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”

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”

From Misunderstanding to Murder

In the summer of 1950, twenty year old Fred Hardisty, of Devonshire Road Blackpool, was enjoying a break from his studies at Manchester University. The son of a coal merchant and former attendee at a most prestigious private school was enjoying a rather charmed life; having enough funds to to enjoy foreign holidays and toContinue reading “From Misunderstanding to Murder”

The Senseless Slaying of a Superintendent

It may (or may not) surprise you to learn that the seaside town of Blackpool is not all ‘fresh air and fun’ for beneath its gaudy exterior lies a much darker underbelly. It isn’t the drunken girls nights out I refer to nor the bawdy stag parties, but it’s links with organised crime. This plannedContinue reading “The Senseless Slaying of a Superintendent”