musings (201) fun Monday (76) friendship (64) K9 (13)

Monday 22 June 2015

Thursday 18 June 2015

History challenge

Going along one of the genealogical byways, I came across the Abbott family, of Blackburn.

This has opened up another area of investigation; this time concerning the town of Blackburn. Doing my usual forage around the internet; I came across an area called Mill Hill. The area is still there but has changed beyond recognition.

As its' name suggests it was a factory area. 

The cotton industry began in England in 1774 when Parliament reduced duty on cotton fabrics from sixpence to threepence a yard. Suddenly, there was an incentive to produce cotton fabric (sixpence a yard was prohibitive). Manufacture in the Blackburn area is disputed; some claim 1774 and others 1776.

Mill Hill became a calico printing area (1794). Apparently, Mill Hill was in the township of Livesey. 

John Abbott in the 1881 England Census was a lodger in 

20 Mill Hill A Common Lodging House

John Wilkinson
Margaret Wilkinson
Emily Ann Wilkinson
Cornelius Driscoll
Richard Ward
Richard Dickinson
Elizabeth Dickinson
William Heaton
Henry Heys
Joseph Pickup
William Ashworth
John Marsden
James Graham
William H. Harwood
John Dunn
Robert Scholes
John Abbott
Jonathan Wade
John Cheetham
John Grimshaw
W. Edward Briggs
Henry Richardson
Andrew Grimshaw
Mark Rawsthorne
Jeremiah Riley
Bridget Lonsdale
Margaret Parkinson
What stunned me at first was the number of people!

Time to do more research...

Sunday 14 June 2015

June in bloom

Clematis in flower

Foxgloves have appeared this year.

The next stage of honesty's cycle.

No words can tell of the rose's beauty

Looking back...

I 'follow' several genealogy, family history pages on social media.  My investigations have led me to find 'family' in Lancs., Yorks., Derbyshire, and more recently Suffolk.

Maybe I'm lucky to have a wide-rage of general knowledge, sheer curiousity...

Recently, I've come across folk that appear to have far less nous.

I learnt my research skills courtesy of the O.U. which I must admit does give me an advantage. Coming across some massive on-line etext sites has also been a bonus. Old books have been transferred to etexts and when out of copyright are free to download.

Hence, I've built up a collection of Parish Records, Archaeological studies and books about various counties. 

Have listed a few, and there are still more to be found...

"The Old Halls and Manors of Derbyshire".
"Old Halls in Lancs. & Cheshire 1837".
"The Parish Registers of England".

The latter was a good find, it is a history of Parish registers which details the problems encountered by those doing the recordings. If you take the trouble to read, you'll find out about the difficulties in record preservation, social problems and political 'interference'.
"In larger parishes it was occasionally arranged, after the injunction of 1558, to keep two separate books for registration purposes, the one for baptisms, and the other for marriages and burials."

Cox, J. Charles (John Charles), 1843-1919. The parish registers of England (Kindle Locations 403-404). London Methuen. 

Then, there's problems with deciphering handwriting and the fact that for many years they were written in Latin.

Some entries were brief, but those of the wealthy tended to be more elaborate.

The Civil War and the Puritans had a deleterious effect on the records. 
The widespread disturbances during the Civil War, and the ejection of so large a number of the Episcopal clergy from their benefices naturally brought about considerable irregularity in the keeping of the register in not a few parishes, and occasionally resulted in their entire cessation.

Cox, J. Charles (John Charles), 1843-1919. The parish registers of England (Kindle Locations 270-272). London Methuen. 
from 1669 to 1695 is because the parishioners could never be persuaded to take to see it done, nor the churchwardens as ye canon did require, and because they refuse to pay such dues to y e curate as they ought by custome to have payed.

Cox, J. Charles (John Charles), 1843-1919. The parish registers of England (Kindle Locations 507-509). London Methuen. 

Friday 12 June 2015


Social Media and the news media have been agog with some disturbing news from Leeds. 

Folk rush to opine using knee-jerk phrases which are then 'answered' in similar thoughtless fashion.

To read their rushed words, you'd think nothing untoward ever happened and that Mr. Chips is still teaching and all places are just like his.

Assaults make the headlines, but just like the proverbial iceberg, there's more underneath.

The problems one faces depends to a large extent on where and in particular the social background of the area. When you find that the new 11 year old transfer comes complete with parole officer, or a girl is known by the police because hers is a family of shoplifters, organised by the father who takes them to various shopping centres... 

A former colleague once referred to a pupil as a 'murderee', someone likely to be murdered because of their behaviour. Indeed, the lad first made the news mainly for his antisocial behaviour tormenting a local disabled man. Duly warned by the police, the lad went back to his ways, until the time that his victim struck back. He literally put an end to his tormentor. 

In most circumstances the adult in the classroom has no say over who enters and takes part. Lads and in some cases lasses might appear on transfer, but, they are not the 'wanted' signings but those that have run out of chances elsewhere. They make a new start and except for slight hints, some appear to have become 'model citizens' because they are no longer with their old peer group. They leave and you think nothing of them, until there are news reports. Two former students 'downtown' clubbing get into a disagreement. But, later that night one follows the other homewards and stabs him to death. Then, you find out that the one murdered was in your form and the other came into school on transfer.

Another time, a pupil is absent, but you are warned not to investigate as the 'powers that be' know all about it. Local news sheds light on the lad's disappearance. He'd stolen a car and was razzing round the area, until he reversed and hit something. The something turns out to have been a toddler. Now, the condoned absence is explained. The local area are understandably 'up in arms' about the incident. Therefore, the police have helped to move the lad and his family to a place of safety.

After long years in retirement, the old days spring to the fore. There's another murder and both people were known to you. Former pupils are now murderer and victim. This time the news spreads like wildfire because the assault was not only unprovoked but the weapon was a machete! Campaigns launched against violence in the local area hit the headlines and you realise you taught other members of the family.

Months later, the court convenes and out of interest you follow it in the news. Some people are charged with hindering the police in their comes as no surprize to recognize some of the names.

Forward to June 2015, the local newspaper has a report of another murder. It's some teens of years into retirement, yet, once more both murderer and victim stir up memories from a career in teaching.

Monday 8 June 2015

News - no, broad-sweeping generalisations

Chatting online, as you do, a subject came up that I decided to muse about.

Technology and the over 60s.

Thinking back to the 1980s when computers strayed out of the geek world and into everyday life. 

1985 the ubiquitous Microsoft launched its Windows operating system.

In school it was the Science Dept. that began to explore the new toys, at home.

the BBC B made its way into schools, in 'penny numbers'. There was one in the stockroom - must have been 1980-81 as I went to Ormskirk for weekly 'training'.

What a laborious process, so much effort, so little achieved. It was the start of modelling using computers.

This was where you might say that Geography was ahead of the game.
One name springs to mind -

In the mid 1970s, Pete Daniels (author) and tutor in St. Kaths' Geography Dept. introduced students to the 'world' of geographical modelling.

1990s the beginning of the www World Wide Web.

The Dept. charged with learning and then instructing schoolchildren in the use of computers was Commerce. The reasoning being they used typewriters anyway.

Mrs. Fitz. and Mrs. B. did a magnificent job of coping with various models and styles of computers throughout the 1990s. 

Other depts. were allocated one computer each! It fell to me to store one in the stockroom. Oh the distractions caused by lending the dratted machine out and storing it again. 

But, that was nothing compared to the disruptions when the classroom had the back of the room equipped with computers, monitors and ONE printer. In a dept. of 11 staff, there was only 'yours truly' with any tech knowledge!

Dear Auntie Beeb

I beg to differ when you opine about the 'problem' of older folk being unable / unwilling to use tech...there's lots of us that can and do use it very well!

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Feb 1920

From the 'Burnley news'
The Clitheroe Castle and Grounds have been offered to the Corporation for £9,500 and a meeting of ratepayers is to be held next Wednesday evening to consider the question of purchasing the property as a War Memorial.
 Reading on a month later...
They had raised £8000.


The newspaper report now says they were aiming at £15,000.

Mill workers agreed to contribute a minimum of 5 shillings per member for the next 8 weeks.

The Castle and its grounds became the town's war memorial, originally for WWI and later for WWII, and finally for all servicemen.

Look across from the Castle to another prominence, and you find it surmounted by the Parish Church.

No wonder the town has streets named Castle St. Castle Gate, Parson Lane, Church St. and Church Brow.

Silver surfing?

There's a site called 'Silversurfers' which is most nostalgic. 

Below is one of the pix they shared.

The games folk played, memories from the 1950s.

Top right - hopscotch, played many times - all that was needed was chalk for the grid and something to throw on the designated square. I always wondered where some folk got the huge lumps of chalk from to draw the grid.

Middle row left - lads played footie, girls played rounders.

Everyone played leap-frog. Yes, lads played conkers, but so did girls from time to time.

Two-ball - any wall would do, or maybe a door! Staring with two balls (tennis balls) we tried adding extras, 3-ball was common.

Definitely an active childhood at any given opportunity. 

Grammar school did not have a 'playground', but it had several acres of grounds. Providing we were allowed to walk on the grass, we'd walk throughout the lunchtimes. Usually we walked around the outskirts of the hockey pitches. We must have walked miles in our lunch hour, chatting as we went. The only area out of bounds to everyone except sixth form was the 'quarry' a small disused grassed-over former quarry.

Those as they say were the days.