Saturday, 13 May 2017

FRONT PAGE for Photos, Postcards, Snippets, and Occasional Notices (archived after 7 days ...ish)


Faye Blackburn who lives at 366 Manchester Road (Road End) almost opposite to Houghtons Bakery and the old Newsagents shop is requesting information on her house if anyone can help her.

She has been informed that at one time it may have been a pub or part of a pub.  Can anyone give more information on this. Thanks

If you can help please let me know on and I will then publish the information here and also inform Faye.


Rudges Chip Shop at Prinny Hill (Click over to enlarge)

I have just included this in the HASLINGDEN PRINTING WORKS Blog which has been kindly contributed by John Dunleavy (thank you John)

Haslingden Borough News remembered.
J Dunleavy.

Haslingden Borough News
Every Thursday. Price 1d

Registered as the GPO                                                                                                                                    In which is incorporated
as a newspaper                                                                                                                                                         the Selling News
Local journals are not as popular as they once were. Many readers will recall how years ago most towns had not just one but several papers.  Haslingden, a town in east Lancashire, had several to its credit. Not all enjoyed a lengthy existence: how many now are able to recall the Haslingden Guardian, or even the Haslingden Times, a journal that perished in its infancy? Not all of these were published and printed in the town, though the Haslingden Borough News, had the distinction of being printed and published in the town and was unique in that its front page displayed the town's coat of arms with its motto, 'Nothing without labour.' This brief exercise is nothing more than an exploration of the part played locally by the Borough News, a journal that was invariably referred to by its original title as the Selling News.

     A study of this journal is hampered by the absence of a complete file. An enquiry to the British Newspaper Library at Colindale brought the information that their 'run' of the Borough News started in 1959, leaving many years unaccounted for. The information carried by the journal suggests in the early 1920s it started using the title of the Borough Selling News.

     The Selling News and its successor were printed in the office of the Haslingden Printing Works in John Street. Among those who first aroused the curiosity of the writer was the late George Hadfield who was not only a director of the company but was a working compositor. He was among those who started the paper as a freebie, given away each week. Such publications were possible thanks to local tradesmen, community groups and numerous individuals who were prepared to buy advertising space. All of this changed with the outbreak of war in 1939. The government imposed stringent restrictions on the use of paper and banned free publications. In future the imposition of a price became obligatory. While advertisements were permitted such papers had to carry a quota of news. An eight page journal for instance was to provide three pages of news. The distribution of the paper was unique in that instead of dealing with local news agents, a number of retired men assembled each Thursday in John Street and laden with canvas bags undertook to supply all districts with the paper.

     The paper had originated as an advertising medium and this was reflected in the pages throughout its sixty year run. The space allocated to news reports was always far below that occupied by advertisements. After all the latter brought in revenue. and the readership had come to expect advertisements rather than news.

     When the writer first became acquainted with the Borough News page one was given over largely to advertisements for the town's two cinemas. The Empire and the Palace were owned and managed by Bert Hoyle. Patrons were offered films on six days a week, a change of programmes taking place each Thursday.  Patrons complained the films were rarely ever recent releases, having been shown already in the larger, neighbouring towns.  How often the cry of 'that's as old as Adam!' was raised on Thursday evenings when patrons learned of the programme for the coming week. In answer to its critics the management maintained the availability of films was determined by the extent of the resident population if that was the case then Haslingden filmgoers were destined to be disappointed, neighbouring towns such as Rawtenstall and Accrington boasted of having  much larger populations. Gone with the wind proved to be one of the most lucrative films made in the 1940s, yet it was to be many years before it was shown in Haslingden. Most local filmgoers anticipating a long wait prior to its Haslingden debut reportedly were prepared to travel to neighbouring towns to satisfy their curiosity about this blockbuster movie that proved to be such a box office success.

     The rest of the front page was devoted to a number of smaller display adverts, among these was one for the fixtures of the Haslingden Cricket Club.  But this was a seasonal game, the Lancashire League team began its fixtures around Easter and finished in the autumn. This freed up more of page one for other advertisers others, and these usually consisted of announcements regarding a forthcoming event, such as a concert staged by a local amateur society or a Sunday school. Occasionally there might be a notice from the Haslingden Borough Council, the town at that time having its own local government.

     Inside pages were given over to paid announcements, in particular births, marriages and deaths. Of these the death notices were supplemented by reports of local deaths, and frequently followed up by accounts of funerals. Names of mourners, floral tributes and (in the case of Roman Catholics) spiritual offerings were listed.

     Following on from all this was what was termed 'Legal notices.' These invariably ran along the lines of:

I, John Smith, of Haslingden, will no longer be responsible for any debts incurred by my wife, Edith Smith. after the appearance of this notice.
(Signed) John Smith.     

This practice seems to have been observed for some years, yet such advertisements had no legal validity. Locally they were read with close interest since if anything they were informing the public that not all was well in the Smith household. Not surprisingly such announcements frequently proved to be a prelude to a legal separation. In any event such publicity was grist to then mill of the gossipmongers who were now likely to regard the Smiths in a different light.

     News  reports fell into two categories.  There was a column headed 'News in brief.' Lacking its own reporter the News was obliged to rely on other local papers for much of its information. Titles appearing in Rawtenstall, Accrington and Blackburn were scoured for stories that might have  a bearing on Haslingden. These might be supplemented by referring to the evening journals published in Blackburn or Manchester, though neither were inclined to give much coverage to Haslingden. 
     The other source consisted of reliance on stories brought in by local people. These varied widely in numbers and content. Most often they reported events promoted by the Sunday schools and other local agencies such as the clubs of which there were a great number at this time. Sports enthusiasts liked to see accounts of the various cricket and football fixtures receiving some attention in the local weekly though again much depended on the readiness of individuals to bring in stories.
     The News originated as an advertising journal. Readers seemingly continued to perceive the medium in this way throughout its existence. One of the most popular features of the paper was a column headed 'Sales and Wants.' Household items such as pianos, beds, tables, kitchen cabinets and so on appeared week after week. The appeal of this column was a reflection on continuing shortages after the second World War. Many items we now take for granted were in short supply, often unobtainable.
Hence it was a case of accept used items or do without.  
     There was also the serious housing shortage to consider, a problem persisting long after 1945. Some home-seeker exasperated by the lengthy waiting list for new rented properties often decided to rent rooms, or try and purchase a home. Houses for sale were sometimes advertised along with a price tag, while other property owners were prepared to gamble on determining the value of their home by resorting to a sale by auction. 
     No consideration of the News as a popular weekly journal would be complete without some indication of  the other items were to be found among the advertisements. Having already mentioned the cinemas, no attention has been paid to the religious institutions of the town. 'Churches and chapels' advertised not only the weekly services and Sunday schools, but also acknowledged some of the highlights of the church year, such as Christmas and Easter. And there was also what were termed 'the sermons.' These were usually linked to an anniversary or a jubilee when some eminent clergyman was invited to  preach and the services were enhanced by special music rendered by soloists accompanied by choir, organ and instrumentalists. For the nonconformist churches especially the sermons provided an important source of revenue. Silver collections were expected at the services, while an additional source of income was made possible by utilising the services of soloists and musicians who might be prepared to participate in a secular concert on the Saturday evening.  
     Haslingden Industrial Co-operative Society resorted to the advertising columns of the News frequently. Apart from offering a wide range of services to its members through its numerous retail outlets located in most parts of the town, 'the Co-op' was a great employer of labour. In its heyday the society attracted and retained members by offering a generous dividend based on a record of sales. After World War II societal changes came to be reflected in declining profits and a diminution of members. The appeal of the co-op and its quarterly 'divi payments' failed to respond to the challenges presented by newer, more aggressive commercial retailers.
     Not surprisingly as an advertising medium the News  rarely ever provided its readers with an opinion column. Some chose to give vent to their feelings by addressing a letter to the editor on matters of local concern. These in turn might provoke the editor to pen a reply, though this was  a rare event. However the writer recalls  distinctly the arrival in the printing office one day of a letter purporting to come from a Mr. L. Ipra Loof,. The correspondent claimed he had recently visited the
town as the guest of an acquaintance at Manchester University. While busily exploring the hilly landscape the visitor claimed he was intrigued to come across an earthenware utensil not unlike those that could ne found extensively in his home country. However the local find carried an inscription which the visitor suggested   readers might help him to explain. The only fragments of the inscription remaining ran, according to the visitor  as: ITI-SAP-ISP-OT.  
     The delivery of a letter to the News was not a regular event and this aroused the suspicion of the editor that all was not quite right. On referring the matter to one of his of his colleagues the editor was advised to establish the credentials of the writer. Having studied the name  - or nom-de-plum - of the writer  it dawned on the editor  that the correspondent was emulating others who were inclined to take up their pen at this time of year in an attempt to embarrass journal editors. The News editor, a well meaning retiring man having considered the matter determined to give as good as he got. He  dismissed the April prank - for such it was - in just  a few words. That was certainly an interesting find made by your friend, he observed:  he should have crowned himself with his discovery! 

In Memoriam

Haslingden Borough News

Born 1922
Expired 1984

Gone but not forgotten



I have just added a further verse to my poem "Knock it Daaern". It was not right to have not included the beautiful "majestic" Churches and Chapels and to reflect a more true record I have now also included: Salem, Trinity, Primitive and Wesley. Hope you like it and if you prefer to check out the blog with its photographs of the buildings please CLICK HERE

It's a bonny place so knock it daaern"

It's a bonny place so knock it daaern,
So all can watch with a drooping fraaern.
There's tons and tons of Hassy's best,
Millstone grit can't be seen to rest!
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Vicarage that stood up on that bonk!
In its shadow was Martins Bank,
Grammar School was a buried Road,
Good few ton did mek that load,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Major, would turn over in his grave if he knew,
What had happened to his Highfield view,
Lions at Carter Place have gone with rest,
We're left with a porch without its crest,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Town Hall! Council will have a Ball,
With all thi hard earned cash,
So lets get shut for once and for all,
Before they have their Annual bash.
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Its only a building is yon Con Club,
For some I suppose it was their hub,
Another fine place was Workhouse past,
Who needs a hospital on yon hill,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Even the "mighty" can fall but we'll not have a ball!
Salem, Trinity, Primitive and John Wesley preached!
but all went down with a "bang"
and no more did the bells ring or did the people sing"
 so Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Nah! don't let it stand still,
Or tha'll get a bill,
Knock it daaern!


Salem Chapel

Trinity Baptist

Primitive Methodist - Grane Road
Photo: Kindly shared by Chris Kirby

Wesley Chapel

or if you still want to check out
After one week the above photographs or text will be moved over to their appropriate blogs and will also be transferred over to  PHOTO ALBUM and SNIPPETS NO.5 (YEAR 2017 which can be accessed by clicking here

PHOTO ALBUM AND SNIPPETS NO.4 (year 2016) which can be accessed by clicking here

 PHOTO ALBUM and SNIPPETS NO.3 (year 2015) which you can access by clicking here

or if you still want to check out


Dont Forget!  HASLINGDEN ON FILM is accessed from the title further down on the left hand column - please enjoy the films.

The Baptist Church - Ebenezer Baptist and Trinity Baptist Photos

Ebenezer Baptist Church - Pre 1899 (Click over to enlarge)

Ebenezer Baptist 1920s - (Click over to enlarge)

Haslingden Baptist Church - A photo I took on 13th November 2004 (Click over to enlarge)

Ebenezer Baptist new organ in 1910 (Click over to enlarge)

Ebenezer Baptist Walking Day 1935 (Click over to enlarge)

Ebenezer Baptist Walking Day 1935 (Click over to enlarge)

Ebenezer Baptist Walking Day - Date unknown (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared by Keith Gunton 

Ebenezer Baptist 1950 Walking Day (Click over to enlarge)

Ebenezer Baptist in 1966 - Warwick Street (Click over to enlarge)
Ebenezer Baptist Church and Sunday School - Their lads who paid the Supreme Sacrifice 1914-1918
(Click over to enlarge)
If you want to check out more information on the heroes here please go to the War Heroes Blog by clicking here and click over their name

 (Click over to enlarge)

(Click over to enlarge)
Both the above Newspaper Cuttings have been kindly supplied by Chris Kirby

Two photos above showing Church Renovations in 2012 (Click over to enlarge)
Photos: Kindly shared by Clifford Hargreaves

PHOTOS from Trinity Baptist Church

Trinity Baptist Play - 1913  (Click over to enlarge)

Trinity Baptist (Click over to enlarge)

Both the above photos are of Trinity Baptist Walking Days (Click over to enlarge)
Both photos kindly shared to us by Keith Gunton on 2nd March 2017

Monday, 27 March 2017

Haslingden Sport - BADMINTON

Ebenezer Baptist Badminton Team (1920 to 1930) - Click over to enlarge
LH Back 1st is Albert Edward White
Photo: Kindly shared by Chris Kirby

St. James Parish Church Badminton (Click over to enlarge)
Kindly shared to us by Chris Kirby

St. Thomas's Musbury - Helmshore Badminton Team (Click over to enlarge)
Taken from the scrapbook of Susan Whittaker (nee Nicholas)

from the scrapbook of Susan Whittaker (nee Nicholas) - Click over to enlarge

Haslingden Youth Club - Sport - Badminton (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: from the late John T. Wood's private scrapbook and kindly shared to us by Peter Wood

Rossendale Schools Badminton Team in County Badminton Finals 1968-1969 ish (Click over to enlarge)
Back left to right: Sylvia, ?. Peter Woods, ?,?,?.
Front left to right: ?, Susan Nicholas, ?, Carol Kay, ?.
Note Wooden Rackets!
Photo: Kindly shared by Susan Whittaker (nee Nicholas)

St. Thomas's Badminton  Team c1969 (Click over to enlarge)
?, Brian Johnson, George Brooks, Derek Thompson, Margaret Johnson, Eileen Gillespie, Kath Thompson, Susan Nicholas
Kindly shared by Peter Wood and Susan Whittaker

Haslingden Youth Club - Badminton Team (Click over photo to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Peter Wood and Susan Whittaker
Front: Kathleen Parsons, Yvonne Shepherd, Carol Touhey Pauline Wood, Mavis Connolly
Back:Alan King, Jack Hallam, Peter J. Wood, Roger Townend, Raymond Bell, Alan Duckworth.

Haslingden Youth Club - Badminton Team (Click over to enlarge)
photo: kindly shared by Peter Wood and Susan Whittaker

Haslingden Youth Club - Badminton (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood (Head Warden)
and kindly shared with us by his son Peter Wood

HYC - Winners of Ross Badminton League Cup 1969 (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: taken from the scrapbook of the late John T. Wood (Head Warden of the HYC)
Kindly shared with us by his son Peter Wood.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Haslingden Arts Club and Haslingden Operatic Society

Issue No.1 and No.2 of The Haslingden Arts Club "Spotlight" Magazine from c1947 (Click over to enlarge)
Kindly shared to us by Chris Kirby

A  well documented history of HASLINGDEN ARTS CLUB between the years 1944 and 1974 and written by LISBETH ALDRED can be seen on Peter Fisher's site by CLICKING HERE

"Spotlight" The Journal of The Haslingden Arts Club (Click over to enlarge)
Kindly shared to us by Chris Kirby

The 21 Show performed on the 21st birthday of Haslingden Arts Club (Click over to enlarge)
This is the cast photo and to check out the names see list below.  The show took place at the Public Hall in 1965 probably May.
Photo: kindly shared to us by Marie Finney on 26th February 2017

The 21 Show performed on the 21st birthday of Haslingden Arts Club (Click over to enlarge)
This is a list of the cast who took part.  The show took place at the Public Hall in 1965 probably May.
Photo: kindly shared to us by Marie Finney on 26th February 2017

The Arts Club "Lord of the Amber Mountain 1968 (Click over to enlarge)
The Arts Club produced a children's play most years and this is the 1968 production "Lord of the Amber Mountain".  I am the witch and would love to know if any of the "children" recognise themselves -Marie Finney

This cartoon is from the very first edition of "Spotlight", the journal of the Haslingden Arts Club, published 70 years ago, in 1947.  It was drawn by S.R. Good (Sam Good) and caricatures many of the leading lights of the Arts Club at the time.  
It also shows Roland Haworth, described as "Fishing For Films" in the cartoon.  Roland Haworth was proprietor of the Chemist and Photographic shop at the top of Lower Deardengate.
At the stern of the Ship is John T. Haworth ("The Quizzer").  Is this the same Lieut-Colonel John Thornley Haworth (Jonty) who was Headmaster at St. James School?  He died in 1952 - five years after this cartoon was published.
There are also members of the executive committee in the cartoon. Eric Gaskell ("On the Wings of Carpets"), Fred Hildred, the Arts Club's Secretary, ("The Ship's Writer"), and Miss Molly Hill - who was in charge of the Club's House Committee.  The House Committee were responsible for making and servng tea.  In the cartoon, Molly is the "Ships Steward"
But w3ho may be "The Skipper" who must have his "Cup of Tea", and who is the person referred to as "No Comment"?
The President of the Arts Club in early 1947 was Mr. George Waddington, J.P., however in the second spotlight (also published in 1947) Mr. J.C. Whittaker who lived at Danesmoor was President.

Our thanks go to Chris Kirby for kindly sharing the above caracture and information with us.

Also you may wish to check out programmes for the shows by the HASLINGDEN AMATEUR OPERATIC SOCIETY

"Pirates of Penzance" performed 1930 CLICK HERE

"A Country Girl" performed 1933 CLICK HERE

"No No Nanette" performed Feb 20-25 1939 CLICK HERE

"Rose Marie" Feb 4th to 9th 1935"

"The Desert Song" Nov 11th to 16th 1935

"The Maid of the Mountains" - Feb 7th to 12th 1938 CLICK HERE

"Virginia" Nov 9th to 14th 1936 CLICK HERE

(Thanks to Peter Fisher for kindly supplying all of of these links)

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Mary Hindle Story by Lorraine Hooper (with added information from William Turner c2000)

Mary Hindle's Convict Record (Click over to enlarge)

WHO WROTE THE LETTER? (Written by Lorraine Hooper and giving a summary of her research into the Mary Hindle letter)

In researching my family ancestors, I was given my Grandad Ekes family Bible, in it was the enclosed letter, in a very fragile state, I was told that Great Grandmother was transported for stealing a loaf of bread and some groceries.  Well I read the letter and just couldn't leave it at that, but I couldn't really decide how to go about finding who had written it.  There was no husbands name, she hadn't signed her name, but there was a date and also reference to her little daughter Elizabeth, and that was it! The letter itself folded over as an envelope and on that was a very faint "Geo" and Haslingden, Lancashire.

So began my quest!!  I started trying to work my way back to the date on the letter, down through my different branches, but it was very slow and I was getting nowhere fast, It was really frustrating because this letter had taken over my mind, I just couldn't leave it alone!

So I thought I'd have a go on the internet, which I'd only just got on to.  Well, it was magic!!  I found an Australian convict site, clicked on the female button and a list of numerous ships appeared, I whittled it down to the Harmoney re. the date, clicked on that and there's the list of all the female convicts and where they were tried.  There were two who were tried at Lancaster, Ann Entwistle aged 45 and Mary hindle aged 26.  (Entwistle is one of my family names), but I was more drawn to Mary hindle, because of her age, she seemed more likely to have a young daughter.
Not being sure where to go next, I kept going here and there on the internet but not really getting anywhere, then I thought perhaps there might be a Lancaster Castle site and sure enough there it was.  Click here for the convict trail!  I entered both names and there they were, both tried for rioting! Rioting! that's a bit different than stealing groceries!!

I now had to find a riot in 1826, well that was hard work as well, there was the Luddite riots the riots to do with the Hargreaves Spinning Jenny, (my mother's maiden names was Hargreaves). The Peterloo riots in Manchester, but I hit a brick wall looking for a riot in 1826. By I kept on going back to the internet and finally I found a Lancashire Link list and going down through the historical events, there it was, the 1826 Power Loom Riots, and as I clicked Oh! suddenly saw Mary Hindle! Wh was Mary Hindle?! I couldn't believe my eyes, was I getting paranoid?

No. I clicked on the site and there she was.  There's a Community Centre named after her in Haslingden.  She was sentenced to death with, Ann Entwistle and 8 men, then it was commuted to life in Australia, she left her husband George behind and her 6 year old daughter Elizabeth!!

It said, for more information ring William Turner, who'd written a book called "Riot", so I rang on a Sunday afternoon at 4 0'clock and babbled away my story, he must have wondered who this women from Somerset was, saying she had a hand written letter by Mary Hindle.  I read it out to him, over the phone and reduced him to tears, he only travels around Lancashire giving talks about Mary Hindle and the riots.  Needless to say we are now good friends.

We travelled to Lancashire last year and visited the Mary Hindle Centre, met Bill Turner and presented the letter to the Lancashire Records Office at Preston for safe keeping.

I had a wonderful time finding out who the letter was addressed to and who had written it, the trouble is my family tree seems quite mundane, now!!

PS It turned out, Mary Hindle wasn't my Great Grandmother after all that, she's my cousin Jim Chew's Great Grandmother. 

The Letter  This is the actual letter which Lorraine found in her Grandad Eke's family Bible

 (Sydney, New South Wales, 12th November 1827)
Dear Husband, 
I have taken this opportunity of writing these few lines to you, which I hope that they will find you in good health, as I am toleraby well and healthy at this time.  Thank God for that! We arrived in NEW SOUTH WALES about the 7th October after a long tedious passage of about five months, but we had a tolerably good passage and we was as well treated as I could expect, we had a very kind gentleman for a Doctor which treated us very well, and I was very ill on the passage I was in the hospital nineteen days, I was very bad with my legs swelling through not having any exercise on board of the ship.  But I have got a situation in Sydney, but I have a very hard situation, I have got a great deal of work and the time appears to me to go very slowly and one day appears to me as long as a month and I am very much confined, we are not allowed any liberty to go away from the place where we live, and if we do go away and stop out till eight or nine o'clock we are sure to get put in the WATCHOUSE and very likely to get sent to the factory, a place where they punish the women very severely, but I hope that the God Almighty will give me health and strength to get through all my difficulties,and now I am in a far distant country I hope my dear little ELIZABETH will be took good care of and I hope she is well, for I very often am thinking about her and I should like very much to see her, but God knows whether that ever will be my lot again or not.

Please to give my kind love to my mother and likewise to your father and mother and likewise to my brothers and sisters and all enquiring friends, and I am waiting very anxiously to hear from you my dear husband and I hope and trust that you will try all that lays in your power to get my sentence mitigated for if I thought that you could not get something done for me I think I should die of despair.

Please to give my respects to Mr. Hurst and Mr Turner and I hope you will speak to them concerning me, and I shall feel myself forever indebted to them if please God, they should get my sentence mitigated.  And now my dear husband I am going to give you some little information of the country.  THE natives of NEW SOUTH WALES are black and they are very uncivilised people.  They won't learn to do anything at all and they are very savage, except just round SIDNEY.  Up the country they will take every opportunity of killing and eating all the white men they can get hold of. 

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT MARY HINDLE  Compiled by the late William Turner (February 2000)

Mary was the daughter of James and Ann Holden of Todd Hall, Haslingden.  James was a handloom weaver.  Mary was baptised at St. James's Parish Church, Haslingden on 14th April 1799.

Mary's p[arents were married at St. James's (both of this Chapelry) on 26th May 1798.  Both signed the marriage entry with their "mark" (a cross) to indicate they were illiterate.  They then lived at Todd Hall which at the time was divided into 'tenements' i.e. separate dwellings, each used by a hand loom weaver. 

The name 'Holden' was that of a family prominent in Haslingden since at least 1272, when Robert de Holden was named as the father of Adam de Holden to whom Henry de Lacey granted the estates in Haslingden which formerly belonged to a William de Keelin, hanged at Lancaster Castle in 1272.

The seat of the Holden family was Holden Hall, Grane (near the present Holden Hall Cemetery).  There were branches of the family at Duckworth Hall, Oswaldtwistle, and Pickup Bank, near Belthorn.  A brance also lived at Todd Hall from before 1517 when the birth of Adam, son of Gilbert Holden was recorded.

After Robert Holden of Holden Hall, a bachelor, died in 1792, both Holden Hall and Todd Hall fell into decline as the lands were sold.  Holden Hall became a farmhouse and Todd Hall was divided into tenements.

It is not know how Mary's father was related to the Holdens but as "James" was a common forename in the Pickup Bank branch it may be possible he was related to them.

Mary Holden married George hindle at St. James's on 26th July 1818. Both signed the register with a cross.  George was the son of Abraham Hindle who was born in Bury.  He married Betty Heap from Haslingden, at St. James's on 15th January 1797.

Abraham Hindle was literate and a businessman.  At the time of his son's marriage, he was described in a local trades directory as a "carrier", transporting woven pieces and other goods to Bury and Manchester.  In 1824 he was also the landlord of "The Hare and Hounds" public house and a Churchwarden at St. James. He was also an investor in property.  (In June 1825 a James and Phoebe Barnes, on the baptism of a child, gave their address as "Abraham Hindle's Houses" (later Hindle Street).

Mary and George Hindle's first child, a daughter Elizabeth, was baptised at St. James's on 21 March 1819.  The father's occupation was given as a weaver and their abode as Club Houses (later Pleasant Street).

Soon after this, on 23rd December 1821, Mary's mother was buried at St. James.  She was forty-eight.  Two burials of children are then recorded in the register at St. James.  First, Abraham, on 10th January 1822, aged one year.  Second, Robert on 17 December 1823 aged one year.  On both occasions the address of Mary and George is given as Sheep Green, Haslingden.  Shortly after this Mary's father was buried on 18th September 1824. He was forty-five.

On Tuesday 25th April 1826 the handloom weavers who were rioting against the introduction of the power looms attacked William Turner's Middle Mill in Helmshore.  Mary Hindle was in the crowd watching the rioters.  She was arrested a few days later after an employee of William Turner accused her of being inside the mill and "shouting encouragement to the rioters".

Mary Hindle, with other alleged rioters, was taken to Lancaster Castle to await trial.  This began on Tuesday 8th August 1826.  When the trial ended several days later, thirty-five men and six women, including Mary Hindle, were sentenced to death.

On 8th September the death sentences were, in the case of eight men and two women - Mary Hindle and Ann Entwistle - commuted to transportation to New South Wales for life.  The remaining men and women received prison sentences - none longer than two years.

Many people in Haslingden were disturbed at the harsh sentence meted out to Mary.  On 10 October 1826 John Holgate, a Helmshore factory owner, sent a petition signed by thirty-four "very respectable inhabitants" (including William Turner himself) to Robert Peel, the Home Secretary.  Other petitions by the Revd. William Gray J.P., the vicar of St. James; by George, her husband, who said she had simply gone to the scene of the riot to look for her daughter; and by her late father'semployer, John Rostron of Holcombe (who offered her a job for life). All were rejected. 

On 25th April 1827, exactly a year after the riot at Middle Mill, Mary Hindle left Lancaster Castle for Woolwich and the convict ship "Harmony".  She arrived in Sydney, New South Wales on 27th September 1827. She was in the ship's hospital suffering from pleurisy for most of the voyage.

Mary was assigned, as a convict to be a laundress for the family of John Nicholson, who was Mater attendant at the Dockyard at Darling Harbour (now part of Sydney Harbour).

On 30 September 1830 Mary wrote to the Govern of New South Wales asking if a pardon for her had arrived from England.  The answer was "Nothing is known about this matter".

A year later, on 19 November 1831 Mary received her "Ticket of Leave".  This was only given for good conduct and exempted her from working for a particular employer, provided she remained in the district of Sydney.  This was renewed on 12 February 1835.

The next reference to Mary Hindle is in the "Government Gazette" of April 1838.  Unfortunately she is on the list of runaways apprehended in the third week of that month.  She absconded as she was being escorted to Parramatta Female Factory (a prison, hospital etc) and recaptured several days later.  (It is possible she was found out of her district, which was strictly forbidden). 

Sometime later, on 28 May 1838, whilst in Parramatta Female Factory, Mary wrote to the Governor asking for a free pardon.  Three anotations on her letter show how the injustices she suffered were to continue.  "Is this woman one of the machine breakers?" "No pardon has been received for this woman," (dated 22nd June); "Let her be told so through Mrs. Leach," (dated 25 June).  (Mrs. Leach was the Matron of the Female Factory).

In 1840 it is possible that Mary Hindle was a laundress for Thomas Ryan, the Chief Clerk to the Principal Superintendent of Convicts.  Thomas Ryan, an ex-convict himself, lived at 139 Princess Street, Sydney.  Sadly, in the Government Gazette for June 1840, Mary is again listed as a runaway from Thomas Ryan since 6 June.  She was apprehended within days.

However, on 21 August 1841 Mary took her own life whilst in Parramatta Female Factory. She was buried the following day in the graveyard of St. John's Church, Parramatta.  There is no headstone.  So ended fifteen years of imprisonment and transportation with all the horrors that went with both.

In the petition of the thirty-four signatures in 1826, Mary Hindle is described - "---hath uniformly borne a good character for peaceable demeanour, honesty and industry ---- she was not activated by any malignity of dispostion ----- and further, your petitioners are truly affected by the severity of her sentence ----".

John Rostron's (her father's employer) petition spoke " ---- very few have come so clean and descent and none have done their work better ----". He then asked that Mary be restored to her family.

Mary Holden, as she was, bore a name, which is arguably the oldest in Haslingden.  Nothing - the good name of her family or the petitions on her behalf - made any difference to those in the legal and political system who were determined to make a example of a descent woman in order to put fear in the hearts of others.  The accusations that she destroyed looms were never proved.  Elementary justice would have see her acquitted.

Like so many in East Lancashore, Mary hindle endured starvation and deprivation.  The death of her mother, father and two children within three years indicates the effect on her family alone.  To bring the full retribution of the law onto Mary Hindle in such circumstances was monstrously cruel and unjust.  This continued even in New South Wales.

The manner of Mary's death is especially saddening after being treated with such gross injustice, prejudice and bigotry.  The "The Mary Hindle Centre" will keep her name alive in the minds of those who deeply oppose such things.
William Turner - February 2000.

POSTSCRIPT  Written by Lorraine Hooper.

My husband's twin brother lives near Brisbane and we decided to visit a few years ago, neither of us are seasoned travelers, so I said that as this was going to be my only trip to Australia, I wanted to go to Parramatta graveyard, where Mary is buried. Before we went, I'd been on one of my trips to Lancashire and visited Haslingden, St. Jame's, where Mary's husband was buried and gathered some grasses (just a bit) to take to Parramatta.
In Australia, my sister in law read the story and said " when you get to the graveyard, you'll fall over, because Mary's choosen you to bring her letter to light". (Oh yes!)
We went to Sidney, a lady in the hotel (intrigued by the story) took us to Parramatta graveyard, there was a nice little archway/ gateway into it and as I went through I tripped and fell over !!!
Anyway I went down through the graves, Mary's is unmarked, but I scattered the grass and then found a small piece of brick that I brought home, half is on my window sill and the other half is in St Jame's graveyard.
PS Mary had been in Australia about 14 years when she committed suicide and that had me puzzled, why after all that time ?  So I thought I'd search the death records, I found that her husband George had died the year before, well it would have taken nearly a year for any letter to get to Mary !

Sorry I've rambled on and on, but seeing Mary Hindle in my inbox this morning really stirred up my memories.

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Click over to enlarge