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 October 2005

Programme: 2005

Wednesday 5th October

Pendle Witches

by Mrs Stockforth

Wednesday 2nd November

"Lest we Forget".

A talk by Mary Davison.

Wednesday 7th December

Christmas Festivities

Wednesday 4th January 2006

Enquiry and research evening

Coming Events

Saturday 8th October

Awesome Archives a family event will be held at Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston

10 . 30 am - 3 . 00pm (please take your grandchildren to enjoy the fun). Tel: 01772 533039

email: recordoffice@ed.lancscc.gov.uk

Web: www.archives.lancashire.gov.uk

Rossendale Ancestry

Do you have Rossendale ancestors? Are you a member of the Society? If so, please let us have your story, or questions for this section of the newsletter.

Did you miss.... our talk on mines and miners in Rossendale by Clive Seal?

Clive Seal has a great knowledge of the mining industry in Rossendale and the men who worked in the mines. He gave a brief summary of the early history of coal in the Valley, when there were many outcrops of coal -seams varying in thickness from a few inches to 4 or 5 feet. This coal could be worked with comparative ease but it was regarded of little importance until the coming of steam. Clive’s talk was mainly centred round Grimebridge Colliery at Lumb.

He showed slides of men working in grim, congested, claustrophobic and unsafe conditions. We were impressed by photographs of men with bare feet and caps stuffed with cork. It was their job the push (with their heads) the loaded trolleys, along the mine shafts.

After nationalization the only Rossendale colliery to be driven by the National Coal Board was Hill Top Colliery which was opened in 1948 and continued until 1966. At that time all the available reserves had been worked, Grimebridge closed at about the same time.

However this was not the end, Bill Clayton, a collier from Grimebridge decided it would be possible to reopen Grimebridge. It took him 14 years, before he succeed. Together with his partner another Grimebridge man Rodney Mitchell, they employed 31 men in the early 1980s. Later they ran into difficulties but Bill Clayton kept the mine working in one form or another until in 1997 he obtained the Hill Top licence. This is the last colliery in Lancashire, lack of manpower means it is largely inactive.

Additions to the Branch Library

The Society has produced two new projects on CD. These are available for loan by members. They are:

1. Church and Clayton le Moors Cemetery, Dill Hall Lane, Church, Lancs. Burial Registers 1889 - 1999. There are 15,950 burials, coverage is mainly for the towns of Church, Clayton le Moors, Accrington and Oswaldtwistle but also covers entries for many other local towns. The data includes age, full name, relationship, date and place of death.

2. The Young Family Historian: A young (and possibly not so young) person’s guide to genealogy by Bill Taylor, Vice President of the Society. 2005..

This CD is ideal for the youngsters who are just starting to investigate the origins of their family and are wondering where they lived and what life was like for them. It could make a useful present. Why not take it home and try it out.

If you wish to purchase copies of the CDs they are available from Dorothy Haworth. For more information email Dorothy on fiche@lfhhs.org.uk

The Irish in Haslingden Exhibition

Our exhibition was held at Haslingden library during September 2005 There were two main themes. The first covered the economic and social reasons behind the mass migration from Ireland 1840 - 1860, and beyond. We dealt with the following aspects... Where they came from; Why they left, Migration routes and destinations.

Secondly we concentrated on the numbers who came to Haslingden... Who they were and where they lived and the occupations they undertook in Haslingden (particularly conditions in the mills and the effects of the cotton famine). We listed the names of the Irish who appeared in the 1841 and 1851 censuses. A small section was devoted to the development of the Roman Catholic Church and notable personages (James Moran and Denis Cartin) who worked for the good of the town. Another section covered the life of Michael Davitt, who came to Haslingden, aged 5, in 1851 and became an MP and Irish patriot.

In addition, a number of people gave us their own family pedigrees. These were a popular feature and it was disappointing that we did not receive more o these. I hope this can be remedied when we repeat the display in March, as part of the activities commemorating the centenary of Michael Davitt’s death in 1906.

On Saturday 24th September, members of our Irish Ancestry Group gave advice on tracing ancestors in Ireland. They dealt with a steady stream of enquiries throughout the day.

All in all, the exhibition was judged a great success.

We were gratified to read the many comments in the Visitors Book at the library. The general consensus was that it was "interesting and informative". One lady wrote "Just brilliant - I remember my granddad talking about all this - thanks for the memories". Certainly many memories were stirred, especially by the photographs of the "Irish"streets, Rakefoot, Marsden Square, Wilkinson Street and Pleasant Street. Whenever we visited the library, We encountered small groups of pensioners discussing the people and deeds of long ago. It was fascinating to listen to them.

The whole experience was summed up by another entry in the Visitors’ Book:- "This isn’t an exhibition - it’s our history. Their footsteps led us to be here this day and back in yonder years, only the strong or the lucky survived! Thank you very much".

It was hard work but comments such as the above have made it worth while. We thank everyone who assisted us.

Rita Hirst and Mary Davison.

The Scholes Family - Remembered in stone

The owner of this gravestone at Newchurch had a family history written on this stone. It lies, as part of the paving on the east side of the church.

The gravestone:

Sacred to the memory of Henry Scholes, jnr. who departed this life/
July 4th 1822 aged 30 years/
How sudden and how awful was the stroke/
by which the slender thread was broke/
Reader reflect what happened unto me/
For aught thou know may happen unto thee/
Also Thomas Scholes who departed this life May 11th 1809 aged 26 years/
In prime of life were we cut off no longer could we stay/
Because it was our saviour’s will to call us both away/
Also Jane the daughter of Jonathan Scholes of Boothfold who died October 1st 1827 in the 15th year of her age/
Refrain your tears, pray shed no more/
because your child has gone before/
In love she lived. in peace she died/
Her life was asked but was denied/
Also Mary Ann their daughter who departed this life on the 27th day of October 1835 in the 16th year of her age.

On a metal plate set into the stone:

In memory of those not interred here Henry Scholes/
Senior, Wheelwright of Booth Fould died Feby. 16th 1823 aged 68 years, interred at Whalley/
Also Betty his wife who died in childbed April 9th 1805 aged 44 years/
interred at Blackburn/
Also Ann their daughter and wife of John Greenwood of Crosslee who died in childbed Jany. 28th 1817 aged 22 years and interred/ at Todmorden.

Another metal plate:

In memory of William Scholes/
an Artisan/
who died at Bagslade/
April 20th 1844 aged 67 years and was interred in Unitarian Chapel, Newchurch, Rossendale/
Also John Scholes born ? July/
Sergeant of the 48th(?) died at Westhaughton Dec. 5th 1849 aged (69?) years/
sons of Henry and Betty Scholes.

How wonderful to find a stone that brings together all the scattered members of a family and gives their place of burial.