Sir Roger Bannister

Sir Roger Bannister, who was the first person to achieve the ‘impossible’ by breaking the four minute mile, has died at the age of 88. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and all who knew him. Sir Roger was a descendant of the Bannisters of Park Hill and a great supporter of the Heritage Centre since its inception. We shall miss his enthusiastic support and encouragement.

His famous one mile run in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds took place at the Iffley Road Ground in Oxford on 6th May 1954. It was a true landmark of physical human achievement. He later became an important doctor and academic. Continue reading “Sir Roger Bannister”

Stunning Selvedge Fair: 23rd September

Travelling North for the first time, the Selvedge Fair is beautifully curated by the team behind Selvedge magazine and features some of the best in contemporary textiles and crafts. A collection of 26 makers and merchants will come together to showcase their work. Free workshops will be offered throughout the day, led by Textile Designer, Priscilla Jones and Kate Whitehead, and the fair will host a demonstration from milliner, Chrissie King.

There will also be a drop in workshop from Graduate, Lisa Scarlet with a minimum payment of £3.50 for making a brooch. Lisa’s work is displayed at Gawthorpe as part of the Fabrications Festival happening all of September. Continue reading “Stunning Selvedge Fair: 23rd September”

Future of Queen Street and Helmshore Textile mills thrown into fresh doubt

The future of Queen Street and Helmshore Textile mills heritage destinations is again under threat after Lancashire County Council suddenly and unexpectedly shut them down last year. English Heritage, seen by many as the museums’ saviour,  has now pulled out of taking them over because the scale and risk of the two projects are too great for the new fledgling charity. It is shocking that the future of such world class heritage destinations could be passed around in this chaotic way.

Here are two newspaper reports…

Cave Archaeology in the Yorkshire Dales

Our first evening lecture as part of our Autumn programme was given by Dr Phil Murphy on Caves, Cavers, Collapses and Corpses and proved to be illuminating in various ways. He discussed mainly the discovery and opening up of Victoria Cave, Settle. This is a very important and renowned cave principally for the  scientific evidence that it provides for climate change. The different strata that was found and the evidence of hyena and hippopotamus – warm cycles and reindeer – cold cycles over thousands of years was pivotal to scientific understanding. He opened and closed with some evocative lines by Auden.   “When I try to imagine a faultess love or the life to come, what I hear is the murmur of underground streams, what I see is a limestone landscape”.

September Visit to Woodend Mining Museum

A party of 11 members of the Friends were welcomed by Carol and Harry Johnson, the owners of the Woodend Coal Mining Museum. After an excellent ….. lunch we were given a lively tour of the small but very interesting Museum.   cafe (4)We were shown a plethora of mining equipment and it was easy to understand how hard the working lives of the miners and pit ponies were. This was matched by the social conditions of the time, some of which some of us know first hand and definitely via word of mouth from family and friends – if you were brought up in NE Lancashire. You might be surprised by the number of pits in the area and the distances some workers had to travel underground.ImageHandler.ashx

It is well worth a visit – they are closed Mondays, admission £3 and the lunch is very good value, they do afternoon tea also.   It’s a good place to while away a few hours on a rainy day,. In spring I believe there are over 10,000 daffodils on display.

For more info visit

Gayle Wray