Burtonwood – The Truth About G.I. Town

Four miles from Warrington in Lancashire, is Burtonwood, the great maintenance base for the American Air Lift to Berlin. There several thousand young Americans, most of whom had never been overseas before, were dumped far from their homes with orders to keep the Dakotas, Skymasters and other aircraft flying through the air door in the Iron Curtain. The success of the Air Lift was apparent to all, but locally the social consequences were less happy for both sides. Six thousand American airmen dumped down suddenly to live near a bleak…

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The Vulcan Works – Making the Lion roar again

During the early part of 1979, Ruston Diesels Limited, the Company then occupying the historic Vulcan Foundry site, agreed to restore the locomotive Lion which had been a static exhibit for many years in the Transport Gallery of Liverpool Museum. This was to provide project work for apprentices and graduate trainees, and to enable Lion to participate in the forth-coming ‘Rocket 150’ celebrations. On 4 April, the engine arrived at Ruston’s looking rather incongruous on the back of an articulated lorry and during the next few weeks it was stripped…

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Digging into the roots of history

I recently purchased a number of the Burtonwood Brewery in-house ‘Top Hat’ magazines from the 1980s, in one of them was this article concerning the excavation of the Southworth Burial Mound which is between Winwick and Lowton. Digging into the roots of history Remnants of a long-lost civilisation have been unearthed from plough-blade depth on open farmland, close to a huge man-made crater which will eventually accommodate colliery waste. And to mark the sensational discovery, being hailed as the North’s most important prehistoric find of the last decade, the archaeology…

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Steam-Boiler Explosion at Newton

There was a Great Loss of Life by a Steam-Boiler Explosion at Newton.. 22nd Sept 1838 We regret to inform that the Viaduct Foundry on the Manchester & Liverpool Line of Railway at Newton in the Willows, the property of Messrs, Jones, Turner, and Evens, was on MOnday morning last the scene of a dreadful and fatal steam-boiler explosion, by which eight persons are already dead, and two others are lying without much hope of recovery. It appears that Messrs Jones & Co. employ about 200 men, and in the…

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Earlestown War memorial – unveiled by Lord Newton.

On Saturday afternoon, at Earlestown, Lord Newton unveiled a memorial of the South African war, which has been erected outside the Town Hall in honour of fifty men of Newton-in-Makerfield who volunteered for service in that historic struggle. The cost of the monument, about £360, is defrayed out of the local fund started in 1899 for the relief of necessitous cases arising out of such service. Much of the money was contributed by working men, and happily out of £991 raised it was found necessary to distribute only £215 in…

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ST, Oswald’s, Winwick.

There is no beginning to the istory of Winwick. It goes beyond the Fourteenth Century to the earliest days of the English, to a time “when a King of Mercia was resisting evangelisation with free slaughter; and then, when we seem to have come to the birth of the ancient Saxon village, we see it again in a remoter vista, shining magically in the opal light of legend. The learned Usher thought that Winwick was Caer Gwentquic, one of the twenty cities collected by the monk Gildas out of Nennius;…

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Lady Hill – Newton-le-Willows

I noted that some questions have been asked about Lady Hill, a barrow or not a barrow? good question, I do not think its ever been investigated, The Rev Simpson conducted an investigation into the Castle Hill barrow/mound in the 1840s and it was also investigated in the c1988, but as far as I can discover, no investigations have been done on the the nearby Lady Hill mound. I have transcribed the following from the 1916 Vol II, J H Lane book on Newton. Its a description of the walk…

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The Public Library – Crow Lane, Newton

The first library in Newton-in-Makerfield was, we believe, the one in connection with the Mechanics Institute held at the Printing Works. It contained some 400 volumes, which had a fair number of readers. Adult members paid 2s. 6d per quarter, 1s 6d. to the library, and 1s to the newsroom; junior members paid 1s. 3d. per quarter, 9d to the library and 6d to the newsroom. In the first quarter (April, May, June, 1853) there were 41 members. In 1868 the now extensive library in connection with the Viaduct Institute,…

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Autobiography of Garret Ronayne

An old Indian Mutiny Veteran, who served diligently and faithfully throughout the mutiny of 1857-1858. Having been asked by several, of my friends to give a short sketch of my eventful career, I have pleasure in dedicating to them my autobiography in the hope that they will at last confirm a statement I have often made, that I am a most singular man. As it is about fifty-eight years ago since my enlisting in the army, I must respectfully request that my readers will forgive me for any mistakes I…

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Newton le Willows: 1830 – 1945

I have spent the last few hours transcribing a thesis by Lynton J. Smith which I was loaned by Geoff Simm into a text file, so that It could be used here into the website, Its a splendid work on the growth of Newton le Willows & Earlestown between 1830 – 1945, at the moment the thesis is missing a few diagrams, but all the text is here, I will add some maps later. NEWTON LE WILLOWS: URBAN GROWTH UNDER THE MICROSCOPE 1830-1945 The spread of urban areas in this…

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Castle Hill by the Rev. Edmund Sibson

The following account was written in 1843 by the Rev. Edmund Sibson, once Curate at Winwick, and after- wards Vicar of St. Thomass, Ashton-in-Makerfield, and is entitled “An Account of the Opening of an Ancient Barrow called Castle Hill, near Newton-in-Makerfield, in the County of Lancaster” This Photo of Castle Hill is from the 1916, Vol II, History of Newton in Makerfield, by J H Lane. edited and coloured from the original by Steven Dowd Mr Bainess Description. “At the distance of half a mile from and to the N.…

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Antiquarian notes on our Neighbourhood

Historical and antiquarian notes on Warrington and its Neighbourhood By John Babson, Esq. The object of the present communication will be to combine as well as I can the evidence from historical records, local traditions, and existing remains, so that each may throw light upon the other, and afford something like a continuous history of the district you have passed through this afternoon. The earliest remains we have to notice are the Tumuli, of which we have two marked on the Ordnance Map, to the east, and a little to…

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The Barons of Newton

Devices and Armorial Bearings of the Barons of Newton and their Kindred. This is a fragment of the seal of Warin Banastre, son of Robert Banastre, and heir to his brother Richard, who died 23rd April, 1205. This seal was appended to a grant in ” Waletona,” to one Alured, and is amongst the muniments of the Leghs of Lyme, which have supplied most of the seals here engraved. fig. 1 The deed to which this seal is appended being without date, it is uncertain whether it was used by…

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Crow Lane Hall & Newton Serjeants

This building, probably the oldest in the township, was formerly a moated grange, vestiges of the moat being visible in the boyhood days of some of our septuagenarian residents. It is said to have been the abode of the serjeant (or bailiff) of the lord of the manor, a post of great importance in olden days, and corresponding to that of sheriff of more recent times. Its very probable that the Serjeants (or Sergeants as the name later became), who resided at Crow Lane Hall in the 15th, 16th, and…

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Everton V Earlestown

Here are a few more facts about Earlestown FC 1899-00 Joined Lancashire League 1903 Lancashire League closed down 1903-04 Joined Lancashire Combination as founder members of new Division 2 Lancashire Combination Division Two runner-up Promoted to Division One 1906 Relegated to Division Two 1906-07 Lancashire Combination Division Two runner-up Promoted to Division One SEASON LEAGUE P W D L F A P POS 1899-00 LANCS 28 7 5 16 40 64 19 11/15 1900-01 LANCS 20 8 3 9 31 45 19 8/11 1901-02 LANCS 24 12 5 7 54…

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