Richmond Hill Dairies - These pages contain some personal memories from my youth and my association with Richmond Hill Dairies, a local business I grew up with and remember with some affection. A well known and important feature of the local community in its day and part of the heritage of Pemberton, this is my attempt to commit some small snapshot of its history to print, I hope these pages paint a worthy picture.
Mind Your Language - A humorous poem by "the bard of Haydock" George Anderton, inspired by memories of a trip to Bad Canstatt, Stuttgart Germany with the Haydock Male Voice Choir in 1975. This publication will bring a smile to the faces of not only those members who were there at the time and know the people involved but the wider population of Haydock as well who speak the language.
Wigan and the American Civil War - Wigan Coal and Iron Company, The Right Honourable John Lancaster MP for Wigan, the Confederate Raider Alabama, USS Kearsarge, Cherbourg and the yacht Deerhound all feature in the last great sea battle of the American Civil War.
Thomas Aspinwall - Highly respected Miners Agent in the Lancashire coal field, born in Bickerstaffe in 1846, died at his home in Skelmersdale in 1901. Buried at the parish church of St Paul Skelmersdale where his grave is marked by a large memorial obelisk, an indication of the respect in which he was held by all who had contact with him. A powerful advocate and great campaigner for the rights of miners and working people in general, he held responsible positions with many charitable bodies for the relief of poverty and suffering including Skelmersdale local board, later becoming a vice president of Wigan Royal Albert Edward Infirmary. A memorial tablet was erected at Wigan Infirmary in his honour commissioned by the Miners Federation from J Alberti of Manchester, the inscription reads "In his prosperous hours he had but this pride, to be the weak man's help, the poor man's guide".
Thomas Aspinwall - Obituary
Upholland Telephone Exchange - A snapshot of the history of Upholland with one person's view of the opening of the automatic telephone exchange in Church Street in 1963, and some wider comments about the technological revolution in communications just beginning which was to continue through to the last decade of the 20th century.
Thomas Linacre School Wigan - A snapshot in time in an ever changing educational system and a wonderful experimental new type of school which shaped more than a few local lives.
Scot Lane School - Through rose coloured glasses? Memories of Scot Lane School 1947 - 1954.
God's Choir - A story of one man's musical dreams and his serendipitous journey into choral music, a most enjoyable and rewarding experience which was to last for almost four decades.
The Lindsays of Haigh - The Earls of Crawford and Balcarres (the Lindsays) of Haigh, their part in the industrial revolution and the history of Wigan. A brief history of the family and their business interests put into the context of events happening elswhere in the world.
Wigan Soldier missing in action - The story of the discovery of the remains of six British Servicemen killed in action near Comines Warneton Flanders in the early days of the Great War, and subsequent efforts to trace living relatives for positive identification of one of the men believed to be Private James Rowan an ex miner at Park Lane Colliery Wigan.
It's a Funny Life - This is a story teenage angst and insecurity growing up and struggling to understand the world and their own place in it. It paints a rather interesting picture of the youth culture of the 1960s in Wigan and the surrounding area in an age of increasing opportunity and prosperity.
Peveril of the Peak - This is a story of political and religious tensions during the turbulent times after the English civil war, the Long Parliament and the restoration of the monarchy of King Charles II. Peveril of the Peak by Walter Scott, is a classic read, very much on a par with the likes of Ivanhoe, slightly more obscure but no less gripping.
Private Thomas Whitham VC - A native of Lancashire, born in Worsthorne a village near Burnley, alone and under heavy fire he captured a German machine gun, an officer and two soldiers. Surviving the the battle of Paschedaele and the war but sadly dying in abject poverty and forgotten in 1924.
Isaac Watts, 1674 - 1748 - A short biopic of a man with an extraordinary gift for poetry and rhyme who left his mark on Christianity as the writer of some of the nation's most memorable hymns.
Wigan Old Bank 1792 - A tragic boating accident on Windermere and a surprising journey through the social history of Wigan during the reign of Queen Victoria, highlighting the relationships between four families who played an important part in the commercial development of the town.
The Brocklebank Line - Daniel Brocklebank (1741-1801), shipbuilder and mariner, a brief biography, and some background detail of his family and the shipping line he founded.
John Byrom - A short biopic of a famous son of Byrom Hall Lowton, amateur poet, inventor of a system of shorthand and author of the Christmas carol "Christians Awake".
The Holy City & Liverpool - This is a short biography of Michael Maybrick also known as Stephen Adams 1841- 1913, singer and composer of a great many popular songs including the ever popular Victorian ballad "The Holy City" in 1892.
Jubilee Park Memorial - A moving tribute to a local victim of the Great War and a remarkable connection between Ashton in Makerfield and Poperinge in Flanders.
Little Ships at Zeebrugge - An account of a heroic attempt to block the port of Zeebrugge during the first World War, to protect supply routes into the UK by denying enemy submarines based there access to the open sea.
Not Much of a Warrior - Wigan RLFC in the fifties and sixties, through rose coloured glasses. A golden age of legendary players and memorable moments, along with some personal memories.
A Cricket Calypso - A short biopic of cricketer Cyril Washbrook and a snapshot of his career including his role in the West Indies tour of 1950 recorded in the lyrics of the Cricket Calypso.
Thomas Linacre School (Wigan) - Magazine extracts summer 1960
Dust upon God's Fair Earth - An unusual exercise in imaginative writing, this short story demonstrates a powerful command of language and represents perhaps the blossoming of a remarkable literary talent. It is written by fifth year pupil J Taylor.
The Nurburgring 1959 - A report of the school trip to the Eiffel Mountains in Germany and a visit to the Nurburgring motor racing circuit by fourth year pupil N Walsh. A once in a lifetime experience straight from the pages of "boys own" with a dream lap of this historic track following in the slipstream of Juan Fangio and other motor racing legends.
Advertisements 1960 - Some very interesting advertisements placed by local commercial and industrial sponsors of the school magazine, including: Vulcan Foundry, Newton le Willows; Wigan Trustee Savings Bank, King Street, Wigan; Battye and Sons, Market Street, Wigan; Walker Brothers, Pagefield Ironworks, Wigan; Bradleys Outfitters, Market Street, Wigan; Pendleburys of Wigan (Department Store); Starrs Stationers, 14 Wallgate and Dawber Street Works, Wigan; The Wiend Press, 7 The Wiend, Wigan (printers of this magazine); Jackson and Smith (boys and gents outfitters) 42 & 44 Wallgate, Wigan; Lowes of Wigan (Department Store); J J Bradburn (formerly J J Broughton) 76 Market Street Wigan, soon to open the outdoors centre at Abbey Lakes (behind the Abbey Lakes Hotel) and forerunner of the modern JJB brand; Worsley Mesnes Ironworks; Sutcliffe and Speakman (industrial products manufacturers), Guest Street, Leigh, Lancashire.
Local Interest: Richmond Hill Dairies; Mind Your Language; John Lancaster Wigan MP; Thomas Aspinwall Miners Agent; Thomas Aspinwall Obituary; Upholland Telephone Exchange; Thomas Linacre School Wigan; God's Choir; Scot Lane School Wigan; The Lindsays of Haigh; Dust Upon God's Fair Earth; The Nurburgring 1960; Wigan Advertisements 1960; Wigan Soldier Missing in Action; It's a Funny Life; Private Thomas Whitham VC; Isaac Watts 1674 - 1748; Wigan Old Bank 1792; The Brocklebank Line; John Byrom 1692 - 1793; The Holy City Liverpool; Jubilee Park Memorial, Ashton in Makerfield; Little Ships at War 1918; A Cricket Calypso; Not Much of a Warrior; Peveril of the Peak.
Walking & Cycling: Moss Eccles Tarn; Abbey Lakes to Coppull Moor; Chorley Ice Cream Walk; Douglas Valley Dawdle; Three Counties Cycle Ride; Haigh to Borsdane Wood; A Lancshire Lineaer Walk; Blackrod or Bust; Cycle the Sankey Valley; Cycle the Monsal Trail; Wigan Circular by Bike; Freshfield to Crosby; Irwell Valley Trail (Bury to Rawtenstall); Irwell Valley (Bury to Salford).
Words & Poetry: Only a Cranky Owd Foo'; Martin Chuzzlewit; Dover Harbour; Rogue Herries; The Heart of Midlothian; King Cotton; The Family Man; The Pickwick Papers; The Fair Rosamond; The Fair Rosamond Comic; A Legend of Montrose; When Winds Breathe Soft; The Wreck of the Hesperus; God Bless these Poor Wimmen that's Childer; Dombey and Son; Aw've Turned me bit O' Garden O'er; On Th' Hills; Four Favourite Poems; The Darkling Thrush; The Glory of the Garden; The Rolling English Road; The Antiquary; Hymn Before Action; Dust upon God's Fair Earth; Mind Your Language; Jeff Unsworth's dialect poetry; Martyrs of the Arena; Th' Coartin' Neet; Boat Song; Toddlin' Whoam; A Lancashire Mon; Calm is the Sea; The Bride of Lammermoor; Redgauntlet; A Tale of Two Cities.
Wallgate Chronicles: Hugo Boss comes to Wigan; In the footsteps of the Manchester Rambler; Fun with Trigonometry; Surprise at the Philharmonic; The Marriage of Figaro; Cat Bells; A Walk in the Hills; Eay Times Uv Changed; Fidelio; The Ravioli Room; Desert Island Discs; Travels in Time 1960; Travels in Time 2010; The Spectroscope; The Bohemian Girl; Bookcase; Barnaby Rudge; Romance on a Budget; The Battle of Solferino; The Getaway Car; The Switchroom Wigan; The Force of Destiny; Adolphe Adam; The Fair Maid of Perth; Ivanhoe; Semele; Lohengrin; The Old Curiosity Shop; Hard Times.