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22 December 2021

2021 Xmas Newsletter

Dear Member and Friends of Clitheroe Civic Society,

Welcome to our third journal of 2021. We have a wealth of content again this edition and I hope that you enjoy reading through it. As before, please do send in any articles that you'd like to submit, it's always great to build on the variety of content.

As many of you will know, we re-started our face to face monthly presentations in September, it's been great to see so many members and guests able to attend. We still have many presentations to come in the New Year so do come along if you can, details are available on the Society's website and on the back page of this journal.

October saw the Clitheroe Town Wells Conservation Campaign (a subject of much interest to many members) successfully make the case to a full RVBC Council meeting that the Community Services Committee should re-look at the case for adoption/registration of the wells by the council. They agreed and the Committee will consider the case in January 11th '22.

Along with the Wells campaign meetings, I attend the Town Team meetings on behalf of the Society. The revised Town Team has now met several times and a ‘Terms of Reference’ is now in place (posted on CCS facebook page). The Town Team has representatives from retailers, the Town Council, RVBC, various societies and faith groups and more. The Town Team is initially  working to see how pavements and roads can be improved, dilapidated bins replaced and signage cleaned before looking at longer term projects in due course and these projects will always have community engagement before any final decisions are made. 

November of course brought Remembrance Sunday and I attended the service at St Mary's and was privileged to lay the wreath on behalf of the Society at a very well attended event.

Have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year and best wishes to all,

Peter Llewellyn

Chairman CCS

 

 

LANCASHIRE LOCAL HERITAGE LIST

 
The Civic Society recently received an email bringing the Lancashire Local Heritage List to its attention. This is the local part of a nationwide project which aims to compile a list of buildings and other sites which have local significance but do not appear on other lists of `protected’ buildings etc. For example if the building is already a listed building it could not be included on this site. The idea is to produce a record of buildings etc of local significance both for information and maybe to inform future planning applications. The website can be found at:
www.local-heritage-list.org.uk/lancashire

If you know of any building or location you feel should be included in this new list then Clitheroe Civic Society would like to hear from you. We will then look into the history of the site and pass on the relevant information so that it can be considered for inclusion in the list.

Please pass on any suggestions to:

 Andrew Schofield

Email: asr469@btinternet.com

Tel: 01200 427768

 
GAZETTER PROJECT

A future project for the Society seeks to start work on a gazetteer of many of the notable buildings of Clitheroe – this will look to detail a little about the history of the building/site along with architectural details.

Due to my ‘day job’ of being an employee of Barclays Bank I thought this would be a good place to start with the branch in the town centre and a sample entry for the gazetteer is shown below. John Lambert and Shirley Penman have already had input and Andrew Schofield will maintain copy entries as other building entries are completed.

This isn’t designed to have a fixed date for completion – entries will be done as and when time allows, but if any member would like to submit an entry, please do so, as this will ultimately lead to more information being collated and hopefully this all might be published in a book in the future.

If you would like to do some research and submit an entry, please keep the focus on the historic core of Clitheroe unless there’s a particularly noteworthy building outside of that. Any entries (complete or partial, or ideas) can be sent to the society’s inbox (info@clitheroecivicsociety.org.uk). Don’t worry about all the architectural details – these can all be added in due course if not immediately apparent and of course we’ll need a good cross section of building types from cottages to larger buildings.

Peter Llewellyn

Sample entry -

Barclays Bank , corner of Castle Street and King Street.  Grade ii listed buildingPic2

 
Built in carved stone with a stone parapet pierced by quatrefoils and brackets to the cornice. Windows with moulded head and colonettes, similar windows to the ground floor but in arched reveals with foliated paterae over. The original arched entrance has colonettes to the reveals and features trefoils to the spandrels. The roof originally had an ornate ‘chevaux de frise’ with iron finials – now absent.

The bank was built by what had been the banking firm of Alcocks, Birkbeck & Co., Craven Bank (Alcocks, Birkbeck, Robinson, Birkbeck & Stansfield) which became simply the Craven Bank Ltd in 1880, then the Bank of Liverpool in 1906 and then finally Martins Bank in 1928 before merger with Barclays in 1969.

The upstairs of the premises was historically used as accommodation for the Manager but is now let as offices. The car park of today to the rear used to be a garden.

The site was one of the original burgage plots of Clitheroe and was known as Patefields or Darren Hall and belonged to Lady Stourton who had inherited it from the Walmeslys of Dunkenhalgh.In 1822 and 1824, it was occupied by a Thomas Parker who had a shop and a house on the site that was then owned by Jeremiah Garnett of Low Moor and he still owned the property in the 1830’s and 1840’s when the occupants were Stephen Sparrow and John Briggs respectively. According to the 1841 Census Return, William Hargreaves, a Grocer, was on the corner and also in 1851. The Census Return of 1861 is not as clear as we have John Lofthouse, a Tailor employing six men and two boys and George Briggs, a clogger vying for No.41, the corner plot. The 1871 Census Return is clearer, putting George CockshuttPic3 Hargreaves, Master Draper, at Nos.37 & 39, leaving the corner for the Craven Bank which had removed from Almonds House in Church Street.

The Bank was at Almonds House in Slater’s Directory of 1869 and is actually named as the Craven Bank on the 1842-47 Tithe Map. By 1906 the bank is known as the Bank of Liverpool and remains so until it becomes the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Bank by 1925. In the same year Barclays Bank bought the redundant Brownlow Arms at the corner of King Lane and the Market Place and demolished it and built a brand new bank on the site. 

Alterations were carried out at the Martins Bank in 1930, and in 1966, a new strong room was added and other internal alterations were carried out.In 1973, Barclays Bank was still on the corner of King Lane and the Market Place and the Yorkshire Bank was at No.1 Castle Street but by 1978 Barclays had moved across the road to take over the Martins Bank building and the Yorkshire was in the former Barclays building.

Peter Llewellyn and John Lambert

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HERITAGE OPEN DAY SEPTEMBER 2021

The theme for the national Heritage Open Days 2021 was ‘Edible England’.Pic7

Member Shirley Penman single-handedly created descriptive displays for all three Town Wells and led tours on the 16th and 18th September, commencing at Stock Well and proceeding from there to Heild Well and thence to St.Mary’s .

She was accompanied by the Town Crier, Roland Hailwood, who gave a brief presentation of the history of each well and their importance to the town, supplemented by interesting snippets of information and photographs from Shirley’s extensive research.

The displays included wonderful colourful drawings by the children of the Little Explorers Nursery and pre-school, Barrow Brook, and examples of the foods, beverages and customs of times past. 


Also in attendance were Mayor and Mayoress, Simon and Donna O’Rourke, who enjoyed sampling the medieval fare which Shirley had produced!

At Heild Well, a beautiful floral arrangement by The Flower Shop and plants provided by Clitheroe Civic Society enhanced the display.
Without Shirley’s commitment and hard work the Heritage Open Day event in Clitheroe would have passed unnoticed. It is disappointing that, in a town this size, there was so little community participation.

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WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM A Clitheroe Inventor & Innovator 

William Cunningham was a Clitheroe gentleman whose name is barely known in his home town these days but deserves better recognition for his many inventions and innovations. He appears to have always been ready to embrace, and improve on, the latest technologies, with his particular passion being transportation. He first worked on bicycles and motorcycles but later designed and built the Little Midland Cycle Car (of which, hopefully, more in a later edition of the Journal) when he was based at his premises on Castle Street. These premises were on the site of what is now Boots Chemist. This area must have been particularly inspirational as it later housed one of the shops of James Parker, another Clitheroe gentleman, who invented the reversible sewing mechanism which is, more or less, universal on machines these days.

The following two examples of Cunningham’s ingenuity and inventiveness however predate his work on the Little Midland when he was based at 54 Moor Lane, which was on the site of what is now Fortress Kitchens.

 
THE ELECTRIC LIGHT IN CLITHEROE

Clitheroe Advertiser 11th May 1894

The Electric Light in Clitheroe – Though we have had the electric light within a few miles of Clitheroe for some time now, namely at West Bradford Mill, it has not before the present time been utilized in the Borough for the purpose of lighting mills or workshops. Mr. W. Cunningham, Moor Lane, has now introduced it in his cycle works with, so far, the best of results. The installation at present consists of two large arc-lights outside the shop, of 500 candle power each, and eleven incandescent electric lights in the workroom and shop, of sixteen candle power each. Being the first electric light in the town, it has been the subject of much interest`.

 
BICYCLE INNOVATIONS

Clitheroe in its Coaching and Railway Days – Stephen Clarke

Mr. Wm. Cunningham well deserves to rank among local inventors, he having invented a spoke-drill for drilling broken spokes from Cycle wheel hubs, also a patent Wood Mud Guard. Whilst residing at Low Moor, he made the first local modern safety bicycle, and when in Moor Lane he made and set in motion the first gas engine which was utilised to drive his Cycle Works. He was also the first person to introduce a Motor Cycle, and it may be remarked that there are but three in the town, one possessed by Dr. Lazenby, the other by Mr. Cunningham, and the third is a special Tricycle adapted for parcel carrying, built by Mr. Cunningham for Mr. George A. Wilson, Draper. The front wheel of it is driven by a belt by means of a petroleum spirit, ignited by electricity. A Motor Car to carry three persons is being built at Mr. Cunningham’s Works, which will in all probability be in use this summer, and will be the first used in our town. It is worthy to note that there are in our town, six places of business where Cycles are sold and repaired etc`.

 CULTIVATING CLITHEROE

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The Cultivating Clitheroe initiative has almost come to an end for 2021.In October the summer planting in the Castle Gate tubs was replaced with plants suited to the winter season and some tidying up was done in the Market Place, Library bed, and Heild Well.The Remembrance Garden looks much tidier as a result of our efforts and has been replanted for winter by Council Ground Staff.Unfortunately our plans for permanent municipal planters suffered a setback when Lancashire County Council Highways Department refused permission for our first choice, even after intervention by our Member of Parliament. However, plan B is still alive so all is not lost!! Watch out next year!!


To end on a high note we celebrated a successful summer season with drinks and supper at Vista Cielo when we could enjoy a great social evening leaving our CCS hi-vis vests at home!! 
The initiative will resume in Spring, when we will be looking for more volunteers to join in!.

 HONOR OF CLITHEROE

 Peter Lewellyn’s interesting article on the pack horse trade in the summer edition of the journal makes mention of the Honour (Honor) of Clitheroe in the De Lacys’ time when there was undoubtably a constant movement of trade and indeed cash between Clitheroe Castle and their main seat in Pontefract. It is quite possible that Robin Hood plied his trade on this route and indeed the spring on Pendle Hill where George Fox had his vision is one of the multitude of Robin Hood’s Wells. This is however before the time the Honor, as I now know it, was created and following my surprise appointment (by Deed Poll) in 1991 to follow Ken Shaw as Steward to the Honor of Clitheroe there was a steep learning curve. Ken had taken over as Steward from Col Robinson and hitherto this position had always been held by a solicitor. I was privileged to serve for some 19 years followed by around 10 years when I remained the de facto Steward.

 In 1661, King Charles II granted the Honor to General George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle in recognition of his support during the restoration of the monarchy. The Honor then followed the inheritances of the Dukes of Albemarle, Montagu and Buccleuch until 1896 when the Clitheroe Estate Company was set up as a vehicle for the exploitation of coal and other mineral wealth within the lands of the Honor. The Coal Act 1938 and subsequent nationalisation of British coal industry led to the voluntary winding up of the Company in 1945. In April that year, the then Tory MP Ralph Assheton, later 1st Baron Clitheroe, bought the Honor for £12,500. The current Lord of the Manors and Forests of the Honor of Clitheroe is the Hon Ralph C. Assheton. The Honor continues to have very extensive interests in East Lancashire comprising the Manors of Accrington (Old and New Holds), Colne, Ightenhill, Chatburn, Worston and Pendleton and Tottington along with the Forests of Pendle, Trawden and Rossendale and the Wapentake of Blackburn.

 On an aside, the Forest of Bowland and Manor of Slaidburn, which had originally been within the 1661 grant, were sold to the Towneley family in 1835 and I have separately held the position as Steward for both of these entities now in different ownerships.

 Clitheroe comes within the Wapentake although perhaps surprising, given that Clitheroe Castle was the administrative centre for the Honor, there was relatively little Copyhold land (held according to the custom of the manor) within the Town. However the Castle, held freehold, was historically an Extra Parochial Area and not part of Clitheroe Parish. The Lord of the various Manors and Forests of the Honor held the extensive tracts of common land along with Copyhold lands and perhaps most importantly the mines and minerals under the commons and Copyhold lands.

 The Lord was entitled to the Copyhold and other rents along with the proceeds of Mines and Minerals dealings, whilst the Steward was entitled to charge a fee for the preparation of documentation for land transfers, leases etc. A profitable position and before the twentieth century the Stewards were known as Gentlemen Stewards of the Honor.

 Much of the land within the various Manors and Forests was held on Copyhold rather than Freehold tenure and the tenant paid a rent to his Lord. However with the rents having been established in the mists of time this income became of little worth. During the 19th century there was much debate about this antiquated form of land tenure with Copyholds gradually enfranchised becoming freehold and under the Law of Property Act 1925 these were finally extinguished. However the Lord of the Manor was still entitled to certain customs of the manor the only one of which is applicable to the Honor is the claim for ownership of mines and minerals under the former copyhold lands.

 Michael Parkinson

17.08.21

 FOOTBALL HISTORY

By Shirley Penman

This is Dick, Kerr’s ladies football team which was formed during WW1. They worked for Mr. Dick and Mr Kerr  at their firm at Preston – hence what seems a strange name unless you know  !!!They gave their fees to promote helping various good works concerning the fighting men. In this case they played a game of football at Low Moor and the proceeds of £200 were given towards the cost of the war memorial which stands outside Low Moor Club and Reading Room. 

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The game was actually played on 1 Jan 1921 – so 100 years ago.

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 DAME ELLEN & THE MUSSONS

William Edward Musson trained at St. Thomas’ Hospital, London and qualified MRCS,LSA in 1852. MRCS (Member of Royal College of Surgeons) and LSA (Licentiate of Society of Apothecaries) was the usual qualifiPic16cation for a GP, although in the north many had Scottish qualifications. The General Medical Council was not established until 1859 to regulate doctors and their qualifications. William came to Clitheroe in 1856 to join Dr James Garstang (MRCS, 1828, LSA 1827) at Wells House, Wellgate.


On 28th August 1861 William (age 30yrs) married Susanna Catherine Robinson ( age 22yrs) at St. Mary’s. Susanna was the daughter of Dixon Robinson, solicitor and castle steward, and her address is given as Clitheroe Castle. The groom’s father was William Musson, land agent. The brass memorial plaque (pictured ) to Susanna is on the wall of the north aisle of St Mary’s at the east (altar) end.

They had 11 children: Matilda; Annie Cecelia; Alfred William (Clitheroe doctor); Ellen Mary (nurse and Dame); Arthur Ingram; Reginald Coulson; Mary Gertrude; Francis Bellingham; Penelope Alberta; Henry Edward, and Susanna Frances.

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William had a long and successful medical career (he is still listed as working in the 1903 Barrett’s Directory for Blackburn when he would have been 72 and was medical officer to the L&Y Railway, the Post Office and Police Surgeon.) A report of his death in the Advertiser for 15th June 1917 quotes the mayor as referring to him as ‘the Grand Old Man of Clitheroe’ and as a very fair magistrate and friend of the police. Also a CRGS governor, there are frequent references to William in Clarke’s ‘Clitheroe in its Railway Days.’ His funeral was conducted by the Bishop of Burnley and the vicar (Rev J H Wrigley, father of Wrigley of the forceps.)

William was also a noted musician, organist and hymn writer. ‘O God our help in ages past’ was often sung to his tune ‘Mayfield’ named after his house on the corner of Waddington Road and Eastham Street.

Alfred William, third child and eldest son of William and Susanna, was also a GP in Clitheroe. He was born 6th August 1865 attended Cambridge and St Thomas’ medical school (like his father) graduating BA, MBBCh in 1886. He was Medical Officer to the Workhouse and practised from 15 King Street. Barrett’s does not suggest a partnership with his father which one would expect in a small town with the medical nepotism of those days. In 1899 Alfred is recorded in Stephen Clarke’s ‘Clitheroe in its Railway Days’ as chairman of a company to build housing near the site of the lawn tennis ground behind Mayfield- I wonder what his father thought of that? Alfred and his wife also had a large family of 6 sons and 2 daughters. The eldest daughter married Dr Murray of Prospect House, another GP in the town. (The house on Church Brow next to St. Mary’s is currently owned by Dr Cronin, another Clitheroe GP, now retired.) Two of the sons, George Bertram and Rowland Gascoigne, were killed in flying accidents aged 35 and 31 in 1942 and 1943. Alfred himself died serving in the RAMC on 10th September 1918 and is remembered on a war graves memorial in Clitheroe Cemetery

Dame Ellen Mary Musson was born 11th August 1867, 4th child and third girl. She entered nurse training in London (like her father and brother) but at St Bartholomew’s (Bart’s) in February 1895. She spent 14 years at Birmingham General, retiring in 1923 to spend 2 decades working to improve the status of nursing as a founder member of the College (later Royal College) of Nursing. She was a Council member from 1916-1939, Honorary Treasurer 1938-1950 and Vice President 1950-1960. She chaired the General Nursing Council from 1926 to 1944.

Pic17Dame Ellen alsPic 18o joined the Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS) on its formation in 1908 and served as Principal Matron from 1915-18 providing a reserve of trained civilian nurses during the First World War. She received an Honorary LL.D degree from Leeds University in 1932 and in 1939 the International Florence Nightingale Medal of the International Red Cross Society for outstanding service to nursing. Already holding the CBE (since 1928) she was appointed DBE in the King’s New Year’s Honours list of 1939. The January 1939 edition of the British Journal of Nursing wrote: ’No other woman in England has been entrusted with a statutory position of equal responsibility. She retired to Eastbourne where she had lived with her brother Reginald Coulson (born 27.7.1880) and her sister, Susanna Frances (born 5.10.1876) since 1946. Dame Ellen died in Eastbourne 7th November 1960 aged 93.

Susanna who died on 9th August 1958 aged 83 was also internationally known for her work with the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child. She retired as secretary in 1942 after 22 years service to unmarried mothers, adoption and other welfare organisations.

In all a remarkable Clitheroe family, of which we are sure there is much more to be discovered.

 

 

 

  

Shirley Penman and David McKinlay

THE ANCIENT RIGHT OF TURBARY

 Clitheroe Civic Society summer journal was another excellent edition which has brought back memories.
Firstly Peter Llewellyn’s interesting article on the packhorse trade in which he refers to the Honor (note I have used this spelling as being pertinent to Clitheroe not the more widely used Honour) and as a former Steward to the Honor I will expand on this in a separate article.
Secondly Shirley Penman has included an article from the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times in 1971 which was in many ways not accurate and misleading but as I was involved at the time with the issue raised in that article I will elaborate.


The issue was as to whether the Clitheroe Corporation was able to register the claimed ancient right of Turbary (the right to cut turf (peat) for household fuel) on Pendle Hill within the ownership of the Honor of Clitheroe under the provisions of Commons Registration Act 1965. John Cowdall as the Town Clerk is stated as having said Henry De Lacy granted the burgesses of Clitheroe the right of Turbary on Pendle Hill and specifying Worston Moor and Ings Head Moor. There is peat on Worston Moor however this is on the summit plateau so quite some distance from Clitheroe and with the packhorse trade bringing coal and coke into Clitheroe there has to be a doubt as to whether this grant was ever fully exercised - indeed I have never noticed evidence of peat having been cut on Pendle Hill although I have elsewhere particularly in the Hodder Valley.
At that time the Steward to the Honor was Col G N (Nick) Robinson who was born at the Steward’s House (now Clitheroe Museum) built in the late 17th century and was the fifth generation of that family to hold that position. Whilst the Clitheroe Estates Company had sold Clitheroe Castle, Steward’s House, offices and grounds to the Town in 1920 the Honor had continued to use the Steward’s Offices for the administration of the Honor. Col Robinson sought assistance from my former land agency firm Ingham & Yorke in connection with the issue in question and other issues arising under the 1965 Act as the Honor owned large tracts of common land within East Lancashire including Pendle Hill. I was fortunate to visit the Steward’s Offices from time to time until it was vacated with most of the historic documentation being passed to the Lancashire Archives which took place in the early seventies.

Little did I think then that one day I would be appointed as Steward to the Honor of Clitheroe
In the event the Corporation was not in a position to pursue its claim for the right of Turbary as there was no provision under the Act for it to do so. The common land on Pendle Hill was duly registered along with grazing rights by adjoining farmers. 
Michael Parkinson

11.08.21

 

THE ALLEYS and ST.DENYS 1255 to 1992

by Judy Driver

THE ALLEYS

Whilst the recent history of St.Denys was relatively easy to find the ancient history of the site required in depth research. A call to our esteemed Historian John Lambert produced the following :

The Heriz Manor of Salthill, which is named in the Borough Charter of 1307 , was gifted by Isabel de Heriz to John de Heriz in 1255 and was later called the Alleys.

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Subsequent owners were as follows and the history of each one is deserving of a more detailed article!:

Richard Rishton of Pontalgh in the 15th century
The Radcliffes of Astley and Winmarleigh also in the 15th century.
Sir Gilbert Gerard of Astley in the 16th century
Robert Hesketh of Martholme in 1602 then
Robert Holland of Walton le Dale who in turn sold it to Thomas Oddie in 1653 for the grand price of £147

It remained in the Oddie family for 220 years. By 1824 the old Manor House was in ruins and three dwellings were built on the site and named Alleys Fold. In around 1880 Radeclyffe House was built by John Arkwright.
Radeclyffe House was used as a hospital in WW1 but must have at some stage been taken over by Mrs Simpson of Winkley Hall ( quote as per Shirley’s snippet - the house has been most generously lent by Mrs. Simpson of Winkley  Hall for one year rent free)
There appears to be no explanation for the different spellings of Radcliffe/Radecliffe/Radeclyffe

 ST.DENYS

When my sisters and I lived on Pimlico Road and went to Pendle Junior School some of our classmates were children who lived at St Denys.
We never knew where these children came from originally (we imagined London or Manchester and in fact, to us, St Denys was quite a mysterious place! It loomed behind a high wall and was completely out of bounds. I don’t think any of us ever went inside the grounds to play.
I happened to come across a 1932 map of Pimlico Road showing St Denys and it prompted me to investigate further!
 
The Church of England Waifs and Strays Society established the Home in 1915  to accommodate 30 children aged 2 to 7 years old, and in 1916 a dedication ceremony was held to coincide with ‘ Pounds Day ‘ which attracted many people from the surrounding area and raised funds for the Society .
The founder of the Waifs and Strays Society was Edward de Mountjoie Rudolf. He was a Civil Servant, a Scholar and a Church Minister.
In 1922 the children took part in a Manchester pageant (Children throughout the ages) which raised £250 to pay for building work at the Home, so that a further 4 children could be accommodated. Another fund raiser was a garden party in 1925 when enough money was collected to install electricity -which came to Clitheroe in 1926 - imagine caring for 34 small
children without it!
 
There are many, many interesting items and advertisements for fund raisers featured in the Clitheroe Advertiser Archives, some of which are featured in Shirley’s snippets at the end of this piece.
St Denys was the eighth home to be opened in the Manchester Diocese which was one of the busiest areas for the Society! In 1946 the Waifs and Strays became the Children’s Society and in 1950/51 children aged up to 15 were accepted. An article in the Clitheroe Advertiser April 1951 reported that there had been a temporary, short, closure of the home because there was not the same requirement for baby care - the home reopened that same year to take older children.
In 1958 there were 17 children at St Denys.
During the 1960s and 70s due to changing social attitudes major changes were made in the way the Society operated and many children’s homes were closed.
St Denys, however, carried on its work for many years and in the early 1980’s specialised in care for older children who had been affected by traumatic experiences in their family life. During this time, it was run by a Mr John Sutherland who together with his wife and family moved to Clitheroe especially to run the Home.
St Denys closed in 1992 and the site was sold to make way for a cul-de-sac of 15 houses now known as St Denys Croft

 

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CLITHEROE’S GAS CHAMBER

By Andrew Schofield 


Just prior to the advent of Covid 19 I was planning an exhibition on the Home Front in Clitheroe during the Second World War which was due to be held at the Castle Museum. Shirley Penman was helping me in supplying cuttings from the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times. One day she asked me if I knew that we had a gas chamber in Clitheroe? Of course this raised many questions, not least why and where? Shirley soon sent me the cutting dated August 22nd 1941. It transpired that the gas chamber was in the back garden of Mytton House on Church Street (now Ribble Valley Borough Council Chambers) and was there to train fire wardens and others in preparation for a gas attack.
There was however also an opportunity for members of the public to go through the chamber in order to experience the conditions and to test their gas masks. What follows is a transcription of that article.

 
SHEDDING FEARS 
A VISIT TO THE GAS-CHAMBER
In what we might refer to as “the good old days” there were two well authenticated ways of bringing tears into one’s eyes: the challenging to combat of a person twice one’s own size, a most unwise proceeding which remains still open today, although a far better outlet for such bellicosity is now officially provided; or the simple, homely method of offering to peel the onions whilst the wife peeled the potatoes on a Sunday morning: but nowadays everyone knows the trick of covering the knife-blade with butter, in the event of there being onions to peel. However, we have progressed, and now the State, with the efficient co-operation of our local authorities, provides us with an opportunity of exercising our lachrymal gland without the slightest dander or inconvenience.
This has been proved during the past week by many of our citizens who have attended at Mytton House to go through the Gas Chamber.   

HELPFUL WARDENS 
It is an interesting experience, and all who have not yet had it should take advantage of the facilities which will be provided tonight and several times next week. All that you have to do is call at Mytton House within the appointed hours, and walk straight in.
It is, of course, essential to bring your gas mask. Here in a room are efficient and most helpful wardens adjusting masks, making absolutely certain that they are in good condition and fit properly. When a sufficient number are ready, you are shepherded down the garden path towards the gas-chamber.
Here, in the little interval of time taken for assembly and the waiting whilst the ones already in the chamber come out, a few words stressing the safety of the proceedings are most aptly said. 
Then the door opens, and out come the ones who have been through the test, and soon, in small parties of about four, you are passed into the air lock, and thence forward into the gas-chamber itself,until there are about a dozen or fifteen persons assembled. A member of the Police Force, or a Warden is always present and, at regular intervals, queries “Everyone all right?” 
From a stove in the corner rises the yellow smoke, or gas, and it is rather an eerie sensation to stand there in the half light and sense what gas warfare could mean. Yet this is easily overcome by the confidence you will feel in the efficiency of your mask and the realisation that your act of citizenship in attending the test has engendered this confidence.  
 

REMEMBRANCE DAY COMMEMORATION

At the 11th hour of the 11th month, Thursday, the 11th Pic28November, several Civic Society members joined the crowd gathered at the Castle Gate for 2 minutes silence to honour the fallen in the wars and conflicts of the past 100+ years.
It was a beautiful morning and the brief ceremony was conducted with great dignity and respect.
On Remembrance Sunday, the 14th November, another glorious Autumn morning, the Remembrance Service took place at St.Mary Magdalene Church, followed by the wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph. Once again, Civic Society members joined all those paying their respects, numbering several hundred people.
A wreath was laid on behalf of the Society by our Chairman, Peter Llewellyn.
 

     
CLITHEROE’S FIRST CENOTAPH

 

We are all familiar with the Cenotaph in the castle grounds which was dedicated in 1923 after the castle and grounds had been purchased by public subscription in 1919. This however was not Clitheroe’s first Cenotaph. That honour belongs to a temporary structure built at Castle Gate in 1919. An article in the Clitheroe Times of that year reads:
 

`A paragraph in the official programme which is now on sale at a price of 2d. reads “In memory of our glorious dead a Cenotaph will be set up at the Castle Gate. As processions pass the bands will cease playing and the customary tributes will be paid”. A Cenotaph is, of course, a monument or memorial to those whose bodies lie elsewhere, and everybody will pay tribute to their memory. In the case of troops this will affect the Liscard Cadets, who are to take part in the procession – a salute will be made by the officers in charge, other ranks marching past at attention with eyes left. Male members of the population will pass with heads uncovered, whilst the women will preserve silence. The Cenotaph, which will remain over the week-end, will be made as imposing as possible in the circumstances, and will be draped in purple and white. Laurel wreaths will appear upon it and an effort is being made to affix a scroll containing the names of all those of our townsmen who have fallen. It is fitting that they should be remembered and bereaved relatives may deposit wreaths and flowers at the foot of the Cenotaph “in memorium.”’
 
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Two further articles in the Clitheroe Times of August 15th 1919 read:
 

`It will be universally agreed that the Cenotaph at Castle Gate represented the finest thought of the week. It would not have been fitting to have celebrated Peace without paying due homage to those gallant sons of ours whose death in the field of conflict paved the way to that Victory without which Peace could not have come. The Cenotaph made that homage possible to a very real degree. It was dignified in design and neat in execution – standing as a solemn tribute to the men who made Victory possible; standing, too, as a sad reminder of the price we had to pay for the Peace we were celebrating. The purple draping, the laurel wreath, the flowers proudly but sorrowfully placed by trembling hands at the foot of the memorial, the names, very legibly inscribed by Mr. F. Stark, told more than words can of the tragedy which overtook this land of ours. Some of the brightest and best of Clitheroe’s citizens were remembered at the Cenotaph, and the floral tribute alone spoke volumes of the love borne them and of the legacy of sorrow their heroic passing has bequeathed. All the processions which passed the Cenotaph paid silent tribute to the memory of the fallen, the most impressive homage being paid by discharged and demobilised men on Saturday morning. It was fitting indeed that those who had been spared should salute the memory of comrades who surrendered all that Freedom might conquer:
Fighting for God and Right; and Liberty.
And such a death is Immortality.’
 
 
 
`The brave boys who made the rejoicings possible were foremost in the thoughts of many. The Cenotaph, the town's memorial to its glorious sons who fell in the fight, was an object of reverence from thousands who made a pilgrimage to the Castle Gate. Many beautiful wreaths and flowers were placed on the Cenotaph both during and subsequent to the festivities, and there is a largely expressed wish that some permanent memorial may be erected.’
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


More News & Events...

Past

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11 April 2021

Spring 2021 Clitheroe Civic Society Journal has been published

click here to view

2 December 2020

December 2020 Newsletter

27 October 2020

In the light of the information and guidance from Clitheroe Town Council this year’s wreath laying, on behalf of the Society, will be undertaken by the Society’s Officers and Shirley Penman. This will take place at 1.00pm on Monday 9th November. Two additional attendees, already nominated, will make up the party of six representing the Society in accordance with the current Government Guidelines. Regrettably, these guidelines do not permit more to attend.

19 June 2020

Honorary Life member Tony Goodbody sadly died in hospital on Sunday 14th June.

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