clgc clock rainbow


A letter to CLHG.

We have received by very indirect secure means an account of the continuous method of governance of China,
by a now retired former educated person who has worked both in state industry and in private industry.

The writer's opinions would be dangerous to publish in China, as their life and their family's lives could be in danger.
The writer has summarised their thoughts as a set of essays.
The writer is personally known to a Culcheth person who has worked with them in China and elsewhere for many years
and who transmitted them to CLHG to record present history and thoughts through publication of their thoughts,
in the form of their essays, where publication of this history would be a method of recording the Chinese thoughts
of a person who lives in perpetual fear of expresing their real thouhts, unless they 'actively use self censorship'
at all times,

These essays  may aid understanding  by non-Chinese persons of China's aims.

These essays are on old and present Chinese present governance, and how it is misinterpreted in "The West"
and its wrong interpretation by 'The West" could lead to a complete misunderstanding of the actual purpose of
the present Chinese government to dominate all others, as the Chinese Government misleads by
'pretending to act as a communist state' while the governing Chinese Communist Party acts actually
in the mode of an old Emperor or perhaps to UK eyes an absolute Tudor Monarch.

These essays are solely the work of and opinions of the author, and have no confirmation or opinion or
consideration as the opinion of CLHG or its members or associates.

They are here purely to  allow transmission of the author's thoughts to The West.


The essays are in PDF form which you may read or download from the link below.

Link to Essays-Chinese-and-English-PDF.pdf


 This may allow us to reflect on the freedoms we have to express our opinions without fear on both the past and the present




20210115 Social Distancing 1582

An unusual report of  a meeting  'by internet reading' for our members.

An Internet meeting. For our members to view.

20210115 Report Social Distancing in 1582.

As we battle with social distancing in Culcheth in 2021, perhaps we should look back at one place which undertook that in 1582.

Alghero, Sardinia.

The concept of social distancing at approximately 2 metres (6 feet, one fathom) was instigated by a medical practitioner in the port of Alghero, Sardinia along with quarantine measures to successfully overcome the spread of the plague from the port to outside the port.


Ole Benedictow, emeritus professor of history at University of Oslo

The report on this special man many years ahead of his time was studied by Ole Benedictow of University of Oslo and reported in “BBC FUTURE”.

Two metres distance.

Two metres social distancing reduces the risk of infection from our Covid-19 virus to about one fifth to one tenth of that at one metre social distancing.

It is worth the read.


Link to BBC FUTURE website articel with images and commentary.









20200506 Record and thanks for actions in and around Culcheth and Leigh.

In this time, when the 'lock down' of people to their homes during the Covid-19 disease caused by a coronavirus SARS-COR-2 emanating from P.R. China has incapacitated many firms and persons from normal activity, we should record the past actions of a local charity thst  now closed  gave great support to ex-service-people ove rthe last few years.

Charity Registration England 1173255 “Shoulder to Soldier”

On 02 June 2017, a lady called Linda Fisher, a solicitor, founded the English Charity “Shoulder to Soldier” to help relieve the distress former soldiers had in obtaining action from the UK Government in their claims and giving help to them when in trouble.

Linda gave full time to this charity and helped others, for which many in the Leigh and Warrington area are grateful. She was supported by volunteers in our area and with the backing of Bents an allotment was created in the Bents’ allotment site to allow those seeking help a place to meet, garden and chat for their well-being both physical and mental.

Bents have continued the allotment as part of their actions as a Veterans Allotment after the closure of the charity.

Linda was obliged to close the charity due to personal financial reasons, however the webmaster feels our website is a place to record their publicity documents and the closing website in thanks to Linda Fisher for supporting ex-service-people in need in the area.


What follows is copies of the charity logo, publications and details.

 20200506 StoS logo41 Scanned DocumentPNG


Copy of Shoulder to Soldier Logo.

"Shoulder To Soldier"

Founder & Trustee Linda Fisher (Chair)

Charity no. 1173255

Contact details:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 07515892720
Public address was: 40 Church Street, Leigh, WN7 1BB

From Charities House data:

Governing document:

CIO - FOUNDATION Registered 02 Jun 2017

Organisation type: Charitable Incorporated Organisation

Charitable objects



Shoulder to Soldier Charity Website Notice.

 20200506 Copy website closing StoS 6 PNG


Above image of Closing Notice on Shoulder to Soldier website: Clearer text is detailed below.

Copy of text.

 Just over 2 years ago I decided to follow my passion to help and support armed forces families by setting up our Award winning charity Shoulder to Soldier. It was my choice to do this without a salary.

With the dedication of our trustees, our volunteers, the business and wider community we have helped over 200 armed forces families and have held over 30 events, including 5 cinema clubs, 10 fishing trips and our trip to the National Memorial Arboretum. We have delivered an award winning allotment project. Our team has literally taken homeless veterans off the streets, got them into jobs and accommodation. We have won cases and improved the lives of armed forces families. Most importantly we have introduced veterans and their families to each other with friendships now formed for life. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved and your help and support has been overwhelming. With a heavy heart it is time to close the charity due to the need to secure a personal income.

We are pleased to say that with the support of Bents Garden Centre the allotment project will continue as a veterans allotment and this means we leave a fantastic legacy which will help veterans and their families into the future. It has been a privilege and honour to help you all.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Linda x

End of copy of text.


Record of Publicity leaflets and allotment volunteers.

 bents shoulder to soldier 7 teamallotment volunteers PNG

Bents "Shoulder to Soldier"  team allotment volunteers.

Pictured: Ken Orton, Peter Smith, Andy Reynolds, Bob Watson and Lee Armstrong, all ex forces, with Linda Fisher (second from right),
who founded Shoulder to Soldier.

Copy of DIY Week article on the opening o fthe allotment. (Photo credit to DIY Week)

Bents Garden & Home has teamed up with Shoulder to Soldier, donating a plot at its community allotment site to the Leigh-based charity, which dedicates it’s time to supporting serving personnel, their families and veterans.
Shoulder to Soldier was formed in June 2017, and is committed to providing support, practical advice, financial relief and social welfare for those who are serving or who have served in our armed forces. It was a veteran who suggested the use of an allotment to help improve mood and motivation and within 24 hours of making the request a plot was donated by Bents.
Very much a veteran-led project, the allotment has already been visited by a team of 10, plus one current serving member. Everyone who wishes to will have a role in the project and the ex-forces engineers are already using their skills to design the layout which will take into account disabled veterans.
Shoulder to Soldier founder Linda Fisher said: “The allotment is already proving very beneficial and will help improve health and well-being, team building and getting our guys out and about to meet and socialise with new people.  It is fantastic. Thank you to Bents for providing this fantastic facility, which is already proving to be a very popular and thank you to the local businesses who have already supported the project by donating or reducing the price of items.”
Bents Garden & Home head of outdoor retail Matthew Dickinson, who is also responsible for the Bents’ Community Allotments commented: “We have been looking for local groups to take advantage of our community plots but have had little interest, so were delighted when Linda approached us about a plot for Shoulder to Soldier. They are exactly the kind of initiative that we hoped would take advantage of this opportunity and we had no hesitation in agreeing to their request. We’re looking forward to seeing the plot take shape.”
In addition to financial support, the work delivered by Shoulder to Soldier includes advocacy and advice for armed forces families, writing letters, attending benefits appeal hearings on a range of matters covering homelessness and housing, general finance, benefits and employment related matters.
Another local company, Culcheth Paving has donated base flags for an allotment shed and the charity has raised funds for the shed. Bob Brockelhurst of Garden Building Supplies gave a 35% discount and local veteran Kevin Moore has designed a wooden plaque for the shed. The charity would welcome any other offers of support for tools, seeds, plans and equipment.




20200506 StoS leaflet1 Scanned DocumentPNG


20200506 StoS leaflet2 Scanned DocumentPNG


First birthday Dinner application leaflet.

20200506 StoS leaflet3 first birthday 20180609 Scanned DocumentPNG


CLHG webmaster felt that this local charity, which had gone unrecorded for its good work, and which was much valued by the individuals it helped should be recorded in our website records.















On the Charity’s first birthday, there was a local dinner.




Allotment announcement in DIY Week paper on 18 January 2018




The Shoulder to Soldier team at work in the allotment.
Pictured: Ken Orton, Peter Smith, Andy Reynolds, Bob Watson and Lee Armstrong, all ex forces, with Linda Fisher (second from right), who founded Shoulder to Soldier



Bents Garden & Home has teamed up with Shoulder to Soldier, donating a plot at its community allotment site to the Leigh-based charity, which dedicates it’s time to supporting serving personnel, their families and veterans.

Shoulder to Soldier was formed in June 2017, and is committed to providing support, practical advice, financial relief and social welfare for those who are serving or who have served in our armed forces. It was a veteran who suggested the use of an allotment to help improve mood and motivation and within 24 hours of making the request a plot was donated by Bents.

Very much a veteran-led project, the allotment has already been visited by a team of 10, plus one current serving member. Everyone who wishes to will have a role in the project and the ex-forces engineers are already using their skills to design the layout which will take into account disabled veterans.

Shoulder to Soldier founder Linda Fisher said: “The allotment is already proving very beneficial and will help improve health and well-being, team building and getting our guys out and about to meet and socialise with new people.  It is fantastic. Thank you to Bents for providing this fantastic facility, which is already proving to be a very popular and thank you to the local businesses who have already supported the project by donating or reducing the price of items.”

Bents Garden & Home head of outdoor retail Matthew Dickinson, who is also responsible for the Bents’ Community Allotments commented: “We have been looking for local groups to take advantage of our community plots but have had little interest, so were delighted when Linda approached us about a plot for Shoulder to Soldier. They are exactly the kind of initiative that we hoped would take advantage of this opportunity and we had no hesitation in agreeing to their request. We’re looking forward to seeing the plot take shape.”

In addition to financial support, the work delivered by Shoulder to Soldier includes advocacy and advice for armed forces families, writing letters, attending benefits appeal hearings on a range of matters covering homelessness and housing, general finance, benefits and employment related matters.

Another local company, Culcheth Paving has donated base flags for an allotment shed and the charity has raised funds for the shed. Bob Brockelhurst of Garden Building Supplies gave a 35% discount and local veteran Kevin Moore has designed a wooden plaque for the shed. The charity would welcome any other offers of support for tools, seeds, plans and equipment.



Old Shoulder to Soldier Charity website


Bents Garden Centre websites

DIY Week:






20200315 DRAFT CLHG WArrington history through maps. TEXT.txt

A Basic History of Warrington through Maps.


On Thursday evening the 12th of March 2020, a group of members and visitors braved the weather and thoroughly enjoyed and responded to a most entertaining and informative history of our local town. Its development from pre-medieval and medieval township to industrial revolution was told though our speaker Mr Philip Jeffs’ commentary on the maps and places on the maps he displayed from the Warrington Archives and other sources.

We heard stories behind the places and the local power seekers and family rivalries for power, control of tolls and thus wealth and status. Philip Jeffs reminded us that maps exist to record facts and the changes to existing facts at specific times.

In the local area much was done to obtain old knowledge by an antiquarian obtaining details from old deeds and records of land transfers and marking this on a reconstructed map.

 Mersey map OSM red line annotated North South Crossings PNG

 The Reason.

 The reason for Warrington’s existence lies in it being the lowest fording point (since Roman times) and later the lowest bridging point on the River Mersey.
This was very important to those who would invade from North to South or defend the North by bringing an army from the South or invade the Northern parts (Scotland) from the South.

If you did not cross the Mersey at Warrington you had to divert your forces to Manchester to the next bridging point. (About a four to five day detour with an army; or yourself walking.)

The Warrington bridge seems to have been a variable structure, sometimes there on the maps, sometimes not there. A wooden bridge was vulnerable to floods, storms, decay and lack of maintenance. So it was recorded on some maps or records and was absent at other times.

The maps and other information are viewable at the Archives in Warrington library by request.

Link to Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, with Archive Search room.

Contact: Mr Philip Jeffs, Archivist.

As the maps illustrating the talk are not available on-line, we can only show some details here.


Diagram of Mersey Flood Plain.

 In the geological map below the “Yellow Band” is the flood plain and marsh alongside the Mersey. The Red mark is the Warrington Castle position. It was a wooden fort or castle of the motte-and-bailey type, which is a fortification with a wooden (or stone) keep situated on a raised area of ground called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade.

The Warrington Castle was on the drier higher ground about 250 yards from the river with the nearby church of St Elphin’s. So the older power authorities of church and state were above and close to the ford position, with a ‘high street’ adjacent for the local wealthy houses with land behind for growing food.

 Geology of Warrington surfaceBedrock Screenshot 2020 03 13 22 01 37

Geology of Warrington surface and Bedrock


Link to Geology of Britain viewer by The British Geological Survey.


Old Maps.

Old maps detailing the area are very few but show the development of the town with the big change when a bridge was built. However the original wooden bridge is ‘sometimes there on a map’ and ‘sometimes absent’. On one map the bridge has a central pier with a tower in which a canon was mounted to protect the town waterway and bridge way


James Kendrick's Map.

 The map from James Kendrick’s account of the siege of Warrington in 1643.
The bridge at Warrington was a major point for both Royalist and Parliamentarian forces.
The map shows the “old town” based on the castle, St Elphin’s and the ford; and the “new town” of the merchants and crafts based on trade over the bridge. A clear distinction of how one part was abandoned for another part.

MAP Warrington 1643 extract 4 8 Kendrick PND 



The ford or ferry was controlled by one family with a toll payment being made, while another rival family obtained a license to build a bridge and gather tolls; after they had purchased land on the both sides of the river, so they could bridge with bridge ends and supports on their own land on the south side and the north side. As the tolls were the same at "One Penny" most folk, armies, and merchants preferred the bridge to the ford or ferry, a quicker and drier passage.

Circa 642 Saxon Parish Church of St Elphin founded.
Circa 1070 Warrington Castle built at Mote Hill, behind the Parish Church of St Elphin.
Doomsday Book. 1086 Warrington is recorded in the Domesday Book

The older ford was guarded by a castle “Warrington Castle”, and had the nearby church of St. Elphin and a high street and a route to the ford. Later as persons preferred to cross in the dry rather than the ford, a new centre for the town arose close the bridging point. The old town preserved the medieval strip farming lay outs and houses long past the time when they would have been changed so later maps reflected this old style many centuries later, as the wealthy and industrial folk had ‘moved’ to the new centre based on the bridge position.

 1643 map annotated ford bridge REV1 new oldXFC PNG


1643 map annotated for ford and bridge REV1


Moated Houses.

The wealthy folk and powerful families had moated houses. We learned that in these days you most feared your next of kin through the inter-family lust for power and control, and the moats were to keep you safe from your own deadly relatives rather than marauding armies that crossed the Mersey.
It appeared that killing one’s next of kin to get control was a normal thing, going unpunished if it suited the higher powers.
Women and Serfs were ‘disposable property’ something like the disposable items and packaging used today.


Ballads of a Killing.

Ballads of killing at Bewsey “Ballad of Bewsey”



The Hell Hole.

One map has the position of the ford marked as “the hell hole”.
The Hell Hole was at the bend where the ford was, here the river was deceptive and boats could ground if they strayed slightly from the ‘deeper channel’.


 Mersey hellhole anglesay JPG


“Angelsey” in Warrington area.

The ‘anglesey’ or ‘hook island’ lay below the lower bridging point.
Presumably an area that became an island when the river flooded.
"Anglesey" is derived from Old Norse, originally possibly Ǫngullsey "Hook Island" the place name was used by Viking raiders as early as the 10th century and was later adopted by the Normans during their invasions of Gwynedd and so passed into common use.


A detailed map of Warrington town. (Not Illustrated)

A map created later by William Beamont, Antiquarian and lawyer (and also ‘lord high everything’ in Warrington) from reading many old legal land transfers to get the data to represent the area at an earlier time. Beamont's map included details of land area holdings derived from land transfer deeds and early documents to give a good impression of houses, field boundaries and burgage details.
You can view the map at the Warrington Archives, which also contain Beamont’s diaries.

Burgage Plot.


The Burgage Plot was part of the property owned by a burgess in a medieval town. As burgesses congregated around the market place and main streets, space at the front was at a premium. Burgage plots are therefore characteristically long and narrow, with a row of outbuildings stretching to the rear of the house and shop. The pattern of burgage plots is often evident from old maps and sometimes can still be discerned on the ground.

In Warrington originally burgage plots were used for keeping a pig and growing fruit. To have ample food was high status, while later these were used for leisure gardens without the food element as people became dependant on trades folk to supply food items.

 burgage plots herfordshire county council site JPG

Diagram   of burgage plots courtesy of Herfordshire County Council site JPG

Warrington Civil War letter.

An original letter from Oliver Cromwell, written at Warrington 20th August, 1648. See illustration

 Cromwell letter 4 resize JPG


 Page and map about Warrington siege 1643


Page and map from The Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, volume four.
Link to Warrington siege 1643 by James Kendrick.
An account of Warrington Siege 1643, Warrington, Lancashire, James Kendrick

 Kendrick paper first page imageJPG


  Page  Kendrick paper first page imageJPG

 Warrington 1643 Map ex Kendrick Screenshot 2020 03 13 21 40 41 copy 1



 Note “The White Cross” position for open preaching by Friars then active at Friary in Warrington


Castle area in behind St Elpins park JPG


Mote Hill position on Bing Map extract.


 Excavations of Mote Hill 

From The Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, volume five.
Link to excavations of Mote Hill in Warrington by James Kendrick.
An account of excavations made at the Mote Hill, Warrington, Lancashire, James Kendrick

These were made after the upper part of the raised mound had been 'levelled' to avoid the lady pupils of a school situated there from hard exertion in climbing up the mound.


Mote Hill excavations 1 JPG





 excavation diagram



Old Maps

From Link:

These online versions of Old Maps of Lancashire were produced by The Environment Directorate's Archaeology Service.



Earliest Map of England. Gough 1360.

Earliest map of England in 1360 shows the Mersey (Fluvius Mersee) and Liverpool, and perhaps Warrington.
Gough, c.1360

The so-called "Gough Map" is the earliest surviving map of Britain dating from c.1360. It’s origins are unknown and owes it name to, Richard Gough (1735-1809), in whose collection it was found. This extract is from the OS 1935 facsimile which is reasonably legible. The original is coloured and is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford but is much less legible. An online version of the original has now been made available by Queens University, Belfast:


Gough Map Warrington Screenshot 2020 03 15 15 32 40 JPG


Coloured Extract.

 Earliest Map black 7 white  Gough Screenshot 2020 03 15 14 33 35





A speculation by your writer is that the second upstream building from Liverpool (line crossing trail) would be the lowest crossing point on the Mersey at Warrington, and this is reasonable from a search of the Gough map at RED Point on the coloured map. The journey line crosses the Mersey at presumably the lowest fording or bridging point.




1610 Speed’s map

Speed, 1610 – Links to Black & White and Colour versions.
Black & White:


John Speed's map of Lancashire is one of the earliest and shows towns and villages but no highways. Extract of Black and White Map below.



1650s Wenceslas_Hollar

This shows Warrington as the only town on Lancashire side of Mersey below Manchester.

 800px Wenceslas Hollar 16071677 Cheshire State 6 County Palatine Cheshire public domain JPG

Wenceslas Hollar 16071677 Cheshire State 6 County Palatine Cheshire public domain JPG


A 1648 map shows the second bridge crossing.

Some linear maps of the time “A ribbon of the journey between places” showing towns, inns etc, but without any geographical layout. Some what similar to a modern list of places in a car journey routing from map sites.


The Cowley Map 1744

 Lancashire. 1744 John Cowley for R.Dodsley's The Geography of Britain. Lancashire. 1748.

 cowley lan 1744 map whole JPG




Yates Map  1786 

Yates map of 1786 shows Warrington and surrounding area. Digital Link.


 Untitled 8 Yates 2 JPG

Extract of Yates 1786 map above.


 Greenwood's Map 1818.

1818 Greenwood's Map of Lancashire, 1818 Coloured in Lancashire archives.


Extract of river Warrington to Rixton.


 Warington Rixton Greenwoods Map of Lancashire 1818 JPG Screenshot 2020 03 15 16 06 14 JPG


 Modern Warrington

Modern Warrington on OpenStreetMaps websites

Search for Warrington and then select your scale.


 Modern Warrington open street maps JPG

Modern Warrington open street maps JPG




The members and guests give  thanks to  archivist   Philip Jeffs for his study and enthusiastically giving us knowledge with illustrations and answering many questions from the audience in this much delayed talk due to external circumstances.


Warrington Borough Council

A history of Warrington without maps is on Warrington Borough Council website.



The Ballad of Bewsey and Annals of Warrington. (Digitised copy by Google)


Full text of "Annals of the lords of Warrington for the first five centuries after conquest" .
A long read of the murders, incidents, and grappling for power in early Warrington.


Various versions of Ballad of Bewsey



20200214  Report Fashion and Social Change by Barbara Joyce

Fashion and Social Change

On St. Valentine’s day 2020, the members and visitors were enthralled by a learned and humorous talk with many illustrations on Fashion and Social Change given by Barbara Joyce with a history of men’s underwear from ancient times, alongside women’s underwear from the 19th century, and men’s hats and Victorian mourning clothes.

Etiquette, social peer pressure, wealth display, non-practicality but figure display, changing fortunes for the rising middle class and beliefs were all reflected in clothes and they changed as society changed. Our record of those clothes allows us to interpret social norms, class distinction, and the ‘expensive’ becoming less expensive with industrial aided clothing manufacture rather than hand sewn and stitched slowly and expensively and flowing down the social income classes as the mass manufacture of clothes made them cheaper.

Brabara Joyce's talk started with the 'socially peer group' enforced Victorian mourning periods and etiquette, followed by underwear and finished with men's hats and why they are no longer universally worn nowadays.

Your writer has added notes on present day loincloths as worn in Japan and Ötzi the iceman's loincloth; and on the "Lengberg Castle" 15th century.underwear discovery.


Victorian Mourning.


The talk explained, illustrated, and gave details of the formal and informal societal enforced pressures that reflected society in the clothes of the Victorian period and how it changed over time. It much enriched certain manufacturers (of crape: Courtaulds) and retailers.

Catherine de Medici as widow c 1560s

 Mary Queen of Scots in deuil blanc 1559


Catherine de Medici as widow c 1560s                                                           Mary Queen of Scots in deuil blanc [White Mourning] 1559


Today, no special dress or behaviour is obligatory for those in mourning in the general population, although ethnic and religious faiths have specific rituals, and black is typically worn at English funerals although there is a tendancy to request mourners to wear bright cloths to celebrate the life of the dead person nowadays. Traditionally, however, there were strict social rules to be observed.

By the 19th century, mourning behaviour in England had developed into a complex set of rules, particularly among the upper classes. For women, the customs involved wearing heavy, concealing, black clothing, and the use of heavy veils of black crape. The entire ensemble was colloquially known as "widow's weeds" (from the Old English wǣd, meaning "garment").

In Victorian times, these were carried to extremes, partly by peer pressure, partly by increased wealth in the middle classes (as mourning clothes were expensive and displayed your wealth and ability to buy at short notice), following the behaviour of the upper class who followed the royal behaviour of extended mourning as Queen Victoria wore mourning for the rest of her life after prince Albert's death.


 Black Mourning and Etiquette.

The mourning etiquette was strict and specific periods of mourning were observed, which greatly effected ladies and their ability to interact with society.
Full Mourning for at least a year. (However this could be 2 to 4 years or remaining lifetime).Very formal black clothes.
Half Mourning for next six months. For half mourning, muted colours such as lilac, grey and lavender grey could be used.


Back View mourning dress met 44 147 1a b threequarter back cp4 517x640


Early Victorian Lady in Mourning Dress


Back View mourning dress met 44 147 1a b threequarter back               Early Victorian Lady in Mourning Dress


White mourning.

In other countries (Netherlands, Belgium, France)and in previous times, white was the colour of mourning. The colour of deepest mourning among medieval European queens was white. Examples Mary Queen of Scots, and in 2004, the four daughters of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands all wore white to their mother's funeral. In 1993, the Spanish-born Queen Fabiola introduced it in Belgium for the funeral of her husband, King Baudouin of Belgium.

The custom for the Queens of France to wear "deuil blanc" [white mourning] was the origin of the White Wardrobe created in 1938 by Norman Hartnell for Queen Elizabeth (later called the Queen Mother). She was required to make a State visit to France while in mourning for her mother.

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in white mourning after the death of husband in 1934

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in white mourning after the death of husband in 1934



Friends, acquaintances, and employees wore mourning to a greater or lesser degree depending on their relationship to the deceased. Mourning was worn for six months for a sibling. Parents would wear mourning for a child for "as long as they feel so disposed". No lady or gentleman in mourning was supposed to attend social events while in deep mourning. In general, servants wore black armbands when there had been a death in the household. However, amongst polite company the wearing of a simple black armband was seen as appropriate only for military men, or others compelled to wear uniform in the course of their duties.


Daughters of Albert with statue external contentduckduckgocom

Daughters of Albert with statue


queen victoria in 1890 458x640

Queen Victoria in 1890


Men were expected to wear mourning suits of black frock coats with matching trousers and waistcoats.

An industry arose for the supply of mourning clothes, jewellery, and funeral appurtenances and carriages to those who could afford it.



victorian mourning clothes advert external contentduckduckgocom


ex Mourning ring photo Charles J Sharp Own work 508px Victorian 18ct mourning ring with hair


Warehouse Advert for Quick Supply.                                                Mourning ring photo Charles J Sharp






Male underwear has a longer known history than female underwear.

Male underwear.

Loincloths  (Text partly from Wikipedia and other sources)

The first known underwear dates back almost 7000 years, when prehistoric man used leather to cover and protect his loins. In many centuries little has changed.
Men’s under wear was for protection, warmth, hygiene.

The ancient Egyptians sometimes wore loincloths. The Romans also wore underwear. Both Roman men and women wore a loincloth or shorts called subligaculum. Women also wore a band of cloth or leather around their chest called a strophium. Loinclothes came in all shapes and sizes depending on local cultural influence.

A belt holding a simple strip of leather is the simplest loincloth, while when made in cloth as a shield shape with  side tags it later became the Minoan or Egyptian type.


Wikipedia Commons Egyptian















Egyptian loincloth


meso loincloth mens underwear


Meso loincloth men's underwear Middle America


The simplest definition of a loincloth is a piece of material that is usually wrapped between the legs and around the waist. Depending on the civilisation and the materials available, ancient men would make this garment out of either leather or such fabric as was available such as linen.

How old is the loincloth?. 

Archaeologists have discovered one, made of leather, that they have dated to be about 7,000 years old, while Ötzi the iceman, a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE wore a loin cloth of sheepskin.


Ötzi was found on 19 September 1991 by two German tourists, at an elevation of 3,210 metres (10,530 ft) on the east ridge of the Fineilspitze in the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian–Italian border.
Ötzi wore a cloak made of woven grass and a coat, a belt, a pair of leggings, a loincloth and shoes, all made of leather of different skins. The leather loincloth and hide coat were made from skins.

Ötzi wore a loincloth made from narrow strips of sheep hide stitched together. It was originally a 100 x 33 cm piece of hide worn between the legs and fastened with the belt and presumably worn by pulling it between the legs and fastening it at the waist with a belt. (per South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology)

Loincloth Rectangular pieces of leather also from a goat stitched together with animal sinew fastened the waist with a belt South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology819200 orig


Otzi's loincloth.

Ötzi wore a loincloth made from narrow strips of sheep hide stitched together. It was originally a 100 x 33 cm piece of hide worn between the legs and fastened with the belt.

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Via Museo/Museumstraße 43; 39100 Bolzano/Bozen; South Tyrol - Italy
Visitor Services & Information email mailto:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone  +39 0471 320 100  (Monday-Friday: 9 am to 1 pm)

Influence of Ötzi on present culture.

 Songs made at times of Otzi's discovery.
Iceman in song by the Beatles. [A song about the frozen mummy they found in the Alps, not the guy down the street selling crystal meth (original instrumental)]

Loincloths were worn by many cultures.

Basically everyone in ancient history, as noted above, and the men in ancient Hawaii, in Egypt [including the Egyptian King Tutankhamun] it was made from woven materials, commonly cotton and flax, kept in place with a belt, (the lower classes and slaves were almost naked, so technically this loincloth was often “outerwear”)  in Greece philosophers like Plato, in Rome these included the leaders of Ancient Rome such as Augustus.

Even as early as the loincloth, fashion was considered. Men wore linen, leather or sometimes even wool, but if you were important, the more expensive undergarment let the rest of society know you were from a higher class.

Although most cultures no longer wear loincloths, some tropical societies and Japan still embrace this form of underwear (or as outerwear for festivals in Japan!) for men.

Modern Loincloths.

As your writer has experienced, it is still the fashionable clothing for many rituals at temples in Japan (Japanese loincloths being called 'Fundoshi') and is used as the symbol on the side of the lorries of Japanese carriers. Fundoshi are sold by high class stores (& Amazon) in many varieties.

Red basic Fundoshi 418 bpYX7kL AC UL320 ML3 Fundoshi as worn Pw5eVwPqL AC UL320 ML3

Fundoshi Advert                                                                       Fundoshi as worn.


 Fundoshi clad men in ritual

 Fundoshi clad men in ritual

The naked festival at Saidaiji in Okayama.
Participants receiving purification by water at the naked festival at Saidaiji in Okayama. Each year on Third Saturday in February
Significance    Celebrates the blessings of a bountiful harvest and all manner of prosperity and fertility

The celebration at Konomiya shrine. Video on YouTube.

Japan's Naked Festival 日本のはだか祭!(愛知)  “Shin Ototo” (“The New Ototo” for the temple)
Video Mar 4, 2015   by Rachel and Jun
"This is Japan's Naked Festival, or Hadaka Matsuri. There are Naked Festivals all across Japan, but each one is celebrated differently. This one is the celebration at Konomiya shrine, which revolves around a man called the shin otoko ["the New Otoko"]

Shrines webpage is
Rachel and Jim's blog with much more on this festival,

Loincloths lasted until the middle ages when looser clothing became the fashion.


In the Middle Ages, western men's underwear became looser fitting. The loincloth was replaced by loose, trouser-like clothing called braies, which the wearer stepped into and then laced or tied around the waist and legs at about mid-calf.
Wealthier men often wore chausses (stockings) as well, which only covered the legs.
Chausses were a medieval tight-fitting garment worn by men to cover the legs and feet and sometimes the body below the waist
Braies (or rather braccae) were a type of trouser worn by Celtic and Germanic tribes in antiquity and by Europeans subsequently into the Middle Ages. In the later Middle Ages they were used mostly as undergarments.   

Braies By Unknown Created between 1244 and 1254 date public Domain https commonswikimediaorg w indexphpcurid1385932

Braies By Unknown Created between 1244 and 1254 date Public Domain

 Chausses Braies by re enactment supply company Burgschneider Screenshot 2020 02 16 11 16 04

Chausses Braies by re enactment supply company Burgschneider

By the time of the Renaissance, braies had become shorter to accommodate longer styles of chausses. Chausses were also giving way to form-fitting hose, which covered the legs and feet. Fifteenth-century hose were often particoloured, with each leg in a different-coloured fabric or even more than one colour on a leg. However, many types of braies, chausses and hose were not always intended to be covered up by other clothing, so they were accepted visual underwear.

Braies were usually fitted with a front flap that was buttoned or tied closed. This codpiece allowed men to urinate without having to remove the braies completely.
Codpieces were also worn with hose when very short doublets like garments tied together in the front and worn under other clothing were in fashion, as early forms of hose were open at the crotch. Henry VIII of England began padding his codpiece, which caused a spiralling trend of larger and larger codpieces that only ended by the end of the 16th century.

Modern Studies.

PhD on codpieces. Cambridge. Only briefly in vogue, the codpiece has left a rich legacy in art, literature and – most recently – in televised costume drama. In focusing her attention on this ostentatious male accessory, PhD candidate Victoria Bartels has developed some new ideas about its evolution (and demise) as a symbol of virility.

A form of underpant(s) returned during the 15th and 16th centuries, when men’s leg-hose were bifurcated (split in two)and a cod piece added for comfortable urination  and display

Photo ex

ex Cambridge University article 150324 cod pieces main imag JPG
Left - portrait of Charles V; centre - portrait of Henry VIII; right - portrait of Pedro Maria Rossi
Credits: Left - Wikimedia Commons; centre - The Master and Fellows of Trinity College; right - Museo del Prado, Madrid

In the early to mid 19th century, both men and women wore bifurcated drawers with separate legs—a loose type of knee-length trousers suspended from the waist. This simple style of underpant(s) made relieving oneself more manageable, especially if several layers of petticoats or breeches were worn.

Wikipedia image of female pants PNG

Wikipedia image of female pants PNG

In 1882, dress reformer Dr Gustave Jaeger argued that wearing natural woollen fibres next to the skin would help disperse bodily poisons by allowing the skin to breathe. Dr Jaeger also felt the elasticized qualities of knitted garments were more likely to promote exercise.

Also in the 19th century, the popularity of long-legged trousers for men led to a change in men’s underpants, with hose (long johns) extending to the ankle. These were made of silk for the wealthy and flannel, or later wool, for the masses.

Latex, a rubber yarn introduced in 1930, allowed stretch undergarments to become more figure-hugging. These eventually evolved into underpant styles similar to those worn today. In 1938, after the invention of the synthetic fibre nylon, lightweight easy-to-launder underwear started to appear. Easy laundering became a great boon for families and the ability to easily wash and dry underwear helped general health. However slow drying cotton underwear as trunks was the rule for the vast armies of the 1940s.

Shorter, crotch-length underpants or trunks for men appeared after 1945. In 1959, a new man-made elastomeric fibre called Lycra™ was invented. Combined with cotton or nylon, it was strong, stretchable and recovered well. The result was more body-conscious underpants for men.

In the more permissive 1960s, underpants became briefer for both sexes and the Y-front was largely eliminated from men’s underwear. By the 1970s, underpants were virtually seamless.


 Type of womans underwear 2019

 Type of womans underwear  Knickers 2019


male underwear circa2017

Male underwear circa 2017



It was the invention of elastic that revolutionised underclothing.

Elastic Yarn   Quote from:
 HowStuffWorks Science Innovation Everyday Innovations : How Elastic Works by William Harris

Elastic is so ubiquitous today that we barely give it a second thought. Like paper clips and zippers, we simply expect it to work without ever wondering what it is, how it's made or what people did before it existed. Take the elastic waistband. In fact, fetch a pair of underwear (preferably clean) from your bedroom and give them a good once-over. You'll notice the familiar stretch of the band followed by the satisfying springing action as it returns to its original shape. It's like a rubber band, but not. When you put your hands on a rubber band, you touch, well, raw rubber. When you do the same with an elastic waistband, you touch fabric.

Making elastic looked no different than making other woven fabrics. It required a loom, which was a machine that allowed lengthwise threads known as the warp to be interlaced with widthwise threads known as the weft. In normal woven fabric, those threads would consist of yarn derived from natural fibres, such as cotton or wool. But in elastic, strands of yarn were laced together with strands of natural or synthetic rubber.

Today, automated looms handle the weaving process, though the results are the same: a stretchy fabric that can be incorporated into an array of garments. The elastic waistbands found in boxers and briefs make a convenient example. Cut into any of these stretchable items, and you'll find one common element: fine rubber threads or thick rubber bands (Bungee Cords) just like the rubber bands you use in your office or kitchen.


Warp Weft diagram


Warp / Weft Diagram


The Body-Hugging revolution
New 'man made' materials re-revolutionised clothing again in the 1960s-1980s.



Underwear and outerwear re-revolution with artificial fibres from 1960s onwards.
"Spandex" (USA), "Lycra" (Europe) or elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity.
 This is a polyether-polyuria copolymer that was invented in 1958 by chemist Joseph Shivers at DuPont's Benger Laboratory in Waynesboro, Virginia, USA to satisfy a demand for a better ‘elastic’ fibre for female clothing and to ensure their world markets.



Female Underwear. Knickers.

Knickers in Europe and USA were not commonly worn until the time of the crinolene as most women  up to then (supposedly) wore no lower body underwear.
(Upper body underwear garments were usual, some doubling as outerwear).


This is a UK site with quick review of development of female underwear.
A brief history of ladies underwear (and why it’s the worst!)
fyeahhistory,  By fyeahhistory June 10, 2017

“It’s a brave woman who lives her life eternally sans knickers (or panties for you Americans) but until very recently it was the norm.
Though men throughout history wore underwear (Charles ll was a fan of a silken boxer short FYI) it was considered improper for a lady to have anything between her legs.”

In the early to mid 19th century, women wore bifurcated drawers with separate legs — a loose type of knee-length trousers suspended from the waist. This simple style of underpant made relieving oneself more manageable, especially if several layers of petticoats or breeches were worn. Closed crotched underpants for women (pantalettes) emerged in the mid to late 19th century.

For women in the early 1900s, getting dressed involved multiple layers of undergarments including chemise and drawers followed by a constrictive corset.
During the first world war more women undertook physical labour in factories, mines and farms, and thus needed utilitarian garments. The silhouette of outerwear such as loose trousers and boiler suits paved the way for knickers, which women began wearing from around 1916.

Underwear has now circa 2020 become much more form-fitting.

However knickers are not a 'new idea'. There are historical records of earlier knickers from recent discoveries and archaeolgical records.


Old knickers.

It was thought that knickers didn’t make an appearance until the late 18th century.
Bras were thought to be an even more modern invention, not appearing until around 100 years ago.
Link to an article showing very old styles of female underwear

"Discovered in a castle vault, the scraps of lace that show lingerie was all the rage 500 years ago. By Dalya Alberge  22:17, 19 July 2012"

It is hardly racy by today’s standards but this lingerie has certainly shocked historians.
These lace and linen undergarments date back to hundreds of years before women’s underwear was thought to exist. They had lain hidden in a vault beneath the floorboards of the Austrian castle "Lengberg Castle" in East Tyrol since  the 15th century.

Despite their state of decay, the knickers bear more than a passing resemblance to the string bikini briefs popular today, while the bra has the fitted cups and delicate straps of its modern-day counterparts.

Hilary Davidson, fashion curator at the Museum of London, commented on the "Lengberg Castle" discovery ‘this totally rewrites’ fashion history, adding: ‘Nothing like this has  ever come up before.’
She believes it is ‘entirely probable’ that something similar was worn by Britain’s medieval women.
‘These finds are a very exciting insight into the way people dressed in the Middle Ages.'
‘It’s rare that everyday garments of any kind survive from this period, let alone underwear.’

The haul included four bras and two pairs of pants. Two of the bras resemble modern counterparts but the others are described rather bluntly as ‘shirts with bags’.

pair of knickers found in Lengberg Castle Daily Mail article 2174568 14148B8A000005DC 613 634x427






world oldest bra austria castle fb8 700 png

Bra and knickers from "Lengberg Castle" discovery.

Links to "Lengberg Castle" discovery.
German Innsbruck website

Heute von der Universität Innsbruck:

This is the best article, with many photographs, but open it in Google Chrome with Google Translate to read in English Language.


Female sports 'underwear'/'outerwear' of bra / knickers in earlier times

Roman female at sport OgFYT

Roman female at sport


These were designed to enforce an 'idea' of the then current mode of fashion, but were objected to by medical practidioners.

Website with interesting differences explained. Link:
This website has many images and explains 'type' differences and purpose.

Some photos.

Corset Bodice 1800 1820 cotton National Trust Inventory Number 13501272

Corset in blue silk circa 1890 339x500


LEFT: Corset Bodice 1800 1820 cotton National Trust Inventory Number 13501272

RIGHT: Corset in blue silk circa 1890

Modern figure support.

Modern 'lycra'/'spandex' garments are a softer method of support to posture without distorting the female body.

With "sports bras" greatly easing the problems of female athletes in many sports.

US women relay team

US women relay team

Estonia athletic costume

Estonia athletic costume

Men's Hats.

The speaker asked the important questions "What was the purpose of hats?" and "why has hat wearing declined?" and gave some thoughts to our group and its visitors.

Protection and Status.

Hats and headgear provide protection from the elements, imply social status, or can identify the wearer's group affiliation or career. Even in today's hat-optional culture, we mentally place a crown on the head of a king or a beret on the head of an artist.

Until the late 20th century, hats or head coverings were an essential aspect of a man's wardrobe. From simple close-fitting caps (coifs) to elaborations of folds, decorations, and fine materials, hats declared a man's place in the world. In Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a man's occupation, religion, and status could be immediately understood by his hat. In some cases, the law mandated the wearing of certain head coverings. Hat styles changed as society and technology advanced.

Today, the wearing of hats in Western culture has almost ceased. Where once every businessman wore a hat with his suit, this is no longer the case. We may see knit caps worn in winter or baseball caps in warmer weather. Hoods attached to sweat jackets appear in urban settings. The occasional Hamburg may show up on a man wearing an overcoat. Flat caps with peaks are a convenient and attractive style for older men.

Hard Hats, Crash Helmets and Cycling Helmets however are  on the increase and take us back to a hat's primary purpose of protection.

But to wear a hat or not is in non dangerous situations a choice. In the past, however, hats played a much more important role in a man's wardrobe.

Hats are the ultimate symbol of social change over a few decades.

Why did formal hats decline.

(Protective Hard Hats are now mandatory for many occupations, these are increasing)

Hat-wearing was at its peak from the late 19th Century until the end of the 1920s, when the practise began to decline. Nobody, however, has pinpointed one sole reason why this happened, but there are several key things are that are strongly believed to have contributed.

The most popular attributed cause is the rise of closed cars and other transportation. As covered cars became more popular, the necessity for a hat diminished. With low roofs meaning you couldn’t wear a hat while driving and generally had no need to cover your head anyway, personal transport often negated the need for headwear as you were no longer walking in the open air subject to rain, snow and wind blasts.

Men's Hats in the 19th Century

ex website
The 19th century ushered in a classic new look for men that featured simple lines and elegantly cut suits. Flamboyance gave way to moral sobriety and the excess of status became a thing of the past. Egalitarianism was the new style, though class distinctions remained obvious by the cut of a man's clothing and the materials used in production.

Increased production of the Industrial Revolution offered more affordable garments, accessories, and headgear to the growing middle class.

The black silk topper of 1790s French design became the iconic emblem of conservative capitalism. With various tweaks including height and width of the crown, the top hat reigned supreme during the 1800s. Made of stiffened fabric, a top hat was then covered with a silk plush, then brushed until it was smooth and shining. Mercury used in the process sometimes poisoned hat makers, hence the phrase, "mad as a hatter".

The end of the century introduced a collapsible top hat which could be flattened then sprung back with a flick of the wrist.

(CLHG Writer’s edit: Still in use in the UK House of Commons, as a hat must be worn to ask some questions.)

The bowler or derby hat developed mid century became an instant classic and remains an icon of the English to this day. Edward Coke had the first example made to be used as protective gear. But John and William Bowler introduced the mass produced hat designed for young British men. The bowler was simple, practical, and tough.


Crowd with hats 11111 hat pic


Typical Hats




Capotain circa 1655Source Painting by Frans Hals wikimedia commons Public Domain 12952424 f520


Capotain circa 1655Source Painting by Frans Hals wikimedia commons Public Domain




 Variety-of-Hats8 Ladies and Men

Flat caps


 Cornischong at lbwikipedia Bowler 1024px Meloun




 Flat caps.                                                                                            Bowler


Beenie hat

 JSP protective helmet and sunscreen external contentduckduckgocom        


Beenie   hat                                                              Protective Hard Hat and sunscreen cloth










The group and its visitors thanks the speaker for a most interesting and enjoyable talk.



















Manchester Goods for Manchester Docks

Manchester docks in Salford plan

Plan of the "Manchester Docks" mainly located on Salford side of river.



On Thursday January 9th 2020, the members and visitors were enthralled by a very well illustrated talk on “Manchester Goods for Manchester Docks” by two volunteers of The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Mr. Chris Evans and Mr. Les Green.

They shattered a few ‘myths’ we in the North west, think we know about the Manchester Ship Canal, and replaced these with the real rough politics and manuverings to get the canal built and its rise, prosperity and gradual decline at the upper Manchester end, with today its income source being at the sea end, where its new owner combines it with the Liverpool dock system.

A talk in the art deco saloon of "the Danny", the home and purpose of the The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society,

Talk in art deco saloon as 1936 of The Danny DSC 0137


Myth One.

“Manchester Docks” was actually located in Salford, a different city across the boundary river “The River Mersey”, which has since before Roman times been a linguistic, tribal, economic and political boundary.
Only in recent times has the “Salford Quays” development used its actual location in Salford correctly. It was named “Manchester Docks” due to the financial impetus and board majority of Manchester Council of the Manchester Ship Canal decreeing the “Manchester” name.


ICE Manchester Docks entry actually in Salford Screenshot 2020 01 16 17 49 40

Old name above entrance gate. Below the gate as now 'unnamed' in Salford Quays

 ManchesterHistorynet photoofdockgates2 in Salford

Unnamed blocked entrance.

Photo entrance to The Manchester Docks located in Salford on the North side of the boundary river The Mersey.


Myth two.

The canal was built mainly by hand labour.
While the canal employed many ‘navigators’ to dig, shape and make the canal, the owners had used their capital to buy many steam powered excavators from Germany to do the main ‘ditch digging’. They were using the latest available civil earth moving technology and running these on their own site railway. The hand labour was used to enable its construction while relieving the economic unemployment situation of the day. A political point for publicity and obtaining finance.

Photo digging machine.

Cutting machines photo ex Manchester EveningNewsArtcle JS81394702

Photo navies. "manual labour on canal cutting by 'navigators' "

ICE manual labour MSC


Myth Three "Manchester People's canal" , the financial and political problems.

The history of the ‘idea’ and start of the Manchester Ship Canal to cut the very high costs of freight for Manchester Made Goods to exit the UK via Liverpool, and the high costs of importing the raw material ‘cotton’ to Manchester via Liverpool.
The statistic that 60% of the entire shipping cost of transporting finished ‘Manchester Goods” to India occurred in the short journey to the port of Liverpool together with the high costs and tolls of using the Liverpool docks made the idea of a canal from the Irish Sea direct to Manchester a very real ideal for the firms and merchants of Manchester.

Many attempts were made to translate the idea into reality, pushed on by the idea instigator and main negotiator Mr. Daniel Adamson to ensure co-operation of the towns outside Liverpool on the Mersey to work to set up the finance and organisation to ‘get it dug’.

Documented Elsewhere.

The history of the Manchester Ship Canal is well documented elsewhere and in better style than the writer could condense to record the talk for our members, so we show some images and references to the history.

The canal and its extensive land holdings were eventually incorporated into a land developer’s company as he saw the land use being much more important than the canal, with the building of much larger container vessels being out of gauge for the canal, even though the Manchester Shipping Company (whose vessels were built to the canal gauge) tried small container ships to get direct from abroad into Manchester.


Link to  video on "The Peoples Canal". An old ITV documentary/commentary.

Manchester Ship Canal (The People's Canal)  [40 plus minute video.]

Description. Probably Ray Gosling's finest work. Originally shown on Granada TV in the early 1990's tracing the history of the Manchester Ship Canal. The programme was in two parts with part one giving details of the canal's construction and part two explaining how we, the public were short changed when the land around the docks was sold off to developers to construct Salford Quays.

Granada TV show now on YouTube. Good video on construction and financial history of canal .
NOTE: Due to being twice compressed from original show recording the sound channel is distorted in volume.

Quote: Ken Slater

1. Thanks for sharing. As Cameraman on this two part programme [originally] shot on BetacamSP I can confirm this Trade Films production passed all the stringent ITV engineering scrutiny. [Thus sound did not overwhelm.] On YouTube you are watching/Listening to a VHS copy that has been compressed twice by the time it gets on to Youtube. Great to see it again, Ray Gosling was great to work with, still think about him.


Short History of Manchester Ship Canal is on website


Short Video by institution of Civil Engineers.  Brings things up to date (2018). [Peel Ports]


Umar Saleem, of  Mott Macdonald, talks us through the Manchester Ship Canal that arose out of need when Manchester established itself as a world leader in industry in the 19 century. It was a huge project that cost 15 million pounds (1.5 billion by today's standards) and employed 1600 people to build it.




Daniel Adamson.

Daniel Adamson 

Photo of painting of Daniel Adamson

Short text on Daniel Adamson ex Wikipedia.
Daniel Adamson (30 April 1820 – 13 January 1890) was an English engineer who became a successful manufacturer of boilers and was the driving force behind the inception of the Manchester Ship Canal project during the 1880s.     Adamson was a champion of the Manchester Ship Canal project. He arranged a meeting in Didsbury at his home, The Towers, on 27 June 1882, attended by 68 people including the mayors of Manchester and surrounding towns, leaders of commerce and industry, banker and financiers. Also present at the meeting was the canal's eventual designer Edward Leader Williams. Adamson was elected chairman of the provisional committee promoting the ship canal, and was at the forefront in pushing the scheme through Parliament in the face of intense opposition from railway companies and port interests in Liverpool. The requisite Act of Parliament enabling the canal was finally passed on 6 August 1885, after which Adamson became the first chairman of the board of directors of the Manchester Ship Canal Company – a post he held until February 1887.

As a result of his resignation, the first sod was cut by his successor, Lord Egerton of Tatton, the following November.

Adamson remained a strong supporter of the project but did not live to see its completion in 1894. He died at home in Didsbury on 13 January 1890. Daniel Adamson and Co remained a family business until 1964, when it was sold to Acrow Engineers Ltd.


Illustrated Talk.

The good folk of the The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society had prepared a talk with many photographs and to the great delight of our group and visitors short ‘Videos’ showing old film archives of both the opening of the canal and shipping on the canal including their own boat “The Danny”, which the society has rebuilt, preserved and operates on the lower reaches of the canal.
Hire of The Danny and trips are available at fixed prices. A time table is given on their website



An illustration of a talk being given in the art deco saloon of The Danny is at the top of this article.

The short videos of the boats and ships operating on the canal were most appreciated by our members and guests.

The Railway.

Railway private. Largest private railway in UK  link below is to a German language site on the railway.

Open in Ghoogle Chrome browser with translation set up.


ROUGH ENGLISH TEXT Google Translation

The Manchester Ship Canal Railway (MSC) was a purely industrial railway that only transported goods and was therefore neither affected by grouping in 1923 nor by nationalization in 1948. It remained independent until the end of 2009. The route network was around 320 km long at its greatest extent. 75 locomotives and around 2,700 freight wagons ran on this network .
It was operated by the Manchester Ship Canal Company .

It connected the Manchester docks to the Trafford Park industrial estate. Connections to the London and North Western Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway were in the north of the canal . South of the docks was a connection to the network of the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC), a joint company of the Great Central Railway , the Great Northern Railway and the Midland Railway .

Special steam locomotives were built for the tight radii in the docks. On the machines with the 0-6-0T axis sequence , the middle wheels had no wheel flange and the coupling rods had a hinge that allowed several centimeters of side play. From 1959, diesel locomotives were also used.

In addition to some locomotives, an earlier Toad Brake Van has been preserved and is owned by the National Waterways Museum. The MSC bought this brake van in the 1970s from British Railways , which had taken it over from the Great Western Railway in 1948 .

Since the MSC had no passenger traffic, it only had a single passenger car. The so-called Directors Saloon , with which the directors of the MSC drove, has been preserved and is now in the Staffordshire Museum (photos see web links).




References and links.

The 1910 book on the early history of the Manchester  Ship Canal, is available as a PDF without any maps. 

Its many maps are archived by a Manchester academic on a separate website.


Link to book PDFs.


PDF book in two volumes (out of copyright) These can be downloaded.

History of the Manchester Ship Canal, from its inception to its completion, with personal reminiscences

by Leech, Bosdin, Sir, 1836-

Publication date 1907


The maps from the book are on the academic  website given below.


 Internet Archive History o 910 f MSC Screenshot 2020 01 18 18 57 45






 BBC Archived page.


Wikipedia Barton Swing Bridge


Song of the canal.


PEEL PORTS website




The Danny Website Screenshot 2020 01 18 19 39 36t



The members and visitors give our grateful thanks to the work of the The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Mr. Chris Evans and Mr. Les Green who by their presentation gave  a delightful evening to us,


Donations to The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society can be made through their  website:

Home page bottom right..

The Danny was rescued by our volunteers so that its heritage would reach present and future generations.

We want to reach all sectors of the community through a range of activities targeted at different ages, abilities and interests.

 In 2020, we will be running a number of family activity days, folk events, and choir performances, offering a programme of workshops
for scouts, guides and cadets and providing engaging days out for families who have a family member with autism or learning differences.

 Where possible, we keep community activities free of charge, and instead ask our public to make a donation if they can afford it.
For workshops and activities where we need to cover costs, we keep costs as low as possible.

The donation button via paypal is at the bottom right of their website home page.


Daniel Adamson made his money from his boiler works.

ex Wikipedia Boiler made at Daniel Adamson 270px Danieladamsonengineinstallsmalexd















20191114 CLHG report Masons. DRAFT

20191114 CLHG report Masons.

“Warrington Freemasons in Culcheth”.

On Thursday 14th November 2019, our members had the pleasure of an interesting talk illustrated by slides presented by a team of four Freemasons in Warrington, lead by Mr Victor Charlesworth, Curator of the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry and ably assisted by Caroline Crook, the Archivist of the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry.


The speaker started by saying what “Freemasonry was not”; as there are many rumours and tales from folk who do not know it origins or purposes in general circulation. Then followed by “What Freemasonry actually is”.

This is best summarized by words from the museum’s own booklet.

What Freemasonry is.

“Freemasonry is a secular, fraternal organisation.
It teaches its members moral lessons and self-knowledge through participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays. These are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge, following ancient forms and symbolically using stonemasons’ customs and tools.”

A description of how the rituals were based on ‘methods’ to prove a person was not a ‘branded criminal’ (by the tale of exposing the breast to show there were no brand marks on the body), and that they were fit to do duty by displaying they had no injured limb (raising trousers) gave a historical idea of how some rituals developed in their group.


The word used for the group and its meeting place is assumed to come from the temporary wooden structures ‘lodges’ use by itinerant masons encamped at a building site such as a cathedral, while working there. Compare them to the “Container Cabins” used by people on building sites in today’s construction industry. Although nowadays most workers sleep ‘off site’, the container office/rest room/meeting room is a vital part of today’s construction industry.

Starting of Freemasonry.

The actual start of Freemasonry is lost, but a person inducted to Freemasonry in Warrington in 1646 is the earliest extant written record.

The questions of where, when, how and why Freemasonry originated are still the
subject of speculation.

The general consensus is that Freemasonry descends directly or indirectly from the organisation of working stone masons who built the great cathedrals and castles
of the medieval period. Freemasonry has a long and distinguished history. Many suppose it is much longer than its traceable 300 year plus history. While its origins are lost in the past there are a number of theories of how it began. However there are certainly strong links back to the mediaeval stone masons guilds.


Non-working Gentlemen admitted.

Their organisational unit, the lodge, began to admit men who were not working stonemasons beginning in England, with Sir Robert Moray who became a Freemason in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1642.


In 1646 in Warrington, Elias Ashmole became the first recorded Englishman initiated into an English Lodge.
It is assumed due to that recorded occasion that there had been Lodges throughout the British Isles before 1646 as one of the earliest recorded initiations in England was that of Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, into a Lodge meeting at his father–law's house in Warrington Cheshire. In his diary in 1646 he recorded that “This day I was made Freemason”. Therefore, as a possible "speculative Freemason", Freemasonry must have been in operation before that date!
A “speculative Freemason” was a non-craftsman. While actual craftsman were designated ‘operative Freemason’.

Masonic records show his diary entry as:
The entries in Ashmole’s “Diary” which relate to his membership of the craft are three in number, the first in priority being the following:-
“1646, Oct. 16, 4.30. P.M. – I was made a Free
Mason at Warrington in Lancashire, with Coll: Henry Mainwaring of Karincham in
Cheshire. The names of those that were then of the Lodge [were] Mr Rich. Penket
Warden, Mr James Collier, Mr Rich. Sankey, Henry Littler, John Ellam Rich: Ellam
& Hugh Brewer.”
Link to Wikipedia page on Elias Ashmole.

Ashmole after Riley, Picture Note for Elias Ashmole after John Riley (d. 1691) - from english WikiPedia      Public Domain     File:Ashmole-after-Riley.jpg     Created: between 1687 and 1689 date

Ashmole after Riley,       Picture Note for Elias Ashmole after John Riley (d. 1691) - from English WikiPedia Public Domain.


 Formation, split and reunion.

On 24 June 1717 four London lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard, declared themselves a "Grand Lodge" and elected a Grand Master.
This was the first Grand Lodge in the world. It began to hold regular meetings and published the first rule book.

However, as is often usual in voluntary social societies, there were those who differ and a separate set of lodges arose using a different Grand Lodge. Then on 17 July 1751, representatives of a different set of five Lodges gathered at the Turk's Head Tavern, in Greek Street, Soho, London and formed a rival Grand Lodge called The Most Antient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons.

These two organisations operated with their different procedures and the split lasted for sixty two years until both came together in 1717 to the form the Grand Lodge of England since when the development of Freemasonry, and its spread worldwide, has been extremely well documented.


Working masons with skill transfer to apprentices and recognition of skill levels.

It is generally agreed that freemasonry developed from the medieval stonemasons. These were the operative masons who built the cathedrals and castles.
For security they met and lived in buildings or Lodges at their worksites.
To enable the Master in charge to ascertain the range of skills of the travelling stonemasons, (the ‘free masons’ - not tied as serfs or specifically serving a single master). [Think of the modern term for a qualified craftsman as  a 'journeyman'.]  The free masons who came to offer their services, acted as the stonemasons guilds, which like other crafts or guilds, developed basic ceremonies for passing their skills onto new apprentices. Therefore, like all Guilds, when the apprentice stonemason had achieved a certain skill level he was informed of certain recognition signs, tokens and passwords.

This was necessary as there were no trade union cards, nationally recognised examination bodies or certificates of apprenticeship. But, these recognition signs were used to regulate the craft. Communication of these signs, tokens and words enabled the Master Mason in charge of a project to know a man’s ability.
Communication of these signs, tokens and pass words were closely guarded and, to ensure that the young apprentice understood their importance to the craft, there were many blood curdling oaths placed on him should he divulge them. [It was a time when religious matters were every current in peoples lives.] These pass words have no place in today's society but the initiate is informed that these were once traditional to becoming a free mason.


No one knows why, but in the early 1600s, some operative Lodges began to admit non-craft-stonemasons. They were “accepted” or “gentlemen” masons. Gradually they took over and became Lodges of free and accepted or "speculative masons", no longer having any ‘practical’ connection with the stonemason’s craft of working stone.

As, at this time, only ‘learned’ people could read and write most documentation which has survived tended to be ‘official’ documents. Added to this was the fact that all ritual had to be committed to memory and none actually written down. Masonic Ritual was not published in book form until the late 1800’s, so it was no wonder that the first written documentation was in the diary of Elias Ashmole, in 1646. The Antiquary and Founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, who records in his diary that he was made a Free Mason at his father-in-law’s house in Warrington. None of those present, had any connection with operative craft masonry. Therefore Freemasonry must have been in operation before that date!

Another theory of the start, which could run alongside that above, is that freemasonry was started because the late 1500s or early 1600s was a period of religious and political turmoil and intolerance. It was difficult to express differences of political and religious opinion. Opposing views often split families and resulted in the English Civil War of 1642 to 1646.

Supporters of this theory state that the originators of Freemasonry were men, who wished to promote tolerance and build a better world, in which men of differing opinions could peacefully co-exist and work together for the betterment of mankind. In the custom of their times they used allegory and symbolism to pass on their ideas.


What is the present purpose of Freemasonry?

Answer by speaker “to make good men better”.

Thus the charitable work of the Freemasons, based on the grouping of like-mined persons who have at least “a belief in a higher being” so it encompasses most religions and religious beliefs.
The Warrington masons include mostly Christians of all denominations and a few Jews and Muslims. However no Buddhists are known to be members.
Freemasonry is open to all who declare a belief in a "higher being" / "superior being". Those of no religious belief are unable to be members. Persons with criminal convictions are excluded and those who are members who incur criminal convictions are removed from membership.

Square and Compass 600x604

Square and Compass, with "G" for Geometry or perhaps "God", a supreme being. One on the main symbols of Fremasonry.


Charity Giving Size.

After the National Lottery, the Freemasons are the biggest givers of money to charitable causes in the United Kingdom.
All moneys being collected from donations by their members.

This charitable work is the main purpose of the Freemasons in the making of ‘good men better’ by the doing of charitable work.

As reported in the 22n January Warington Guardian, Head of Cheshire Freemasons, Stephen Blank at a recent meeeting where one million pounds was donated to charity, said: “Freemasons are not a charity themselves and we do not collect money from the public, but every lodge makes collections from its members for charitable use and this soon adds up.”



Women are not now excluded from Freemasonry in some places, however the history of women in Freemasonry is very complex.
Refer articles on French Freemasons and Wikipedia.


The Order of Women Freemasons is the oldest and largest Masonic organisation for women in this country (UK) and works on the lines of regular male Freemasonry.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) have, in a statement issued in 1999, acknowledged the regularity and sincerity of women’s Freemasonry, although they do not officially recognise it and their members cannot take part. Many of our own lodges meet in temples owned by the men’s Order and informal relations are cordial and co-operative. Similarly, there is a reciprocal agreement extended to members of UGLE holding their meetings on our premises.




The Warrington /East Lancs Freemasons have produced a video on Freemasonry that illustrates the talk given in a better way than the present writer could. However it is suggested to play this four minute video with the sound turned down.


Warrington and Culcheth Freemasons.

Due to the extensive documented practices of the Fremasons, they are able to trace most freemasons after the era of documentation started in the 1700s.
The Archivist Caroline Crook gave a vivid illustration of their record keeping and introduced some notable past freemasons of Culcheth and Warrington.
Some are documented at the local Parish Church on the founding stones recording the rebuilding after the fire in 1903 when a great part of the cost was paid for by local freemasons.
Caroline Crook had taken pictures of these inscribed stones to show us, as well as the grave of a local Freemason in Culcheth Parish Church Graveyard.

Members of the Parr family, the Greenhalls, and Stubs, were freemasons.

Lodge of Lights.

An active Lodge was “the Lodge of Light” in Warrington which celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016.
Lodge of Lights, No. 148, the oldest lodge in the Warrington Group in the West Lancashire Province celebrated its 250th anniversary in March 2016.
The Warrington lodges have met in many different buildings around Warrington and eventually built a dedicated Masonic hall for use by local lodges at Winmarleigh House,

Screenshot 2019 11 17 Warrington Museum of Freemasonry Lodge of Lights 1

Lodge of Lights document from Warrington Museum webpage. (screenshot).
This Lodge was founded in 1765.

 Warrington, Winmarleigh House

 Winmarleigh House, Winmarleigh Street. Warrington, WA1 1NB. The meeting place of Warrington freemasons.


The Warrington Museum of Freemasonry.

This is one of four masonic museums in the country and the only one in the North of England.
The museum is described on their own web page, which also has a leaflet for downloading at Link:

A dscriptive  downloadable leaflet is at the bottom of the page.

WMF Tri Fold Leaflet 205x300

Museum Leaflet.


From its humble beginnings in 2010, with a small cupboard, to now with a room full of impressive and unusual artefacts many with interesting stories to tell. The trustees of Warrington Museum of Freemasonry (WMF) have been working tirelessly to achieve charitable status for the last 2 years, its acceptance for charitable status was a cause for great celebration and the picture above shows Kevin Poynton Assistant Grand Master for West Lancashire presenting the certificate to Curator Vic Charlesworth and Archivist Caroline Crook.

Vic Charlesworth said when talking about charitable status “this is a great step forward in the development of the museum and will help us to access specialist funds for the conservation and display of our wonderful artefacts”.
The Museum was formally opened on the 5th March 2015,

The aim of the Museum is to stimulate a wide public interest in the history and development of Freemasonry and to establish the Museum as an integral part of the Warrington Cultural scene with a special focus on the Warrington Freemasons their history and place in the local community.
The aim of the Museum is to stimulate a wide public interest in the history and development of Freemasonry and to establish the Museum as an integral part of the Warrington Cultural scene with a special focus on the Warrington Freemasons, their history and place in the local community.
The museum now has a wide range of artefacts and exhibits, and continues to collect and preserve records, ephemera and artefacts from Masonic and associated fraternal societies. The Museum includes both, permanent and changing displays. The large collection of books and records are available for research purposes. It provides a varied and high quality heritage experience for both Masons and non Masons.

Contact details:

The Museum is located within the Warrington Masonic Hall:
Winmarleigh House, 15 Winmarleigh Street, Warrington WA1 1NB.
Tel: +44 1925 651468.
Museum Opening Times:
Wednesday 9:30am – 12:00 noon
Other times are available by appointment
Curator: Vic Charlesworth
Tel: +44 1925 655416
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The speaker extended a warm welcome to members to visit the museum.


Link to a webpage with the puported meanings of some basic masonic symbols.



Webmaster’s comment.
After this talk I understood much more about the change in personality of the character Pierre in War and Peace after his entry into Freemasonry. In the book we are introduced to the freemasons when Pierre is empowered by a traveller, and later by Count Willarski, to change his life, stand up for himself, and reaffirm his faith in god. Tolstoy portrays freemasons in "War and Peace" as a possitive influence on the world around them, turning a downtrodden and hopeless man into an optimistic and productive member of society. Pierre changes his life for the better, and renounces all negative influences in his life, after being initiated by the freemasons. He even stands up for himself, a major change in the character.


Our members thanked the speakers for their very enthusiastic talk and their dig into the archives to show us how persons in Culcheth and Warrington greatly aided the area with their charitable objectives and undertakings over many years, as well as their commemoration of their members who died during conflict.




20191012 CLHG Report-Child-Labour-1810-1845

20191012 CLHG Report-Child-Labour-1810-1845

On Thursday 11th October 2019 the members and guests listened attentively to a talk by Anna Alexander on “Child Labour in Warrington in the 19th Century” concentrating on the years 1810 to 1845. This period saw a great change in how the “Poor Laws” were administered and the effect of the early industrialisation, with the vast employment of children in the factories and town trades.

The talk was derived from the extensive research on the period 1810 to 1845 during Anna Alexander’s studies for an M.A. from the Open University following her retirement.

Your webmaster has added a comment at the end about present day child labour.

Outline of Industrial Revolution on Warrington in early 1800s.

Warrington had enlarged to a town of about 10,000 people by 1801 in a very haphazard way based on the trades that could be practised in the town and the ‘new trades’ of the industrial revolution.
It was unsanitary, filthy, with very close packed houses in narrow streets without sewage facilities or running water, and ‘yards’ behind and inside closed closes. By 1861 it was over 26,000.

Brief list of events.

1756 Warrington gains its first newspaper
1760 Warrington is famous for its sacking and sailcloth. There is also a pin making and a file and tool making industry in Warrington. There were also sugar refineries and a glass industry.
1801 Warrington is a flourishing town with a population of over 10,500
1813 Improvement Commissioners are given powers to pave the streets Warrington and to clean and light them (with oil lamps)
1821 Warrington is lit by gas
1831 The railway comes to Warrington
1832 Cholera kills 169 people in Warrington
1846 Warrington gains a piped water supply
1847 Warrington is made a borough
1848 The first public library in Warrington opens
1860 A spire is added to St Elphin's Church

Some of these crafts & trades were very well paying, so for youngsters to enter these trades there was a way to have a reasonable life, while others were in very poor paying jobs (if they could get one) or worked at home in hard conditions to aid mothers or fathers doing ‘outwork’ for others.
Agriculture nearby and coal and cloth (sail) making occupied others and the sail making industry for a time was prosperous.

Warrington though a relatively large town was actually had a small area.

Graphic Map.

1832 map Warrington Screenshot 2019 10 11 12 26 47












Above. 1832 map Warrington Screenshot 2019 10 11 12 26 47



OS Sheet116 North of Mersey 1846 Warrington copy1 



From local government website

Warrington Local government site summarises at link shown as

(After the civil wars ) It wasn't long before the confident and outward-looking character of Warrington re-emerged. The town embraced the industrial revolution. it became the centre of not just one, but a whole myriad of industries, from copper smelting to sail-making and pin manufacture. The navigational properties of the river Mersey were improved, canals were built, and the town grew yet more prosperous and popular.


Speaker's talk synopsis.

Our speaker has kindly given us a synopsis of her talk and a copy of some of her slides which are given below.


Child Labour in Warrington 1810-1845 - by Anna Alexander

The period of 1810-1845 was a time of huge change midst the upheaval caused by the industrial revolution and the Napoleonic wars. Political and social disruption, such as the ‘Luddite’ riots during 1811-1816, the demonstrations which resulted in the so-called ‘Peterloo Massacre’ in Manchester in 1819, and the Chartist movement of the 1830s and 1840s, caused governments to fear revolution. There was a belief that the ‘lower orders’ ‘...aimed somehow at the utter unravelling of society...’, and in the absence of former methods of social control, such as that imposed through deference for the upper classes, ‘...modern bureaucracies of official morality...’ arose including the New Police, who were strongly resented by the working classes. Against this background, the lives of working-class people had been irrevocably changed by a move from self-sufficiency and agricultural labour to employment in factories, and the invention of powered weaving looms meant that certain jobs could be done by unskilled workers, and in particular by children. Child labour and its exploitation has been described as ‘ of the most shameful events in our history’, and much early historical debate on child labour focussed on the appalling working conditions and long hours of child workers. Yet child labour was an accepted part of life in the eighteenth and nineteenth century and childhood was seen very differently then.

A recent drama on Channel 4 told the story of children who were apprenticed at Quarry Bank cotton mill in Styal near Manchester in the nineteenth century. Cotton mills were dangerous places to work, and although the television series undoubtedly portrayed the very worst aspects of life in a cotton mill, the jobs were often sought after. Warrington industries came under the government spotlight in the 1830s and 1840s, when parliamentary commissioners were sent to the town to investigate the working conditions of child workers in the town, and their reports have provided historians with valuable evidence on the lives of these children. Warrington was a town of many industries, and child workers, some as young as six years old, contributed to the profits of their employers who included cotton manufacturers, glass makers, wire and file makers pin makers and soap and candle makers. This talk will examine the roles children played in these industries, and how work affected their daily lives. A wide range of industries will be explored, with special emphasis on pin-making, file making and fustian manufacture. There will also be a focus on the employers and their motives.


Webmaster note. Illustrations  and notes oNf the subjects in  the speaker's talk are enlaged upon below.



 A deadly trade slide PastedGraphic 3 © Anna Alexander  pdf

A deadly trade slide notes on climbing boys illnesses PastedGraphic 3 © Anna Alexander pdf

Apart from the major cholera outbreak due to water borne disease there was always the risk of other diseases due to bad conditions.

Graphic. Well water contamination
This central European graphic vividly illustrates the 'spill' from sewage pits and public sewere into local nearby wells thus spreading any waterborne disease, tyical of Warrington "yards".


sewer offspill to well proxyduckduckgocom

 sewer off-spill to well from


 Warringto yard pictiure c02439

Warrington yard picture c02439, this shows a 'wide clean' yard with drain gullet inset in between stone sets.


The Trades.

Town chimney sweeps

 Among the worst occupation was the ‘very slim small boy requirement’ to climb and clean chimneys. Chimney passages often being only a ‘single brick by two bricks’ in area and the vertical rise being often contorted, with the ‘killing bend’ of a 90 degree turn from horizontal to vertical where a boy could fall onto a soot pile and suffocate.
The reclaimed soot was a valuable commodity as it had a resale value.

Illnesses of sweeping boys were very many, including cancer of scrotum.

Graphics:  Chimney run, Problems, Dangers, Boys,

 Seven flue Stack 1834 copy7, showing on right a new costly non-boy cleaning run.

Cross-section of a seven-flue stack in a four-story house with cellars.

An 1834 illustration from Mechanics' Magazine, designed to show the contrast between mechanical sweeping and children sweeping chimneys.

A. a hearth served by vertical flue, a horizontal flue, and then a vertical rise having two right-angled bends that were difficult for brushes.

B. a long straight flue (14in by 9in) being climbed by a boy using back, elbows, and knees

 C. a short flue from a second floor hearth. The climbing boy has reached the chimney pot, which has a diameter too small for him to exit that way.

E. shows a disaster. The climbing boy is stuck in the flue, his knees jammed against his chin.

G. How a flue could be straightened to make it sweep-able by mechanical means

H. A dead climbing boy, suffocated in a fall of soot that accumulated at the cant of the flue.


Dead boy in bend 6797384 f520




















climbing and stuck boy CCbySA 410px Climbing boys in chimneys.PNG



Left one climbing. Right one stuck, and only way to rescue is  by diging out of wall, as Crookshank drawing below.


Chimney boy being resussicated 679 Death of chimney boys showing Crookshanks drawing 679 Death of chimney boys 7386_f1024

Chimney boy deaths ex Dr George Phillips book showing Crookshanks drawing 679 "Death of chimney boys 7386_f1024".
One boy was trapped , the second was sent up to rescue the first by tying a rope onto his legs to pull him down, however both died.


boy chimney sweeps ex castlechimneysweepscouk website cache 2001313

 ex dirty english childsweep2














 Stereoscope view for entertainment purposes.                     On right.  ex dirty english childsweep2, Raw image of forcing a small child (5years?) down chimney



The End of Climbing Boys (in UK).


The end of climbing boys slide PastedGraphic 4pdf  © Anna Alexander  pdf

 Slide The end of climbing boys slide PastedGraphic 4pdf © Anna Alexander pdf


Link to drawing in Welcome collection of a boy with cancer of scrotum.

Drawing of chimney boys cancer of scrotum in Welcome collection


Link to Wikipedia page. This cancer among chimney sweeping boys was the first reported industrial cancer in 1775.

Chimney sweep's cancer, also called soot wart, is a squamous cell carcinoma of the skin of the scrotum. It has the distinction of being the first reported form of occupational cancer, and was initially identified by Percivall Pott in 1775.[1] It was initially noticed as being prevalent amongst chimney sweeps.'_carcinoma

British Disease.

This was a peculiarly Briitish disease as British chimney climbing boy sweeps worked in normal loose fitting clothes or naked, while German chimney sweeps worked in a tight fiting garment, like a modern lycra body suit. Refer to the pages shown as PDF notes in
A Brief Histroy of Scrotal Cancer


US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health
Extracts from "British Journal of Industrial Medicine" now published as "Occupational & Environmental Medice"


 Coal mines.

Coal mines.
Children both girls and boys were used in coal mines for many duties and their small stature allowed them to crawl bend all day through passages, while some were at as stationary post at a passage doorway all day in darkness.


coal hauling by children UK National Archives industrial4b

Trapper ex spartacus educational 00childLab2










                                               Trapper ex spartacus educational 00childLab2




Coal hauling by children UK National Archives industrial4b         On right: All day standing in one place in dark, light on waggon. Trapper ex spartacus educational 00childLab2


ex spartacus educational Woman lowering children to mine shaft 00coalEX2


 Ex spartacus educational Woman lowering children to mine shaft 00coalEX2

It is presumed this drawing is of a the mother lowering her children into a pit shaft money
to earn money for the family.















All of these children worked very long hours for small wages, while some apprentices to high paid skills such as file making were on twenty or more multiples of the lower paid.


File making. A major well paid skilled trade in Warrington.

Diagram. File making 25FIL 5 1 amended hand strike blow cutting copy3
Graphic .Hand stiking groves in file blank before case  hardening.

file making 25FIL 5 1 amended hand strike blow cutting copy3


Peter Stubs Ltd of Warrington, file, hand tool and steel manufacturers.

Peter Stubs (1756-1806) was in business manufacturing files on a small scale by 1777. By 1788 he had acquired the White Bear Inn in Bridge Street, Warrington, and was combining file manufacture there with his business as an innkeeper, brewer and malt maker. He gave up the White Bear concerns in 1803.

[CLHG Writer’s note. The beer waste was used to harden the steel when quenched as both beer and urine have hardening properties on quenching steel.]

1802 the file business moved to a larger site at Scotland Road, in the Cockhedge area of Warrington, where a works including file cutting shops and forging shops had been built.

1806 After Peter Stubs’ death in 1806 the business was developed by his sons, John, William and Joseph Stubs.

The firm sold files made from steel - principally saw-files, watch and clock files and, from 1815, larger machinery (engineers’) files. It also sold a wide variety of other tools, clock engines, small machines and wire, including pinion wire, for making toothed wheels for watches and clocks, and steel wire. The Stubs workshop produced files, carrying out the basic processes of forging, cutting and hardening, and all the attendant subsidiary processes.

1826 Stubs began producing steel themselves, at a newly acquired works in The Holmes, Rotherham, in Yorkshire. The Warrington Works in Rotherham supplied the file works in Warrington with steel and produced other types of steel for sale in England and Europe.

1842 The steel works was expanded at a cost of £20,000. Steel for re-melting was imported from Sweden.

By 1841 the file works had a work force of 200. To cope with demand, some file cutting was done by out-workers. All the other Stubs products were made by cottage industry out-workers and small firms, mainly in South-West Lancashire. Stubs products were sold throughout the U.K. and were also exported. Significant overseas markets included Russia, America, France and what is now Germany.

The company later expanded into steel production at Warrington and became a major world manufacturer of Silver Steel. The modern firm produces Silver Steel, steel wire, key steel and a wide variety of other specialist steel products.


Graphic. Link to Video on file making.


Antikythera Fragment #3 - Ancient Tool Technology - Hand Cut Precision Files

At about 5 minutes into this video it shows exactly the same method, used in metal on anvil, rotated and cut by chisel. The same method was use in Warrington by treadle rope benches for file making some 1800 years later after the Antikythera instrument was made in Greece.


File making by chisel blow on blank Screenshot 2019 10 12 12 16 09

File making by chisel blow on blank Screenshot 2019 10 12 12 16 09


Other trades

Fustian loft ex cheshire image bank approx 1840 Warrington Manchester Road Screenshot 2019 10 11 13 17 12

Fustian loft ex cheshire image bank approx 1840 Warrington Manchester Road Screenshot 2019 10 11 13 17 12. Such lofts gave many women a long day stamding/walking perhaps 20 miles walking in a day to and fro in the loft, slowly and carefully cutting the 'loops' in cloth to make 'fustian' type cloth.

Link to Lymm site with image of fustian cutting, mostly by girls and ladies, but also in second link, by men acording to the second link at a family blog..


Lymm, village website image with fustian cutter in action.



Samuel St Ledger (1821-1882) was a fustian cutter all his life, and so were his sons Ralph, Samuel, William and David. In her younger days his wife, Alice Dodd, was also a fustian cutter. But what did a fustian cutter do?


Link to Portrait of a Fustian Cutter in Warrington Museum and Library.

Warrington Museum Portrait of a Fustian Cutter


 Mills with children.

 Lewis Hine Spinners in a cotton mill 1911


 Later than the1840s of the talk in 1911.   Photo of mill working children, still at this stage children were in a cotton mill. Lewis Hine Spinners in a cotton mill 1911


Later, workhouses would try to get some childen into apprenticeships to ease the burden on the parish costs, or employ them inside the workhouse at a weaving business.

Records of Lymm and Pauper apprenticeships were shown to us, with children bound to masters for long terms by both workhouse and sometimes their own parents to try to save costs and give opportunity at end of a low paid child (say 5 or7 years old to 16 years old) employment period.


Beating and bullying.

Always the 'children' were at very low wages and usually without any protection from harm or bullying or beating by superiors in the workplace.



Education depended on 'Sunday Schools', the school in the workhouse, and an effort in the establishment of "the National Schools".

Ex Wikipedia notes:
A National school was a school founded in 19th century England and Wales by the National Society for Promoting Religious Education. These schools provided elementary education, in accordance with the teaching of the Church of England, to the children of the poor. Together with the less numerous British schools of the British and Foreign School Society, they provided the first near-universal system of elementary education in England and Wales.

(Webmaster's note. Scotland had a completely separate system and had some form of parish schools from The Scottish Education act of 1496 with a plan for the establishment of a school in every parish from 1560 and many acts to enforce schools to be established over the next century.)

Warrington benefited from a Natioal School

National School in Warrington jpg



National School Plaque jpg









     National School  jpg    ex Anna Alexander   (Boys and Girls entrance notice over front lower wndows)                    National School Plaque jpg

Also refer photo on 

A brief historyof the National Schools is on website

PDF-CofE-National Schools History

History notes in above pdf are on website:


Law changes in employment of children.

Major changes were made to the old rules from the 1500s, to try to improve conditions but the law was not rigidly enforced or obeyed, while some improvement was made, it was mainly by Non-Conformist employers in the Warrington area.

Wikipedia comment

Child labour

While the endeavour to enforce labour apart from a contract died out in the latter end of the eighteenth century, sentiment for some time had strongly grown in favour of developing early industrial training of children. It appears to have been a special object of charitable and philanthropic endeavour in the seventeenth century, as well as the eighteenth, to found houses of industry, in which little children, even under five years of age, might be trained for apprenticeship with employers. Connected as this development was with poor relief, one of its chief aims was to prevent future unemployment and vagrancy by training in habits and knowledge of industry, but not unavowed was another. motive: " from children thus trained up to constant labour we may venture to hope the lowering of its price." The evils and excesses which lay enfolded within such a movement gave the first impulse to the new ventures in labour legislation which are specially the work of the nineteenth century. Evident as it is " that before the Industrial Revolution very young children were largely employed both in their own homes and as apprentices under the Poor Law," and that "long before Peel's time there were misgivings about the apprenticeship system," still it needed the concentration and prominence of suffering and injury to child life in the factory system to lead to parliamentary intervention.


From Parliament UK records. Key dates


Legislation Key Dates

Elizabethan Poor Law: parishes to be responsible for their poor

Jonas Hanway, merchant and philanthropist, campaigns to improve working conditions for chimney sweeps' apprentices

Poor Law costing £1.25 million annually; in 1802, £4.25 million, and in 1832, £7 million

1788 - 'Act for the Better Regulation of Chimney Sweepers and their Apprentices'
Sets eight as minimum age for apprenticeship

20,000 apprentices employed in cotton mills

1802 - Health and Morals of Apprentices Act
The first piece of factory legislation

1819 - Cotton Mills Act
No child to be employed under the age of nine in cotton mills

1831 - Factory Act
Limits working day to 12 hours for those under 18

1833 - Factory Act
No children under nine to be employed in factories; most important provision was the appointment of factory inspectors

1834 - Poor Law Amendment Act
Reorganises poor relief under central control

1834 - Chimney Sweeps Act
Raises minimum age of apprenticeship to 10

1840, 1864 and 1875
Further Acts passed to limit the employment of children by chimney sweeps; only the last has any effect

1842 - Mines and Collieries Act
Women and young children under 10 forbidden to work in mines

1844 - Factories Act
Introduces safety regulation in factories

1847 - Factories Act ('Ten Hours Act')
Establishes the ten hour day for women and young people aged 13-18

1850 - Coal Mines Inspection Act
Appoints inspectors of coal mines

Census reveals more than 24,000 boys under 15 working in coal mining

Cotton industry employing 255,000 men, 272,000 women; woollen industry employing 171,000 men, 113,000 women

1860 - Coal Mines Regulation Act
Raises age limit for boys from 10 to 12

1867 - Factory Acts (Extension) Act
Brings all factories employing more than 50 people within the terms of all existing factory legislation; forbids the employment of children, young people and women on Sundays

1872 - Coal Mines Regulation Act
Pit managers to have training

1881 - Mines Regulation Act
Home Secretary empowered to appoint official inquiries into mine accidents

1891 - Factory and Workshop (Consolidating) Act
Raises minimum age of employment in factories to 11; consolidates all previous safety and sanitary regulations


Long hours and little joy.

Vivid descriptions of child labour and the partial relief by some Gentlefolk and Non-Conformist persons throughout these years was illustrated during the talk.



The members and visitors gave their enthusiastic thanks to the speaker for such an enlightening talk.


Extra to talk.
Your webmasters personal comment on this still ongoing problem.

Unfortunately today.
We dress in fashion, and drink tea / coffee mostly based on child labour.

Child labour still gives low cost to  UK persons, but we shift the child labour to other countries far out of sight.
Tea / Coffee pickers in Brazil to give cheap tea / coffee 
Child labour in the fashion supply chain.
Where, why and what can be done, Guardian article

The ILO [International Labour Organisation] estimates that 170 million are engaged in child labour, with many making textiles and garments to satisfy the demand of consumers in Europe, the US, and beyond.

Today Child labour grayTriangle


Children work at all stages of the supply chain in the fashion industry: from the production of cotton seeds in Benin, harvesting in Uzbekistan, yarn spinning in India, right through to the different phases of putting garments together in factories across Bangladesh.

What companies use child labour today?
Fashion Brands that are said to use Child Labour:

H&M: Well, this company has been caught in scandals many times, and they have always been involved in major humanitarian issues over many years. ...
Forever 21: ...
GAP: ...
Nike: ...
Zara: ...
Urban Outfitters: ...
7 Aldo: ...
8 Primark:


In South and Central America including Mexico.



For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:

Why do some companies employ children?
Many of us remember media exposes of young children sewing Nike soccer balls in Pakistani sweatshops for six cents an hour. The national and international media coverage of Nike's use of child labour focused world attention on sweatshop abuses in the garment and sports wear industries.
Less well-known are the stories of teenage girls, often times single mothers themselves, sewing clothes in maquiladora factories in Central America and Mexico for major North American retailers.

It's true that some of these teenagers -- 12 and 13 year olds -- are working illegally. But others -- 15 or 16 year olds -- are often legal employees, pressured to work excessively long and illegal hours that prevent them from finishing high school.

Whether underage workers or legal employees, these young people suffer the same treatment at the hands of their employers: 12 to 18 hour work days, often without overtime pay; verbal, physical, and sometimes sexual abuse; low wages and unhealthy working conditions.

Garment manufacturers in Central America's free trade zones, Mexico's maquiladora factories and Asia's export processing zones, claim they prefer to hire young girls and women because they have nimble fingers. Workers suspect that children and young people are hired because they are less likely to complain about illegal and unjust conditions. And more importantly, they are less likely to organize unions.

In fact, child labour is often directly linked to the low wages paid to adult workers, restrictions on the right to organize, and the lack of affordable child care.

In Bangladesh, many child labourers in the garment industry are the children of women working in the same factories.

If women workers received a living wage and/or their employer provided daycare, their children would not have to work.






2019-10-11 Boundary Stone

 Culcheth-Kenyon Boundary Stone in Brosely Lane.


20191011 CLHG Boundary stone Grade II listed Culcheth-Kenyon ODT.|HLE_A3L_Grade.pdf

A member Culcheth Local History Group has successfully obtained a Grade II listing for the Culcheth-Kenyon Boundary stone marker on Brosely Lane on left hand side of road going from Culcheth to Kenyon, just after junction with Brosely Avenue.

 OS Reference on Historic England Boundary stone Culcheth Keynon listed Grade II PNG

Historic England  

 OpenStreetMap has been edited to include this feature,

OpenStreet Map edited for boundary stone by EM Screenshot 2019 10 11 16 54 23



 Copy of Official Listing


Parish Boundary Stone, Broseley Lane



Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
On the west side of Broseley Lane (B5207), Culcheth, Warrington, approximately 42.5m north-west of the junction with Broseley Avenue.
Statutory Address:
Broseley Lane, Culcheth, Warrington, WA3 4BG



© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale.
For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1464173 .pdf (opens in a new window)

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 11-Oct-2019 at 16:21:42.


Statutory Address:
Broseley Lane, Culcheth, Warrington, WA3 4BG

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
On the west side of Broseley Lane (B5207), Culcheth, Warrington, approximately 42.5m north-west of the junction with Broseley Avenue.
Warrington (Unitary Authority)
Culcheth and Glazebury
National Grid Reference:


Boundary Stone, early C19 or earlier.

Reasons for Designation

The Parish Boundary Stone, Broseley Lane, Culcheth, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural Interest: * it dates to the early C19 or earlier and there is a general presumption that all surviving pre-1850 parish boundary stones should be listed;

* it survives intact in its original position, with a legible inscription, and includes a non-vertical bench mark that adds to its special interest.

Historic Interest: * the stone is a tangible reminder of the delineation of the limits of parochial jurisdiction during the early C19.


The boundary stone is considered to be at least early C19 in date, and to mark the parish boundary between Kenyon and Culcheth, which followed the course of the now culverted Jibcroft Brook. It is depicted on the first edition 1:10,560 Ordnance Survey map, surveyed between 1845 and 1847, and continues to be shown on later editions in the same position as today. The parish boundary was originally marked along its length by a number of boundary stones and posts, of which at least one other is known to survive, situated in a wall adjacent to Boundary Cottages, Wigshaw Lane. The boundary stone was also used as an Ordnance Survey bench mark and is depicted as such on the 1893 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey map. The stone has suffered some minor damage from mowing machines.


Boundary Stone, early C19 or earlier.

MATERIALS: sandstone, painted.

DESCRIPTION: the boundary stone is set on the west verge of Broseley Lane. It has a similar appearance to a small milestone, standing approximately 0.35m high, with a triangular section and a flat top. The latter is inscribed with a non-vertical bench mark symbol. The rear panel is plain, the southern panel is inscribed: BOUN/ CULCHETH and the northern panel is inscribed DARY/ KENYON; the inscription BOUN and DARY forming the word: BOUNDARY. The stone is painted white and all lettering is black.


Geograph - SJ6494: Cut Mark Boundary Stone Wigshaw Lane, accessed 18 April 2019 from


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing








2019-09-15 Mersey & Irwell Navigation

On Thursday September 12th, 2019 Mike Kenwright gave the members and guests a well illustrated talk on "The Mersey and Irwell Navigation" many slides from his private collection of the public and private maps and views in paintings and photographs accumulated by him over many years.

His enthusiasm and knowledge passed to the audience and we learned new things some of considerable interest and astonishment.

Working horses can live to 62 years of age.
A big cheque was issued at company take over.
The development of Mersey Flats as a type of shallow draft sailing boat.

We strongly recommend visiting website
as a summary of subject maitters included in the talk, but by different authors.

Copyright and source of all images are acknowledged. Advise if you require amendment.

JPG ex Pitt Dixon map mi nav JPG



[image map ex ]

The old horse “Old Billy”.

The best painting of the horse is the “Old-Billy-Portrait” in our local Warrington Museum and it would be appropriate for horse lovers or others to visit and see it.
This portrait also shows a Mersey flat in the river background.
Another painting shows him with his carer in pension-hood Mr Harrison who had known the horse for 55 years. Billy was the subject of paintings by several 19th century artists, the best-known being Charles Towne (in Warrington Museum) and William Bradley. Bradley painted Old Billy in his retirement in 1821, the year before Old Billy’s death.

Link to Warrington Museum and opening hours.

[image when approved for issue.]


The Shallow Draft Boats. Mersey Flats


The shallow draft under sail local boats, developed for the Mersey and Irwell canal, later with tow paths being horse drawn by horses like Old Billy when winds were unfavourable

A painting of a Mersey Flat from The National Waterways Museum is given on website:

 Archive print E Chambr Hardman Archive Mersey Flat out of copyright B001573

Archive print E Chambr Hardman Archive Mersey Flat [out of copyright] B001573


The Big Takeover Cheque.

A Big Cheque. GBP £1,710,000.00 in1887
(About GBP £211,000,000.00 in 2018 pounds, but this may be an underestimate.)

Mike told about the The first big cheque issued in UK to settle a long running takeover when the existing canals “The Mersey and Irwell” and its competitor “The Duke of Bridgwater's Canal” were taken into ownership of the Manchester Ship Canal (MSC), to allow the MSC to be started.
Business was slow and ruthless and needed help in Parliament to get the rights to develop as well as raising the money to be put at risk in the adventure in trade to improve transport links

Facsimile of the 1710000 Cheque Paid for the Bridgewater Canal T2022



Quotation of history of Mersey and Irwell Navigation which summarises the talk.



The idea that the Rivers Mersey and Irwell should be made navigable from the Mersey Estuary in the west to Manchester in the east was first proposed in 1660, and revived in 1712 by Thomas Steers. In 1720 the necessary bills were tabled. The Act of Parliament for the navigation was received in 1721. The construction work was undertaken by the Mersey & Irwell Navigation Company.[1] Work began in 1724, and by 1734 boats "of moderate size" could make the journey from quays in Water Street, Manchester, Coordinates: 53°28′46″N 2°15′23″W to the Irish Sea.[5] The navigation was suitable only for small ships, and during periods of drought, or when strong easterly winds held back the tide in the estuary, there was not always sufficient draft for a fully laden boat.

Eight weirs were constructed along the length of the route, and some short cuts were made around shallower parts of the river, with locks, to enable the passage of boats. Some difficult turns along the river were also removed.

The navigation was modified and improved on a number of occasions. A canal section known as the Runcorn and Latchford Canal was added in 1804, to bypass part of the lower reaches. In 1740 the company built quays and warehouses along Water Street in Manchester.

In 1779 a group of businessmen from Manchester and Liverpool purchased the navigation, and began making improvements. A difficult section below Howley lock was cut out by the building of the Runcorn to Latchford Canal, and at Runcorn a basin was built for boats to wait for the tide.

An aqueduct was built from Woolston Cut, to replace water lost from the locks that were used to raise boats into the new canal section.

The completion of the Bridgewater Canal in 1776, followed in 1830 by the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, meant increasing competition for the carriage of goods, and in 1844 the navigation was purchased on behalf of the Bridgewater Canal Company, for £550,800. In 1846 ownership was transferred to the Canal Company.

The company in charge of the navigation was known by several names. These include "The Old Navigation", "Old Quay Company", and "Old Quay Canal".


In 1872, the navigation was sold to the newly formed Bridgewater Navigation Company for £1,112,000, but it had by then fallen into disrepair. In 1882 it was described as being "hopelessly choked with silt and filth", and was open to 50-ton boats for only 47 out of 311 working days.

Economic conditions deteriorated during the mid-1870s, in what has been called the Long Depression. The dues charged by the Port of Liverpool, and the railway charges from there to Manchester, were perceived to be excessive; it was often cheaper to import goods via Hull, on the other side of England, than it was to use Liverpool, about 35 miles (56 km) away. A ship canal was proposed as a way to reverse Manchester's economic decline by giving the city direct access to the sea for its imports and exports of manufactured goods.


The construction of the Manchester Ship Canal obliterated large parts of the earlier navigation, including almost the whole of the Irwell part of the course (except for a short length upstream of Pomona Docks, which is the only surviving part of the navigation today).

A short way downstream of the confluence with the Mersey, the ship canal followed a more southerly course than the old navigation, which remained in use as late as 1950 from Rixton Junction downstream.

The lower reaches of the ship canal from Eastham to Latchford obliterated a large section of the Runcorn to Latchford Canal, leaving just a short stub joining the navigation to the Canal near Stockton Heath. The Woolston New Cut, excavated in 1821, is still visible although completely dry. Woolston Old Cut, built in 1755, still exists although the lock is gone.


Design and construction

There were originally eight locks along the navigation. Each lock chamber was 13 feet wide by 65 feet long.

Throstles Nest Lock was the highest on the navigation. It was followed by Mode Wheel lock. Lock 3 was at Barton-upon-Irwell, next to James Brindley's original Barton Aqueduct. The remains of the lock island appear to be situated in the same location as the island presently used for the swing aqueduct. Stickins Lock followed, in a 600-yard (550 m) cut. There were further locks named Holmes Bridge, Calamanco, Holmes Bridge and finally Howley Tidal.

Further locks were added throughout the route's history. These include a new Stickins Lock, Sandywarps Lock in a cut located close to the confluence of the Irwell and Mersey, Butchersfield Locks (located on a short cut known as the Butchersfield Canal), Woolston New (located at the upper end of Woolston New Cut), Paddington Lock (lower end of Woolston New Cut), Woolston Old Lock, Latchford, and Old Quay Sea Locks.

[Image from Wikipedia of canal as lock map]

 2 Paddington Locks painting before 50 480 x 347 300x217

Paddington lock painting by young member of lockkeeper's family.


Model of a Mersey and Irwell FlatT2602odel


Model of a Mersey Flat.[Model of a Mersey and Irwell FlatT2602]



 Mersey Flat ex wwwnewcuttrailcom wp content uploads 2016 01 Mersey Flat pic 1754 x 1275 50 877 x 638 50 e1454694713793jpgpic 1754 x 1275 50 877 x 638 50 e1454694713793

 Ex NewCutTrail article.
The Flat in the photo appears to be a sloop rigged craft (i.e. single triangular main sail with a smaller foresail). This was the most common type of Flat. What is slightly unusual is the number of men working her, most craft were crewed by two men and a boy.


Things to do:

Cycling on the New Cut trail


New Cut Trail website mapmap high res 5 JPG



See old maps on

Visit Warrington Museum

View on YouTube
A talk from 2018 by Mike Kenwright on “Rambles around Woolston”



The members and guests thank Mike Kenwright for his dedicated hours of study and accumulation of illustrations which gave us a simple history of a most complex undertaking by the adventures of the canal era.



Illustrations source and all copyrights acknowledged.

2019-05-09 Thomas Penketh

On Thursday evening the 9th of May 2019, the thirty six members and visitors were  enthralled by a very professional and well researched talk on Thomas Penketh,  a local Warringtonian, who became an Augustinian Friar and  who had an eventful life as an international renowned scholar  and head of his order in England, before suffering many years after his death a reputational 're-write' to suit the incoming propaganda of the Tudors  by Thomas Moore. He is even mentioned as a 'bad guy' in Shakespeare.


Thomas Penketh

Thomas Pencketh ex Libreria del convento di S Barnaba a Brescia Thomas Penketh proxyduckduckgocom


Portrait of Thomas Penketh from Augustinian Order resources.

Synopsis of his talk by Bill Cooke.

 Words below by Bill Cooke

Thomas Penketh,  A great Warringtonian

The problem: 

William Beamont, the great nineteenth century historian of Warrington was worried by Thomas Penketh (1437-87). So much so he felt the need to apologise for his actions.
What had Penketh done to deserve a posthumous apology?

The Warrington Museum.

This is what Warrington Museum has to say about Penketh:
‘A local scholar, Thomas Penketh became head of all the Austin friars in England by 1480. Mentioned in Shakespeare’s play Richard III,
Friar Penketh’s ill-advised support for the king led to his disgrace and downfall.’


Bill Cooke's opinion on the Warrington Museum description.

 Unfortunately, most of this is incorrect.

Firstly, Penketh was not merely a ‘local scholar’. He was a scholar of international repute.

The Wikisource quotes Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 44 Penketh, Thomas by Alice Margaret Cooke, which makes the same error of assuming the Friar  was 'degraded' during his lifetime! This may be source of the Warrington Museum entry error.,_Thomas_(DNB00)

He became a worldwide authority on the philosophy of John Duns Scotus. After studying at the university at Padua, Penketh was asked to stay on as professor of metaphysics until 1475, before being offered an even more prestigious position at the university at Pavia.
Unfortunately, he could not take up this position as he returned to England, where he became the Provincial of the Austin order in England for the second time.
He served first from 1469, taking office shortly after graduating with a doctorate in theology from Cambridge university in 1468.
Penketh supported Richard III in a sermon at Easter 1484, validating Richard’s rule in terms of canon law and citing the alleged bastardy of the princes in the tower as reasons for their ineligibility to rule.
This was why William Beamont felt the need to apologise for Penketh.
It is not correct, though, to say that Penketh suffered ‘disgrace and downfall’ as a result of his support for Richard III. His actions were entirely consistent with his beliefs and shortly after giving his Easter sermon, Penketh was re-elected to his third term as Provincial of the Austin order in England.
Penketh died peacefully while holding this office in 1487.

We don’t have to agree with Friar Penketh to recognise him as an outstanding Warringtonian.


Dr Bil Cooke's current teaching and studies:

Dr Bill Cooke teaches philosophy and religious studies at Priestley College in Warrington.
He is writing a book on the intellectual history of Warrington.
Synopsis of talk given to the Culcheth Local History Society, 9 May 2109; by Bill Cooke.

End of Bill Cooke's synopsis.


 What Bill Cooke brought out and vividly illustrated, was that the 'blackening' of the real history and work of Frier Penketh  was in fact  'propoganda' many years after the Friar death against Frier Penketh to suit the change in Monarchy and was carried out by the master of propaganda Thomas Moore to suit the politics of his age and his master Henry VIII.

Refer: British Library reference:


Thomas More's History of King Richard III


Thomas More – a public servant who from 1518 served on Henry VIII’s Privy Council and later became Lord Chancellor – wrote his History of King Richard III between around 1513 and 1518.

More’s account – which dramatised conflicts, provided descriptions of both body and mind, and looked for causes as well as recording facts – was popular and was incorporated into the work of other chroniclers, including Holinshed and Stow, as well as influencing dramatists such as Shakespeare.

The work survives in English and Latin versions, both unfinished, with some variation in detail between the two. More borrows freely from other Tudor accounts of Richard’s reign, such as those by John Rous and Polydore Vergil, and adds original detail from direct testimony.
The portrayal of Richard III

Richard III’s Tudor successors from Henry VII onwards had a vested interest in portraying him as a bad, and indeed unlawful, king to increase their own legitimacy as the line who deposed him. More’s account, written under Henry VIII, follows the Tudor propagandist line and paints Richard as a usurper, accusing him of killing the princes in the tower (it is likely but not proven that Richard arranged their deaths).

Half way down the first column on page 37 is More’s now famous description of Richard:
‘little of stature, ill featured of limes, croke backed, his left shoulder much higher than his right, hard favoured of visage … he was malicious, wrathfull, envious, and from afore his birth, ever frowarde.’
He also describes Richard’s difficult birth, used to portray him as monstrous and unnatural, reporting that it was said he was born feet first and ‘not untothed’ (i.e. born with teeth). More considers the possibility that these reports go beyond truth out of hatred for Richard, but also ‘that nature chaunged her course in hys beginning, whiche in the course of his lyfe many thinges unnaturallye committed.’ In the second column, More also describes Richard as ‘close and secrete, a deepe dissimuler’ and ‘not letting to kisse whome hee thought to kyll’, a line that seems to anticipate Shakespeare in Richard’s line ‘why, I can smile, and murther whiles I smile’ (3 Henry VI, 3.2.182).
Shakespeare’s Richard III and More’s History

More’s History is the main source for Shakespeare’s play Richard III, although there is no evidence that Shakespeare knew the 1557 version in addition to the 1548, which he had definitely read. More’s witty and ironic presentation of Richard and his villainy seem to have been particularly influential, as were the parallels he drew between theatre and politics: ‘And so they said that these matters bee kynges games, as it were stage playes, and for the more part plaied upon scaffolds’ (p. 66).


 ex augnet Richard III AN4360 U12243 500u 250x368

 ex augnet Richard III AN4360 U12243 500u 250x368


Foreign Painting of Penketh as a worthy person.

 International reputation during Friar Penketh's lifetime is shown by the painting in Italy.

Thomas Penketh proxyduckduckgocom

 Refer: Italian fresco of Friar Penketh ,   Descriptionis in Italian in this reference.

Thomas Pencketh, Libreria del convento di S. Barnaba a Brescia. The illustration of the illustrius scholar and teacher.

The Friar's main studies were on the writings of 'Jihn Duns Scotus' a major study for senior churchment of his day.


ex augnet Penketh writing in Latin printed 1481 AN4360 AC985 310u

The printed works of Friar Penketh are illustrated above.
From ex-augnet_Penketh-writing-in-Latin_printed -1481_AN4360_AC985_310u


Duns Scotus.  


JohnDunsScotus full1

Duns Scotus painting from

Juan Duns Escoto, por Justus van Gent, Roma, Palacio Barberini; Justus van Gent (fl. 1460–1480) (Public Domain)

Refer for works of Duns Scotus:


Present memorials of Penketh.

The memories of Friar Penketh about us, are in his name in use in London places and the pub in Warrington

The church where Friar Penketh was located in London may be as this illustration:

 ex augnet original Augustinian church in London29899853564 699db942a4 b

ex augnet original Augustinian church in London29899853564 699db942a4 b 

Friar Penketh Pub 150

Friar Penketh Pub (ex Whitbreads) in Warrington.


Articles on the Augustinian Order.




Writings of Friar Penketh.

Copies of the books are held by libraries listed in

 list of books whose authors include Thomas Penketh available from libraries:


Statue of a Friar in London.  "Austin Friars"

ex augnet statue 30414099192 69df3e6298 b




The talk was a magnificent visitation into how propaganda after a person's death can truely destroy a reputation gained during life.


The members and visitors give theri heartfelt thanks to Bill Cooke for his talk and presentation.