In 1914 the Rubber Growers Association paid a visit to the Leyland & Birmingham Rubber Company. They were each provided with a guide book to the factory newly rebuilt after the great fire in January 1913.

When Leyland Library recently had a Local History Taster Day, they found a copy of the Guide Book in their records. The Leyland Historical Society have copied the book and added historical details to the text and improved the photographs so you can now purchase a copy of this little book at one of the Society's meetings or from Open Office, Turpin Green Lane, Leyland for the bargain price of £2.50. 

Leyland in Victorian and Edwardian Times - only £5.00 


Recording the many workforces of the town.

The Leyland Historical Society has a watching brief with South Ribble Borough Council over the listed properties in and around Leyland and particularly within the Conservation Area situated around the Cross. The present state of Occleshaw House has been a concern for a number of years since the South Ribble Venture closed down operations within the building and the property was sold to an absentee person or persons, the current situation since the roof fire in June 2023 has raised the concern to a new level and the enforcement department of the Council’s Planning Department are currently in discussions with English Heritage as it is a Grade II listed building.

When the Council contacted me to ask for any historical information regarding the building, I spoke to our President Elizabeth Shorrock who provided a copy of the manuscript written by our late President, George L Bolton. George had with the assistance of Bill Waring and Peter Barrow written just what the Society needs at present and I’m sure he will be encouraging us to get something done from the other side.

For my personal view, the last time I saw George, he told me to keep up the good work and I hope this little book in his honour helps to save Occleshaw House. 

Peter Houghton June 2023.

The book is currently available from Open Office at 3 Turpin Green Lane, Leyland at £3.75. 

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Occleshaw House - A Cause for Concern

The name of ffarington has been connected with Leyland since the Norman Conquest over 900 years.

The authors have undertaken a study of the later 500 years from the time of William ffarington (1537 – 1610) to the modern day. It chronicles the lives of the family members and also the social history in which they lived including the origins and development of Worden Park 

This work represents decades of study by Elizabeth Shorrock and Joan Langford on the ffaringtons of Worden Hall,.. easy to read and wonderfully illustrated

Sir Thomas Woodcock, KCVO, OStJ, DL,FSA
Garter King of Arms 2010 - 2021

 The book will add to the knowledge of the ffarington family, the Worden Hall estate, and the town of Leyland for generations to come. I recommend anyone with an interest in the history of Leyland to obtain a copy

Peter Houghton
Leyland Historical Society  

To obtain a copy email Joan Langford –
Or pick one up at Open Office, Turpin Green Lane, Leyland
Price £25.00

This page will feature recent queries from members of the Society and visitors to the website. These may involve identifying buildings, people or both. If you can help contact the Chairman via the contact page. 


            Whilst researching the first edition of the book on “The Industrial Heritage of Leyland and Farington” it was surprising the number of factories and businesses that have been conducted within the area in the last hundred and fifty years.

            All types of business could be found in Leyland and at one time there were over 18,000 people working within Leyland itself with up to 30,000 if you include Farington.

            The second edition of the book, updated and expanded is now available from the Society at our meetings or from Great Grandfathers for £9.95. It  includes all the research undertaken in the last ten years.


Following the success of the first book and the reminisces of the 12,000 people who are on the Leyland Memories site on Facebook, the Historical Society’s committee realised that we were in danger of missing out recording the oral history of the factory workers who helped to run the industries of Leyland and Farington in the last century. The old factory buildings have disappeared, however, their story can still be told.

Following our assistance in previous projects with the University of Central Lancashire and the Commercial Vehicles Museum on Leyland Paints in a small way, the next project in 2016 on the Leyland & Birmingham Rubber Company demonstrated the wealth of knowledge that could be obtained if you ask the retired employees.

The Society then last year contacted the Heritage Lottery Fund who agreed that this was a worthwhile project and will fund the production of the new book together with the costs of a full oral history project.

So the Society is appealing to the people of Leyland and their families and friends to help us establish a database of Leyland and Farington workers, be it Leyland Motors, Leyland & Birmingham Rubber Works, BTR, Baxters, Leyland Paints, the four cotton mills, gold thread works, bleach works, or any other factories, workshops or other manufacturing premises in Leyland and Farington.

Anyone interviewed for the Oral History project will receive a FREE copy of the new edition of the Industrial Heritage of Leyland & Farington book.  

We will then record their memories for future generations making them available to the local museums, libraries, colleges and schools in the form of CD, video and publications.


            The Society are opening a pop up Heritage Centre in an empty shop on Hough Lane for 2 months in the summer, also funded by the Heritage Lottery Grant as part of the Society’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. It will show what the Society has achieved over the last 50 years, with displays, talks and walks about all aspects of Leyland’s history.

            The venue will also be used to obtain more volunteers to be interviewed for the Oral History project, either being interviewed there and then or at a later date as the project is planned to run for two years. The University of Central Lancashire will be assisting with the training of the interviewers and the interviewing.   


            To leave your details for the oral history project  click on the large green button which leads to a page where you can submit your working details to the Society or just email the Society at

             There are also leaflets available around the town in many shops, offices, churches, railway station, library and museum. Please telephone the chairman on 01772 641604.

              Extra copies of this leaflet are available to ensure that no one is missed so if a member of your family, a friend or a neighbour worked in a Leyland or Farington factory ask them to get in touch..

When I rediscovered this book in one of our historical society files I can’t for the life of me remember why we didn’t publish it back in 2005. So, I have updated the last eighteen years of history since that time including changes in venue and website address for the Society. This book was written as it says on the title page by the great and good of the Historical Society at that time, luckily most of them are still with us except for Bill who I still miss every day when I have a query.

The publication was pulled together by my late wife Doreen who set the book up, obtained the captions from the contributors and typed the whole thing out on her laptop. Unfortunately, the laptop has now gone so our wonderful editor, Mary Longton, had to type the full book out from a paper copy I had. I would like to dedicate this book to Doreen Houghton for keeping this book and myself in order over the years.

The present is a product of the past. Using the local expertise of local historians, the Leyland Historical Society is pleased to provide you with a look into Leyland during the Victorian and Edwardian times.

We have tried to provide you, the reader, with the background to some of the scenes presented. Some of the pictures will provide you with familiar situations that can be recognised today. Others will give you a picture of the way of life and situations that are lost to us forever.

It is appropriate to pay tribute to the two Leyland photographers responsible for the greater part of the photographic record that has come down to us from c1890 to the Great War. These were Robert Butcher of 12 Union Street (which is now 27 Fox Lane); and Luke Collinge, of Brook Cottage, Bow Lane – we owe both these men a great debt.

We are always on the lookout for more photographs so if this book makes you think you may have anything that would interest us, please let us know. It is interesting to note that more buildings have disappeared in the last thirty years than in the preceding fifty years.

The book is available at all the Leyland Historical Society meetings and from Open Office, 3 Turpin Green Lane, Leyland for £5.00 from Monday 6th November. 

Peter Houghton - November 2023

Souvenir of the Visit of the Council of the Rubber Growers Association to the Works of the Leyland & Birmingham Rubber Co – June 16th, 1914. - £2.50

Click on the button above to record your details for our oral history of the many many people who worked in the industries of the town.

Memories of a Leyland Lad - David Sumner - £9.95.

Growing up on Clifton Avenue in Leyland, David saw the town of Leyland as it grew along with him in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. 

You will read stories of the mean and fun streets of Leyland, going through his school days, shopping, holidays, recreation both indoors and outdoors and his eventual introduction into work at Leyland Motors.

The full story is worth a detailed read as you will rediscover some parts of your own history on these pages. The book is available from the Historical Society meetings and Open Office, 3 Turpin Green Lane, Leyland  for £9.95. 


Leyland Historical Society