s best performers. An engineering apprenticeship led to a
notable career on the railways, not only in the UK but China
Ian’s places of interest included Chorley’s town hall
and the changes to the streets around it that have occurred over
His most interesting artefact, still with a town
hall connection, was a solid silver cradle presented to a mayor,
John Fernhead, in 1921. It was presented to him by the town
council as he had become the first serving mayor to become a
Ian concluded his interesting Chorley Hotpot talk by
explaining what Chorley Heritage Support Group does and how we