Monday, 20 September 2010

Moses Ball & W.M. Holden Fruit & Vegetable Merchants of Haslingden & Bury

Jim Nuttall has kindly sent me the following postcard/photograph.

"I Have been sorting out my dad's old photo's, and found one of Moses Ball He lived on Wells street Haslingden until he died.
He was related to me through my Uncle's ( Nick Nuttall) wife.
The photo is of a Horse & cart Owned by W M Holden Fruit & Vegatable merchants of Haslingden & Bury.
Uncle Moses is the at the reins on the cart.
I haven't been able to find any information about the fruit & veg merchants, or where the building in the photo was.
I would be grateful if you have any information, about the merchants or there premises.
I have attached a copy of the photo, for you and you are welcome to use it in your Blogs"

If you have any information on where this photo was taken from or further information on Holden's Fruit and Veg, it would be most welcome, please contact me at:
Please click on the photo once to enlarge, then click on the enlarged for supersize

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Zeppelin, Bombs, Bomb Damage in and around Haslingden 1916 and 1941

The Zeppelin Raid on September 25th 1916

L21 Zeppellin Raid on September 25th 1916 
September 25th 1916 was a clear night and without warning a German Zeppelin dropped seven bombs on the outskirts of Haslingden. The bombing was unexpected and residents came out to see the Zeppelin - the size of an ocean liner - above the town. The report in the Haslingden Gazette states "The visit of the Zeppelin struck momentary fear into the hearts of everyone. The masses of flashed light and the air-rending cracks from the exploding bombs were things to be remembered"
Jackie Ramsbottom - 

I have visited National Archives at Kew and seen the records they hold on this bombing raid. Here is what is recorded in section 111 of the secret file compiled by the intelligence section of GHQ home forces on the air raids of 1916. 
Ann Taylor - 


5. Course of L. 21. – L. 21 came in at Sutton on Sea at 9.45pm. at 9.50 pm she was at Alford, at 10.15 pm south of Wragby. At 10.30 pm she passed over Lincoln, and turned north-west, and at 10.43pm passes Knaith. At 10.55pm she was south of Bawtry, and at 11.8 pm was at Beighton. She then passed over the northern outskirts of Sheffield, was heard from the city, but dropped no bombs, going on eastwards into the Peak district, where she was reported from Derwent at 11.28 am (yes the original report says AM!) She then disappeared from observation over the uninhabited moorland, and reappeared suddenly at Todmorden at 11.55pm. at midnight she was at Bacup, and went north-west to Lumb, between which place and Newchurch she dropped two incendiary bombs. She then turned south-west and made the railway at Rawtenstall, where she dropped 2 H.E. bombs. Thence she went due west to Haslingden. From Haslingden she followed the railway south, dropping 5 H.E. and 2 incendiary bombs at Ewood Bridge, which did slight damage to the railway line and broke some windows. Still following the railway she now dropped 7 H.E. bombs at Holcomb, which injured a woman, damaged the post office and broke windows and telegraph wires. At Ramsbottom, further down the valley, 2 H.E. bombs were dropped, followed by 2 incendiary bombs at Holcomb Brook. The airship was reported from bury at 12.19 am and at 12.40 was near Atherton. At 12.45am she went over Bolton, where she dropped 9 H.E. and 11 incendiary bombs, killing 12 persons and wounding 2. Six houses were demolished and 6 badley damaged, a church slightly damaged, and many windows blown out. One fire, not serious, was caused at a mill. No damage was done to the Bessemer Steel forge or any factories or public buildings.

From Bolton she turned due north, at 1.15am was south of Blackburn, and then turned north-east, passing Burnley. At 1.30am she was near Skipton, and about 1.35am she dropped at Bolton abbey a H.E. bomb which failed to explode. She held on her north-easterly course, was reported in the neighbourhood of Rippon about 2am, and at Thirsk about 2.15 am. She now passed over North Yorkshire moors, where she apparently had some difficulty in location her position, as it was not till 3.5am she passed out to sea at Whitby.


Jeff Stevens has kindly sent in the following link with even more information about the L21 Zeppelin-Airship



The Bombs fell at 1:45am on 16th April, 1941
(Laund Hey and Cribden)

Fizle has kindly sent in the following mail:

Hi Bryan,

With the anniversary of the Blitz being marked everywhere, I wondered if you would be interested in starting a thread on bomb damage in Haslingden and surrounding areas and if anyone or their relatives remembered the experience. Also the on Laund Hey there used to be two dips which we described as 'bomb holes'. Were there really bombs dropped there at the foot of Cribden or was it just a tale?

Hope you are well and keep up the good work.

Fizle Sagar

I remember the bomb holes (there still there!) and I was probably told the same story as you. They said that they where German bombers who had been instructed to return to Germany and decided to lighten off their horrible payload near Cribden (Laund Hey - playing field, towards the base of Cribden and alongside the footpath at the junction where you would turn right). B.Y.

From Paul Burke.
Hello Bryan,
Whilst searching for information on the bomb holes up on Laund Hey, Haslingden, I came across a similar enquiry on your wonderful Haslingden blog:

To answer your query, the Lancashire Telegraph published a detailed map of every bomb that was dropped on East Lancashire during World War II. It includes the Laund Hey/Cribden bombs, but actually places them in Rawtenstall! They fell at 1:45am on 16th April, 1941:

LT Map in larger size
Google Maps Aerial View

I have just been up there today and can report that 3 of the 4 craters are still easily visible, especially when looked upon from the side of Cribden. The location of the 4th crater, which I always remember (albeit from 30 or so years ago!) as being immediately next to the footpath (which follows the wall on the left of the photo below), was no longer obvious.
hope this information helps.
Paul Burke

20th October 2012 from Jeff Stevens:
I remember in the late 1950's, as a youngster finding some rusted shrapnel in the vicinity of the bomb holes, it was quite a prized possession at the time.
Jeff Stevens

My grandma and grandad had Baxenden Conservative Club (Bash Con) at the time and i remember my grandma telling me that when the air raids were on she would hide the children under the billiard table as it wouldnt collapse even if the building came down on top if it. We dont know we're born these days.
Chris Howarth

Bomb Holes over Longshoot Estate

There were holes at the top of shoot, what used to be open land at the back of the houses, and over "The valley" as we called it, Always described as the bomb holes.
Eileen Webster

Starfish Station - Haslingden Grane

There used to be a starfish station in the Helmshore Grane area.This was a system of lights that from the air resembled a city or railway marshalling yard.This was used to convince Ww2 German aeroplanes to offload their bomb load in the open countryside.
Jeff Stevens

CLICK HERE (for site showing more)

Decoy Site - Haslingden Grane

Jeff Stevens has kindly sent in the following link to the site showing the Decoy Site




Compiled by the late Mr J. Belshaw at Ewood Bridge, whilst carrying out duties as a Special Constable and Air Raid Warden.It records the times of the sounding of the‘Warning’ and ‘All Clear’ sirens, during the

237  Air Raid ‘Alerts’, in this area,  between  Thurs, 20th June 1940,  and  Sun, 23rd Aug 1941. 

The following notes from the log give details of bombs dropped locally. 


June  20th,  Thurs.       High Explosives at Clayton-le-moors.

Aug  31st,   Sat.           High Explosives, at Heap Clough, Grane. 

Sept  24th,  Tue.          High Explosives & Incendries at Hutch Bank  Haslingden. 

Dec  16th.   Mon.        Incendries at Helmshore. 

Dec  22nd.  Sun. )      

Dec  23rd.  Mon.)        Manchester Blitz. 


Apr  15th.  Tues.        4 High Explosives at Roundhill Lane,  Stonefold. Haslingden.

                                  7 High Explosives at Laund Hey, Cribden  Hill, Haslingden. 

May  2nd.  Fri.           2 Land Mines at  Stubbins,  Ramsbottom. 

May  4th.  Sun.          High Explosives at Loughclough,   Rawtenstall.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Can we Identify this Football Team and Medal from the late 20s - 30s (Possible Bury connection)

I have today received this email with the following details, asking if we can help!
Can you?

This is a long and complicated story, so please bear with me

A few months ago I was contacted by a lady in Blackpool. She had a photograph of an unknown football team and a gold medal, the photograph is a team photo from the late 20's - early 30's and contains her father.

She has no idea who the team is or what the medal is for. The medal has no inscription on it so fails to give us a clue.

However, I placed photo's of the team and the medal on our website hoping somebody would turn up a clue in order for us to identify it.

This morning I had an email from a Bury supporter who claims to have a similar medal, in fact he states its identical - only his has been engraved and was from Haslingden Primitive Methodist Football Club.

So, my question - can you help in identifying, either yourself or by placing them on your blog (which I have come across on Google)

Any help you can offer would be gratefully appreciated by Brenda in Blackpool.

The following is the story I placed on our website, with the two photo's attached

Can you help!!
Appeal for help in identifying local football teamThe club were recently contacted regarding her late fathers footballing career.

George Taylor was a resident of Bury and worked in Peel Mills all his life, however, he also had a passion for football and holds a solid gold medal. All we have to go on is a frail photograph, the medal and a trophy featured in the photograph.

Can anyone identify the football team, the medal (which is solid gold and bears no description) or even identify the trophy within the photograph.

The gold medal is hallmarked and after being looked at by an expert, it has been identified date wise from either 1933 or 1934.

If you can help identifying the team in the photo, any of the players in the photo, the trophy shown in the photo or the medal, please contact Gordon Sorfleet at Gigg Lane using

Gordon Sorfleet
Press Officer,
Bury Football Club.

Please click over photo to enlarge, and then click again to supersize.....