Pendle & Burnley Branch

The Gazette
Issue No.47 - July 2012


  1 Member' Interests

  2 Find My Past & Ancestry

  3 Archive News

  4 Branch Library

  5 BMD Project

  6 Petition

  7 2012 Programme

  8  The Gazette

  9  Query Corner

10  From Burnley to Blackpool

11  Pendle Cemeteries

12  Out-visit to Astley Hall

13  Family History Day

14  Genealogists Remember them


    Do you have your Members Interests on our Website? 

Forms are available from the Secretary for you to add the names you are researching to the website.  You will need to supply your Membership number and an email address for future contacts.  An email address is easily created by using Hotmail etc. 

Branch Contacts: 

    Family History Queries

    Branch Secretary

    Gazette Editor

    Website Editor


    Access to FIND MY PAST website is now FREE in Lancashire libraries.  This is another excellent facility for family history research.  Pay for print-outs only.  

ANCESTRY in libraries has been renamed ANCESTRY INSTITUTION and is now available online in the County's Libraries.


    A number of Archives are reporting revised opening times, some to due to refurbishment and others due to the restrictions on finances.  If you intend to visit any of these Archives, you are advised to check the opening times and availability of the collections before arranging a visit.

Lancashire Archives Opening Hours 

   Monday,  9am - 5pm 

   Tuesday,  9am - 8.30pm 

   Wednesday,  9am - 5pm 

   Thursday,  10am - 5pm 

   Friday,  9am - 5pm 

Second Saturday of every month,  10am - 4pm

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Three new CDs have been received from the Society: -

   • CD024 : LFHHS Society Journals : 1975 - 1984

   • CD025 : LFHHS Society Journals : 1985 - 1994

   • CD026 : LFHHS Society Journals : 1995 - 2004

New booklet received: -

   • "Living The Poor Life" - A Guide to the Poor Law Union Correspondence,
                                      c.1834 to 1871, held at The National Archives

Margaret Heap, Branch Librarian


    Since April 29,461 Births have been added to the Lancashire BMD web site and, as at 22nd June, a further 15,000 are with the web master waiting to go on. 

    A further 20,000 mothers' maiden names have been added for birth entries that were already searchable on the web site.  This is an ongoing process.  Many thanks to the dedicated team of volunteers. 

Janet Knowles, BMD Co-ordinator


    You may be interested in this petition if you have not already seen it: 

Research Copies for Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates for Genealogical Research Purposes 

    This was first mentioned in the October edition of the Gazette.  If you wish to add your name, you only have until the 12th of August before the petition closes.  'The idea is to have uncertified copies of certificates for family history research, which have no legal authority, similar to the Republic of Ireland. These could be obtained at a much lower fee, the price of £2 per certificate is suggested.

For more information and to add your name go to:



When at last, after much hard work, you have solved the mystery you have been working on for two years, your aunt says, "I could have told you that."

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

 •  15 August 'A Magistrate' - Anne Redman
 •  29 August Practical Workshop
 •  19 September 'The Cracoe Triplets' - David Marshall
 •  17 October 'Lancashire versus Hitler' - Ron Freethy
 •  31 October Practical Workshop
 •  21 November 'Newchurch Families' - Brenda Hustler
 •   5 December

Christmas Festivities(By ticket only)
'From Muck and Music to Stones and Roses' - Raymond Smith

    Printed copies of the programme are available.

Jean Ingham, Acting Programme Secretary


Gazette Editor - Arnold Slater

    Thanks to Sylvia Marshall for her article about our Out-Visit to Astley Hall.  Articles are always welcome, I will try and fit them in as soon as possible.  The Gazette is published four times a year, January, April, July and October and is available to read on our website in HTML or .PDF format.  Please let me know if you require notifying by email when the Gazette is available online. 

    Articles for the October Gazette by the end of September please

    Please send articles to Editor at or by post to the Editor, c/o 6 Sussex Street, Barnoldswick, Lancashire  BB18 5DS

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    Replies unless otherwise stated to:

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Some memories of a great aunt by Rod Moorhouse 

    Amongst my father's family history papers I recently found a document entitled, 'A few memories in the life of Sarah Ann Hopwood'.  Within five closely typed pages she recalls the main events in a life which spanned more than ninety years.  Born in Accrington Road, Burnley in 1868 she was the oldest child of my great grandfather, James Moorhouse and his wife Elizabeth.  Her youngest brother, John William, born in 1872, had bronchial difficulties so the family were advised to move to the coast where, it was said, the air would be more beneficial to his health.  So in 1874 they all moved to Blackpool where Sarah Ann recalls living in a succession of houses, some built by her father.  She describes the location of the first of these, "Father bought a piece of land at the back of the Imperial Hydro, North Shore and there he built two small stone houses which he named 'Peace Cottages'.  In those days it was quite near the country and we could see the sea from the windows.  There were no other houses until you reached the bottom of the lane where stood the old Gynne Inn and an old farmhouse."  Sometime later the cottages may have been extended to become a terrace of four and could be the ones which still stand in Moorhouse Street, partly obscured by the Tyre fitters' premises on Dixon Road.

    Sarah Ann describes her life in Blackpool, "We spent several happy years living there, the three eldest children attending Christ Church National School.  I shall always be thankful for the services given by the Minister of the church who gave us scripture lessons three times a week and encouraged us to learn so many of the psalms and passages of scripture.  His name was the Rev.Wainright.  It was a long walk each day from the Imperial to Talbot Road Station where the school was situated; there were no buses or trams in those days and very few houses but we benefited by it."

    There was little rest on Sundays as Sarah Ann explains.  "On Sundays we attended Victoria Street Congregational Chapel and Sunday school.  We used to leave home at about 8.30 a.m. to get to Sunday school by 9 a.m., then after school we attended morning service sitting with my father in the family pew.  He was Deacon for many years and I never remember his missing a morning or evening service.  After dinner the children attended the afternoon school and mother went to the evening service with father whenever she was able.  On these occasions I stayed at home to look after the younger children." After tea the family would gather in the Parlour, "One very pleasant memory of those days is the hour after Sunday tea, when, we gathered round the piano, singing together Sankey's hymns or those we sang at Sunday school."

    For a short time the family moved into and ran a temperance public house, "In the late 1870's my father opened the 'British Workman' on the Central Beach, Blackpool.  Originally it was built as a large public house by William Read who died whilst it was being built.  It was his last wish that my father should take it over to run as a Tea and Coffee House....  It was opened on a Good Friday by Abram Altham, a big tea merchant of Burnley.  Crowds of people flocked in to the bottom room to be served with pint pots and gill pots of tea and coffee, meat pies and buns, all at low prices.   It was a huge success but proved to be too much for my father to carry on so eventually he let Mr.William Clark, another Burnley man, take it over."

    After they left the coffee house the family moved into a rented house in Kent Road.  Her father then built, " houses in Chapel Street, calling them 'Hope Terrace'.  They were just past the railway bridge ... " Sarah Ann describes how she and the other children enjoyed playing there, "At the side of the house tons of great stones had been brought from the shore which were used later for road making but we children played all kinds of games amongst them."  After a time they moved yet again, "Another move we made later was to an old country farm at Revoe.  It was in bad condition but the surroundings were lovely ...   My father made a lot of improvements to the farm, renovating it all through and made it into a very comfortable and roomy house for the family.  We had a big greenhouse by the wall side where we grew lovely grapes, a big orchard and garden.  We kept poultry and all kinds of pets for my brothers such as white mice, rabbits, a tortoise and seagulls with their wings clipped.  We also had a cat or two and a canary."

    In 1883, after nine years living in Blackpool, Sarah Ann and the family left Blackpool so that her father could spend his advancing years in Skipton, the place of his childhood.  She seems to suggest it was not an easy change, ".... we went to live in Skipton, much to my mother's regret.  The family also hated to go because we felt we had left so much in Blackpool...."  Once again her father built a new home for his family, in Sarah Ann's words, ".... he built two houses in the Gargrave Road, calling them 'Peace Villas'."  It is interesting to read an account of a girl growing up in late 19th century Blackpool.  There are many indications in Sarah Ann's account that this was a happy childhood and it was fortunate that her father was sufficiently financially well placed to enable their migration from industrial Burnley to the clean air of Blackpool - vast numbers of people were not so fortunate and a day trip to the the seaside was all that many could afford.

    Sarah Ann eventually married, had two sons and later adopted a daughter.  For the next thirty years she dedicated all her spare time to the chapel and to welfare activities in the community - but that's another story!

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    PENDLE CEMETERIES DEPARTMENT Pendle Cemeteries department has moved to Fleet Street, Nelson. 

The following information is from Pendle Council's website .. 

Grave Searches in Pendle Cemeteries. We offer historical grave searches within our six cemeteries and hope to have this service offered as a direct on-line facility in the near future.  At present please contact the Bereavement Services Section directly for search requests.

    You can request a search online, or call using the contact details further down this page.  The records are kept at our Fleet Street Office and can be viewed by the public by appointment.  There is currently no charge for this service.

    Contact Us .. 

Parks and Recreation Services, Fleet Street Depot, Fleet Street, Nelson, Lancashire BB9 7YQ 

Telephone:01282 661593 / 661586, Fax:01282 661610,

Office opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.30pm


by Sylvia Marshall

    This year, as a break with tradition, it was decided to have the Out-visit in the afternoon, rather than the evening.  So, on Wednesday 16th May a group of 25 of us met up at the car park of Astley Hall, near Chorley, on a sunny but chilly afternoon.  We were taken into The Great Hall by Amy and Ruth, our guides, suitably dressed as Tudor Ladies, who gave us a brief history of the Hall.  The Charnock family built the original timber-framed house in 1575, but it passed into the Brooke family when in 1665 Margaret Charnock married Richard Brooke of Mere, Cheshire, and the red-brick front of the house was added with its large bay windows.  Then in 1788 the Townley-Parker family came into possession of the house through the marriage of Susannah Brooke to Thomas Townley-Parker of Cuerden.  This was when the red brick façade was stuccoed to give its present appearance.  Astley Hall finally passed to Reginald Tatton who donated it to Chorley Corporation in 1922, as a memorial to local men killed in World War1.

    Our tour started in the Great Hall where the elaborate plaster ceilings impressed, with wreaths, cherubs and coats-of-arms, made of wood, leather and plaster, while 17th century painted wood panels in the Great Hall depicted a curious mix of historical characters from monarchs and explorers to Sultans of Turkey.  The Dining Room had magnificent views overlooking the lake and landscaped grounds of Astley Park, and boasted a green baize door for the servants to enter from the kitchen.

    Outside in the inner Courtyard you could see where the brick extension had been added to the original Tudor timber-framed building to enclose the yard.  The antibacterial properties of the animal dung used in the Tudor construction apparently helped to preserve the wood.

    In the room used as a rents office two large safes were concealed in the wall panelling, the mermaid and fish carvings indicating it may have been recycled from a ship.

    Oliver Cromwell was reputed to have stayed at the Hall during the Battle of Preston, despite the family being Royalist and Catholic, and as well as being shown Cromwell's bedroom, we were told a priest hole had been located behind a chimney in one of the other bedrooms.  The last family member to live at the Hall was Susannah Brooke, and in her bedroom we were shown the truckle bed kept under her own Tester bed to pull out for her servants to sleep on.

    Running the width of the house on the top floor, the uneven flooring in the Long Gallery bore witness to 17th century building standards and it was reassuring to know girders now supported the structure!  But there we saw the magnificent heavy oak shovelboard table, 23ft long with its 20 legs, said to be the finest in existence, as well as Susannah's leather exercise chair on which she practised horse-riding in inclement weather.

    At the end of the tour Jean Ingham thanked our guides, Amy and Ruth, for showing us round the Hall, whose various owners have always been mindful to retain its 17th century character.  The nearby Hartwood Hall Hotel provided us with food and liquid refreshment before we set off back for home.

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    Saturday, 3rd November 2012 
    10am to 1pm at Colne Library


Would you please ensure that the Secretary is informed of any change of address - including email address

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We all go searching on the net 

For ancestors we never met 

So if one day you find them there

 Just think - they might just like a prayer

 (It only takes a little while - 

Then go and put them in your file) 

And who knows, when you do. 

They might just say a prayer for you 

To help you fill in some more blanks. 

So say another prayer of thanks 

And trust you will find even more 

Of all those souls who've gone before 

For even if you've not met yet 

They might just be living - on the net. 

Mary Jackson 2010  

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© 2012 LFHHS Pendle & Burnley Branch