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Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society

News and Views

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Jun 2015
 

Sat 27 - Mon 29 Jun 2015
Trip to Stirling

 

This year’s trip was to Stirling and the surrounding area. We travelled north on Sat 27th June and returned on Mon 29th. Despite a couple of late withdrawals because of illness we still had a party of 45, made up of members of CHAS and friends. We left Chorley promptly at 8.30 and stopped at Tebay Services and Moffat en route. The timing of the lunch stop at Moffat was impeccable as it coincided with a parade of vintage cars up and down the high street. It was very lively.
Travelling on, we by-passed Stirling to arrive at the Wallace Memorial, erected to the memory of William Wallace.


Wallace Memorial, erected to the
memory of William Wallace.

The monument was built in a commanding position with superb views over to Stirling and its castle as well as of the hills to the north and the Forth valley. After a restful few hours on the coach, our muscles were stimulated not only by a steep climb up to the monument, but also by climbing over 200 steps to the top of the monument itself. At least that climb could be broken up by visits to the interesting exhibitions on the different floors of the monument.
When we came down we were captivated by an actor giving a Scottish soldier’s view of life in Wallace’s army.


Steady on with that sword! This is the United Kingdom!!


The photo was taken on a reccie visit earlier in the year! This is Rough Castle, the remains of a Roman Fort, which is probably the best preserved part of the wall.
 

From the memorial we drove to our hotel, The Golden Lion, which is situated in the old centre of Stirling. It was a very convenient location and gave us good accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis for two nights.
The weather had been fine on the Saturday. It was less kind on our visit to Falkirk on the Sunday morning! We drove to the Falkirk Wheel, where we were booked for a trip on a barge at 12.30. This allowed us time to visit the neighbouring Antonine Wall. It was only a 20 minute walk away, but it rained most of the way. The following photo was taken on a reccie visit earlier in the year! This is Rough Castle, the remains of a Roman Fort, which is probably the best preserved part of the wall.
The Falkirk Wheel lived up to everyone’s expectations. It is a modern engineering masterpiece that replaced redundant locks and re-connected and re-invigorated the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. It is stunning to see and thrilling to be lifted and lowered by it on a barge. Never were so many photos taken.........
Lunch was taken in the modern visitors centre. The staff coped well with our numbers and the soup and sandwiches deal was a great success.


The Falkirk Wheel lived up to everyone’s expectations. It is a modern engineering masterpiece that replaced redundant locks and re-connected and re-invigorated the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. It is stunning to see and thrilling to be lifted and lowered by it on a barge. Never were so many photos taken.........


The Bannockburn Experience proved to be a very modern look at the one of the most famous Anglo- Scottish battles. Outside the building there is the spot commemorating where the Scots raised their flag, and statue of Robert the Bruce.


After lunch we headed off to Bannockburn. Our driver took us by that other local landmark, The Kelpies.
Indoors, there was a hi-tech, 3d/hologram tour of the battle of Bannockburn, the leaders, their weapons and strategies, played out not just in front of us, but around us and between us. Several of us ducked as the first flight of cross-bow bolts sped across the room! For most of us, this type of exhibition was a new experience, but one which brought to life those events so long ago and gave a clearer understanding of why and how the Scots won that battle. Afterwards there was an opportunity to handle the weapons, clothing and armoury that the protagonists would have used. Steady on Bill!


Steady on Bill!


Rich in the history of the Scottish monarchs.

The next scheduled visit on the programme was to Stirling Castle was at 12.30 on Monday. However members of the party used the fine evenings and the Monday morning to explore the Old Town, taking in such features as the Old Town Wall, Cowane’s Hospital (and wonderful scones), Holy Rude Church, The Old Town Cemetery, Old Stirling Bridge and the Beheading Stone. Much to see!
We toured the Castle between 12.30 and 3.30 individually or as part of guided tours. It provided a wide variety of exhibits from military history through to tapestries, with stylish buildings of different vintages, which were rich in the history of the Scottish monarchs.

And then there were the ramparts to be walked and the magnificent views to be seen, including the Kings Knot.

The return home went smoothly, but our heads were still buzzing with the sights of the day and with reflections on Scotland’s history, and, of course, with its often fractious relationship with England.

Christine and John Harrison
July 2015


Magnificent views to be seen, including the Kings Knot.

 

 

Tue 09 Jun 2015
The Lightollers – David Horsfield and Peter Jackson

 

Peter Jackson first explained he would give a detailed talk on the Lightoller family tree. Acknowledging the fact that many of those present would be interested in Charles Herbert Lightoller (born 1874),of Titanic fame, he asked that it be put in the background until David’s part of the talk.

The Lightoller name, there are varied ways of spelling it, crops up in Brindle church records from the 1660’s. From these records Peter had established the family tree from which he was able define different characters and chart the lives they led. It seemed to be common that the men married women from outside the locality.


Peter Jackson & David Horsfield

The Chorley connection started with a Lightoller opening the first cotton mill in Water Street. Peter had identified the movers and shakers with family members playing roles in the economic, political and cultural lives of Chorley.

It was in 1883, however, that the cotton manufacturing business went into liquidation when Frederick, father of Charles Herbert, was the owner. Following this Frederick left for New Zealand leaving his son behind to be brought up by an aunt.

It was from here that David picked up the story that Charles Herbert did not want a life in cotton but it was probably cotton that took him to Liverpool. Here he went to sea at the age of 13, his first ship being a sailing ship, the Primrose Hill.

Various adventures, some life threatening, were described and by the age of 20 he had switched to steam ships, only returning to England at the age of 25, where he took his Master’s Certificate. This led him to join the White Star Line and after several ships he became the first officer on the RMS Titanic. In fact, because of events elsewhere a more senior officer was appointed, that meant he was ‘bumped down’ to second officer for its fateful maiden voyage.

He was the most senior officer that survived its sinking and was picked up by the SS Carpathia, captained by a Bolton man.

Post Titanic, Lightoller remained with the White Star Line but during World War 1 served with the Royal Navy. He served with distinction and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal on two separate occasions.

Between the wars he retired from the White Star Line and bought a 60ft motor yacht, Sundowner’. His adventures continued with sailing trips in the late 1930’s around the north German coast that mirrored Erskine Childers’ novel, The Riddle of the Sands. He also played his part with Sundowner by bringing back 130 men from Dunkirk.

Peter and David’s thoroughly well researched brought us the life and times of, not only Charles Herbert, but also many other Lightollers.

Peter Robinson


Charles Herbert Lightoller
(1874 – 1952)

 

Fri 05 Jun 2015
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Euxton. Golden Jubilee Celebrations

 

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Euxton opened for the first of two open afternoons to commemorate the School Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
The open days are Fri 5th June 2015 2:00pm – 3:30pm and Fri 12th June 2:00pm – 3:30pm
The many displays illustrated the history of the school and how the information was gathered. Results of the research work has been combined to produce a comprehensive Commemorative Golden Jubilee Souvenir booklet packed with information and photographs.
Click here for a pdf copy.
You can check out the school’s website here.


Before the unveiling in the rain


Commemorative Golden Jubilee Souvenir booklet.
Click here for your own pdf copy.
 

The School log book with entries from 1924 to 1977 -->