It seems all focused on Tottington and broadly the Bury/Bolton area. This of course will continue to grow. However my father can trace his history back to Harmston, thence to India, Cornwall and then via London to Tottington. Pix and info to follow. He had a large family too! Then of course is my wife's family, father from what we thought was originally Sussex, but we now know Hampshire! Last but not least my mother-in-Law, part German and part Polish.
Probably time for some sort of Genealogy table!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Loom Women

This picture is one from the archives. There is no writing on the reverse apart from my mother's labelling. I called it Loom Women. Clearly though only one or two of them would be old enough to be considered women. These are 2 cotton looms back to back. They were heavy made of cast iron. I presume that the the photograph was taken in the factory. Clearly a national celebration because of the flags there. The ladies in question are wearing what appears to be their Sunday best too. I have to presume my Grandmother or my Aunt kept the picture because it had family on it. There does not appear to be any cotton worker in my immediate family say 1920s, but that's a guess. Have a close look at the sullen "little" girl in the very middle at the front. As usual the picture has been tweaked a little in PS4 to bring out details. Left the sepia tones as they are.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Market Street, Tottington

This are 2 old photographs of Market street in Tottington.  The first picture is a hand coloured tinted version of the second one. I have given both of them the Photoshop stuff. The colours in the first are not mine. They were already on the picture. I suspect the colours may be reasonably accurate as the pictures have been in the family quite a while.

 My Guess this is at the high point of the Village opposite to where the Coop stands. I do not remember it, I also guess that it is dated about 1900. However I do recall a picture house, Movies to you and me standing in its place. I went once, some sort of soppy film about a man on the run visiting his pregnant wife in hospital. A paper shop stood in its place later and I believe a health centre now stands there. As you carry on to the right the road forks at what was the Printers. The left fork is Turton Road - goes to Bolton, Affetside, Edgeworth. The right hand fork goes to Greenmount, passes Brookhouse and would go to Holcombe and Ramsbottom. The village centre is about a 10 minute walk from Brookhouse.

This picture is from the same spot. The view is down Market Street towards Bury. Bury is about 3 miles distant.

 Whether the picture is from the exact same time I do not know. If you look closely you can see Club Row labelled. Further down on the right hand side of the road, the Wesleyan church was to be built. I think the church would be visible. The shops on the left when I was young ( The ones I remember!) were a greengrocer/fishmonger - Read. I think the old owner was called Frank. He was grooming his son for the top position! The left-hand side of the shop was fruit and veg and the right hand side was fish. Their daughter Helen was killed in a road accident.
It shook the village and my Grandmother(Jane Dunn) cried too.. My Family were very close to the Reads. My grandfather Frank was up at 5.30 every morning bar Sundays to collect the fish from the fish shop. My Aunt cooked it, I also recall my mother cooked it as well. For a few years the house stank of cooking cod. No surprise I had trouble making friends. A little further down was the butcher. I believe he was called Sam Smith. He had been in the Guards, I was told that he had quite a distinguished war record. He was the tallest man I had ever met, but as a 7 year old everyone was tall! He had this walk in fridge. If he wasn't really quite a jolly chap, he would have been seriously scary! He seemed to take great delight in sharpening his knives, hacking stuff, and of course there was always blood down his apron. A proper blue and white striped one.

Tram on its way to Tottington from Bury. The road to the right goes to Kay Gardens. In the gap behind the two trams is the Rock, which eventually disappears to Walmsley and Rochdale. To the left of the photo is a statue of Robert Peel and also the parish church. The Two Tubs is also there. The advert on the front of the tram has Geo. Brown. He had a hardware shop in Tottington opposite the library, which had been Tottington Hall. I believe one of his sons took over (Basil). I used to play with his two sons Nick and Tim

The same tram nearing its destination. The library is on the right hand side. On the left is the Gas Board shop. A little further up is the post office. It was split into 2 parts. The front of the shop was a sweet shop - one of my favourite places. Further inside was the post office proper - manned I believe by a chap called Brian. The tram had not far to go - anothe 200 yards brought it to an island turned right round and headed back to Bury. This is still used as a bus terminus now. I turned round infront of the "Hark to Towler" pub. If you continued down the road it brought you to Tottington station.

Not sure where this is. There is a shop called Clemshaws there. More research needed.
There is always a need to update. There are 3 photographs of Trams below. I can just about recall the trams from my childhood. The tram rails were certainly there for a long time after the trams departed. I actually believe some of the old lamposts still survive even now. 

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Facing towards Bolton
Facing towards Tottington
The Lomax part of my family were brought up in Affetside. They were sheep farmers and hand loom weavers. One of them died of sunstroke I believe. It boast a Pub- The Pack Horse,  and a church which is attached to the local very small school. I believe there was a campaign to save the school which was successful. Many of my Lomax relatives are buried in the local churchyard. It has indeed been really useful in  "unpicking" some of the relationships that were heresay or had got jumbled in my near relatives heads. This cross is sited on Watling Street., a Roman Road. Yes it is straight! As a small boy it was a fearsome ride to the summit on the bike - up the steep side! and an awesome ride down the other side. The view is looking towards Tottington from the village Centre.

The top photograph was taken in March 2010. Obviously the picture is facing towards Bolton. From first appearances little has changed in 100 years outwardly. I stored some more pictures to show which I also took on the same day.

The entrance to Affetside.
This is on the right-hand side of the road
as you head up the hill towards Bolton

This view is taken in the early morning heading from Tottington towards Affetside. This is all uphill. The path joins Watling street just about 400 yards before the cross

The Cross looking towards the Jumbles
An early January morning. This picture is taken
from the middle of the road the houses are to
my back. The path continues down hill towards Bolton

 Visited Affetside frequently with my mother there were many paths across the fields from Greenmount and Tottington. At one time the horse that featured in the "Black Horse" adverts was stabled nearby. I bought my first motorbike from a chap who lived in the farms just below the top of Affetside. The cross is one of the Markers in the 2 Crosses challenge event usually held in January of each year. Organised by the East Lancs LDWA. It starts from Tottington Community Centre. The second cross on the route aboute 15 miles further on is the Pilgrims' Cross on Holcombe Moor. Pictures and information can be found here.

The inscription which is close to the cross.

 This is the inscription:
"Affetside Cross marks the route of the Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester now known as Watling Street. The stone shaft has a socket cut into the top which originally supported a cross head or stone ball. The structure would have served as a market cross for Affetside and surrounding hamlets and possibly as a place for preaching and public proclamations. This form of standing cross would have been relatively common in medieval settlements. However they were largely swept away in the reformation during the mid 16th and 17th Centuries making Affetside cross a relatively rare survival.

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

Affetside Cross is designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument under the provisions of the Above act (National Monument No 25721) It is an offence to carry out any unauthourised works to the monument, or damage in any manner. All queiries with regard to this Act should be directed to Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

A Mark 2 Pillbox. This is situated between Turton and the A666
Couldn't resist adding it! But it's on the 2 Crosses route!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Wesleyen School Tottington

The Building of the Wesleyan School

The reverse of the card

 "Dear children, 
Just to let you know that Bessie has got her baby, will you come and wash for me again if you cannot let me know

Construction of the Old Wesleyan School. This was the school that my Aunt Irene and Grandpa Tom Lomax  attended. The school is very closely connected with the church. There is a link here to my other blog with the war graves here. There is a picture of her later down the blog.

As you can see the Reverse of the postcard has been annotated by mother with the  date 1905. My guess that she is right. Who the postcard refers to is difficult to work out, but I am sure that it relates to family members. The address is clear 135 Holcombe road is Brookhouse, Clearly pictured further down the blog. I will add another picture of Brookhouse and add it next to the other picture.

This mug I found on Ebay. This is the web Address of the seller Coast to Coast Antiques 

This is the description:

"This rare Staffordshire mug is decorated with a red design of the Wesleyan School Tottington, as it was when it served as an active school house. It dates from the mid. 19th Century and measures approximately 3 + 1/8 inches high and 3 + 3/8 inches in overall diameter. It is in excellent condition with the exception of some staining and crazing, as can be seen in the photos."

  This mug is for sale here as well as many other interesting articles. I wish I could afford it.

The picture on the mug

Detailed close up of the picture
I have discovered on Ebay a mug relating to the school. I suggest that they may have been given to the school at some festival or centenary. I certainly have never heard them mentioned in the family but how on earth this mug found it's way to New Jersey remains a mystery. The pictures are below. The seller has kindly allowed me to publish the pictures. My guess is he retains he copywrite.

When you have a look - it is amazing how different the original school is from the mug! Its almost the same direction too.

Obviously got to go back and check!