The Gazette
Pendle and Burnley Branch
  Issue No.29 - January 2008 Acting Editor: Brenda I Hustler    


 1   Branch A.G.M 10  Who was Will Flattner?
 2   LFHHS Annual Conference 11  LRO Saturday Opening
 3   Journal Binders 12  Air Disaster
 4   Resource Centre 13  Notoriety in the Family
 5   Programme 14  Pendle Death Register
 6   Library 15  British in India
 7   LancashireBMD Project 16  Branch News
 8   Projects 17  Query Corner
 9   Diary Dates (What's on) 18  Items for publication



The following officials are due for re-election at this year's 
Branch A.G.M to serve for TWO years: 

Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Minutes Secretary, Librarian, Executive Liaison Officer, 
Programme Secretary, Gazette Editor, Publications Officer, Committee Members

The current committee is as follows

Chairman Jean Ingham Vice Chairman Position Vacant
Secretary Brenda Hustler Treasurer David Hustler
Librarian Margaret Heap Minutes Secretary Margaret Heap
Programme Secretary Position Vacant Projects Coordinator Bob Ellis
Publications Officer Position Vacant Gazette Editor Brenda Hustler
LancashireBMD coordinator Christine Windle Executive Liaison Officer David Hustler
Committee Members Christine Haworth Mary Jackson Janet Knowles
John Lustig Geoff Riley Moira Whittaker


    Jean Ingham, Margaret Heap, David Hustler, Janet Knowles and Moira Whittaker are all willing to serve on the committee for another two years.  Nominations for any of the above offices, with consent of nominee, (in writing) should reach the Branch Secretary by one week before the AGM.

    A Nomination Sheet will be available at the January and February meetings.  Branch members are asked to propose or second those who have volunteered to continue serving on the branch committee.  Remember, without a committee the branch will cease to function and all the branch resources will be returned to the Society.  At the moment we have a good committee and our branch is very successful, but it will only remain so if you support it and that means coming to the AGM. 

    This is your chance to contribute & express your opinions on the running of the branch.

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Saturday 17th May 2008 at The University of Central Lancashire, Preston

Arrival and assemble for coffee at 9.15 for 10 am prompt start to the conference

    There will be two talks before lunch, which will be at approximately 1 pm.  There will be another speaker immediately after lunch and the A.G.M will begin at approximately 3.45 pm and should finish by 4.30 pm.  Full details and booking form will be published in the February edition of "Lancashire."

    There is more to the Society than just a social night out at a branch meeting.  It is your Society and this is your opportunity to come and have your say on how the Society is run.  Many changes are taking place within the Family History World and you should try to attend the A.G.M to see where the Society is heading and to contribute to its future.

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MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS are due.   Have you renewed yours?

There was a renewal form in the NOVEMBER issue of "Lancashire"

OR .. you can get one from the branch secretary.


    Binders for your 'Lancashire' journal are on sale only 3.50 each.  See David Hustler

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    The resource centre is now open every Thursday afternoon from 1pm to 5 pm.

    More volunteers are needed to staff the centre so that it can be opened on other days, possibly Saturday or Sunday.  If you have not already been to visit the LFHHS Resource Centre, it is near to Oswaldtwistle Mills.  The following is a link for a map of the area:

    If you would like to volunteer to help out, please contact or see Brenda or David Hustler.

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    The Programme of Events for the coming meetings is shown below and can also be viewed on this website 

       30.January Practical Evening
       20.February Glen Mills, A Century of Change - Bob Abel
       19.March A.G.M and Practical Evening
       16.April Don't Despair - Bill Taylor
       30.April Practical Evening
       21.May Out-Visit to Skipton Castle (pre-booking essential)
       18.June Marking our Past, Burnley Heritage Sites - Brian Hall

Jean Ingham, Acting Programme Secretary.

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    MISSING BOOK - LPRS Vol 154, St.Mary's, Newchurch in Pendle.

    This book has been missing for over three months.  If you have borrowed this book without booking it out in the loans book, please return it, immediately.  It will cost 20 to buy a replacement, if it is still in print.

Margaret Heap, Branch Librarian.

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    The transcription of the death indexes for Colne (1837-1908), Nelson (1895-1901 and part of Padiham (1837-1883 have been submitted in readiness for the Internet.

    When the remaining Padiham and Pendle indexes have been checked, all the death indexes up to approximately 1900 will be completed and a start can then be made on the Non-Conformist marriages.  Many thanks to all involved in this project, especially to those who have taken over my work when I have been unavailable.

Christine Windle, Lancashire BMD Project Coordinator

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    Work continues on the transcriptions of the registers for St Mary's, Newchurch-in-Pendle; the Burial Registers, Grave Books and Receipt Books for St John's, Great Marsden; the baptisms for Holy Trinity, Burnley; and Baptisms for St Mary's, Nelson.

    Thanks go to all those working on these projects. Will anyone interested in working on branch projects, please contact me.

 Bob Ellis, Project Coordinator

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All meeting are held at The LFHHS Resource Centre, 2 The Straits, Oswaldtwistle on Saturdays

    Members' talks and advice workshop, Saturday 9th February 2008, 1 pm to 4.30 pm

    Saturday 12th April 2008 1 pm to 4.30 pm

    Speaker Fergus O'Connor, Saturday 14th June 2008, 1 pm to 4.30 pm
    Enquiries to Miss , 128 Red Bank Road, Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire FY2 9DZ


    The Memorial Hall, Chester Way, Northwich.  CW9 5QJ
    Saturday 23rd February 2008, 10 am to 4 pm Admission 1,  Free Car Parking nearby
    For more details e-mail:


    The Folk Hall, New Earswick, York.  YO32 4ZA
    Saturday 8th March 2008, 10 am to 4 pm Admission 1,  Free Car Parking
    For further details contact - 01653 628952 


    Hulme Hall, Bolton Rd, Port Sunlight, Bebington, Wirral.  CH52 5DH
    Sunday 9th March 2008, 10 am to 5 pm Admission 2 (accompanied children under 16 free)

    Pudsey Civic Hall, Pudsey, West Yorkshire.  L28 5TA
    Saturday 5th April 2008, 10 am to 4 pm,  Admission 2, under 12 Free
    For further information e-mail: - 0113 236 0253


    Wellington Rd South, Stockport. SK1 3XE
    Sunday 6th April 2008, 10 am to 5 pm,  Admission 2 (accompanied children under 16 free)


    Scotch Corner Hotel Junction A1/A66 Richmond, Near Darlington,
    North Yorkshire.  DL10 6NR   Saturday 19th April 2008, 10 am to 4:30 pm

    Buffet lunch / refreshments / safe car parking / bookstalls disabled facilities
    Guest speakers -
       Nick Barratt - 'Who Do You Think You Are' & The History of Your House
       Nigel Haines - Commonwealth War Graves Commission
       Eric Houlder - Coaching Memories: Coaching Inns and Roads
    16:00 all inclusive, contact - 01740 620367


    Friday 2nd May 2008, 10am - 6pm
    Saturday 3rd May 2008, 10am - 6pm
    Sunday 4th May 2008, 10am - 5pm

    Adult (16+), 18.00;  Child (6-15), 5.00; Ticket Hotline 0871 230 1091

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Submitted by Joan Metcalfe

    No, it's not someone's ancestor, baptised as William!  Those members of Pendle and Burnley Branch who heard senior archivist Anna Watson's talk in September might have been given a clue.  A Will-Flattener was one who took part in the Probate Conservation Project (to give its Grand Title) at the Lancashire Record Office any time in the 18 years between the start in 1988 and completion at the end of 2006.  When the Friends of Lancashire Archives was formed as a support group in 1986, much thought was given to ways in which volunteers could offer practical help in the work of the Record Office.  Ken Hall, the then County Archivist, and Emmeline Garnett, a founder member of the FLA, were jointly responsible for the idea of the scheme, which ultimately led to the establishment of regular volunteer sessions on Monday and Wednesday mornings working on the large collection of wills and associated testamentary documents.

    The sets of pre-1858 probate papers for individual testators were either rolled up or folded into narrow packages only about 5 cm wide, with about 150 of these bundles in each of over 2000 boxes.  Taking one package at a time, it was unwrapped and the various pieces of paper separated, allowing the creases to relax.  All the folds had then to be very carefully straightened out, whilst at the same time identifying each document.  The details of the testator and the documents were recorded on the outside of an acid-free folder into which the papers were then placed for re-storage.  Such details, for example could read -

    BLOGGS, Joseph of Little Marsden, WHALLEY [the ancient parish], yeoman
    1802 Aug 10 [the date probate was granted]
    WCW [reference for wills proved at Chester]
    W. [abbreviation used for Will]
    I. [abbreviation used for Inventory], wrapper (3)

    Papers that have been tightly folded for 200 years can be lively when released and we used weights on the completed folders to help counteract this. Hence - Will-Flatteners!

    About 50 different types of document were found altogether, but the commonest, apart obviously from the wills themselves, were administration bonds, where the court appoints someone to deal with the goods of a person dying intestate.  Earlier sets often included an inventory of the possessions owned at death - a very valuable source of information.  A curation bond provided for the care of orphaned children, a formal renunciation was required if a named executor declined to act, a codicil to a will either changed an original bequest or added to them, and lists of debtors and creditors often gave a suggestion of the testator's financial circumstances.  Along the way notes were kept of particularly interesting finds and these have been displayed at exhibitions or used in further research.

    The whole project was supervised by Anna Watson who, with the patience of a saint, guided the volunteers through the many pitfalls, answered queries, trained new recruits, taught us palaeography, arranged 'refresher' days and nurtured us all devotedly. The Record Office has frequently expressed its gratitude for what has been achieved, from preserving these valuable items for the future to speeding up the time taken by search-room staff to find requested documents and creating more accurate indexes.

    Some statistics -

      Papers from 2188 boxes have been flattened, covering the Archdeaconries of Chester and Richmond, between the mid 16th century and 1858

      This equates to roughly 300,000 testators and at least 600,000 pieces of paper or parchment

      Signing-in sheets show that 160 volunteers have been involved at one time or another.  At the close of the project there was a nucleus of about 50

    Highlights? It is difficult to choose from so many, but picking out a few -

      Inventories of all kinds, describing clothes, animals, crops, bedding, furniture, household goods, implements, even the contents of shops
      The longest inventory, measuring 18 feet, of Jane Towneley, the widow of Richard Towneley of Towneley Hall in 1634

      The shortest will, of 3 brief lines

      Many wills of mariners, sailing out of Liverpool, with the vessels named

      The will of William Huskisson, politician, and the first person to be killed by a train, at the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway in 1830

      A fraudulent will, which caused a lot of panic correspondence from those who suspected it.  The perpetrator was jailed in Lancaster Castle, from where he also wrote, protesting innocence (He was later transported)

      Thomas Barrow, in 1821, asking his executors to ensure he is "not inclosed in [his] Coffin til certain and indubitable Signs of Mortality demonstrate themselves"

    In some ways people are the same today as they were 400 years ago.  Some of the wills were very revealing in that evidence of a family feud could be picked up, or a real concern that those close to the deceased were given appropriate bequests.  On the other hand, life, though by no means easy, was much simpler, with feeding and clothing the family being what really mattered.  It was a pleasure to be a part of this project and to get such satisfaction from it.  Every volunteer would say the same.

    So what's happening now?  Only a very few have, for various reasons, decided to call it a day, and the rest of us are currently working on the collection of additional papers created when wills were disputed and listing the names of everyone mentioned.  In most cases these documents can be matched up with the original (now flat!) wills and fascinating stories are emerging.  Volunteers are not redundant yet.

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Saturday opening dates - Office open from 10 am. to 4 pm

   2008 12 January  9 February  8 March
  12 April 10 May 14 June
  12 July  9 August 13 September
  11 October  8 November 13 December

LANCAT - Lancashire RO online catalogue is now available at ..

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Submitted by David Rickard

    Most people who start to take an interest in family history curse the fact that they didn't find out more about their ancestors from their parents before it was too late.

    Just in case my heirs are ever curious about my life I started, sometime ago, to write a short autobiography.  One of my earliest recollections was of an "event" which occurred when I was about four years old.  I say event because I have always wondered if it did occur or was it my memory playing tricks.

    My recollection was of my father, home on leave from the navy, taking me to go fishing from the North Pier in Blackpool.  As we were walking towards the pier there was a commotion in the sky above and dad dragged me into a shop doorway and folded me in his navy great coat.  Dad thought it was a "dogfight."  When we emerged from the doorway bits of shrapnel were scattered along the street.  We made our way to the pier where the tide was full and pounding the promenade.  A crowd had gathered and attempts were being made to rescue someone from the sea.  That was a picture which has been firmly in my mind for the past 60+ years but was it true?

    Now comes the fascinating thing about family history research how the most unlikely snippets of information can lead on to much bigger discoveries.

    A lady in Blackpool had a book and some old photographs which she wanted to get rid of and brought in a bookseller.  He subsequently passed on some of this material to our secretary Brenda Hustler who made the astonishing connection that the lady was in fact a cousin of mine who I never knew existed.  That was exciting enough, but that was only the beginning of the sequence of events.  I contacted the book-seller and bought from him several publications one of which "Seven Golden Miles" by Kathleen Eyre had a small paragraph "Air Collision over Blackpool."  This at least removed some of the doubts about whether my memory was as good as it could be.

    I then wrote to the Blackpool Central Library and they kindly sent me a couple of newspaper cuttings which went into a bit more detail about the event.  There the matter rested until a few weeks ago my grand daughter told me that, as a school project, she had to talk to someone about his or her memories of the Second World War.  So I sent her as much as I "knew" about this air crash but her Mum, who is a computer buff, did some more research and turned up a nine page article which went in to a great deal of detail.  The crash was in fact a major incident with 13 people killed and 39 others injured and but for Dad and his quick thinking and his great coat I might well have been one of them!

    If anyone is interested in reading more of the crash the article referred to can be found on -

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  ..  put pen to paper and send in a short article about your family history.  Christine Haworth did (Notes on a Musical Family, April 2007) and has now been contacted by a lady in Australia, who read her article via the Internet, and being part of the same family tree, got in touch with her.

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Submitted by Peter Walsh

    My dad was the maintenance engineer at the Cop Dye Works (off Leeds road, just past the Regent on the left hand side).  He was responsible for the maintenance of the factory, lorries and cars.  I used to walk down to the works on Saturday morning, to find in him the garage with the Jaguar, engine running, and Dad adjusting the tappets with spanner in one hand and pint mug of tea in the other.  Happy Days!  As you would expect, as part of his job, he would take the company's vehicles out for test runs and this is how he "got in trouble with the law" at least twice, according to the newspaper report.

    Extract from 'The Pioneer', 12th January 1934

    Local Police Courts - Skipton Petty Sessions Constable Micklethwaite stated that whilst on patrol near the county boundary he saw Walsh driving a motor-lorry towards Earby.  He followed him from the boundary to the Craven Heifer Inn at Kelbrook, during which time Walsh's speed was never less than 40 miles an hour, and at one time the speed was 45 miles an hour, necessitating the constable to travel at 50 miles per hour to overtake him.  Constable Micklethwaite said, "I stopped him and told him I had followed him and also the speed he had driven."  When Walsh was told he would be reported, he said "Just my luck, because I do not often do it."

    James Walsh, motor driver, of Nelson was fined 3 for exceeding the speed limit of 30 miles an hour on 1st December 1933.  Walsh, who pleaded "Guilty," was also fined for exceeding the speed limit at Bury, last year.

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Submitted by Mary Jackson

The following information was found in the front of a Pendle Death Register and may prove useful to some of our members -

    On October 1st, 1900 the part of Old Laund Booth Civil Parish, formerly part of Higham with West Close Booth Civil Parish, which hitherto formed a portion of Padiham Sub-district, ceased to belong thereto and became a portion of Pendle Sub-district, both Sub-districts being within Burnley Registration District - Lawrence Lee, Registrar

    On February 1st, 1902 the part of Nelson Civil Parish & Municipal Borough (area only and formerly part of Wheatley Carr Booth Civil Parish) ceased to belong to Pendle Sub-district and became a portion of Nelson Sub-district, both Sub-districts being within Burnley Registration District - Lawrence Lee, Registrar

    On 1st July, 1904 the part of Sabden Civil Parish, formerly part of Goldshaw Booth Civil Parish, was transferred from this Sub-district to Padiham Sub-district, being within Burnley Registration District - Lawrence Lee, Registrar

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    It has been suggested that we have an extra Out-Visit to Lancashire Record Office.  Jean is investigating the possibility so will be asking how many of you would be interested



    As an experienced freelance maritime researcher, for some years I have posted online guides to investigating mariners in British service.  I now have two new ones that may be of use and interest to some of the members, see,

    One relates to the 'Honourable' East India Company (realistically from the mid 18th century to c.1834); with the other concerned with the various naval local-defence forces from the Indian Marine through to the Royal Indian Navy (researchable again essentially from the mid 18th century to 1947)

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    As we now have several members who are new to family history, we are having a short tutorial lasting about 20 minutes at every branch meeting. This is held during the research time, after the speaker.


    The help desk will be available as usual on Practical Evenings.


    The help surgery was originally organised to coincide with Christine Bradley's classes at Colne Library.  It has been decided to recommence these surgeries for another three months and the first will take place on Wednesday 23rd January 2008; thereafter they will be held on the 4th Wednesday of the month.  These have been very busy at times and consequently the time allotted for each person will be limited to 20-30 minutes.  We need volunteers to help out with queries, so why not do your bit to promote the branch and the society by coming to help out.

    Volunteers to man the help surgeries should give their names to Jean Ingham so that she can formalise a rota for the team of helpers.


    A members' forum, similar to the Lancsgen and Yorksgen genealogy lists, has been set up by David Burgess, the Society's membership secretary.  It has been on trial initially by the Management Committee and members of the Executive Committee.  It is for LFHHS members only and you must have an e-mail address to join it.

    There will be an article about it in the February edition of 'Lancashire'.  If you have renewed your subscription and have submitted a current e-mail address to the membership secretary, you may have already been invited to join the forum.

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    From .   I'm a third-year History student at Oxford University and am working on a dissertation about Walking Day in the north-west (mainly focussing on the period 1950-1980).  I'm very keen to include some oral testimony in my dissertation, so I would like to interview some people about their memories of Walking Day during this period, either individually or as a group.  I'm sure many of your members are interested in local history and remember taking part in Walking Day.  I would like to contact anyone who might be willing to be interviewed, or even to help arrange a group session where people could reminisce together about their memories of Walking Day and what it meant to them?  Thank you for your time, Kayleigh Wiggins

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    Items for publication should be sent to the Acting Editor - , 49 Stone Edge Road, Barrowford, Nelson Lancashire BB9 6BB

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2008 LFH&HS Pendle and Burnley Branch