Thursday, 30 April 2009


“Where Fairies danced to the Spirits tune”

Plunder the Glen, our dear Fairy Glen,
Where serpents hiss out loud, like,
Watchful guards o’er a bountiful bond!
Keep ever quiet to hear the creaking tales,
Of spirits weaving in and out of shadows,
Whispering their past in drunken mourn.

A worth of skilful touch to bubbling air,
That made the Fairies bent with glee,
And whisked off their feet in giddy spree,
Whilst glowing a faint flickering light,
As they brushed past the stillness of night,
It’s still going on century on and on and on

Poem by Bryan Yorke dated 14th April 2015

(Haworth - the brewer) = (A worth), Bentley (Bent with glee), Whisked (Whiskey)

Bentley House in Ruins (Click over to enlarge)
Photo taken around 2003

Bentley House 

Bentley House does have some striking history, especially in regards to "illicit whisky distilling" which took place during the mid , 1800's - Here is a article published in the Blackburn Standard - May 20th 1857:

ILLICIT DISTILLATION OF WHISKY..... On Saturday at the Court-house, Haslingden, Jonathan Haworth, farmer, Bentley House, Haslingden Grane, was charged by Mr. Ellis Heath, supervisor of the Inland Revenue in the Blackburn Division, with being the proprietor of an unlicensed still for the manufacture of illicit whisky. Mr. Clough, who appeared for the Board of Inland Revenue, stated that this was one of the most compact and connected private distilleries which had been brought to light, at any rate in this neighbourhood; and but for the vigilance of the officers of the Board, it might have been carried on for a length of time without detection. At eleven o'clock on the night of 3rd April last, Mr. Ellis Heath, accompanied by the officers, went to the house of the defendant, which is situated at an unfrequented and isolated part of the township of Haslingden. On going into the house, the officers proceeded to a square weaving shop, but observed nothing there by two pairs of looms. On examining the room above that they found it was a much larger room. They descended again to the weaving shop, and tapped the wall, which defendant said was a gable end of the house. They found the mortar soft, but yet it corresponded with the other walls of the chamber. On looking at the flags they found that they had only breen freshly laid. A few were taken up and after taking up a quantity of earth, an arched entrance cut out of the solid rock was discovered with an aperture just sufficient for one person to enter in a creeping position. On the officers entering the chamber by this, the only entrance, they found a new still and every apparatus requisite for the manufacture of illicit spirits, with a number of tubs, a quantity of wash, &c., which were immediately seized and conveyed to a place of safety. The flue of the fireplace in the room had been cut out of the rock and taken below the floor of the weaving shop and house until a junction was formed with the chimney of the house, so that one flue only could be seen to emit smoke. With the stone cut from the flue the partition wall of the weaving shop had been built so that no material had to be brought to the house, --Mr. Ellis Heath and others proved the case and the bench inflicted a mitigated penalty of £50 and costs, in default of payment to be imprisoned during her Majesty's pleasure. -- On the 7th ult., the defendant had been convicted of being on the premises where illicit whisky was found and convicted in £30 and costs, in default to go to prison for three months. The prisoner then sold ten head of cattle and went to prison. The seizure reflects great credit on the vigilance of the officers and will do much to check illicit distillation in this neighbourhood.

Jonathan Haworth's Gravestone (Click over to enlarge)

Jonathan Haworth and his Wife Alice are buried at St. Stephens Church Old Site, near Crowtrees and here is photo of gravestone

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

At the side of Bentley House ruins, runs the old road which was the original way to Bolton and also you can see here the marker stone which clearly shows engraved but enhanced here with chalk (TO BOLTON)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)

Bentley House (Bryan Yorke)


And more beautiful photos of Bentley House by Angela Neild

Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

 Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

Beautiful Bentley House, Grane photos by Angela Neild

"Be aware! amongst the fairies and serpents,
and not far away from this very magical place,
you may well watch, summers rare Redstart,
and winter may turn your head to a downward glance,
to watch the Redpoll (flit amongst the alders)"  
also a place were a special Pipit actually hangs out,
in the trees which shade the willow wren (warbler)
which sings his melodious charm.


And now other Grane  "Whisky" tales

"James Morris"
of Far Pike Low farm
Haslingden Grane

Blackburn Standard   September 1st 1858

WHISKY DISTILLER AND HYPOCRITE - On Wedensday last, Mr. Heath, supervisor of excise, Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Westall, officers of the Inland Revenue, went to the house of Mr. Jas. Morris, farmer, Haslingden Grane, in search of illicit whisky and utensils for the manufacture of whisky.  Judge, however, of the officers surprise, when, on entering Morris's house, they found Morris reading a Bible!  They stated the object of their visit, upon which Morris lifted his eyes to the ceiling in utter astonishment at the charge - nay, even the insinuation - and protested - before man and God - that he was as innocent as a child unborn of the offences imputed to him.
The officers, however, were not to be gammoned.  They proceeded to search.  They dug all about the premises and at last came upon pipes which to them looked very suspicious.  They continued their search for nearly three days and then they discovered about ten gallons of whisky and a large quantity of apparatus for the manufacture of spirits.  James (the apparent saint) was taken into custody, his "tackle" was seized and on Saturday he was called upon to answer for his offences before D. Thwaites, Esq. (b)  James then said he had had great losses - that he had commenced whisky spinning to recompense him for his losses and therefore he hoped that the Lord would put it into the heart of the magistrate to be very lenient with him.  The magistrate, however, had only one course, namely to fine James £30.  It is said that James will also be subject to other penalties.

(b) Daniel Thwaites, founder of the Blackburn brewery which bears his name.


Blackburn Standard, September 29th, 1858

THE GREAT WHISKY DISTILLER, James Morris Again! - On Tuesday at the Town Hall, Haslingden, James Morris, Pike Lowe, Haslingden Grane, was charged by Mr. Heath, Supervisor of Excise, Blackburn with having in his possession a "still" on the 27th of last month.  Mr. Mitchell, officer of excise, said he went to Pike Lowe on the 27th of August.  After entering a subterranean cavern, he found a still which contained 100 gallons also five jars containing whisky, all of which were full; there were eight or ten gallons altogether.  There were three tin cans which would hold thirty or forty gallons of whisky and three wood tubs capable of holding ten gallons each.  They were sunk into the ground.  It was impossible to bring them out and they therefore broke them in the place.  There were measures and glasses of all descriptions.  Mr. Heath said that he had no doubt but the revenue had been defrauded out of £700 a year.  He had communicated with the Board in London and they had ordered him to press for the highest penalty.  He had no doubt but that the place had been built on purpose and that illicit manufacture had been carried on for fifty years.  He stated that there was a drainer in the place which fitted so tight that not a particle of steam could escape.  He had never seen such a place in all his experience.  At one place they came to a long flag which they had taken up, expecting that they were going to find the entrance to another passage, but when the stone was taken up mortar was found underneath and all had the appearance of being right.  One policemen, more sagacious than the rest, thought there was more in the stone being there than they imagined and put his hand upon the mortar, when he imagined that something moved.  The hand was again applied and the flag ran upon a railway on one side and left open a man-hole.  The stone was so nicely adjusted that the least push would throw it on one side, and it would immediately return to its place as though nothing had been disturbed.  Mr. Heath said he had no doubt in his own mind that the prisoner had gone down by the trap while they were searching the premises and it was then that he cut the two worms into a hundred pieces.  While they were searching, the prisoner, after driving out the cows, took down his Bible and in the prescence of the officers read several chapters.  The magistrates said they would inflict the highest penalty, namely £200.  The hypocrite will have to remain in prison during her Majesty's pleasure.


"James Barlow"
of Hareclough, Musbury

Blackburn Times  July 9th 1881

SEIZURE OF ILLICIT WHISKY STILL - Between one and two o'clock on Tuesday morning, Haslingden Police visited the premises of James Barlow, the occupier of a small farm at Hareclough, Musbury, a bleak country district situate on a hillside about two miles from Haslingden.  There they found a whisky still, complete and ready for use, also a quantity of wash, barrels, etc, all of which were seized by the police.  Later on in the day a cart was obtained and the still, together with the liquor, barrels etc, was conveyed to the county police offices at Haslingden, pending proceedings being taken by the Inland Revenue, who have been informed of the seizure, which has caused much excitement in Helmshore.
At the court hearing a policeman stated that the still was built into a fireplace and that water was piped from another room.  They found a barrel and a tub, each of which contained about 18 gallons of wash.  A can in front of the discarge pipe of the condenser was full of whisky.  The cellar was six inches deep in refuse from the still.  Barlow was fined £10 (c)

(c) Bacup and Rossendale Advertiser, - September 17th 1881



A few years ago, around the Higher Doles area I found some of the old bricks which had been manufactured at Grane Brickworks at the turn of 19th Century and have posted a photo here (click on photo to enlarge)... the bricks are probably still there. Here are some old notes on the opening of the brickworks in 1895:

(Taken from the Haslingden Guardian Sat Sept 28th 1895)

Mr. J. H. Maden, M.P. for the Rossendale division, christened two engines of the new Haslingden Grane Brick and Terracotta Company, and act the same in motion on Saturday last. One engine was named Alice after Mr. Maden’s wife, and the other was called Maud, after Mr. John Haworth’s daughter. Mr Maden subsequently shovelled about a dozen spadefulls of shale into the mixing pan, and took out the first bricks made. The ceremony was witnessed by the Directors and their wives. Mr. Foster of Clayton-le-Moors is the organizer of the Company, and Mr. Maden is also one of the Directors.


The Project was first mooted by Mr. Thomas Foster of Clayton-le-Moors. It is about a year ago since he rented the land, knowing its value at that time by reason of the shale thereon. His experience as Director in other concerns had served him well in this instance. A Company was formed to work the place, the Capital being £8,000. The Company were fortunate to secure the advantages of the services of Mr. John Smith whose long experience under his father in Holland’s Brickworks, Accrington is of the greatest utility. He has become Managing Director of the Company. Mr. Maden M.P. is also a Director. The Chairman of the Company is Mr. John Haworth of Accrington.


The Cutting of the first sod was performed on the 11th May last. There was no public ceremony but it may prove to be a first step in the starting of a new and most successful endeavour. The situation chosen for the works is some distance above Grane Church, and a addition to the working population of Grane, would be greatly welcomed. The extent of the ground to be worked is 1 1/3rd Acres, but the company have secured the rights to shale for a radius of 4 miles of their present works. The shale is of a very fine nature and from it a superior brick and terra cotta is to be manufactured.


The present works consist of a boiler house, engine house, machine house, and grinding house. They are erected in red brick, and are easily accessible, facing the turnpike. The boiler is 37ft by 7ft. No.1 Grinding mill is 9ft in diameter. The engines which can be worked up to 90 horse power, are by Bellhouse of Manchester. The machinery is of the latest patent and is applied by Messrs. C. Whittaker & Co. of Accrington. It is expected as the works now stand, a turn out of 500 bricks a hour can be effected. There is now only one machine, but other four are expected. Mr. Bolton, the owner of the Haslingden Grane Quarries had promised to give the company facilities by connecting the works with his railway siding. Of course the hands now employed are few in number, but they are soon expected to be reckoned by the score.


Mr. Maden, M.P., in company with his steward, Mr. Mr. Hargreaves, made an early arrival, and made a thorough inspection of the place, asking numerous questions and taking the greatest interest in all details. The Directors, their wives and friends arrived somewhat later. The company included Messrs. John Haworth, Chairman of the Company, Accrington; Thomas Foster, Clayton-le-Moors; William Myers Hall, James Lund, Taylor Crawshaw and Adam Shaw (Haslingden). Among the ladies were, Mrs. Haworth, Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Hall and Mrs. Smith.


Mr. John Smith, the Managing Director, having placed wine in readiness for the baptizing of the engines, said the Directors thought something should be done to celebrate the event of that day, and it was unanimously decided that they should ask Mr. Maden to perform the ceremony of christening the engines.
Mr. Maden amidst the applause of the company, then turned on the steam and set the engines in motion, and christened them as stated.


Mr. Smith then took the company to the grinding house, and called upon Mr. Maden to put in the first spadeful of shale. Mr. Maden, handling the shovel in a workmanlike, put in a dozen or more spadefuls of Shale.
The directors followed suit, and each of the ladies took a turn.
The first bricks were subsequently made.
Mr. John Ashworth said it gave him much pleasure to accord Mr. Maden the best thanks of the company for his attendance and for the performance of the interesting ceremonies of that day. He seemed to be so homely and to shape so well at work, that he was more like a practical working man than an M.P. He hoped the firm would prosper from that day forth, if it were only for the sake of the ladies, for if it did not they would be down on to them “like a thousand bricks” (laughter). It afforded him much pleasure to move a vote of thanks to Mr. Maden (applause)
Mr. Smith seconded, and remarked that at one time they thought they would not be able to get Mr. Maden , as he had been suffering from a cold, and had been under medical treatment. He was glad to see him better and there that day (applause). He (Mr Smith) hoped the works would prove a great success, and a benefit to the landlord and the people of the neighbourhood. He hoped that in time Mr. Maden would see his way to put up a good brick works and that there would be more and more employment brought to that place. Their best thanks were due to Mr. Maden for his attendance and the honour of his services that day (Applause).
The vote having been presented –
Mr. Maden M.P., said he was much obliged for their vote of thanks. He had learned something coming up there, and he was very glad to see there was energy being put forth to help to bring more employment to that benighted quarter of Grane. Mr. Smith had referred to him as being the landlord. But he only represented the real owners, for aunts and cousins of his owned the land. However, he was sure that they would only be too glad to help in fostering a industry and bringing more employment to the people of that district. He should be glad to do anything he could at anytime, and he hoped the concern would prove a great success and would be extended from time to time. He thanked them for their vote (applause).
Mr. Smith pointed out that the machine was one of the finest at present made and that the pressure they would be able to bring to bear upon the bricks, from 60 to 120 tons, would made them the hardest and most useful turned out of any factory.
This concluded the proceedings at the Works.
The Mayor of Haslingden has given the Company an order for 100,000 bricks.

(Thanks to John Simpson of Helmshore, who kindly provided the above factual information, and also for supplying the undermentioned photo.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Old Police Station & Courthouse & Hargreaves Street...

A full contingent outside of the Court Building Steps on George Street. The gentleman with the bowler is David Halstead

I can remember the old Police Station which was on Hargreaves Street, just lower down than Marsden Square, the reception was about the size of a small front room, and the old Courthouse was on the corner with George Street (see photo above left). The door to the Police Station was a really big heavy wooden door painted black with studs throughout, and I can't be sure which it was, but you either had to duck as you entered the Station because the lintel across the top of the door was very low or it was that you almost fell as you opened the door because there was a step down immediately on opening the door... Also on George St I can remember the Cook Shop and lower down below the Court was Jim Barlow's Cycle & Ironmongers....

The photo above left shows the Haslingden Police contingency (ammended too: probably taken between 1900 and 1904) and the photo directly above is Sgt. Maxwell.
Thanks to David Stevenson who has kindly supplied probable dates for the above photos (received 13th Jan 2010):
Hi Bryan,
Just been looking on the Police Station and Courthouse and Hargreaves st. blog and noticed that you have two photos one of sergeant Maxwell on the right and the other of a group of policemen in front of the police station which the text suggests was taken around 1920 - 1930. If you notice sergeant Maxwell, who was my great grandfather, is also in the group stood at the front left hand side and he died in September 1905 just nine months after retiring aged 46 which means that the photograph must have been taken probably between 1900 and the end of 1904. The policeman stood at the front but on the righthand side is sergeant Pearson, who I believe was a good friend of my great grandfather.
David Stevenson 

Old Court House and steps on George Street, also shows "Cook shop" which was almost opposite George Street Mission.

The photo above shows the old Haslingden Courthouse boarded up prior to demolition. Also the cookshop can be seen higher up on the next row of properties. The photo directly above shows two Haslingden officers which include Tom Braithewaite (left) whom was decorated for his part in the rescue of 5 boys from Pike Law Caves in 1935-1936...(see newspaper article below.

(Click over photos to enlarge.)

 1964 floods near to Worsley Park - remember Z Cars

Detective Hickson

1979 - Hargreaves Street with Courthouse and Police Station directly in front and Hargreaves Street Mill chimney showing.  On the left was Mr. Cleggs clothes shop (school uniforms) and on the right and out of view was the Duckworth Memorial built into the walls of the terraced properties (see photo below). Also Ivanovics bedspread manufacturers were in the buildings to the right hand side (out of view)

John Duckworth Memorial

Also on Hargreaves Street was Mr. Clegg's Clothes shop (see photo below right and also photo lower down on left) where my mum used to take me to get school uniform clothes. Mr Clegg's daughter Megan was my very first teacher and taught me at St. James C of E School, and I still see her now and again around the town. Also on Hargreaves Street was the firm of Ivanovics (Textile Manufacturers) which was sort of in a part row of terraced houses.. Higher up than the Police Station was Hargreaves Street Mill which was in full production in the 60s producing for the cotton trade... The Mill is still there and owned by Mr. Stanley Hargreaves. Today it is split into various sized smaller units.

Photo: thanks to Michael Mullaney

This photo shows the area of were the old Police Station and Courthouse was and cleared for the new development (Hargreaves Street/George Street junction).
Photo thanks to Derek Woodhall

Another photo of Walsh and Cleggs Clothes shop earlier c1930

This one shows the Duckworth Memorial set within the walls of the buildings on the left hand side, also the area were Ivanovics used to be.

Newspaper article about the Lost Boys.  (Thanks to Jackie Ramsbottom)

Email dated 8th April 2016 - from Derek Whittaker:

          although this week’s "facebook blog" is about the police station and court, the article about the caves brought back memories. 

  When I lived up t’Shoot we used to enter the caves. At 12 years of age we moved to Coronation St so I must have been younger than this. There are other readers/contributors to your blog who may recall all of the below but it’s not for me to reveal their names.
  There were two cave entrances which had at sometime been bricked up but then these walls fell into disrepair and access could be gained. We always used the left entrance and after a downslope of about 10 yards it opened into quite a large circular cavern of about 5 yards in height. If you looked to the right you could see that there was a very similar arrangement inside the right hand entrance with a short passage connecting the two.
   Straight ahead the cave sloped downwards and then after a while there was an upward slope. At the summit of the upward slope there was a large slab of slate like rock which we treated as a sort of table (about 5 foot in diameter). Usually this was as far as we went and we had “gang meetings” round it.
   On more adventurous (or more stupid) days we carried on down the slope beyond this table. Eventually we came to what appeared to have been a roof fall and there was a solid piece of rock as described in the newspaper article. But we knew different and at the bottom of the obstruction was a gap that we called “the six incher”. Some of our gang decided that this was far enough but some of us were more adventurous (stupid) and laid on our backs and wriggled through feet first. There being no limit to our bravado (stupidity) we carried on. The walls became more and more damp and the air became more and more fetid. I don’t know how far we went (and we did it on more than one occasion) but it was quite a distance before we decided to turn around and emerge from the underworld.
   It never crossed our minds how dangerous it was or what our parents would think about it. By the way my Mum is still around at 96 years old and please don’t let her see this or I might have to stay in.

Police operating a speed trap close to the Holden Arms with the Cemetary in the background

The policemen are Bob Southworth standing and Dave Briggs kneeling.  Thanks to Neil Stevenson for names and also thanks to Peter Fisher for kindly sharing this photo with us

Haslingden's Special Constabulary on parade sometime in the early 1960s
(Click over photo to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared with us by David Emison

Friday, 17 April 2009

Duckworth Clough Mill...



What can I remember from my childhood about Duckworth Clough Mill as a Cotton Mill is not much, other than Mr. Willis was the Mill Manager and was also a JP on the local bench. He lived at the house closeby the Mill which is called "The Mount". Here on the left is a photo of when it was in full swing Cotton production and on the right is a photo showing the large Chimney which was erected (Duckworth Clough did have two chimneys built at various times). I also have a couple of old photographs here showing some of the workers from that time.

My memories become more vivid after the Mill had been taken over by Shepherd Timber Importers and the main directors were Mr. Terry Flynn, Mr. Michael Bolton and Mr. Harry Plant.  I can remember it used to be a cobbled (old setts) road leading up the steep hill to the Old Mill/Timber yard, and during the Winter months when there was usually snow and ice on the road, I have witnessed many a arcticulated lorry laden with timber would jacknife and cause havoc on that road. Thankfully not a lot of traffic used the road at that time, because besides Shepherds it was only serving the two or three farms and the Duckworth Clough Quarry which where further up the road. The Tip came many, many years later, long after the Quarry had ceased to produce.... Later the road was tarmacked and after this there was far fewer accidents.

Across from the main factory there was a massive big steel framed open air hanger with Asbestos Roof and timber paling sides, I remember this being brought up from Kings Lynn and erected at Duckworth Clough as a open storage for softwoods. This building was erected by two guys with the hire of a crane from time to time. The building must have been up at least 30 years.

Mr Terry Flynn who was the managing director at Shepherds, knew that I was into fishing at that time (probably 1970s), and offered me the mill lodge for £1. It is still there and lies slightly East to the factory on the left hand side of the road when you are going up towards the tip. It sounded a giveaway bargain for £1, but just think about the liability that went with it should that lodge banking wall every give way... or repair work ever had to be carried out...

Since February 2006 the mill has been demolished and a new housing development is on the land. Here is a photo of the commencement of the new building works and the one on the right hand shows some of the completed properties.

Duckworth Clough Mill Cricket Team 1931  (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: kindly contributed by John Bedford and uploaded on 8th April 2016
This photo is the A. Worsley and Sons Ltd Cricket Club (Duckworth Clough Mill) who were the winners of the Workshops Medal Competition in 1931. 

Duckworth Clough Mill Presentation (Click over photo to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly contributed by John Bedford and uploaded here on 11th April 2016

Group of workers sat on the steps of the Duckworth Clough Mill Offices (Click over to enlarge)

Photo: Kindly contributed by John Bedford and uploaded here on 12th April 2016 

Duckworth Clough Mill Workers  (Click over photo to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly contributed by John Bedford and uploaded here on 12th April 2016

Duckworth Clough Mill Workers  (Click over photo to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly contributed by John Bedford and uploaded here on 13th April 2016