Layton’s Links to the Bloodiest Battle

The Battle of the Somme, where more than a million soldiers were killed in four months of machine gun warfare. Numerous British battalions were entering battle for the first time, and General Sir Henry Rawlinson issued an order that infantry troops were to advance at a walking pace in evenly spaced lines. Although many experiencedContinue reading “Layton’s Links to the Bloodiest Battle”

Return to Churchtown, Lancashire

Probably my favorite churchyard, situated around the north and south sides of St. Helen)s church, containing several sandstone headstones that have received a Grade II designation from English Heritage. They date mostly from the 18th century.There is a sundial that dates from 1757 & within the church there is the chamfered shaft of a sandstoneContinue reading “Return to Churchtown, Lancashire”

St Ann’s Churchyard

The Church of St Ann, Manchester, once had its own graveyard encircling the rear of the building.The site was used for interments between 1712-1854, which were stopped due to the Burial Act, putting a halt to burials being carried out in already overcrowded church yards.The burial ground was partially cleared in 1842 and the majorityContinue reading “St Ann’s Churchyard”

An Ominous Oracle

Join me for a trip down memory lane, to the bygone days of early summer, 1984. . . York Minster’s south roof was set ablaze by lightning, the miners were on strike and the largest onshore earthquake recorded in the UK hit the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales. But for those of us about to sitContinue reading “An Ominous Oracle”

Seaside Suicide

As dawn broke on the bitterly cold morning of Tuesday 16th December, 1930, two drowned bodies were discovered washed up on the beach, at South Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire. The couple were later to be identified as James Smith (aged 68) and Lily Lavinia Francis Ferris (52 years old.) James Smith was known locally as aContinue reading “Seaside Suicide”

Unsolved Murder of an Undergraduate

A quarter of a century has passed since twenty year old student Janet Murgatroyd, from Penwortham, Lancs, was barbarically killed and her battered, naked body was discovered floating along the River Ribble. Janet had taken a part time position as a clerk with Lancashire Police to supplement her income as she studied at The UniversityContinue reading “Unsolved Murder of an Undergraduate”

Death of a Demimondaine

On the Eve of All Hallows’, 1951 a young Blackpool woman became the victim of a treacherously cruel act. Blackpool has had its fair share of notorious women and by the early 50s sisters ‘Madge & Mary’ were well known to the local constabulary. They were working girls, demimondaines paid for their services. Of MaryContinue reading “Death of a Demimondaine”

Lament of Lovesick Lizzie

If you were to visit the picturesque village of Chipping in the postcard pretty Ribble Valley you would be forgiven for thinking you had stepped back in time. Chipping can boast the oldest shop in the United Kingdom (which dates back to 1668) The grade ll listed Woolfen Hall, made from slobbered rubble, three almshousesContinue reading “Lament of Lovesick Lizzie”