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St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
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Rossendale Branch Newsletter February 2005

Programme: 2005

Wednesday 2nd February

North Country Folk Lore

Peter Watson

Wednesday 2nd March

As we were......

Kathy Fishwick from Rossendale Civic Society will talk about the three Boroughs of Rossendale (Bacup, Rawtenstall - Haslingden) prior to the formation of the Borough of Rossendale in 1974.

Wednesday 6th April

AGM followed by a short talk.

Items from the past

Ken Simpson will bring some more objects from Bacup Natural History Museum for you to identify.

Wednesday 4th May

Where there’s a will ....

R. Norris will talk about some aspects of making a will.

Lancashire Record Office

will be open on the second Saturday of each month during 2005. 10.00am until 4.00pm Please note that no documents will be produced between 12.30pm and 1.30pm

September 2005

An exhibition is being planned for next September at Haslingden Library to be entitled -

The Irish in Haslingden

If you have Irish ancestors, you might like to be thinking how you can participate. Family trees, photographs, etc. will be welcome.

Coming Events

Saturday 5th March 2005

Irish Ancestry Group Mini Conference at The Resource Centre, 2 The Straits, Oswaldtwistle 10.30am to 4.30pm. Payment £5. Details and application forms are available at the back of the room. Enquiries: email mpurcell@redbankmp.fsnet.co.uk.

Tuesday 15 March 2005

Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston - User Consultation Open meeting. All users are invited, especially those who consider that they have a disability, to discuss all aspects of the service and in particular, to discuss how easy you find it to access the Record Office, both services and archives, and how they may be improved.

Sunday 20th March 2005

Cumbria Family History Society Family and Local History Fair 10.00am - 4.00pm Sheoherd’s Inn, Rosehill Estate, Carlisle, Cumbria (200 yards from M6, Junction 43) £2.00 admission.

Rossendale Census Indexes

To conclude this series on the availability of Rossendale Census Indexes I will now deal with the 1901 census. Although this census can be accessed online at www.1901census.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ the branch decided to go ahead and index 1901 in the same format as previous censuses i.e. "Head of Household" etc. So, if you are having trouble finding the name you want, you may have a second chance with us. They are not yet published but it is hoped this will be rectified in the next few months.

In 1894 there had been a major local government reorganisation, which involved the final break up of the old established Townships and their division into newly formed Boroughs.

The census sub-districts are:

Rawtenstall RG13/ 3846 - RG13/3849 Crawshaw Booth, Goodshaw, Love Clough, Rawtenstall (part). Newchurch Cloughfold, Townsend Fold; Waterfoot. Newchurch, Waterfoot; Rawtenstall .

Bacup RG13/3851- RG13/3853 - Bacup, Britannia, Stacksteads, Hugh Mill, Weir. Haslingden

RG13/3854 - RG3855 Haslingden, Helmshore, Ewood Bridge, Grane, Henheads, Rising Bridge.

Edenfield RG13-3633 - In 1894 Edenfield became part of Ramsbottom UDC and has not been indexed by us.

Rossendale Ancestry

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

"Rossendale" on the Sea: How a thriving seaside resort came to be built on the Fylde coast.

Elijah Hargreaves had a dream. One day in 1873 as he walked along the sand dunes on Lytham Common, he saw the scene before him transformed into a new clean town, far away from the grime and smoke of his native Rossendale. He took this vision to Thomas Fair, the Land Agent for the Clifton Estates. owners of most of Lytham. Thomas Fair had had a similar dream, indeed he had already drawn up a plan for a new town, so Elijah had no trouble in convincing him, and through him, the Clifton family of the feasibility of his idea.

At this time Elijah was aged 40. In 1871 he was living at Union St. Rawtenstall, a mill manager with a wife and 5 children. Clearly, he was very persuasive as he was able to enrol some very wealthy business men into his enterprise. They were as follows:

Joseph Wood Whitehead, of Alder Grange, Rawtenstall. In 1871, aged 48, he described himself as a Magistrate Landowner and Cotton Manufacturer employing 200 hands,

James Taylor, of Warth House, Waterfoot. In 1871 aged 68, he was a Woollen Manufacturer. employing 90 hands.

Henry Hardman Ashworth, of Lea Bank, Rawtenstall the son of Richard Ashworth, Magistrate and Cotton Manufacturer. In 1871 he was aged 22.

John Warburton, junior, of Greenfield, Haslingden born Edenfield, was in 1871, aged 38, a Cotton Manufacturer employing 127 operatives.

Thomas Barrowclough, of Bacup. In 1871, aged 36 was living at Clover Hill, Cotton Spinner and Manufacturer employing 80 operatives.

William Greaves, Spring Field House, Bacup in 1871 aged 34, Cotton warp sizer employing 22 men.

James Crabtree, Bacup, Cotton Spinner. (Not positively identified in 1871).

These seven men together with Elijah Hargreaves became the first directors of a company named the St. Anne’s-on-the-Sea Land and Building Company. Woodcock and Sons of Haslingden were appointed solicitors and Maxwell and Tuke of Bury became the Architects and Surveyors. It was to be a public company with shares advertised on the stock exchange. They were to develop 600 acres of land, roughly 1 square mile at a total rent of £3,127 per annum. with 999 year leases. The company’s architects were to prepare plans for the layout of the new town with many wide streets. Separate portions of land would be let out to individuals who would pay a ground rent to the company.

It was an enormous undertaking, public utilities (water, sanitation, gas etc.) had to be provided and a train and road network had to be set up. Hotels, churches and schools had to be built and health care provided. It was not all plain sailing, the company had many set backs, at one point bankruptcy seemed inevitable. The directors were forced to give personal guarantees without any security. Joseph Wood Whitehead the first chairman of the company, died in 1879. This same year the directors had to cut their fees by half to economise. Elijah Hargreaves, himself, in 1881 was threatened with court action when he was unable to pay his ground rent.

William John Porritt became chairman in 1881. Porritt was born in 1828, into a prominent textile family based at Stubbins Vale mill. In 1853, his father had moved to Helmshore, where he founded Joseph Porritt and Sons. A forceful man, he was largely responsible for putting the Land and Building Company onto a firm footing. He remained chairman until his death in 1896.

It took many years of perseverance before the company became profitable. St. Anne’s became the place were Lancastrians came to holiday, to convalesce and to spend their final days.

Elijah Hargreaves died at St. Anne’s in 1904. He was described as a "retired publican" in the 1901 census. In spite of all the difficulties he had seen his dream fulfilled.

In 1962 the St. Anne’s-on-the-Sea Land and Building Company was acquired "Lock Stock and Pier" by the Amalgamated Investment and Property Company Ltd. The Chairman and Managing Director of both the companies, Mr. Gabriel Harrison, took possession of all the documents relating to the history of St. Anne’s. He became so fascinated by the story that in 1971 he published a book entitled "Rage of Sand: the story of the men who built their own seaside town"

Harrison mentions the names of some of the early settlers; the pioneers, - Ramsbottom, Duckworth, Ogden, Rawstron, Heap, Shepherd, Walmsley, Smith, Hamilton, Lord, Porritt, Rhodes, Pennington, England, Cookson, and many more. He says these names are still to be found in the current electoral list and on the gravestones in St. Anne’s churchyard. A church that had been built in 1873 (just before Elijah Hargreaves had his dream) by Lady Eleanor Clifton. "It faced the sea, nestling in the sand dunes, and its parishioners were mainly rabbits".