Up Holland in old picture postcards volume 2

Up Holland in old picture postcards volume 2

:   Dr. Allan Miller
:   Lancashire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-0954-3
:   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 2'

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Following the success of the first book 'Up Holland in old picture postcards', it was a pleasant surprise to be asked by the publishers to consider a volume 2. My only reservation was whether it would be possible to obtain a sufficient number of different old postcards. However, I need not have worried; postcards, photographs and papers belonging to the Hunt family were made available to me. For many years the Hunt family lived at The Abbey, previously known as The Priory, next door to Up Holland Parish Church. I am grateful to Mr. Kenneth Hunt's daughter, Mrs. Anne Jones, and her husband, for allowing me access to all the material in the family collection; without it this second volume would not have been possible. Accordingly, this book is dedicated to the memory of the late Kenneth George Hunt.

Until comparatively recent years the character of Up Holland remained essentially unchanged. In 1834 it was described in a Pictorial History of the County of Lancaster as 'one of the most old fashioned looking places, with breakneck streets ... It stands on the side of a steep hill, which the streets descend, and where the carriage road zigzags in no matter agreeable.' Ta escape the squalid scenes of poverty in Wigan during the 'Cotton Famine' of the 1860s, Edwin Waugh rode over the 'green country' to the 'quaint town' of Up Holland to enjoy the 'fine old church' and the 'ivied monastic ruins.' In 1904 newspapers described Up Holland as 'an old world place ... a quiet, sleepy village ... a place of no small importance ... and everything handsome about it.' A visitor in 1926 thought it 'the least spoilt village' in the Wigan area.

Up Holland has a long royal tradition; King Edward IJ stayed in the village in 1323. Ta celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday in 1860, children from the village schools went by train to the seaside resort of Southport on what was 'the first treat of the kind'. All subsequent royal weddings and coronations were celebrated in Up Holland. This loyalty was reciprocated in 1935 when Elizabeth, Duchess of York and later Queen of England, came to view the 'Up Holland Experiment', designed to mitigate the social! and economic problems of the long-term unemployed in the village.

In addition to high unemployment, Up Holland has had to face a number of other problems. The numerous hills meant that roads were steep in places; 'there are no roads in the country like the Up Holland roads for being rough'. In the 19th century some houses were in a disgraceful state. They were overcrowded and refuse was simply thrown out on to the surrounding land. The drinking water was often obtained from Dean Brook, even though it was not fit for human consumption, 'being much contaminated with refuse and decomposing animal matter'. Serious outbreaks of scarlet fever, measles, diphtheria, typhoid fever and whooping cough were attributed to the 'glaring nuisances of a very offensive nature' in the village. 'No cesspools on the one hand, cesspools full to running over, and no one to empty them, on the other, drains stopped up here, and na drains at all there, offensive matters deposited anywhere from the highway to the back passages, and the houses themselves in a most filthy condition.'

All these aspects of village life presented a challenge to the Up Holland Local! Board, which was established in 1872, and, after 1894, to the Up Holland Urban District Council. Mr. Archie Hunt was appointed Clerk of the Up Holland Urban District Council in 1902 and served the local authority until his retirement in 1943. In 1926 his duties were rearranged and extended; he became Clerk, Surveyor, Sanitary Inspector and Valuation Officer for Up Holland. During the early years of the Second World War Mr. Hunt took on extra duties, including fire prevention and civil defence. One of his sans, Kenneth, qualified as a surveyor and worked as assistant clerk to his father until he moved to take up a
position with Rochdale Borough Council in 1938. Mr. Kenneth Hunt's love of Up Holland brought him back to live at The Abbey in 1964. Though not a historian by training, he became an expert on the history of Up Holland and his interest in the village led him to assemble an extensive portfolio of written and pictorial records. He and his father were bath active in support of Up Holland Urban District Council's effort in the 1920s to acquire and preserve the 17th century Court House in School Lane, with its date stone and connections with the Stanleys, Earls of Derby. Over the years it had served as law court, jail, place of worship and reading room. The intention was to ensure that its character was preserved as a museum for the 'reception and preservation of any ancient curiosities' connected with the village. As part of the conservation campaign the Society for the Preservation of Ancient and Historic Buildings was contacted. Kenneth Hunt's enduring dream was for the whole village of Up Holland to be preserved as a heritage centre. He believed that Up Holland had all the elements necessary for such a designation and these included an ancient church, a long established grammar school and a range of other fine old buildings. He loved the natural beauty of Ashurst Beacon, Dean Wood and Abbey Lakes. He was also fascinated by characters who loomed large in Up Holland's long history; the ancient Holland family, the infamous George Lyon, the Stopford family, and the remarkable Miss Ellen Weeton; Kenneth's father, Archie, was consulted on the publication of Miss Weeton's 'Journal of a Governess' . This volume aims to cover many of the themes, which were dear to Kenneth Hunt in bath his public and his private life.

Most of the research for this book was undertaken at the Lancashire Record Office, the Active Unit of Saint Joseph's College in Up Holland, Wigan History Shop and the Wigan Heritage Archive Centre at Leigh and I am most grateful to the staff for their assistance, support and tolerance. In addition to the Hunt collection, the main sources of information consulted were the Minutes of the Up Holland Local Board, Minutes of Up Holland Urban District Council, local and national newspapers, Up Holland Parish Church Magazines, Saint Joseph's College Magazines and records of the various churches in Up Holland. There is no official History of Up Holland, but Joe Bagley's book 'Up Holland Grammar School' is the next best tilting. Christopher Haigh's book 'The Last Days of the Lancashire Monasteries and the Pilgrimage of Grace' contains detailed information on Up Holland Priory in the 16th century and this has been added to by Audrey Coney's research on 'Lancashire's Poorest Monastery'. Jim Sharratt's booklet of 'Up Holland Fragments' remains a mine of information.
Harold and Phyllis Hill willingly allowed me to tap into their expertise and collection of photographs. A scrapbook of newspaper cuttings compiled by Mrs. Edith Dickinson was a most useful source of information; my thanks to her daughter, Mrs. Joan Monks, for allowing me to see it. Other friends, too many to name, made old postcards and photographs available to me, and they have my gratitude. I have to thank my friend Peter Williams for his skill and patience in preparing the photographs for publication. Last, but not least, I need to apologise to my wife, Enid, and my two sans, Simon and Mark, for disappearing to various locations, sometimes for days, whilst I was engaged in the research for this book.

1 The early history of Up Holland is linked to the fortunes of the Holland family. The Hollands were, among the founders of the Order of the Garter, attended the Royal Family and attained the highest rank in the Peerage' . Robert, Baron Holland, retainer and favourite of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, became one of the most powerful men in South Lancashire. Nothing exists of the Holland's castle, but the family's legacy remains to this day. The White Lion inn got its name from the crest of the Hollands, which was a white lion rampant on a blue ground. The most lasting memorial is the Parish Church of Saint Thomas the Martyr, which stands on the site of the Chantry founded by Robert Holland in 1307 and which became a Benedictine Priory in 13 19; Up Holland Priory was the last Benedictine foundation in England before the Reformation.

2 This picture shows a model of the monastery endowed by Robert Holland as an indication of his status, wealth and Importance. The Priory was dedicated to Thomas Becket, the patron saint of the Earl of Lancaster. It was endowed with same land in Up Holland, Orrell and Pemberton and was a major agricultural enterprise in the area; pastoral farming predominated, but same corn was grovelling. Woodland, wildfowl, fish, rabbits and game birds were other resources. In addition to its economic activities, it also supplied the usual religious, community and social functions of a monastery. According to one historian, it obtained extra finance and status as a place of pilgrimage as rich and poor visitors came to view its relics of Saint Thomas, Despite the donations from these pilgrims Up Holland Priory remained Lancashire's poorest monastery.

3 Up Holland Priory was one of the casualties of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1 53 6 and only fragments of the original monastic walls, doors and windows have remained. There was no common uprising in support of the monks, but local people did successfully petition for the retention of a chapel for their use, Wigan church being too remote. When Chancellor Tule visited Holland Chapel in 1590 he found a very unsatisfactory state of affairs. There was no Incumbent and there were no books except the 'Common Prayer and the Bible which is olde and tome' . There was 'no communion cup of silver, no chest nor box for the poor,' The Catechism was not used and many received the communion 'that cannot say the Catechism'. The register book had not been kept and the 'forfeiture of 1 2d was not collected from the absents from Church'.

4 On the rear wall of the old Court House in School Lane can be seen the Legs of Man symbol; in the 17th century the Earl of Derby from nearby Lathom House was also Lord of the Isle of Man and a supporter of King Charles 1. Partly for that reason Up Holland was very staunchly royalist during the civil wars as the teacher, Adam Martindale, discovered. Martindale taught in Up Holland 'not much above a quarter of a year' on account of many great inconveniences' and 'constant alarms' . Even though he 'meddled in no side' he was suspected of being a 'Roundhead' (a supporter of the Parliament against the King). His 'habitation in a public house' was made uncomfortable by 'the soldiers often quartering among us to the depriving us of our beds and chambers' . Adam Martindale was forced out of Up Holland by the troubles of the 1640s.

5 In 1784 Mary Weeton, a widow, with her children Ellen and Tom, moved from Lancaster to Up Holland where 'rents and coals were so much lower'. They lived in 'a pretty cottage elevated from the road by a flight of steps to the front door, and a kind of gallery across the front of the house guarded on the open side by a row of white rails ... (and) a pretty little garden on the side of the hill' . The view from the cottage was 'extensive, romantic and beautiful' . The cottage was in Church Street, from where Mary and later Ellen Weeton ran a private school. Ellen kept copies of correspondence and her journals contain fascinating details of the social life of Up Holland, which she came la hare because of the crime, ignorance, illegitimacy, brutality, intolerance, superstition and scandals.

6 Ellen Weeton left Up Holland in 1 808 but was forced to return in 1 822. She took lodgings at Garnett Lees, Ball's farm in Newgate on the hillside overlooking Wigan. She occasionally held little tea parties in her 'poky parlour' but life was difficult for her. She was never fully accepted into the social life of the middle class residents of the village. Her health was not good, although she recognised that it was much better than that endured by many villagers: 'Great numbers of them have the Hooping cough and it is very fatal. Many died of it, several children have gone blind with it, same are thrown into fits.' Miss Weeton also thought she

knew the cause of much ill health in Up Holland: 'Bread and potatoes were their principal diet. Butter, cream, sugar and pastry, as well as butcher's meat, were rarities but seldom used,'

7 Richard Baxter's clog shop in School Lane was a sort of meeting place in the early years of the 20th century, where young and old used to gather to exchange stories about Up Holland's most notorious character, George Lyon, highwayman. Lyon came to be regarded as a Robin Hood figure; according to some stories he stole the bread out of many a housewife's oven to feed the poor. There are also romantic fantasies about two women in his life, Mary Sloane and Molly Glynn. Other tales relate to a stage coach hold up at Tawd Bridge, his robbery of an excise officer and the attempted shooting of a paymaster. Even the myth makers
sometimes admit to his cruelty; during one house burglary he allegedly killed a baby by throwing it into a boiler as the mother hid in terror.

8 This drawing shows where George Lyon's mother lived for part of her life. Lyon himself lived near to the Old Dog Inn and it is possible to obtain an idea of his domestic situation from evidence at his last trial. The road to Lyon's house was 'a narrow passage', out of which there was 'an ascent by several steps to the door'. The passage led to two other dwellings and the door opposite to the steps led to Ivon's house. When the constables entered the house there was na light in the room, except 'a glimmering from the fire' and they found 'another man (Bennett) and a woman were in bed, in the same room' with Lyon sitting on a bed. It was presumably from this house that Lyon worked as a handloom weaver with his apprentice, Luke Bradshaw; perhaps it was the decline of this traditional craft that pushed Lyon into a life of crime.

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