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2019/2020 Schedule of talks.



7th Oct 19        PAUL TARGETT   -  MD. OF ELLEN SMITH’S COACHES  -  Ellen Gilson & Lund Smith lived on farms opposite each other, high on the moors above Oxenhope.  They met & fell in love.  In 1900, in addition to his farming interests, Lund Smith began a haulage business & passenger service between Littleborough and Rochdale with horse-drawn wagonettes.  One of the earliest long distance passenger adventures was a holiday tour to London, Brighton & Eastbourne in 1920.  Ellen Smith vehicles have been a constant feature of the highways & byways of Britain, and often much further afield, ever since.



4th NOV 19           HANNAH HAYES – ‘ROCHDALE – A Press Photographer’s View – Clifford Ashton was a local freelance press photographer who died in 2008 at the age of 94.  Hannah published a book about Rochdale using only Clifford’s photographs.  The photographs cover events in Rochdale and the changing face of Rochdale over a period of 50 years from the 1930’s to the 1980’s.  In this presentation she will share with us a small proportion of the photographs which are in the book.


2nd Dec 19            VAL CORNS – ‘The Traditions of Christmas and Christmas Through the Ages’

                                NB// This talk will be proceeded by a short AGM and followed by Supper – details to follow.


6th Jan 20            KATHY FISHWICK – ‘Weaver’s Cottages’    - Our area has a special kind of      buildings - but so many we take them for granted. Estate Agents market them as 'Weaver's Cottages', but what really is a weaver's cottage?  How did they originate, and how did they change the way we live?  We can get some answers and go on a journey of discovery by looking very close to home. 



3rd Feb 20             BRIAN CLEGG – ‘Further Recollections of Bamford and it’s Heritage’

                                We continue our journey through Bamford by concentrating on the Kenyon Fold/War Office Road/Crimble and Bury Road areas of the village and recalling some of the distinguished people who have resided in the village over past centuries; a translator of the King James Bible, a pioneering photographer, the Earl of Tyrone and many more.




2nd Mar 20       JACK SOUTHERN – ‘Romance of Cotton, Identity & the Cotton Queen’

“In the midst the depression in the early 1930s, the Lancashire cotton industry turned to radical attempts in an effort to reinvigorate trade, and promote cotton goods as a fashionable, high quality and high value product. Central to this was the presentation of Lancashire cotton, its operatives, and the relationship between the county and the industry.  Focussed around events in towns and villages, culminating in the crowning of the Lancashire Cotton Queen in Blackpool, these efforts sought to promote pride internally, and emotional obligation externally to the rest of the country.

This talk examines the events leading up to the depression, how Lancashire tried to fight against it, and how the county presented itself to the rest of England and the world.”



6th Apr 20             BRIAN FURNESS – ‘The Whitworth Doctors’   Blacksmith and farrier John Taylor arrived in Whitworth around 1764 and, almost immediately, secured a position at one of the village smithies. Trade was such that Taylor was quickly able to establish his own business attending to the needs of working horses and other farm animals.  At that time much of the local employment for horses, and also men, involved the heavy and dangerous work of quarrying; a place where accidents and injuries were commonplace. Demonstrating an undoubted skill for setting the broken bones of the injured horses, locals reasoned that since there was no medical man of consequence in the village, Taylor should be able to similarly re-set the broken bones of men. This he did with much success and acclaim and a transition from blacksmith/farrier to doctor began. Over the next hundred years, successive members of the Taylor family were to attend the medical needs of Whitworth and districts beyond. Indeed, such was the reputation of the Whitworth Doctors that they attended senior members of the clergy, the aristocracy and even royalty. The dynasty finally came to an end in 1876 when the last member of the Taylor family passed away.  


4th May 20           DR STEPHEN CAUNCE  – ‘You Always Remember your Co-op Number’  The Amazing Rise of the People’s Own Shop


1st Jun 20              CHRIS VEREY  – ‘Shopping and Commerce in Norden in the 20th and 21st Century’

Shopping and Commerce in Norden since the 1900's'  Based upon the 1911 Census, 1939 Register, Trade Directories and illustrated with both vintage and present day photographs, my talk will show how the shops and businesses in Norden have changed over the years. 

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