Sunday, 26 October 2008

Blue Commemorative Plaques... (10)

Alan Rawsthorne was born in Deardengate House, Haslingden, Lancashire to Hubert Rawsthorne (1868-1943), a well off medical doctor, and his wife Janet Bridge (1877-1927) (McCabe2004). Despite what appears to have been a happy and affectionate family life with his parents and elder sister, Barbara (the only sibling). In beautiful Lancashire countryside, as a boy Rawsthorne suffered from fragile health (McCabe 2004; Green 1971).  Although he did at various times attend schools in Southport, much of Rawsthorne's early education came through private tutoring at home (McCabe2004).  Despite a childhood aptitude for music and literature, Rawsthorne's parents tried to steer him away from his dreams of becoming a professional musician.  As a result, he unsuccessfully tried to take on degree courses at Liverpool University, first in dentistry and then architecture. Concerning dentistry, Rawsthorne is on record as having said "I gave that up, thank God, before getting near anyone's mouth, whilst his friend Constant Lambert quipped "Mr Rawsthorne assures me that he has given up the practice of dentistry, even as a hobby" (Anon.2006)

His career started in 1925.  Rawsthorne was finally able to enrol at the Royal Manchester College of Music (Anon. 2015), where his teachers included Frank Merrick for the piano and Carl Fuchs for the cello.  In 1927, Rawsthorne's mother died aged just forty-nine.  After graduating from the Royal Manchester College of Music around 1930, Rawsthorne spent the next couple of years pursuing his piano traning with Egon Petri at Zakopane in Poland, and then briefly also in Berlin (McCabe2004).

On his return to England in 1932, Rawsthorne took up a post as pianist and teacher at Dartington Hall in Devon, where he became composer in residence for the School of Dance and Mime (Belcher 1999a).  In 1934, Rawsthorne left for London to try his fortune as a freelance composer.  His first real public success arrived four years later with a performance of his "Theme and Variations for Two Violins" at the 1938 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) Festival in London.  The next year, his large scale "Symphonic Studies" for orchestral was performed in Warsaw, again at the ISCM Festival.  The first in a line of completely assured orchestral scores, the "Symphonic Studies", which can be heard as a concert for orchestra in all but name, rapidly helped Rawsthorne establish himself as a composer possessing a highly distinctive musical voice (Evans 2001; Belcher 1999b)
Other acclaimed works by Rawsthorne include a viola sonata (1937), two piano concertos (1939,1951), an oboe concerto (1947) two violin concertos (1948,1956), a concerto for string orchestra (1949) and the "Elegy" for guitar (1971), a piece written for and completed by Julian Bream after the composer's death.  Other works include a cello concerto, three acknowledged string quartets among other chamber works, and three symphonies.  Rawsthorne wrote a number of film scores.  His best known work in this field was the music for the 1953 British war film "The Cruel Sea" (Swynnoe 2002), and his other socres included many popular British films, such as "The Captive Heart 1946", "School for Secrets 1946","Uncle Silas (1947)" "Saraband for Dead Lovers 1948", "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)", "Where No Vultures Fly (1951)", "West of Zanzibar (1954)", "The Man Who Never Was (1956)", and Floods of Ear (1958)"

(All the above information taken from Wikpaedia)

Alan Rawsthorne - Composer


Obviously it all happened 80 years prior to this photo
Middle Mill (Wavell Mill) Turners 
Photo: 1906
Thanks to John Simpson

Poor Mary Hindle was caught up in this

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 Lancashire, 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.

Our many thanks to the late William Turner who compiled this information back in - February 2000.


The first attempt to measure intelligence by means of a written test was held within
this building, Manchester Road Wesleyan School in 1901.

Some may remember this building were all schoolchildren had to go for health check ups eg: the Knit nurse etc. 
(Photo: thanks to Jackie)


Michael Davitt - Time in Haslingden (1850 to 1870)

Was born on March 25th 1846 at Straide, County Mayo. The first son of Martin Davitt and Catherine (nee Kielty). He had one older sister Mary and two younger sisters Anne and Sabina.

Although only aged four years and half years at the time (1850), he never forgot the indignation of his parents has the family were evicted from their cottage/farm. The eviction was the result of arrears in rent which came about through hard times as a result of the great famine.  After their eviction they briefly entered a local workhouse, but when Catherine discovered that male children over 3 years of age had to be separated from their mothers, she promptly decided her family should travel to England to find a better life, like many other Irish people at this time.  They travelled to Dublin with another local Irish family and in November reached Liverpool, making the 77 kilometre journey to Haslingden, in East Lancashire, by foot.There they settled.  Davitt was brought up in the closed world of a poor Irish immigrant community with strong nationalist feelings and, in his case, a deep hatred in landlordism.

This was Davitts home in Wilkinson St
from 1867 to 1870 - The spot

is now marked with a
Davitt Stone Memorial and Plaque

Settlement in Haslingden - from that early age (1850)  

On arrival in Haslingden towards the end of 1850 (aged 4), the families very first accommodation may well have been a straw carpeted cellar in Pleasant Street, or there again it may have been at a property in Wilkinson Street with the Irish family of Mr Owen Egan, or maybe both. One thing for sure is that the family later moved to a house of their own at No.6 Rock Hall. They left Rock Hall in 1867 (aged 21) and the family then returned to Wilkinson Street and this was to be their home for the next three years up until Davitt's parents and his younger sisters emigrated to the United States in 1870 (aged 24).  His older sister Mary had already emigrated to the United States earlier following her marriage to Neil Padden.

Religion always had a major influence on Davitts life

Throughout his life Davitt's fidelity to the Church never wavered, even though there were times when his attachment to it was to be sorely tried. 
When the Davitts first settled in Haslingden local Catholics formed part of the mission of St. James-the-Less at Rawtenstall. Attendance at Sunday Mass meant a one and a half mile walk to a church capable of accommodating only a fraction of the widely scattered congregation.  The situation became easier in 1851 when Father Unsworth recognized Haslingden as a "Station" within his mission, visiting the town occasionally to offer Mass. It was not until 1854 (aged 8), however that the Bishop of Salford was able to send a resident priest to Haslingden.  Father Thomas Martin, a newly-ordained priest, arrived in August to learn that his newly-established mission lacked a Church, School or presbytery.  Undaunted at the prospect Father Martin was encouraged on his arrival by the warm welcome extended to him by the Catholic community and a number of local Protestants.  Within weeks rented accommodation for a Church and School had been secured, the opening being commemorated with a Mass on Sunday September 3rd, 1854.  Initially the mission lacked a name, the omission being made good on December 8th, when it was dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. 

The opening of the mission for the Davitts meant that Mass was now offered on Sundays and Holydays, while the children had access to the day and Sunday School. Landmarks in the development of the mission were undoubtedly the day in 1859 (aged 13) when Bishop Turner visited Haslingden and laid the foundation stone of the new church and the completion of the church later that year. Events of a more intimate nature for the Davitts came in 1861 (aged 15) when all the children were confirmed by Bishop Turner, Michael receiving the name Joseph (a name he would later employ as his nom-de-plum during his time as a revolutionary). 

Education whilst in Haslingden

First taught at home by his father Martin Davitt. Four years later in 1854 (aged 8) a Catholic day school opened in Wilkinson Street of which Michael attended, the school was conducted by Mr William Burke. Michael referred to the school as “Burke’s Spelling Purgatory”.  He quit that school as soon as a job came along in 1855 (aged 9). Over the next two years he worked in three different Mills until tragedy struck on May 8th 1857 (aged 11) whilst working for John Stelfox at the Alliance and Victoria Mills in Baxenden. (I will elaborate on this incident in a separate paragraph later). 

After his tragedy and now being left with only one arm, it was felt by his then employer Stelfox that his period of usefulness at their Mill had come to an end.  Sadly he never received any help or compensation for the accident.

Thankfully on recovering from his accident, a local benefactor in the name of John Dean (a Wesleyan and Cotton Mill Proprietor) helped to send him to a Wesleyan school, which was connected to the Methodist Church and where he received a good education.  Dean's act of charity was to be kept anonymous from all and would never become public knowledge during the lifetimes of both John Dean and Michael Davitt. (John Dean died in 1873).

Davitt entered the Wesleyan Day School as a pupil in 1857 (aged 11) and was to remain there for four years (up until the age of 15).  Situated in Chapel Street, the school was under the direction of a certificated master, Yorkshire born George Poskett.  Under Poskett the school grew in numbers and standards improved to such an extent that the school was placed under Government inspection in 1857, the first to be so in Haslingden.

Poskett formed a high opinion of Davitt's aptitude as a scholar, and while no certificate was awarded at the end of the four year course, there is no doubt that the instruction imparted at the Wesleyan school equipped Davitt with the ability to continue his education later, often under trying circumstances. 

A beautiful drawing showing Michael Davitt in the upper rooms of the Mechanics Institute (Haslingden Library) - source unknown

At sometime around the period of 1861 (aged 15)  Davitt was to start work at Henry Cockcroft's Printing business.  Also around this same period Davitt started night classes at the local Mechanics Institute and used its library.  He became very interested in Irish history and the contemporary Irish social situation after coming under the influence of Ernest Charles Jones, the veteran Chartist leader, and his radical views on land nationalisation and Irish independence. 

The Workplace for Michael Davitt 

In 1855 (aged 9), at such a young age Michael Davitt had his first taste of work, when he started in the employ of John Parkinson at his Ewood Bridge Mill.  It was a textile mill and Davitt's work was first as a doffer, then a bobbin tenter, and eventually to a mule spinner. This employment was to last no more than four weeks because he only received half of his promised pay and those days young workers had no trade unions or protection of any kind.

Months later Davitt managed to get employment at one of the local Mills owned by "The Old Master" Lawrence Whitaker.  This employment did not last longer than one week when Davitt was made to quit by his parents because of the atrocious safety record which came to light at Whittaker's Mills.

Davitt's third encounter with the Cotton Mills was to end in tragedy! In 1857 (aged 11) Davitt worked for John Stelfox at his Alliance Mill which was another Cotton Spinning establishment based in Baxenden (the old Alliance and Victoria Mill remnants today are just a little further on than where Hollands Pies is situated.)
Davitt would appear to have been employed either as a doffer, or possibly as a "piecer", joining the broken threads during the spinning process. At the end of his first week he proudly presented his mother with his wage of five shillings, which he assured her would soon make the family well off.  Such optimism, however, was not to last for long: one day, after being ordered to tend a machine by another operative, a skein became entangled in the machinery.  In trying to untangle the thread, Davitt's right arm became trapped between the rollers and was so badly mangled before the machine could be stopped that the arm had to be amputated ten days later. It was recorded by the late Mr. Jim Garnett that young Michael Davitt only had a "strong dose of Pf Rum" before they carried out the amputation of his arm, and that the severed arm was later interred in consecrated ground by the Catholic Church in Rawtenstall. Jim was informed of this information by his Grandparents who lived on Wilkinson Street close to the Davitts. 

Following on from his tragic accident, together with the four years he had spent at the Wesleyan School, it was now 1861 (aged 15) and Davitt managed to procure employment with Henry Cockroft who was the Town's Postmaster and who also ran a printing and stationery business which was situated on Regent Street at the corner with Bell Street. The building is still there today, over the years its been several different sorts of businesses.

Henry Cockroft was a well-known figure in the town with being a leading Anglican and Churchwarden at the Parish Church and also he was a Conservative by politics.  Yet there was also an artistic side to him and one of his pastimes was writing poetry.  Whilst in the typographical trade he had acquired a high reputation as a designer and printer of decorative posters and handbills. So Cockcroft became intrigued and delighted at the ingenuity displayed by his one armed assistant in the printing works, and wrote a lengthy letter to the Typographical Advertiser, lauding Davitt's diligence and skill and he thus has the distinction of providing the reader with the first known fragment of a Davitt biography. 

Davitt became a firm friend not only of his employer but the whole Cockroft family, and this friendship was to endure down the years.  There is no doubt that Davitt found his position very congenial, for the location and nature of the business meant that he was brought into contact with the leading people in Haslingden.  Hence, years later, long after Davitt had left the town and people claimed to have "known" Michael Davitt they had usually made his acquaintanceship during the time he was employed by Cockroft. 

Michael Davitt, - The Fenian

The 1860's found Michael Davitt an acutely aware person in the political sense.  While not indifferent to the various contemporary reform movements, given Davitt's ethnic origin it is not surprising that he was drawn to the revolutionary Fenian Brotherhood. 

In 1865 (aged 19) this interest led Davitt to join the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) which had strong support among working-class Irish immigrants.  He soon became part of the inner circle of the local group.  Two years later (aged 21) he left the printing firm to devote himself full-time to the IRB, as organising secretary for Northern England and Scotland, organising arms smuggling to Ireland using his new job as "hawker" (travelling salesman) as a cover for this activity. 

In 1867 (aged 21) Davitt participated in the abortive attempt to capture Chester Castle, hijack the Holyhead boat train, and ship the captured arms to Ireland.  Later in the same year the Fenians succeeded in freeing some of their leaders from a prison van in Manchester, but in the attempt a police officer was killed. 

Inevitably there were angry reactions in England at these audacious acts perpetrated by the Fenians.  The anti-Irish sentiment played into the hands of a group of extreme Protestant lecturers led by William Murphy.  The "Murphyites" maintained that there was a conspiracy between the Roman Catholic Church (which received much of its support from the Irish) and the Fenians to take over the United Kingdom.  The moral was obvious, Murphy argued: only when the Irish had been repatriated and the Catholic churches closed would the kingdom really be made safe from subversion.  A great deal of provocation took place in some towns, hostile demonstrations took place, and at Haslingden, following a Murphyite lecture a mob supposedly making for the Catholic Church were only deflected from their purpose when shots were fired over their heads in Pleasant Street. Davitt was reputedly the man who fired the gun. In addition to organising the defence of church buildings Davitt was now recognised as the leading figure in local Irish circles.  

Having by now come to the attention of the police he was arrested in Paddington Station in London on 14th May 1870 (aged 24) while awaiting a delivery of arms.  He was convicted of treason felony and sentenced to 15 years of penal servitude in Dartmoor Prison;  Davitt felt that he had not had a fair trial or the best of defence.

He was kept in solitary confinement and received very harsh treatment during the un-remitted portion of his term. In prison he concluded that ownership of the land by the people was the only solution to Ireland's problems.  He managed to get a covert contact to an Irish Parliamentary Party MP, John O'Connor Power, who began to campaign against cruelty inflicted on political prisoners.  He often read Davitt's letters in the House of Commons, with his Party pressing for an amnesty for Irish Nationalist prisoners.  Partially due to public furore over his treatment.  Davitt was released (along with other political prisoners) on 19th December 1877 (aged 31), when he had served seven and a half years, on a "ticket to leave".  He and the other prisoners were given a hero's welcome on landing in Ireland.

Davitt rejoined the IRB and became a member of its Supreme Council.  The British Government had introduced a concept of "fair rents" in 1870 as a part of the first of the Irish Land Acts, but he continued to hold that the common people of Ireland could not improve their lot without the ownership of their land, and frequently insisted at Fenian meetings that "the land question can be definitely settled only by making the cultivators of the soil proprietors".

In 1873 (aged 27) while Davitt was imprisoned. his mother and three sisters had settled in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. In 1878 (aged 32) Davitt travelled to the United States in a lecture tour organised by John Devoy and the Fenians, hoping to gain the support of Irish-American communities for his new policy of "The Land for the People".  He returned in 1879 (aged 33) to his native Mayo where he at once involved himself in land Agitation. 

There is also further documentation about the follow on years when Davitt was not resident in Haslingden  eg: (1876 to 1906) (aged 30 to aged 60) When on release from prison he became heavily involved with the formation of the Land League and was also very busy helping the land agitation cause through politics. 

Davitt died in Elphis Hospital, Dublin on 30th May 1906, (aged 60), from blood poisoning. The fact that the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland attended the funeral was a public indication of the dramatic political journey this former Fenian prisoner had taken.  The plan had been not to have a public funeral, and hence Davitt's body was brought quietly to the Carmelite Friary, Clarendon Street, Dublin.  However, the next day over 20,000 people filed past his coffin. His remains were then taken to Foxford, County Mayo, and buried in the grounds of Straide Abbey at Straide (near Foxford), near where he was born.

buried in the grounds of Straide Abbey at Straide (near Foxford),
 near where he was born.

Davitt's - Haslingden Memorials

There is a mural tablet commemorating Davitt at St. Mary's Church, Haslingden unveiled in 1908.  Also the Church organ was given in memory of Michael Davitt.

On Wilkinson Street in Haslingden at just the site where Davitt's house used to be there is a memorial to Michael Davitt. 

1.  (I have tried to make references throughout all historic dates in relation to the age of Davitt at that time which are shown in bold type within brackets)

2.  (Most of this information has been extracted from the "Davitt's Haslingden" by kind permission of Dr. John Dunleavy and also some notes have been taken from the Wikimedia Commons Attributions articles).  I have also have had kind contributions from Marie Ives, Angus Lindsay and the undermentioned newspaper cuttings from Jackie at Haslingden Roots)

3. The above information covers most of the Davitt events that happened during the time Michael Davitt and his family were living in Haslingden (1850 to 1870). 

4. May I suggest if you want a more comprehensive read on Michael Davitt.  The following two publications are well worth perusal and available at the local Library:

Davitt's Haslingden by Dr. John Dunleavy, 
Davitt Exile and Exiles by Dr. John Dunleavy

Michael Davitt 1890s

Blue Commemorative Plaque can be seen to the LH of the main doorway

We have lots more information on Michael Davitt


This was the convict record "Ticket to Leave" for poor Mary Hindle
Her story is told higher up the page on the plaque given for Wavell Mill and the Riots

Mary Hindle Resource Centre which was the original New Inn on Bury Road


Coal Hey original build 6 back to back houses
Handloom Workshop on the top floor
the Watts family wove cotton cloths to make checks and ginghams


Here are Haslingden's Blue Commemorative Plaques (all 10 of them) The ones here are: 1) On Sykeside House commemorating that Alan Rawsthorne lived here. 2) On Wavell Mill, Holcombe Road - The Power Loom Riots. 3) Old Wesleyan School (Haslingden Medical Centre Site) - Measure Intelligence by a written test - the first.... 4) Haslingden Library - Michael Davitt - Irish Patriot.. 5) Haslingden Memorial Gardens - War Dead Memorial unveiled by Lord Derby. 6) New Inn (Now Mary Hindle Resource Centre - Power Loom Riots participants tried at this Magistrates Court, some being sent out to Australia. 7) Coal Hey - Handloom Workshop for the Watts Family whom made Checks and Ginghams... and 8) Haslingden Commercial Hotel - Sir Winston Churchill Stayed at the Hotel... (9) Ratcliffe Fold School and one of its pupils a William Cockerill - and (10) is the one below which was on Robert Scott VC's old house in Peel Street, which sadly went missing. 

This one above was the original which went missing!

(added 8th April 2013) Guess what? Just had some great news, kindly sent in by Hylton Craig who informs me that a new "Robert Scott VC" Blue Commemorative Plaque has been fixed on No. 14 Peel Street, Haslingden.  See Below for photo:

New badge erected for Robert Scott VC
(Photo: Courtesy of  Hylton Craig)

(Jackie Ramsbottom 4th Dec 2017 added)

Although the "Blue Commemorative Plaque" which is in situ at 14 Peel Street states that 
ROBERT SCOTT V.C. was born here, THAT IS NOT THE CASE"  Please read on:

Robert was actually born nearby in Charles Lane (number unknown) as shown on his birth certificate printed here.

This is a copy of the actual birth certificate for Robert Scott
(Click over certificate to enlarge)

I queried it long ago and have always felt worried that the information offered on this blue commemorative plaque in regard to "Born Here" could not be right! because at the back of my mind I was of the understanding that the actual houses on Peel Street had not been built at the time of Robert's birth.  His father was living there in 1901 and he (Robert Scott) was probably there when he signed up to go into war, but in previous census returns he was living at 24 Sunnybank Street in 1891, Cobb Castle also in 1881 and his parents were at Holme Wood Cottage in 1871.

With regards to Peel Street it is thought that the odd numbers were built by 1891 and the even numbers by 1901. The Scott family had left No.14 by 1911 and were back on Sunnybank Street. Here below is the census from 1911 which shows the family names of the persons actually living at 14 Peel Street.

Click over to enlarge
This is the 1911 Census Return for the family that lived at No.14 Peel Street at that time, so it's
clear the Scott family had left this address previous to 1911.

I have been able to confirm that Robert was baptised in 1876 whilst he was then living at Havelock Terrace just off Grane Road.  (Opposite to the small business park which was previously Snow King).

Robert's baptism certificate showing he lived at Havelock Terrace at that time (June 7th 1874)

I want to also thank Sharon Gallagher who is currently helping me with my ongoing quest to try and establish in more detail the 14 Peel Street saga.  It is clear the Robert will have spent some of his early life at No.14 Peel Street but would be lovely to find out more. I will report back when we have got further information. Jackie

Friday, 24 October 2008

Rossendale Hunt (mid-late 1800's) - based at Farm off Broadway.....

This is a very old photograph of the Rossendale Hunt, which I believe during its lifetime was based at a farm which was then situated nearto what is now the bottom of Lancaster Avenue, Broadway side, Helmshore...this is where the horses and dogs where stabled and is shown on this very old postcard.....

The Master of the Hunt was Thomas Brooks who was made The Rt. Hon. Lord Crawshaw (1st Baron) by Queen Victoria on the 9th February 1891. Thomas Brooks was born in 1825 and died in 1908. He became the High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1884. He was a founder member of the Rossendale hunt being appointed Master in 1860 a post which he held for 22 years. (Click over photo to enlarge)

Below is a mail I received 23rd Dec 2014 from John Oakley:
Dear Bryan,
I wonder if you or any followers/members of your page could help me with information please? I am trying to find out more about the Rossendale Hunt. My Great Grandfather James Edward Taylor was Whip to the Harriers from April 1879 to December 1883, and then Huntsman from December 1883 to June 1907. I believe that the Master of the Hunt at that time was possibly  a Major H.M. Kenyon. I would be grateful if anyone has any information about my Great Grandfather, or the Rossendale Hunt in general.

I found your page during the process of researching my Great Grandfather, and visit it regularly, it is a wonderful resource, and I wish you all the very best. Yours Sincerely, John Oakley.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Hollands Pies - from Humble Haslingden Beginnings....

John Whittaker  - Who started the small business (Confectioners) 
from No.77 Lower Deardengate in 1851

"77 Deardengate - from where it all started" in the 1850s
  The business later moved from here and up to moved up
 to 10 Church Street, and later moved yet again
to 11 Market Place, before moving to much larger and
more permenent premises in John Street (see below)
Photo: thanks to Clifford Hargreaves.

by 1911 the business was at 11 Market Place
Photo: UIL Bazaar 1911.

By 1907 the business moved to much larger and more permenent premises
 on John Street - see next photo the building is still there today (2021)

from 1907 the business was in John Street (see photo of building below)
Poster above: Many thanks to Chris Kirby

First van 1927

New information shows that Hollands Pies was initially founded by John Whitaker in 1851 (but would not have used the name "Hollands" in their title at the onset, this would probably have been some years later when Richard Holland took over the business from his father-in-law, sometime in the 1880s, and it was another 10 years on, when in 1890 Walter Holland (then aged 19), bought the confectionery business from his parents. . .

John Whitaker is listed in the 1881 Census as a Confectioner with the address, 77 Deardengate, this is the address where the origins of "Hollands Pies" first started back in 1851 (It is where the newsagents is in Deardengate which for a long time was owned by Jack Hayton). John Whitaker was the head of the family. Living at the same address was Richard Hy. Holland (32 years and son-in-law), Sarah Ann Holland (35 years and step-daughter), Walter Holland (10 years and Grandson), Sarah Alice Holland (8 years and grandaughter) and Ada Annie Holland (4 years and grandaughter). (See below for a more detailed family history)

So for the record it appears that Richard Holland married John Whitaker's daughter - (Sarah Ann), and that their son was Walter Holland. 

The business later moved from 77 Deardengate, to No. 10 Church Street. Then they later moved again to No.11 Market Place before much later getting their more permanent building situated in John Street (1907) which is still there today, (shown above -1st photo on left). Deliveries took place from the works in John Street by horse and cart (see photo above -bottom left - this photo must have been took from "Sunnyslack Farm" or maybe Downham's fields because you can just about make out in the background - Haslingden Parish Church and also the Paghouse Mill) The photo above right bottom shows the workforce celebrating the 1911 Coronation outside their works in John Street (Mr. Walter Holland the head of the Company is shown seated, third from the right on the front... Theres also a price list from 1931....showing Meat Pies at 1s. 10d per dozen (wholesale) - I think thats equivalent in todays reckoning to about 8p a dozen... Click over photos to enlarge......

Added 11th February 2009 John Ashworth whom farms at Sunnyslack Farm (next to Coldwells) kindly informs me that his farm was previously owned at one period by Mr. Walter Holland (Holland's Pies) and that they used to raise their own beef for their pies and also did their own slaughtering at the farm. He still has a room in the farm which was used them days as a cold store and this room actually has a stone ceiling to it, even today. 

Added January 9th 2011 
David Stevenson has kindly sent in this information on the Holland Family....

Hi Bryan,

I have further information on the Holland family which may be of interest. This shows that in 1851 when John Whittaker opened a confectioners shop in Deardengate, his future wife, Sarah Titley was employed as a cook at Flaxmoss House for William Turner a prominent mill owner and JP.
On the 8th October 1852 at The Parochial Chapel in Haslingden, John Whittaker married Sarah Titley (whose father was Walter Titley, an attorney at Alton in Staffordshire).

The 1861 census shows John and Sarah Whittaker living in Deardengate together with Sarahs daughter Sarah Ann aged 16 who was born in Macclesfield on the 25th July 1844, with the surname Titley and no fathers name recorded on the birth certificate.

In 1866 Richard Henry Holland, born at Wood farm in Staffordshire, joined the Whittakers to work in their shop, after an apprenticeship at Bollands in Chester and Moseleys in Accrington.

On the 2nd November 1869 Richard and Sarah Ann were married at St. James Parish Church, also this year they bought into the confectioners business and changed the name to Hollands.

The 1871 census shows John and Sarah Whittaker,Richard and Sarah Ann Holland all listed as confectioners living in Deardengate together with Richard and Sarahs son Walter at 5 months old.

The 1881 census has John Whittaker, Richard and Sarah Holland with their children Walter,Sarah and Ada living at 77 Deardengate.

On the 21st November 1882 my grandmother Florence Edith Holland was born to Richard and Sarah Ann in Deardengate.

Around 1890 Walter Holland took over the business and changed the name to Walter Hollands.

In1891 Richard and Sarah with four of their children and John Whittaker were living at 10 Church St. whilst Walter Holland, his wife and son Harry lived at 15 Hartley St.

The 1901 census shows that Walter Holland and his family had moved into 10 Church St. whilst Richard, Sarah and three of their children had moved to 342 Blackburn Road.

From David Stevenson,
Rising Bridge Road

1900 and Hollands were also making bread from their John St works

Bury Road of Hollands Pies float 
and it is in commemoration of the Coronation
 of King George VI
 and Queen Elizabeth in May 1937. 
(Photo: kindly sent in by Paul Schofield)

This photo was taken outside of Hollands Pies factory at Rising Bridge
 and is in commemoration of the Coronation of King George VI
 and Queen Elizabeth in May 1937 (Photo kindly sent in by Paul Schofield)


This photo is of Harry Holland with his wife Minnie, who lived to over 100 years, and their daughter Sybil.

The above three photos have been kindly sent in by Paul Schofield. (added 5th Dec 2014).
Paul's Grandmother was Ruth Elizabeth Schofield who was a Holland by birth, she was Aunt to Harry Holland, the last Holland to run the Company.

The above photo is of a placard currently (from April 2009) showing on the wall adjacent to the Hollands Pies offices and factory.

In 1982 when this photograph was taken this Bedford TM was a brand new addition to the Holland's fleet and was used to deliver bulk loads of Holland's frozen products to major supermarket distribution depots. Holland's, now part of Northern Foods, make over 80 million pies, pasties and puddings from their site in Baxenden Lancashire where they employ around 450 employees. (Hollands Pies Artic photo and text was kindly supplied by Paul Anderson) 

Here are some more photos sent in by Paul Anderson on 15th November 2010 - Thanks Paul.

Here are a further three photos kindly send in by Paul Anderson on 5th December 2010 with the permission and kindness of Peter Davison:

Paul Anderson has kindly sent in (4th Feb 2011) the following Hollands Pies Van photo (area of photo unknown):

And here below is a photo of the Holland's Pies Netball Team (undated) - Click over photo to enlarge.
The photo was kindly donated by: Mr. Michael Lynn.

Email received from David Stevenson 7th May 2014 to help to clear up the confusion of where did the Walter Holland shop go after it had left Lower Deardengate

Hi Bryan,
I have just read with interest the latest info. regarding the Holland family and the query regarding their shop in 1911.
I can confirm that they did live at 11 Market Place in 1911. The census shows Walter living there with his wife, Fanny, their sons, Harry, Frank and Harold together with a domestic housemaid and also a shop waitress named Minnie Orvis. On the 12th August 1914 Minnie and Harry were married, their daughter, Sybil eventually married Kenneth Miller (of Durie and Miller).
In 1891 Richard Holland and family had moved somewhat earlier from Deardengate to 10 Church Street then in 1901 Richard had retired, Walter had taken over the business and with his family were all at 10 Church Street, moving later to 11 Market Place.
Hoping that this is helpful,
Best Regards  David Stevenson

26th September 2014. June Huntingdon has kindly sent in the following Hollands Photos

This photo is from 2006 (supplied by June Huntingdon of the Accrington Museum)

June took this one on 18th July 2004 at Tram Sunday in Fleetwood, so
its really great news to know that one of the old fleet has been so nicely
restored. (photo: June Huntingdon of the Accrington Museum)

The above three photos were kindly sent in by Jack Pilling: The top photo is from the 1930s.
"Have attached a couple of pictures from the 1960's when I joined.  I have more that I took personally The old "Draw Plate" Pie.  The Ovens were still there when I joined but used only for pork pies and turkeys at Christmas.  They were replaced in the late 60's by a large travelling oven. 

This is a photo of Hollands dispatch side of the building that I actually took myself in the early 1960's.  All the vans were out delivering at the time.  Back then the vans had to reverse through that door to be loaded up with products.  The famous Holland's chimney was then complete carrying the logo "Hollands Pies", unfortunately it needed to be reduced in height in the 1970s and became just "Hollands".  In the mid 1980's it was taken down altogether.  The Lancashire Boiler for which the chimney served was also removed to make room for the new Pudding department. (Photo: kindly sent in by Jack Pilling 22nd December.  Please click over to enlarge)

This is a photo of Holland's cookhouse where all the fillings were produced.  Not sure of when it was taken but I worked in this department in the early 60's.  The first man on the left is James Horrocks from Haslingden who was still running the department then.  So I guess it was in the early 1950's. (Photo: kindly sent in by Jack Pilling 22nd December. Please click over to enlarge)

This photo is of a man named John Kay who was in charge of the 4am shift who did the preparation for the bakery shift who started at 6.30am.  He was a Haslingden man who was still running that shift in 1961 when I joined.  He was famous for whistling bird songs in the manner of Ronny Ronald who made a very popular record of "In a Monastery Garden" in which he imitated various bird songs.  Both were very impressive !! Again not sure of date but certainly 1930's, 1940's or even 1950's. (Photo: sent in by Jack Pilling 22nd Dec - Please click over photo to enlarge)

Hi, Another one for the Hollands archive. The two people in the the foreground are Production Manager Joseph Nicholas (Left) and John Kay (right)
In the background the men there include Hubert Taylor who doubled up as van driver and production operative. The decorations are for the coronation of King George the 6th in 1937. (Photo kindly supplied by Jack Pilling on Dec 24th 2014 - Click over to enlarge)

Hi, This would be Ok for your Hollands site. They are early 1960's vans of which pictures are rare. The Lambretta is mine which I rode to work for 2 years (Brave me!) Jack Pilling.  (Photo kindly supplied by Jack Pilling on Dec 26th 2014 - Click over to enlarge)

This is one for Hollands showing pies awaiting being baked. This picture I took in the late 80's when we were producing between 1 and 2 million pies weekly.. (Photo kindly sent in by Jack Pilling on 3rd January 2015).

Hollands Pies Management Team in the early 1960s

From the left: Ken Dickinson, Jack Pilling, John Hunt, Elsie Johnson, Betty Christopher, Alan Marshall, Fred Howden, Audrey Harvey, Fred Pickup, Tom Lees, Royce Birtwell, Arnold Longworth, Albert Riley (Managing Director).  Photo: kindly supplied by Jack Pilling on 7th Jan 2015 - Please click over to enlarge

Hollands Pies Van in the Lodge at the bottom of the car park (Photo supplied by Peter Fisher 6th Aug 2015)

Hollands Pie Van in Lodge (Photo: kindly supplied by Peter Fisher on 6th August 2015

Hollands Pies Van in Lodge during the 1980s.

Photo kindly supplied by Jack Pilling on 12th January 2015 (Please click over to enlarge)

This is Hollands Pies Staff 1980s. (Photo kindly supplied by Jack Pilling 7th Jan 2015)

Photos sent in by Jack Pilling showing the Pastry Mixing Department. 

Two fabulous Magazine photos kindly sent in by Jack Pilling on 17th Feb 2015.

 Hollands Pies Mechanics and Painters (Click over photo to enlarge)

Photo: kindly contributed by Marjorie Corbridge/Myra Frohnapfel and uploaded here on 25th November 2015

Hollands Pies - The Confectionery Department (Click over to enlarge)
The firm employed over 200 workers at that time and were making 8000 pies per hour as well as confectionery.
(Photo: Kindly shared by Jack Pilling)

Hollands Pies - Pie Manufacturing Department (Click over to enlarge)
The firm employed over 200 workers at that time and were making 8000 pies per hour as well as confectionery.
(Photo: Kindly shared by Jack Pilling)

Hollands Pies Vans - photo taken in the 1930s (Click over to enlarge)
It is thought that some of the vans pictured were probably Chevrolets made by the American firm before they became Vauxhall and therein produced the Bedford Van.
(Photo: Kindly shared to us by Jack Pilling)

  Hollands Pies Van Pull in aid of Leukaemia Research Fund
Left: Stephen Cain, Sean McKenna, ? Mike Pelc, ? Jeff Gregory.
Right: David Guest, ?,?, Frank Wade, Gary Price, ?
Photo: Kindly shared to us by Peter Fisher.