clgc clock rainbow

20180412 CLHG Report. Two men, George Lyon and Charles Walmsley DRAFT.1.0

George Lyon and Charles Walmsley

On Thursday 12th of April 2018 our members (one of whom is a possible descendant of George Lyon) and visitors were taken by Marianne Howell through a well illustrated and researched talk into a different time and social structure with the tale of George Lyon "called the Upholland Highwayman" and Charles Walmsley the Lord of the Manor of Ince in Makerfield, Wigan.  
The talk gave the details of the known facts about George Lyon including the item that for the main robbery of Charles Walmsley's house he sat outside while directing others to do the robbery. Not quite the 'bold robber' he claimed and boasted to be.

It appears George Lyon 'enriched' his tale when he told it to his local fellows and some details such as 'his transportation" are not documented and appear to have no basis from known records. He must have been tolerated as a known local thief and as such there may be a basis for his supposed help to others.

The (in)visible thief.

As retold in Wikipedia George Lyon's one major feat as a highwayman was to hold up the Liverpool mail coach. With his accomplices, who have been unknown since, he planned the robbery at the Legs of Man public house in Wigan. They then persuaded the ostler at the Bull's Head Inn in Upholland to lend them horses for a few hours. They held up the Liverpool mail coach at nearby Tawd Vale on the River Tawd, firing two shots and forcing the driver to pull up so that they could rob the passengers. The gang then returned to the Bull's Head, and when the robbed coach later arrived at the inn, Lyon and his accomplices had an alibi as people had seen them in the pub earlier in the afternoon.

George Lyon is said to have held up the Liverpool mail coach by firing shots and forcing the driver to stop. Then, having robbed the travellers, he went swiftly to the pub at Upholland, where he had been drinking earlier. The travellers arrived a little later, bringing with them their tale of robbery and their narrow escape from death, and as Lyon was in the pub both before the robbery and afterwards he was not suspected by the travellers.

The robbery at Ince.

One of George Lyon's accomplices an Edward Ford had been employed redecorating the manor at Ince and as such knew the lay out and what loot could be obtained when the owner and family were absent and only the 'live in staff' were at the  house.

George Lyon and his three accomplices Edward Ford, David Bennett and William Houghton, carried out the burglary at Westwood Hall, Ince, Wigan in April 1815. Lyon was the 'lookout' who stayed outside, and  even is said to have sent one of the others back to try to get more loot, which was in the form of silver items.

The loot was offered for sale in an inn but was both easily recognised and was bought by an undercover fence, thus informing the authorities and allowing the thieves to be caught and tried.   
One of the thieves Ford, who it is thought had suggested robbing the house to Lyon, and had himself taken part in some 17 previous robberies, gave evidence against the others and was thus spared the death sentence  given to the other three robbers.

A reproduction of George Lyon's letter (with the aid of the prison chaplain, the Reverend Cowley) to his family at Upholland to send him his suit and boots to wear at his execution was shown and in it the appeal to have his body brought back to Upholland for burial.  


Trial and King's evidence.

Prisoners arriving at lancaster castle in 1827 ex lancashire museum archives














We can surmise the prisoners would arrive to a similar crowd as above after sentence.


The four thieves were tried and sentenced. Edward Ford who it is thought had suggested robbing the house to Lyon, and had himself taken part in some 17 previous robberies, but because he turned King's evidence he was spared the capital sentence.

The execution of Lyon, Houghton, and Bennett, took place in Lancaster before a large crown, entertainment for the onlookers somewhat like a horse race meeting today,  just before noon on Saturday 22 April 1815 for the offence of the burglary at Westwood Hall, Ince, Wigan.

Lacaster Gazette andgeneral advertiser April 29th copy of report image.


 Lancaster Castle Hanging Corner by nabokov English wikipedia 1024px HangingCorner CC by SA




















The return of the body to Upholland.

A publican and others carried out George Lyon's wishes to remove the body to Upholland and avoid a possible use of the body for dissection as was the then practice for executed  persons. The trip was undertaken in very bad weather and our speaker illustrated the use of the available then and now maps to show the extra miles taken possible y to avoid a flooded stretch of road. The body return party being followed by many folk, so even at that time George Lyon was a 'celebrity' in his own district.

His body was buried in the same place as his recently deceased daughter and the gravestone  shows her name but not his. Still at the present time this grave is visited by visitors to Upholland  which makes it an unusual present day tourist attraction.


George Lyons grave by jim Farrel 9b5288b7fd22539e62da64f1a756a6dbe560f071George Lyon Grave CC by SA


Unremarked old grave.                                              Howver sometimes ...                                       someone remembsrs and places a rose!                 


5St Thomas the Martyr Church Upholland 0073c338b1d5659900545609d321e73fde1005a                        graveyard from Ormskirk Bygone Times website


The church at Upholland,   and an old photo of graveyard,  looking to the inn with the grave in middle right of view. the right hand side building reputably haunted.

Note on the gravesite.
Below the level of the roadway, on the extreme western edge of the church burial ground and directly opposite the White Lion Hotel, lies a flat tombstone, with the single name
'Nanny Lyon' inscribed on its surface. This is believed to be the grave of George Lyon, the 'UpHolland, highwayman'.
Photo shows theWhite Lion Hotel and adjacent right hand building viewd from graveyard.

Charles Walmsley.

A very different character and lifestyle based on inherited wealth and  the usual social occupations of a gentleman. He was notable for being on the specially selected jury (biased to the status quo) for the Peterloo massacre  trial of the armed persons who in excess of duty carried out the injury and death of folk protesting in Manchester, which avoided any of the Yeomanry or Militia being convicted. The 'Authorities', Gentlemen and wealthy folk were at that time worried that the revolutions on the continent would spread to England and much disturb the status quo.

We were shown a copy of a report of the trial and the jury members selected which included the respectable Charles Walmsley.

Charles Walmsley links indirectly George Lyon to the events of Peterloo and the reformation of voting rights.

A further note for those interested in Peterloo.




 Print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile




















Print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile

While composing this report your webmaster came across an interesting deposit of a unique account of the Peterloo enquiry and trialof Henry Hunt.
The Working Class Movement Library’s copy of the Trial of Henry Hunt.

Not everything about that trial is yet available as handwritten notes by a witness about the other witness's statements are still to be deciphered.


Unlocking Ideas Worth Fighting For:
Project to uncover and unlock the unresearched collections of the People's History Museum and Working Class Movement Library

New Peterloo Evidence…Maybe
Posted on February 1, 2013 by unlockideas    

I was searching for biographical information on one of the Yeomen present at Peterloo, a small note dropped out of the Working Class Movement Library’s copy of  the Trial of Henry Hunt. Originally the book had belonged to William Hulton, the magistrate who on the 16th August ordered that the crowd be dispersed and ‘the orator’ Hunt arrested. Hulton gave several hours of testimony at the trial (at which Hunt was sentenced to two years in Illchester Gaol), and to discover the magistrate’s very own copy of the proceedings was remarkable.
However, within the Hulton volume of the Trial of Henry Hunt is something more exciting entirely. During Hunt’s trial Hulton took handwritten notes; writing in pencil he minuted the words of other witnesses before his own testimony, and these are bound within the volume. The handwriting is difficult to read and will take a bit of time to decipher, but having emailed a historian specialising in Peterloo it appears that the source of evidence is unknown.

Those interested in democrary and the eventual changes from the Peterloo incident can help by attending the aniversary events in 2019 and help to raise a suitable memorial.
The Peterloo Memorial Campaign has been set up to lobby for a respectful, informative and permanent memorial to this profound event, whose 200th aniversary is on 16th August 2019.
See website
Article: website:


Wigan Heritage Service, "PastForward"  Edition: Number 31 summer  2002.


A copy of the Wigan Heritage Service is available as a PDF from the link:

Allan  Miller’s  book  on  George  Lyon,  the  Up  Holland  highwayman,  was  featured  in  
Past Forward  Number 29. The book proved a great success, and was sold out in a very short time.
The editor of "PastForward" has in Number 31 published an article which Allan Miller has written for Past Forward about George Lyon.

The webmaster is of the opinion the article in PastForward Number 31 is a good summary of the times of George Lyon.


Mario. the Lancashire Archives  map system.

MARIO (Maps & Related Information Online) – Lancashire County Council’s interactive mapping website. 


Lancashire's Criminal Past

Lancashire's Criminal Past Link:

The Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire.

Website & article.
Links: General Enquiries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Membership Enquiries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Editorial Submissions This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

George Lyon article on The Historic Society of Lancashire & Cheshire website: Link:


The Grave.

The Grave of George Lyon marked by daughter's name is at St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland.
Church website: St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland.

Lancashire Archives.

The Lancashire Archives, previously known as the Lancashire Record Office, is the county record office located in Preston
Website links:

Searchable on-line-link:

Lancashire archives houses the family and estate papers of the Walmsleys in 55 boxes.
Included in. the collection some documents of direct relevance to the burglary.


National Archives.

Further searches for Lancashire can be done on the National Archives.

Pendle Heritage.


On the website of Pendle Heritage [] is a photo of a wages slip [dated a few months before the burglary] of amount to the maid in residence at the manor  of Ince at the time of the burglary. The maid gave evidence at the trial.

Peterloo Link: Link to a note on Hunt "The Orator"

BBC Link.

BBC archive page with photograph of grave and church.
BBC article on George Lyon'.
BBC Lancashire, Darwen Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 2EA

Note on the gravesite.
Below the level of the roadway, on the extreme western edge of the church burial ground and directly opposite the White Lion Hotel, lies a flat tombstone, with the single name 'Nanny Lyon' inscribed on its surface. This is believed to be the grave of George Lyon, the 'UpHolland, highwayman'.


Lancaster Castle.


"Hanging Corner" outside Lancaster Castle, site of numerous public executions between the late 18th Century and 1865. The double-doors on the RHS hinged inwards into the "drop room", where condemned prisoners were pinioned immediately prior to execution. Condemned prisoners were led outside onto the wooden gallows platform, which was level with the bottom of the double-doors. The iron railings and bollards are modern additions made in the 20th Century.
By Nabokov at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Prisoners. Typical scene of prisoners entering Lancaster castle

This watercolour, by an unknown artist, illustrates the arrival at the castle of a gang of poachers. The poachers were caught after a gamekeeper was shot dead on the Fitzherbert Brockholes estates at Claughton near Garstang in 1827.  George Lyon and fellow condemned would probably have create a similar public spectacle but not as large as their hanging .


 Prisoners arriving at lancaster castle in 1827 ex lancashire museum archives

20180308 CLHG Report Miners Relief Society by Stephan Knott

Ex Wigan Archives Web site:


Counting the cost.

On the 8th of March 2018 the group and its visitors were given a talk by Mr Stephen Knott, a Wigan Archivist on the The Lancashire and Cheshire Miners Permanent Relief Society and the project "Counting the Cost" to catalogue and digitise the archived material of the "The Lancashire and Cheshire Miners Permanent Relief Society" (LCMPRS).
The archived material, some saved by 'chance', while incomplete has enabled a great deal of understanding of the LCMPRS work and objectives to give aid to miners and their dependents when sick of injured and to relatives when a miner was killed in a pit accident. Examples of the archived material were shown as illustrations.
The archives are open to the public and can be seen by appointment.

Use of the Archives.

This project "Counting the Cost"has made available to researchers and others the ability to search the catalogue of records.

While today's medical objectives for research would like to have had much more detail on the injuries and sickness suffered by the miners as a tool for medical research, only those 'sick' for more that six months are in the archived material. The other card index records for the 'less than six months sick' period may have been lost or destroyed in the many 'save and reuse paper' exercises during the 1939-1945 war efforts. Many detailed medical notes are lost.

Modern Medical Research often needs the minutia of records and objects considered 'ephemeral' or 'disposable' by the generations using them as current and future forensic tools and statistical analysis opens greater knowledge of the past and helps current medical science.

Project team.
Mr Knott lead a team of volunteers working with aid from a grant of financial assistance from funds made available by the Welcome Foundation.


The Team.

The Wigan website acknowledges this valuable assistance  from Welcome Trust and the volunteers.
Wigan Archives Service would like to thank the Wellcome Trust for funding Counting the Cost and making this important project possible.
We would also like to thank the team of volunteers who transcribed and digitised the relief registers and index cards, these include:
Pat Aspinall, Wilf Bamforth, John Green, Molly Hilton, Ian Irving, Arthur Jones, Will Kaye, Dorothy Lee, Tom McGrath, Tim Sen, Sophie Smith and Lorraine Whittle.
The project was managed by Stephen Knott, Project Archivist.

Link to the Wellcome Trust.

Image of Lancashire Geology.
Courstesy of

copy LancashireCheshireGeology v2


Injury, sickness or death.

Pit "Disasters", injuries, death and sickness in the mining industry led to many efforts by local pit folk, and others to try to help those who by injury, sickness or death lost all means of livelihood and income. Such loss of income and permanent or temporary disablement could lead to extreme poverty with all its consequences.
While there was communal efforts in the case of pit disasters "defined as more that five persons dead in a single incident", the everyday occurrence of injury and death was a constant background to this industry with the Lancashire coal fields being for many years having greater than the industry average of deaths per 1000 workers and in some years being the worst in the country.


Brief Outline of LCMPRS as set out on the Wigan Archives website:

Set up in 1872, the LCMPRS provided financial assistance to miners injured in industrial accidents and unable to work, as well as for widows, children and dependent relatives of those who were killed.
The records generated by the society give an invaluable insight into the working conditions endured by miners and the impact this had on their health, the well-being of their families and the communities they lived in. With its head offices in Wigan, the society continued to give financial assistance to miners and their families until 2006.
The 'Counting the Cost project" has unlocked this important collection of records for researchers studying industrial injury and disease in the Lancashire and Cheshire coalfields as well as for family historians with ancestors who worked in the coal industry.





The Financial Assistance.

Financial relief
The Lancashire and Cheshire Miners Permanent Relief Society (LCMPRS) initially paid financial relief to miners injured in industrial accidents and unable to work, as well as for widows, children and dependent relatives of those who were killed. In 1920, they started to make payments to miners unable to work because of industrial diseases, such as nystagmus, an eye condition, and musculoskeletal disorders like synovitis and beat knee. In 1939 the society also began making payments to miners suffering from lung diseases including silicosis and pneumoconiosis.
As part of the Counting the Cost project, these records detailing relief paid have been transcribed into databases and are now available online to researchers. For data protection reasons the names of claimants born after 1918 have been left out of the databases but other details relating to their claim have been kept to enable data analysis.


Relief was given and records kept under headings:
Permanent Injury Relief (More than 6 months off work and claim for relief)
Widows relief
Children's relief
Industrial disease relief
Silicosis and pneumoconiosis relief


Full and Half members of the Society.

Members who claimed relief for more than 6 months following an industrial injury were classed as “permanent” claimants. The term “disabled” was also sometimes used.

Although the Mines and Collieries Act 1842 stopped women from being employed underground they were still permitted to work on the surface.
Membership of the Society was therefore open to women – they had the option to join as “full members” or “half members”.
'Half member' was also used for the child workers.
The records show death and injuries to children as young as 13 years of age.

From a small start of membership in the early days the society had eventually over three quarters of working miners in its membership.



Links to further information and illustrations.



The sub-agencies or local pit agencies through which the main society worked at local level:


A visual and audio PDF presentation with photographs of the archives is available at: "Lancashire and Cheshire Miners permanent relief society PowerPoint with voice over".

As part of an Undergraduate Part II Work Placement. February – March 2017, 35 hours with all photos property of author.
Note this presentation has an audio file that may only work in exactly the same software as it was created in by the author.

Copy first slide ODP PDF XCF PNG

Image acknowled as author's property in link below. (No author details on web page or inside the presentation.)


Map of the Bolton and Bury Coalfield


Wikipedia article on Lancashire coalfield.


Disasters listed in Wikipedia.

Mining disasters in Lancashire coalfield.
The "gassy" coal seams, poor ventilation and the use of candles meant the coalfield was prone to explosions and, between 1851 and 1853, had the highest mortality rate of any British coalfield. In 1850, 16 men and boys died at Bent Grange Colliery in Oldham, 36 died at Coppull Colliery in 1852 and in two disasters within a year at Ince Hall Colliery, 58 died in 1853 and 89 men died in 1854. In 1883 some 68 men and boys were killed and 53 were injured at Moorfield colliery near Accrington.
Mining was dangerous: flooding, gases, roof falls and explosions of firedamp contributed to the deaths of thousands of workers in Lancashire's pits. In the first half of the 19th century there were many disasters, many caused by firedamp and inadequate ventilation. In the year 1859 there were 68 fatal accidents in Manchester district and 57 in Wigan and St Helens. The third worst mining disaster in the country was at Hulton Colliery Company's Pretoria Pit in 1910 when a faulty lamp caused an explosion killing 344 miners.
In 1962 16 men died and 21 were injured at Hapton Valley colliery near Burnley. The last disaster on the coalfield was at Golborne Colliery in March 1979, when three men died instantly in an explosion of methane caused by an electric spark and seven men later died of their injuries.
List with data on mining disasters in Lancashire.


Link to Wikipedia article on Pretoria Mine disaster.

An 'Image'  search of pit accidents will give a view of the many incidents and their sketches as localy reported at the time.

Reference pages.

Wigan Archives Services maintains a "FaceBook Page": Link:

Note: Facebook viewing may require registration and may track your activity for commercial purposes.

History and preservation of mines.
The Northern Mine Research Society.


UK Government Resources (free of charge resources)

Includes current residual risk areas from old mining activities available on maps.


Link to our group's report on the Pretoria Pit Disaster.



The group thanks Mr Stephen Knott for all his hard work on the project and his talk on the project to the Culcheth Local history group.


20180208 Victorian Prostitution & the Contagious Diseases Act.

A talk on " Victorian Prostitution & the Contagous Diseases Act" by Brian Joyce was given
at Culcheth Community Centre, 2 Jackson Avenue, Culcheth, Warrington, WA3 4EL, UK.

The talk illustrated with photographs, periodical articles and sketches as well as by Mr Joyce's many years of research in local newspapers, and reports on the effect on British armed forces readiness for war causing parliamenary action that was discriminate in place (garrison town and naval towns) and on persons (both actual prostitutes and non prostetutes were harmed and forced into 'examinations' and 'prison'.

Brian Joyce has studied this area of history and carried out considerable research using the newspapers and police reports both in the Medway towns and in Leigh, Lancashire to get a comparison between:
The country areas, the North of England with its industrial and factory employment for females and the Southern commercial towns with a rising middle class employing females as domestic servants areas which gave widespread female employment, and:

The 'government paid' male employing towns and ports of the army and navy where there was a great lack of employment for females due to the lack of a middle class employing servants and a large factory system employing females.

This led to great female poverty for both single females in these areas and the only ability to enter the cash economy becoming by becoming a part time or full time prostitute.
However the armed forces had manpower availability problems with the great number of diseased males, which in England appeared to be of a greater proportion than that experienced in foreign stations such as the Meditearanian ports or India.
Based on medical reports that the disease was spread by prostitutes a concerted action was taken to enforce the treatment of prostitutes by law and police action in these 'government towns' by the Contagous Diseases Act, which enforced 'treatment' in locked wards after arrest by London Metroplolitan police acting in these areas.
The Contagous Diseases Act was not enforced in 'civilian towns' after a failed attempt to test it in Southhampton, thus it was limited in area but caused great problems inthe areas where it was enforced, and some non-prostitutes were subjected arrest and the difficult examination procedures.
This lead to many many movements to repeal the act with a specific failure being used for propaganda by the repeal movements.
The act was based on a major fault that 'only females' spreasd the disease and was thus a deliberate gender discriminatory act.
Eventuality the act ceased to enforced and was repealed.


Female work in the North

Women at work textile workers new bedford

female work AddieCard05282vLewisHine

Reality of appearance and Fiction depiction.


Brian Jones illustrated the big diference in actaulity of appearnce and poverty of the prostitutes by using police photographs and stills from the films and television 'dramas' of prostitutes. The actuality was extreme poverty in dress, and health, compared to the fictionalised drama.



The matter of the 'problem' in the Medway towns was part of Brian Joyce's study and he has published a book on the matter, available to buy from Brian Joyce.

Book Cover.


book cover 21040138

Details of book as given by "Amazon". -Abe Books.
Hardcover: 293 pages
• Publisher: Baggins Book Bazaar Ltd; First Edition edition (May 1999)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1901625044
• ISBN-13: 978-190162504
A social history of prostitution in the late 19th century within the Medway towns.
From the Author
A history of prostitution in Victorian Chatham.
This book examines the lives of the prostitutes and brothel-keepers who worked in the garrison town of Chatham in Kent during the reign of Queen Victoria. It was at this time that Britain experimented with government supervision of prostitution through the Contagious Diseases Acts, and the area around Chatham was one of the districts in which the Acts were applied. Enforced by Metropolitan policemen in plain clothes, the Acts forced women the police suspected of being prostitutes to undergo medical examination for venereal disease. If they were found to require treatment, the women could be forcibly detained in hospital for up to nine months. The Chatham Scandal looks at the fate of the girls who found themselves victims of the Acts. It also attempts to discover their backgrounds and the way they lived their precarious lives. The careers of several individual prostitutes are examined in detail, as are case-studies of the public-houses and private residences in which they conducted their business.


The following links give much greater detail and analysis with illustrations.

QUOTATION from Spartacus Educational.
Contagious Diseases Act by John Simkin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) © September 1997 (updated August 2014)
Contagious Diseases Act
In 1864 Parliament passed the Contagious Diseases Act. This legislation allowed policeman to arrest prostitutes in ports and army towns and bring them in to have compulsory checks for venereal disease. If the women were suffering from sexually transmitted diseases they were placed in a locked hospital until cured. It was claimed that this was the best way to protect men from infected women. Many of the women arrested were not prostitutes but they still were forced to go to the police station to undergo a humiliating medical examination.
Some women considered this law discriminated against women, as the legislation contained no similar sanctions against men. Josephine Butler and Elizabeth Wolstenholme led the campaign against this legislation by forming the Ladies' Association Against the Contagious Diseases Act. Butler and Wolstenholme toured the country making speeches calling for a change in the law. Butler, who was an outstanding orator, attracted large audiences to hear her explain why this law needed to be repealed. Many people were shocked by the idea of a woman speaking in public about sexual matters.
Some women did not agree with Josephine Butler and Elizabeth Wolstenholmeover this issue.Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who ran the New Hospital for Women in London, took the view that these measures provided the only means of protecting innocent women and children from venereal disease. The Contagious Diseases Act was finally repealed in 1886.

Copy2 Josephine Butler LastScan50

Copy2 Josephine Butler




Link to a PDF article on "The Campaign against the Contagious Diseases Acts Dr Jane Jordan, Kingston University."

In 1864, in response to pressure from the War Office, the Government introduced a temporary piece of legislation designed
to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among the armed forces. This law demanded the registration and examination
of prostitutes working in and around 11 garrison towns and naval ports. Two further Contagious Diseases (CD) Acts, in 1866
and 1869, extended the province of the original legislation to cover 18 towns and cities, the majority in the south of England.
Undoubtedly, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among the British Army and Navy had reached alarming proportions (as
evidenced by the statistics compiled by army doctors in attendance during the Crimean War a decade earlier).

However, the Government’s response was to treat the spread of syphilis purely as a sanitary issue. Moreover, the legislation applied
to one sex only; the prostitutes themselves (or women the police believed to be prostitutes) were to undergo regular examination and, if
necessary, quarantine while they underwent medical treatment. Similar examinations of their male clients were never seriously
considered. Thus the legislation had the effect of a guarantee of security from disease to those men stationed in areas subject to
state regulation: any male civilian living in or visiting these areas could also take advantage of knowing that registered prostitutes,
or ‘Government Women’ as they became known, were ‘clean’.


A sumary of the act from a female point of view.


 Wikipedia article.

Effect in Ireland.






Copy 54. Medway slums The Common back of Free School Lane Courtesy of Stephen Rayner and Medway News


Medway slums Copy 54. Medway slums The Common back of Free School Lane Courtesy of Stephen Rayner and Medway News


copy2 women in work telephonists 92845900

Later 'gentile' women's work copy2 women in work telephonists 92845900

CDA copy front b22348578 0003


CDA copy front b22348578 0003



The members thank Brian Jones for his talk and its illustration of how legislation even if supposedly with good intention
can give rise to extreme harma nd discrimination.


Culcheth Characters

Thursday January 11th, 2018
A talk on "Culcheth Characters", by Marlene Nolan.

Members and visitors welcomed the tea being available before the meeting, and thus fortified
we listened to a very enthusiastic Marlene Nolan giving a talk about three "Culcheth Characters",
whose histories and stories she has prised out of many archives, newspapers and official records
in England.

The talk illustrated how some ordinary persons from the past in the 1800s have left traces of their lives and
activities in Culcheth and elsewhere.

Silk weaving in Culcheth

 With a brief introduction about the coming of silk weaving to Culcheth and the dire poverty of the lives
of the Culcheth weaving families from which trade and craft cottages the three folk emerged.


Criminal and "Convict" leaves many traces from birth in Culcheth, through petty crime with prison sentences
in Lancashire and Dartmoor, to die in a local workhouse at an advanced age.


Culcheth working lass with multiple children subject to dispute between Culcheth and Manchester as to who will 
pay for her upkeep and the facts of her life recorded due to this legal dispute.


Culcheth born-in-povery lad who rose by an unknown education (perhaps from the early trade unions) to prominence
in the trade union movement and died as a respected wealthy person.

Wigan Publication.

As part of the talk is at present available in written form, at a cost of two pounds sterling (GBP £2),
and will be available from Marlene Nolan when next the talk is given, no detailed report is at present
given here.

Cost GBP £2.00
"PastForward" issue Number 77, December 2017 - March 2018.
Produced by Wigan Archives & Museums.
The Editor, "PastForward",
Museum of Wigan Life,
Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU, UK

20171212 PastForward Issue 77 Dec2017 Mar 2018 MuseumOfWiganLife




Wigan Archives Website

Contact CLHG for articles by CLHG

 Or contact CLHG webmaster on Tel. 01925 76 28 73.  


General Relevant Links.

Dartmoor prison history

BBC article on workhouses

Manchester Workhouse Records

 Justice system in England.

History of justice system in England


December 14th, 2017
By Philip Jeffs, Archivist, Warrington Museum
World War 1 Charities

On Thursday evening December 14th, 2017, members were enthralled by Philip Jeffs, Chair of our Group for this year, on Charities in World War 1. The meeting was shown many slides from posters, handbills (now usually called ‘flyers’), shop and house window display cards, and photographs from the extensive collections in Warrington archives. These archives are available for public viewing and use, by contacting the archives section of the Warrington library.
Over 18,000 charities to help armed forces and civilians were formed during the First World War.


Imperial War Museum [IWM]

 St. Dunstans is now  Blind Veterans UK St Dunstans is now "Blind Veterans UK"


The Speaker first outlined the effects of the war in the great increase in women in non-domestic service work; from approximately 23% in 1914 to 50% by 1918. A comment on the statistics of excluding domestic servants means that the ‘in work’ statistics are never a true reflection of the many women in ‘paid work’; but they give comparable ‘working in trade’ statistics’ from year to year. Many factories shifted to war work and increased their female workforce.


Recruitment posters changed from the ‘bold and brave’ type at the start of the war to a more emotional appeal. However government propaganda on posters did nor reflect the actuality of the opinions of the person supposedly giving the ‘word bite’ on the poster. This government ‘propaganda’ modification is still a matter of current government activities in many counties.

  early recruiting poster 1914

Sword of Justice. COPY



 Typical recruiting image. IWM


The Charities.

South Lancashire POW Relief Committee.

This charity run by local Warrington woman raised funds, found ‘adopters’ who would sponsor parcels to a named individual Prisoner Of War [POW]. These food parcels were of great importance to the POWs due to very restricted food availability.

 This link gives the background and some details about the food parcels. Occasionally the sending organisation got a reply via the reply postcard in each parcel.

Acknowledgement card Sheffield Charity



 Typical reply card - This one is for the Sherwood Foresters Charity

 This acknowledgement card arrived back at the "Regimental Care Committee of the Sherwood Foresters Prisoners of War Fund" H.Q., on 26th August.1918

James W. Gerard - chief of the team of neutral camp inspectors - agreed with Pte. Smith and praised Germany for its handling of food parcels and said, "Credit must be given to the German authorities for the fairly prompt and efficient delivery of the packages of food sent from Great Britain, Denmark, and Switzerland to prisoners of war in all camps."

This food parcel acknowledgement card was put into a food parcel which was sent to Germany on 6th June 1918 and received by the recipient on the 20th July. Pte. Smith, stated on the card that he did not receive his bread regularly, but did receive his food parcels on a regular basis and in good condition and complete, which seems to have been the general consensus about food parcels which Britain sent to its prisoners in Germany.


Warrington Museum Search Facility 

Warrington Museum has on their website a search facility to trace sponsors or parcels and POWs. The search box is at the foot of the page.


Example: image of search box


Parcels POWs Sponsors search example Screenshot 2017 12 21 10 44 26 





Parcels contained fresh vegetables, cigarettes, and by local purchase in neutral countries for delivery to POW camps bread. These parcels to British POWs and the reverse to German POWs in Britain was arranged by the Red Cross of both
counties. The postal system arrangements were a major undertaking.

Eggs for Field Hospitals.

Eggs from people donating eges from their hens were sent by post to a collection centre and sent to field hospitals. The postal service handled many millions of food parcels to the POWs and eggs to the filed hospitals. The postal service was very important to charities and POWs
A poster from [IWM] Imperial War Museum collection.

Egg by post to field hospitals poster. 5154 p



Warington Museum Archives.


Warrington archives have letters from POWs to home about the parcels, and the ‘organised’ lists for permitted contents.

There were appeal posters to folk to ‘self ration’ to help the food supply indicate an appeal to patriotism, and a card for your house window to state you were self rationing, one way of showing war effort.


Books for Armed Forces.
This was a charity to get books, magazines and reading material to the soldiers at the front.
The great problem for all armies is the ‘boredom’ of waiting between war events and the recreation in the very limited facilities at the front.


The respite ‘Huts’ and ‘Tents’.
A number of charities such as the “Church Army” and “Salvation Army” and others provided recreation places in the form of huts or tents back from the active front line where soldiers could when on short leave periods socialise and importantly write home. They also had mobile tea ‘vans’. The huts were often named after the place providing and supporting them. There was a “Walton Hut” provided by the folk of Walton and Lady Daresbury. These huts were put to other uss after the war and many were re-erected in the UK.



Church army hut

Church Army Hut Interior

Images: Image: ©

link: Church army image link

Salvation Army Huts

 image: © Salvation Army.




Many places were converted to hospitals to care for the war wounded and injured. These were often renamed. Our local mental hospital Winwick Asylum was renamed “The Lord Derby Military Hospital” and many private houses became small out-station or auxiliary hospitals. The local workhouse became the Whitecross Institute and was run by the first Warrington’s female doctor Dr. Mary Nobel. Raddon Court run by the four Miss Broadbents was another local auxiliary hospital. Image IWM. Lord Derby hospital


 The Lord Derby Military Hospital Winwich


 Image. Warrington Guardian (c) Image.


Auxilliary Red Cross Hospital



Image. © Red Cross. An auxiliary Red Cross Hospital.

Link: British Red Cross

 Link: German Red Cross: German and interntional Red Cross


Radon Court staff











      The Home of The Misses Broadbent became a small hospital (WM photo)


The Misses Broadbent of Raddon Court










The misses Broadbent of Eadley Courts (WM  Photo)



Field Hospitals in the war area offered both immediate medical treatment most importantly read and wrote letters for the injured who could not read or write.


Red Crossnurse writes a letter for an injured patient


Image. © Red Cross. Letters home dictated by patient.

It was observed that the information sent from field hospitals and the 'Recreation Huts' run by charities were more accurate and informative to relatives than the brief official communications of the authorities.

Link to page:

 International Red Cross


War Blinded.

The St. Dunstan’s Home for Blinded Servicemen raised money with a pamphlet distributed in Warrington illustrating the case of a Harold Thompson (aged 21) formerly of Crossfields soap works.

With no national health service the physically and mentally wounded, as well as normal people, were then totally dependent on charities for hospital care.

St Dunstans 22Blinded for you22 IWM C mid 000000

 A picture of 'Blinded For You' from the painting by Richard Caton Woodville. This image was one of six used in a set of postcards in aid of Blinded Soldiers and Sailors. The postcards were commissioned after St Dunstan's was flooded with casualties in 1916, and urgently needed to raise funds to accommodate the new patients. Image IWM ©.
St Dunstans charity ha schanged its name to Blinded Verterans UK

Link: Blinded Veterans UK


Belgian Refugees. 


Belgium aid IWM poster large 000000



 Belgium Childrens Home IWM c large 000000


Refugees from Belgium were helped by charities in UK and in neutral Netherlands. The refugee numbers were very great and some were helped at a camp at Penketh.



Girl Guides teach refugees somewhere in england IWMc canvas


Image: IWM. Girl Guides teach refugees English around a garden table in the United Kingdom during the First World War.



 SouthLancashireWomen large 000000



 Lancashire Women Poster IWM poster collection. From early in 1914-18 war before compulsory service by conscription.


Ordinary Charities.

The ordinary non-war effort charities that provided for the medical and poverty relief of the normal civilian population still had to function and raise funds and give care when the general population's ability to give was most stretched.


War work.

Barbed wire Warrington Wire COPY













Barbed wire being made in Warrington.


Books for services collection Warrington












Collecting books, newspapers, magazines for the servicefolk at the front, using war wounded personnel to collect. (WM photo)


Before in serviceAfter crippled COPY JPG


Few jobs for war injured, and disabled men effectively 'outcast' from society. (WM  photo)


Star Kinema Leigh COPY

Star Kinema Leigh. folk COPY















The Star Kinema of Leigh played a part as they had staff as POWs.  (WM photo)


Women at "war work" changed the nature of women in society during and after the war

Female workers digging at BritishAluminium






















Photo from Warrington Museum archives (WM photo)


Please visit the archives in Warrington Museum.

You wil receive helpful advice and learn of the major effort made by Warrington folk to help others..


Closing Christmas Tea.

The meeting closed by members and visitors enjoying the cakes, pastries, cakes and trifle provided by members.


Our members and visitors would wish to thank Philip Jeffs for his most enlightening and well researched talk.




2017-11-09 Bridge to Bridge

On Thursday November 9th, 2017 Barbara Worrall of the Latchford History Group a local non profit making group who meet at St Hildas Mission Hall, Slater street, Latchford gave a most profusely illustrated talk on Warrington  "South of the Mersey" being "Bridge to Bridge". Warrington Bridge to Latchford Bridge.
The troubles and development of a 'border community' at a river crossing; first by a ford and then by a bridge with rival family feuds as tolls were lost by one family and gained by another; with subsequent development by many criss-crossing canals, railways and roads to take folk from and to the industries and surrounding markets and towns was illustrated with old maps, many photographs and the personal feelings of belonging to Latchford.
One highlight was the information that the first Sunday school in England came about as a result of the activities of a Latchford minister.
St James Church Latchford geograph 1303529 by Eirian Evans
Photo of St James Parish Church.

The talk.

Latchford once a large township south of the River Mersey in the county of Cheshire is now a substantial part of the County Borough of Warrington. The ancient ford, whereby the crossing of the Mersey was made possible before the first bridge was built, was the origin of the name Latchford which means ‘a ford over the lacce or stream'. Every traveller going north or south in the area would have had to pass through Latchford to cross  the ford as there was no other crossing over the Mersey.
Map of early developed Warrington and district
Early map showing the development of the railways with industrialisation.
The manor south of the river belonged to the Boydell family who had the right to charge tolls to cross the ford. The manor north of the river belonged to the Botelers. By 1185 the Botelers built the first bridge over the Mersey and were granted the right to charge tolls to cross it. This caused years of conflict between the two families.
By 1485 the Earl of Derby had a new bridge built over the river to allow the King Henry VI1 to pass over on his route north. The Earl left money in his will to maintain the bridge and to free it from all tolls. During the next two centuries little change took place in the area, it remained in the Parish of Grappenhall and was mostly agricultural until the 19th  century. The Earl of Derby had the two major thoroughfares through Latchford greatly improved. The roads to Stockton Heath and Knutsford were built as causeways to raise them above the frequent flooding of the Mersey.
Thomas Patten a local industrialist in Warrington felt he could increase his trade if the river, already navigable as far as Warrington, could be made navigable to Manchester. His plan agreed, in 1721 the course of the Mersey was changed, cutting out the loop where the ford had been, and building a weir and lock further downstream in Latchford. The changes, together with the Woolston Cut, allowed traffic on the river to reach Manchester.
In 1770 'The Bridgewater Canal was built along the southern boundary of Latchford. By 1804 the Old Quay Canal was in operation dividing the area in two from north to south.
Population increased as new industry was established by the river. The majority of people resided near Warrington Bridge. This area then still in the parish of Grappenhall had its first chapel of Ease, St James built by the river in 1777. It was in this church that the Rev James GIazebrook opened the first Sunday School in the country. A photo of the church is above.
Latchford History Group map wpa992d15a 05 06
The map shown on Latchford History Group website, showing the beginning of the railway disruption.
Link to Latchford  History Group web page:
The land upstream of the new weir was the private estate of the Old Warps, the 52 acres was used mainly for farming. By 1897 the estate having been purchased by the Warrington Borough Council for £10,000 was opened to the public as Victoria Park. The House on the estate has been a maternity home, and a nursing home. It is currently run as the Spirit Restaurant.
The Old Quay Canal helped to provide transport by barge to enable the development of several tanneries in Latchford. Such was the demand for leather goods. Latchford Tannery belonged to the Broadbent family who lived at the Hollies, a large mansion on Knutsford Road. It was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the dual carriage improvement scheme. Raddon Court Tannery belonged to the Reynolds family, who had other tanneries in Warrington. The mansion Raddon Court also stood on Knutsford Road. It became a Red  Cross Hospital during the first World War. It was purchased by Greenall Whitley but was demolished in the 1940's.
ex B Worrall The Hollies
The Hollies, courtesy of Barbara Worral
 Latchford had originally been a separate township but in 1847 the Warrington boundary  was extended to include Latchford and it became a municipal borough with William Beamont who lived at Rock Villas in Latchford, as first Mayor and with the continued expansion and growth of population a second Church of England, Christ Church, was  built in 1861 on land given by Thomas Greenall.
Significant changes to the area were made by the building of the Manchester Ship Canal completed in 1894. It was able to carry goods straight into Manchester instead of   offloading in Liverpool and then having to be transported by land into Manchester. It ran  through the heart of Latchford dividing it once more. South of the canal was then put into Cheshire and  renamed Latchford Without until 1938.
The red line in the diagram below was the boundary of Cheshire.
Latchford without streetmapentry Capture
Then it was divided between  Grappenhall and Stockton Heath. The railway was lifted over the canal and the new
 Latchford Station had to be elevated on the new embankment leaving the old station disused.
nbepiphany co uk Bridgewater and Ship canal map
Manchester ship canal (blue line) and Bridgewater canal (red line) diagram.
Many properties had to be demolished, roads were severed or re-routed and swing bridges were put in place on the main thoroughfares. Latchford Locks, built to raise the water level in the canal, remains as a lasting landmark; these give a route for walkers and cyclist to cross the canal.
RuthAS CC by 3.0 01Jan1950 MSC Latchford Locks 1950 edited 2
 Photo by RuthAS_CC-by-3.0 01Jan1950-MSC_Latchford_Locks_1950_edited-2

Twentieth century. 

 During the twentieth century there was huge development in the area, a new bridge  crossing the Mersey was built plus the Westy council housing estate, the development of a  retail village in Latchford close to the Swing bridge, better schooling and jobs created by large industries such as Richmond's Gas Stoves and the British Aluminium.
The road from Warrington Bridge travelling south is Wilderspool Causeway. Initially it  led to the small hamlet of Wilderspool then onwards to Stockton Heath. There was a  branch to the west being the route to Chester. From the bridge there was an array of shops,  public houses and small factories. In 1829 a new Church for St James had been built  along the road and subsequently further industries including Greenall Whitley’s Brewery and Fletcher Russells. The road to Stockton Heath which was once quiet with open fields to the west and the river to the east became a bustling thoroughfare. With plans to make a large port leading from the Ship Canal, which never materialised, the river was once again re-routed from behind the Causeway further to the west alongside the Chester Road.
Modern Latchford Bing maps Capture
Modern Latchford map. Victoria park the 'old warps' estate now a park is a very prominent amenity.
Greenal Whitley Wilderspool Brewery 1887 exbrookstonberbulletin 33743734385 f180df9ac2 z
The Brewery.
Greenall Whitley Wilderspool Brewery 1887_exbrookstonberbulletin_33743734385_f180df9ac2_z
ex B Worrall Greenhalls Brewery
The Greenall Brewery_courtesy of B Worrall
ex B Worrall Latchford High Level
Latchford High Level Bridge courtesy of B Worrall
ex B Worrall Warrington Bridge cenotaph construction
Courtesy of  B Worrall Warrington Bridge with perhaps Cenotaph construction in 1920s
See bridge with another view including finished Cenotaph further below on page.

 ex B Worrall View from Railway Bridge c1900
 Courtesy of B Worrall View from Railway Bridge c1900.
Gates to avoid vehicle or person entry when swung open to allow ships to pass.

 ex B Worrall St James Church
 Courtesy of  B Worrall St James Church in another view.
Knutsford Swing bridge geograph 3425107 by Christine Johnstone
Knutsford Swing bridge geograph 3425107 by Christine Johnstone
Latchford high Level Bridge geograph 2778581 by Peter Whatley
Latchford high Level Bridge geograph 2778581 by Peter Whatley
Paul Dunkerley Photo Sixth Bridge at Warrington ICEreference warrington
The Warington Bridge with finished Cenotaph.


The Northbound "Warrington Bridge"   [The Sixth bridge].

Associated engineer: Webster & Fitzsimons: date 1909 - 1915
era: Modern category Bridge reference SJ606878; ICE reference number HEW254
photo: Paul Dunkerley
The bridge over the Mersey at Warrington, which is still tidal at this point, is the first British bridge to commence a construction type that incorporated reinforced concrete hinges in its design.
The first bridge on this site was in place in 1305. The current bridge is the sixth on that site..
Its reinforced concrete hinges, by Considère Constructions, are located at the mid spans of its eight 134ft reinforced concrete parabolic arch ribs.
They took a total thrust of some 240 tons during construction.

A new bridge was constructed 70 yards upstream of the 'Sixth Bridge' to take the southbound traffic of the A49 and Warrington Bridge now takes the northbound traffic.
This accounts for the complex crossing where central Warrington meets the Mersey.

Warrington Centre North South bound bridges Streetmap Capture
Warrington Centre North & South bound bridges from Streetmap

Outlying areas.

Stockton Heath being on the heath land had no threat of flooding. It developed with a better class of housing stock than was evident in Warrington. It was edged to the south by the Bridgewater Canal which from 1770 had brought business and people to the village. Many non-conformists came to the village and opened several chapels in the area for worship including the Baptist chapel at Hill Cliff. By 1868 St Thomas's Church was built complete with a peal of bells and clock.
Grappenhall still retains its old village atmosphere with St Wilfred's Church at its heart. a primary school, two pubs and cobbled street. It has almost certainly been saved from further development by the small and narrow access bridges over the Bridgewater canal.
Walton is still a rural area. It includes the Walton Hall estate, once owned by the Greenall family, it is  now run as a public park by the Warrington Borough Council. Next to it was the mansion and estate owned by the Crosfield family called Walton Lea.
Thelwall to the east of south Warrington again remained rural, being a farming community. The manor belonged to the Pickering family for many generations. many large mansions were built in Thelwall by industrialists from Warrington. The digging of the Manchester Ship canal changed the area taking away a loop of the Mersey close to the village centre.


Disruption and division of being a 'boundary community'. 

The south of Warrington has been dissected by three man made waterways, one natural river, which changed its course either naturally or by man's intervention.
This has resulted in that today when we (the people of Latchford) venture out we usually have to travel from bridge to bridge to get anywhere.

Text of this article is by Barbara. Worrall.  November, 2017

Book available.From Latchford History Group.

Photo of cover.
Book Title " Bridge to Bridge".
The above "Bridge to Bridge" book and other books on Latchford history are available from the publishers: the Latchford History Group, a local non profit making group, who meet at St Hildas Mission Hall, Slater Street, Latchford.
These books contains high quality pages of historical information and photos, invaluable to anyone researching Warrington history.
The books can be obtained from the following members of the Latchford History Society:-
Joan Howard  01925 650340.
Brian Mercer 01925 838071.
Linda Pearson 01925 602803.
Barbara Worrall 01925 266282.

The group meets every Wednesday at 10 am to 12-0 noon at St Hilda’s Mission Hall, Slater Street,  Latchford,  Warrington.


Meeting display.

Many of the diagrams, photographs and artifacts about Latchford were displayed on display boards which were available to our members and visitors to inspect at our meeting and these generated many interesting comments and side chats


The Culcheth Local History Group thanks Barbara Warrall for her kind answers to our questions and the high standard of her presentation.


Lunt Meadows, an ancient village?


On Thursday the 12th of October 2017, the group welcomed Ron Cowell, MCIfA, who is on the staff of Museum of Liverpool, as Curator of Prehistoric Archaeology and is a specialist in the prehistoric archaeology, landscape archaeology and wetlands of North West England.

His excellent explanation working from memory to explain the photographs he showed enthralled our members.

An exciting evening, where the road network delays caused a slight delay so we had tea before the meeting started, and eventually with a working projector, we had to rely on Ron’s memory and exceptional knowledge. The magic lantern modern style photos were very well explained and left the audience thirsting for more.

 Lecturer visitor member at Day of Archeaology thIS3N3LAZ


 Ron Cowell, and volunteers at site. 


 More photographs of site at bottom of page, before the 'links'  to other websites with information on this site.

The videos (Vimeo & YouTube links below, videos by others) are recommended for viewing.



Lunt Meadows is a site in Sefton. Lancashire where in 2012 Ron Cowell found evidence of structures and a way of life we little understood and much is added to our knowledge by the recent work of staff and volunteers excavating the area including a possible ritual marking by stones including an Iron Pyrites lump as central marker; as well as  its use as a survival and shelter place.


Location Map. Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve, nr Crosby, Merseyside, L29 7WL.

 Location Google Maps Capture


Volunteers and visitors get an explaination of the site.


Photo from website:


 Ron Cowell explains to volunteers including Dr. Jessi Halligan Mesolithic07 768x559


Website blog by Halligan; “I am an artist/photographer with an interest in archaeology, history and psychogeography..”

A photograph of the site at evening with birds from website:

 R Cowell post visitors bird like landscape and site2


 Ron Cowell' site photo with birds.

 lunt meadows plan of excavations

 Excavation map


 some of the elaborately arranged pebbles laid around the fools gold


 Elaborately placed stones arround the central 'object' .


 The Village

The ‘village’ had huts and perhaps a ritual site with a central ‘fool’s gold’ iron pyrites stone surrouded by placed smaller stones over a period of time in aritual arrangement. A considerable stone toolkit was found in various types of tools. The site dates to about 8000 years ago,[5.800BC per radio carbon dating] in the Mesolithic period, when groups of hunter-gatherers lived in the flood-plain of the River Alt leaving behind relatively well-preserved traces of a series of building floors dotted with pits in two defined, adjacent areas. Finds include many burnt hazel nuts, stone tools, burnt wood and a special arrangement of stones round a central iron pyrites large lump ion a 'table' or 'flooring' of flat stones. 


Notes of a visit to site. (includes above site map. and much interesting detail.)
A very personal blog on a visit to the excavation site with the above map of excavaion is given on “Gerry’s” website. Gerry is a retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK. Website published July 27, 2016.



The finds are given on website:


 LP Museum lunt meadows axeLP Museum arrowheads and piercing implements lunt meadowsLP Museum lunt meadows polished pebble toolLunt visitor shown tool Capture

Above are: flint axe; arrowheads and piercing tools; a polished pebble; a flint in volunteer’s hand.
The burnt wood pictures are at the bottom of the web page.

Refer to above website for a fuller detail on the finds.

Ron Cowell’s article on Day of Archaeology.


The Museum of Liverpool Project Website
Liverpool Museums site gives an overview , the settlement and the finds.


An overall view is given in two “YouTube” videos of broadcasts in 2012.
Video Links:
The folowing video links to YouTube BBC items are interesting and show the excitement of the dig at its age confirmation.

Opening Day. [Silent video.]

BBC Video
BBC North West Inside Out episode on Lunt Meadows, November 2012
on YouTube: (This author considers this video to be well worth watching for the excitement of the age announcement.)


Video of site interview and age announcement.

An overseas visitor's opinion.
Enjoying archaeology as a volunteer from overseas at this site. Refer to website:

Sieving the mesolithic blog by By Dr. Jessi Halligan / 08.05.2016
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Florida State University


The site is part of a flood storage reservoir, and the excavations came about during its development and its subsequent use as a nature reserve.

Site work funding .
Archaeological excavations at Lunt Meadows were commissioned and funded by the Environment
Agency, supported by National Museums Liverpool ahead of the transformation of farmland in the Alt valley, Sefton into a wetland reserve and flood alleviation scheme.

The Official opening day of wetland reserve.

Saturday 23 July 2016 marked the official opening of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s
newest nature reserve, Lunt Meadows, near Sefton.
This included events surrounding the archaeological discoveries at Lunt Meadows under Ron Cowell in conjuction with the National Festival of Archaeology and Ron Cowell of the Museum of Liverpool was on hand giving some talks about the settlement that was here at Lunt in the Stone Age. Today the CLHG members and visitors had a very good view of the results of these achtivities with Rob Cowell’s explanations and the culmanation of many years of work by him in that area.

Website: Lancashire Wildlife Trust:


Nature Reserve.
The launch of the nature reserve and the completion of a range of works funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Veolia Environmental Trust has seen bird watching screens and signage installed, gates and pathways added and fencing to allow grazing over the reserves wet meadows.
Lunt Meadows covers 67 hectares and has been transformed from fields of cereals and oil seed rape into a mix of wet grassland, reedbed, pools and open channels.

Flood Storage Reservoir.
The site was created by the Environment Agency as a flood storage reservoir and is designed to capture flood waters from the River Alt in times of high flow. It is managed by the Trust as a nature reserve and is already proving very popular with visitors due to its rich array of wildlife, which ranges from wetland and wading birds, to colourful dragonflies and butterflies. It was during this work that the Lunt Meadows Mesolithic site was uncovered.


(Extracted from the references websites and all copyrights acknowledged. Museum of Liverpool images under CC by SA)

 Birds Snapshot 4 05 08 2016 16 30


 Conjuring Blog Peat deposits overlay the lighter sandy soils of the Mesolithic at Lunt Meadows lunt meadows layers

 The Peat deposit 


Liverpool Museums Blog copy P1000426


 Site photos with excavators working. 


 LP Museuam site under exploration download


 Ron Cowell explains to volunteers including Dr. Jessi Halligan Mesolithic07 768x559


 Visitors and volunteers listen to details of site.


 excavated burnt wood

 Excavated burn wood.

burnt wood in ground

 Burnt wood  still in the ground, before excavation.


Replica Houises. (DIY style).

Replicated mesolithic houses based on the post holes constructed by folk from Phoenix Futures, Wirral, who constructed two Mesolithic-type structures for the Open Day. Pictures from Ron Cowell's article on Day of Archaeology.

House 1 smallfile

 house 2 smallfile


Formby Civic Society.

Formby Civic Society has an article with many pictures from their day trip to site on their Flickr web page.

Link to Photos on Formby Civic Society Flickr page


Further study websites. Links:

Opening Day

see links to may websites concerned witgh wetlands and Sefton



Gardian Report Monday 19th November 2012 by Maev Kennedy.


Flooding risk.
This includes a video of the Alt river busting its banks.


Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Dredging Today announcement. (Site gets into many non archaeological articles.)


The Megalithic Portal report


LiverPool Museaum Blog post marked Lunt-Meadows-Washland-c13


Excavations Photos report

Photos on Formby Civic Society Flickr page

Sieving the mesolithic blog.

Blog of Liverpool visitor Gerry to site.


BBC Video
BBC North West Inside Out episode on Lunt Meadows, November 2012 on YouTube


BBC North West Video


JMU Journalism TV Channel 27 Nov 2012
New theories from Lunt Meadows.


UCD University Colledge Dublin
Recreating a mesolithic house


Education video of mesolithic life


Picture of speaker, visitor & member from:



 The members of Culcheth Local History Group and their visitors wish to thank Ron Cowell for his talk, and also to all his staff and volunteers over the years whose hard work made the discovery and the talk possible.




2017-09-14 Warrington Rail Transporter Bridge

2017-09-14 Rail Transporter Bridge

On the 14th September Members were delighted with the enthusiastic and informative talk given by Margaret Ingham. The chair of a local group called 'Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge' (FoWTB) which was formed in April 2015 to act as the independent voice of the bridge and act for its preservation.

It is the only rail transporter bridge built, and is one of 12 remaining bridges in the world, of which there three are in the UK.
Only 22 bridges were built with the Warrington one being the last one.
Reference List at:

Existing UK bridges: Warrington, Tees (Middlesbrough), and Newport.

11 full view Alan Murray Rust ccbySA geograph 998806 by Alan Murray Rust

Contact details:

'Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge' (FoWTB)

Postal address:
4 Chalfont Close,

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

The talk inspired a few members to consider a walk to the bridge, (good footwear advsable; avoid vegitation on side of paths) while some recalled playing and walking their dogs near it.

The meeting on FOWTB Facebook site.

21 CLHG by Speaker 21730878 901999489949202 8000142995800381483 n



 For details of how to walk to the bridge and visiting it, please refer to FOWTB website.


9 From Back of soap works CCbySA geograph 59899 by Karen Foxall


Bridge Name.

The bridge goes under a number of different names occasioned by its history.

"Warrington Rail Transporter Bridge"
"Warrington Transporter Bridge"
"The Transporter Bridge" to locals on Warrington.
"Crosfield's Transporter Bridge"


 12 View up Matt Harrop CCbySA 5382278 4256ddce 120x120

A private transporter bridge.

This was the only transporter bridge built by a private company.
The others were for public use and publicly financed.
Crosfield's soap works started in 1814 as a chemical works for the production of soap and were the owners as the bridge was for their private use within their chemical site and with a side line in cement to use up a hazardous material they were asked to stop 'dumping' in the River Mersey. The bridge transported on rail wagons the raw hazardous stuff to the cement works on the other site where it was used in cement manufacture.


Joseph Crosfield was a Quaker businessman who established the soap works on the banks of the Mersey in 1814.
Soap consumption doubled per head of population in the first half of the 19th century.
Add to this the increase in population who came to use easily available soap from Crosfields and other manufacturers with a consequent increase in popular health, and the population itself also grew fast.
Crosfield, and his offspring as owners/operators of the plant learn from German advances in chemistry.
This altered the 'chemical works' and the Warrington landscape.

The site still operates after many changes in ownership, but no longer makes "soap".

The Joseph Crosfield & Sons chemical works at Bank Quay was sold to Runner Mond in 1911 (family quarrels involved in this as one side favoured Unilever) and then passed to Unilever, then to ICI, then Ineos Capital in 2001, where after the 'Crosfield' brand was dropped for 'Ineos Silicas' and since the merging of Ineos Silicas and PQ Corporation in 2008 it became PQ Silicas UK Ltd. part of PQ Corporation.
Link to current ownership:


Arial view map

 Map5 Transporter bridge arial view map Google Maps page1 image2



 Why the transporter bridge?

To keep an open passage for ships on the Mersey when the bridge was not in use. The height of side supports cleared the masts of the ships.


13 Gate View Christine Johnson CCbySA 2161514 cac7e04c

Gate View.


We quote from a website devoted to cement kilns, which gives details of the 'use' of the bridge.

(Source material for their site is: Jackson, pp 221, 277: A. E. Musson, Enterprise in Soap and Chemicals: Joseph Crosfield and Sons Ltd 1815-1965, Manchester University Press, 1965)

Raw materials:

Soap works waste
Mersey alluvium from Ardley Meadows, 360300,387000 – Warrington, Lancashire: brought down the river by barge.


1907-1911 J. Crosfield and Son Ltd
1911-1919 Brunner, Mond and Co. Ltd
1919-1929 Lever Brothers Ltd.
Crosfield’s main business was soap, but they were also a significant producer of sodium silicate. The main plant was the Bank Quay works on the Lancashire side of the Mersey in Warrington. The plant produced waste calcium carbonate from conversion of sodium carbonate to sodium hydroxide. Until 1899, the carbonate sludge was dumped in the Mersey at a rate of about 150 tonnes per week. Crosfield’s were finally prosecuted following pressure from the Ship Canal company, the Mersey Conservancy Board and the Borough of Warrington. In 1899, filter presses were installed and the resulting concentrate was re-used, some in whiting and some in bleaching powder, but mostly as agricultural lime. Sales were around 20,000 tons at £0.15 per ton in 1904-6.

Optimism about the future progressive increase in tonnage led them to embark on the cement plant project in 1905. The plant was built on the opposite (south) bank of the river, and included in the project was the construction of a transporter bridge (the first of two). The carbonate (now once again handled as sludge) was pumped to the plant over the bridge, and was washed with local clay. The plant was not up and running until the end of 1907, and Davis’ 1907 capacity of 300 t/week must have been a projection. The plant was operated, irrespective of cement trade conditions, to absorb the available carbonate waste, and only made a profit in one or two years of its life.

In John Hudson Earley's diary (R 27/3/1908), he was told by the Polysius rep that Crosfield’s “have not enough waste products to keep one kiln going, but they have told (him) that they are trying to buy other waste products from Lever Bros. & other soap people & if they succeed they will put a second kiln down”.
Its turnover was never more than 2% of the overall plant’s turnover. It is, however, noteworthy that the amount of cement produced was always less than half the stoichiometric amount expected from the plant’s sodium hydroxide production (2.2 tonnes cement per tonne of NaOH), and it is likely that persistent operational and product quality problems were the main factors in its failure.

In 1929, the sodium hydroxide plant was changed to the Mount process, in which calcium carbonate precipitate is converted back to lime in a rotary kiln (not the same one) and recycled. The cement plant closed when this became operational.

The plant despatched product by rail: trucks loaded on the peninsula were carried by the second transporter bridge across the Mersey to the company’s railway sidings. The site of the cement plant was subsequently redeveloped with other plant. Attempts are being made to preserve the second bridge, which is a scheduled monument, see website.


The rawmill arrangement is unknown, but evidently there were initially washmills in which the clay was combined with carbonate slurry.

Two rotary kilns were installed.


Old Site Map.

Dylan Moore (c) crosfield det


Notes to Cement Kiln map. (Map Copyright Dylan Moore 2012)The first transporter bridge, at the north of the peninsula, was erected for light goods and passenger transport to the cement plant, which was the first development south of the river. It also carried the pipeline for delivering calcium carbonate sludge from the alkali plant at the northern edge.

The second transporter bridge (the subject or the talk) was erected to despatch finished product from the cement plant and the subsequent developments. Clay for mixing with the alkali sludge was landed at wharfs on either side of the second bridge. The rest of the south bank development consisted mainly of oil extraction plant on the west side, and the oil hydrogenation plant on the east side (the "VB plant" = Vegetable Butter). This was the UK's first plant making margarine from vegetable oils by Sabatier-Senderens hydrogenation.


The good work of 'Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge' (FoWTB) aims to keep the bridge in its present state and which will take a great deal of cash, so they welcome all donations to enable then to bring about public knowledge of the bridge and act for its preservation.

Signs to the bridge have been erected in the last few years due to their actions and there is some interest in Warrington of its position in the town as a world status tourist attraction (certainly to engineers!).

Listed on Buildings at Risk Register by English Heritage as Grade II* ('Grade Two Star')
It is also a scheduled monument.

The bridge is preserved under a 50 year lease in possession of Warrington Borough Council.
The lease expires in 2027.
Currently the gondola remains intact.


Newport Bridge.

Tees Bridge.

UK Bridges.
Here there are a lot of good photographs.


20170810 Police Museum Warrington

On August 10th 2017 some members and guests visited the old but still working police station in Warrington to see the "Museum of Policing in Cheshire", the museum is an independent charity run by volunteers in co-operation with the Cheshire Constabulary.
The visit was enjoyable and members saw the old cells and a small 'spy hole' in a door through which one person escaped.
The Museum has the formal name of "Museum of Policing in Cheshire" and is located within the working police station at:

Warrington Police Station,
Arpley Street,

Museum website link:

Location link:

 Members and others are encouraged to visit the museum to learn of the past and see the problems of policing.
Visits are by appointment only.
The museum is located in the County Police Office, Arpley Street, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1LQ, near Warrington Bank Quay railway station.

 Warrington Police Station C



Working Headquarters.

This is a working Police Station and the Headquarters of the Warrington Division of the Cheshire Constabulary. For security reasons, visits are by appointment only. Visits can be arranged for groups such as schools and others; and (are as we were) are given a tour by the museum volunteer staff. Visits should be arranged by reading the instruction on the museum website and by filling in their contact form on website link

Contacting by post:
The Museum of Policing in Cheshire
County Police Office
Arpley Street

For all enquiries about visiting the museum please contact the busines manager Peter Quinn via their website contact page:

(The writer is pleased to note that the museum contact form includes the option to send a copy of your request email to them to your own email address. This courtesy is often omitted from many website contact forms. EM.)



Photo1-Display th

The museums "Attractions" are shown on their website.
This is a good well arranged website and has a detailed and easily searched record of exhibits and police records shown on their collections page.
Members and others are encouraged to visit the website for an understanding of policing in our area.
Link to collections page.


 Plan of Museum.

 Plan th



History of Museum.

A brief note about the museum from their published data.

Police forces, by their very nature, have always been averse to throwing things away. Oddments have collected over the years into small displays, the forgotten corners of storerooms and the private collections of officers. During the 1960s and 70s, when the Cheshire Constabulary became the main overall force, many of these items were collected into a display at the Force Training Centre at Crewe. This display however was not open to the public. Documents were deposited at the Cheshire County Archives at Chester.

On retirement PC Peter Wroe began to organise items at Warrington into a museum. He greatly added to the exhibits by persuading former officers and their relatives to donate their private collections. Together with former PC Jim Talbot a large amount of documentary information was also collected and organised. In 2004 the Crewe Centre closed and the exhibits came to Warrington. The size of the collection was then such that a more formal structure had to be established to manage it.

In 2006 The Museum of Policing in Cheshire was formed as a private trust with a board of management under the trustees. Peter Wroe was appointed as Curator. The museum's objective is to advance public knowledge of the evolution, development and role of policing in the County of Cheshire from its inception to the present day. It does this by collecting, preserving and researching anything connected with policing in the County and making the results available to the public as displays in the museum, by publishing and on this web site. In 2007 the museum was opened to educational groups.

The naming of the museum indicates that its remit is all of the forces which were, at any time, part of the County of Cheshire. Many of the smaller forces have disappeared on amalgamation or with changes to the County boundaries. The museum is independent of the Cheshire Constabulary although the force does supply generous logistical support.

The museum is not just for the police. Policing is an integral part of our society and of the history of the County of Cheshire. To emphasise this connection the museum seeks links with many County institutions. The Grosvenor family is one of England's oldest noble houses, their main seat being at Eaton near Chester. They have always had friendly links with the Constabulary and the museum is delighted that the current head of the family, The Duke of Westminster, has agreed to become its patron.

The museum is a registered charity run on a voluntary basis with expenses being met by the donations of its supporters. From 2007 it has been open to groups by appointment. In 2010 the museum was refurbished with generous grants from Wren and Biffa and reopened in January 2011. It also became an accredited museum under the Museum, Libraries and Archives scheme by meeting national standards.





Our members than the volunteers who helped duringthe visit and we also than the museum's webmaster for a well constructed website.


20170511 "Lord Haw Haw" by Brian Joyce
IMPORTANT. The speaker Brian Joyce is no relation to the William Joyce who was the subject of the talk.


At very short notice due to unavailability of the planned speaker, Mr Brian Joyce stepped in and gave a talk.
The members thank Mr Brian Joyce for his delivering one of his talks to us on May 11th , 2017. 


An informative and detailed talk on the life of William Joyce, who was given the nick name of "Lord Haw Haw", who acted as an English Language 'news reader' and propagandist for the "Nazi"regime of Germany. Many points about his early life, political career, actual birth nationality and the eventual trip to Germany on a British passport were given. The talk was enjoyed by most of our group although some who had heard him broadcast found they learned things they did not know.

Rather than try to summarize a very complicated life story and events, we list references below which detail much of what was in Brian Joyce's talk.


The detail in the talk that was much discussed by folk at the meeting and effected then deeply was the fact that speaker told us of how William Joyce's activities effected his daughters by his first wife, they had never know him after their first few years, but one a devout Roman Catholic who the speaker had met kept doing voluntary service to a local Jewish Synagogue during her life.


Illustrations: (By coutesy of Mr Brian Joyce)

Photograph of Wiliam Joyce. 

The accent.
The nasal twang was due to a broken bone after a youthful conflict. However William Joyce's accent was not the origin of the "Haw Haw" (that was due to another person with a 'posh' accent) but it transferred to William Joyce and stuck.

The facial scar was due to a fight at a political meeting where he was cut by a sharp instrument (a razor, perhaps).


William Joyce showing facial scar.


The UK passport declaration.

William Joyce passport warning


Broadcasting while in Germany during the validity of the passport was the key element in the verdict of guilty for treason on one of the three offences of treason with which he was charged. The other two charges of treason were dismissed as they concerned dates outside the passport validity.


The Capture of William Joyce.

William Joyce capture



The Caricature based on Norman Baillie-Stewart's voice.

William Joyce false stereotype

The exact source of his sobriquet, 'Lord Haw-Haw,' is not entirely clear, but most attribute it to Daily Express radio critic Jonah Barrington, who described a propaganda broadcaster as speaking "English of the haw-haw, damn-it-get-out-of-my-way variety, and his strong suit is gentlemanly indignation."
Although the name "Lord Haw Haw" was attributed to Joyce, the broadcast heard by Barrington was actually made by Norman Baillie-Stewart, a Sandhurst-educated officer who's voice sounded far more pompous than the American-Irish nasal twang of Joyce.


The two short summaries of William Joyce's life are given in:


And an unfinished as it is incomplete of internal references in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia Article.


Trial article.

The Guardian report on his daughter.



Many books and articles exist on the persons and politics of that time and the summary by Brian Joyce of his research into William Joyce was well done.



Finds identification and handling – Warrington Museum

Date(s): Saturday 28 July 2012 - Wednesday 30 November -1

Timings: 11:00:00 - 15:00:00

Address: Warrington Museum & Art Gallery Museum Street, Cultural Quarter, Warrington, WA1 1JB


 PAS logo

Notice details:

website for PAS :

PAS finds days at Warrington Museum
Time of events 11.00-14.30 [11am until 2.30 pm]

Saturday 15th July 2017

Saturday 21st October 2017

Saturday 20th January 2018

Saturday 21st April 2018

Saturday 21st July 2018

Saturday 20th October 2018

Please bring along any objects which you wish to have identified and recorded on including metal finds, flint and pottery which are more than 300 years old. Please bring along the grid reference/find spot of the object also in order that a record can be made.

Guidance on how to get grid references using both maps and computer mapping software / GPS etc. can be provided

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 0151 478 4259
Mob: 07837356386 – (this artefact will not take images, calls or texts only!)