Up Holland in old picture postcards volume 1

Up Holland in old picture postcards volume 1

:   Dr. Allan Miller
:   Lancashire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-6226-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Up Holland in old picture postcards volume 1'

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The village of Up Holland in West Lancashire has had a long and eventful history and it has seen many changes; its very name has had various spellings but the official modern version - 'Up Holland' - has been used throughout this baak in the interests of consistency. It was mentioned in the Domesday Baak of 1086 when it was recorded that Steinulfheld Up Holland and that it consisred of two 'carucates' ofland worth 64- pence. It increased in importance during the Middle Ages, when the Holland fami!y rose to political and economie prominenee and established Up Holland as a centre of their power and influence. Amongst other things the Hollands endowed a monastery in the village whieh, even after the 'dissolution of the monasteries' in the 16th century, was to remain important in the local community. A teacher, Adam Martindale, chose to set up a school in Up Holland in the 17th century in preferenee to other local villages. because of its 'prettie church towre' and even though he was later subjected to 'great inconveniences' because of the Civil Wars in the area. Another teacher, Ellen Weeton, wrote copieus letters and her jourrial gives a comprehensive pieture of Up Holland in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the very period when the village's most infarnous inhabitant, George Lyon, the highwayman, Iived and was hanged.

This baak aims to present a picture of Up Holland between 1880 and 1930, using 76 postcards to illustrate aspects of social and economie life in the village. In 1880 the population of Up Holland was 4-,384-, with 2,24-0 rnales and 2,14-4- females. 14-29 of them were children under the age of 10, which represented 32.6 per cent of the total population; only 64- people were over 70 years old, which was 1.S per cent of the population. 391 residents were born outside Lancashire, coming mainly from Ireland, but also from Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Hang Kong, Russla and the Unired States of America. Old industries such as

dornestic handloom weaving and uail making had declined: the main industries were coal mining, with SS 1 employees, and agriculture with 24-4- workers.

Because Up Holland was situated on two roads from Ormskirk to Wigan and from Preston to Prescot, it was natural that it should have many public houses - half way houses for travellers and their horses. In 1890 there were no less than thirty pubs in Up Holland; one public house for every 1 SO people. With the passing of the Compensation Act (1904-) a number closed and the owners received appropriate compensarion. However, in the 1930s Up Holland still had twenty pubs; one public house for every 270 villagers.

Up Holland has always been a centre of education. After the Civil Wars of the 17th century, the villagers established a grammar school; the original building is protected as part of Up Hollaud's treasured heritage. During the 19th century elementary education was split off from the grammar school and the Church ofEngland supported six junior schools and fought hard to resist the introduetion afbaard schools. Other denominations also had their own schools in the village. The grammar school itself, from an uncertain future in 1880, had become an important educational instirution by 1930 because of the work of influential head teachers. Up Holland Grammar School no langer exists, but it spawned the succes sf ul Up Holland High School and Winstanley Sixth Form College.

Up Holland has also been a centre of religion throughout its history. The Anglican Parish Church of St. Thomas the Martyr stands on the site ofthe old medieval monastery. It was described by the Bishop of Liverpool as not only 'the glory of Up Holland' but also as 'one of the glories of the diocese of Liverpool, and one of the glories of the whole of Lancashire'. People have always been attracted by the 'curious and

quaint relics' of irs interior and by the challenge of climbing the tower. Up Holland also remained a centre of the 'old religton' .The foundation stone of St. Ioseph's College was laid in 1880 and by 1930 this Roman Catholic Seminary providing training for priests had become 'almost a university in size and impartance. The magnificent listed building survives though its future utilisation temains to be decided, Opposite the College is the Carmehte Nunnery, esrablished in Up Holland in 1917. Other religious denominations were also well cstablished in Up Holland, particularly the Methodists, who had active chapels in School Lane, at Hall Green, in Tontine and at Crawford and Digmoor.

One reason why religious groups chose to locare in Up Holland was its natural beauty. It was described in 1880 as a 'stretch of green country, .. the arable land being interspersed with small wooded copses, glistening streams and distant hills'. This was the basis of much of the social life of Up Holland; villagers gravitated towardsAbbey Lakes, Dean Wood and Ashurst Beacon for leis ure and recreation. They enjoyed walks, sports, dances, music, shows and field treats; on special occasions they used trams, charabancs, buses and trains to visit tourist resorts like Southport, New Brighton, Blackpool, Morecambe, Windermere and Llandudno.

The core of the vil!age was the area near the Parish Church, where ParIrament Street, School Lane and Church Street converged. That is where most people lived, some in grand accommodation and the majority in terraeed houses and cottages. Th.is was where the plethora oflarge and small shops made Up Holland virtually self-conrained. It was there that they celebrated the major royal and political events. Bnt there was also social and economie life in the more remote hamlets such as Tontine, Roby Mil! and Crawford.

By 1930 Up Holland's traditional economie actlvities - farming, coal-

mining, quarrying and brick mak.ing - were in dechne. The economie depression praduced mass unempleyment, to such an extent that Up Holland was selected to trial an innovative experiment to combat the evils of unemployment. The attempted solution attracted national interest when it was visited by royalty.

In the preparation of this baak I have been helped directly and indirectly by a number of people and it is my pleasure to thank them. The late Joe Bagley inspired me, and many ethers, to research into and to write about local history; his 'History of Up Holland Grammar Schoor remains the model for anybody undertaking work on the village. Lancashire Publications Limited allowed me access to the Wigan Observer newspaper archives. The assistance of staff at Wigan History Shop was much appreciated. Reverend Peter Bradley, Rector of Up Holland Parish Church, made back copies of the Church Magazine available to me. Mrs. Olive Parkin readily permitted me to use research by a Local History group in Up Holland. Mr. Bob Griffiths kindly allowed me to see his manuscript on Up Holland's public houses. Most of the photographs were loaned to me free charged by Lancashire County Library Service and without this generosity and support the baak could not have been completed. I am also indebted to Dr. MegWhittle, archivist at St. Ioseph's College in Up Holland, for the laan of photographs. Photographs were also purchased from the Wigan Archives Unit and Iam grateful to Mr. Alastair Gillies and Mr. Len Hudson for their assistance, A number of other people helped with information and/ or allowed me to copy their photographs - too many to name but thanks to all. Last, but not least, I must say a special thank you to my wife, Enid, and my two sans, Simon and Mark, for their encouragement and support.

I This photograph of an oil painting by Charles Towne (1763-1840) depiets the historie rural nature of Up Holland, the village nestling in the lee of the Ashurst- Billinge ridge with the Parish Church of St. Thomas the Martyr at its care. When the Roman Catholic Church was seeking a site for its new Diocesan Serninary in 1 880 , Up Holland was selected because it was 'a quiet country place' far removed from the bustle and traffk of any large town. lts elevated position produced a healthy atmosphere and the 'beau ties of nature' abounded in' gardens and fields or along the highroads and bye-lanes'. Likewise, on a visit to Up Holland in 1913, the Angli-

can Bishop of Liverpool observed that the parish of Up Holland was 'one ofthe most picturesque and most romantic of all the diocese of Liverpool' .

2 The manor of Up Holland was the centre of the Holland family estates during the Middle Ages. The Hollands were one of the most powerful families in Lancashire, partly because of the patronage of the Earls of Lancaster. One way in which 'new' -landed families established thernselves politically and socially was by contributing wealth to the Church. Thus in 1307 Robert Holland endowed a Chapel Collegiate in Up Holland dedicated to St. Thomas the Martyr, the patron saint of the Earls of Lancaster. In 13 18 this was converted to a Priory, the last such pre-Reformation foundation in England. Up Holland Priory accommodated King Edward II in 1323

when he came to the NorthWest to quelliocal civil wars. The Abbey virtually disappeared in the 16th century with HenryVIII's 'dissolution of the monasteries' , except for the ivy-covered wall near

the site of the present Parish Church.

3 The first permanent school in Up Holland dates back to the 17th century and the protected building can still be seen in School Lane. Following the trauma of the civil wars, which effectively terminated education locally, a number of Up Holland gentlemen and yeomen established a grammar school; Richard Leigh gave Milnehey meadow on which the building was erected, paid for with public subscriptions. The financial security was irnproved in 1668 when Robert Walthew gave Newgate Farm to the school. This provided money for some free places at the school for pupils of paar

families and for the salaries of the master and his assistant, who taught Latin grammar and Literature. During the 18th century the fortunes of Up Holland Grammar School waned as the enthusiasm for

education generally and classical education in particular declined.

4 The Priory or Abbey House, now a private residence, played a key role in the history of Up Holland Grammar School. Reverend Iohn Braithwaite, the Curare at the Parish Church who lived at The Priory next door, was Headmaster of the ailing grammar school from 1 782 to ] 8] 2. Braithwaite embarked on a series of reforms. He dropped the name 'Grammar School' in faveur of the more dignified and fashionable 'Up Holland Academy'. He amended the curriculum to include English grarnmar, arithmetic, elementary algebra and geography. His aim was to attract the sans of the new capitalists who were prospering from the Industri-

al Revolution. In one sense he was successful, because more than twenty fee-paying boarding pupils were accommodated atThe Priory as Up Holland Academy carne to be held in 'high estimation and

resorted to by youths from various parts of the ldngdom'.

5 In 1812 Reverend Iohn Bird succeeded [ohn Braithwaite, rus father-in-law, as Curate and Headmaster in Up Holland. The Academy continued to attract boarders, but The Priory was na langer available as a boarding house because Mrs. Braithwaite and her family continued to live there. Thus Reverend Bird taak overThe Parsonage - a large, square, stone house next to the Parish Church (the present Conservative Club). For a decade about twenty boys boarded atThe Parsonage with the conscientious

Mr. Bird teaching them at school during the week and leading them to church on Sundays. At the same time, Mrs. Bird ran free classes in

sewing and needlework for the young wamen of the village. However, even before his resignation in 1826, the dual burdens of cleric and teacher were proving toa much for Reverend Bird. The boarding

house was closed and The Academy reverted back to a grammar school, which entered a phase of decline until the 1860s.

6 With the appointment of William Berridge as Headmaster in 1864, the fortunes of Up Holland Grammar School were transformed. Within one year thirty-rwo boys and three girls were attending the school, with twenty of the pupils boarding with the Berridges atThe Parsonage. However, the expansion of the school was inhibited by the building which was toa small and in need of repair. Thus in

1 878 the scholars moved to Ox House Heyes. The school offered a 'Classical and Commercial Education' as French, drawing and chemistry were included in the curriculum alongside Latin, English, history, geography and the study of the bible. Boarders were

charged 32 guineas per annum; the day scholars were local children. The new Iocation consisted of' 5 acres of school grounds beautifully wooded' and included 'a good Cricket Ground': the

site is now occupied by Up Holland High School.

7 During the headmastership of Reverend Charles Cox (1907 -1931), Up Holland Grammar School became one ofthe most important educational institutions in Lancashire. Mr. Cox led the transformation by his personality and commitment, He inspired colleagues by his

. cheerfulness in the face of difficulties, the courage to defy fate ltself and a faith which can remove mountains'. He took a keen interest in the pupils, exhorting them to enjoy work and leisure to the full. He shared their studies, sports, hebbies and educational excursions, The result was a dramatic increase in

student numbers; in 1918 the school closed its boarding house and used this facility to teach the 130 day scholars more comfortably. By 192 1 , 21 6 boys and girls attended Up Holland Grammar School

and the Head was forced to adapt four army huts into emergency classrooms.

8 In 1880 the new Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, Dr. Royle, visited Up Holland amid concern about the dilapidated state of the Parish Church. The dock was in poor condition; the striking apparatus was' done' , the dials were 'almost ready to fall from age' and the hands of one dial could not be 'persuaded to tell the same time as the ether'. In 1907, the 600th anniversary of the foundation, a special effort was made to restare the Church, The Catterall family paid for a new dock 'guaranteed to keep time to withm five seconds per month' with 'particularly sweet' chimes. In 1 92 2 when the doek was overhauled by the manufac-

rurers, Messrs. Smith of Derby; 'probably the best doekmakers in the world', it was still keeping 'wonderful time', not varying 'more than about one minute a year' . The various improvements led the

Bishop to compliment the village on its 'beautiful Church, with its weather-beaten appearance' .

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