THE CHORLEY HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
In September of 2003 the society celebrated its 50th year since the inaugural public meeting was held in the Reform Club, Chorley, when 16 people attended. The first Annual General Meeting of the society was held just one year later. As the 1954 Annual General Meeting was the first, we agreed that we were well and truly 'founded'. In 2004, we celebrate our 50th anniversary, and will be holding an exhibition during August, showing the work we have been involved with, over 50 years.
The '50 Year Exhibition' will be at Chorley Central Library in Union Street during the month of August, and will be moved to other local branch libraries during September/October, when it is hoped that the displays will be on show for two weeks at Adlington, Coppull, Clayton and if possible, Eccleston as well.
The society was formed due to the interest in local archaeological sites and artifacts by three founding members. These were; the late Alderman Charles Williams, Mayor of Chorley in the early 1950's, who was a well known local historian. The late Mr John Winstanley of Horwich, and Mr Jack Smith of Chorley, (who originated the first meeting of the three during mid 1953). At the first public meeting, Mr Williams was elected Chairman, Mr Winstanley became Secretary, and Mr Smith the Treasurer. (Mr Jack Smith is Hon Secretary today, after a 33 year period in that post).
formation of the society came about due to Mr Winstanley and Mr Smith's
systematic search of the local moorland, to find many flint chipping
sites which had previously not been known about. To further this
research, contact was made with Mr Williams, who felt that the formation
of a society could further this research work.
name of the society at founding was 'Chorley and District Archaeological
Society'. This name was thought to be appropriate at this time, for not
only was it the first archaeological society in Chorley, it was the
first in Central Lancashire!. It was also a subject, which, in the
1950's, was becoming more of interest to the general public.
1953/54 Lancashire's prehistoric history was somewhat minimal, with much
to be discovered. By establishing our society at this location and at
this time, was not only to put Chorley on the Prehistoric Map, but to
try and find out how Chorley fitted into the Prehistory of Lancashire.
By combining the historical knowledge of the Chorley District known by our founder chairman Mr Williams, with new information that was being obtained by Mr Winstanley and Mr Smith, about the prehistory of Chorley, we saw as a way forward, to create further interest amongst Chorley people about the archaeology and history that was all around us, with so much yet to be discovered.