A member of The Federation of Family History Societies
St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall


Rossendale Branch Newsletter June 2007

Programme: 2007

Wednesday 6th June

A peep into a Diary

Babara Riding

Wednesday 4th July

Derivation of surnames

Leo Turner

Wednesday 1st August

Research Evening

Wednesday 5th September

Out Visit Blackburn Cathedral

Please give your names to Leo Turner, if you wish to attend this event.

Coming Events

Saturday 30 June

Yorkshire Family History Fair York Racecourse (Knavesmire Exhibition Centre) Usual stalls – Free Parking – Admission £4 - Cafe 10.00am – 4.30pm


Haslingden Roots meet every Tuesday Evening at Haslingden Public Library from 6.30 – 8.30pm.

There are 10 Computers which are bookable one week in advance which have access to the Ancestry Web Site through the Library Edition. These sessions are run with support from the group but please remember we are volunteers and cannot always guarantee you one to one help and advice.

If you are new to family history or unable to use a computer then you can book a one to one session.

To gain access to our records or to find out what we hold please contact the Secretary Jackie Ramsbottom 21 Shap Close, Baxenden Accrington, BB5 2TL Tel 01254 394794 jax@grane92.freeserve.co.uk

E-Petition – Local BMDs

This petition to the Prime Minister seeks support to force local register offices to electronically index their records from 1837 – 1907 when a new on-line electronic registration system was introduced. While some areas have already opted to do this under the auspices of the UKBMD umbrella, and publish data on freely searchable web databases, other areas show no such inclination. This petition seeks to mandate that action. While the public can legally access the indexes in person at each office, this mode of access is unacceptable in this day and age. Also, that any modern day business can still work like this in the 21st century is appalling. The deadline to sign up by is 1st January 2007.

The website address is: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/LocalBMDIndexing/

News from the Society’s AGM

The Way Forwards proposals were accepted at the AGM and will start to be implemented at the next Executive meeting in July. The Treasurer, Carole Walker and the Membership Secretary Pip Cowling both stood down at the AGM. Carole has been replaced by Stephen Benson of our Preston Branch. The New Membership Secretary is David Burgess, a native of Blackburn but now living in Leeds. Kathleen Ashburner will no longer be Rossendale’s Executive Representative. John Dalton our branch Chairman has undertaken this role, with occasional assistance from Kathleen. I have resigned as Executive Minute Secretary.

Rossendale Miscellany

News, Notes and Queries

This is the time of the year when we receive visits from out of town members and often they take the opportunity to come to our Haslingden Roots sessions, one such recent visitor was Geoff Mawdsley. His father Harold Mawdsley was born in Cloughfold in 1886. Harold’s parents, Peter Mawdsley (Maudsley) and Ann Roberts were married in 1891.

Peter died in Stockport in 1908 but is buried at Rawtenstall. His parents were Henry & Ann Mawdsley, they lived at Cowpe Lenches for many years. If you can help Geoff email him at dege-m@ntlworld.com

Newchurch in Rossendale –

Registers. Craig Thornber has sent me another note on his progress in transcribing the Newchurch registers for the Lancashire Parish Register Society. He tells me that Manchester City Archives have been closed due to a fire. So he has had to resort to using the film version of the BTs, to work on the section for which the original registers are lost.

So far he has done from 1763 to 1770. The marriage registers for this period survive and he photographed them at MCL so that he could work on them at home.


I have had 3 Ashworth enquiries in the past week. Hopefully, when Craig has finished sorting out the Newchurch in Rossendale registers, it will be a little easier to research the Ashworths and all the other ancient Rossendale names. I wonder whether any of you have managed to trace an Ashworth line back through the 18th century. If you have, please let me know. There will be more on the Ashworths next month.

Luke Ralph & Sons –

Tinsmiths Extracts from their Workbook

Last month Marie Ives told us she had a ledger which had belonged to her grandfather, Harry Ralph & great grandfather, Luke Ralph.. She says "In 1920 my great grandfather charged his customers 2 shillings per hour, for a tradesman to work on jobs at various mills. He would keep a few pence for profit from the job and pay his workers about 1s.3d per hour. Alas there is no wages book to refer to amongst the books that have survived".

Below are some items copied from his ledger, typical of the jobs the firm did.

J. Barlow & Sons Helmshore.

1823 March

1 Funnel repaired 4d

1 Spring Oil Can repaired 1s.2d

1923 April 6th

25 Weft Cans repaired & balanced £3.15s.0d

24 Weft Cans, steel handles on 12lbs £7.16s 0d

1923 October 19th 

1 Copper Bucket repaired 1s.0d

2 New Steel Covers & Brackets Measuring, Making & Fixing 11s.6d

JH Birtwistle & Co. Park Mill

1920 Dec. 9th

Man & apprentice 4 hrs each at mill 15s.4d

1921 May 17th 1 New Strong Guard for scutching machine Complete £1.17s.0d Coates, Reedsholme

1928 Oct. 17th 1 New Strong head crated cover & plates for motor lorry. Measuring, making, fitting 18s.3d Hutch Bank Mill Co.

1920, April 11th

2 men at mill. 23 hrs each at 2/6 £5.15s.0d. Allowances on 46 hours at £2 7s.8d

1920 Sept. 3rd 1 New Gal. Bucket 6s. 3d James Hasler, Vale Mill.

The firm did various jobs at this mill similar to the ones listed above, but changed tack in November 1923, when he charged them for a man and a motor to Manchester and the bill was for 4 and a half hours at 4s.6d, a total of £1.0s.3d After this the firm had various jobs with the lorry to Manchester, Oldham, Blackburn and Skipton amongst other places.

The majority of jobs are now redundant; all the mills are gone as is Luke Ralph & Sons. Most of the work the firm did towards the end of its existence was at Porritts & Spencer, Helmshore, right up until the firm closed down.

One of the most interesting accounts is for Haslingden Industrial Cooperative Society;

They did lots of work for the Bake house, making loaf tins & baking trays as well as repairing egg whisks & buckets, things we would not hesitate to throw out these days but the jobs kept them in work. They also did work for the Butchery Dept., making tubes for their sausage machine etc. Some of their work was for the various branches of the Co-op that were spread throughout Haslingden, Ewood Bridge is mentioned as is Pine Street, Grane Road, Blackburn Road and Central Branch…..

Another interesting account is with Haslingden Corporation, this again is one of the early accounts. In May 1920 they supplied a sample dustbin cover at a charge of 1s.3d.

On June 6th 6 new strong galvanised pails for the piggeries at the Town’s Yard cost the ratepayers of Haslingden £8.12s.0d.

August 11th, 2 new strong sheet iron plates were supplied and a stove pipe repaired at the Secondary School at a cost of 12s.3d. In November 1 steel ash barrow and frame – remaking and new steel bottom put in, plus 26 new bolts and new cross rails put in, all for £2.19.6d.

On January 12th a bigger job was done, at the Public Hall, this comprised 1 large exhaust ventilator repaired and remaking – all new zinc top and galvanised bottom and base and knob and painting complete for the large sum of £21.17s.6d.

By September of the same year they were repairing a copper pipe for the petrol tank of a motor lurry and repairing a motor horn, later in the same month another copper pipe was repaired for a motor lurry. The total charge for these jobs was 5s.3d. The spelling of lurry is as my great grandfather wrote it, I think a bit of Haslingden dialect is creeping in here.

In October, a radiator was repaired for a motor bus and in December a new steam pipe was put on a road roller for 4s.9d. If the firm was doing repairs to Council vehicles one can only assume that there was no Council mechanic at this time."

Marie Ives does not have email. If you are overseas and would like to contact her, I will gladly pass on a message. Her home address is 4 Carr Mount, Bury Road, Rawtenstall, Rossendale