The last official guide and industrial handbook produced by Leyland Urban District Council in 1970’s before the creation of South Ribble, states that “Leyland is a highly industrialised town where some 18,000 people are employed. Of these, over 8,000 travel in daily from the surrounding districts”. 

Note that Leyland UDC before 1974 did not include Farington as this was in Preston Rural District Council. So if you add in the workforces of Farington Mill, Leyland Motor’s Spurrier & Farington Works and BTR Farington employed doubles to between 30,000 and 40,000 people

So the Historical Society have plenty of memories to pick on.

When we brought out the first edition of the Industrial Heritage book back in 2010, it included an advert for the Oral History Project together with a leaflet to be completed. The leaflet response at the time was 45, a good start but due to circumstances beyond our control, the project was put on hold for a few years.

The Society assisted the Commercial Vehicle Museum and the University of Central Lancashire in 2014 with a joint project on Leyland Paints.

The following year the Society and the University joined forces again to research the story of the Leyland & Birmingham Rubber Company which resulted in a special talk at the Civic Centre in April 2016. Again we took details of the attendees who had worked at the factory and got another 45 people for the oral history project.

With the launch of the second edition of the Industrial Heritage book at a meeting in February 2018 which got another 27 names to the list and subsequent radio, TV and website promotion managed to attract another 12 names by post, 38 via the website and 16 from a meeting of Leyland Medical ex-employees.

A further 60 were obtained from visitors to the Heritage Centre when it was open for 7 weeks in May and June 2018. Making a grand total of 243…..  To start with, but how many would want to be interviewed when it came to the day


                                            2018 figures                       2019 figures

1st Book                                 45                                            23

L & B Meeting                        45                                            31

2018 Post                              12                                          12

2018 Website                        38                                            33

Industrial Heritage Meeting   27                                            27

2018 Leyland Medical          16                                            13

2018 Heritage Centre           60                                            50

Total                                      243

2019 Word of Mouth / Friends etc.                                      71

Total                                                                                     260

So far 230 have been interviewed with the remaining 30 to be continued…..

 Who did the 230 people already interviewed work for?

                                                               No               Percentage

Leyland Motors                                102                   44

Leyland & Birmingham Rubber        50                    22

B T R                                                 21                   9

Baxters                                               6                    3

Leyland Medical                                 9                    4

Leyland Paints                                   13                    6

Mills (Farington, Brook & Mount        10                    4


Bleach Works                                     6                   3

Iddon Brothers                                   7                      3

Fishwicks / Fowlers                            3                      1

Moulds, AM Tomlinsons & Farington Sawmill 1 each



184 hours of recording that’s over 7 1/2 days of listening pleasure,

Which prior to transcribing equates to 1,747 pages so far.

But when fully transcribed will probably be around 2,500 pages

That’s why we need help transcribing – if you know anyone that can audio type please let us know - Contact us via the email address on the contact page.

(Which means listening to a MP3 audio file on your computer and typing into a Word document nothing more)

Whist interviewing the Society has also been given numerous items, some to record and return, others to exhibit at future displays.

These include a chamber pot, ties, books, magazines, badges, videos & DVDs, pay slips, employee manuals and over 1600 photographs of the factories and the workforces.

Watch this space.

The Industrial Heritage of Leyland & Farington.

No 8 Shop, Bay No 1 on the last day of working 

Take an half an hour stroll round Leyland's Industrial Past with this guide to the Town Centre available as a PDF for easy printing.

The Oral History Project.

Bill Hawksworth talking about his early life in Leyland and how he came to work for Leyland Motors in 1939.