Monday, 12 December 2016

Photo Album and Snippets No.5 (2017)


Faye Blackburn who lives at 366 Manchester Road (Road End) almost opposite to Houghtons Bakery and the old Newsagents shop is requesting information on her house if anyone can help her.

She has been informed that at one time it may have been a pub or part of a pub.  Can anyone give more information on this. Thanks

If you can help please let me know on and I will then publish the information here and also inform Faye.


Rudges Chip Shop at Prinny Hill (Click over to enlarge)

I have just included this in the HASLINGDEN PRINTING WORKS Blog which has been kindly contributed by John Dunleavy (thank you John)

Haslingden Borough News remembered.
J Dunleavy.

Haslingden Borough News
Every Thursday. Price 1d

Registered as the GPO                                                                                                                                    In which is incorporated
as a newspaper                                                                                                                                                         the Selling News
Local journals are not as popular as they once were. Many readers will recall how years ago most towns had not just one but several papers.  Haslingden, a town in east Lancashire, had several to its credit. Not all enjoyed a lengthy existence: how many now are able to recall the Haslingden Guardian, or even the Haslingden Times, a journal that perished in its infancy? Not all of these were published and printed in the town, though the Haslingden Borough News, had the distinction of being printed and published in the town and was unique in that its front page displayed the town's coat of arms with its motto, 'Nothing without labour.' This brief exercise is nothing more than an exploration of the part played locally by the Borough News, a journal that was invariably referred to by its original title as the Selling News.

     A study of this journal is hampered by the absence of a complete file. An enquiry to the British Newspaper Library at Colindale brought the information that their 'run' of the Borough News started in 1959, leaving many years unaccounted for. The information carried by the journal suggests in the early 1920s it started using the title of the Borough Selling News.

     The Selling News and its successor were printed in the office of the Haslingden Printing Works in John Street. Among those who first aroused the curiosity of the writer was the late George Hadfield who was not only a director of the company but was a working compositor. He was among those who started the paper as a freebie, given away each week. Such publications were possible thanks to local tradesmen, community groups and numerous individuals who were prepared to buy advertising space. All of this changed with the outbreak of war in 1939. The government imposed stringent restrictions on the use of paper and banned free publications. In future the imposition of a price became obligatory. While advertisements were permitted such papers had to carry a quota of news. An eight page journal for instance was to provide three pages of news. The distribution of the paper was unique in that instead of dealing with local news agents, a number of retired men assembled each Thursday in John Street and laden with canvas bags undertook to supply all districts with the paper.

     The paper had originated as an advertising medium and this was reflected in the pages throughout its sixty year run. The space allocated to news reports was always far below that occupied by advertisements. After all the latter brought in revenue. and the readership had come to expect advertisements rather than news.

     When the writer first became acquainted with the Borough News page one was given over largely to advertisements for the town's two cinemas. The Empire and the Palace were owned and managed by Bert Hoyle. Patrons were offered films on six days a week, a change of programmes taking place each Thursday.  Patrons complained the films were rarely ever recent releases, having been shown already in the larger, neighbouring towns.  How often the cry of 'that's as old as Adam!' was raised on Thursday evenings when patrons learned of the programme for the coming week. In answer to its critics the management maintained the availability of films was determined by the extent of the resident population if that was the case then Haslingden filmgoers were destined to be disappointed, neighbouring towns such as Rawtenstall and Accrington boasted of having  much larger populations. Gone with the wind proved to be one of the most lucrative films made in the 1940s, yet it was to be many years before it was shown in Haslingden. Most local filmgoers anticipating a long wait prior to its Haslingden debut reportedly were prepared to travel to neighbouring towns to satisfy their curiosity about this blockbuster movie that proved to be such a box office success.

     The rest of the front page was devoted to a number of smaller display adverts, among these was one for the fixtures of the Haslingden Cricket Club.  But this was a seasonal game, the Lancashire League team began its fixtures around Easter and finished in the autumn. This freed up more of page one for other advertisers others, and these usually consisted of announcements regarding a forthcoming event, such as a concert staged by a local amateur society or a Sunday school. Occasionally there might be a notice from the Haslingden Borough Council, the town at that time having its own local government.

     Inside pages were given over to paid announcements, in particular births, marriages and deaths. Of these the death notices were supplemented by reports of local deaths, and frequently followed up by accounts of funerals. Names of mourners, floral tributes and (in the case of Roman Catholics) spiritual offerings were listed.

     Following on from all this was what was termed 'Legal notices.' These invariably ran along the lines of:

I, John Smith, of Haslingden, will no longer be responsible for any debts incurred by my wife, Edith Smith. after the appearance of this notice.
(Signed) John Smith.     

This practice seems to have been observed for some years, yet such advertisements had no legal validity. Locally they were read with close interest since if anything they were informing the public that not all was well in the Smith household. Not surprisingly such announcements frequently proved to be a prelude to a legal separation. In any event such publicity was grist to then mill of the gossipmongers who were now likely to regard the Smiths in a different light.

     News  reports fell into two categories.  There was a column headed 'News in brief.' Lacking its own reporter the News was obliged to rely on other local papers for much of its information. Titles appearing in Rawtenstall, Accrington and Blackburn were scoured for stories that might have  a bearing on Haslingden. These might be supplemented by referring to the evening journals published in Blackburn or Manchester, though neither were inclined to give much coverage to Haslingden. 
     The other source consisted of reliance on stories brought in by local people. These varied widely in numbers and content. Most often they reported events promoted by the Sunday schools and other local agencies such as the clubs of which there were a great number at this time. Sports enthusiasts liked to see accounts of the various cricket and football fixtures receiving some attention in the local weekly though again much depended on the readiness of individuals to bring in stories.
     The News originated as an advertising journal. Readers seemingly continued to perceive the medium in this way throughout its existence. One of the most popular features of the paper was a column headed 'Sales and Wants.' Household items such as pianos, beds, tables, kitchen cabinets and so on appeared week after week. The appeal of this column was a reflection on continuing shortages after the second World War. Many items we now take for granted were in short supply, often unobtainable.
Hence it was a case of accept used items or do without.  
     There was also the serious housing shortage to consider, a problem persisting long after 1945. Some home-seeker exasperated by the lengthy waiting list for new rented properties often decided to rent rooms, or try and purchase a home. Houses for sale were sometimes advertised along with a price tag, while other property owners were prepared to gamble on determining the value of their home by resorting to a sale by auction. 
     No consideration of the News as a popular weekly journal would be complete without some indication of  the other items were to be found among the advertisements. Having already mentioned the cinemas, no attention has been paid to the religious institutions of the town. 'Churches and chapels' advertised not only the weekly services and Sunday schools, but also acknowledged some of the highlights of the church year, such as Christmas and Easter. And there was also what were termed 'the sermons.' These were usually linked to an anniversary or a jubilee when some eminent clergyman was invited to  preach and the services were enhanced by special music rendered by soloists accompanied by choir, organ and instrumentalists. For the nonconformist churches especially the sermons provided an important source of revenue. Silver collections were expected at the services, while an additional source of income was made possible by utilising the services of soloists and musicians who might be prepared to participate in a secular concert on the Saturday evening.  
     Haslingden Industrial Co-operative Society resorted to the advertising columns of the News frequently. Apart from offering a wide range of services to its members through its numerous retail outlets located in most parts of the town, 'the Co-op' was a great employer of labour. In its heyday the society attracted and retained members by offering a generous dividend based on a record of sales. After World War II societal changes came to be reflected in declining profits and a diminution of members. The appeal of the co-op and its quarterly 'divi payments' failed to respond to the challenges presented by newer, more aggressive commercial retailers.
     Not surprisingly as an advertising medium the News  rarely ever provided its readers with an opinion column. Some chose to give vent to their feelings by addressing a letter to the editor on matters of local concern. These in turn might provoke the editor to pen a reply, though this was  a rare event. However the writer recalls  distinctly the arrival in the printing office one day of a letter purporting to come from a Mr. L. Ipra Loof,. The correspondent claimed he had recently visited the
town as the guest of an acquaintance at Manchester University. While busily exploring the hilly landscape the visitor claimed he was intrigued to come across an earthenware utensil not unlike those that could ne found extensively in his home country. However the local find carried an inscription which the visitor suggested   readers might help him to explain. The only fragments of the inscription remaining ran, according to the visitor  as: ITI-SAP-ISP-OT.  
     The delivery of a letter to the News was not a regular event and this aroused the suspicion of the editor that all was not quite right. On referring the matter to one of his of his colleagues the editor was advised to establish the credentials of the writer. Having studied the name  - or nom-de-plum - of the writer  it dawned on the editor  that the correspondent was emulating others who were inclined to take up their pen at this time of year in an attempt to embarrass journal editors. The News editor, a well meaning retiring man having considered the matter determined to give as good as he got. He  dismissed the April prank - for such it was - in just  a few words. That was certainly an interesting find made by your friend, he observed:  he should have crowned himself with his discovery! 

In Memoriam

Haslingden Borough News

Born 1922
Expired 1984

Gone but not forgotten



I have just added a further verse to my poem "Knock it Daaern". It was not right to have not included the beautiful "majestic" Churches and Chapels and to reflect a more true record I have now also included: Salem, Trinity, Primitive and Wesley. Hope you like it and if you prefer to check out the blog with its photographs of the buildings please CLICK HERE

It's a bonny place so knock it daaern"

It's a bonny place so knock it daaern,
So all can watch with a drooping fraaern.
There's tons and tons of Hassy's best,
Millstone grit can't be seen to rest!
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Vicarage that stood up on that bonk!
In its shadow was Martins Bank,
Grammar School was a buried Road,
Good few ton did mek that load,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Major, would turn over in his grave if he knew,
What had happened to his Highfield view,
Lions at Carter Place have gone with rest,
We're left with a porch without its crest,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Town Hall! Council will have a Ball,
With all thi hard earned cash,
So lets get shut for once and for all,
Before they have their Annual bash.
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Its only a building is yon Con Club,
For some I suppose it was their hub,
Another fine place was Workhouse past,
Who needs a hospital on yon hill,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Even the "mighty" can fall but we'll not have a ball!
Salem, Trinity, Primitive and John Wesley preached!
but all went down with a "bang"
and no more did the bells ring or did the people sing"
 so Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Nah! don't let it stand still,
Or tha'll get a bill,
Knock it daaern!


Salem Chapel

Trinity Baptist

Primitive Methodist - Grane Road
Photo: Kindly shared by Chris Kirby

Wesley Chapel

Helmshore Bowling Club (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Currently being offered for sale by E.Bay Auction Site
uploaded here on 21st May 2017

PLEASE TREAT THE ABOVE PHOTO WITH CAUTION - We cannot find on record a Helmshore Bowling Club, and none of the personal are recognized and the background does not look locally familiar.  If someone can help further please let us know, thanks. 

The Lawn at Carter Place Hall
Photo: Kindly shared by Joyce Thorne and uploaded here on 18th May 2017

Two photos here showing Mrs. Tom Worsley and their daughter Mary - taken from the lawn area and steps of
Carter Place Hall during a Winter and Summer
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Joyce Thorne

Thought to be Mrs. Worsley and shows the large greenhouses which
Mr Tom Worsley had at Carter Place Hall for growing his prize winning Orchids
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Joyce Thorne and uploaded here on 18th May 2017

Thought to be Mr. Tom Worsley of Carter Place Hall
Photo: Kindly shared by Joyce Thorne

Haslingden Cricket Team - probably a Sunday School Team - Not sure where taken could be Victoria Park or could be around Carter Place Hall areas. I can recognize a Alderman in the photo so will try and research more shortly.
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Joyce Thorne

Haslingden Sunday School Cricket League "B" Division Winners (Click over to enlarge)
Photo taken at Carter Place Hall
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Joyce Thorne and uploaded here on 18th May 2017

Haslingden Mechanics Institute 1860 (Click over to enlarge)
This was the Institute which eventually became our Public Library.
Note the beautiful flagstones to the front! What on earth will have happened to them?

Mr and Mrs. Schofield who ran the Shoe Repair Shop at 240 Blackburn Road in the 1920/30s
Photo: Kindly shared by Paul Schofield of his Grandparents.

The shop later became Mrs. Daniels fish and chip shop, then Jack and Mary Stafford's Chip Shop,
and ending it's days has a shop with Ho's Chinese take away shop. Today it is a private dwelling.

A religious gathering on Marsden Square in front of the Market Hotel in 1911 (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Just sent in by Gillian Hicks with thanks
This photo is also pre-archived from Michael Mullaney with thanks

The above programme (all pages) from Haslingden Parish Church - 1920 for
the unveiling and dedication of the Memorial Tablet for soldiers who gave their lives for their country 1914-1919
has now been uploaded to the War Heroes Blog and can be accessed by the left hand column index within that blog and scroll down.
The Programme has been kindly shared to us by Andrew Neil Taylor - thanks


2 photos above of Haslingden Baptist Church (Ebenezer Baptist) photos during the alterations - June 2012
Photos: Kindly shared by Clifford Hargreaves on 13th May 2017

A cracking photo of Blackburn Road (Click over to enlarge)
This is the area of Blackburn Road which is near to the junction of Railway Road.  You can see Billy Pilling's Electrical Shop.  Also you can see the old Newsagents shop to the back left which was demolished for safety. and you can also see the first house of the row which was Station Road which was demolished many years ago.
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Pauline Emmett Dagg and uploaded here on 13th May 2017

St. Johns Ambulance (Click over to enlarge)
This is a group of young people on a trip to Bexhill on Sea around 1960
Photo: Kindly shared by Pauline Emmett Dagg on 13th May 2017  

Ebenezer Baptist Walking Day -
Photo: Kindly shared by Keith Gunton on 13th May 2017

Alice Gunton nee Lamb aged 30 in 1954..(4th from left on second row)
Photo: Kindly shared by Keith Gunton on 13th May 2017

My Grandmother - Ann Greenwood on right - taken at Prospect Terrace with Prospect Hill on the Left
Photo: Kindly shared by Keith Gunton

St. Mary's School 1955
Kindly shared by Mary Green on 12th May 2017, also archived under St. Marys Blog

End of War Party on Maple Avenue
Photo: Kindly shared with us by Mary Green on 12th May 2017

Bridge End from around 1895 (Click over to enlarge)

1920's Commerce Street Carrs - Click over photo to enlarge

The Plaiting of the Maypole - Musbury Children's Concert - Click over to enlarge

Maypole on Store Street (Click over to enlarge)

Musbury Carnival going past Bridge End (Click over to enlarge

Thought to be Musbury Whitsuntide Procession (Click over to enlarge)

A very old photo of Group 4 of the Waterfoot C. School - thought to be the Waterfoot in the district of Haslingden

Helmshore County Primary School around 1955
Photo: Kindly shared by Jean Smith on 27th April 2017

Helmshore County Primary 1964 Soccer Team
Photo: Kindly shared by Jean Smith

Haslingden Youth Club - Coronation 1953 (Click over to enlarge)
Prinny Hill - Note Billy Bramwell's Fish Shop on the corner
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Peter Wood.

A photo of the telegram sent to the late John T. Wood (Haslingden Youth Club Warden) from the
Rossendale MP Tony Greenwood for his service of 25 years to Haslingden Youth Club

Park Mill Football Club 1930s (Click over to enlarge)


Barlows Fold which was on Helmshore Road next to the Bay Horse Pub, where the garage (ex Cordingley's) is nowadays - (Photo: taken from the book "Haslingden" Page 17 published in 1979).

ITS IN REGARDS TO THE PROPERTIES WHICH WERE DEMOLISHED to make room for the late Cordingley's Petrol Station which is on Helmshore Road close to the Bay Horse Pub. 

Ray Campbell and his family lived at No.9 Helmshore Road and he remembers:
"At the front was a square open space we used to call the "FOLD" and in the centre there was a dip, which I presumed was a former well.

Sue Rawcliffe who was born at No.5 Helmshore Road, seems to remember the Cottages could well have been called BARLOWS FOLD and she recalls they had a cobbled courtyard to the front.

It would be great if we could get more information about these old long gone properties.


I have been given the old 8mm films made by the late Harry Pollard thanks to Frank and Julie Spencer. It is their wishes that Harry’s work be offered to the public and made available to all through the Haslingden Old and New Blogsite.
I will hopefully be viewing them over the coming weeks and selecting sections which will hopefully be OK for digital transfer and then seeking advice on this from friends.
I am told the films will include “Walking Days” and also some of “Ken Barlow (William Roache) at a local Railway event”.  Once I have gone through them I will list the content subjects on the blog.
So let’s look forward to these in the near future.  I will then offer a direct link from the Google Drive platform to the Haslingden Old and New Site, and the link will also be extended and made available simultaneously  to Jackie’s Haslingden Roots facebook site


Helmshore Primary School (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared by Victoria Roles

 Helmshore Primary School. The Farnworth family. From the left : John (deceased) Jean, Susan  and Thomas.
(Click over to enlarge) Photo: Kindly shared by Jean Smith on 25th April 2017

Susan and Jean Farnworth - St. Thomas Musbury Helmshore Walking day about 1960 (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Jean Smith on 25th April 2017


Click over the photo to enlarge
This photo has been sent in by RAY CAMPBELL

I came across this photo, its of Colin my brother, myself and cousin Maria. Although it  looks like the 1930s it was taken in the mid 1950s at 9 Helmshore Road near the Bay Horse pub. The houses were demolished in 1960 to make way for Cordingley's  petrol station


Chris Aspin writes 24th April 2017

I'm told that one of the morning papers last
week had a story about workmen at Holden Vale,
Haslingden, being alarmed by some supernatural
goings on. I wonder whether or not any of your
readers came across the report?

In one of my collections, I quoted scary stories
from staff who had worked at Holden Vale when it
was a restaurant and motel.

Houses or flats will be built on the site, which
began as a cotton mill before being known as the
Bleach Works.
Chris Aspin


Above are three photos of GREEN CORN FARM, Stonefold (Click over to enlarge)
The Farm was also known as MAGPIE HOLE and also known as PEWITT (Lapwing) HALL

Haslingden Youth Club Trip to Germany (Click over to enlarge)
Kindly shared by Peter Wood
Note below shows the back of the photo signed by Club members and dedicated to John T. Wood (leader) and Madge

The late Mr. John T. Wood (Haslingden Youth Club leader) archived collection of HYC Membership Cards
which go from 1942 to 1967 (Click over to enlarge)
A further sampling of 60s programmes will be included in next photo.

Here is a sample just showing you the content of a membership card which gave a "syllabus" etc
Click over to enlarge

Haslingden St. James C of E School 1950 - (Click over to enlarge)

Kindly shared by Peter Wood

Haslingden St. James C of E School 1951 (Click over to enlarge)

Kindly shared by Peter Wood

Haslingden St. James C of E School 1952 (Click over to enlarge)

Kindly shared by Peter Wood 


17th April 2017 - from Paul P. Burns (GIFireE - Preston)

Dear Mr.Yorke,
Thank you for the comprehensive biography of Michael Davitt.

Your work was quite eminent and seminal.

He was one, if not the most outstanding of all the Irish Emancipators of his generation. He was as we say truly ‘A Man of the West’. In spite of dungeon fire, and sword they remain so...

His focus was the return of all the Irish lands to those who actually tilled it. Not for him the bright city lights of Dublin. A Man of the People.

Mayo his native county is recorded in John Mitchel’s Jail Journal as the most affected county in Ireland by An Gortha Mor (The Great Hunger) though this was preceded by several An Gortha Beag(The Small Hungers).

It is clear at a time when those in Mayo were walling themselves into their stone and sod houses in despair so that those passing would not see their death agony that Michael was born and he was thus one of the unique few of the survivors from those appalling days. To be then evicted was simply evil upon evil which clearly marked him for life but he never forgot his own humanity for others.

This period generated a greeting between the survivors of Mayo which still pertains in Mayo to this day when finding anyone is from Mayo... Mayo...God Bless Us all! ...meaning of course one of astonishment that anyone survived.

Perhaps that is why , as a working man, I have held such trenchant trade union views and activities within the Fire Brigades Union all my working life and still in retirement.

My Beloved Mother Mary Alice McManamon was from Newport a few miles from Michael Davitt’s birth place and was related via marriage and extended family to the Davitts my cousins who continue to reside in Newport to this day which included this last St.Patrick’s Day there...

Again a well done for your work and especially for your courage...

Yours Sincerely,
Paul P. Burns (GIFireE)



This photo is currently being offered for sale on Ebay Auctions (Click over to enlarge)
It does state that the photo is of A. Feddon - Draper and of Pleasant Street.
"Chris Aspin reports to the left of the photo was the entrance to the Albert Hall where young men misspent their
Youth playing snooker.

Bottom of Pleasant Street that was! it shows the shop fascade covering the old entrance to what was
"Albert Hall"  which I presume went over the shops

And here is Clarke's Boot and Shoe Shop which was probably the first of the shops after leaving the Bank at the bottom.
If you look just under the fascia you can see the ornamental design on the dressed stone pillars.  You can see the same design in the top photo here which shows the "Albert Hall" entrance

Ray Campbell wrote (10th April 2017)  My family left Haslingden in 1961.  We lived 9 Helmshore Road for many years.  And also for a short period at 7 Grane Road.

Attached is a photo of my aunt Isobel Ramsbottom, nee Campbell (left). Together with her husband Fred were founding members of the local Pentecostal Church.  One on the right was my Grandmother Betty Campbell.

The attached photo was taken the garden of 9 Helmshore Road some time in the 50s.  At the back was the old Congregational Church.

Ray Campbell.


Over the last couple of weeks it has come to my notice that GOOGLE must have done some sort of changeover within the blogger.  I have noticed that with the older blogs which have the smaller to large photos which you were in the past able to click over the photo and enlarge it, well this function does not now seem to work and so you are left with a lower size resolution photo which CANNOT be enlarged.  So it will be a massive job now for me to change all these separate blogs over to larger size resolutions.   But I do have to start somewhere, so I have just completed the "FIRE BRIGADE BLOG" and will do the others on a daily basis until we catch up over the coming weeks or months. So I do apologize in the meantime if you click on the photo and it does not enlarge. Just ANOTHER HICCUP which I will take care of in due course


Walking Day at St. Thomas, Musbury, Helmshore 1954/55 (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Thanks to Lorraine Brumpton for kindly sharing it with us

Ebenezer Baptist Badminton Team (1920 to 1930) - Click over to enlarge
LH Back 1st is Albert Edward White
Photo: Kindly shared by Chris Kirby

Helmshore Primary School
Kindly contributed by Mary Loy White

St. James Parish Church Badminton (Click over to enlarge)
Kindly shared to us by Chris Kirby

Musbury St. Thomas's Badminton Team (Click over to enlarge)
Taken from the scrapbook of Susan Whittaker (nee Nicholas)


(5th April 2017) Bob Phillips has made another great contribution, and this article is called "URINE ECONOMY"

We had to get used to some privations in living: buying a house for £1500, one doesn’t get much, not even in 1975 in the Lancashire valleys.  Specifically, one does not get an inside toilet. Outside the back door, on the basement level, there was a stone-flagged yard about the size of the kitchen, and in the far corner, a privy  – a rickety wooden structure.
We moved in during October.  O my, was it cold.  A dreadful trek down from the top of the house – two steep flights of boxed-in stairs – across the cold stone flags of the basement floor and out and across the freezing stone flags of the yard.  Then you had to wrench the old wooden door open and brace yourself for the freezing seat.  It was horrible. 
Then, the paper was always damp and disintegrated in your hand.  And nothing to read – no book would stay readable for long in that little outside building, and in any case there was no light to read by.  Naught for our comfort.
Not surprising that an early-identified essential was a commode. 
We started to scour the items for sale ads in the local paper and at last spotted a contents sale at a local farm.
The farm lay squat close to the side of the hill above Haslingden on Cribden side.  A nasty west facing spot lying in the teeth of every storm which blew in from the Irish Sea.  At the time of the sale, Bob was at work at the Bleach Works, so Anna went on up on her own.
An old man answered the door and led her round the dim interior cluttered with many lifetimes of stuff. And there waiting for her, she found it – a lovely mahogany commode with carpet set into the lid and a thick white china bucket and lid sitting below. Having found what we sought. Anna got excited and started buying all sorts of other stuff that was not exactly needed. But it was all so cheap and we had so little.
Anna found a huge supply of long johns that was just what she thought I needed and she also came away with a sweet sentimental Edwardian picture of a girl gazing at her bowl of goldfish.
We had our commode; kept in the bedroom – nice and warm. 

We learned that there was an economic cycle revolving around toilets in the Valleys.  This was one of a huge amount of fascinating knowledge acquired during a visit to Higher Mill – what was to become the Helmshore Museum (not then open to the public, but Chris Aspin’s private repository of the past).  This mill sits beside the River Ogden which provided the motive power when it was working.  Our visit was prompted by our overhearing a conversation in The Bay Horse, a pub off Deardengate, and the meeting place of the local caving club.  At that time the members of this club were immersed in the project of clearing decades of deposited mud from the mill race at Higher Mill.  They and Chris got the wheel to turn again.
The machinery that is run from the water wheel in this old mill is intact.  It was a shock to us to see it and be told that it had been running commercially as recently as the late 1950s.  I had seen drawings of the technology in a history book, and I went back to Haslingden Library to check.  This technology was current in the 13th century and earlier!
The wheel, driven by water, drives a shaft with great oak cams mounted on it.  The cams drive the rocking motion of massive counterbalanced oak hammers – blocks of oak jointed together in a hammer-head shape.  The hammer heads pound into oak “buckets” with a rectangular cross-section to match the hammers.
What is pounded is cloth.  Rough thick cloth – felts – from all the cotton mills around.  Pounding the cloth in a solution of urea results, over time, in the fibres matting and combining to make a fabric that has excellent water-proof and hardwearing properties.

What the cloth is pounded in – the solution of urea – is urine.  There were tall earthenware jars like those in illustrations of Aladdin around the Museum.  These jars were distributed to households in the near vicinity of the mill; filled; and then collected back to provide the process chemicals.  Until 1956!

Florence Walsh added -5th April 2017:

As an adjunct to the latest article:
The mill owners paid more for the pots of urine if the household members were Methodists as there would be no alcohol content.  Also, if anyone in the household had red hair, more was paid as they believed their urine had special properties.

Michael Mullaney added - 8th April 2017:
The poor of many industrial towns would sell their urine for a few pence to keep body and soul together.  This would be deposited in a "Pot" and saved until the collector came around.
However if you were really poor you couldn't afford a "Pot" and so it was said "You didn't have a pot to piss in", as a way of describing just how poor you were.


"Badminton Champions"
From the scrapbook of Susan Whittaker (nee Nicholas) Click over to enlarge

Taken from the scrapbook of Haslingden's Susan Whittaker (nee Nicholas) Click over to enlarge

Willie Horam and Georgie Berry as Queen and King - Carnival 1950 (Click over to enlarge
Also you may wish to check out the film for the Carnival which shows Willie and Georgie plus lots and lots more really interesting footage - If you want to view  CLICK HERE then when loaded go to right hand corner and click on the square to "fill the screen". Press Esc on finish (Thanks to John Megan Edwards for sharing this footage with us)


Bob Phillips (30th March 2017)

Dear Bryan
I don't think we have enough about the Library.

Is there scope for a blog that brings together lots of peoples experience there, and their stories?  Of course, there is a wonderful story that could be at the centre of this; Michael Davitt lifting himself out of calamity and using the Mechanics Institute to forge an intellectual life, and the basis of a future political career.  But, on a less apocalyptic scale, I am sure that there are loads of people who can tell of working in the Library; finding information that affected their lives; even meeting people there.
Do you think it would make a good blog?



(Click over to enlarge)

I wonder if any of your followers know the background to what appears to be a grave marker which is situated to the top of Calf Hey Reservoir - Haslingden Grane.

Jeff Stevens (30th March 2017)


Currently being offered on Ebay Auctions

Haslingden Youth Club - Drama - Sinbad The Sailor (Click over to enlarge)
held in December 1945
taken from the Scrapbooks of the late John T. Wood (Head Warden)
Kindly shared with us by his son Peter Wood

Haslingden Youth Club - Drama - Sinbad The Sailor (Click over to enlarge)
held in December 1945
taken from the Scrapbooks of the late John T. Wood (Head Warden)
Kindly shared with us by his son Peter Wood

Baxenden - Lodges below Hollands Pies (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Lorraine Hooper (nee Eke)

HYC - Winners of Ross Badminton League Cup 1969 (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: taken from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood (Head Warden of the HYC)
Kindly shared with us by his son Peter Wood.

Haslingden Youth Club - Badminton (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood (Head Warden)
and kindly shared with us by his son Peter Wood

This is a photo of the original plan for the footbridge which was built. The bridge is a crossing over the old railway and the bridge plan no is 4304.  Below is a detailed plan of the actual structure

This is a photo of the original plan from the late 1800s showing the actual footbridge built for Mr. Worsley. 

Filming of "Hard Times" at Carterplace in 1977 (Click over to enlarge)
Kindly shared to us by Chris Kirby
Add caption

Filming of "Hard Times" at Carterplace in 1977 (Click over to enlarge)
Kindly shared to us by Chris Kirby

Carter Place Hall (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared by Terry McGuire

Helmshore County Primary School (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Lorraine Brumpton

Helmshore County Primary School (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: kindly shared to us by Lorraine Brumpton

Helmshore County Primary School 1953 or 1954 (Click over to enlarge)
left side: front Brian Haworth, Peter Kay behind him and on right side David Pilling front,
Jeff Smith and Jimmy Peel behind him on 2nd row and Janet Schofield behind Jeff on third row
Photo: Kindly shared with us by Lorraine Brumpton

Haslingden Youth Club - Sport - Badminton (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: from the late John T. Wood's private scrapbook and kindly shared to us by Peter Wood

Haslingden Youth Club - Drama (Click over to enlarge)
10th Annual Panto "Boy Blue" check blog page 179 of scrapbook for casting
Photo: Extract from the Late John T. Wood (Head Warden) Haslingden Youth Club
Kindly shared with us by Peter Wood

Helmshore County Primary School 1953/1954 (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Ian Jefferson

Haslingden Youth Club Football (Click over to enlarge)
Back l to r: Bell, Wallwork, Moore, Allsop, Wissett, Mernagh, Dawson and Warburton
Front l to r: Hargreaves, Haworth, Lyth and Baron

Helmshore Methodist Whit Walk 1948 or 1949 (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Ian Jefferson

Haslingden Youth Club - Red Letter Day (Click over to enlarge)
Visit from Lord Derby who was the speaker for the evening talking about Knowsley Hall
Photo: taken from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood (Head Warden) and
kindly shared to us by his son Peter Wood

On the right Mr. John T. Wood (Head Warden) with Lord Derby (Click over to enlarge)
from the scrapbook of the late John. T. Wood and kindly shared by Peter Wood

Haslingden Youth Club Sleeping Beauty (Click over to enlarge)
taken from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood
Kindly shared by Peter Wood

Haslingden Youth Club Sleeping Beauty (Click over to enlarge)
taken from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood
Kindly shared by Peter Wood

Haslingden Youth Club Sleeping Beauty (Click over to enlarge)
taken from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood
Kindly shared by Peter Wood

Rossendale Schools Badminton Team 1968-1969 ish (Click over to enlarge)
Back left to right: Sylvia, ?. Peter Woods, ?,?,?.
Front left to right: ?, Susan Nicholas, ?, Carol Kay, ?.
Note Wooden Rackets!
Photo: Kindly shared by Susan Whittaker (nee Nicholas)

St. Thomas's Badminton  Team c1969 (Click over to enlarge)
?, Brian Johnson, George Brooks, Derek Thompson, Margaret Johnson, Eileen Gillespie, Kath Thompson, Susan Nicholas
Kindly shared by Peter Wood and Susan Whittaker

Haslingden Youth Club - Drama (Click over to enlarge)
"Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves"
taken from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood
Kindly shared by Peter Wood

Haslingden Youth Club - Drama (Click over to enlarge)
From the Scrapbook of the late John T. Wood (Head Warden at the Club)
Photo: Kindly shared by Peter Wood

Haslingden Youth Club - Badminton Team (Click over photo to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Peter Wood and Susan Whittaker

Bay Horse Hotel - Happy Days  (Click over to enlarge)
"Nat Lofthouse" footballer autograph on front of card
Kindly shared with us by Ron Baron

"Younger Generation Question Time" at Haslingden Youth Club (Click over photo to enlarge)
More details of this event will be published within the scrapbook files.
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Peter Wood

Haslingden Youth Club Noticeboard (Click over to enlarge)
in the hall of the Haslingden Secondary Modern School

Haslingden Youth Club - Badminton Team (Click over to enlarge)
photo: kindly shared by Peter Wood and Susan Whittaker

(Click over to enlarge)

These are the personal scrapbooks by the late Mr. John T. Wood (Head Warden of Haslingden Youth Club)
from its inception in 1940 to its demise 40 years later.
I have been asked by his son Peter to digitalize the books and publish them on this blog
I am adding pages by the day (there will be over 200 pages in total) so please
keep checking by CLICKING HERE and scrolling down to the SCRAPBOOKS

Helmshore County Primary School 1964 ish  (Click over to enlarge)

Back Row: Stephen Greenwood, Alan Hollin, Alan Seville, ?,?, Craig Fleming, David Edney, Kenneth McWaters, Mrs. Winstanley.
3rd Row: Ian Edmundson, Dave Peddie, Alan Jepson, Harry Howard, Dave Ackroyd, Ian Yates, John Henney, Raymond Holden, Roy Gregory, Paul Duzzwick.
2nd Row: ?, Lynne Gregory, Susan Crankshaw, ?,?,?,?,Susan Gorton, ?,?, Linda Bradshaw, ?
Front Row: Ingrid Bentley, ?,?,?,?, Carol Wigston, Carole Oldham, Jane Kirk.

Photo: Kindly shared by Ian Edmundson and uploaded here on 15th March 2017
Also now archived in the Helmshore CP Photo Blog

Helmshore County Primary School 1964 ish  (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Ian Edmundson and uploaded here on 15th March 2017
Also now archived in the Helmshore CP Photo Blog

Helmshore County Primary School 1964 ish  (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Ian Edmundson and uploaded here on 15th March 2017
Also now archived in the Helmshore CP Photo Blog

Helmshore CP School c1961 (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Dorothy Flynn and uploaded here on 14th March 2017
also filed under Helmshore CP School photo blog

Helmshore CP School c1962 (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Dorothy Flynn and uploaded here on 14th March 2017
also filed under Helmshore CP School photo blog

Helmshore CP School c1963 (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Dorothy Flynn and uploaded here on 14th March 2017
Helmshore CP School c1964 (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Dorothy Flynn and uploaded here on 14th March 2017
Helmshore CP School c1965 (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Dorothy Flynn and uploaded here on 14th March 2017

Deardengate, Haslingden (Click over photo to enlarge)

Kindly shared to us by Stephen Nuttall on 14th March 2017

The Accordian Serenaders (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Stephen Nuttall on 13th March 2017
Arthur Watson on Violin
also replaced to "Music from Hazeldene Blog"

Haslingden County Primary School - probably 1951/1952 (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared by Stephen Nuttall on 13th March 2017
Mr. Halstead - head teacher
Top Row: 3rd from left Gerald Holden, sixth from left Colin Shutt
Bottom Row: Kay Ferguson, Joan Seddon, ?, Barbara Taylor, Ella Taylor, ?, Renee Allsopp, Joan Watson

also added to the Haslingden County Primary Blog

Embassy Dance Band (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared to us by Stephen Nuttall on 13th March 2017
Arthur Watson on violin, Jim Fletcher on Piano, Harold Broughton on Guitar, Bill Heap on Alto Sax, David Whittaker on Tenor Sax/Clarinet n far right, Gerald Hems on Drums - I will also

add this to the "Music from Hazledene Blog"

Gerry Hems has sent me this following information:
The alto sax player next to me is Bill Heap who lived on York Avenue down Helmshore and was also a founder member of the Band. He later left and was replaced by Alan Dutton from Crawshawbooth who was the Accountant and Company Secretary at J & E Transport at Bentgate. Next to him on tenor sax is
David Whittaker whos’ parents had a confectioners business on the corner of Blackburn Rd. and Station Brow on the same row as Dads shop.
Our pianist in the photo is Jim Fletcher from Grane Road who was with us for the greater life of the band but was not in the original band which came about somewhat accidentally out of Harold Broughton inviting myself with my piano accordion to a musical evening with him and Arthur at his home. I ended up purchasing an old drum kit off Harolds son (not being very good on the accordion) and we were approached by the Wesley to play for a dance when they  had been let down. We quickly grabbed the two sax players and David Carey who was the Top Church organist and a good, although mainly classical pianist and the EMBASSY was born and became quickly popular.

David later left us to accompany his wife on piano in her career as a solo singer but he sadly died very early in life. The band eventually ended up for some years as a trio with Jim, Harold and myself before finally disbanding after many very happy years due to my colleagues ill health and advancing years

George Street Mission Cricket Team that played in the Haslingden Sunday School Cricket Leage (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared to us by Stephen Nuttall on 13th March 2017
Top Row from l to r: Fred Holden, Arthur Standley, Tom Watson, ?
Middle Row from l to r: ?, Jim Warburton, ?,?, Gilbert Eastwood.
Front Row from l to r: Jim Metcalfe, ?,?,?, Leonard Beech, Arthur Watson, Fred Greenwood

Stephen's wife Joan (nee Watson) is a descendant of one of the founder members (John Beech - her Great Grandfather)
of Haslingden Gospel Mission on George Street (otherwise known as George Street Mission.
also now filed and scroll down under HASLINGDEN SPORT - Cricket Blog - George Street Mission

Gregory Fold School, Helmshore c1960 (Please click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly shared to us by Dorothy Flynn on 13th March 2017
also added to the Helmshore CP Blog (Click here)

Bridge End Hotel (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: kindly shared to us by Brian Horrocks on 8th March 2017 (also filed under Bridge End Blog

Both the above photos are of Trinity Baptist Walking Days (Click over to enlarge)
Both photos kindly shared to us by Keith Gunton on 2nd March 2017
Now also filed under "Trinity Baptist Blog"


From the Station to Broadway Crescent
John Dunleavy a former newsboy recalls his experience in Helmshore. If you want to check it out please click here.


Bob Phillips has just sent in a great story about Buying and Selling 302 Blackburn Road, Haslingden during the 1970s.  If you want to check it out please click here  


The 21 Show performed on the 21st birthday of Haslingden Arts Club (Click over to enlarge)
This is the cast photo and to check out the names see list below.  The show took place at the Public Hall in 1965 probably May.
Photo: kindly shared to us by Marie Finney on 26th February 2017

The 21 Show performed on the 21st birthday of Haslingden Arts Club (Click over to enlarge)
This is a list of the cast who took part.  The show took place at the Public Hall in 1965 probably May.
Photo: kindly shared to us by Marie Finney on 26th February 2017
The Arts Club "Lord of the Amber Mountain 1968 (Click over to enlarge)
The Arts Club produced a children's play most years and this is the 1968 production "Lord of the Amber Mountain".  I am the witch and would love to know if any of the "children" recognise themselves -Marie Finney

Michael Davitt in the upper room of what is now the Haslingden Library (Click over to enlarge)
Author of this sketch unknown. It is time this beautiful artwork was included within the Haslingden In Art

Decorated Water Trough at Clough End (Click over photo to enlarge)
Thanks to Krissy Rawlinson for sharing it with us.  Also archived under Troughs

Photo taken by Eric Bentley on 3rd July 1964 showing train heading to Manchester (Click over to enlarge)
Copright: Bryan Yorke

Photo taken by Eric Bentley in 1966 showing a double header passing Prinny Hill (Click over to enlarge)
Copright: Bryan Yorke

Ron Baron's St. Johns Ambulance Certificate
Hi Bryan yesterday while looking through some old paperwork I found an old certificate I received as a member of the st j a b dated june 1952, I was 11 years old at the time but can remember going to the drill hall every week for training, I also went with the brigade to a coronation camp in 1953 were we slept in tents and gathered round camp fires in the evening and sang songs, it was the first time I had been away from home and thought it was great, I also remember going to the drill hall for boxing training but my mum stopped me going when my friend Brian Holden gave me a black eye, she said it was to rough.  Ron

St. James's School Football Team (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Paul Schofield on 15th February 2017.
This was a photo of the school football team taken before the Rossendale Primary Schools Cup Final.  It was taken at Alder Grange's pitch in Rawtenstall. Unfortunately we lost 2-0 to Peel Brow, Ramsbottom.

Back Row L to R: Steven Howarth, David Washington, John Barnes (RIP), David Holt (RIP), Keith Till
Front Row L to R: Paul Schofield Geoffrey Oldfield, John Stitt, Phillip Barnes, Glyn Jones, Derek Ratcliffe.


CAN WE HELP SUSAN WHITTAKER (15th February 2017)

I was wondering if you or any of your fellow bloggers have any photos of "The Estelle Dance Band" who were established in the 1950's.  Despite my father Clifford Nicholas being the drummer, Arthur Frost on the double bass and Jackie? on the accordian, I don't have any pictures just memories of them playing at the church do's, the Con Club and pantomimnes.  The Jackie I mentioned ran the newsagents in Lower Deardengate.  Hope someone has some info, Kind regards Susan Whittaker nee Nicholas. D to birth 30/12/50.  Attended St. James's Church, Haslingden County Primary School and Haslingden Grammar School. Moved in 1975 to Blackburn.  Now retired and living in Old Town near Kirkby Lonsdale.

15th February 2017 Bryan Yorke wrote: I can remember the Estelle Dance Band playing old tyme dancing beneath the Wesley Church on Hud Hey on occasional Saturday nights.  I also wonder if the accordian player you mention called Jackie was Jack Hayton because he did run the newsagents in Lower Deardengate for quite sometime and was also noted as a Haslingden Cricketer.


A nice snippet just added by Ian Cameron (14th February 2017):

On 7th August 1914, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales made an urgent appeal in The Times:

"Buckingham Palace - all must realise that the present time of deep anxiety will be followed by one of considerable distress among the people of this country least able to bear it.  We must earnestly pray that their suffering may be neither long nor bitter, but we cannot wait until the need presses heavily upon us. The means of relief must be ready in our hands.  To ally anxiety will go some way to stay distress.  A National Fund has been founded, and I am proud to act as its Treasurer.  My first duty is to ask for generous and ready support, and I know that I shall not ask in vain. At such a moment we all stand by one another, and it is to the heart of the British people that I confidently make this earnest appeal.  Edward."

Haslingden's response to the Prince of Wales appeal is below.  Regarding scale of the item: the actual pin, which is in my possession, has a ribbon measuring 3/4" in width:

Haslingden War Relief Fund Flag Day pin of the 1914/1915 period
Pin already filed within the "Memorabilia Section"


Haslingden Cheese dish
currently being offered on ebay. (archive memorabilia)

Cross Street North and South (Click over to enlarge)
by oil painting by Derek Woodhall c1983
This painting adorned our walls at one time when we lived on Cross Street North. I will now include it within the "Art Gallery"

Children of Hudrake and local area (Click over to enlarge)
left to right: Bill Martin, Haworth, Pamela Martin, Joyce Adams, White, Collinge, ?, Brian Hood
Photo: kindly shared to us by Joyce Thorne on 12th Feb 2017.

Click over to enlarge
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Mike Ellis of Broadstairs, Kent. and uploaded here on 11th Feb 2017

Click over to enlarge
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Mike Ellis of Broadstairs, Kent. and uploaded here on 11th Feb 2017

Haslingden Commercial Hotel - Mr. Robert Henry Winterbottom - Click over to enlarge
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Mike Ellis of Broadstairs, Kent. and uploaded here on 11th Feb 2017

Chris Reid is wanting information! (9th Feb 2017)

I was speaking with someone about a new sign being erected at St. Mary's Church, it seems that it has reverted to the old name of St. Marias.  This chap said he got married in St. Mary's in 1979 and on his marriage certificate, it stated St. Marias.  I wondered if you were aware of this change, my sister said they did this about three years ago.  I know nothing of this, when I went to school there in 1964 it was always St. Mary's.
Thanks, Chris Reid.


Please check out this lovely piece of work by MC DRONE and it shows HASLINGDEN GRANE like you have never seen it before and set to music.

Click over this link to view  (external You Tube link)


Click over image to enlarge

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION FROM NIKKI NANCE (Kings Mountain NC - USA - 4th February 2017)

I bought this in a antique store in  USA today and I am trying to find out about it speciifically a date or date range.
The only identifying clue is a tag that reads Rawlinsons, Pianos Ltd, 22 Manchester Road, Haslingden. Would you possibly know of Rawlinsons Pianos and what years or era it was in business. Here's what I GOT (AND IT STILL WORKS! Yay me)


I have today been contacted by Bernard O'Reilly who states "I am doing research for the Michael Davitt Museum on his role in labour history - Can you help? I have already given to him links to the blogs within Haslingden Old and New and also its possible that a MD authority may contact him soon.  If you have anything you would like to add please let me know and I will forward it on to Mr. O'Reilly.



For reasons too complicated to go into I ended up thinking about the HASLINGDEN ARTS CLUB meetings I used to go to back in the 1950s.
One of the meetings featured two men, one played records and the other read anecdotes related to the music.
For the life in me I cannot bring their names to mind, can you help?
Norman Massey

Currently for sale on Ebay (25th January 2017) Click over to enlarge


A sketch to show "Little Prinny Hill" and Paradise Terrace (Click over to enlarge)

Little Prinny Hill - by Michael Mullaney and uploaded here on 23rd Jan 2017

Little Prinny Hill would seem an insignificant dirt track connecting into Prinny Hill.  However if we consider that in the early days when getting about was all on foot or by pack horse or if lucky a horse Little Prinny Hill was a main thoroughfare to and from Haslingden.  The parish church was the main focal point in any town.  As such all ancient track-ways started from, or terminated at, the church.  In this case, leaving the church yard by way of the route which exits at Regent Street, thence down Little Prinny Hill (remember Blackburn Road had not even been thought of then) into Prinny Hill, then turning right at the bottom the road would take you around Cob Castle and onto Blackburn.  Or you could go straight on and it would take you along the river bottom to the Helmshore.  Little Prinny Hill may have acted as a relief road, that is it was used because its incline was not as steep at Prinny Hill itself making it easier on pedestrian and animal traffic.  Viewing an map of Haslingden its easy to see all the old track-ways which started and finished at the parish church.

Regarding Ranters Row or the terrace known as Paradise Terrace.  This type of terrace was built all along Blackburn Road to accommodate the massive influx of migrant workers into the town.  It s construction should be studied being somewhat unique to parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire in so far as it utilized land which would not normally be considered fit to build on.  As the first picture clearly shows the gable end, its relation to Little Prinny Hill and the main road level.  The lower storey made best use of the steep fall of the land and are built into the earth and were known as "Back-to-Earth" houses.  They must have had a perennial problem with damp.  The upper storey are "Back-to-Back" houses, that is the row was divided along the backbone of the terrace, the rear and the front property shared a common internal back wall, hence Paradise Terrace on the front and Back Paradise Terrace on the rear.  The rear accessed by the iron railinged landing from either end.  One presumes there was a rent scale, the front accessing Blackburn Road would demand the highest rent whilst the back and back to earth would move down the scale.  Toilets were communal and located at the far end with groups of families sharing one.  Possibly up to six properties sharing one toilet which would be of the ash pit type.  I suspect the higher rent paid the better toilet access.  The next terrace further along Blackburn Road had in its middle a ginnel with so called 99 steps down to the lower level which allowed workers to take a short cut to the mills in the bottom.  Every effort was always made to build in short cuts to save the workers time and effort, after all the owners didn't want them to tired to work.  Going home didn't matter so much.  One wonders just what orchestrated sounds the workers clogs made as they scurried down the 99 steps at seven o'clock at morning.  You probably wouldn't sleep in if your house shared a wall with the ginnel.
Michael Mullaney.

Received from John McGuire (Australia) on 25th January 2017
Hi Bryan,
I have just read Michael’s article on the Blog and would like to comment on the ginnel with the 99 steps.
We lived at 122 Blackburn Rd which was on the Haslingden side of the ginnnel. There was about 40 steps down to the lower level.
  From there to the “bonk” perhaps another 30 steps. I suppose if there was at one time more steps set into the bonk then there would
have been 99.We lived in that house from 1944 to 1954 and I can’t recall anyone other than the occupants of the “back to earth” houses below using them.
I guess all the workers in Grove, Vine Grove and Commercial Mills had other means of getting to work. I agree with Michael that the noise of clog irons in the ginnel would have been deafening.

The houses on the main road level were two up and two down. Our house however had no floor in the back bedroom , just the floor joists on which you had to balance to see out of the window.
Consequently Dad, Mum and the two of us slept in the front room. I wish I knew who the landlord was as I’m sure our discomfort would be compensatable even now!
All for now,

John McGuire


Back Paradise Terrace - Little Prinny Hill (Click over photo to enlarge)
Photo: Courtesy of Joan Merrill
For anyone who did not know, this terrace (Back Paradise Terrace) was across the main road from the bottom of Regent Street and at this corner shown here was called "Little Prinny Hill" and you could go down here and join the main Prinny Hill track towards Carrs in the deep bottom.  We would regularly use it when going from our School (St. James) and down to our playing fields in the bottom for football matches etc. Also you could divert off to the right on the cinder track and go down a short cut which crossed over a small footbridge to get across the Mill lodge and this way gave you access to Commerce Street which would eventually take you to the Station area.

Also for anyone who did not know what it looked like before it was demolished here is a couple more photos of it looking from either Regent St or Blackburn Road.

This shows Paradise Terrace (Ranters Row) and the landing leading to Back Paradise Terrace long before they were demolished
Click over photo to enlarge (Photo: Courtesy of Joan Merrill)

This also shows Paradise Terrace (Ranters Row) with Regent Street at the right hand bottom corner
Click over photo to enlarge


4"x3" miniature of Calf Hey 
A watercolour by Colin Reeve currently being offered for sale on Ebay.
Will now transfer over to our on line "Art Gallery"

Old Adverts from catalogue kindly shared by Marie Ives (Click over to enlarge)


Bob Phillips has kindly shared his family "sledging" and "snowfun" photos with us which he 
took down at Victoria Park back in 1979, before the park was reduced in size for 
the by-pass

with Martyn and Kaye Warwick and their children Kennedy and Joanne of 325 Blackburn Road
Photos: Kindly shared by Bob Phillips and dated mid 1980s. Uploaded here on 17th Jan 2017



Dear Brian, we've just bought a lovely terraced house in HUD Hey road and would like to know where we can find old photos and information about HUD Hey rd and the neighbouring area to include the Clough Manor House. Is there going to be another exhibition of Haslingden Memories like that in September 2015? Thank you Caen

Thanks to Michael Mullaney for solving the puzzle! He had followed the route years ago!  It turned out to be a public House in Todmorden with the same name today.  Obviously Haslingden Brewery (Baxter's) would have delivered over the borders to Todmorden even back in those early days. 


From David Desforges (12th January 2017)

Been reading the sledging clip,we would sometimes use the hill to the side of the row of houses on donkey row side of the railway and sometimes we would sledge down railway road starting of at the top where it joined station brew road swinging right hurtcaling past the bottom of station steps  to the bottom  and over the road that went past the railway where someone would be watching if a car  was coming, on one trip down and on getting near the bottom car coming was shouted so I had to sledge straight on into the house wall banging my head in the stonework ,67years old now and still have that lump on my forehead ,david desforges


FROM John McGuire over in Australia - received 10th January 2017.

Hi Bryan,

When I visited UK in 1991 a reunion of St Mary’s class of 1951 was organised and held at the IDL on April 17th.
I was very happy to be a part of the occasion, to meet old classmates and also a few of the surviving teachers from 51.
The other week we were clearing out some cupboards and I came across a VHS tape titled “reunion 1951”.
Like many people I disposed of my VHS gear years ago but luckily managed to have the contents transferred to a USB .
I guess my brother must have put the tape in my case when I was leaving and on arriving home it was put in a cupboard
where it has stayed for 16 years. I certainly hadn’t seen it before, but I enjoyed seeing it and reliving the day.
It is a Waterhouse Video production and it is now an MP4 file and is 714mb.
If anyone is interested they can contact me through you and we’ll try to send it.
All the best,
John McGuire


We should acknowledge that Peter Merriman organised it all but sadly he passed last year after several years of failing health.

A well known and well liked character in Haslingden having worked at Kenny Mellings garage at Acre before setting up his own repair garage in Townsend Street.


Found these old photos whilst clearing out, and they show Holden Wood Reservoir being emptied and also them clearing the waters of the fish. It must have been at least 30 years ago when they emptied the Holden Wood Reservoir, it could well have been even longer. It was emptied so they could do repairs to the valves and also the outlet storm drains and the embankment walls. The fishing rights at that time where owned by the A.E.I. Factory Fishing Club in Manchester and their local bailiff was Mr. Barnes who lived in the last house on Park Lane View (opp Camms). The North West Water Bailiffs came along to net the water and get all the fish out before the necessary work begun, the netted the area which then brought the fish more accessible to be transferred to large bins. At the outlet corner though sadly, by accident a lot of quite sizeable fish went through the pumps and came out all minced up!! it was a tragedy as we remember at the time. There was a good assortment of fish as I remember eg: Pike, Carp, Trout, Chub, Roach, Rudd and Perch. This is the only time I can remember this reservoir ever being empty in more recent times...

Just found this! Old Mark Barnes photo from 1964 (Click over to enlarge)
I must have got someone to take it whilst we were all on a trip somewhere.  Can't just recognize two of the drivers but think the one on the left may have had the surname hankinson? yours truly at 16 and to the right Harold Tillotson (drove 824FTF Coach - see I can remember that!) Don't know who the other driver is (for now) with his back to the camera  - will file under local Coach Proprietors Blog 6th Jan 2017

Higher Deardengate in the 60s (Click over to enlarge)

Jim Garnett produced this fantastic work - extracts hopefully coming soon 
Thanks to Bob Phillips for sharing with us.

Shows Station Steps and the Old Baxters Brewery stands high in the background (Click over to enlarge)

Haslingden Station and showing Railway Hotel (Click over to enlarge)

Rear of the above postcard with some serious reading "Zepplellins"  (Click over to enlarge)

(Click over to enlarge) 
Shared courtesy of Margaret Murray for the Taylor Family
for inclusion in the Haslingden Memorabilia Section.

(Click over to enlarge) 
Shared courtesy of Margaret Murray for the Taylor Family
for inclusion in the Haslingden Memorabilia Section.


Hi Bryan 
I stumbled on your website and was fascinated to read your articles. I was fostered on 3 occasions with a family and lived in Todd Hall with a family. I was only very young aged around 8 so it would have been around 1969 to 1971 they were know to me at Uncle Jack and Aunty Audrey they had one son living at home and believe they had a older son. They were lovely and I spent some happy times living at the hall. I recall a farm was next to the property  and they had a swing I was allowed to play on. The hall had a kind of turret stone building built in the rear of the garden I used to play house or shop keeper, There was also a little stream running through the back garden that I was convinced if I sat there long enough  I would catch a fish. Needless  to say I never did. ZI have fond memories of hot summers plsying on the front lawns and the deep snow that came in the winter.  Sadly  I never had contact again with these lovely people  who cared for me when I needed a family. I believe they moved to the isle of Wight but not sure. If anyone knows of them I would love to hear about them.

Mrs Jenny Robey

PS: I recall attending the primary school that was at the top of the hill near to a church. The children used to tease me by saying there was a ghost at Todd Hall. My aunty Audrey said to tell them that there certainly is a ghost and he serves us up with toast in bed. 

If anyone can help Jenny please contact me on: and I will pass on your information directly to her.


Dear Bryan
I have been reading the Michael Davitt blog and came across the poems from Jim Garnett.

Jim was a character worth documenting in his own right.  He was one of the generation that was decimated at the Somme.  He told a story about the day before the Big Push – the chaplains ran services for the boys who were about to be thrown into the fray.  Thousands of Roman Catholics, like Jim, lined up in a huge field, listening to the Priest.  Who told them “If you are killing a German when you die, your time in Purgatory will be shortened”.

Jim was disgusted.  He was only 19, but he stood there in the field and refused to step forward when all his comrades went up to receive the sacrament and blessing.  One other soldier did the same – I think his name was Danny.  The two of them were galvanised to look for some other rationale for life than this tainted Catholicism, and they corresponded with the British Socialist Party.  After the war, and after the Third International (1920), this party was one of several that constituted the Communist Party of Great Britain.  Jim and Danny founded the Rossendale Branch of the CPGB – I think it was ready to go even before the CPGB itself was formally launched.

I met Jim during the campaign leading up to the General Election of October 10, 1974.  The Labour Party candidate was Mike Noble.  He was a fiery left-wing candidate, and was supported by the CPGB locally.  I remember Reuben Falber, no. 2 (Assistant Secretary) in the CPGB came to speak to a big crowd, I think at Haslingden Library.  I remember thinking that the CP members of our loose campaigning team seemed to be the most knowledgeable and organised ones (compared to the Labour Party members), and also the most conservative – older; nice tidy Council houses and embroidered cushions, compared to the more louche figures that made up some of the Labour ranks.  (The CP members were very upset when some of the Labour chaps and my wife, Anna, and I went out fly-posting – I really think the CP members had a strong respect for property).

Incidentally, Mike Noble won the Rossendale constituency that day by about 400 votes (and the Labour Party won by just 3 seats).  Mike was, for a rather short time, an excellent MP, and PPS to Roy Hattersley.  Unusually for a Labour MP, Mike was willing to give public recognition and thanks to the Communists who had worked for his election; most MPs, even “left wing” ones, are very shy about acknowledging any link or indebtedness to the CP.  Very sadly, Mike died of a heart attack, completely out of the blue, at age 48: while he was cheering for his football club, Burnley, playing Sheffield at Turf Moor.

I remained friends with Jim Garnett for all the time I was in Haslingden.  I used to talk to him about factory life in Holden Vale.  Especially when I started training as a GMB shop steward, Jim took a close interest.  Jim was, of course, a very active and militant trades unionist all his life.  He was a close colleague to Mary Abbott – another colossal Haslingden figure.  Jim also shared his writing with me – he was proudest of his poems; I was most interested in his draft memoirs.  Those memoirs started with Michael Davitt: Jim’s grandparents had come over on the same boat as Davitt’s parents.  The two families were very close.  Jim seemed to think I might be instrumental in getting some of his writing published, but I really didn’t have a clue.

Anne Garnett was another friend from the same time – she was in the Labour Party.  I think she was Jim’s niece, or married to his nephew, or something.  Her family lived “above” the top of Deardengate (around Hargreaves St, I guess).  She and Jim were very close; she was active in the running of the Land League WMC, if I remember.  I guess that Anne would have copies of all of Jim’s writings that I saw at the time.  Maybe she is a contributor to your web page already.  If not, it might be worth trying to get in touch with her: Jim’s papers might be a treasure trove. 
all the best



Hello, Bryan -- 
I've been reading, with great interest, your writings about Haslingden.
My husband and I are Americans who love history and are planning a trip to the UK nearly next year. On this trip, we hope to do some metal-detecting, as it is a longtime passion of ours.
We would be most interested in detecting on the land formerly occupied by Haslingdone Grane.
We know the English laws regarding this pastime are (understandably) very strict, and that permissions are required from the owners of properties where one plans to detect.
Whom do you suggest we contact seeking permission to detect in this region? We are respectful detectorists who always treat the land with the utmost care, leaving no "scars."
Thank you,
Anneli Rufus


Haslingden's original market (Click over image to enlarge)


King George V and Queen Mary visit to Haslingden in 1913  (Click over to enlarge)
The artiste is D.J. Sherburne

Kindly shared to us by Terry McGuire and now included within the "Art Gallery"
uploaded 17th December 2016

Lower Bridge (Bridge End) Helmshore (Click over to enlarge)
a fabulous charcoal print by John Hassell (1983)
Kindly shared to us by Alison May and uploaded here on 18th December 2016 - also archived in our "Art Gallery"

Manchester Road Church, Haslingden (Click over to enlarge)
a fabulous charcoal print by John Hassell (1983)
Kindly shared to us by Alison May and uploaded here on 18th December 2016 - also archived in our "Art Gallery"


If you would like to read a lovely story sent in by Bob about "The Ural" motorbyke and all its loving care especially whilst at "Pinch Belly Row" on Hud Rake together with lots of other wonderings and stories of Local and Social History then click here


Haslingden Olympics Presentation Night c1966 with Francis Lee 
held in old Church Hall (now demolished) behind the Swan Hotel, Accrington.
The photo includes: Alan Cole, Terry McGuire, Alan Green, Ken Gregory, Roy Gregory, Robert Nuttall, Brian Riley, Ian Cliffe, Ian Warburton, Jim Snowden, Steve Rothwell, John Dakin, Mick Drew.
Photo: kindly shared to us by John Dakin via Alan Green and uploaded here on 18th December 2016

Opening of Cat Clough Reservoir (Northfield Road) c1913
Click over to enlarge

Back Lane Farm (off Northfield Road) Rising Bridge on way to Stonefold
(uploaded here on 15th December 2016)


Chris has published yet another new booklet called "STRANGE, BUT TRUE", which is another compilation of more stories of curious encounters

The booklet is fascinating reading and consist of 24 pages (8"x 6").  The booklet can be obtained direct from Chris for the sum of £3.00 plus 70p post and packing and his address is:
21 Westbourne, Helmshore, Rossendale, BB4 4QD

also Chris would love to hear from you if you have any ghostly or strange encounter stories.


A lovely little tale with a fabulous end to it!

Thanks to Beverley Moore who put the above photo on our facebook page asking if anyone remembers this? within the hour over fifteen had given comment.  I started the ball rolling stating "That Tony Winder" would love this, others made comment introducing some fabulous stuff about the barbers on Regent Street with the swinging chair! plus lots of other good stuff as well. 

I just took it that Tony would see the comments as I thought he was already a member of our facebook page! Anyway its great that Joan Lords alerted him to what was being said.

I knew once he saw it he would fancy it for his new venture "Bosuns Barbers", well it seems he got in touch with Beverley and she has kindly donated it to him so that it will (in Tony's words) take the pride of place in Bosuns!

You may ask, well what is so special about the sign. Well it was in 1962 that Tony started his hairdressing apprenticeship at Les Howarth's on Lower Deardengate.

Just as a footnote - its not the first time (for me) that this sign has risen its head!  We got the job of painting the frontage of Les Howarth's many moons ago, which obviously included touching up the "owd sign". It was Raymond Cockerill that re painted and applied his touch up skills,  and hasn't it worn well.............

St. Thomas Musbury - Spring  (click over to enlarge)

A beautiful pencil drawing by J.G. Hassell (1983)

Kindly shared to us by Beverley Moore and a nice addition to our "Art Gallery"



Hi Bryan,
Following on from Anna Cunnynghams memories of sledging in 1974-78.

In the 1950's which were my formative years in Haslingden, the heavy winter snow falls arrived with regularity and stayed for weeks which curtailed the movement of motor vehicles everywhere except the main bus routs.

Everyone would reclaim their home made sledge from the coal hole and set about polishing the iron runners to clean off all the accumulated rust otherwise you would not get any speed up, no fun in that.

Every location would have its own sledging place.  As for me living on the Long Shoot housing estate we made good use of Kirk Hill, that is the rough track extension at the top of Poplar Street at its junction with Cedar Avenue up to the junction with Haslingden Old Road.

It had a right hand bend half way down with a set of five large stone steps which allowed access to the allotments, when covered with deep snow made a high speed bank to be negotiated on the way down.
Several failed to get round the bend and ended up shooting up and over the garden fences behind Cedar Avenue which was even more exhilarating.  
If it was a prolonged cold spell, with work, the sledging track could stretch as far as the bottom of Poplar Street and Hillside Road.  All to soon the council would battle its way through and salt the side street followed by the thaw.

The thrill of sledging down an uncontrollable run was as exciting as it got, even better when you linked up to ten sledges together to make a flexible toboggan train with each rider having to hold the sledge rope tight otherwise the train broke apart creating a pileup.  Despite the risks I never knew anyone who sustained any injury.  Only for the brave was belly flopping, like the Cresta Run with your face just a few inches from the ground.  As well as belly flopping another rider would sit across the back of the laid down rider like riding a horse... great times, you cant replicate that on an electronic gizmo. 

Another good sledging track was the pavement down Rosewood Avenue, that was until the householder came out and scattered the hot ashes from the coal fires across the track spoiling the fun.
 Great times. 

FROM: Chris Aspin (8th December 20th)


To mark the 50th anniversary of the closure of
the railway through the village, Helmshore Local History Society,
has set up a window display in the fruit and veg shop in Broadway Crescent



For the four years we lived in Haslingden, each winter was predictably enveloped in deep snow since the westerlies brought ballooning mountains of moisture which , confronted by the implacable Pennines, would dump onto us avalanches of snow which would drift and blanket the town for weeks and months  on end. The local kids quickly became adepts at dealing with the stuff and there was a perfect sledge slope in Victoria Park which, after the first snowfall would  speedily fill up with families out for a spot of fun.
But in some ways the best sledging wasn’t done in winter at all. They were four hot summers we lived there (1974-78), with uncharacteristically dry weeks stretching rainless and shimmering through the school holidays and beyond. The reservoirs shrank, the NO SWIMMING notices got ignored and bewildered oldies were thwarted from complaining  about the weather.
Now was the time to find cardboard boxes, beat them flat and trudge  up onto the heights above the town. We lived on Blackburn Road just where Hud Rake swoops down and joins the main road, so for a brief walk we could cross the road, turn up Hud Rake and scramble up the steep hillside beyond, up towards Slate Farm. In minutes we were high above the town with a commanding view over towards  the hills in the west known as Oswaldwistle Moor .

We threw our cardboard down, slid our bums into position and we were off, careering down the grassy slope as fast as over snow. There’s something special about grass at 800 feet: it is quite unlike the grass you find in parks and gardens in the valleys. Its tough resilient blades aren’t flat but cylindrical, dark green and shiny and perfectly designed to allow any smooth surface to travel over it at speed. The more sophisticated sledgers brought out their winter sledges – plastic trays appeared too and a riot of kids would hurtle down the hot slippery grass , tumbling in a heap to rise and climb again.

uploaded here on 7th December 2016


"Raingrane" (No.27)
watercolour by John Holt
On view in Haslingden Library


Here above is yet another great photo of a days outing for the Griffin patrons which also shows Hoyle's Coach - Thank you to Susan Wallace for sharing with us - thought to have been around c1950.


INFORMATION REQUEST From Madeleine Sankey (Isle Of Man) Re: St. Stephens Church, Grane Road (6th December 2016)

Dear Mr Yorke

I live on the Isle of Man and I am a member of a group known as ‘Church Recorders’ an offshoot of the ‘National Association of Design and Fine Arts Society’ (NADFAS) based in London.  I am particularly interested in Stained Glass windows.

I have been staying in the UK for a few days and visited the Holden Wood Antiques and was amazed at the windows in the church – really beautiful – I always try and find a signature or makers’ mark but unfortunately stained glass designers rarely sign their work.  I couldn’t find any marks on these windows and wondered if you had any information about the artist/manufacturers.  I would be so interested to find out and I wonder if you could help or perhaps point me in the right direction to someone who could. 
I look forward to hearing from you in due course 
Best regards 
Madeleine Sankey


A fabulous old photo sent in by Bob and uploaded here on 3rd December 2016.

Click over the photo to enlarge

The photo is a collective montage which shows a snow scene of the old Carr Mill to the left. Here in the photo it was owned and being used by Shepherd Bros (Timber) Ltd and you will see their large bow top timber shed. The farm to the rear left hand side is Martin Croft Farm, and the houses to the right hand side are Carr Mill Street and the now demolished Back Carr Mill Street.

The Bow Topped timber sheds were bought and brought from King Lynn and a identical shed was also erected up at Duckworth Clough around the same time. I remember clearly two guys who also hailed from Kings Lynn did all the work on their own.  Obviously hiring a crane contractor just on the days required to lift the stantions and the bow top roof.

Thanks to Bob for kindly sharing this photo with us.

A new item for inclusion within our gallery "Haslingden in Art"

A snow scene of Carr Mill and Martin Croft (Click over to enlarge)

Watercolour by Nellie Tindley and kindly offered to us for inclusion by her son in law Bob.

painted Late January 1977, from the backyard of 302 Blackburn Road (uploaded here on 3rd December 2016)


Haslingden Cricket Club – (between 1919-1921) (Click over to enlarge)

Top Row: W.L. Halstead, H. Blackburn, Ald  J. Law J.P., Councillor Tom Worsley, J.T. Witham, Ald H. Worsley J.P & C.C., Ald Baxter, D Bask, C. Muck
2nd Row: R. Collinge, T Willock, W. Hargreaves, G.W. Hardman, J. Eastwood, The Mayor J.H. Anderton, R. Halstead, R. Bentley, E.E. Riley, J.E. Bastowe, W. Holt-Treasurer.
Front Row: A.E. Harman, E Catlow, A.E. Williams, J. Ashworth, G.H. Hindle, F.McWade, T. Lees (Scoror), A. Blackburn, A. Rhodes, W. Lees, W.H. Lonsdale (Secretary)

From: Sally Howarth  (1st December 2016)

I recently found your Haslingden CC website and am enjoying several of the old photos, as they feature a relative of mine.  His name was Ambrose Causer Williams ("Billy Williams").  Previous to Haslingden CC he had played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club (1911 to 1919)

He appears to be listed as "A.E. Williams" n the sepia photo entitled "Haslingden Cricket Club (between 1919-1921)".  He is the chap in the front row, third from left.

In the other sepia photo (1920 team with committee members), Ambrose is sat in the front row, fourth from left.

In the B&W photo of the 1920 team only, he is stood in the back row with arms folded, third from right.

These are the only photos I have seen of Ambrose, so I am thrilled to find them on your website.

I don't suppose you would have any individual photos of Ambrose in your collection, or could perhaps advise on where to locate one, if it exists?

Kind regards, Sally Howarth


Dont Forget!  HASLINGDEN ON FILM is accessed from the title further down on the left hand column - please enjoy the films.

Train Entering Haslingden Station after coming through North Hag Tunnel
(Painting by the late Mr. Arthur Kirby) 

Did you know that this coming Saturday December 3rd, back in 1966 - THE STUBBINS - ACCRINGTON railway line which went through both Helmshore and Haslingden will have been closed for 50 years.

Yes you did have us “beat” with that one Mr. Chin - g!
And now 50 years are passing this week!
I guess you felt it right on the day for us, and other days for them,
Maybe you thought not enough folk travelled on it to Bury or Manchester,
Or maybe tuther way to Baxenden, Accrington, Burnley and Cowne. 
Wakes trains were always full and steamed from under North Hag or (bonk!)
And Donkey Row was completely fogged owt!
Not Now!
And now 50 years are passing this week!
We’ve still got our “arches” down at Shore dear Sir,
And now we do have Ravens crossing its many bows,
And we’ve still got our memories of chugging (rather than buzzing!)
And the delightful (in its own way) smells of steam,
And fifteen years on in 1981 a “By Pass” shall be built,
Just where that very Stations weeps!

Bryan Yorke - 28th November 2016


Did you know that this coming Sunday December 4th was the opening of the BY PASS which was in 1981 and is 35 years old on Sunday.

Uploaded here on 1st December 2016 - (Click over photo to enlarge)

Uploaded here on 1st December 2016 (Click over photo to enlarge)

A lovely photograph of the touring "Church Army" whilst visiting Haslingden and Helmshore.
Photo: uploaded here on 27th November 2016



I'm unsure how/if you can assist however my paternal family history revolves 
around Haslingden and the wider Rossendale area.
3 generations of the Lord family ran a joiners/cabinet makers business in 
Haslingden from the mid 19th century until the 2nd World War. Richard Lord, 
then James Lord and finally Edgar Lord who I presume sold up and retired some 
time in the 1940's. The family had  houses on Wells Street (No 46) and Pleasant 
I understand Richard Lord moved with his father, Edmund (a farmer) some time in 
the early/mid 19th century from Slaidburn to a farm around Musbury/Alden, near 
I am keen to source any further material/knowledge on the family and it occurs 
to me that having operated a business in the area it is likely that a range of 
information/evidence probably exists..somewhere! 
Any advice/assistance you may be able to provide on this matter would be 
gratefully received. 

Richard Lord