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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:58 pm 
Insight into history from 19th-century village 'sage'
From the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, first published Thursday 30th Dec 2004.

TALES of witchcraft, the Rowley Boggart and the stocks were all recorded by Worsthorne's 'Owd Tat' - Tattersall Wilkinson.

Now his memories of Worsthorne have been put together in a new book by local historian Ramon Collinge.

Wilkinson, known as 'the Sage of Roggerham', was born into a family of hand-loom weavers in 1825, the youngest of 21 children. Despite limited education he became a keen astronomer - he lived to see Halley's Comet twice - and historian, recording tales of Worsthorne in newspaper articles and lectures.

His writings give an insight into life in Worsthorne and the surrounding area in the 19th century, including being so poor that his family ate porridge and milk three times a day and a time when there was no postal service to the village and so people collected letters from the window of 'old Jim Rawlinson's shop' in Yorkshire Street, Burnley.

The collection has been a three-year labour of love by Mr Collinge, of Daisybank Crescent, Burnley, who first came across Wilkinson's writing at school.

Mr Collinge said: "I've known about Tattersall Wilkinson since I was a youngster. He was quite a character in these parts.

"He was a little bit of an eccentric. He had to leave school at 11 yet he was a very well-read man and was mostly self-taught. He once heard a foreign language being spoken in Worsthorne and found out it was German so he bought a book and taught himself.

"There's a lot more to Tattersall Wilkinson than what's in the book. He wrote extensively about Briercliffe and Cliviger. But nobody's ever written a history of Worsthorne, so I thought it would be interesting to collect together everything he wrote about it."

The book is made up of articles Wilkinson wrote for the Burnley Express, Burnley News and Burnley Gazette. Mr Collinge also worked with one of Wilkinson's descendents, Barbara Bailey, who kept his notebooks but died before the book was finished.

The foreword is written by Burnley historian Ken Spencer, who had previously compiled a bibliography of Wilkinson's works which helped Mr Collinge find much of the material he needed.

The project started when Mr Collinge went on a computing course and wanted to practise his new word processing skills.

He said: "I wanted to get more proficient and so I started typing all the articles up. Once you start something like that it gets hold of you. It was hard work at times and I did get fed up sometimes but I just forgot about it for a while and then started up again with renewed enthusiasm.

"People have been very helpful and supportive."

Memories of Worsthorne and District by Tattersall Wilkinson is available from Badger Books, Burnley library, Towneley Hall and Border Bookshop, Todmorden.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:56 am 
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This relates to our discussion on the Worsthorne book Gloria

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:54 am 
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Wouldn't you just like to go back in time and talk to him, he must have been an amazing man.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:46 am 
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There is a picture postcard for sale of Owd Tat on ebay

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/R-P-P-C-OLD-TAT-A ... 286.c0.m14

Ends on the 11th September and is currently priced at £17

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:11 am 
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That was a nice card. Someone got a bargain.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:36 am 

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A very interesting man indeed, My Great Aunt Nora was old Tat`s Grandaughter and she lived with him for a time. Her maiden name was Wilkinson and she died in 1995. I have a grant of right of Burial dated 7th April 1931 granted to Bertha Wilkinson of 4, Woodlands Street, Burnley, husband of Old Tat`s son (also called Tattersall Wilkinson) .
The date of Internment is 7th April 1931. Also in the plot is Bertha Wilkinson (Died 9th Nov 1939) and my Aunt Nora`s Daughter Eileen (Old Tat`s great grandaughter) died 27th Feb 1936 aged 7.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:23 pm 
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How interesting for you Claret, I bet your great aunt could have told a tale or two about him.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:06 pm 

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She told some great tales Gloria, she was 97 when she died and as regards her family there was only my mother left to whom she was related, although she did speak from time to time about a cousin or two that she was no longer in touch with.
Her short term memory during her last 10 years was poor as you would expect but her childhood memories were razor sharp, she could still remember as a 5/6 year old going to Burnley Market with him every wednesday on a horse and cart and she always lovingly described him as an "Old Rogue".


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:29 pm 
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Ha ha I liked that ---old rogue. I bet he made a lasting impression on her.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Old Tat can be seen in this photo (sitting down far right) http://www.briercliffesociety.co.uk/Pho ... 0Hawk3.htm


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:39 pm 
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I've just bought Ken spencers book on Owd Tat from ebay

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:02 am 
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Burnley Express and Advertiser.

October 10 1917

The Sage of Roggerham.
(By R. Stansfield, Southport.)

To-morrow the venerable antiquary of Roggerham will be 92 years of age. I had hoped to see him on Saturday, Sept. 29th, but owing to indisposition was unable to accept the kind invitation of Mr. Joseph Whitaker, J.P., Craven Lodge, Halifax, who motored over the hills, via Heptonstall, Kebcote, and Worsthorne. Mr. Whitaker wrote me to say that he spent two or three hours in pleasant conversation with Mr. Wilkinson. Mr. Whitaker goes on to say: "If anything he looked more fit than he did on my last visit. I expected to find him much altered, at his age, but if there was any change it was for the better."
When I last saw him it was on the occasion of the funeral of the late lamented Abraham Stansfield, of Manchester, which took place at Todmorden at the beginning of July. I paid a visit to the sage on Tuesday, July 3rd, along with Councillor Herbert Standing, of Todmorden, and we were really surprised at his youthful appearance. In fact, so smart was he and so prim in appearance, that we were not a little surprised and naturally asked "What was up that he appeared in so modern a form," and he said "It was in honour of our visit!"
What is the secret of his wonderful energy and alertness of mind at his advanced age? My own opinion is it is because he is free from care; has a happy and contented mind; breathes the fresh upland air as it passes over the smiling fields and woodlands; lives frugally and carefully; keeps in touch with all the mighty activities of the world; has faith in the ultimate victory of ourselves and our Allies; keeps a cheerful disposition; nurses no enmity, and, generally, is in touch with all that is best in the human heart; "Hail fellow well met;" no pride, but just feels the pulse of human nature and knows its weaknesses and how to deal with these phases of the human mind which present themselves to him as he travels on life's road. Essentially a child of the hills, he naturally returned to their bosom when the opportunity came, and he has never let go his firm hold of MOther Nature since.
And Nature, the old nurse, took the child upon her knee,
Saying "Here is a story book thy father has written for thee."
It is a source of joy to all those who have been acquainted with Mr. Wilkinson, in whatever capacity, to know that he is still hale and hearty at 92. It looks as if there can be no doubt now that the sage will reach a hdred easily. It will be the wish of all that he should have that enviable distinction. He walks down to Burnley once a week, at least, and it is this regular exercise, together with the meeting of old friends in the market and along the crowded streets of his beloved Burnley that add to the sum total of his health and pleasure. Full of humour and spontaneous native wit, he is never lost for a word, whether in the domain of seriousness or of bantering gaiety. Always gay and always ready for a "bit of lark" as he passes unconcernedly along amid the noise and activity of the crowded town.
I will ask your readers once more to give "three times three" cheers for the sage of Roggerham, and may he live until he has passed the century, and as he grows in years may he grow into a still nobler specimen of the human species.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:37 pm 

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Well he didn`t make it to 100 he died in 1921 at the age of 96 which was the same age as his grandaughter (my great Aunt) when she died in 1995. Had to laugh when I looked up the 1861 census and it had his occupation listed as "Hawker of Pots"


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:25 am 
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Burnley Express
Saturday 26 October 1895

A Short Sketch of Tattersall Wilkinson's Life, Written For His Seventieth Birthday

Seventy years have rolled away
Since Tat came to this earth;
Worsthorne, I've often heard him say,
Wer't place that gave him birth.

He'er born in eighteen twenty-five,
October brought friend Tat;
Then "doal" kept country folk alive,
Though they hadn't much of that.

For poor folks then were in a fix,
Grim want they bravely fought,
Old folks remember twenty-six,
They lived on next to nought.

But Tatty lived though times were bad,
And grew to be a mon.
His mother said he'r bonniest lad
That ever sun shoan on.

When but a child to school he went,
But only now and then,
He'er seven year old when he were sent,
And left when he were ten.

When school were o'er he went on th' moor
To mind his father's sheep,
The funny tales he has in store
Would make you laugh and weep.

He roved about, a shepherd lad,
Free as the mountain air,
His boyish heart was never sad,
He'd never met with care.

But soon he joined the human throng,
An auctioneer was he,
For thirty year he wagg'd his tongue
By Blackpool's breezy sea.

But when the rush and crush was o'er,
Back to the hills he fled
And roamed again the healthy moor,
Among the ancient dead.

To roam the moors with Tat for guide,
And summer at its best;
There may be joys on earth beside,
But surely then we're blessed.

To see him chipping at a rock,
Or looking toward the sky,
Or gazing on the wild moorcock,
As he darts quickly by.

Or see him digging for an urn
In lands both cold and damp,
Or, perhaps his footsteps he will turn
Towards the Roman camp.

He'll tell of Rome and all her pomp,
When we were 'neath her care,
When over Europe she did romp,
Were masters everywhere.

But all her fame and glory's gone,
Her pride and power is past,
No longer 'neath her yoke we groan,
Her wrongs could never last.

For liberty she reared her head
And freedom then held sway,
The tyrants from our land have fled
For Rome she's seen her day.

From Roman camp we then retire
To Tatty's lonely cot;
We all get clustered round the fire,
For 'tis a noted spot.

We hear Tat tell of earthen jars
That hold the bones of men,
He also speaks of distant stars
That's far beyond our ken.

We sit and while the time away,
And have a friendly chat,
We then do revel in his Tay,
Then bid good-bye to Tat.

John Bradshaw
42, Yorkshire-street, Burnley

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