Lark Rise to Candleford – Flora Thompson

‘As she went on her way, gossamer threads, sun from bush to bush, barricaded her pathway, and as she broke through one after another of these fairy barricades she thought, ‘They’re trying to bind and keep me’. But the threads which were to bind her to hernative county were more enduring than gossamer. They were spun of love and kinship and cherished memories.’

Final paragraph from Change in the Village, Candleford Green , Larkrise to Candelford, written by Flora Thompson 1876 – 1947

Final M.A show, Preston, Lancashire, UK


Victorian Bride Ships – further notes

Further Female Migration Research to Perth Australia 1800’s

I am still investigating where exactly in Fremantle the cotton girls would of arrived at after embarking at the old harbour.

‘Reception homes and depots were only intended as a temporary shelter, a transition between the passage out and colonial employment. The process of overseeing the reception of single women and their passage into domestic service was taken on eagerly by colonial women, and under female care, some of those temporary shelters became more welcoming , but they were not designed to encourage new arrivals to linger.’

‘The Fremantle depot was an old and rather decrepit building frequently targeted by vandals. In the 1800’s it was still customary to have a policeman stationed outside, night and day, although whether his task was to keep people in or out is not entirely clear.’

‘Regulations issued for the Perth Immigration Depot in the 1870’s when a full programme of immigration was in operation, detail the strict segregation of the single women from all other immigrants and families, under a government-appointed matron. They also stipulate other aspects of depot life. The food supplied was fairly standard institutional fare in its range and quantity:

18 ounces of bread, 12 ounces of meat and a pound of potatoes daily;  tea, sugar, treacle and salt, and a weekly half pound of soap. Immigrants were roused at 5.30 each summer’s morning, an hour earlier than in winter, to clean the depot and air their bedding. Men and women alike were permitted to leave the depot but had to be available between 7am and 1pm to meet prospective employers, and they had to attend roll call four times a day. Single women had to be back at the depot by 6pm; an extra hour and a half liberty was permitted the others. Swearing, indecent conversation and gambling were strictly prohibited, and conduct was to be ‘orderly and submissive.’

Notes from Blue China – Jan Gothard

A Walk at Penwortham Woods, Preston

Bottle cap Tree

Last year I researched the local fairy & folklore of Preston, coming across the story of the ‘Fairy Funeral’ based by St Marys church and Penwortham woods. This was included in the lecture I gave at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery for the ‘Enchanted Worlds’ fairy tale exhibition, and performed as a shadow theatre piece (see previous blogs July-Aug 09)

Twisted tree

One bright Spring Sunday, I went to explore the area and follow the trail along the River Ribble and walk in whats left of the Penwortham Woods. The area of woods would of once covered a much larger area, and there were stories of little men with red caps climbing trees and sighted as recently as June 1964.

St Marys church yard

St Marys ancient church

Penwortham Angel

st Marys Angel

Bowkers 1883 account of a funeral in Penwortham records that two men were walking home very late on a moonlit night from the Black Horse Pub by Penwortham woods. They heard the bells of St Marys church tolling for a funeral. It rang 26 times, the same age as Robin, one of the pair. They saw a group of small figures, dressed in black but wearing redcaps, carrying a little coffin. It contained a dead fairy that looked just like Robin! He cried out in alarm, but the procession vanished. Robin became depressed and a month later he fell off a haystack and died.

Warning –  never look at a fairy funeral!


Industrial Revolutionaries at the Harris museum, Preston

Fantastic exhibition just opened in Preston at the Harris Museum with a restored Yardworks model and remastered historical footage of the cotton mills and site.  Industrial Revolutionaries is curated by Laura Briggs

Horrockses Mill Workers

Annie Hill

Annie Hill

Annie Hill was a 12 year old half-timer working at Horrockses in 1906. Like many children her age, she worked half a day in the mill before going to school for the rest of the day.
Annie was one of thousands of people who worked in Lancashire’s cotton industry.
But she was unusual in one way – she had her portrait painted. Annie worked at Horrockses famous Yard Works in Preston and was there during the 1913 Royal Visit.

Horrockses Yard Works

Horrockses Yard Works in Preston grew from one factory in 1791 to a huge complex of mills by 1913.
This model, seen in the exhibition, was made by workers at Horrockses for the Royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary on 8 July 1913.

The model is an important record of the site in Preston as none of the buildings have survived.

Model Horrockses mill

Now only a few boundary walls remain of this once famous Yard Works site, which employed thousands and attracted the attention of Royalty.

The Royal couple came to Horrockses because the company was world famous and one of the largest cotton manufacturers in the world.

1862 Preston Guild

1862 Preston Guild

Originally uploaded by Nog Tow

Wow, what an event! to have seen the Great Blondin at the Preston Guild and this was at the time of the Cotton Famine. More research images please! Thanks Nog Tow.


Old Preston Images

Church Street Preston

I’ve had a response on my flickr images set from another person collecting images of past & present Preston called Alpro2010, who is also a member of the ‘Preston Guild Past and Present‘ group.

There are some great images of Preston from the late 1800’s to about 1965.


The Hidden Garden

In my final stages of exploring the site, with the aid of some ladders on a sunny autumn day, I finally climbed up and looked over the wall to see what was hidden on the other side.

Corner wall Dale St and Stanley St

Id been wondering  for some time, as I poured over the site maps throught the ages, where certain areas had disappeared to, particularly around the wall corner of Dale St and Stanley St, where Golden Square and the gardens once stood.

Hidden Garden

I found theres a hidden overgrown garden left there now with a broken down wooden shed, full of bramble bushes, nettles and weeds, too dense to walk in.

Caught in the web

  On the wall i noticed there was a beautiful butterfly caught by a spiders woven web.

Decorated Butterfly

And someone had drawn in pencil over the white stencil butterfly to add to the decoration, brilliant.

Behind the wall