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 2007

Programme: 2007

Wednesday 3rd October

Mr W. J. Taylor

Making the most from the Census

Wednesday 7th November

Three short talks by members

Jean Harrison : Mary Davison : Rita Hirst

Wednesday 5th December

Christmas Festivities

Wednesday 2nd January 2008

To Be Announced

Coming Events

Thursday 18th Oct & Saturday 20th Oct

LFHHS Resource Centre Oswaldtwistle

Open Days 2pm to 5pm

Over the past several months considerable amount of work has taken place at the Society's Resource Centre, 2 The Straits, Oswaldtwistle and prior to the formal opening we would like to give members to opportunity to view the premises. We would be grateful if you could make your members aware of these days and we look forward to seeing you.

The following is a link for a map of the area:


Saturday 17th November

Pendle & Burnley Branch Family History

Open Day, 10 am to 3:30 pm
Burnley Library,
Grimshaw Street,
Burnley BB11 2BD.

Facts from the Federation

Disruption to services at Kew

To enable changes to be made at The National Archives (TNA) at Kew, on the first floor of the Family Records Centre, will be disrupted from Autumn 2007 to Spring 2008.

Efforts will be made to maintain a full service during this period but there may be unavoidable delays and disruption.

TNA will be closed to the public between 1st and 16th December 2007. A further closure will take place in the week commencing 21st January 2008. (details to be confirmed).

The online services will not be affected.

TNA will publish more details in mid October. This will be available on their website www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

If you are planning to visit the Nation Archives at Kew, please check the website for the latest information to minimise the risk of being inconvenienced by these changes or check the Federation of Family History Societies website at www.ffhs.org.uk

Rossendale Miscellany:

News notes and queries

Did you miss our out visit?

Last month 20 of us assembled in Blackburn for our annual Out Visit. This year we had arranged to visit the Cathedral Church of Blackburn St. Mary. We were told that there had been a place of Christian worship, on this site for over 1000 years.

In 1926, the Diocese of Blackburn was raised to Cathedral status. Work began on extending the Parish Church to fit its new role. but this was interrupted by the war.. The Cathedral was re-consecrated in 1977, with internal work on the church completed. The Cathedral contains many important works of religious art., modernistic sculptures, engraved glass windows and (in my view) unconventional Stations of the Cross.

We finished the tour with coffee and biscuits in the crypt tearooms & gift shop.

Open Day at Newchurch St. Nicholas

On Sunday the 8th September, I went with Michael Hiluta to the Open Day at Newchurch. Michael was ecstatic when he discovered all the original parish registers on view and available for consultation. We have finally donated our bound copy of the Newchurch MIs to the Rev. Sue Davies. Michael was able to help several visitors locate their family graves.


We held the last of our workshops at Rawtenstall library on 17th September. This was an extremely successful enterprise. It is hoped that we can arrange further workshops in the near future.

Haslingden Roots - Research Evenings

Haslingden Roots will reopen in November, on a Monday evening probably from 6.00pm – 8.30pm.

For further information and to book-in, contact Jackie Ramsbottom at 01254 394794 or email:

Osborne Green – Chelsea Pensioner

In July this year, I gave some details of Osborne Green, who was born in Norfolk in 1821 and after spending many years in the army, retired to Rings Nook, Goodshaw Fold. In the census returns, Osborne was described as a Chelsea Pensioner.

Colin Hollis, who made the original enquiry, tells me that he has now acquired Osborne’s discharge papers. Colin says:

"He was in the Army 22 years 1837-1859 and was discharged for medical reasons, Chronic Rheumatism. He received a pension from the Chelsea Hospital for long service. Although these papers do not give the actual dates it gives his service abroad:- West Indies 10 months, North Africa (I think!) 2.5 years, Ionian Islands 4 years, Gibraltar 1 year total over 9 years.

He only made it to Sergeant which makes me wonder how one of his children was born in Gibraltar as I imagined only Officers would have been allowed to have their wives with them. There was .a court martial and imprisonment for a month or so, but I cannot read the reason for this.

Anyway I am so glad I started doing this I now have about 100 people on the family tree."

email: colinhollis@btinternet.com

editor’s noteBy coincidence, in this month’s {October 2007} Family Tree Magazine, there is an article by Iain Swinnerton entitled "Married Life in the Army", he says only six wives per company were allowed to accompany their husbands overseas. These were selected by drawing lots.

Can you help:

Ashworth/ Wright/ Lord/ Clegg/ Taylor/

Wendy Kelly also contacted me in July regarding her Wright and Ashworth families. She now says:

"the latest people I have found are David Ashworth born 1913 married to Lavina Lord, and John Ashworth born 1906 married to Winifred Clegg, they are the children of Eliza Wright, and Harold Ashworth who were married at Newchurch in 1905". She is also interested in Nancy Wright 1872- 1937 (who appears to have had a daughter Mary in 1901) just prior to her marriage to Richard Henry Taylor, that same year, at Crawshawbooth St. John.. She would appreciate hearing from anyone connected to these people.

email: wendy60@fastmail.fm

Memories of Bacup in the 1950s

Thank you Grandpa by Beryl Venables

I love my Grandpa Jackson. I loved him when we visited him when I was little. He had a dish with sweets he called 'buttons'. I loved to say the word trying to imitate his accent. I was renowned for asking 'Would Grandpa like a button', just because I did. Sometimes we would walk down the hill to Queenies sweet shop to restock supplies of what I would later learn were Mint Imperials.

I was born and brought up in Essex so Rossendale in the early 1950's was a different world in many ways.

I knew houses built of brick or rendered, not stone. I have thought hard and cannot remember a house down south without an indoor toilet. And why did Grandpa sleep in a large room that had a bath at the other end? I had also never known Pears transparent soap before.

The front door of Grandpa’s house had a glass top panel of different textured pieces of glass – it was my introduction to the Art Nouveau style which I still love. Luckily I have photos that include that door panel. The front room window was large not unlike the weavers’ windows, but I think this was by design not because the house was that old.

The back room – the kitchen – was my delight. It was larger than our sitting room at home and was very much the hub of the house. One wall was the range and a wonderful cupboard. A range was new to me – always warm with an open fire, and a copper hood to the oven and narrow plate warmer. It glowed in all senses.

The cupboard went floor to ceiling and behind the four doors was all the china and cutlery. The bottom cupboard held pans and large bowls, while the top was plates and cup hooks. I loved the way that the cups hung on their hooks. They were such lovely shaped cups. I have looked for the same shape for many years but without success.

There was a butler sink that had one brass, cold water tap, and a gas cooker. Two small rooms led off the kitchen - a pantry and a washroom.

The pantry was another revelation. Wire mesh, not glass, in the small window, a marble slab for a cold shelf and open wooden shelves. The wash room – such wonders! A wooden slatted floor. This lifted up in quarters and the solid floor was sloped to a drain in the middle. A copper stood in the corner and zinc baths. I am sure there must have been a washboard somewhere!

The back porch had a side shelf that had jugs left out for the morning milk delivery. Mr Disley came by horse and cart with churns. He filled a smaller carrying churn, returning to the cart after a few deliveries. I expect the horse moved on at Mr Disley’s command, rather than use of the reins. I loved the crochet cloths with beads round the edge that were used to cover the jugs.

The outside toilet seemed quite large and was well kept. It had a lovely wooden seat, and I presume the walls were regularly limewashed as it was not a damp, dark room.

In later life I have come to love my Grandpa Jackson all over again. He bought a family Bible which had genealogy pages and he had carefully noted priceless details. To be continued

email berylvenables@onetel.com