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 March 2003


Tonight - Wednesday - 5th March

The story of the Rossendale Male Voice Choir, a talk by Mr. J. Stanhope

Wednesday - 2nd April Rossendale Branch - AGM followed by: The Diary of Richard Kay (1716 - 1751) of Baldingstone near Bury, a Lancashire doctor, a very short talk by Rita Hirst to mark the recent republication of this book by the Chetham Society.

Wednesday - 7th May Henry Hargreaves Diary. A talk by Mrs. K. Fishwick.

Wednesday - 4th June Family History on the Internet. Places available only by prior arrangement with Kathleen Ashburner or Rita Hirst.

Wednesday - 2nd July Out Visit (Location not yet decided - if you have any preferences, see Kathleen Ashburner.

Members Links Website Page

Fred Moor the LFHHS Website Manager has been busy setting up a members link web page.

If you have a website about your family history, you can now have it linked from the main LFHHS website. Just visit http://www.lfhhs.org.uk/members/ where you can view the page that will hold the links, and use the "Add URL" option to bring up the onscreen form where you can submit details of your personal website for listing.

If you need more information or help about the process, just email webmaster@lfhhs.org.uk

Rossendale Ancestry:


A new member Ursula Sawyer, contacted me from Alice Springs. She asked me to put the following appeal in the newsletter:

My parents migrated to Australia in1971. My father Harold George Greaves was the only son of Ethel (nee Crossley) and Arthur Greaves. Ethel was born 1889 at Facit, Bacup to William & Sarah Ann Crossley. She died 25 January 1964 and is buried with Arthur in Bacup cemetery (plot D149). Arthur is an unknown quantity he was born in Bacup in 1889, parents unknown. He was an engine driver based at Bacup Locomotive Shed. He died 8th October 1948 aged 59. I would be interested in hearing from anyone researching this Greaves line.

We have had some success with this enquiry. Ursula has found a Crossley cousin in Whitworth and he is helping with this line.

I found Arthur Greaves aged 2 living with his maternal grandparents in 1891, at 3 Spring Street, Newchurch. They are Henry Green, born Sutton, Cambridge and his wife Rebecca, born at Hadden- ham, Cambs. Next door at 1 Spring Street were George Rickard and his wife Mary E. also born at Stretham. In 1881 at 5 Timber Street, I found another daughter Emily J. Green and I suggested that this could be Arthur’s mother. I now advised her to check the 1901 census on the internet at www.pro.gov.uk

This she did and found that Emily Jane Green had married Henry Greaves with their son Arthur still at Spring Street, Newchurch. It is not possible to research everything from Alice Springs, so if you would like to assist Ursula, you can contact her at email: ssawyer@ozemail.com.au

or write to POBox 3726, Alice Springs, NT Australia 0871.


Chris Pickup tells me that his piece in the December magazine "Clogs to Clogs in three generations" has generated a great deal of interest. Jack Ashworth of our Bury Group has contacted him and they share common Rostron ancestry.

Sheelagh Whittaker in Canberra pointed out that Richard Rostron is mentioned in William Turner’s book "Riot: the story of the East Lancashire Loom-Breakers in 1826". Chris has been motivated into carrying out further research and he will report back when/ if he sorts out various conflicting pieces of evidence. email c.pickup@ntlworld.com

Coming Events:

Telling Lives - A BBC Project

Tuesday 1st April at 6.30 at Burnley Mechanics Institute.

The BBC are arranging a number of presentations relating to "Telling Lives" around the region. The project will give people the tools to make a short digital film about events in their own lives.

Creation to Cremation

The North West Group of Family History Societies’ Annual Conference will be hosted this year by the Manchester & Lancashire FHS on Saturday 26th April 2003 9.00 am to 4.00pm at Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester.


9.00 am Registration

9.30 am Welcome - Lord Mayor of Manchester

9.45 am The History of Cremation Records by John Marsden

10.45 am Break and Refreshments

11.15 am Challenges & Changes, Civil celebrations by Hayden Keenan. Supt. Registrar.

12.15 pm Lunch

2.00pm Genetics in Genealogy by Prof. Peter Beighton.

Admission is by advanced booking only, closing date 14 April 2003. The non-returnable payment is £15. Please send form to M &LFHS, Clayton House, 59 Piccadilly, Manchester. M1 2AQ

Thirty Years on! 1973 - 2003

30 years ago our family history society was founded under the grand name of

the Rossendale Society for Genealogy and Heraldry.

To celebrate this event the LFHHS is returning to its roots.

This year the Annual Conference & AGM will be held on Saturday - 10th May 2003 at St. Mary’s Chambers, Rawtenstall.


Melvyn Hirst - Searching for the early origins of a calico printer:

James Greenway of Over Darwen. Peter Marshall - Heraldry in recycled Country Houses.

Thomas Woodcock - Norroy & Ulster King of Arms.

The Booking form was in your February Journal.

Crime and Punishment - A CILIP Local Studies Group, North West Branch Day school combining two lectures and two tours.

Wednesday 9th April 2003 to be held at the Judges’ Lodgings Museum, Church Street, Lancaster.


9.30 Arrive/ Coffee

10.00 am William Turner - Mary Hindle (of Haslingden) a miscarriage of Justice?

11.15 Alan Crosby. Quarter Sessions Records.

12 .5 Tour of the Judges’ Lodgings Museum.

12.45 - 2.15 Lunch (not provided)

2.15 Meet at Lancaster Castle main gate for a tour of the Castle. There will be an opportunity to discuss current developments at the Castle, including work on the new database of those transported.

Fee £15.00 Contact Mrs. E. Hume, 73 Manor Drive, Upton, Wirral, Cheshire, CH49 6NT

Closing date for applications Friday 21 March. Cheques to Local Studies Group NW.

Did you miss....

Bacup- Britannia Clog Dancers? a talk by Mr. Alan Clarke and Joe Healey

Alan Clarke gave a very humorous talk, Joe Healey was there to add some sanity to the proceedings. The Britannia Coconut Dancers continue a tradition of male clog dancing which has flourished in Rossendale for 150 years. It is believe that this form of dancing was brought to the area by Cornish tin miners but this has never been firmly established. Searches of the census have never succeeded in tracing Cornish men in the valley at that early date.

The Britannia, Bacup dancers are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. Alan Clarke was more interested in the recent history of the troupe and its exploits. He does not dance himself. He plays the English concertina. He played some snatches of the tradition tunes used for the dances.

Joe Healey demonstrated the uniform, which is based on the outfits worn by Moorish pirates (with the extra addition of Lancashire clogs), each man wears white knee socks and black breeches. These have bells tied to braid round the bottom. They have black woollen jumpers and a white kilt with a strap over the shoulder, styled to denote whether they are a man or a "woman". The hat is made of cotton twill with ribbons, a rosette, pom- poms and a feather! They also traditional black up their faces. The coconut shells are attached to their knees, wrists and middle. The best time to see them is Easter Saturday when they dance through the streets of Bacup.