A history of Lancashire in 70 objects
PUBLISHED: 09:05 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:09 07 November 2017
All the items that have appeared in our ambitious project to mark the 70th anniversary of Lancashire Life.
A History of Lancashire in 70 Objects
This painting by Harry Rutherford, shows four mill girls climbing the steps on Park Parade, Ashton-under-Lyne. In the background loom the Old Wharf and Albion Mills, chimneys smoking. Groups of people hurry along the cobbled street below. The cheery faces of the four girls all belong to local beauty Bewley Fletcher. Harry was born on Market Street, Denton in 1903 and attended evening classes at Manchester School of Art with fellow student L.S. Lowry. During World War Two he was employed by the RAF to paint detailed skies to assist camouflage training. Harry continued to paint his own work though, ironically, much of it was destroyed during an air raid. Later, Harry pioneered art being created live on TV in the BBC childrens programme, Sketchbook. Tameside Central Art Gallery, Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, OL6 7GS, tameside.gov.uk/centralartgallery.
In the late 1930s, Bolton was the site of an astonishing social experiment. For three years, more than 80 paid and voluntary observers lived among the towns inhabitants and recorded the minutiae of their daily lives. The project was called Worktown and was the brainchild of a research organisation called Mass-Observation. One of those recruited to work on the project was the pioneering documentary photographer, Humphrey Spender. Spender took around 900 photographs in Bolton and Blackpool on a series of visits between August 1937 and April 1938. He photographed people drinking in local pubs, watching Bolton Wanderers, going to vote and shopping at the open market. Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton, BL1 1SE, boltonmuseums.org.uk
Donkey stones were originally used in the Lancashire and Yorkshire textile mills to provide a non-slip surface on greasy stone staircases, but housewives took to stoning their front doorsteps, door surrounds, window sills, and even the front flagstones to proclaim the cleanliness of their houses. Donkey stones were named after the symbol of the largest early manufacturer, Reads of Manchester. Eli Whalley founded his business during the 1890s and used a lion as his trademark inspired by childhood visits to Belle Vue Zoo. His firm, based at Donkey Stone Wharf on the Ashton Canal, was the last mass producer of donkey stones, closing in 1979. Portland Basin, 1 Portland Place, Ashton Under Lyne, OL7 0QA. Closed on Mondays, go to tameside.gov.uk/portlandbasin for more information.
From the early 1850s Liverpool-born artist Richard Ansdell R.A. (1815-1885) summered in Lytham, painting rural life around the coastal sandhills. In 1860 he built a house, Starr Hills, in Lytham. His fame was such that a new road near his house was named Ansdell Road, quickly followed by a railway stop called Ansdell Halt. This rapid spread of transport links to Lytham reflected the rise of people visiting the seaside for leisure in Lancashire. For the artist however, it ruined the tranquillity hed originally sought and he sold his house. Nevertheless, Ansdell continued to visit and paint the sandhills for many years afterwards. Today the area is still known as Ansdell and his house is now a care home. The painting was donated to the Lytham St Annes Art Collection in 1935 by Henry Talbot De Vere Clifton (1907-1979). Lytham Art Collection, Booths, Haven Road, Lytham, FY8 5EG, friendsofthelythamstannesartcollection.org.
This half-sized model of the Blackburn Loom was built in 1862 by William Dickinson & Sons, Blackburn. The development of the power loom was characterised by large leaps forward and small incremental improvements. The first power loom was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and by 1826 was enough of a threat to traditional hand loom weavers to lead to the Lancashire Riots. In 1827, William Dickinson patented the Blackburn Loom which had an over-pick motion for throwing the shuttle, that is, the motion of the picking arm was above the shuttle rather than underneath it. This paved the way for a fully automated loom designed by Kenworthy and Bullough in 1842, the Lancashire Loom. A single crossing of the shuttle from one side of the loom to the other is known as a pick. Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Museum Street, Blackburn, BB1 7AJ. Limited opening, go to blackburnmuseum.org.uk for more information.
The Great Wheel was a famous Blackpool attraction and Lancashire landmark which stood for 32 years. It opened in 1896 at the Winter Gardens as a rival to Blackpool Tower, offering great views across Lancashire. It was 67m high and had 30 carriages, each could hold 40 passengers. It was driven by two powerful steam engines. A ride cost sixpence and there were four rides an hour. This miniature wheel was made in Stoke-on-Trent in the 1920s. When it was taken down in 1928, the metal was used to make medals in memory of the wheel. The carriages were sold off. Blackpool Museum Project, Winter Gardens, 97 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HL. Go to blackpoolmuseum.com for details.
Steam engines like Elsie powered the mills of the Industrial Revolution and were fundamental to the development of the textile industry. This particular engine named Elsie after one of the mill-owners family was built by J&W McNaught Ltd of Rochdale in 1905 drove a textile finishing works in Wardle for over 60 years. It represents a typical type of mill steam engine with its rope drive from the flywheel and incorporates a complicated mechanism to operate the steam valves to ensure maximum efficiency. Bolton Steam Museum, 155 Musgrove Road, Bolton, BL1 4HW. Limited opening, go to nmes.org for details.
Brian Kidd was born in Collyhurst on May 29, 1949 and won his apprenticeship with Manchester United in 1963. He scored the third goal in the 1968 European Cup final against Benfica at Wembley Stadium on his 19th birthday. Manchester United FC Museum, Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester, M16 0RA. Admission charges apply. Go to manutd.com/en/Visit-Old-Trafford for information and opening times.
These diaries document the extraordinary story of Elizabeth Parker in her own hand and give an insight into the expectations and family relationships of a member of the Lancashire gentry. Elizabeth was born at Browsholme Hall in 1726 and, against her familys wishes, married her second cousin Robert Parker of Alkincoats. His premature death in 1758 left her a widow with three small sons under five. After seven years she eloped, sensationally, to Gretna Green with John Shackleton, a wool merchant 17 years her junior who was known for his loutish behaviour. In her diaries, written in 19 pocket books and spanning over 20 years, she details the trials and tribulations of her marriage, her love of Browsholme, of Alkincoats (the Parkers other family home near Colne), and of her children. Her writings form a unique piece of Lancashires social history documenting her daily encounters with friends, neighbours, business associates, relatives and social inferiors. Browsholme Hall, Clitheroe Road, Cow Ark, Clither
This is a genuine front end, including the cockpit, of a Douglas C-54 Skymaster, the predominant aircraft involved in the vital airlift to supply Berlin during the Soviet siege. The four-engined transport aircraft required maintenance every 200 flying hours and RAF Burtonwood was used for the maintenance of USAF aircraft taking part in the airlift. Approximately 1,200 overhauls were undertaken here in 1948 and 1949 to keep the airlift going. It involved approximately 5,000 mechanics working 24 hours a day seven days a week. The base continued as the major supply, support and maintenance centre for the USAF in Europe until 1959. RAF Burtonwood Heritage Centre, Gullivers World Theme Park, Off Shackleton Close, Old Hall, Warrington, WA5 9YZ. Go to rafburtonwoodbase.org/heritagecentre.html for opening times and more information.
In Lowrys own words, Coming from the Mill is my most characteristic mill scene. Twenty years earlier, his family had settled in Pendlebury, between Manchester and Bolton. It was a more industrial area than their previous home and Lowry hated it at first. Then, one day, after missing a train at Pendlebury Station, he saw the workers at a nearby mill streaming out of the gates when their shift finished at the end of the day. He had never really noticed this event before and he resolved to put the industrial scene on the map. Although Lowry seems to paint what he saw on his doorstep, his pictures rarely show actual places. Coming from the Mill is an imagined scene created from a mixture of real and invented buildings and typical mills. Coming from the Mill. The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M503AZ, thelowry.com/exhibitions.
On December 21st 1844, 28 working people, known as the Rochdale Pioneers, opened a cooperative store at 31 Toad Lane to sell unadulterated food at fair prices using accurate weights and measures. It sold the essentials: butter, sugar, flour and oatmeal. The counter and customers bench were made from barrels and planks. The Pioneers encouraged local people to become members, to take part in controlling the business and to share in the profits. A revolution that started in Lancashire changed the world and now involves over a billion co-operators across the globe. Rochdale Pioneers Museum, 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL12 0NU, rochdalepioneersmuseum.coop.
Leighton Hall is renowned for its collection of Gillow furniture which has been passed down the generations since ancestor Robert Gillow founded the famous furniture making firm, Gillow & Company of Lancaster in the early 18th century. As well as having a reputation as brilliant furniture designers and craftsmen, Gillows were well known for making unusual, often one off pieces, such as the so-called Daisy Table. It’s a bit of a mystery, too, shaped as it is, like a flower, with eight leaves or petals, each supported by a bracket which when pushed in, allows you to fold the petals down, leaving a small octagonal table. It was probably made for gambling – if you were playing cards and lost all your money, or simply didn’t want to play anymore, you folded your petal down and left. Leighton Hall, Carnforth, LA5 9ST. Admission charges apply. Go to leightonhall.co.uk for details and more information.
Elizabeth Gaskell, lived at 84 Plymouth Grove with her family from 1850 until her death in 1865, entertaining many renowned local, national and international figures there. While there she wrote many works, most famously, Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters (unfinished at her death). The house was built in about 1838 outside the grimy manufacturing district to attract Manchesters middle classes, which had increased in number and wealth as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The house received Grade IIstatus in 1952 and was acquired by Manchester Historic Buildings Trust in 2004. In 2014, following an extensive renovation, the house opened fully to the public. The house remains complete in nearly all its internal features, with an exterior that has seen few changes. Elizabeth Gaskells house, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M3 9LW. Admission charges apply. Go to elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk for details and more information.
The factory childs trouble sampler was made in 1833 by 12-year-old Elizabeth Hodgate who is thought to have lived in the Trinity area of Salford. This sampler has beautiful detail and makes a social comment on the times, with a poem which describes the life of the factory child, telling a strong story about industry in Lancashire and the effect it had on people, including children. In the year it was made, the first Factory Act was passed by Parliament to improve conditions for children working in factories. Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WU. Go to salfordcommunityleisure.co.uk/culture/salford-museum for opening times and more details.
The Eyres Weekly Journal, otherwise known as the Warrington Advertiser, was arguably the first Lancashire newspaper; its mixture of news, adverts, financial reports, society updates and horse racing results making it the ancestor to local newspapers and magazines. Initially popular, the publication also reported on the early stages of the Seven Years War. Sadly, the journal was ahead of its time and it folded in July 1756 after only 19 issues. Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington, WA1 1JB. Go to warringtonmuseum.co.uk for opening times and details.
The embroidered fire screen was created by the nurses who were stationed at Lytham Hall during World War Two when the hall had been commandeered by the Red Cross to serve as a convalescent hospital where soldiers could recover. Each member of staff working at the hall first wrote their name, and then allegedly their names were embroidered by the patients over the pencil marks. A couple even added a little picture, creating an almost homely scene. Lytham Hall, Ballam Road, Lytham, FY8 4JX. Admission charges apply. Go to lythamhall.org.uk for details and more information.
The fireman's branchpipe
In 1733 John Kay of Ramsbottom invented the flying shuttle, a revolutionary step in cotton cloth manufacture. Traditionally, handloom weavers would physically throw the shuttle carrying the weft thread from left to right through the warp threads, which went from top to bottom. This was difficult and limited the width of the cloth a single weaver could make. A wide loom required an extra weaver to stand at the other end of the loom to pass the shuttle back and forth. Kays invention consisted of two little hammers on each side of the loom which knocked the shuttle in each direction across the warp threads. These hammers were controlled by a picking stick, which was operated using a string held by the weaver. With a flick of the wrist, one person could operate a shuttle across a very wide loom, which greatly increased the rate of cloth production. Bury Art and Sculpture Centre, Moss Street, Bury, BL9 0DR, buryartmuseum.co.uk.
The ‘Tree of Life’ pelmet was created in the early 20th century by Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth, who lived at the house until her death in 1967. She made the pelmet as part of a set of bed hangings for a Jacobean bed given to her by her parents as a 21st birthday present. It’s a beautiful piece of embroidery, with the design based on traditional Tree of Life Jacobean crewel work, influenced by Indian imported fabrics. The pattern features exotic plants and flowers but also has an English twist – the addition of insects and native animals. Her interest in the Arts and Crafts movement inspired her to create, share and assemble one of the finest collections of textiles in the country. Gawthorpe Textile Collection, Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley Road, Padiham, Burnley, BB12 8UA. Limited opening times. Admission charges apply, go to nationaltrust.org.uk/gawthorpe-hall for more information.
Gandalfs costume was produced by The Dukes wardrobe department and his staff was made using wood from trees in Lancasters Williamson Park. The staff was first used by Little John in a Dukes production of Robin Hood in 2013 but reappeared last year for their outdoor walkabout production of The Hobbit in Williamson Park which won the 2016 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People. The Dukes Theatre, Moor Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1QE, dukes-lancaster.org
The worlds biggest pear drop took two people 10 days to make. Each of the 27 layers was made from a 48lb batch of boiled sugar, each split in half and coloured pink or yellow. Once all the layers were completed, the pear drop was encased in a yellow and pink jacket, which was then covered with an edible lacquer to preserve it. Finished and unveiled on March 26 1995, it is 5ft 6 inches tall, 7ft 9in round and weighs 1296lbs. It had to be transported to its display cabinet by forklift truck. Oswaldtwistle Millls, Colliers Street, Accrington, PR8 8AJ. Go to o-mills.co.uk for opening times and more information.
These four small earthenware vessels are believed to have been used for dispensing potions made from local plants and herbs by the Taylors of Lancashire, the original Whitworth Doctors. They were famous as bone-setters but also straightened twisted and contorted limbs and even professed to provide cures for certain cancers. John Taylor, a blacksmith and farrier, came to Whitworth around 1750 and soon gained a reputation for mending horses that had suffered broken bones while working in the local stone quarry. Taylor quickly extended his skills to the human population and, over time, gained the attention of the clergy, gentry and even Royalty but, despite relative success, they never deserted their original customers, the horses. The Taylor family continued to attend the needs of Whitworth until Dr James Eastwood Taylor died in 1876. Whitworth Heritage Museum, Brookside Mill, North Street, Rochdale, OL12 8RE. Limited opening times, go to visitlancashire.com/things-to-do/whitworth-heritage-museum-p75500
The Cuerdale hoard
In February 1940, 15 young girls wrote the Harris House diary in a hostel in Southport. In the previous year they travelled from Germany and Austria with their matron, Dr Margaret Steinberg, as part of the Movement for the Care of Children in Germany which became better known as Kindertransport. The girls wrote the diary as a token of gratitude to all those kind people who had funded the hostel and provided for them during the year. The girls and Dr Steinberg paint a vivid picture of the life of a young refugee in 1930s, describing their parents, their life back home and their personal experiences of the impact of National Socialism. Most refugee testimonies are recorded long after the war with hindsight and with the passage of time memories have changed, influencing the retelling. When writing this diary the girls were aware of the persecution being suffered by their parents back at home but they could not imagine the horrors of the Final Solution. Manchester Jewish Museum, 190 Cheetham Hill Road, Man
The ‘Angel of Purity’ takes pride of place among the stunning stained glass in the Turkish Bath Restroom at Manchester’s Victoria Baths. With butterfly wings, the figure is surrounded by white lilies, signifying purity. It is perhaps one of the finest examples of art nouveau stained glass in the building. The figure may be Minnehaha, a fictional Native American woman found in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem ‘The song of Hiawatha’ written in 1855. At the beginning of the 20th century, when Victoria Baths was built, Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s orchestral version of the poem, Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast was very popular. Victoria Baths, Hathersage Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, M13 0FE. Limited opening times and admission charges apply, go to victoriabaths.org.uk for more details.
Hoghton Tower was built in 1565 and during construction of the magnificent banqueting hall, a banqueting table was to be built. An oak tree was felled in the woods around the Tower and its trunk brought to the room where master craftsmen created what we now call the Beef Table. This heavy oak top table has occupied its current position in the banqueting hall ever since. 400 years ago, in August 1617, when King James I of England, son of Mary Queen of Scots, was returning from his only visit to Scotland, the King and his retinue stayed and were entertained at Hoghton Tower by Richard de Hoghton. During one of the many banquets, and while sitting at this table, King James I is said to have knighted a joint of beef ‘Sirloin’. Hoghton Tower, Hoghton, Preston, PR5 0SH. Admission charges apply. Go to hoghtontower.co.uk for details and more information.
The model of a window from a Temple in Ahmedabad, Gujerat, was given as a gift to Mr and Mrs Jarrett, late of Euxton, on the occasion of their ((wedding, by)) Gujerati businessman and friend of Mrs Jarrett’s father, Mr Wilson. Mr Wilson went to India in 1938 as a Spinning Superintendent at Arvind Mills, Ahmedabad. There were seven mills in the group and he spent 31 years in India. Accompanying the model window is a photograph of the full size silver filigree window in the temple. British in India Museum, Hendon Mill, Hallam Road, Nelson, BB9 8AD. Limited opening times and admission charges apply. Go to visitlancashire.com/things-to-do/british-in-india-museum-p7152 for details.
These fossils formed about 300 million years ago when much of Lancashire was a vast tropical wetland covered by forest. Huge trees grew here with a rich understory of ferns and horsetails. Over many millions of years the plants decayed in the swamps, starting the process that would finally form seams of coal. As the climate changed, becoming cooler and drier, most of these plant species became extinct. These remarkable fossils were uncovered in a sandstone quarry on Oldham Edge in 1879. Gallery Oldham, Greaves Street Oldham, OL1 1AL, galleryoldham.org.uk.
Lancaster Castle has been associated with law and order for over 850 years. It was a prison from at least 1196 until 2011 and, at the time it closed, was the oldest continuously-used prison in Europe. It continues to function as a Crown Court sitting throughout the year. The castle has been the site of both famous and infamous trials; those tried or incarcerated here include the Pendle Witches, the Lancashire Martyrs, George Fox, and the Birmingham Six. The statue of Justice stands above what was the prison exercise yard and would have been an everyday sight to prisoners. It sits in a niche on the exterior of a tower constructed in 1821 as the Female Penitentiary. This tower is the only surviving example in Britain of a true Panopticon tower which allows a single watchman to observe all inmates without them knowing whether or not they were being watched. Lancaster Castle, Castle Park, Lancaster, LA1 1YJ. Admission charges apply. Go to lancastercastle.com for details and more information.
Speed Ace Donald Campbell’s hydroplane Bluebird K7 broke seven world water speed records between 1955 and 1964, four of them on Coniston Water. On January 4 1967, when Donald Campbell was in search of unprecedented eighth record, his jet-propelled Bluebird K7 crashed, killing him instantly. Bluebird K7 was the most advanced hydroplane of her time. Built of aluminium, she resembled a fighter aircraft, and was powered by a turbojet engine, proudly engineered in Lancashire. She is now being conserved and rebuilt to full operative order by volunteers. Completed parts are displayed in The Ruskin Museum’s Bluebird Wing, her future home. The Ruskin, Yewdale Road, Coniston, LA21 8DU. Admission charges apply. Go to ruskinmuseum.com for details and opening times.
The lant cart was found in the 1970s in the mud of the mill pond at Higher Mill, Helmshore. It would have been used to move lant (stale human urine) around inside the mill to be used in the process of thickening and conditioning woollen cloth. Ammonia which is found in urine, breaks down the grease in the wool speeding up the process. The lant was collected from cottages in the village by the Lant Gatherer, or Lant Man who paid a small sum to the provider for each filled pot. Some tried to dilute it with water to fill more pots and receive more money, but the Lant Man knew all the tricks. He would always check each individual pot by dipping his thumb in. The lant should go high up enough to wet his thumb to be paid the full price. He would then lick his thumb to make sure it was not watered down. Haslingden Library, Deardengate, Haslingden, Rossendale, BB4 5QL.
When Eric Morecambes 1970s Qualcast Electric Super Panther was collected by the refuse man, Eric was celebrating the birth of his first baby in the garden. He was wearing a knotted hanky on his head and writing Its a boy in the lawn with weedkiller, immortalising the words for the next 12 months. British Lawnmower Museum, 106-114 Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AJ. Admission charges apply, go to lawnmowerworld.co.uk.
Shoes hidden in houses, in walls or under floorboards, were believed to keep the family safe from witches or evil spirits. It is thought that shoes could act as spirit traps, stopping them from travelling any further into the home. The shoes are often found close to fireplaces, windows or in doorways. These were all thought of as danger points in a house, places where evil could creep in unseen. This example was found in Yealand Conyers, north of Lancaster. It dates from the early 1600s, when people across the country were very sensitive to and scared of witchcraft and witches. In 1612 a group of men and women were accused of witchcraft and were taken from the Pendle area to Lancaster Castle for examination. Their fate was set during their trials, in August, due largely to the evidence of nine-year-old Jennet Device. One woman died in prison before her trial and ten people were found guilty and swiftly hanged. Clitheroe Castle, Castle Street, Clitheroe, BB7 1BA. Admission charges apply.
During the Second World War, the German Luftwaffe used high-altitude reconnaissance planes to take detailed photographs of major cities and then used commercial directories and other intelligence sources to draw up a wish-list of likely targets. This is the German bombing map of Bootle, with the grain stores at Alexandra Dock circled in red. The docks at Bootle and Liverpool had become a lifeline to Britain during the Battle of the Atlantic when shipping convoys were controlled from an underground command centre in Liverpool. The food, fuel, weapons and troops that came into these docks saved Britain and made the liberation of Europe possible. The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB, theatkinson.co.uk.
This single represents Manchesters contribution to Britains cultural industries. Buzzcocks were Manchesters first punk group. Formed in Bolton in 1976 by Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto, they were, and remain, hugely influential on popular music across the globe. The sleeve for the 1978 single Love You More was designed by Malcolm Garrett, then a graphic design student at Manchester Polytechnic. He created the famous Buzzcocks logo, with its distinctive double-Z, using Letraset, and took figures from the Letraset architectural illustration series for this cover. Love You More holds a special place in many Lancastrian hearts because it was displayed for years on the wall of The Kabin, the corner shop on Coronation Street, when it sold records. MMU Special Collections, Sir Kenneth Green Library, All Saints, Manchester, M15 6BH. Limited opening, go to specialcollections.mmu.ac.uk for details.
John Dalton's glasses
Arthur Stanley Jefferson was born at the home of his grandparents in Ulverston. As Stans parents were busy running their theatre business in the North East, Stan spent a lot of time in Ulverston with his grandparents. Stan was often in trouble with his stern grandfather who had two main forms of punishment for young Stan: the stirrup strap, a wide strip of leather used to sharpen his razor blades, and the washhouse. The washhouse punishment consisted of Stan being locked inside the cold, dark shed to think about what hed done. Stan was one step ahead of his grandad however, and always kept a candle, some matches and his comics hidden inside and spent his time catching up on with his favourite stories! These items were saved from the house by Bill Cubin, founder of the Laurel and Hardy museum, and are now on permanent display. Laurel and Hardy Museum, The Roxy, Brogden Street, Ulverston, LA12 7AH. Admission charges apply. Go to laurel-and-hardy.co.uk for opening times.
This ancient dug out boat was found during drainage work near Wennington Hall, close to Lancaster, sometime before 1929. Radiocarbon dating suggests it was made in around 1320 by hollowing out a solid log. The boat makers would have burned and chopped at its centre with an adze to shape it out. The six holes along the sides could have served a number of purposes; to strengthen the boat (by attaching wooden ribs using wooden pegs known as treenails); to provide seating branches for the crew; to attach external stabilisers around the hull or to attach a row of continuous planking called a strake to give more height to the body of the boat, so it could withstand rougher conditions and choppy water. Lancaster Maritime Museum, Custom House, St Georges Quay, Lancaster, LA1 1RB. Go to lancashire.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/museums/lancaster-maritime-museum.aspx for opening times and more information.
This model shows a man working in an 18 inch coal seam typical of the seams in the Burnley Coalfield. The roof is supported by an iron girder and held up by pit props exactly as it would have been, the man lays partly on his side and his leg moves from side to side at the knee which in turn moves the arm holding the pick which is cutting the coal previously undercut by the cutting machine on the previous shift. He would have spent up to eight hours a day in this position, stopping only for his “bait” and a drink. This method was still in use in 1999. Woodend Mining Museum, Smithson Farm, Woodend, Reedley Hallows, Burnley, BB12 9DR. Limited opening times. Go to woodendminingmuseum.org.uk for details.
Lion was built in 1838 by Messrs Todd, Kitson and Laird for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. In 1859 she served as a stationary pumping engine at Princes Dock until she was discovered in the 1920s and restored by the Liverpool Engineering Society. She became one of the star attractions in Liverpool during the 1930s when she took part in the L&MR centenary celebrations at Wavertree Playground, pulling replica carriages around a circular track. Between 1931 and 1941 she stood on a plinth in Lime Street Station until she was temporarily removed to star in the 1937 film Victoria the Great She went onto further fame in the 1950s featuring in The Lady with the Lamp (1951) and the famous Ealing comedy, The Titfield Thunderbolt in 1953. Museum of Liverpool, Museum of Liverpool, Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 1DG, liverpoolmuseums.org.uk.
A little-known revolutionary invention for Allied troops in the Second World War, the self-heating cans were invented by Heinz and ICI. The cans allowed troops to have hot food in all conditions without the need to light fires which might reveal their location. The British Food Ministry released the cans in March 1944 and they were reputedly invented for the D-Day landings. Each tin contained cordite, a low explosive with a fuse which could be lit to heat the contents ready for eating in just four minutes. Some soldiers even lit the cans and put them in their uniforms to keep warm in cold climates. On other occasions the cans exploded, spraying everyone with hot soup. The Museum of Wigan Life, Museum of Wigan Life, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU. Go to wigan.gov.uk/resident/museums-archives/museum-of-wigan-life/index.aspx for opening times and more information.
Pilkington vase, Towneley Hall
On August 16 1819 people from Lancashire’s mill towns came in their thousands to see the famous orator Henry Hunt talk about reform. It was a peaceful and organised protest but despite this, the local magistrates sent in the yeomanry to break up the crowd. The cavalry charged into the masses, killing 18 people and injuring hundreds more. This handkerchief was produced and sold following the massacre, possibly to raise money for the hundreds of defenceless people who were attacked at Peterloo. Radical supporters also carried the handkerchief as a sign of solidarity to the cause they were protesting. Peoples History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER, phm.org.uk.
Joseph Briggs became an apprentice calico engraver, skilled in free-hand drawing and colour combinations, until at 17 he embarked for America. In 1893 he began to work for the glass company owned by Louis Comfort Tiffany, working his way up from errand boy to managing Tiffany Studios after Louis retirement in 1919. This vibrant, iridescent vase is decorated with a recurrent motif of the American Art Nouveau and English Arts and Crafts movements. Peacock glass was achieved by combining opaque, opalescent, translucent, iridescent and aventurine glass. Together, they produced feathers of shimmering blues, greens, pinks, mauves and golds into which a layered opalescent eye could be placed. Haworth Art Gallery, Hollins Lane, Accrington, BB5 2JS. Limited opening. Go to hyndburnbc.gov.uk/haworthaccrington for details.
The Bolton ‘Thieves Album’ dates from 1913 and documents people arrested in the Bolton area, their occupations, alleged crimes and punishments (if found guilty). Not many books like this survive, but this example was saved by a Police Officer while working in Little Lever or Farnworth. Greater Manchester Police Museum, 57A Newton Street, Manchester, M1 1ET. Open Tuesdays 10.30am-3.30pm, gmpmuseum.co.uk.
The Preston Bypass was opened by Prime Minister Harold MacMillan on December 5, 1958 and was the first section of motorway in the country. The Preston Bypass ran from Bamber Bridge to Broughton but its most famous feature was the Preston/Blackburn junction crossing the A59, now M6 junction 31. Originally the motorway only had two lanes but the layout has changed over time to deal with increasing traffic and was expanded to four lanes in the 1990s. British Commercial Vehicle Museum, King Street, Leyland, PR25 2LE. Admission charges apply. Go to britishcommercialvehiclemuseum.com for details and more information.
The Carnforth station clock was made by Joyce of Whitchurch, founded in 1690 and claiming to be the oldest continuous clockmakers in the world. Now fully restored and hanging proudly above the subway on Platform 1, this impressive timepiece was installed in 1895. 50 years later, the clock played a prominent role in the 1945 David Lean classic film, Brief Encounter. Observant viewers will notice that, in the film, the words Joyce of Whitchurch do not appear on the clock face. David Lean wanted to be able to set the clock quickly to maximise the limited filming time each evening, so he had a false front made on which the time could be painted to suit each scene. Carnforth Station, Warton Road, Carnforth, Lancs, LA5 9TR, carnforthstation.co.uk.
The gold solidus of Emperor Gration (emporer between 367 and 383) was found at the end of the 19th century. It dates to AD373 and is one of the few gold Roman coins to have been found in Bremetennacum Veteranorum, the Roman Fort which lies beneath Ribchester. It is in almost perfect condition and it is the latest Roman object to be found at the site which means that Ribchester must have been occupied until at least AD373. The museum and archeology department of the University of Central Lancashire are currently excavating close to the find spot to learn more about the later Roman history of this extremely imporatnt site. So far they have discovered the North Gate of the fort, some late Roman structures and about 50 Roman coins, but none as well preserved as the one shown here. Ribchester Roman Museum, Greenside, Ribchester, Preston, PR3 £ZJ. Admission charges apply, go to ribchesteroamnmuseum.org for details
Rufford Old Hall sampler
This exceptional shovelboard table can be found in the Long Gallery on the top floor of Astley Hall and at 23 feet long is the longest example of its kind in the country, possibly even the world. Shovelboard was a game that developed over 500 years ago. The aim is for players to push, or shove, a grote or penny from one end of the table and to get it as close to the opposite end as possible without it falling off. Astleys Long Gallery was built around the 1660s and the shovelboard table could be up to a century older than the gallery. It was originally in two pieces, presumably for ease of transport, but there is no evidence to show where the board may originally have come from. Astley Hall, Southport Road, Chorley, PR7 1NP. Limited opening times. Go to chorley.gov.uk/Pages/AtoZ/Astley-Hall.aspx for details.
This characterful bear, called Edward, is one of a pair that stood either side of the grand staircase at Smithills Hall. In the early 1900s Smithills Hall was owend by Colonel Richard Henry Ainsworth, whose wealth derived from his family's successful bleaching business. The bears were part of family life at the hall and were used to hold hats and umbrellas. They left Smithills Hall in 1938 after the Ainsworth family sold their country estate to Bolton Council, but, following conservation work, one of the bears will make a return journey to its former home in late summer 2017. Smithills Hall, Smithills Dean Road, Bolton, BL1 7NP. Go to friendsofsmithillshall.co.uk for opening times and information
The Old Grammar School in Leyland was founded in the adjacent parish church in 1524 and moved into the new purpose-built timber-framed building about 30 years later. The most famous student was Dr Richard Keurden (c.1620-1700) who became a governor of the school and planned to write the first History of Lancashire. He spent 20 years gathering information about the county but never managed to complete it. South Ribble Museum, The Old Grmmar School, Church Road, Leyland, PR25 3FJ, south-ribble.co.uk/srmuseum.
Stott Park Bobbin Mill was one of over 65 bobbin mills in the Lake District, producing millions of bobbins for the cotton and textile industry in Lancashire towns and further afield. Although a small mill, there were 25 men and boys working there in gruelling conditions who could make up to a quarter of a million bobbins a week. Visitors can still watch how a bobbin was made on the original Victorian belt driven machinery. Stott Park, Finsthwaite, Newby Bridge, Ulverston, LA12 8AX. Limited opening times and admission charges apply. Go to english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stott-park-bobbin-mill for details.
This is the builders mechanised 1:96 scale model of the ocean liner TSS Oriana which was built by the Barrow-in-Furness shipbuilder Vickers from 1957-1960 for the Orient Steam Navigation Company. The vessel had revolutionary design features and became a much-loved and easily recognisable vessel with her corn-yellow hull in the ports she visited. The interactive model has a moving seascape, ship movement, rotating propellers and internal lighting. The Dock Museum, North Road, Barrow in Furness, LA14 2PW. Limited opening, go to dockmuseum.org.uk for details.
Born in Old Trafford, Sylvia Pankhurst was one of Manchester�s most disruptive of daughters. Daughter of the Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the British suffragette movement, she was introduced at the age of 14 to the women�s suffrage movement. She was an artist, activist and writer and was imprisoned for her involvement in the militant Women�s Social and Political Movement, formed in 62 Nelson Street, Manchester. She is also recognised on an international level as a committed anti-fascist and campaigner for peace and social justice She used this typewriter to write The Suffragette Movement - An Intimate Account Of Persons and Ideals 1931. Pankurst Centre, 60-62 Nelson Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, M13 9WP, thepankhurstcentre.org.uk.
This rocking horse toy was found during an archaeological dig at the side of the former smithy building. Although the horse is corroded, it is a lovely example of a rustic home-made toy, made from two pieces of waste sheet metal hammered and shaped to form the contours of the horse’s head and body. As well as tools and horseshoes, the blacksmiths who ran the smithy would make hoops for local children to play with using leftover bits of iron. Often these would get broken and the blacksmith would repair them, each time making the hoop a little smaller, until they ended up with very small versions of the original. Smithy Heritage Centre, Kiln Lane, Eccleston, St Helens, WA10 4RA. Limited opening times, go to smithyheritagecentre.org.uk for details.
A step forward Today, the Thomas Splint is a common piece of equipment in emergency departments and orthopaedic units in hospitals worldwide. It was first used in 1865 by Liverpool doctor Hugh Owen Thomas for treating diseases of the knee such as tuberculosis. It kept the limb still and the basic design has changed little since it was first described in a publication in 1875. Its simplicity was deliberate since Thomas recognised that his appliances should be affordable enough to allow treatment of even his poorest patients. Thomass nephew, Sir Robert Jones, was a doctor in Liverpool and was appointed surgeon to the Manchester ship canal project where he set up the first accident service to treat the numerous casualties. His ideas on the organisation of trauma care and the treatment of fractures were way ahead of their time. Liverpool Medical Institution, 114 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L3 5SR. Go to lmi.org.uk for information and opening times.
During the American Civil War (1861-1865) a dramatic decline in imported slave-produced cotton from the Confederate states of America caused widespread unemployment, poverty and suffering among local cotton workers. It became known as the Lancashire Cotton Famine. Rochdale-born John Bright MP and Richard Cobden, MP for Rochdale, were strongly supportive of the Northern states and their struggle to end slavery. The barrel, a food relief gift from the Northern states to the people of Rochdale, offered thanks for their support. As far as we know, it is the only survivor of the 15,000 barrels sent. Touchstones, The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AQ, link4life.org/centres/touchstones-rochdale.
Built in the 1890s for the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company in their works at Ford Lane, Pendleton, Salford, the horse bus is the oldest vehicle in the Museum of Transport. It operated on horse drawn services until replaced by electric trams in the early 1900s, when it was transferred for use in the suburbs. Greater Manchester Transport Museum, Boyle Street, Cheetham, Manchester, M8 8UW. Limited opening times and admission charges apply. Go to gmts.co.uk for details.
The watch hands display is a framed set of exquisite seconds hands for chronometers and watches, made by William Preston, of Eccleston Street, Prescot, possibly for display at the 1862 International Exhibition in London. Prescot watchmakers were known throughout the world for the quality of their work and before the introduction of mass-production and the factory system, individual components were made by specialist makers dotted throughout the town and then assembled by watch finishers. Prescot Museum, The Prescot Centre, Prescot Shopping Centre, Aspinall Street, Prescot, L34 5GA, prescotmuseum.org.uk.
William Wickham (1849-1929) was the Vicar at St Andrews Parish in Wigan from 1878 and an amateur photographer who took pictures of ordinary folk. The lives of local people are brought to life in his photographs which record the daily lives of ordinary people with images of coal miners, mill girls, pit brow lassies to fish hawkers and some more unusual jobs like the hot potato boy. Leigh Library, Turnpike Centre, Civic Square, Market Street, Leigh, WN7 1EB. Limited opening. Go to archives.wigan.gov.uk for details and more information.
In 1992 the government announced that Parkside Colliery in Newton-le-Willows, and another 30 pits, would close. Parkside employed nearly 800 people, with more local jobs dependent on the pit. It was one of Britains most modern, efficient and profitable collieries, with an estimated working life of over 25 years and 23 million tonnes of coal reserves. It was also the last remaining pit in Lancashire. Lancashire Women Against Pit Closures pitched a protest camp at Parkside early in 1993. Women Against Pit Closures still endured intimidation and hardship. They maintained a continuous presence there until August 1994 when the process of dismantling the pit had gone beyond recovery. Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX. Limited opening times, go to wcml.org.uk for details.
Paddy, the World of Glass
Maude the Tigon and her brother Kliou were born at Dresden Zoo in 1932. She became one of the main attractions at Manchesters Belle Vue Zoo. Tigons are a hybrid between a male lion and a female tiger but dont occur naturally in the wild. They have spots from the mother and stripes from the father making them very distinctive. After her death in 1949 her skin was given to Manchester Museum but was not mounted until recently. Manchester Musuem, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, museum.manchester.ac.uk.
Young visitors to the county’s museums and heritage venues can to tick off the objects as they see them in a free Spotter’s Guide.
The guides are available from all participating venues and you can download a copy of the guide here
And once you’ve spotted enough objects, you can download certificates from our website, too.
You might also spot Spotty. He’s a little bear with a big plan – he wants to see all the 70 objects before Lancashire Day on November 27. He has already visited a number of venues and he’s taking a selfie with each object he spots and posting them online and you can follow him on twitter with the hashtag #Spottythebear.
And be sure to let us know how you’re getting on too – share your selfies with the objects at @70_objects #Lancashire70