Leyland Historical Society

The last talk of the year on 4th December was a special one as we welcomed back Dr Alan Crosby who will talk about a few of his favourite things – a personal selection of treasures from Lancashire Archives.

For our first talk of 2024 on Monday 8th January (due to Bank Holiday) we were again 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.


The 5th February meeting saw the welcome return of Sid Calderbank who this year gave the members Lancashire Poems and Songs new to us all.

56th Season 

                To start the new season on Monday 3rd July we walked along Towngate in Leyland discovering the various historical buildings and its back streets starting from the King Street car park at 7.00 pm.

The first meeting on the 4th September featured the old photographs of Leyland collections the society has amassed over the years in tribute to the late Stephen Sartin who entertained us in the past with such shows. 

This year’s Mikron on 2nd October was more Heartbeat than Happy Valley, ‘A Force to be Reckoned With’ is an arresting story which captures a century of change.

With handbag, whistle and a key to the Police Box, WPC Iris Armstrong is ready for whatever the mean streets of a 1950s market town throws at her. Fresh from police training school, she prepares for her first day on the beat. The reality is quite different. Stuck at the station, she soon finds her main jobs are typing and making brews.

Iris joins forces with fellow WPC Ruby Roberts. They’re an unlikely partnership. A two-girl department, called to any case involving women and children, from troublesome teens to fraudulent fortune tellers. What starts as ‘women’s work’ soon becomes a specialist role. Iris finds she’s earning her place in a historic force to be reckoned with.

Along the way, she discovers the Edwardian volunteers who came before her, a lineage of Suffragettes-turned-moral enforcers and the secrets that the police box hides (no its not the Tardis or is it?). 

Your Chairman of course had to mention the surprising connections between Doctor Who and Mikron Theatre.

In a change to his advertised programme, the leading "Who Do You Think You Are" expert , Dr Nick Barratt talked about the study, research and uses for "The Future of History in the Digital Age" at our 6th November meeting..

On 4th March we welcomed Mike Norris who talked about the early history of the railways around Preston from the early days of the North Union Railway being opened from the south through Leyland on 31st October 1838 to the Preston and Longridge Railway in 1837, the Preston & Wyre Railway in 1840 to the new town of Fleetwood and the Preston and Lancaster Railway which soon managed to go bust, having to be taken over by the Lancaster Canal. 

He also mentioned his scale model of Preston Station with all the signaling system in place. 

On 6th May there was the 17th Annual Historical Society Trip which this season went to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen. We coached over to the Aqueduct in the morning and have a trip across on the trip boat then have an early lunch in the cafe nearby.

We then took the coach over to Corwen to catch the afternoon train from there into Llangollen where everyone had the rest of the afternoon to look around, visit a few bookshops (or was that only me) and have some food before meeting the coach and returning home. 

For 8th April we leant all about the comedians, shows, sketches and catchphrases that make up the Comedy Carpet which was opened on the Promenade opposite Blackpool Tower in 2011 by Sir Ken Dodd with our own George Hindle who provided an handy guide if you wish to have the full carpet effect.

To finish the Season on Monday 3rd June we had a talk by Bruce Keith on the history of bridge construction around Scotland which he promised won’t be Scottishcentic as he now lives in Peterborough.