For our first talk of 2022 on Monday 10th January (due to Bank Holiday) we were entertained by Chris Wild giving us the yearly update of all things that have happened in the world of archaeology in the past year for the University of Salford, including a preview of the lecture on the latest discoveries at the site of Lower Farington Hall we will be getting in September.

The 7th February meeting saw the return of Sid Calderbank who this year says he is going back to the very beginning of his talks, as a lot of members weren’t then and the rest have probably forgotten what he said. I said no one can forget you.

For March and April we had two old friends of the Society on 7th March we had Boyd Harris talking and showing Three Centuries of Photography

 Colin Dickinson made a welcome return on 6th April and told us the story of Alston Hall, a venue many of us have visited in the past when we used to hold the annual lectures there.

The next meeting on 1st November saw the return of Dr. Nick Barratt who will talk about A March through Time: Protest, Politics and Democracy through the ages.

His usual thought-provoking lecture went through all the various revolts, protests and varying actions which led up to todays democracy, a long and difficult route, which was told in Nick's usual style without recourse to any notes. 

On December 6th we welcomed Alan Davies who told us the story of Coal Mining in Lancashire – The Photographic Record.

Whilst the Wigan, Manchester and Worsley coalfields are well known, how many know Chorley had a coal mine, we found out a lot more from the former head of the Lancashire Mining Museum in Salford which led your chairman to investigate and visit the Lancashire Mining Museum at Astley Green which will be a Historical Society visit in due course.

To finish the Season on Monday 6th June we had a specially commissioned talk by John Hutchinson on the history of Leyland Paints which would have been celebrating their 100th anniversary if they had survived.

 As John was the Sales Director of the company for many years, John knew the firms operations from the top to the bottom so we got the full inside story. Using the oral history interviews and photographs the Society have been given enabled John to provide the Society members with a presentation which was television broadcast quality.

It was professionally produced and split into two thirty five minute episodes, with film, music, paintings and John having even pre recorded  the script it ran smoothly and made for a very interesting evening.

54th Season 

          We were back in the Civic Centre for meetings after a long eighteen months, though the Zoom Meetings and the Walks in June, July and August enabled me to see some of the members.

​​         On Monday 7th July following on from the successful visit  to Worden Hall and park, we walked somewhere completely different, around the Ministry of Supply Tank Factory / Spurrier Works of Leyland Motors / Lancashire Business Park. Accompanied by Colin Pass and Trevor Hindle who explained the different buildings on the site and their uses, we even managed , with the help of David Jones, the Estate Manager of Lancashire Business Park, to view the entrance to the famous Spurrier Works to Farington Works tunnel.  


Then after months of promotion and training, we finally got a in person meeting when Mikron gave a performance of Atalanta Forever at the Leyland Motors Football ground with the assistance of Lancashire FA.

According to James his favourite moment was chatting to our member Sylvia Thompson who had played football at the Motors ground against Dick Kerrs Ladies.

A few weeks later saw a small group being invited by Mr Jones to see the Leyland Motors archive to be found in the Estates Managers offices, which consists of the maps and plans of the Spurrier Works site from being High Ash Farm back in the early 1950s to the complete site opened in 1953. 

We aim to visit again when the latest development work has been completed. 

​On Monday 2nd May we finally got to go on the 15th Annual Historical Society Trip,  though having to change the date due to English Heritage not accepting groups on a Bank Holiday and Cosgroves Coaches closing down, it was a challenge.

Especially as we headed towards the M6 to go south but were informed that the M6 was stopped due to an accident. So after a detour via the M61, M60 and M56 we were finally back on track and headed in the right direction.

Reaching Kenilworth via another short diversion due to HS2, the castle although mostly a ruin was still much in evidence with displays where Elizabeth I was courted by Lord Dudley.

Following a light lunch we proceeded to Leamington Spa where we met our guide for the afternoon, Barry Franklin, who took up round the old area of the town including the workshop where Frank Whittle first learnt his trade before going on to invent the jet engine.

Whilst we were disappointed that the building no longer existed where Charles Brandt lived after his move to Leamington Spa from Golden Hill House, i have since discovered that William Boardman Bashall whose family ran the Farington Cotton Mill, had died in 1883 at Villa Como, Newbold Terrace, Leamington, where the coach was parked.  

In an eventful trip home, we first called in after a diversion to Sutton Stop / Hawkesbury Junction where the Coventry Canal meets the Oxford Canal at a very confusing junction with the Greyhound pub adjacent for any gongoozlers to watch the mayhem. Full marks to the coach driver for getting us there and then home through a one lane opened stretch of the M6 over Thelwall Viaduct.

Leyland Historical Society

On Monday 2nd August, I conducted another walk around the centre of Leyland taking in the shopping area of Hough Lane as well as all the various sites of the Industrial Heritage of Leyland. I used the route but with the additional information i have discovered in the last few years, it was a much fuller evening.  

On Monday 4th October, Oliver Crook and Chris Wild from the University of Salford finally managed to show the members their findings from the dig just off Stanifield Lane and how it changes what we thought we knew about the Roman occupation in this area.

​This talk was originally scheduled for April 2020 but it was well worth waiting for as we got to see quite a few of the finds which have got the experts changing their views regarding the importance of this area back in Roman times and a few timelines are being revised 

The walk took in all the office blocks including the H Block and the former canteen which later became one of the Drawing Offices and is now the local head quarters for the NHS, you probably had your Covid injection there

We took in the Swarf House (swarf being the off cuts of metal working), the tool room, the aforementioned tunnel and the site of the huge No 8 Shop before going onto No 9 Shop and eventually the famous Spurrier Works sidings recently used by Northern Rail to service their trains when Blackpool was out of action.