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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:16 am 
Spider Lady
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Burnley Express and Advertiser

Saturday 12th October 1895

Bits Of Old Burnley History
Re-told By Local Worthies

[At a meeting of a few local gentlemen, some of whom remember the very early days of Burnley, the following anecdotes and interesting scraps of history were told. This gathering took place at Mr. Berry's Temperance Hotel, amongst those present being Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson, Mr. John Williams, Mr. Pennington, Mr. J. Gordon, and an Express representative. We purpose, week by week, for some time to come, giving some of these old tit-bits of Burnley's history.]

His Three Score Years And Ten.

It will be interesting to our readers to know that Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson, of Roggerham, who has so often contributed to these columns historical sketches, celebrated the 70th anniversary of his birthday on Friday. To many who know Mr. Wilkinson, the statement might appear somewhat erroneous, seeing that his physical vigour and mental energy will compare favourably with men of much younger years, but such nevertheless is the fact. The gentleman referred to was born in the year 1825, in a little cottage opposite the Crooked Billet Inn, at the village of Worsthorne. The years 1825 and 1826 were periods of great distress and known as the "dole time". In speaking of his early life Mr. Wilkinson said to our representative: "I examined the book yesterday (Tuesday) at Worsthorne school, and found that it was opened in the year 1831, and that on the first day I was entered upon the book, my name being on the second page and the 46th. It states, 'Tattersall Wilkinson, son of Robert and Nanny Wilkinson, aged 6 years,' while in the remarks opposite my name it states, 'Knows one or two letters.' I remained at school until I was ten years old, but after that they set me on top of a wild moor to look after sheep. My spell of education was, therefore, but a very brief one. I remember once there was an examination of the scholars of Mr. Bunbury. He was a curate at St. Peter's Church, under the Rev. Robt. Mosley Masters, the father of the Rev. A. Master-Whitaker, of HOlme. That examination was a red-letter day in the whole township, and the farmers and their wives, dressed in their best, came with their children. I went bare-footed and bare-headed to be examined, for the very good reason that I had no fine clothes to put on. When I entered the school I was placed at the bottom, and they began to ask questions at the top of the line, and if a boy could not answer the query they went on until they found one who could. Ultimately it came to my turn, I answered the question, and got up to the second position. Then there was a keen competition between myself and Henry Higgin, the son of John Higgin, of Hurstwood, in respect to Scripture history, but I ultimately succeeded in getting to the top and received a book as a prize. This was a volume dealing with the manners and customs of the Jews. It was suitably inscribed to myself as the head scholar, and signed by Mr. Bunbury. I need hardly say that I took it home with much pride."

An Anecdote Of Mr. Masters

In the early days of the town it was customary for people to bring their coal in hand-carts from the coal depots. On one occasion the Rev. Mosley Masters, who lived at Royle, was coming up Club-houses, when he saw a woman pulling some coals along in a barrow, and it appeared to be a very hard task for her. Seeing this, he laid his umbrella down and assisted her to push the fuel along. He is described as having been an earnest Christian worker, and utterly devoid of pride.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:58 am 
Spider Lady
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Location: Staffordshire
Burnley Express

Saturday 19 October 1895

Bits Of Old Burnley History
Re-told By Local Worthies

[At a meeting of a few local gentlemen, some of whom remember the very early days of Burnley, the following anecdotes and interesting scraps of history were told. This gathering took place at Mr. Berry's Temperance Hotel, amongst those present being Mr. Tattersall Wilkinson, Mr. John Williams, Mr. Pennington, Mr. J. Gordon, and an Express representative. We purpose, week by week, for some time to come, giving some of these old tit-bits of Burnley's history.]

The Oldest Teetotaller In Burnley

The history of how Mr. Pennington, of Burnley, took the pledge is somewhat interesting, as will also be some of the details of the early industries of the town. He said to an "Express" representative: I was born at Wigan, and came to Burnley in 1831, being at that time aged 15. I got work at what was known as the Old Dandy Shop, which was opposite to the police-office at Keighley-Green. Messrs. Lord, Jos. and John Massey were the heads of the firm, gentlemen who were connected with the founding of the Massey Burnley Brewery Company. One part of the building was occupied by hand looms and the other portion used for the storage of packs of wool. In that part there were about three wool-sorters employed. The place where the wool was washed was where Mr. Broughton's bakehouse now stands. My wages, on the average, were about six shillings per week. The reason the place was called the Dandy Shop was because, under the old system of hand loom weaving, the weaver had to pull down a rope to let a length off from the warp beam. The cloth beam was also manipulated by the same rope. A man who lived at Lane-bottom, near Haggate, named old Binn o' Whitham's, invented a loom in connection with which that part of the work could be done by treading with the foot. That was calle a "dandy," and the mills where these looms were used were called "dandy shops." In 1832, the mill to which I have referred was sold to Messrs. Spencer and Moor, who took all the old looms out and fitted it up with new ones. The average earnings would be about 6s. to 7s. per week, but the markets ruled the wages. I have, however, earned 15s. or 16s., but I have known the money come down to the previously-named figures. Opposite the Dandy Shop there was an old fire-engine house, and an office above it. A little lower down was the old mill dam, while on the other side was the dam used in connection with King's mill. It was full of mud and I was engaged, along with the others, to clear it out. We formed a stream down the middle, and this helped to carry the mud away into the river as we threw it in. Old Mr. Spencer was there and was quite fluent. He also provided plenty of ale. I got some of the first lot, drinking it out of a horn, and it made me feel quite "mazy." I said to the man next to me, "Tom, I feel fearful mazy." He replied "It's happen t' drink." I thought over the matter and the next time it came around I would not have any, nor would I on the third occasion of its being served out. My friend who had been working next to me asked, "Are ta goin to hev ony more?" and I replied, "No, I'll not hev any more as long as I live." I was working up to my waist in the sludge and the water. That was 56 years ago. I am "No. 1" of the Rechabites, and I have never tasted drink since that time.

A Reminiscence Of The 33rd Regiment

The 33rd Regiment was in Burnley in 1831. It was known as the Duke of Wellington's Own, but called by the nickname of the "Havercake Regiment." The soldiers are stated to have been very rough towards the civilians, many of whom were insulted in the public thoroughfares. Sometimes the pedestrians who protested were knocked down and struck with the bayonets of the troops. One night they met the late Dr. Coultate, who was so badly used that they thought he was killed, but he subsequently came round. On another occasion a body of the soldiers went to Marsland's Foundry, in the Meadows district (known as the Old Shop), in the middle of the afternoon. They managed by a rush to get in at the gates, but found their match in the workmen employed at the place. The latter were noted for being rough fellows and were never loth to fight for one another. Owing to this characteristic they went by the name of the "Black Fleet." As soon as the soldiers made their appearance the workmen pulled hot bars of iron out of the furnaces. Gas piping was also made at the foundry, and one of the men swung a piece of hot pipe round and struck a soldier with it. The metal twisted round the man's neck and, though he pulled it off sharply, it left him with a collar of burnt flesh. The fight was continued in the street, and one soldier followed Tom Beesley into the Plane Tree Inn, with his drawn bayonet. Tom snatched up a kitchen poker and knocked the soldier down with it. The latter lay unconscious on the floor for some time, and Tom was arrested and subsequently brought before the magistrates, who held their court over the Bull Hotel archway. He was, however, acquitted, as he had only acted in self-defence. It is almost needless to add that the soldiers never went again to the foundry.

Old "Long Laps."

Jim Adams, otherwise old "Long Laps," was a bum-bailiff, and a man who was anything but stout. He had a much-wrinkled face, and wore a blue coat with long narrow laps, and breeches. He held his office under the Clitheroe (wapentake) court, and lived below the Royal Oak. His wife sold treacle toffee and parched peas. When old "Long Laps" went to Worsthorne, as soon as it was known that he was in the village, all the doors were fastened, because the residents did not know where the thunderbolt, in the shape of a wapentake, would fall. On one occasion, says Tattersall Wilkinson, I remember the bailiffs going to the house at the bottom of the village, and the people attacked and nearly killed both old "Long Laps" and Sam. Riding. The goods seized under a wapentake were, as a rule, never sold, and the people never heard anything more about them. Old "Long Laps" bought his wife at the Top o' th' Town Cross for 4 1/2d., her husband delivering her in a halter, that being considered the legal method. She lived with the bailiff, however, until death separated them.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:36 pm 
Computer Whizz
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"""Old "Long Laps" bought his wife at the Top o' th' Town Cross for 4 1/2d., her husband delivering her in a halter, that being considered the legal method"""

Anyone knowing me can imagine my reaction to that comment. :lol: :wink:

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