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 *

Levertijd: 2 - 3 werkdagen (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.


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

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29 In addition to cricket, villagers participated in foorball, rugby and hockey. Alocal sporting highlight was the annual triangular ploughing match involving participants from Up Holland, Dalton and Skelmersdale with prizes and refreshments. Other village sports included cock fighting, pigeon shooting, pitch and toss. 'Piggy', a local game which involved hitting a small piece of wood with a stick, became samething of a nuisance. It was hardly safe to walk on the pavement 'for boys hitting the thing in people's faces'. A playground was made available for children in 1909 at "The Hills' nearTower Hill for reereatienal activities. However, in 1923

it was still 'pitiable to think that in a place like Up Holland village the children and young people must use the street as a playground, or go without'.

30 Dean Wood has always been a favourite attraction for local people as one of nature's beauty spots. Generations were drawn to the place where 'silence reigns'. The diarist Ellen Weeton frequently visited the wood where 'full many an hour' she stood admiring the 'buties of the place'. The Dean Braak 'scarce murmurs' as it meanders through the precipitous wooded slopes: 'Dear are these hills, and dear these vales, but tenfold dear this wood; / where, list'ning to the rustling gales, fuU many an hour I've stood,' In addition to enjoying its beauty, 10cal people used the economie resources of Dean Wood; the area is riddled with the indus-

trial archaeology of coal mining - hollows created by mining subsidence and coUapsed drift mines.

3 1 Dean Wood was best known for its leisure appeal. The naturallandscapes, flora and fauna were sufflcient resources to appeal to young and old from Up Holland and the surrounding area. Those who were not content to just rest and linger used Dean Wood as a pilgrimage route to the more commercial development and attractions of the 1 0 acres Dean Wood Pleasure Gardens at Gathurst. Walks through Dean Wood usually began about Easter and increased throughout the summer months. So popular did the area become that the Lancashire andYorkshire Railway Company laid on special trains from Wigan to bring workers to the leisure spot.

Most visitors ended up picnicking and enjoying refreshments, games, swings, boats, donkey rides and dancing.

32 Ashurst Beacon, the highest point in the area, was part of the nationwide communication network sending signals to the surrounding areas by the ignition of bonfires. Ramblers were attracted to Ashurst Beacon by the fresh air, natural beauty and spectacular views, especially to the west, where ships in the Irish Sea and on the River Mersey could be seen heading for the towers and spires of Liverpool. Ashurst Beacon was the magnet for Iocal people on special occasions. By 5.30 a.m. on 29 [une 192 7 about two thousand people were streaming up to the Beacon on foot, on bicycles and in cars to observe the total eclipse of the sun. The envi-

ronment grew colder and more dismal until at 6.25 a.m. 'the thick shadow swooped down ... The whole crowd became silent. .. seconds later the shadow was gone'.

33 Employers and churches booked charabancs to take groups to the emerging seaside resorts, New Brighton was popular for its tower and gardens. One group at Southport witnessed the sea flow over the marine drive into the lake - a sight 'not of ten seen by visitors', Morecambe was another favourite 'watering place' . Llandudno was a' quiet and picturesque resort' but getting there by boat from Liverpool often tested 'the sea legs and temperament' and the majortry usually 'failed to satisfactorily pass their examination'. But Blackpool was the 'Queen of Watering Places' and adults and children alike bathed in the sea, played on the shore, rode

donkeys and visited the piers, the tower and the Winter Gardens.

34 During the 19th and early 20th centuries Abbey Lakes was probably the major social attraction in the area. In 1881 it was purchased for

f3 ,550 by Peter Reeves, a brewer from Bedford. The 20 acres site comprised the extensive grounds, hotel, lake, conservatories, stables. outbuildings, a corn mill, a dwelling house and an excellent bowling green 50 yards square. The proprietors planned to make the site into 'an improving place for pleasure seekers'. The attraction was a magnet for walkers and picnickers, especially at weekends and on public holidays, and was frequently used for shows, field treats and celebrations. The appeal extended

throughout the North West; Orangemen from Merseyside made an annual pilgrimage to Abbey Lakes.

35 The lodge at Abbey Lakes was considerably enlarged and improved in the late 19th century At Whit 1880 the steamboat 'Enterprise' carried a hundred passengers round the lake and thirty small pleasure boats were also available for hire. A Grand Gala and Sports occupied the whole of'Whit Monday. Events on the programme included galloping races, horse trotting, foot races, tug of war and barrow races. Swing boats and other amusements were provided for the children. An exotic procession included a tribe of 'Royal Gypsles' and two Zulus who 'appeared in the fantastic

garb of their country'. The weather was fine and several thousand people attended.

36 Abbey lakes had openair and indoor dancing facilities. During the Whit holidays in 1880 two bands played music for dancing outside in the day and at night in the large ballroom attached to the hotel. But by 1925 the floor had fallen into disrepair and an application was made to build a new dance hall. A splendid indoor ballroom was approved and completed. On August Bank Holidays visitors to Abbey Lakes Pleasure Grounds could enjoy, in addition to boating and bowling, admission to the 'Palaise De Dance' for dancing to a fuil orchestra from 7 to 1 1 .30 p.m. - all for one shilling. The ballroom was a Mecca for American servicemen during

the Second World War and continued to be popular for a few years after 1945.

37 The tramway frorn wi. gan was extended to the Abbey Lakes Hotel in 1906. The normal fare for the 35-minute 4-mile journey between Wigan and Up Holland was

3 Y2 d; w,t;;lrkmen were charged 1 Y2 d and children under 1 2 paid half fare. From Monday to Saturday trams ran from 5 a.m. (1 p.m. on Sunday) at 20-minute intervals. except on Saturday afternoons and evenings, when there was a

1 U-minute frequency. By 1910 Up Holland councillors objected to the fares and proposed a cut to 2d to encourage workers and their families to take trips away from the indus trial smog ofWigan to the

cleaner air of Up Holland. By 1930 all Iocal authorities were discussing the replacement of trams by bus es. The last tram to Abbey Lakes ran on Saturday, 28 March 1931. Meanwhile, at the tram termi-

nus, Harry Ind developed a garage dealing with cycles and cars.

38 Land at the bottom of School Lane was cleared to establish Up Holland Pleasure Gardens. The site consisted of a beerhouse and fruit orchards, which extended to

the wall of the churchyard. In addition to being a social facility for the villagers of Up Holland, the Gardens were a popular weekend venue for workers from Wigan, who were able to sit on the rustic seats amongst the extensive trees and drink beer. Sometimes special events were organised by the proprietars. On NewYears Day 1886 a 'sparrow shooting sweepstake' was held with prizes of bacon, ham and beef However, by 1916, the trade at Up Holland Pleasure Gardens had

dwindled to ;(,8 a week and closure was inevitable.

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