Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Medals - St Mary's & St James's Football Clubs....


Can anyone remember "The Medals" from the 1950's. It was a local football knock-out competition held annually on the St. Mary's Football Club at Prinny Hill (Click over photo to enlarge). Although I say from the 50's, thats when I remember it from, although I am led to believe it may have well started in the 1930s or 1940s... and it had become a very well established event. Usually, during the competition, one or two games would be played in the early evening (utilizing both pitches), and this would go on each evening for up to a month or so.



On the left is a photo from 1961, the final between Grane Villa Vs Collopy's (Collopy Bros and Nephews - An Irish Family that settled in Cawl Terrace going up to Cloughfold. (This photo shows George McKenzie held aloft with the cup - others in the photo l to r: at the back are: John Barnes, Derek Gill, George Mckenzie and Davies, and l to r: at the front are: Bill Brandwood, Terry Navin, Brian Raynor, Bill Parker, Tommy Egan and Jack Austin)
The Teams that played in the "Medals" came from all over the Valley and Accrington as well, though in the main they where local businesses whom had got a team together specially for the event and included teams from J.H. Birtwistles or L. Whittakers etc.... also there where more permanent local teams involved such as Grane Villa and Helmshore United.


It was customary on the final to get hold of a celebrity to present the prizes, and as I remember the last one to come was Ronnie Clayton (of Blackburn Rovers and England). On St. Mary's there was a modernish brick built changing room, which you met as you entered the pitch and this is where the Medals would be presented from, at the end of the Competition.



The photo on the left is from the 1961 final when the Collopy Brothers and Grane Villa battle it out in the mudded goalmouth.
The photo on the right is the presentation being carried out to Grane Villa. Ald John Walsh handing over the tropy to George McKenzie. (from l to r: Joe Moden, Ald John Walsh JP, Jim Healey, Boy at side of trophy we think is Tony Gallagher at about 10 years old, Roy Britland, George McKenzie receiving Cup, Tony Morgan, Brian Nuttall, Dennis Grenaghon, Tommy Egan, Jimmy Ormerod, Terry Navin)


I am informed that the "Medals" finally stopped in 1969 with the Final between Franklands vs J.H. Birtwistle, and Franklands ended up the Winners. Some of the players in that great final were, for Franklands: Dave Blackledge, Jim Mead, The late Roy Webb and John Flynn and some of the players for J.H. Birtwistle were: David Harvey, John Willan, Paddy Clarke and Jeff Wolfenden.
This was the last competition because before long the area was to be taken for the building of the new by-pass and other redevelopment of the area.

Both Haslingden St. Marys and Haslingden St. James Football pitches where next to one another down on Prinny Hill and they where each enclosed in part by timber railway sleepers stood on end with pointed tops... I played on the St. James field many times with the school and can remember the changing room which was a timber building which was situated to the Swinnel Brook side of the field. Lamberts Cotton Mill was just over the brook and wall..and further back was the village of Carrs.

Cash had a lovely house closeby to both football fields and it got the nickname "Ponderosa"...
Thanks to Martin Molloy for providing the three "Medals" photos and naming the players etc.

Porritts Football Club, Helmshore in the Medal Competition in the early 60s
Back Row from L: Frank Crompton, Ronnie Whittaker, Laurence Barlow, Bob Kay, Bob Haworth, David Braithwaite, John Wadsworth, Raymond Moore
Front Row from L: Tony Frost, Brian Haworth, John Brockbank, David Harrison, Brian Kay.
(Photo kindly sent in by Brian and Kathleen Haworth via Jack Pilling on 8th Jan 2015) Please click over to enlarge.

These photos below have kindly been contributed by Marie Ives and are of the Spring Vale Mill Football Team taken in 1932.  They won the Haslingden Church Institute Football Medal Competition during that year.


Spring Vale Mill Football Team taken in 1932 (Click over photo to enlarge)
(Photo: Kindly contributed by Marie Ives and uploaded here on 25th September 2015)

George Taylor front row 2nd left, Wilf Chaplow (back row 2nd left) next to him is Jimmy Brierley (centre), and to his right Billy Whittam.
The team won the Haslingden Church Institute Football Medal Competition

For me this photo has brought up another question! I personally can only remember the "Medals" being played on the old St. Mary's.  So did both the St James's and St Mary's run independent "Medal" Competitions and if that be the case, did the competition in later years become merged as one or did the St. James's just pack up with the St. Mary's continuing.  DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED - IF SO PLEASE LET US KNOW...THANKS!

Spring Vale Mill Football Team taken in 1932  (Click over photo to enlarge)
(Photo: Kindly contributed by Marie Ives and uploaded here on 25th September 2015)

This photo shows the cup being presented by the Mayor (looks to me like Mr. Baxter)



Monday, 11 May 2009

James Berry - British Hangman's visit to Haslingden Public Hall...




James Berry (1852-1913) Here is a flyer from 1892, promoting a visit to Haslingden Public Hall by the ex British Hangman, James Berry..... (Thanks to Kieron Ridehalgh for copy of this flyer..Click over flyer to enlarge)

From Local Newspaper cuttings:

THE EX HANGMANS DIFFICULTIES - James Berry the ex-hangman, appeared to a judgement summons at the Haslingden County Court, and resisted his committal for a debt of 30 shillings.  He stated he had done nothing since November, his lectures on hanging having failed to pay, and though he had tried to get work as a commercial traveller he had failed.  His six children were out of work, and no one would give them employment because of the office he (Berry) formerly held.  There were six judgments against him in the Bradford Court, but he could not meet them.  Jud Coventry sympathised with the debtor, and suspended his committal.

THE EX HANGMAN AND THE ACCRINGTON COMMERCIAL - At Haslingden County Court yesterday, before Judge Coventry, James Berry, ex-hangman, was brought up on a judgment summons by Albert Wilkinson, commercial traveller, of Accrington.  Berry had been lecturing about the country, and Wilkinson had worked the lantern for him.  Judgement for 30 shillings, had already been given, -- Mr. R.K. Whittaker (who represented the plaintiff) said defendant was well able to pay.  -- Defendant said he had done nothing since November.  His last lecture did not pay.  He had tried to get work as a commercial or brewer's traveller, but failed, and his six children were all out of work, - No one seemed inclined to give them employment on account of the office he had held. His Honour suspended payment of the amount.

Bartholemew Binns (1839-1911)

From Local "Rossendale Free Press" - April 14th 1888 (extracted from Chris Aspin's HASLINGDEN)  

Visit Of Binns, The Ex-Hangman - On Tuesday, Binns, the late hangman, pitched his tent behindthe New Inn yard and with a dummy figure performed mimic executions during the evening before the eyes of many Haslingden people, whose morbid curiosity had been aroused by the announcement of the visit.  Binns also showed relics of certain murderers he had executed.

(thanks to Jackie Ramsbottom for the link on the old newspaper cuttings)


Harry Allen (1911-1992)

During the 1960's I had a spell working via agency for Singer-Cobble at Blackburn, and this big guy who was the security man came to the Office now and again, and I can remember someone saying to me "Do you know who that guy is (the security man), it's Harry Allan - the last hangman of Great Britain" ...... and even at that time I believe he was still paid on retention for such services should they ever be called for... I was to see him again, not far away from Haslingden, he resided, just over Grane Road in the cottages on "Kendal Way" which run alongside the Pack Horse in the direction of Belthorn.... Harry finished off his working life giving out change whilst in the kiosk on Fleetwood pier. 

If you want to read the full story about Harry Allen then please click here

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Haslingden's Railway & Station

Train Entering Haslingden Station after coming through North Hag Tunnel
(Painting by the late Mr. Arthur Kirby) - Please click over painting to enlarge




This photo on the left shows Haslingden Station in the 1950s with train No. 42785 approaching the station having just come through North Hag Tunnel and you can just see the start of Donkey Row (Bridge Street) to the right. The photo on the right was taken from up near Donkey Row and is another one of the Station, but also shows clearly the Sheds and Station Yard with crane and cotton mills in background etc.













The main approach to the Station was via a wide cobbled road made up of highly polished setts, and the road swung round in a mighty arc (see photo on left). On your approach and to your right was the Station yard which was solidly enclosed with side by side timber railway sleepers stood on end with pointed tops.






I can remember the British Railways Truck in its dark red and county cream livery, it was a Scammell 3 wheeler with a flat trailer. Here on the right is a picture of one which I took at last years Tram Sunday at Fleetwood... I would see one identical to this up and down that cobbled road, on a daily basis...




I remember, all the lights on the station platforms where gas lit, there where waiting rooms and toilets on both platforms. I also remember there was always a mass of timetables for various destinations throughout Lancashire, these seemed to always be neatly set out in a timber framed mount which had lots of little shelf pockets to house these timetables.... The station was generally manned by a staff of 2 or 3, I think it was one or two porters and the Station Master..






Every weekday a shunter train would come to the Haslingden sidings, usually it would be a very old looking heavy duty train of the WD Class numbered in the 90000 ranges or it would be a 3 or 4F type... They would come up mainly to shunt the W.H. Shaw coal wagons about, bring new filled up coal wagons from the pits of Lancashire and Yorkshire and would take away the empties, they would spend up to 4 hours a day working within the sidings.







I loved it during the school holidays when occasionally I would go along to the Station and try and help out, or probably get in the way, or now and again the drivers of the shunters would shout down and ask if I wanted to climb the footplate and drive the train down the track a little, they where great times and times that have created great memories for me.



The regular service trains that came through Haslingden where coming from Manchester and going to Colne (or the other way!), and the next stop on from here was the Baxenden Station and goods yard (which was just a little further on than the Hollands Pies factory near Rising Bridge) and then it was onward and downward to Accrington, then on via Rosegrove, Burnley, etc to Colne. Usually on this route where local "stanier" class trains which where in the main shedded at Accrington or Rosegrove... but besides these regular service trains, there would also be goods trains, and special excursions, especially for the wakes weeks annual "cotton towns" holiday fortnight...



I like many others in the 50s was a train spotter armed with my Ian Allen book together with shed book which those days cost 10/6d (thats ten shillings and sixpence), and from where I lived at 110 Hud Hey Road, it was great. I could see the trains come into the Station or through North Hag Tunnel, watching from my back window and then nip out the front door and watch them from close range coming under the bridge at Hud Hey (see picture here on left). Sometimes there would be "namers" usually "Jubilee or Patriot" Classes. Sometimes you would see "double-headers" with many carraiges behind them.... they where really great times...... The fabulous photo on the upper right here was the view I would see everyday from my back window at Hud Hey. The photo was taken on 3rd July 1964 by the late Mr. Eric Bentley (copyright held by Bryan Yorke).



The Haslingden "Signal Box" was about 250 yards North of Haslingden Station on the same side and almost in line with Martincroft Farm which was to West, and also it was almost in line with Carr Mill which lie to its East. Another 100 yards further on was the level crossing which was accessed from Carr Hall Street or the Old Laundry and Martincroft on the other side... (there is still a crossing at this point for pedestrians to cross the local by-pass)


And here are two very old photos of Helmshore Station..and to the right is a more recent (1966s) photo showing a double header passing Prinny Hill. The photo taken by the late Eric Bentley...(copyright held by Bryan Yorke)





















(Photo: Jean Tomlinson)





(Received Email from Joan B on 12th April 2014)

We then moved on to Rising Bridge and were friends with Alan and Margaret Birtwistle and their children who took over the butcher's. Their son is now a surgeon.

Margaret's brother,Gordon Dakin,my husband and other friends knocked down part of Haslingden railway station building and used the stones as foundations for houses that were being  built at Baxenden.

Regards, Joan B.


Saturday, 2 May 2009

Haslingden Plastic Brick & Tile Co. - Top O'th Slate





Top o’ th’ Slate
A new brick company for Haslingden - A company has been formed with a capital of £2,000 to acquire, refurnish and work the Slate Brick Works, formerly worked by the owner Mr. John Greenwood. Operations are expected to commence a month hence. Messrs. D. Halstead, E. Schofield, W. H. Blaney, E. Barlow, H. Tattersall, H. Hall, A. Bailey, and James Watt are the princupal shareholders at present.
[Ramsbottom Observer 7th February 1896]

Haslingden Plastic Brick and Tile Co. - The works of this company were opened at The Slate, Haslingden, on Saturday, by the ceremony of christening the engine. In the absence of the chairman, Mr. Albert Warburton, Cllr. Waite, the vice-chairman of the company, called upon Mrs. Edward Schofield to christen the engine. She did so by breaking a bottle of champagne. The works have been acquired by the company from the Bury Banking Co. The shale is extensive and of good quality, and with the new machinery which has been put in the company expect to work on easier terms than their neighbours, the old works having merely needed new machinery and certain adaptations to modern requirements.
[Ramsbottom Observer 8th May 1896]
The Haslingden Plastic Brick and Tile Co. was wound up on 13th October 1898. A new company was formed in the same year called the New Haslingden Plastic Brick Co. This was wound up on 19th September 1900.

Valuable Brick Works and Stone Quarry for Sale as a going concern
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, by Mr. Ralph Greenwood, F.A.I., at the Commercial Hotel, Haslingden, on Wednesday, November 7th, 1900, at seven o’clock in the evening, subject to the general conditions of the Manchester Incorporated Law Association, and to such Special Conditions as shall be produced at the time of sale.
THE BRICK WORKS AND STONE QUARRY, situate at Top o’ th’ Slate, Haslingden, recently held by the New Haslingden Plastic Brick Co. Ltd., with the fixed and loose Brickmaking and Quarry Plant, comprising:-
ALL THOSE PLOTS OF LAND at Top o’ th’ Slate aforesaid, containing together 14 acres 39 perches, or thereabouts.
There are several hundred yards of valuable rock already bared, and the face of rock and slate combined is some 60 feet in depth.
This property is Copyhold of the Manor of Accrington Old Hold, and is subject to the ordinary copyhold incidents and nominal Lord’s rent. The mineral rights are claimed by the Lords of the said Manor, and are now enjoyed by arrangement with them or their lessees, a small Annual Sum being paid therefore, 2 Large Water Reservoirs, holding capacity 200,000 and 100,000 gallons respectively.
THE BUILDINGS, consisting of Brickmaking Departments arranged for six machines and screening stage, Boiler House and Round Chimney Stack, 90 ft. high; fixed riveted Iron Cistern, extending over Boiler House, holding capacity 30,000 gallons, Engine House, Mechanics’ Shop, Smith’s Shop, and wood erected offices.
THE KILNS, consisting of Patent continuous 16-Chambered Kiln (holding capacity 128,000), 4 Downdraught Kilns (holding capacity 84,000), and square built brick chimneys.
MOTIVE POWER, ETC., including Steam Boiler 30 ft. by 8 ft., and Mountings by Daniel Adamson, Tangye’s Patent Pump, Horizontal High Pressure Steam Engine, 20 in. cylinder, 18 in. stroke, and patent exhaust Injector with 7 ft. unbreakable Belt Pulley, 16 in. on face; 90 ft. Cotton Driving Belt, 14 in. wide and leather and other Belting, Main Shafting, Gearing, Steam and Water Piping.
THE PLANT AND MACHINERY, consisting of Tramways as laid from face of shale to screening and grinding room, together with Steam Hauling Gear and Waggons, Clay Grinding and Mixing Mills, with 9 foot Pan by Johnson, and ditto. 8 ft. by Alexander, and Elevators in connection therewith, Pug Mill by Johnson, 3 re-press Brickmaking Machines by C. Whittaker & Co. Ltd., recently new; Johnson’s Plastic Brickmaking Machine. Steam or Hand Press by Pullan and Mann, together with a large quantity of Dies and Boxes for all machines.
CONTENTS OF MECHANICS’ SHOP, including Planing Machine and Tools by Louden Bros., Glasgow, Patent Self-acting upright Drilling Machine by The Davis and Egan Machine Co., Vertical Donkey Engine, small horizontal Engine, Grindstone and Frame, Mechanics’ Tools, Stocks, Taps and Dies, Benches, Racks and Tools, Smith’s Hearth, Anvil, Swages, Hammers, Hand drill, etc. EGG END BOILER, 13 ft. 6 in. by 4 ft. 10 in., used as a water reserve; MORTAR MILL, STEAM CRANE by J. Hargreaves, Rawtenstall, and wire rope for same; One HAND-CRANE; Timber-made waggon road, with rails and sleepers for baring purposes; End and side tip waggons; wire hauling rope; wheel plates; buckling chains, bars and picks; 21 brick and box barrows, ladders, planking and timber. A large quantity of blue slates, office furniture and safe by J. Grove, Birmingham, 36 in. by 26 in; general stores and loose effects.
For further particulars, apply to the Auctioneer, 21, Bury-road, Haslingden, and at no. 5 Pillar, Royal Exchange, Manchester; or to Messrs Whittaker & Hibbert, Solicitors, Haslingden.
[Ramsbottom Observer 2nd November 1900]

Thanks to John Simpson, for supplying this superb information on the Haslingden Plastic Brick Company.