Friday, 16 January 2015

Carnivals, Celebrations and Coronations


Who can remember the Haslingden Carnival which was held between the 4th - 9th September 1950. Well if I was there I would have been 2 years old.  So memories are just not there for me! but it would have been so nice to have witnessed all the goings on with the visiting Circus and the many decorated floats and morris dancers and cowboys and indians and other take off's  and bands and a whole host of things and how special it would have been to actually see Haslingden's own King and Queen.

It appears there were at least three programmes issued for the Carnival and here on the left is the "Last Extra" and most up to date and this was sold for 6d (sixpence or a tanner or 2 1/2p).  Scans of the front page of the other two programmes issued will be displayed later within the blog. 


The opening address within the programme is from His Worshipful Mayor at the time of the event Alderman F. Slater (Mayor's Parlour, Haslingden. 1st September 1950)

Alderman F. Slater

"To the Townspeople of Haslingden"  In this Official Programme you will find particulars of the events arranged by the Carnival Committee in connection with the Borough Carnival during the week Monday, 4th September to Saturday, 9th September, 1950. 

I thank all who have taken part in the preparations for this occasion and also those who, whilst they may not have taken an active part in such preparations, have contributed financially and otherwise in an endeavour to ensure the success of the Carnival Week.

I hope that what has been provided will be enjoyed by everyone and that the proceedings will be of benefit to the whole of the Borough.  Yours sincerely, FRED SLATER - Mayor]

Councillor W. Whittaker was the Chairman of the Council Entertainments Sub-Committee and also the Chairman of the Carnival Committee  "Hyldene", 13 New Street, Haslingden - 1st September, 1950.

Coun. W. Whittaker

"To the Townspeople of Haslingden"  Last year, the Borough Council decided to form an Entertainments Sub-Committee, the object being the promotion or introduction of added attractions to the Borough in endeavour to cater more fully for the general public.  As you well know, we have started modestly, in such ways as encouraging local Bands to perform in the local Parks.  Now we are engaged in arranging the present Carnival, which I feel sure will be a sucess owing to the strong support which has been received from the townspeople.  I am personally deeply interested in the welfare of the people of Haslingden and in the extension by every possible means of the activities, amenities and interests open to them.  I feel sure that if we all foster the idea that there is great scope for progress in the matter of the enlarging of the facilities offered by the Borough, we shall soon find that Haslingden is looked upon as a fortunate town and its people prosperous and contented.

I have had a most loyal Entertainments Sub-Comittee and Carnival Committee, and I am indeed proud of the Members of such Sub-Committee and Committee.

In conclusion, I wish to thank the Secretary of the Carnival Committee (Mr. G. Rishton) and the Assistant Secretary (Mr. J.T. Wood) for the great assistance which they have rendered.  They have spared no effort to make the Carnival a success.  - Yours sincerely W. Whittaker


"Those days were so special! and highlighted when the Chairman states in his message "Haslingden is looked upon as a fortunate town and its people prosperous and contented" , yes its "thumbs up" to this sentence, the 50s were special even looking through the eyes of a child growing up in this period I can remember most people in work in the local mills or factories, there seemed lots of jobs available and it was said "you could walk out of one job and into another within the hour" lots of work and people had a few bob in their pockets and its true they did seem "contented". 

Click over to enlarge

This beautiful caricature of some of the main players for the carnival was done by Anthony H Butterworth of Accrington (Aug 29th 1950).  I can really appreciate the immense detail what will have gone into this work.

I have had this sketch on my files for sometime now and regularly pull it out of the archive and have a quiet chuckle to myself.  Although I don't know whether or not I was there  at the time of the Carnival,  I have fond memories of The Queen who was Mr. Willie Horan who is depicted here along with the King Georgie Berry.  "Willie" was a star in every sense of the word and so well known around the town.  I got to know Willie in my late teens when as a agent I would regularly engage him to do odd gigs for me on the local workingmen's club circuit where he always went down a bomb with his camp humour!  I was also privileged to know Georgie Berry and got my first push bike off Georgie when he had his shop up on Church Street, although I must say I knew "Teddy" his son better.  The caricature also shows a old friend of mine and another great man of the town, Mr John Wood who did so much for the young people especially when he was the leader of the Haslingden Youth Club.


Circus elephants on Bury Road c1950

The programme gives the events during the Carnival week (4th September to 9th September 1950)

Monday, 4th September - Ringland's Famous Circus will give two performances at St. Peter's Playing Fields, St Peter's Avenue, at 4.30pm and 7.30pm respectively.  At the evening performance King Carnival, Queen Carnival and the Carnival Jester will drive in state to the Circus and will be crowned before the commencement of the performance.

Tuesday 5th September - Ringland's Circus performances at St. Peter's Playing Fields at 4.30pm and 7.30pm.

Thursday 7th September - Grand Swimming Gala - Public Baths, East Bank Avenue. (Haslingden v Nelson)

Thursday 7th September, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th - Hamer's Renowned Fun Fair will be installed on Marsden Square.

Friday 8th September - Torchlight procession organised by the Youth Organisations, followed by Bonfire and Firework Display on vacant land at Manchester Road (near Greenfield Gardens)

This is the area where the Fire Station/Police Station is built today and when I was at the nearby School this area was locally nicknamed "The Sandpits" I don't know how it became known as that but the area was just a wasteland which seemed to be of a general sandy nature and bore no vegetation .

"The King and Queen Carnival"

Saturday 9th September (afternoon) - Carnival Procession. Order of Procession, Route of Procession and other details are given elsewhere in this programme.  Depart Bury Road at 2pm.

Saturday 9th September (late afternoon)  - Grand Carnival Ball at the Public Hall, Haslingden 7.30pm to 11.30pm.

During the week, King Carnival, Queen Carnival and the Carnival Jester will visit all the events which have been organised.]

The order of the Carnival Procession was: Detachment of Mounted Police, Chief Marshall was Councillor J. Entwistle, Haslingden Borough Prize Band, King Carnival, Queen Carnival, Carnival Jester, Morris Dancers, Trades and Businesses, Humorous Section (Groups), Helmshore Prize Band, Sunday Schools Tablueaux, Humorous Section (Individuals), Juveniles, Textiles, Miscellaneous Section, Agricultural Section.

The Route Of Procession:  All entrants to assemble in Bury Road and adjoining Streets (according to instructions circulated to them) at 1.15pm.

The Procession to move off from Bury Road at 2pm and 

will proceed down Bury Road, Bank Mill Street, up Manchester Road (on right-hand side), Blackburn Road (on right-hand side), John Street, Regent Street (on right hand side), Higher Deardengate, Lower Deardengate, Helmshore Road, Broadway to the Bentgate Ground of Haslingden Cricket Club.


(The Carnival Committee wish to acknowledge facilities given by the Committee of the Haslingden Cricket Club, the Haslingden Cricket Club Supporters Club, the Ladies of the Tea-Rooms, and other friends who have rendered assistance.   

The above is a list of "Entrants" who displayed and awaited judgeing -


This year the Haslingden Council of Youth has been reformed after a period of inactivity and is putting in plenty of work for the Carnival.  The Council of Youth is at present comprised of the following 13 Youth Organisations with Fred C. Hildred Esq., Divisional Education Officer as its President and John T. Wood Esq., Head Warden of the Haslingden Youth Club as its Chairman.

Tableau from Thos Warburton - Flash
Click over to enlarge 

Air Training Corps (Haslingden Squadron), Army Cadet Force (Haslingden), Brownies (St. James Church and St. Peters Church), Church Lads Brigade (St. James's Church), Ewood Bridge Youth Club, Girls Training Corps (Congregational Church, Girl Guides (St. James Church, St. Peter's Church, St. Thomas's Church, Helmshore, Haslingden Company, and the Grammar School Company of Girl Guides), Haslingden Youth Club, St Johns Nursing Cadets.

The Hon. Secretary is Miss Margaret Holden and the Hon Treasurer is Wm. Sagar Esq., and the Headquarters are the Divisional Education Offices.

Another Carnival Programme

The aims of the Council are to help and promote a friendly understanding between all youth organisations, to undertake to offer advice whenever it is requested by any Youth Organisation but most of all to help produce good Christian citizens whom Haslingden will be proud to own.  During the coming winter the Council are considering inter-organisation activities and it is hoped that we shall be represented in the inter-town sports activities.

Apart from the Haslingden Council of Youth there are many good and successful Youth Organisations connected with the various religious bodies in both Haslingden and Helmshore.  The Methodist Youth Council held a most successful Sports Day this summer at Helmshore.

On Friday evening the 8th September, the Haslingden Council of Youth have volunteered to organise a "TORCH LIGHT PROCESSION" culminating in the lighting of the Bonfire to be erected on the spare land in fron of the Modern School.  An effigy of the "DEVIL" will be paraded through the streets and will find his last resting place on the top of the bonfire.  Below is the route which the Torch Light Procession will take:-
8pm - East Bank Avenue, down Manchester Road, Bury Road, Regent Street, Blackburn Road, Manchester Road to the Spare land opposite the Modern School.

On the afternoon of the Carnival when the procession has finally made its way on to the Cricket ground, members of organisations in the Council of Youth are giving a public demonstration.  The programme of this event is as follows:- 

Country Dancing by the Brownies.
Physical Training Display by the Church Lads Brigade.
Model Aircraft Display by the Haslingden Squadron of the A.T.C.


When I look back it seems incredible just how many youth organisations were well established within our Borough during the 1950's, just on the list above it shows 13 but there were many more as well when you take into consideration the many Church Youth Clubs.

Not that we did, but we would never have had the need for a excuse for boredom, there were lots of things going on somewhere in the Borough, and on most nights of the week together with many kind volunteers who were prepared to give up their spare time to offer leadership and learning on a voluntary basis for the benefit of the young people.



This Sub-Committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. J. T. Waddington was formed to make all the necessary arrangements for the Grand Carnival Ball, the final event during Carnival Week. The Sub-Committee consists of the Chairman (Mr. J. T. Waddington), Mrs. A. Frost, Miss Turner, Miss Whittaker, Councillor John Walsh, Rev. E.J. Wilson Hughes and Messrs. R. Hill, J.P., M. Kerron, G. Rishton and J.T. Wood.

It will be gathered from the above information that the Sub-Committee consists of persons not without a modicum of experience in the arranging of affairs of this nature, and the Carnival Committee are grateful for the work done by the Sub-Committee. If effort counts for anything at all (and no effort has been spared in this matter) then the success of the evening is assured. The Town's motto is "Nothing Without Labour" and the Sub-Committee has endeavoured to follow this out. The Sub-Committee will feel that their efforts are amply rewarded by finding that all the tickets for the Dance are sold long before the Saturday evening.

The Sub-Committee are greatly indebted to Councillor F. Worsley, J.P., C.C. (Rishton) and to the Irish Democratic League Club for gifts received. These gifts will be disposed of during the Ball.


Click over to enlarge


The Sunday Schools in the Borough by their wholehearted co-operation in the town's endeavour to present to the public an effort (which it is hoped will be a forerunner of brighter things in the future) have shown once again a genuine desire to play a useful part in any progressive move that gives pleasure and joy to its townspeople.  We are hopeful that the many and varied pictures presented by all denominations may please all tastes.  I am grateful to St. Mary's and the Church of England Schools who are presenting Tableaux of original themes along with Morris Dancers and characters on foot and to the whole of the Non-Conformist Schools who are presenting a series of Tableaux on hymn themes. Incidently all these Non-Conformist schools are appearing as a United body which includes Helmshore Spring Hill and Sion.  I think it will be seen that all our Sunday schools in the Borough are anxious that the contribution made will be for the betterment of the town and the attainment of the higher values in life which is the aim of the Sunday Schools.

On behalf of the Sunday Schools Sub-Committee
JOHN J. HOYLE, Chairman. 


Click over to enlarge


Many  textile firms in the Borough have entered exhibts or tableaux for the Carnival and this fact will remind us all that Cotton is still the principal industry of the borough.  For over six decades Haslingden has been the centre of the cotton waste section of the cotton trade, and 70 per cent, of its cotton workers are engaged in this section.  The cotton waste firms carry out both spinning and manufacturing (weaving). Those in what is known as the "fine" trade have, at Haslingden, only weaving.  Cotton waste firms use waste from the fine mills.  Production by the cotton waste firms includes sheets and sheetings, flannelettes, blankets, crepes, checks, towels, fancies and furnishing fabrics (including curtains) canvas, and sail cloth.  Production of the fine mills includes fine cambrics, organdies, poplins, casements, Kaffir shawls, and surgical cloths.  In the manufacture of some cloths rayon is used and exquisite effects are obtained.

Haslingden firms have played their part in revolutionising the cotton trade so as to make it more attractive in conditions, remuneration, and production, thus increasing the contribution to the wealth-producing power of the country.  Allied with the cotton trade, sizing and reed and heald making have been carried on for over 100 years.

A very modern use of raw cotton is made at an important works where it is converted into chemical cotton, used in the making of rayon, plastics and paper.

At Wavell Works, Helmshore, technicians from the Textile Machinery Makers Group are engaged on experimental research and production work, and from this interesting developments are anticipated.


This shows the Commttee and Judges etc - please click over photo to enlarge

Haslingden Carnival 1950/1951 (Click over photo to enlarge)

Glenys Rostron (Garden) 3rd on Right, Dorothy Hargreaves - 
Queen of Hearts and Doreen Hargreaves - Humpty Dumpty.
  Anne Warburton ? 1st on left
Photo: Kindly contributed by Dorothy Hargreaves 
and uploaded here on 14th October 2015

Haslingden Carnival - Early 1950s
 (Click over photo to enlarge)
Dorothy Hargreaves - Haslingden Carnival - Early 1950's
 Photo: kindly contributed by Dorothy Hargreaves 

Haslingden Carnival - Early 1950s
  (Click over photo to enlarge)
Dorothy and Doreen Hargreaves
Photo: Kindly contributed by Dorothy Hargreaves 

I would like to thank: Dorothy Hargreaves, Jack Pilling,
John R. Edwards, Steven Williams, Peter Fisher
 for their kind help with this Blog 



And here below is a photo of the King and Queen from the 1921 Carnival

The Queen here is Samuel Richard Haworth and the 
King is James Warburton (Jimmy Choppy Warburton). 
 The Vicar is Tom Margerison (Contractor, Grane Road) -
(Click over photo to enlarge)


3) PARADE - 1920

The photo here depicts the parade which was held on the
 17th July 1920 whilst going down Lower Deardengate.  
The Parade was held to help raise monies
towards the purchase of two actinic raylamps for the Greenfield Massage Centre. 
(Click over photo to enlarge)


Fancy Dress Carnival - Public Hall Hospital - 17th January 1919
(Click over photo to enlarge)



This photo was taken from outside the old Technical School 
which later became the Haslingden Grammar School.  
It shows a parade which includes the Haslingden
 Fire Brigade where you can make out the firemen 
wearing their shiny helmets.
 Across the road is Hindle Street. 
 Click over photo to enlarge.

               Information kindly supplied by Jim Haworth on 4th Feb 2015
                         The horse pulling the little coach was driven
                      by Jim's Grandfather and sat besides him were
                           his twin daughters, one of which is Alice 
                   (Jim Haworth's Mum) and her twin was Elizabeth
               and they were born about 1905 ish.  The Grandfather
                      was a chief fireman, he also may have used
                    the twins in an old picture we have seen where
                     they were being carried down from a building 
                            by ladder on rehearsal photo taken
                                  about 1907 or thereabouts.

Haslingden related  (Click over to enlarge)

I get a strong feeling that it is at the top of Higher Deardengate
 and just before reaching the Big Lamp. For some of us these
 photos may well include our forefathers!
yet we will probably never know....
the sign on the right states Sagars (Wools/Haberdashery etc)
 (a shop which was still going strong 
as I remember in the mid 1960s)