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2022-05-12-Little-Moreton-Hall

 Little Moreton Hall: A Remarkable Tudor Survivor

 A talk by Mr. Trevor Wiliams.

On a beautiful spring evening our members and visitors were enthralled by a well illustrated talk on “Little Moreton Hall”
which is now a National Trust property, by a room steward Mr Trevor Williams.

 The Speaker.

Mr. Williams acted as a room steward for 10 years up to Covid-19 closed all the National Trust properties to visitors in 2020.
Immediately after retirement he looked for something to do, saw a notice requesting volunteers for Little Moreton Hall, he
applied  as a volunteer steward and became ‘addicted’ to the purpose of helping others appreciate the property.

 He recommended that persons should join the National Trust as a good way of increasing their leisure facilities and
of course keeping the trust alive to serve as a caretaker of properties to the nation.
Details about the National Trust are at the end of this report.

Report on talk.

Your reporter could not do justice to the quality of the talk, and the incidences described to us about the people,
their wealth being used for land grabs from the dissolution of the monasteries, and religious houses, to create an
estate that subsequently was sold off as family fortunes declined, the hall becoming a tenant farmer’s house while
the land was rented, which this accidentality avoided ‘modernisation’ of the premises and thus possible loss of
this now Grade 1 Listed Building’, which survived in a very distressed state; but with a lot of funds,
voluntary effort and with old craft skills re-used is now re-stored to a state where we can enjoy it.

 

The National Trust Summary.

Visiting Little Moreton Hall A visit to this iconic Tudor manor house that will take your breath away with its wonky angles
and quirky character. Built to impress by craftsmen's hands more than 500 years ago, the hall, with its crooked walls
and uneven floors, may seem fragile but it's a remarkable survivor.

 

Location of Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire, England.

Co-ordinates: 53º 07’ 18” North 2º 15’ 07” West, on A34 between Congleton in the North and Kidgsgrove in the South

 Location ksnip 20220517 145742

 

 Maps courtesy of Open Street Map.

https://www.openstreetmap.org/

Note on Open Street Maps. OpenStreetMap® is open data, licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL) by the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF). You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt our data, as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors. If you alter or build upon our data, you may distribute the result only under the same licence.

 

Why “Little” Moreton Hall.

Well, there was another "Great " or "Old" Moreton Hall at one time near it, also owned by the Moreton family

 

Discoveries.

During the extensive renovations made following an appeal for funds to preserve the property, many original building skills and materials had to be used as the ‘modern ways’ did not work and damaged the property.

The walls and support timbers are laid on sandstone blocks on the ground, so water dripping from modern concrete wall replacements just rotted the base timbers. Back to original wooden and infill walling to make the building secure.

Some original internal paint was discovered and the colour reused in the interior decoration.

Each of the major rooms is decorated and laid out to represent a different period in the hall’s history.

As the hall and its owners had a period of growth, wealth, neglect and loss of wealth, the neglect saved the original structure from ‘modern improvements’ of the later centuries and so we have a unique view and record the building as it was in use.

 

A very old tennis ball was discovered behind some wall panelling and is now in the national collection iof a London Museum.

TENNIS BALL IMAGE

 Tennis ball discovered behind wall paneling cms 282428 1bro

 



















Images are  from National Trust website collections Little Moreton Hall. ((c) National Trust)

 

National Trust Website link.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/little-moreton-hall

 

 

Tudor Ritual Protection Marks

Tudor ritual protection marks are scattered throughout Little Moreton Hall

Fear and superstition     

(extract from National Trust description)

In Tudor times there was a genuine belief in witches and the power of evil. The Tudors especially feared the night and the dark. From the time of Henry VIII and up to the Civil War and Commonwealth years, there was a period of religious turmoil. People felt they could no longer turn to the Church as a remedy for their worries, in the same way as they had done before. It was also a time when the North West region was affected by the Plague. Burn marks were likely one of the many things that people did to deal with their fears - they were a form of protection.

 

What has been found?

 

In 2014 two archaeologists found by experimentation that burn marks were not accidental but deliberate taper burns. Research volunteers at Little Moreton Hall have since discovered over 250 of these burn marks as well as two other types of marks; circle designs and criss-cross webs of lines. These marks have been found near windows, fireplaces, and blocked doorways. They have also been found in places where the building has been altered and where there is a hollow space behind walls. The reason they would have added the marks here was because of their belief that witches, evil spirits and disease could enter the hall via chimneys, windows, and doorways; any points of 'weakness' in the building could be seen as entry points for evil.

 

The taper burns have all been made at a convenient working height, and are all pointing up like a flame, so it's very likely that they were made in situ by the people of the house. The small designs of scored concentric circles and daisy wheels are in similar places to the taper burns and again at a handy height for making them. These were probably made by the householders and for the same protective purpose as the burns. The exception to this is a 12 petal daisy wheel high up on a ceiling timber of the Great Parlour. We think this was made by a carpenter, possibly when the room was altered in 1559.

Burn marks circle JPG

The marks burn into the wood include a 'petal circle'. A craftsman's compass and scriber mark.

What can you discover as you walk about the hall?

 The burn marks can be spotted on a visit around Little Moreton Hall and our friendly staff are on hand to tell you more about them. Why don’t you see how many you can find on your next visit? You might also spot a couple of sets of concentric circles former residents at Little Moreton Hall scored into the wood to trap evil spirits. The carpenters who built the Hall also added their own form of witch traps which our guides can point out to you… providing you keep them a secret from the witches.

 

The People. The Moretons.

(Extract from National Trust notes.)

 You would be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t a lot to shout about.
The Moretons have disappeared into history, leaving very little behind
apart from the iconic building they created and a few pieces of furniture.
However, as more evidence comes to light, we’re finding that
this family has a fascinating story to tell.

 

It is clear they were wealthy and keen to assert themselves locally.They were a powerful family
who bought up significant amounts of land following the Black Death and later the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
The resulting wealth allowed them to build the ostentatious Little Moreton Hall. Building started in 1504 under
the first William Moreton, and the house was built in stages, completed around 100 years later.

Illustration: A Tudor Pun - the Maw (wolf's head) and Tun (barrel) underneath used to pictorially represent the family name of Moreton

Aside: It is from the 'ton' barrel that the English weight measure 'Ton' derives.

Pun on Moreton image window 282472bro













 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Trust Images/James Dobson, A Tudor Pun - the Maw (wolf's head) and Tun (barrel) used to pictorially represent the family name of Moreton

 

Decline in wealth and fortunes.

The Civil War saw a dramatic change in the family’s fortunes. They were associated with the Royalist cause in a region that was dominated by Parliamentarians. As a result, William Moreton III was imprisoned in the early stages of the war and not allowed to return to his estate upon his release. The running of the household was left to his two daughters Anne and Jane. The Hall was confiscated by the government and the two women rented it back at an extortionate rate. They even had to tolerate their home being used by Parliamentarian soldiers and their horses. By the time William returned to the Hall, he had no hope of paying back his debts before his death. No longer the showpiece of a rich and prospering family, the hall fell into decline over the next 250 years.

 

After the death of the William Moreton III, the care of the Hall fell to his children. Their generation of the family was the last to live permanently at the Hall. The house was then rented for over 200 years, first to relatives and then to a succession of tenant farmers. In many respects, we owe the survival of the hall to its neglect during these years. With little interest from the owners, the Tudor building survived in its original state rather than being modified to suit more ‘modern’ tastes.

 Stained glass images JPG

 Expensive display of Glass Windows.

At the time of building the hall, glass was an extremely expensive item,
so windows with glass were usually very few, but Little Moreton Hall
has a vast amount of glass windows, with many in the expensive stained glass style showing images.
A very visible display of wealth.
Little Morton Hall has over 200 stained glass images.

 Bay Window inside view with table Little Noreton Hall 98756bro

One of the two bay windows.

Little Moreton Hall JPG

The Hall with its many windows and 'wonky' appearance.

Building is ‘wonky’

 Extending a building by adding a very heavy upper story with tons of tiles as in “the Long Gallery” without making stronger foundations
causes problems as all modern day DIY folk know. 

Little Moreton Hall is incredibly wonky!
What caused the subsidence of the building?
It might not be marshy ground as was once thought. Neil, a building surveyor and room guide at the Hall, explains. 

It has long been suggested that marshy ground was the cause of the extensive settlement of the building. However, we have photographic evidence that trial hole excavations in the orchard proved to be dry. If the ground had been “boggy”, the holes would have rapidly filled with water. There is evidence that the moat was clay puddled, to seal against leakage, suggesting that the ground was free draining and would not hold water.

 

Instead, we suggest that much of the settlement was due to the late addition of the long gallery, with no provision having been made for the additional load in the ground and first floor structures below. Distortion of the first floor ceilings are clear. Further, new oak inserts are evident at the base of many external wall posts, where rotted posts have been repaired, but not before settlement had already taken place. These factors, plus natural movement and settlement of the frame, probably account for the distortion of the building.

Recommended visit to a website.  Many Illustrations are on the National Trust Website

 You can see the items in the collection that the Moretons left behind by following the link below.

 Images of items at Little Moreton Hall (link) Images are at very bottom of four pages of images..

https://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/results?SearchTerms=Little+Moreton+Hall&ImagesOnly=True

 

Wikipedia entry with hall diagram of buildings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Moreton_Hall

 

 

REFERENCES. & Links.

Little Moreton Hall Cheshire

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/little-moreton-hall

 

Little Moreton Hall's collection

 Find objects in the collection

http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/place/little-moreton-hall

 

The National Trust  (in England & Wales)

 National Trust         https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

 

Membership is by an annual fee and gives entry to all National Trust Properties in England and Wales ,
andalso gives entry to all properties of The National Tust for Scotland.

National Trust for Scotland

https://www.nts.org.uk/

 

 Thanks.

The members and visitors give to our  entertaining speaker Mr Trevor Williams our most heartfelt thanks for a pleasant and enjoyable evening.
A reminder, he advises all of our members and website viewers to visit theLittle MoretonHall in person if possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20220417 20220413 CLHG Report Thelwall’s Last Lord of the Manor

 Report Thelwall Lord   April, 14th, 2022,

 

Going Out with a Bang!:

Thelwall's Last Lord of the Manor by speaker Mike Taylor.

 

On a fine evening on Thursday April 14th, our members and a few visitors listened to our speaker of the evening Mike Taylor and his wife Maggie give a very well prepared and illustrated talk on an “accidental” last Lord of the Manor of Thelwall, the Rear Admiral John Parry Jones-Parry (1829-1920).

 

The life and times of this man “JPJP”, John Parry Jones-Parry was described to us including his early hardships, diligent study, and advancement through the ranks to Captain, R.N. then his retirement and ultimate retired rank of Rear Admiral and became The lord of the Manor of Thelwall.

 The Last Lord of the Manor of Thelwall cover JPG

 Admiral John Parry Jones-Parry on steps of Thelwall Manor, when a guest, before inheriting the Manor.

 Illustration Image of JPJP.

 

Lord of the Manor.

What were the powers or duties of a “Lord of the Manor”.

These are well defined on the Thelwall Community Website from which this extract is taken:

http://thelwallcommunity.co.uk/past/lords-of-the-manor-of-thelwall/

 'Lord of a Manor' was a job description, not a title. It carried the right and obligation to conduct manorial courts to control the occupants of the township. Manorial courts sorted out local squabbles over land, property maintenance, personal behaviour and so on. Since the Lord of the Manor probably owned the house and land that a person occupied, the courts' powers ranged from fines to eviction from the village. These local powers were eventually subsumed in the local magistrates courts.

The community website gives a list of the Lords of the Manor of Thelwall from the 1070s after the Norman Conquest until the death of JPJP.

 thelwall Hall aerial photo ex Thelwall History Group 68390879 10219911247995655 7235798254737162240 n

 

Thelwall Hall aerial photo ex Thelwall History Group

 

 

Early childhood and thirst for learning.

Our speaker gave a description of a hard childhood and early life with bullying when at boarding school, but JPJP overcome these and developed a hard shell, then took himself off to the Royal Navy, enlisted and studying hard in his ‘spare time’; rose up and was eventually accepted for Midshipman and thus started to enter the office class. It was stated that as soon as he got his midshipman post he immediately started hard on his studies for lieutenant, and eventually was subject to an interview by three Admirals to gain his sub-lieutenancy, he became a mate (sub-lieutenant) on November 17, 1851. He also had a rumbustious side at parties. The research by Mike Taylor has uncovered that he and a colleague broke much valuable tableware in a display cabinet when they overturned it during a party, and then went away without saying what had happened.

 

JPJP was very much aware that to be promoted he needed to be noticed, so when his captain was invited to a social event where influential persons would be present, JPJP took a few days leave journeyed by train to the event and introduced himself to the influential persons and his captain, who had before that ‘not noticed’ the junior officer. JPJP was now ‘known’ to his captain.

 

JPJP even stated to what ship he wanted to be attached for his second post so was sent to his choice, one of the new steam powered paddle vessels then being introduced to the navy. Thus he gaining experience first in sail and then in powered ships, before his transfer to a gunnery school in June 1846 to take up his main specialisation. He looked after his own advancement with studing and careful cultivationof those who could help him advance.

 Gunnery specialist.

As a commander and gunnery specialist he later organised the overland ‘haul’ of four powerful guns from his ship to support the land forces in the Crimea campaign. That would be a very different affair from operating these guns on board a vessel.

 

He spent some time on a sloop of war, a small support vessel, swift and with limited guns, compared with a ‘Man of War’ vessel in interception of slave ships after Britain ended slavery and took armed action against the countries (France, America, Netherlands and others still practising slavery and the slave trade). While our speaker noted that commission, and its problems, as JPJP’s ship was slower and not so modern as the specially designed slave ships,

 

A note extracted from a military website might help our reader’s understanding of that period.

 The main effort to stop slavery came from Britain.

 Stopping the slave trade.

In 1867 JPJP was transferred to the gun vessel Speedwell, which he commanded on the West Coast of Africa, re-visiting his earlier anti-slavery duties in a RN sloop. Note. Do distinguish between a single mast sailing sloop and a Royal Navy ‘Sloop-of War’ with 3 masts and up to 18 guns.

 ex Wikipeia Royal Navy 3 masted Bermuda Sloop entering a West Indies port JPG

 

Image Sloop of War, ex Wikipeia Royal Navy 3 masted "Bermuda Sloop" entering a West Indies port JPG

 Quote ex forces.net

When the British Government passed the Slave Trade Act in 1807, the task of enforcing it fell to the Royal Navy. The trade, which Britain had dominated for decades, now had to be stopped but it wasn’t going to be easy. Many countries were still involved in slavery, including Britain but the Royal Navy was expected to intercept their ships, with or without international co-operation.

 

In 1808 the West Africa Squadron was set up to patrol the coast. It was poorly equipped for the task and assigned just two ships, a 32-gun frigate HMS Solebay and HMS Derwent. More ships were added to the fleet over the next decade but it was still not enough to patrol more than three thousand miles of coastline. Working in West Africa was not easy for personnel due to the risk of tropical disease and violent encounters. Personnel were five times more likely to die there than sailing in British waters. In 1819 the Royal Navy captured a slaving port and created a naval station in West Africa. This was later renamed Freetown and became the capital of the first British colony in West Africa, in Sierra Leone. The squadron also used Ascension Island in the mid-Atlantic as a supply depot, before this was moved to Cape Town.

 In response to Britain’s advances, the slavers started using faster ships and used drastic action to avoid capture.

The Royal Navy could only take a ship *if it was carrying people*, so slavers would throw their human cargo overboard to evade being caught.

 

Britain’s attempts at slavery suppression had a strong humanitarian interest but it was also tied in to a wider geo-political battle to expand the country’s sphere of influence. By the mid-19th century, the squadron had 25 vessels, many of them having been seized from slavers, and more than two thousand personnel involved. Between 1808 and 1860, the West Africa Squadron captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans. Britain’s efforts to break up trade later spread across North Africa, the Middle-East and the Indian Ocean. Overall it took nearly 60 years to abolish the trade for good.

Unquote

Source: https://www.forces.net/services/tri-service/how-royal-navy-helped-stop-slave-trade


Refer also to another website for a history of this period.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/abolition/royal_navy_article_01.shtml


Inventor JPJP.

Due to his familiarity with gunnery and a more ‘helpful’ attitude to others, he invented two items to help the gunnery crew.
The non-recoil gun-carriage; which stopped the recoil killing and maiming sailors in its random fast backward recoil path;
and a mantle, to protect the crew.

 Cannon 36 ponder long cannon Antoine Morel Fatio JPG

Image: Cannon 36 ponder long cannon Antoine Morel Fatio JPG

The wedges aligned the cannon in the vertical both for action and stowage. It recoiled over the deck on the wee wheels.

The nets show canister shot, like cluster bombs today.

 

Inheritance to Thelwall.

JPJP was not a lineal descendant to the line of Thelwall lords of the Manor, but inherited it via his sister who had married a Warrington solicitor William Nicholson, who was left the manor by The Pickering family, who had held it for some centuries, and after William died his wife JPJP’s sister left the Manor to him, as the Nicholson sons saw it as a money losing estate, while JPJP and his wife had lived in the manor during the period when they were homeless after his retirement (with no Navy job-tied supplied house) courtesy of the Nicholsons who had much spare space.

 

Parties.

Our speaker noted that JPJP had run yearly parties for all the children in Thelwall, about 75 children per year, which was a non-specific charity, when most charitable functions were tied to a religious organisation or denomination and only for ‘their sect’.

 Two photographs of the children at a party were shown, which illustrated the small number (about 75) of children among the total small Thelwall population at that time.

 

Royal Navy record.

Link to JPJP's obituary

https://pdavis.nl/ShowObit.php?id=1694

For copywright reasons this is not reproduced here.

 

Books.

Our speaker’s interest in Thelwall has over the years much aided by ‘lockdown’ and with the aid of his wife Maggie has enabled the publication of a few books and booklets on the subject of JPJP.

 The speaker noted his thanks to an old lady of Thelwall who had given him much information and allowed him to copy photographs from her family’s collection.

 These books are available from the books part of the Thelwall Community Website, and if persons want author signed copies, or the price of foreign postage; they should contact the Thelwall Community website at their email “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ”.

This email is located via the Contact button on the top bar of the website.

 

Website: http://www.thelwallcommunity.co.uk/books/

 

Cover illustrations of books price £7.99 including postage within the UK.

The Log of Admiral John Parry Jones Parry Cadet to Lieutenant Cover JPEG

 The Log of Admiral John Parry Jones Parry Cadet to Lieutenant Cover JPEG   GBP £7.99

The Last Lord of the Manor of Thelwall cover JPG

 

The Last Lord of the Manor of Thelwall cover JPG GBP £7.99

 

Reading old style cursive handwriting.

Decryption of JPJP’s own handwriting of his logs, and arduous task undertaken by Mike Taylor has also led to the publication of JPJP’s own records.

We were shown an illustration of the complex cursive handwriting of JPJP from his handwritten logs.

The members were greatful they did not have to read them in original and decypher the meaning of some words.

 

Thanks.

The CLHG’s members and guests wish to express their thanks to Mike and Maggie Taylor for both an interesting evening and our being given a view of a time and lifestyle now long gone.

We were gratefull that Mike Taylor bravely spoke and entertained us while he had a bad throat.

We trust he recovered after our evening was over with speking duties done.

 

Links of interest.

 

https://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/news/17628407.thelwall-local-history-group-launches/

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelwall

 

https://www.olympiaauctions.com/sales/arms-armour/as300720/view-lot/164/

 (Photo of JPJP’s swords as a Naval Officer, and the lightweight one as an Admiral.)

 

https://www.lymmheritageshop.co.uk/product-page/the-log-of-admiral-john-parry-jones-parry

 

Old Photographs, maps etc. of Thelwall are available at

https://www.francisfrith.com/thelwall

 

Facebook Thelwall Community post on book when published by Mike & Maggie Taylor.

 

https://www.facebook.com/ThelwallCommunity/posts/361856795710283

 

 

DRAFT

2022-03-10  RAF Burtonwood.

The Burtonwood Heritage Centre

Admission to the Heritage Centre is free, 

and it is a donation based charity.

Please visit, and donate to his local voluntary group maintaining  a memorial and information of those in the past helped both the outcome of World war II and fed and heated the folk of Berlin during the attempt to starve them and the West into surrendering all of Berlin to the USSR 's control.

We, who are presently ( March 2022) in the middle of Russia's attempt to obliterate the entire Ukraine and its people can understand these pressures of past times.

On a dreary damp evening in March members and a few visitors turned out to hear John Cotterill and another volunteer member of the RAF Burtonwood Heritage Centre talk about the "double life" of this local RAF station and watch an informative film about the station and its aircraft.

 Badge Logo RAF Burtonwood Asociation JPG


This was the largest European air base during World War II when it functioned as amantenance base for USA aircraft, and then when the coal and food and necessities of life were furnished to Berlin during the Berlin airlift it again became a vital mantenance base.

So the base had two operational lives:
1.  A World War II operational mantenance base.
2.  A Berlin Airlift operational mantenance base.

The talk illustrated how the base was in reality a small town by itself with up to 18,000 USA personnel stationed there. Plus some local help (about 2,000) in the ancilliary jobs.

The Heritage Cerntre has been the place of reunions of USA airfolk coming back to see where they served, and one had his ashes  scattered to the wind at the site of the runway. A most moving moment during the talk.

The talk engendered a response to get out of the meeting ago to see this reminder of the recent past, now disapearing under the motorways  and the industrial estate which has grown on the former station site.

Air shot of Burtonwood JPG

 















 

Air shot of Burtonwood JPG

The Museum is in the grounds of Gulliver's World and entrance is free.

Location:

Gulliver's World Resort, Shackleton Close, Old Hall, Warrington, WA5 9YZ

https://www.gulliversworldresort.co.uk/

Google Map GulliversWorld Burtonwood Heritage Centre PNGWarrington, WA5 9YZ

Website: Link  https://www.gulliversfun.co.uk/

To contact the museum to plan and arrange you visit contact:
Telephone:   +44 (0) 1925 591209
Email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Summer Opening Times

7 days a week – 2.30pm until 5.00pm
Please note: The centre is only open during theme park operational dates.

Enjoy your visit.

 Berlin Air Lift.

Due to the USSR trying to stop traffic to the city, the three air passage flight lines (below 10,000 feet) agreed at Yalta, were the only way to the city when rail and road transport were blocked, so the city was supplied by air.

All goods to keep the city running coal, food, fuel, school necessities, heath & medical supplies came by air.

Our speaker illustrated his talk with both short films and photographs including some about the 'Candy Bomber"  pilot who dropped sweets (USA "Candy") to children on his run in to land. The children knew his plane as it wiggled its wings on approach. Sadly our speaker advised the the pilot Gail Halvorsen (October 10, 1920 – February 16, 2022) had died just the previous month to our talk.

 Gail Halvorsen.

 His story can be followed onwikipedia and many websites.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gail_Halvorsen

Link: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/candy-bomber-dropped-sweets-amid-berlin-airlift-dies-82960904

Quote:

After meeting a group of children behind a fence at Templehof airport.

He offered them the two pieces of gum that he had, broken in half, and was touched to see those who got the gum sharing pieces of the wrapper with the other children, who smelled the paper. He promised to drop enough for all of them the following day as he flew, wiggling the wings of his plane as he flew over the airport, Halvorsen recalled.

He started doing so regularly, using his own candy ration, with handkerchiefs as parachutes to carry them to the ground. Soon other pilots and crews joined in what would be dubbed “Operation Little Vittles.”

Unquote

 Ex wikipedia 330px Gail Halvorsen ca 1983 JPG

































Ex wikipedia 330px Gail Halvorsen ca 1983 JPG

Leaflet.

Our members and visitors received from the speakers, a leaflet, most generously illustrated, about the museum and the Heritage Centre, which has become a valued keepsake.

The leaflet is a work of art and gives opening times and illustrates the films and items and displays that can be seen in their cinema.

 Images from the RAF Burtonwood Heritage Cente website:

Aircraft at museum AR1A2597YEScropped 600x400 PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft at museum AR1A2597YEScropped 600x400 PNG

 

Aircraft controls Burtonwood 10 RT1 600x400 PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft controls Burtonwood 10 RT1 600x400 PNG

(A lot more complex than driving a car!)

 

Gas mask box AR1A2391YEScropped 600x400 PNG

Gas mask box AR1A2391YEScropped 600x400 PNG

The writer remembers being taught as a young boy to put on his gas mask box by its string and that it was near his bed during the night, beside the old towel we carried if we were to go to 'The Shelter' dug into our garden, but as a youngster my first mask had a Mikey Mouse appearance, so the above image engendered a lot of memories.

 

Thanks.

The members and our guests express our most sincere thanks to John Cotterill and his volunteer for their able  talk about a time slowly passing
out of living memory as the folk of the 1943s and 1950s pass away.

Thank you.

Blazer Badge RAF Burtonwood Association JPG

Blazer Badge RAF Burtonwood Association JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

2022-02-10 Conscientious Objectors in WWI 

Speaker Brian Joyce

Notice of enlistment by conscription 12 JPG

copyright The Imperial War Museum.

 

On Thursday the 10th of February, 2022, our members heard a well illustrated talk about the minority class of people “Conscientious Objectors”
during the First World War [WWI].

This class emerged from people with religious objections (Quakers), ethical objections, and political objections. While the religious objections
were understood, the political objections were not understood by the general populace (International Socialism).

 Mr Joyce outlined the position at the start of the war and the movement from volunteer forces to conscripted forces in 1916 with the position of
Conscientious Objectors (COs) recognised, while their position was extremely socially awkward and many were discriminated against both
during the war and after the war. The ability to get a job after the war was very difficult for COs.

There had been an anti-war movement, or pacifist movement and societies and groups long before WWI and during the war their activities
were much enlarged and politicised, while opprobrium was created against them in the press, and by individual acts.

British Professional Army

When World War I started in 1914, Britain had a small professional army and reservists.

Britain did not have conscription. Most continental countries allowed and had conscription as part of their normal military set up.
At outbreak of war:

Germany army size 4,500,000

UK army size BEF in UK 100,000  (available for European Service)
Remainder of about 150,00 were on service overseas and unable to be recalled, as normal duty tour was 3 years abroad
and 3 years at home in Great Britain.

The British Expeditionary Force [BEF] sent to France was made up of approximately 50% professional soldiers and 50% reservists.
This BEF was a small part of the professional army as most were on service in India and elsewhere, while a Europe ‘continental war’
was a small part of military thinking and planning prior to the war.

Following the non-conscription method a call was made for volunteers to join the army.
Many joined from August 1914 under patriotism, peer pressure, possible adventure as ‘the war will be over by Christmas’, and
active recruitment campaigns.

Early Volunteers.

Rough increase in volunteers by week in first weeks after war declared:

Week one 8,000

Week two 43,000

Week three 63,000

Week four 175,000

These recruits had to be trained from scratch, possibly 6 weeks to 6 months to be ‘trained soldiers’.
The volunteers gradually increased to about half a million by end of 1914.

Pacifists.

 

Bex bbc Bernard Lawson was willing to work with the FAU and helping the wounded 74927215 lawson

Image ex bbc Bernard Lawson was willing to work with the FAU and helping the wounded 74927215 lawson

https://fau.quaker.org.uk/

Friends Ambuance Unit [ "FAU" ]

 

A number of societies and pressures were publicly done to ‘avoid war’ recruiting and show a pacifist outlook.
While Sir John French lead the BEF in France, his relative Charlotte (nee French) Despard was an anti war campaigner from before the Boer War.
So the seeds of the conscientious objectors movement was growing before and from the start of the war.
The losses during 1915 of men in the war slowed the active volunteers even with considerable peer pressure and adverts and recruitment activity,,
so ultimately Britain changed from a volunteer army basis to a conscription basis.

Conscription during the First World War began when the British government passed the Military Service Act in January 1916. [Image above of poster]
The act specified that single men aged 18 to 40 years old were liable to be called up for military service unless they were widowed with children,
or were ministers of a religion.

There was a system of tribunals to adjudicate upon claims for exemption upon the grounds of performing civilian work of national importance,
domestic hardship, health, and conscientious objection.

The law went through several changes before the war ended. Married men were exempt in the original Act, although this was changed in May 1916.
The age limit was also eventually raised to 51 years old. Recognition of work of national importance also diminished.
In the last year of the war there was support for the conscription of clergy, though this was not enacted. Conscription lasted until mid-1919.

 

 

 2016 copy of exemption cert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: of poster about local tribunals.

 Image of Image of Military SERVICE ACT notice

THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1916 Parliamentary Recruiting Committee Poster No.153.
This poster explains the ways men could be exempted from combatant service, including conscientious objection. © IWM (Art.IWM PST 5161)

 

Tribunals.

The speaker illustrated the three levels of tribunal which could award an exemption from military service.
Local tribunals at local government level,
County Appeal Tribunals,
and national level Central Tribunal at Westminster.

Military Service Tribunals were bodies formed by borough, urban district and rural district councils to hear applications for exemption from conscription into the
British Army during the First World War. Although not strictly recruiting bodies, they played an important part in the process of conscription.
Tribunals were published as part of the Derby Scheme in 1915, but were continued on a statutory basis by the Military Service Act 1916, which brought in conscription.

The image below shows a screenshot of a 'temporary exemtion' granted undee thel Leigh tribunal, in Wigan Archives.

ksnip 20220217 142547 EXEMPTION cert Leigh Military tribunal PNG

Screenshot: Exemtion for a period from Leigh archives at Wingan archives. An exemption result was 'unusual'.

Leigh Records.

By chance the records of the Leigh tribunal were not destroyed when destruction of tribunal records were instigated at the end of hostilities;
when the Government issued an instruction to destroy Tribunal records, only retaining two official sets for possible future use.
Luckily, many records do survive at local level, having been saved or they avoided
the official destruction order through neglect, good judgement or, in some cases, luck, as at Leigh.

 Link to Wigan archives.

Leigh Records. Tribunals for Exemption from war service

 At war’s end the local tribunals were ordered to destroy all records, most did so, however Leigh put their records in a basement and
thus forgotten; until they were found many years later and sorted and arranged by the Wigan Archivist and Archives department

The flies are available on Wigan Archives website.

https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/archive/world-war-records/leigh-tribunal?

Extract from website

Military Tribunals: Records of Voluntarily Attested Men, Leigh, 1915-1917

These records were created by the Military Tribunal system, which under the Military Service Act, 1916, established the terms for compulsory military enrolment.

The new Military Service Act required all adult males, aged 18-41, to register for military service unless they possessed a certificate of exemption.
By April 1918, the age range was extended, so that men aged from 17 to 55 could be called up, and exemptions were further restricted.

From 1916, men seeking exemption from military service could apply to various tribunals: Local Tribunals, Appeal Tribunals and a Central Tribunal based in London.

Local Tribunals were appointed by the Local Registration Authorities designated under the National Registration Act 1915.
They dealt with attested (voluntary servicemen) and non-attested (conscripted) applications. Recruiting officers or other military representatives were also
entitled to attend any hearing and to question applicants.

 The reasons provided by applicants for exemption are varied, with applications made on moral grounds (conscientious objectors),
on medical grounds (disability), on family grounds (looking after dependents) and on economic grounds (preserving a business).
The vast majority of cases relate to the impact of war on a man’s family or their business interests, and the papers reveal some fascinating and tragic stories.

Due to the sensitive issues that surrounded compulsory military service during and after the First World War, nationally, only a small minority of the tribunal papers survive.
In the years that followed the end of the war, the Government issued instructions to the Local Government Boards that all tribunal material should be destroyed,
except for the Middlesex Appeal records and a similar set for Lothian and Peebles in Scotland, which were to be retained as a benchmark for possible future use.

This information was taken from the websites of The National Archives and The National Archives of Scotland,

Where further information can be found:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/conscription-appeals/

http://www.nas.gov.uk/about/081103.asp

Graffitti

The Richmond Castle Graffiti

 Within the imposing Norman walls of Richmond Castle, an unassuming 19th-century military cell block holds a fascinating secret. Inscribed on its fragile walls are thousands of pieces of graffiti that span several decades and two world wars. New research is now shedding light on the artists behind the graffiti, including the conscientious objectors known as the Richmond Sixteen.

English Heritage project richmond cell block project

English Heritage project richmond cell block project

Link
https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/richmond-castle/richmond-graffiti/cell-block-project/

 

Adverse publicity against COs.

iwm image c cartoon of stay at homes 13JPG

 
 
 
 
 
 



































iwm image c cartoon of stay at homes 13JPG   [ImperialWar Museum copyright]


singing cos postcard 2 JPG
Image singing cos postcard 2 JPG

Tribunal work load.

Although the tribunals are best known for their often heavy-handed attitude towards cases of conscientious objection,
most of the tribunals' work dealt with domestic and business matters.

The tribunal system recorded applicants in two separate ways.
Men will have been noted as being either attested or non-attested men.
An ‘attested’ man was someone who had signalled their willingness to serve in the Army when called upon under the Derby Scheme of late 1915.

Derby Scheme

The Derby Scheme was the last effort to save the traditional voluntary recruitment, whereby men of military age not in the Army
(as identified by the National Register of 1915) were requested to attest their willingness to serve when called upon in the future.

 Link to PDF on Tribunal Records and searchable records.

PDF link

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Military-Service-Tribunal-survey-Dec-2015-copy.pdf

 

Searchable link to some records.

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/conscription-appeals/

About the records

The MH 47 series contains up to 11,000 case papers from the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal which, between 1916 and 1918, heard appeals
from men who had previously applied to a local tribunal for exemption from compulsory military service. The reasons provided by applicants
are varied, with applications made on moral grounds (conscientious objectors), on medical grounds (disability), on family grounds
(looking after dependents) and on economic grounds (preserving a business). The vast majority of cases relate to the impact of war on
a man’s family or their business interests, and the papers reveal some fascinating and tragic stories.

The case papers within MH 47 provide a unique insight into the tensions created between Government and society during the First World War,
which saw casualties and fatalities reach previously unimaginable levels.

The series is now fully searchable and available online in January 2014, following the completion of a digitisation project jointly funded by
the Friends of The National Archives and Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS).

Grounds of Appeal . A final appeal.

Grounds for Appeal: WWI Appeal Tribunal Papers

https://www.historypin.org/en/person/58889

 link:

https://www.historypin.org/en/first-world-war-centenary/grounds-for-appeal-wwi-appeal-tribunal-papers/geo/54.335279 ,

This link shows a person being not exempt in 1918 after a Central Tribunal Appeal hearing.

On 11 March 1918 an appeal was sent to the Central Tribunal in London. On 25 April 1918 the Central Tribunal gave their decision
that Claude Colleer Abbott was not to be exempt from military service.
This decision was final. An image copy of the record decision in inside the “histroypin” webpage.

 

Numbers of Appellants and Conscripts.

By 1916 over half a million persons had appealed, while the number of exemptions were about twice the number of conscripts.

 

Conscientious Objectors were in distinct groups.

The Absolutists.

These persons refused military service and any war related work whatsoever, men who were categorically opposed to the war.
These men were unwilling to perform any form of alternative non-combatant service that might aid the war effort.

 Richmond Sixteen 

The Richmond Sixteen were a group of "absolutist" British conscientious objectors during the First World War. Conscripted into the British Army in 1916, they refused to undertake even non-combatant military duties. Brought together at Richmond Castle, Yorkshire, most not knowing each other previously, they were (illegally) transported to France, where they were court-martialled and formally sentenced to be executed by firing squad, but this sentence was immediately commuted to ten years' penal servitude. They were released in April 1919, several months after the Armistice of 11 November 1918 and a few weeks before the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

A considerable number of websites and documents are available on the Richmond Sixteen

ex English Heritage c Quakers Richmond sixteen cos dyce camp JPG

The sixteen men (ex Wikipedia)

The group was made up of a Quaker, five International Bible Students (a group which has been known since 1931 as Jehovah's Witnesses), and members of the Methodists, Congregationalists, Churches of Christ, and Socialists. They were:

Norman Gaudie (1887–1955), centre forward of the reserve Sunderland Football Club, from East Boldon;
Alfred Matthew Martlew (1894–1917), a clerk at Rowntree's chocolate factory in York, originally from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire;
Herbert (Bert) George and William (Billy) Edwin Law, brothers from Darlington;
Alfred Myers, an ironstone miner from Carlin How;
John Hubert (Bert) Brocklesby, schoolteacher and Methodist lay preacher, from Conisbrough;
Charles Ernest Cryer, from Cleveland; Robert Armstrong Lown, from Ely;
and eight men from Leeds:
Clifford Cartwright, from the Churches of Christ;
John William Routledge;
Ernest Shillito Spencer (1897–1957), a Quaker clerk in a factory;
Clarence and Stafford Hall, brothers;
Charles Rowland Jackson;
Leonard Renton; 
Charles Herbert Senior,
the latter five all International Bible Students, now known as Jehovah's Witnesses.

 

Non-combatant servicemen.

These persons were formed into non-combatant duty service units.

The vast majority of conscientious objectors (COs) were designated to fight or to join the Non-Combatant Corps (NCC),
specially created exclusively for COs. For those accepted as having genuine moral or religious objections to fighting,
being under military orders in the NCC was intended to make them support the war in non-fighting roles, such as transport or non-lethal stores.

 

Link to BBC short  Summary

Summary:

BBC Bitesize for Schools on this subject

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zr64jxs/revision/1 1 of 6 short pages.

Domestic impact of war: society and culture

World War One had an impact on people’s everyday lives. Conscription was introduced and the role of women changed.
Scotland suffered a high number of casualties.

 Summary page:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zr64jxs/revision/3

 Conscientious objectors. [COs]

Conscientious objectors were taken to a military tribunal. In 1916 approximately 14,000 appeared before tribunals.

These tribunals were like military courts and they listened to objectors’ reasons for their refusal to accept conscription.
Their arguments were usually rejected. However there were exceptions.

 Extraordinary Case

One of the most extraordinary cases involved a mother, Elsie M. Cowie from Glasgow, who pleaded for her youngest son to serve at home.
The reason was that four of her sons had already gone to war and three had been killed in 1915 - two in the army and one in the navy.
The tribunal granted her son Frank Hamilton Cowie exemption on the grounds of hardship.

 

Numbers.

Around 7,000 conscientious objectors agreed to perform non-combat duties, often as stretcher-bearers in the front line.
However, more than 1,500 pacifists refused all military service.

These ‘absolutists’ opposed undertaking any work whatsoever that helped Britain's war effort.

Across the UK, almost 6,000 conscientious objectors were court martialled and sent to prison.
Conditions were harsh and at least 71 died because of the harsh treatment they received.

When the war ended, many conscientious objectors returned to civilian life to find that they weren't welcomed
by their families and employers refused to offer them jobs.

 

Memorials.

After a similar situation in World War II, where slightly better arrangements were in place, and after a long period of discussion and argument,
a war memorial to Conscientious Objectors was put up, and some museums list the local names.

 

400 names from Richmond castle.

The names of 400 conscientious objectors who passed through Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire during the First World War
wiere revealed for the first time in 2019. The 400 names are included in a new museum at the castle which opened on Saturday 20 July 2019.

  https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about-us/search-news/conscientious-objectors-named/

 

Memorial photograph

The Conscientious Objectors' Commemorative Stone is on the north side of Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden. In 1994 a stone commemorating "men and women conscientious objectors all over the world and in every age" by Hugh Court was unveiled in Tavistock Square.

 Link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscientious_Objectors_Commemorative_Stone

 Memorial to Conscientious Objectors public domain Vernon 640px DSCN1999TavistockSqConcObj

 Memorial to Conscientious Objectors public domain Vernon 640px DSCN1999TavistockSqConcObj

Image of memorial in the public domain is by Vernon White, Cornwall, United Kingdom

By Vernon39 - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3180416

 

Thanks

The group and its visitors warmly thanked Brian Joyce for his talk about the ‘minority’ of Conscientious Objectors.

 

Some further study links are shown below.

https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/archive/world-war-records/leigh-tribunal?

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/19/conscientious-objectors-of-first-world-war-their-untold-tales

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Sixteen

 

Imperial War museum

Tribunals text https;//www.iwm.org.uk

 This has stories of the experiences of COs and is most highly recommended to be read for the personal insights it gives.

 IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM site

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/voices-of-the-first-world-war-conscientious-objection

English Heritage project text

link

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/richmond-castle/history-and-stories/attitudes-to-cos/

 This is a good summary of attitudes and changing attitudes to Conscientious Objectors with illustrations.

 

How to look for records of... Conscientious objectors

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/conscientious-objectors/

WW1: The conscientious objectors who refused to fight

By Holly Wallis BBC News Published 15 May 2014

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27404266

 

 

 

 

 

20220113

2022-01-13 Dodgy Electioneering in Warrington 1830 to 1900

Speaker  Philp Jeffs

Our audience of members and visitors laughed loudly and were much amused by the tactics of
previous candidates for office in their then 'social media' of posting handbills and posters
throughout the town on a very rapid basis in the early 1800s up to early 190s

Posters held in Warrington Archives

These posters, which are held in Warrington Archives illustrated the talk.

Compared with current activities of politicians and candidates they were much more personal however
with the target oposing canditate 'hidden' by discrete  and sometimes jovial references.
In some cases the posters alluded to bad or noticable physical and supposed mental defects in the
opposing person's character. The rebutal was usually on the walls of Warrington within a day!

A technical and organisation feat by local printers acting for the 'author'.

To avoid legal actions against the candidate, they were usually stated to issued by someone else,

It was almost as rapid a respose as nowadays is visible in social media sites where politcians
now publicaly post their thoughts, or their 'opinion' is posted on their behalf by 'others'.Often seen as
as being posted by 'on behalf of their office' with actual author undisclosed.

The statement of opposing canditates being ugly, fat, or mentally deficient or lacking understanding
of their district inhabitants was striking.

Reform Acts

The three Reform Acts altered the target of the posters as it enlarged from the very restricted
number of electors to a larger enfranchsed body, however at firsts only to males and those
with property.

The speaker illustrated how that change enabled some candidates to 'revalue' the houses of
their servants and employees to ensure they met the property requirements and thus were
influenced [no doubt under threat of loss of housing and employment] to vote for their employer.

In one case, the vote was close between two town major employers standing for election,
and the result was a majority of six (6) after a recount but one of these candidates had 'improved and revalued' the houses of some twenty (20) of his employees to get them enfranchised.
So was this an illustration of packing the electorate with "my people".

Link to
Search Room of Warrington Archives within "Culture Warrington"

Warrington-archives-search-room

https://www.warrington.gov.uk/events/warrington-archives-search-room

 

Link to articles on The Reform Acts.

https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofparliament/houseofcommons/reformacts/

Women and the vote.

https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/womenvote/

 

Thanks.

Ouur members thank Philip Jeffs for a very hearty talk given with gusto, understanding of the
obscure rerences hidden in the posters, and knowlege of the effect of the Reform Acts,
  which enlivened their outing during these much restricted activitiies time due to Covid-19 precautions

 

 

 20211214     

Warrington Women

 Speaker Dr. Bill Cooke

During a physical meeting after the lock down conditions of early 2021 were eased, the group returned to hear a talk in person from a visiting speaker,
whose talk originally scheduled for May 2021 was envntually delivered at a restricted attendance meeting in December 2021.

Dr Bill Cooke, a lecturer Priestly College  gave an illustrated talk on Warrington Women, who had a major national effect on the United Kingdom.

An enraptured audience listen to Cr Bill Cooke talk about five women, some famous, some forgotten who had at their time and thereafter
an effect on the thinking and conditions of the populace of the united Kingdom.

It raised a large amount of questions and was deemed by some attndees as a "Brilliant Talk".

Our thanks go to Dr Bill Cooke for his knowledge and outspokenness on the forgetting of hose who shaped our modern world.

 

 

Draft 20211015  Mucky Mountains .

Restart of phhysical meetings after Covid-19 lock-down.

Our first physical meeting in Autumn 2021 was a visit on 2nd September to Leigh Archives followed on 9th September by a talk on the "Burglaries Register" in Warrington archives by Phillip Jeffs at our first regular meeting including our delayed AGM for 2019 to 2021 covering our 'closed period' when Covid-19 regulations did pot permit physical meetings of groups of people.

 

Mucky Mountains.

A small group attended a talk on "Who put the Muck in the Mucky Mountains" on 14th October 2021 with reference to the local Soda Ash industry.

The writer refers folk to the illustration on the internet link below, which retains the copy right on all its text and illustrations.

Link to pictures http://www.newtonheritagetrail.com/muckie-mountains


Abstract:
In 1832-4 James Muspratt established a chemical works besides the Sankey Canal to manufacture Vitriol (Sodium Carbonate) by means of the Leblanc Process. This process was inefficient, producing two tons of waste for every ton of Vitriol. The waste, known as Galligu, was piled high and became known locally as the “Mucky Mountains”. The process also released large amounts of Hydrogen Chloride toxic gas into the atmosphere. Lawsuits from local land owners followed and despite Muspratt erecting one of the tallest chimneys in the country (400 feet high) to try and reduce the problem, the lawsuits continued. The works were closed in 1851 and the chimney was demolished in 1925. The importance of the site nowadays for nature and the cultural heritage of the Borough is recognised by St Helens Council, which has designated Mucky Mountains as a “Site of Community Wildlife Interest”.

 

The idea of our speaker playing as a small boy on these local mountaiins  was described with great glee as a daytime adventure,
which raised his interest inlate rlife in how they got there. Thier use and their abandonment to become a playground for the local children

 

Our thanks to John Shaw for illuminating a time now in history of where children played inthe open  area arround them, and how t his industry was raised , prospered and died.

20211114 CLHG Report Fasting Ladies

Fasting Girls by Brian Joyce.
20211111

On the dull Autumn evening of 11th November 2021, a goodly number of members of Culcheth Local History Group assembled in person in the well ventilated hall of The Village Centre and many kept on their outer coats in the ‘brisk’ atmosphere of the ‘Covid-19 precautions’ to hear a most interesting talk on how some folk, mainly ladies, in Europe claimed to exist without sustenance of normal food of water.

Our speaker developed his subject by telling us of the middle ages and the mindset of all European people at that time being thoroughly versed in a Christian based world view where spiritual matters were of great concern, and unusual events were looked at through the lens of a religious background.

Brian Joyce then intruded us to Catherine of Siena and her history and claimed periods of fasting beyond normal starvation time while only obtaining very small sustenance from the Christian rituals of wine in the daily act of remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ. A little biscuit and water being sufficient to maintain life.

Her devotion and life eventually led to the Roman Catholic Church making her a Saint and doctor of the church.

Photo of Catherine of Siena.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Giovanni_Battista_Tiepolo_096.jp

St. Catharineof Siena 512px Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 096

 

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo: English: St. Catherine of Siena
Artist
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770)
English: St. Catherine of Siena
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions  oval: 70 x 52 cm Rahmenmaße: 83,5 x 66,5 x 6,5 cm
Collection: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
Source/Photographer Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Bilddatenbank.

Ex wikipediacommons.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a0/Giovanni_Battista_Tiepolo_096.jpg/512px-Giovanni_Battista_Tiepolo_096.jpg

Short summary of Catherine of Siena. Ex wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_of_Siena
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena (25 March 1347 – 29 April 1380), a lay member of the Dominican Order, was a mystic, activist, and author who had a great influence on Italian literature and the Catholic Church. Canonized in 1461, she is also a Doctor of the Church.

She was born and raised in Siena, and at an early age wanted to devote herself to God, against the will of her parents. She joined the "mantellate," a group of pious women, primarily widows, informally devoted to Dominican spirituality. Her influence with Pope Gregory XI played a role in his decision to leave Avignon for Rome. She was then sent by him to negotiate peace with Florence. After Gregory XI's death and peace was concluded, she returned to Siena. She dictated to secretaries her set of spiritual treatises The Dialogue of Divine Providence. The Great Schism of the West led Catherine of Siena to go to Rome with the pope. She sent numerous letters to princes and cardinals to promote obedience to Pope Urban VI and defend what she calls the "vessel of the Church." She died on 29 April 1380, exhausted by her rigorous fasting. Urban VI celebrated her funeral and burial in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.

With a retinue about her constantly changing, the fasting can never be proven to have been rigorous or continuous but her eventual death by a wasting body implies a less than adequate diet at some periods of her life.

Canonisation of Catherine , article on a website blog with pictures.
https://idlespeculations-terryprest.blogspot.com/2006/11/st-catherine-of-siena-canonisation.html

 Catheine canonisation image 2canoni10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 











Canonisation of Catherine

Catherine Head in Siena cathedral head0













The St Catherine Head preserved in Siena Cathedral.
Head picture.

The phenomenon of Anorexia Mirabilis had started.

 

The next notable one being Lidwina of Schiedam, and our speaker then took us thought many other fasting girls including those in the British Isles, one in Wales and one in Culcheth.

Wales.
Welsh fasting girl Sarah Jacob.

Her tale leads to many interpretations partly of religious and partly of potential fraud (was she a ‘night eater’ in the dairy and kitchen area of her house) and the ultimate trial of her parents for not feeding her.

The speaker has diagrams of the house with attached milking shed which showed how easy it was to move from bed to a food store.
He intergrated a moment of humour when a 'watcher' sent to determine if food was provided or taken during night hours proved to be a local drunk.

The story is summarised in a Wikipedia article.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Jacob

Biography ex link: https://www.wikizero.com/en/Sarah_Jacob
Sarah Jacob was born at Lletherneaudd, near Pencader, Carmarthenshire, the daughter of a farmer. Among her family, she was known by the pet name "Sal". From the age of ten, she was said to have gone without food for long periods but without any apparent effect on her health. Her parents began to receive visitors and to display the child to them, claiming that she had not eaten for many months; by the time she died, she was said to have gone without food for a total of 113 weeks. When the news of her supposed fasting reached the national press, an article on the subject was published in The Lancet, and eventually a team of four nurses was sent to the house to observe her and see whether she was secretly eating and drinking. They began their observations on 9 December 1869, and the girl died just over a week later. During the period the nurses were present, no one attempted to feed her. An autopsy performed after her death found generally healthy anatomy and fat tissue, as well as faeces low in her intestines, indicating that she had been consuming food up until the start of the last observation period.

Trial of her parents.

http://www.welshlegalhistory.org/research-jacob-trial-report.php

Sarah Jacobs parents external contentduckduckgocom JPEG

 

 

 

 

 





Sarah Jacobs parents  

 

Welsh Legal History Society.
Cymdeithas Hanes Cyfraith Cymru.

This website of historical Welsh Legal History illustrates the measures of the day and its widespread reporting. The trial found her parents had failed in the duty to keep her alive, and their religious sworn oath that they would not feed her unless she deliberately asked for food was found to be a lesser duty than the legal duty of parents to support their offspring. Their legal duty came above their religious beliefs.

 

Quote from a local newspaper.

The report from the Tivy-side Advertiser, July 15th 1870, of the trial of Evan and Hannah Jacob, the parents of Sarah Jacob, at the Carmarthenshire assizes.


Trial of the parents of the welsh fasting girl for manslaughter.

These Assizes were opened in Carmarthen on Tuesday evening last, before the Hon. Sir James Hannen, Knight. There were but few cases entered for hearing, and the whole interest and excitement of the assize naturally centred in the trial of Evan and Hannah Jacob, the parents of the Welsh Fasting Girl. The following brief recapitulation of the facts of this remarkable case may perhaps be not uninteresting to our readers.

“Mr. Michael, on the part of the female prisoner, submitted that the indictment against Mrs. Jacob could not be sustained, as there was no duty on the part of the mother to supply food to the child while the father was living.

Mr. Giffard said it was not a question of duty to supply food, but wilful refusal to exercise that duty.”

This site shown below allows you to view the court records easily:
https://viewer.library.wales/4631929#?c=&m=&s=&cv=16&manifest=https%3A%2F%2Fdamsssl.llgc.org.uk%2Fiiif%2F2.0%2F4631929%2Fmanifest.json&xywh=-1653%2C-1%2C9082%2C7375

 

ksnip 20211112 164625 EXTRACT court document The WelshFastingGirl Welsh Library Archives PNGpng

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Evidence of eating was given in the post mortem examination report.

There was also the evidence from the post mortem of some food being taken during the supposed months of fasting .

A) Now available at link
The Lancet, Volume 96, Issue 2448, 30 July 1870, Pages 150-152  [NOTE: PDF is behind an expensive paywall.]
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673602615016
“Remarks in reference to the presence of fat and absence of attenuation of the intestines in the body of Sarah Jacob, the "welsh fasting girl."

B) There is also a full PDF of the medical evidence available from the BMJ
“A Continuance of the Case of the Welsh Fasting Girl
With an Account of the Post Mortem Appearances, by Thomas Lewis; Copyright BMJ.
Link:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2259906/pdf/brmedj05438-0003b.pdf

 Sarah Jacob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The popular press has a field day with this story.

 

Parents sent to trial.

Defence Brief.

The brief for the defence is available in the Welsh National Library
“Brief for the defence in the case heard at the Carmarthenshire Assizes, July 1870, against Evan and
Hannah Jacob of Llanfihangel-ar-arth, co. Carmarthen, for the manslaughter of their daughter, Sarah
Jacob (1857-69), the 'Welsh Fasting Girl'; the brief includes transcripts of depositions by witnesses, taken before the magistrates at Llandysul, and of related correspondence.”
Link: https://archives.library.wales/downloads/sarah-jacob-welsh-fasting-girl.pdf

Trial result.

In July 1870, Sarah's parents, Evan and Hannah Jacob, were brought to trial at Carmarthenshire Assizes, accused of manslaughter. They were monoglot Welsh speakers, and the court proceedings had to be translated for them. They pleaded not guilty, but were convicted and received prison sentences.

An alternative Welsh Library website for linked papers with pictures of the archival documents.


Handwritten attestation, reports and trail observations
Attribution: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru –

https://www.library.wales/discover/digital-gallery/manuscripts/modern-period/sarah-jacob-the-welsh-fasting-girl#?c=&m=&s=&cv=&xywh=-626%2C1487%2C3284%2C2793

This site allows you to view the court records easily:
https://viewer.library.wales/4631929#?c=&m=&s=&cv=16&manifest=https%3A%2F%2Fdamsssl.llgc.org.uk%2Fiiif%2F2.0%2F4631929%2Fmanifest.json&xywh=-1653%2C-1%2C9082%2C7375

The handwritten documents are in English, and with a magnifying glass readable in a browser; OR
by clicking inside the picture of the document page it is enlarged.

 

  Modern thoughts.      Perhaps some modern problems with the trial.

All of the above to modern persons indicates a total absence of consideration of the parent’s then actual relationship with their religion and language and culture, by the trial process:
    The parents were monoglot Welsh speakers.
    All proceedings were in English under English law..
    The court discounted their extreme consideration that a religious duty and swore oath in their culture were higher than the ‘Foreign Language
          Law’ under which they were tried.
     The mother using the consideration that she had no duty as long as a male (the father) was the household head.

Modern thoughts on avoiding extreme drudgery.

Was the girl using her illness to dodge the hard work on the family farm, which would be normal for offspring at their time, with connivance from her sister? Did the dodge became a way of life?

 

 

  Mollie Fancher

The speaker then referenced and illustrated the “Brooklyn Fasting Girl”
How the incidents were multiplied by the press, and thus visitors and others became interested and the thing became a USA national incident.

 Mollie Fancher in bed










Mollie Fancher in bed

Mary J. "Mollie" Fancher (August 16, 1848 – February, 1916), otherwise known as the "Brooklyn Enigma", was extremely well known for her claim of not eating or eating very little for extended periods of time. She attended a reputable school and, by all reports, was an excellent student. At age 16, she was diagnosed with dyspepsia. At around the age of 19, reports came out that she had abstained from eating for seven weeks.

It was after two accidents, in 1864 and 1865, that she became famous for her ability to abstain from food. As a result of the accidents, Mollie Fancher lost her ability to see, touch, taste, and smell. She claimed to have powers that involved her being able to predict events as well as to read without the ability of sight.

By the late 1870s, she was claiming to eat little or nothing at all for many months. Her claim to abstinence from food lasted for 14 years. Doctors and people in the public began to question her abilities and wished to perform tests to determine the truthfulness of her claims. The claims to abstinence were never verified and she died in February 1916.

The events and her life have generated a lot of books, websites and articles.

 

The speaker then returned to more local events in the UK.

Tutbury. Ann Moore

Ann Moore (31 October 1761 – 1813) was an English woman who became notorious as the fasting-woman of Tutbury. From 1807 to 1813, she claimed to have eaten nothing at all, but her claims were eventually shown to be a hoax.

Refer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Moore_(impostor)

The conclusion in the Wikipedia article was:
Some modern historians view her actions as an early form of social protest, while others view it as simple fraud.

Extract from report.
In the summer of 1812, Alexander Henderson (1780–1863) Physician to the Westminster General Dispensary, wrote an able Examination of the imposture, showing the inconsistencies and absurdities of the woman's statements, and the curious parallel between the case and that of Anna M. Kinker, a girl of Osnabrück, who practised a similar imposture in Germany in 1800. Henderson reported that Ann claimed to have not eaten solid food for "upwards of five years" and had not drunk liquid for four years. She claimed that she did not pass urine or any other matter.

The watch over the girl.
In 1813, Ann reluctantly agreed to another watch, [EDIT: over her feeding] this time supervised by local writer and clergyman Legh Richmond. She was reportedly reluctant to participate, and particularly objected to the regular weigh-ins. The watch began on 21 April 1813, by 30 April 1813, Moore was visibly emaciated and feverish, and her daughter was forced to stop the study.
Further investigation of Moore's bedsheets showed evidence of excreta and fluids. She initially stood by her story, but later recanted. Evidence suggested her daughter had been smuggling in food via various means, including by putting a towel soaked with broth over her mother's mouth and conveyed food from her mouth to her mother's while kissing her.
She died a few months afterwards, aged 53 years.

Modern thoughts.
Some modern historians view her actions as an early form of social protest, while others view it as simple fraud.

Lancashire.

Then our speaker told of local village events in Lancashire and Culcheth.


A Culcheth doctor and a fasting girl made the news throughout the UK.

The tale of this local fasting girl Sarah Sudworth and the local doctor writing to The British Medical Journal to avoid any change of criminality by neglect of duty made the news in England, perhaps he doctor wrote to avoid any suspicion of his neglect of patents that might lead to charges as in the Welsh fasting girl case.

For the events see
https://thebeetonideal.co.uk/2017/06/13/the-case-of-the-fasting-girl-genuine-hysteria-or-fraud/

On January 4th 1870, Dr. R. Sephton left his house in Culcheth, travelling about a mile to the house of the Sudworths to treat their daughter, Ellen. Dr Sephton attended to his young patient, finding she had developed a fever. He diagnosed Ellen with febricula and debility and saw her a few more times over the next couple of months while he administered treatment. By March, Ellen had fully recovered, to the relief of her family. However, this relief was short-lived since they noticed that Ellen had developed a severe case of melancholia, which showed no signs of dissipating. A year later, in June 1871, the family called Dr Sephton to once again attend to their daughter who was suffering with headaches; six weeks later she had completely lost her voice. Ellen spent the next five years in a state of catatonia, sleeping frequently and keeping nourished only with soups and milk-puddings. Late in the year of 1875, Ellen developed additional symptoms: she could not open her eyes and blood poured from her eyelids and mouth. Six weeks later, Ellen suddenly sat up and began to speak, for the first time in nearly five years.

The report on this case is told by Dr Sephton in the 11 March issue of the British Medical Journal, titled ‘The Fasting Girl in Lancashire.’ Following the retelling of the above story, Sephton offers his diagnosis, which had remained unchanged through the past five years. Ellen Sudworth, claims Dr Sephton, has had a clear-cut case of hysteria.

 

Refer the 11 March 1876 issue of the British Medical Journal, titled ‘The Fasting Girl in Lancashire.’
Where there is an image of the report.
Refer: https://www.bmj.com/content/1/793/328

 ksnip 20211112 172133 Extract BMJ articlePNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The speaker outlined how out of these and similar cases came the terms “Anorexia Nervosa”, and “Anorexia Mirabilis”,

and a study of refusal of food which today might include the cases of Buimia nervosa due to concieved bad body image.

 

Anorexia mirabilis,

Anorexia mirabilis, also known as holy anorexia or inedia prodigiosa or colloquially as fasting girls is an eating disorder, similar to that of anorexia nervosa.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_mirabilis

 

Inedia.

Other linked events in Asia have been called in India & other places ”Inedia”
Inedia (Latin for 'fasting') or breatharianism is the claimed ability for a person to live without consuming food, and in some cases water.

Quote
Breatharians claim that food (and sometimes water) is not necessary for survival, and that humans can be sustained solely by prana, the vital life force in Hinduism. According to Ayurveda, sunlight is one of the main sources of prana, and some practitioners believe that it is possible for a person to survive on sunlight alone. The terms breatharianism or inedia may also be used when it is practised as a lifestyle in place of a usual diet.
Unquote

See note below on a 1999 UK occurance.

The audience were enthralled at this vivid talk about events which happened in the past but were not in our current knowledge.

Thanks.
Our group give our heartfelt thanks to Brian Joyce for his research and bringing together these events as a talk.

 

A "recent" related death in the UK.

1999 Scottish case (Belief of ability to survive without food)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/453661.stm

Quote
Survival method. Ms Linn's writing's revealed she had practised "breatharianism" - a survival method which relies on light and taking only tiny amounts of food and liquid.
Police believe a woman found dead in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands may have starved herself as part of her religious beliefs. A diary belonging to Australian-born Verity Linn suggested she had been fasting to fulfill the rules of a ritual normally practised by Tibetan monks.
Her naked body was found on 16 September by a fisherman on the west coast of Sutherland near Loch Cam. It is understood Ms Linn - thought to be in her 40s - worked for the new-age community of the Findhorn Foundation at Cluny Hill College in Forres.
Her diary recorded her last days as she refused to eat or drink, believing it would "spiritually cleanse" her body and "recharge her both physically and mentally."

 References.

List of references to these events and others for your perusal.

Anorexia nervosa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa

Catherine of Siena
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_of_Siena

Canonisation of St Catherine article link. Picture of head.
https://idlespeculations-terryprest.blogspot.com/2006/11/st-catherine-of-siena-canonisation.html

Lidwina of Schiedam
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidwina

Multiple Sclerosis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_sclerosis

Lives of Catholic Saints Bollandist
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bollandist

Fasting Girl
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting_girl

Welsh fasting girl Sarah Jacob
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Jacob

Trial of Sarah Jacob’s parents
http://www.welshlegalhistory.org/research-jacob-trial-report.php

Presence of fat in intestines of Welsh fasting Girl at post mortem examination.
link (Behind a Paywall)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673602615016

Biography.
https://www.wikizero.com/en/Sarah_Jacob

Odd reference
Eugene Taylor, The Mystery of Personality, A History of Psychodynamic Theories
https://epdf.pub/the-mystery-of-personality-a-history-of-psychodynamic-theories-library-of-the-hi.html

Mollie Fancher–The Brooklyn Enigma .
(Brief story of Mollie Francher)
https://www.lightforcenetwork.com/glorious-bastard/mollie

 Anorexia Mirabilis,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_mirabilis

 

Writer's comments.

Comment on Medieval fasting.
What is a fasting girl?

Fasting Girls were girls or women in the Middle Ages who were said to eat little or nothing and yet live. These girls were also sometimes said not to defecate or sweat or menstruate. This was thought of as miraculous as well as curious, and these women and girls drew a lot of attention from regular people and the church. People came to see them, give them money, learn what God had revealed to them (if anything), and basically treated them as if they were holy, if curious, persons.
http://historyfish.org/anchorites/what_are_fasting_girls.html

Important note about avoiding enforced marriages of the time.
Quote
Some of these fasting women sought to escape marriage, or were dealing with other issues of suffering in their lives that seemed to manifest in extreme behaviours. Perhaps their often extreme focus on receiving the Eucharist as an actual (and only) meal came from some inner compulsion to deal with the troubles of their lives. Regardless, these women were both feared and admired.
Unquote

 

 

 

20211015 Book Publication “They shall not grow old…”  by Zoe Chaddock

Culcheth Local History Group Publications.

Zoe Chaddock a member of Culcheth Local History Group has spent many years researching the persons listed
on the war memorial at Newchurch Parish Church in Culcheth.

The resultant book was published in 2020.


Entitled:
“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old”

with a subtitle of “A Memorial to Culcheth's War Dead”.

The author Zoe Chaddock has used original sources from:

Wigan Archives and Local Studies;
Warrington Archives, Culture Warrington;
Culcheth Local History Group,

to unearth the stories and details of those on the war memorial.

Illustrations.

The book is well illustrated with personal photographs and news cuttings of the time and other memorabilia relevant
to the persons such as regimental badges and family items.

Drawings by Fiona Finchett.

Drawings of Newchurch Parish Church with its war memorial are on the front and back covers of the book are by
  the artist Fiona Finchett who was responsible for the illustrations and design of the book.

https://www.fionafinchett.com/about

 


The book covers are reproduced below.

Front cover of book "They shall not grow old"  by Zoe Chadock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Book front cover.

The book takes its title from the well known poem by lancastrian Lawrence Binyon’s poem, where lines 13 to 16 comprising the fourth of seven verses are in use during commemoration services to those who died in war.

[Robert Laurence Binyon, CH (10 August 1869 – 10 March 1943)]

 

  Lawrence Binyon’s poem

QUOTE

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.     (lines 13–16)

UNQUOTE

 

 

The book lists thirty four war dead. Thirty from World War I inscribed on the memorial and
four war dead buried in Newchurch Church yard of soldiers who died post war between November 1918 and September 1921.

Appendices

In appendices there are:
Appendix ii: A photo and note on the Culcheth Cottage Homes, for children from the Salford Workhouse and Infirmary
during attempts to improve the lot of pauper children in the Salford area.

http://www.formerchildrenshomes.org.uk/culceth_cottage_homes.html  

  [NOTE, Website is NOT  a secure https:// website]

Appendix i: A note on the World War I war medals issued to those who served during the war.

 

Names on the War Memorial.

The war memorial commemorates the residents of Culcheth who were killed or missing in
World War I (30 names) and World War II (13 names).

 Culcheth War memorial photo 2 CC by SA Alexander P Kapp 9096110113204320

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culcheth War memorial photo 2 CC by SA Alexander P Kapp 9096110113204320

Picture of war memorial

 

The named persons in the book.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old” are:

 The listed names in the book:

James Barrow

Thomas Henry Boardman

James Booke (Book)

George Budd

Jack Richard Charnock

Bertram Edgar Clare

Joshua Richard Cleworth

Charles Henry Cryer

George Daintith

Frank Falkner *

Thomas Gibbons

William Goodyear

John Green

Joseph Stanley Halliwell

Ebenezer Henderson

John William Henshaw

James Hesford

Lester Hill

Harold Houghton

Edwin Johnson

Alfred Lawton

Edwin Leatherbarrow

George Locke *

William Mason

Arthur Monks *

Thomas James Pownall

 William Smith

Dick Taylor

Fred Thompson

Walter Unsworth

Thomas Waters

William Whittle

William Wilson

Hugh Arthur Wood *

[ * Persons buried in Newchurch Churchyard.]

 

Photo showing the names.

Culcheth War memorial WW1 fallen photo names JPG JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Culcheth War memorial WW1 fallen photo names JPG JPG

 

 

Back cover of book "They shall not grow old"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back cover of book "They shall not grow old"

Back cover of Book.

 

 

 Purchase

Copies of the book are for sale at the local Culcheth bookshop,

“Forget-me-not toys and books, where the staff will be most pleased to help you.

Data for purchase.

Bookshop Price £5.00; (GBP5.00); No VAT applicable in UK.
Post and packing extra.

Please enquire by email to “Forget-Me-Not Toys and Books”, for delivery costs to UK addresses, and
for postal delivery DDU (Delivery Duty and Tax Unpaid) to non-UK places.

Bookshop Address.
Forget-Me-Not Toys and Books,
Upper Floor, CPS Centre, Common Lane, Culcheth, Warrington, WA3 4EH, England

Website:
https://www.forgetmenottoysandbooks.co.uk

Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/forgetmenottoysandbooks

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +44 (0) 1925 766 702
Messaging: a message can be sent from within their Facebook page under ‘send message’ .

 

Other reference websites:

 The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

https://www.cwgc.org/

Lancahire Regiments.

https://www.lancashireinfantrymuseum.org.

The Lancashire Infantry Museum Summary:

 The Lancashire Infantry Museum houses one of the largest and most important Infantry Regimental collections in the country.

The Collection
The extensive displays, archive and military history library illustrate the fascinating story of the East, South and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments and their antecedents from earliest foundation in 1689 to the achievements of the ‘Lancashire Lads’ of the 21st Century.

In all no less than 120 separate units are recorded, including the 59 battalions formed by the antecedent regiments during the First World War, and all associated Militia, Rifle Volunteers, Territorials, Home Guard and Cadet units.

Affiliated Museums
The Regimental Collection also has permanent displays in affiliated museums throughout the County Palatine of Lancashire, including:

Museum of Lancashire, Preston
Blackburn Museum
Towneley Hall, Burnley
Warrington Museum

 

Warrington Museum Archives.

https://wmag.culturewarrington.org/local-history/

 

 

 

 

 REPORT Visit to Wigan and Leigh Archives at Leigh Town Hall.

2021-09-02 Leigh Archives Visit, Wigan Archives

First Physical Meeting.


Our group had its first physical meting of people in the Culcheth Local History Group since February 2020,  at start of lockdown period as part of precautions against spread of Coronovius and its disease Covid-19. in a visit to Leigh Town Hall, which houses the Wigan and Leigh Archives.

Our first physical meeting since March 2020

It was a grand experience to meet other people socially while maintaining social distance and face coverings to enable a safe visit. A change from meeting people via internet on a voice call or video call over a smartphone or computing device.

Our group of about 18 persons was split up into two smaller groups of 9 on a visit to The Wigan Archives held in the old Leigh Town Hall.

Reconstruction of Leigh Town Hall.

The old original Leigh Town Hall has been reconstructed while preserving the external appearance and many internal specially designed rooms, furnishings and features.

 

Group Tour.

Each group had a conducted tour of the building and the specially designed archive facility, which is two stories high and holds modern roller rack shelving containing the indexed archives by subject.  The redesign and reconstruction of the premises allowed the archives in the basement to utilise the floors above by rebuilding an internal high vault space  containg three archive rooms, while preserving the external facade and utilising the external facade shops as a show room for exhibitions facing the street windows and tourable  by internal visitors.

These secure rooms are built like bank safes being sealed and locked rooms with temperature and humidity controls to preserve the enclosed documents.

Some of our party were able to move the shelving by by both manual turning of a gear wheel system and the more recent file room where the turning and moving is done by an eletric motor started by a push button.

 

 Refurbished Building.


The Wigan and Leigh Archives were temporarily moved to the Turnpike Centre (Leigh Library) while their main location at the Leigh Town Hall, a grade II-listed building, underwent refurbishment, and the archives were gradually returned to the Archive Centre at Leigh Town Hall after the resulting new special purpose high (two storey) archive rooms were built into the refurbished space.

Wigan Council secured a £1.3m investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the “Revealing Wigan Archives” project which included the refurbishment of the town hall.

Link to National Lottery Heritage Fund.
https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/

Leigh Journal photo 2018 of the start of restoration project imgID150967164jpggallery JPG

Leigh Journal photo 2018 of the start of restoration project imgID150967164jpggallery JPG

 

 





















 Leigh Journal photo 2018 of the start of restoration project when the Ntional Lottery Heritage Fund 
award was made and thus the project 'properly' started.

 

 

 Leigh town Hall

 

Town hall photograph by “J3Mrs”. This is a photo of listed building number 1163007 by “J3Mrs”

Further listed details are lower down this page.
User:J3Mrs (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leigh_town_Hall.jpg), „Leigh town Hall“, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

User:J3Mrs, Leigh town Hall, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Opening Lilian Lockwood from the U3A quilters group cuts the ribbon at Leigh Town Hall from Wigan Today report QVNIMTIxMzAwMzM4 JPG 

 

The Leigh Town Hall photograph on re-opening courtesy of © Wigan Today

 Opening the refurbished Town Hall. Lilian Lockwood from the Leigh U3A Quilters Group cuts the ribbon at Leigh Town Hall
from Wigan Today report QVNIMTIxMzAwMzM4- .JPG © Wigan today

New Facilities.

 The new facilities include a new search room with improved access to collections, a conservation studio for repairing and digitising archives and state-of-the-art strongrooms for storing and preserving the borough’s 800 years of archives and historic records.

 

This gave three temperature and humidity controlled fireproof internal double height archive rooms (like large bank style safes) fitted from the basement going upwards through the old ground story to the first storey of the former Leigh Town Hall. Moveable storage racks of such a height require forklift personal trucks to allow humans to access the upper storage racks.

Photo: typical high archive storage moveable racks,

Typical High Rise Storage shelving c XTend Mobile 031 680x1024 JPEG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





























Typical High Rise Storage shelving with fork lift “human lift” access [© XTend_Mobile_031-680x1024 ] JPEG

 

A new display area and search room on the ground floor and the conversion of shop windows into a ’visible from the street’ were refurbished. One window includes quilting by Leigh u3a quilting group of the historic industries and local pubs. The members of the Leigh u3a Quilting and Needlework group handed over their Heritage Quilt just before the coronavirus lockdown and it is now visible in a window at street level.

 

Leigh Journal picture of quilting group and their work 245746747jpggallery

 

 

 





















 

Leigh Journal picture of quilting group and their work 245746747.jpg.

Photo of quilt hand over from Leigh Journal. © Leigh Journal.

Link Leigh & District u3a.

 https://www.u3asites.org.uk/leigh-lancs/welcome

 

Search Room

The new public search room is located on the ground floor, where people can access items in the collections.

The staff of the archives department had laid out in the search room for our inspection, some items, including a very old map with beautiful handwriting, showing the field boundaries and rent costs for specific dwellings and field plots of Culcheth with the areas named by occupier and the annual rental.

One place, a small cottage and garden located where Culcheth Hall Drive now meets Lodge Drive had an annual rental cost of ‘six pence’ (£0/0/6 marked as 0.0.6), while larger cottages nearby cost £0/1/3 or one shilling and threepence. All of our party are of an age to be familiar with the ‘old money’ system of pounds, shillings, and pence £/S/D so we could interpret the marked annual rentals.

Renting a cottage in Culcheth nowadays comes at a lot more than "sixpence" per year!

 

Keeping the archives alive.


The archive department has asked residents of Wigan to keep some records or items of interest or photographs or change in work products or methods due to the effect the Covid-19 ["severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)"] pandemic and lockdown effects and submit them to the archive department from which they will select items to be added to the permanent collection, where the archivists will create a Wigan Covid-19 collection.

Perhaps our readers can contribute.

Link:

https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/COVID-19-Archives.aspx

 

Up and Down


The parties had the strange experience of going upstairs to access the basement archive department.

We went upstairs on the 'imperial style ' stairway and then going from the upstairs landing going down two floors on another side of the staircase to the former basement area.

As a result of removing the first floor and rebuilding the archives with its access from the town hall basement, the groups had to climb the very grand formal ‘imperial style’ staircase to the first floor and then descend to the basement area where the archive storage rooms and workspace are located.

 

Other rooms.


A number of the old rooms including the council chamber have been retained in their original form.
These are available and can be rented for outside groups to use for weddings and meetings in a formal Victorian era settings.

 

Council chamber image from Wigan.gov.uk Wedding venueJPG 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Photo Council Chamber. Copyright  © Wigan Council, shown as available for weddings or gatherings.

The council chamber has stained glass windows showing some of the town's then important industries and on the staircase windows are coats of arms. These stained glass windows were made by H. Gustave Hiller.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._Gustave_Hiller

The desks rows are fitted from self assembly two desk units, Victorian flatpack style.

 

 The named wedding room, formerly a committee room.

 Wigancovuk photo of Wedding room external contentduckduckgocom JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Wedding room, copyright  © Wigan Council.

 

Start of the project.

 

The 2018 Start of the journey to restoration is reported in Leigh Journal story.

The Leigh journal’s photo of the event.

 Leigh Journal photo 2018 of the start of restoration project imgID150967164jpggallery JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 











 

Leigh Journal photo © of the 2018 start of the adventure after the National Lottery funding annunced.

 

Link
https://www.leighjournal.co.uk/news/16112114.leigh-town-hall-archives-services-set-transformed-national-lottery-boost/

 Leigh Town Hall









 















Town hall photograph by “J3Mrs”. This is a photo of listed building number 1163007 by “J3Mrs”
User:J3Mrs (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leigh_town_Hall.jpg), „Leigh town Hall“, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode

Licence:  User:J3Mrs, Leigh town Hall, CC BY-SA 3.0

Technical details of the town hall are on the listed building webpage
https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1163007

 

Listed building data


QUOTE:

LEIGH CIVIC SQUARE SD 60 SE (south side) 2/25 Leigh Town Hall G.V. II Includes Nos. 2 to 18 (even) Market Street. Town hall. 1904- 7.

Architect By J. C. Prestwich.

Link: https://manchestervictorianarchitects.org.uk/index.php/architects/james-caldwell-prestwich


Ashlar with slate roof. Large 2 and 3-storey U-shaped building with principal elevations of 8 and 7 bays onto Market Place and Market Street respectively. Edwardian Baroque. Bays 2 to 8 are symmetrical about a central doorway and are framed by giant flat pilasters supporting a modillioned cornice and blocking course. The door has an open semi-circular dentilled pediment supported on blocked columns. 2 windows on either side have architraves and keystones.

The council chamber and committee rooms on the first floor are given emphasis by a giant order of blocked columns and tall windows. A steeply pitched hipped roof is centrally crowned by a belvedere and elaborate cupola.

The Market Street elevation is less monumental but of equal quality; it too is symmetrical, the end bays being gabled and having bow windows at first floor level.

Shop fronts on the ground floor, a giant order on the first but this time in flat pilasters, and triple second floor windows separated by blocked columns.

An octagonal turret turns the corner.

The interior is executed with equal quality and richness. Scagliola columns support the entrance hall giving access to the imperial staircase and, in turn, the council chamber and offices. Timber, glass and plasterwork is of particularly high quality. Generally an accomplished design which contributes greatly to its immediate context.

Listing NGR: SD6566000178
UNQUOTE

 

Project Photographs

The project photographs below are from Wigan Council website.

https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Wigan-Archives/Regenerating-Wigan-Archives-and-Leigh-Local-Studies-Project.aspx#ad-image-0

 

What we did not see.

What our group did not see, was the complex work before the completion of the restoration given on above webpage, from which some extracts are given below.
All photos and copyright and property of Wigan are acknowledged.

Selection of the before shots

Before renovation

 Creation of new strongroom in Market Street shop unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creation of new strongroom in Market Street shop unit
Excavation of basement and removal of ground floor to allow high rise storage.

 

 Creation of new exhibition space entrance copy 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creation of new exhibition space in Market Street shop units

 

Renovation of old existing archives strongroom 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renovation of old existing archives strongroom
Old Town Hall Strong Room before renovation

 

 Creation of new exhibition space in Market Street shop units

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Creation of new exhibition space entrance

 

 Creation of new search resources area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creation of the new public research area

 

 

Thanks.

Our group's most ernest thanks are given to the archive department staff for their time, effort and coutesy in allowingus to 'intrude' on their private domain.

 

Contact address and data for Wigan Council archives

 Wigan Archives and Local Studies
Civic Square
Market Street
Leigh
England
WN7 1EB

Telephone: 01942 404 430

 

The Wigan and Leigh Archives are accessible online via the residents section of the Wigan Council website.

Online Archives

https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/

 Online shop

https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/shop

 The online shop offers Wigan and Leigh Archive publications for sale, written by local historians and researchers,
as well as staff and volunteers at the Archives & Local Studies.

The publications cover a range of different local and family history subjects, and include their local history magazine,
"Past Forward."

 

Web links relative to Wigan and Leigh archives.

 https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Wigan-Archives/Collections/index.aspx

The archives are under the "Resident" section of fthe council website.

 

Wigan and Leigh Collections.

https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Museums-archives/Wigan-Archives/Collections/index.aspx

 

Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

https://archives.wigan.gov.uk/archive

The collections can be browsed via an online visit to the archives and selecting a specific collection. Each collection of records is formed into a hierarchy, organised by subjects, themes or dates.

 If you prefer to search by a specific subject term or name, there is a search tool at the top of the web page.

 

 The architectural firm of J. C. Prestwich by Heather Lawley

Data and map © Heather Lawley


Map of Buildings in a walking tour of Leigh © Heather Lawley

Notes on Map of Buildings in Leigh by J C Preswich PNG









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key to Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note on J C Prestwich & Sons.

 












Key to buildings in map.

Notes on Key to Buildings in Leigh by J C Prestwich PNG

 

Notes on architectural firm J C Prestwich.

 Notes on J C Prestwich Sons by Heather Lawley PNG

 

 Link to other sites on this architect.

https://manchestervictorianarchitects.org.uk/index.php/architects/james-caldwell-prestwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Culcheth Local History Group Publications.

 

Culcheth Characters.

Culcheth Characters” is a newly published (June 2021) book written by members
of the Culcheth Local History Group.

The authors have unearthed original sources to examine the lives of villagers who
resided in and around Culcheth. Some of these men and women helped transform
the village for the better. Others were criminals or victims of crime.

The lived of many of these inhabitants were changed by circumstances beyond
their control - the mechanisation of weaving, for example, or reforms of the
Poor Law system. Others people, such as the village doctor and constable, helped
make Culcheth healthier and more law-abiding places.

The authors have examined the lives of villagers of all classes in this generously
illustrated book. After reading “Culcheth Characters”, residents and non-residents
alike will have gained a deeper understanding of this fascinating village.

 

Copies of the book are for sale at the local Culcheth bookshop “Forget-me-not toys and books”,
where the staff will be most pleased to help you.

See contact details below image.

 

Copy Image of Book Cover © Culcheth Local History Group, Images by Morag Burton.

 

Culcheth characters Book Cover JPG

 

 

Data for purchase.

Bookshop Price £8.50; (GBP8.50);

 

Books can only be collected from the bookshop.

 

Bookshop Address.
Forget-Me-Not Toys and Books,
Upper Floor, CPS Centre,
Common Lane, Culcheth, Warrington, WA3 4EH, England

Website:
https://www.forgetmenottoysandbooks.co.uk

Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/forgetmenottoysandbooks

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 01925 766 702