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Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

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Apr 2008

 

Sun 27th Apr 2008

Port Sunlight Village, Cheshire.

32 members and friends departed Chorley for Port Sunlight Village, Cheshire, dispersing on arrival, some went walkabout, others into the Lady Lever Art Gallery, and some 'straight for a coffee.' We had a wonderful day, being in the Art Gallery for 2/3 hrs was awe inspiring. William Hesketh Lever established the gallery, and named it after his wife, and it was opened in 1922, by Princess Beatrice ( youngest daughter of Queen Victoria). It was built to house the personal collection of William Hesketh Lever, first Viscount Leverhulme. The collection includes outstanding Victorian paintings, especially Pre-Raphaelite works; significant late 18th century paintings: some of the best 18th century British furniture on display anywhere and the best collection of Wedgewood Jasperware anywhere in the world. There was to be a free concert at 2-00 p.m. in the Gallery, but as we were booked into the Museum for 2-30 p.m. we had to be satisfied listening to the rehearsal. The Museum was another enlightening journey, first a short film about the beginnings of Port Sunlight, it's development and growth, then into the Museum proper where there is lots of information, hands on things, room settings and history trails, complimented at the end by a lovely shop. We were then met by our guide, who joined us back on our coach for an historical tour of Port Sunlight Village, relating to the men and women who worked there, the facilities provided for them, the gardens the church, the theatre , the lovely houses, with gardens, when most people at that time didn't have a home of their own, let alone one with a garden and inside bathroom and toilet, and beautiful surroundings. A few hours is never long enough, but with a lasting memory, perhaps some of us will return.

Tue 08 Apr 2008

Joan Langford - Farington: A Lancashire Cotton Mill Village.

This is the first time Joan has visited our Society and we were certainly in for a treat. She spoke about the whole life of the Farington Cotton Mill, from its building in the 1830s to its closure in 1972. The many illustrations brought the whole story alive and relating personal anecdotes she had been told added colour. The mill was originally built by William Boardman and his partner William Bashal. With the coming of the North Union railway there was the opportunity to expand the industrial revolution in the area. The Farington population in 1801 was a mere 382 but by the 1830s it had expanded to 1,800. The 1860s cotton famine hit the area badly and the mill was closed for 2 years due to the lack of raw materials. The mill owners continued their commitment to the workers and provided assistance in many areas. Generally mills did either spinning or weaving but at Farington they did both. After 137years production stopped. The weaving shed closed in 1970 and spinning ended in 1971. Joan not only researched a huge amount of history but published it in her book ‘Farington: A Lancashire Cotton Mill Village’ This means that the information and memories she has recorded are now preserved.


Joan Langford - the fabric table
cover was made at Farington Mill.


Mill workers.


The last shift.


The flying shuttle which made it all possible.

Wed 02 Apr 2008

Wigan Archaeological Society.
Brian Marshall on the Cathars of southern France.

Brian Marshall spoke to Wigan about the Cathars.

Catharism was a name given to a religious sect in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. They constructed and left a legacy of many castles all across southern France.

Brian spoke to us at Chorley on Tue 10 Apr 2007 about Lancashire Medieval Monasteries, including Cockersand Abbey.


Brian Marshall at Wigan.