Membership Mailing Workshop

Membership secretary, Cathryne Lobley, had us well organised today stuffing envelopes with everyone’s new membership card and an update on events. You should be receiving these in the next day or two.

Pendle`s Hidden Valley: Field Walk 5th April

A small group joined by new member, Len, undertook a field walk of a portion of the Hidden Valley, commencing from the track adjacent to St Nicholas’ church. With a very helpful commentary on the history of the area from Brian, the lodges and bank features were pointed out and ancient field boundaries noted. The site of a bloomery, previously noted, was examined and the possibility of carrying out trial trenches excavation this summer discussed. The route covered took us up the side of Black Hill which gave a good overview of the valley and down the hillside back into the village of Sabden. Brian pointed out a trackway which he thought was the original road down from the hilltop and across the valley. We all agreed that this looked very probable. The area around the bridge was examined, looking for possible mill lodge overflows into the river.
Time and the weather defeated us at that point so it was agreed that the planned second portion of the route across the other side of the valley would take place at a later date

Four Spring Talks plus a Surprise!

Scan 1Friday evening’s ‘Four Spring Talks’ was a  relaxed and very enjoyable time.  Alex Whitlock got things off to a good start with a fascinating overview of the pre-historic stone tools found in recent years in the Wycoller area, most of which are of Mesolithic date. Paul Hickman continued the archaeological theme by descibing four digs he was involved in last year, in the counties of Dorset, Cumbria and Lancashire. Gillian Greenwood returned the focus to Wycoller and Trawden by showing the great variety of bridges, ancient and modern, that exist there while David Morris illustrated the recent restoration of Rochdale Town Hall’s Victorian Exchange. Mike Handford then surprised everybody by announcing his discovery of several documents from the early days of the Archaeology Group, including the hand-written minutes of the very first meeting in 1983, which several present had actually been at.  The evening finished with tea, coffee and buisuits and much discussion and reminiscing!

Pendle’s Hidden Valley – 22nd March

Here is a very quick précis of a short day before we got rained off.  We will do the planned walk next time.
After separating from out barn recording friends at the Pendle Heritage Centre, four of us did a short walk to the spot east of Sabden where Read History Group found slag on Tuesday.
Having looked at the site, it looks highly likely that we have evidence of our third bloomery in the valley.  The site may be more complete than our excavated Old House bloomery, though probably more disturbed.  An initial series of test pits some time in the future would be useful rather than a full scale dig.

Day Trip to Stoke-on-Trent

Saturday 15th March.  Ten of us boarded the coach for a day out in that well known tourist trap, Stoke on Trent.  Our first stop was Etruria which our leader assumed was to see the famous Wedgwood factory.  Sadly that was demolished some years ago, what we actually enjoyed was a journey back in time to understand how they put the bone in china courtesy of a guided tour of the last steam powered potters grinding mill in Britain.  After being regally entertained with complimentary tea, coffee  and chocolate biscuits we moved on to lunch at the Gladstone.

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William Pickles Hartley

William Pickles Hartley. World famous Jam Maker

David Penney gave the Friends an interesting talk about the Colne born and bred successful businessman William Pickles Hartley. Born in very humble surrounding he built up the worlds biggest Jam making business. He never forgot his local roots and gave Colne its Hartley Hospital, his daughter also gave the town its Maternity home..He was made a Freeman of Colne and also of Liverpool

Thanks David for a well presented talk.