Leyland Historical Society

On 6th March we had the return of Alan Davies whose talk on Lancashire Mining was popular last year, this time he concentrated on the Worsley Mines, which had water courses or canals on three different levels direct to the coal face.

The boats then leaving the mines at Worsley Wharf and into the Bridgewater Canal, the coal either heading originally for Manchester, Castlefield though after the building of the Runcorn extension the coal could go onto the Mersey and onward to Liverpool or down the Trent & Mersey Canal to the Potteries and thence the Midlands .

For 3rd April we had Brian Groom who has written a book about Northerners, It's the first general history of northern England to be published for more than 30 years. Leyland and central Lancashire naturally form an important part of the story so we heard how we figured in history.

The first meeting on the 5th September saw Oliver Crook and Chris Wild from the University of Salford giving a detailed report on their findings from the dig down Hall Lane on the site of Lower Farington Hall, the first home of the Farington family in the area complete with plans, photographs and exhibits both large and small.

The meeting also saw the launch of the book on the Faringtons, written by President Elizabeth Shorrock and Joan Langford with the assistance of Susan Farington, copies signed by the authors were and still are available from the Society or Open Office on Turpin Green Lane, Leyland.

The last talk of the year on 5th June was a special one as we welcomed Dr Chloe Duckworth, the leading archaeologist on the Channel 4 programme “The Great British Dig”.

Her talk entitled “Never work with Children, Animals or Archaeologists” gave us an insight to the making of the programme and how they persuade members of the public to let them dig up their lawns to find lost buildings and artifacts.

To start the new year I put together a talk on the Oral History Project so far, be it from the Motors, Paints, L & B or BTR, all human life is there as the members discovered.  

This led to a further 22 interviews taking place with people who had not heard about our project, so the current interview total now stands at 278.

The 6th February meeting saw the welcome return of Sid Calderbank, commonly known as Interview No 1,  who this year told the members further stories of the poems, poets, stories and songs of the Lancashire Dialect.

For our second year back in the Civic Centre and my 30th as Chairman I went for an archaeological theme.

But to start off on Monday 4th July I conducted an historical walk through the roads and lanes of Leyland starting from the King Street car park at 7.00 pm. We walked through the leafy lanes of Balcarres Road and into Sandy Lane discovering the history of the properties along the roads as we went.

On 1st May there was the 16th Annual Historical Society Trip which this season went to Pickering and Whitby. We coached over to Pickering in the morning and had a look around especially the very full second hand book shops adjacent to the station.

The group then took the noon steam train to Whitby where we had a self guided walk around the town. The coach then picked us up from the quayside in Whitby and took us back home. 

​55th Season

Following a highly successful Mikron show at the Leyland Motors Football Ground last year, they returned to the Civic Centre on 3rd October with Red Sky at Night – the History of Weather.

Through the chronicles of history, people have gazed up and marvelled at the mysteries of the weather. Generations have tried to master the elements and understand the magic of the skies. 

The next meeting on 7th  November saw the return of Dr. Nick Barratt who talked about When Dotty met Harry, the dangers of DNA, another thought provoking lecture which detailed the pitfalls of doing your family history and the stones you may overturn. A cautionary tale to all family historians. 

For our last talk of the year on 5th December we were again entertained by Chris Wild giving us the Highlights of being an Archaeologist including an update of all things that have happened in the world of archaeology in the past year for the University of Salford. He described the various systems and procedures that make up the modern archaeologists life with all the technology they now have to hand.