Thornton Cleveleys in old picture postcards

Thornton Cleveleys in old picture postcards

:   Ralph Smedley
:   Lancashire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2918-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Thornton Cleveleys in old picture postcards'

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These days Thornton Cleveleys is a pleasant and popular district and holiday resort but its origins go deep into the distant past and Thornton is listed in the Domesday Book as Torenturn.

Cleveleys, the other half of the township, really belongs to the twentieth century and the origin of the name is unknown, though it is believed to derive from a Mr. Cleveleys who kept an inn.

North of Cleveleys was Rossall Hall or Grange, ancestral home ofthe Allen family, the most famous member ofwhich was William Allen who became Cardinal Allen. There was no Fleetwood then, only what was described on old maps as a rabbit warren.

Thornton, mainly marshland, was drained by the Thornton Marsh Act of 1799 and then enclosed by Bold Fleetwood Hesketh, Lord of the Manor, who lived at Rossall and who built the first sea defences at Cleveleys, Anchorsholme and Rossall.

Until late last century Thornton was basically agricultural and Marsh Mill, built in 1794, was and still is the tallest windmill in the Fylde.

Because of flooding from the sea - flood waters sometimes extended eastwards from Cleveleys to Thornton Parish Church, nearly two miles - farmers erected earth barriers called ramps to keep flood waters at bay and these were the origin of the names Rarnper-road, now Victoria-road, and Ramper-gate.

A Wesleyan chapel was built in 1812 at Thornton and the parish church in 1835.

Industry arrived at Thornton in 1889 when 22 acres at Burn Naze near the Wyre estuary were acquired for building a salt

works and production began in the early 1890's. This works was amalgamated with similar companies to form the United Alkali Company and in the 1890's a soda ash plant was opened at Burn Naze and this site has been, since 1926, part of the ICI complex there.

One of the highlights of the local year began in the late 1880's and early 1890's with the annual Club Day of the Imperialarder of Mechanics, the origin of gala day which has continued since then.

Just south of Cleveleys was Eryngo Lodge, owned by John Cocker, brother of Blackpool's first Mayor, and in the adjoining parkland, largely in Cleveleys, were deer, llama and exotic birds and slightly further south was Anchorsholme Hall where Princess Louise, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, spent her honeymoon. The hall was built in 1802 for Charles Inman, founder of the Inman cotton line, and it was demolished in the 1960's, the same decade that saw the demolition of Cleveleys Hydro, forrnerly Eryngo Lodge.

Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, MP for Preston from 1832 to 1847, Iived at Rossall Hall and was responsible for the foundation of Fleetwood but he under-estimated its cost and was forced to sell some of his vast estates. He left Rossall in 1844 for the south of England and died in 1866. In 1875 the Fleetwood Estate Company was formed and less than twenty years later Mr. T.G. Lumb became one of the two founders of modern Cleveleys when he was appointed managing director.

Soon after Sir Peter's death the Horrocks family, famous for textiles, bought the Towers, a 100 acres of land rich in game off Holrnefield-avenue, Cleveleys, and the shooting lodge in the grounds, where Mr. Lumb and his family lived at the turn

of the century, became a private school in its last years and was demolished in the 1960's.

The Fleetwood Estate Company bought extensive parts of Sir Peter's land and the whole of the Horrocks estate.

In 1894 Thornton, which inc1uded Cleveleys, was granted parish council status - previously it had been administered by Poulton - and this council continued until 1900 when Thornton Cleveleys became an urban district council and remained so until 1974 when it was incorporated in Wyre Borough Council.

By the late 1880's both Fleetwood and Blackpool were growing rapidly and the Blackpool Electric Tramway Company was formed in 1885 and in the 1890's work started on building a tram system along the coast from Blackpool to Fleetwood and two men, Benjamin Sykes and T.G. Lumb, both engineers, joined forces to launch a tramway system.

Mr. Sykes bought Eryngo Lodge, where he lived, and made plans to turn it into what became Cleveleys Hydro, and Mr. Lumb bought the Towers and lived there. He became Mayor of Blackpool in 1926 and a Freeman of that borough after World War Two and he died in 1953, aged 91. Despite his over fifty years work for Blackpool, he never lived there but always in various parts of Thornton Cleveleys.

Early this century, Mr. Lumb began a housing development at Rossall Beach and was assisted by a young architect, Edwin L. Lutyens, who became Sir Edwin Lutyens, designer of modern Whitehall, the Menin Gate and the Viceroy's Palace at New Delhi.

Mr. Lumb visited the then new Letchworth Garden City and was determined to launch something similar at 'Cleveleys Park' and, helped by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway,

plans were put in hand for a 'cottage exhibition' in Stockdove-way, Whiteside-way, West-drive and part of Cleveleysavenue. Building started in 1906 and prizes were offered for different designs. The exhibition ran from July to September, 1906, and was a huge success.

Also in 1906 the Thornton gas works opened and in 192 7 an electricity supply was laid on.

Cleveleys inevitably attracted entertainers during the summer and one of the first was Stratton Wells in around 1910 and there were others, mostly for one season, but soon after World War One the most famous of them, 'Tommy and the Jolly Tars', arrived and they were annual visitors until almost World War Two. They attracted huge crowds and there were other concert parties on the sands and at the Arena, built after a storm in 1927 wrecked most of the promenade. Beanland's Pavillon was a 'live' theatre from World War One to the 1930's when it became a cinema, and other entertainments were the 'Happiness Ahead' revues at the Queen's Theatre. There were three cinemas, the Savoy, the Odeon and the Verona at Thornton, and there were regular dances at the Park Club, St. Andrew's Hall, the Queen's Theatre and the Lecture Hall.

In 1900, when land at what became Victoria-square cost half a crown (l2Yzp) a square yard, Henry Fenton became the new council's fust surveyor but he was also chief of the fire brigade, in charge of the gas works after 1906, health inspeetor, building inspeetor and he became chief of Air Raid Precautions (ARP) on the outbreak of war in 1939.

In the early days of the gas works at Thornton, if pressure was low, Mr. Fenton would detail a man to sit on the small gasometer to increase pressure - and it worked!


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1. Looking over to Wardleys Hotel at Hambleton from Stanah on the Thornton side of the river. The wooden staging was for the ferryboatman who lived at Cockle Hall, situated near cockle beds. lt was a sm all, white cottage, the hill rising behind it being the highest land in Thornton. When the boatman was required by anyone on the opposite side, they either shouted or whistled him over. The last known boatman was a Swarbrick who lived on the Wardleys side, To the right ofWardleys Hotel were eighteenth century warehouses in use when Poulton-le-Fylde was an important port before Fleetwood was founded.

2. In 1900 when Thornton Cleveleys was elevated to urban district council status their sole financial asset was t: 15 6s 8d cash from the previous parish council against a liability of t:2 7 4s 8d to Lancashire County Council. The new council took over some former officials including the clerk, Mr. John Jagger, headmaster of Baines' Endowed School, Thornton, seen here with a class in 1911. Amongst the pupiIs in the foreground is Syd Preston, the son of James Preston Station Master from 1900 to 1913.

3. Taken from the signal box looking south towards Poulton this photograph shows the station in the early 1900's, when it was part of the Laneashire and Yorkshire and Laneashire and North Western Joint Railway, Preston and Wyre Line. Originally Ramper Station, then rebuilt and renamed Cleveleys Station and eventually, after a legal battle whieh was as the result of an irate lady passenger alighting at the wrong station, Thornton for Cleveleys. This name was transferred to the new station which was built on the north side ofthe road in 1926 and closed to passenger traffie on June 1st, 1970.

4. Station approach, Victoria Road, Thornton shows behind the signal in the centre the Station Master's House which was on the platform. At the fourth house from the right, on the corner of Balmoral Place, lived Mr. John Jagger, headmaster of Baines' Endowed School, Thornton. Today these houses are part of a very busy shopping area. The huge horse chestnut tree on the left was later in the station approach and bus terminal, All this area was afterwards demolished and is now a shopping area.

5. Thornton Cleveleys Gala had its origins in club days which began in the late 1880's but children only featured prominently in the celebrations after the turn of the century. Leading the procession along Victoria Road are loca1 morris dancers. The route remained unchanged for over seventy years.

6. All dressed up and somewhere to go. This 1912 photograph was taken outside the Gardeners' Arms Hotel at Thornton. The man in morning suit and top hat is Mr. Smethurst, the landlord, and on his left is a friend, Mr. Leadbetter. At the rear of the dray, leaning on a pole, is a gala character dressed as a bear. The vehicle was pulled by a decorated shire horse, a famous feature of galas until World War Two,

7. "I'ay-pot Row' which was part of Station Terrace in Victoria Road, Thornton at its junction with Hawthorne Road. It earned this name because women from the cottages crossed the road to empty their tea-pots over the hedge. Hidden behind this row was a very deep well which was renowned for the clarity of its water. The shoe repairers in the picture was for many years a confeetieners run by the Misses Ashton.

8. Looking north along Hawthorne Road, which was former1y Occupation Road, This photograph, taken around 1906, give a graphie idea of what most of Thornton was like before the huge building programmes that followed the two World Wars and transformed what had previously been a quiet rural village into modern Thornton Cleveleys. The thatched cottage on the left was for many years the home of the Chew family, market gardeners and keen horticulturalists.

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