Archive for the ‘Moonraker Updates’ Category

Quarrying and Mining Information Needed

March 16th, 2015 Comments off

Our research topic for February and March is mining and quarrying in Cowling Parish. The group studied information on 19th century coal mining at Reedshaw in the far west of the parish, on the Lancashire boarder. This was in an area now flooded by the eastern end of the reservoir there. We also have statistics regarding a trial lead mine at Gill Bottom in the 19th century. A spoil heap for this mine is still evident by the roadside, on the left before the disused cottages, when travelling NE on Shop Lane. The mine however was and still is on private land, with no access now available. The information for both mines was provided by Mike Gill of Sutton-in-Craven.

We have however very little quarrying information. We know there was a large quarry at Earl’s Crag in the 19th century and that Dick Lane actually stopped as it entered the quarry and then continued after it. We however have no dates, statistics or name of owner. There were also important quarries at Knoll Hill and Mires Close in the 19th century, but again we have no information. It is said that stone went from one of these quarries to build a dock at Heysham in Morecambe Bay.  We know there were also several  other smaller quarries. If anyone has any information regarding quarrying or mining in Cowling please get in touch.

2015 Programme Set

March 16th, 2015 Comments off

The wonderful news at our January meeting was that a programme for 2015 was agreed. This means we have a varied focus for the year. This will include two research projects, with two museum visits to stimulate this work. The possibility of a guest speaker is also being pursued. Alongside this will be outdoor research in the summer, continuing our recording of historic sites and religious building in the parish. In addition new display boards are planned.

The meeting conclude with a discussion of the condition of the Snowden Memorial, which was erected by the will of the village population approximately eighty years ago and whose upkeep was vested in the Parish Council.


Archive Sorting and Indexing Complete

March 16th, 2015 Comments off

The great news from our point of view is that our archives are now sorted and indexed after many months work. In the New Year we will place a list of these on our website. They can then be viewed on request. A small charge may be made if items are borrowed.

The completion of this work took up all the December meeting time. We can now look forward to 2015 and decisions to be made about future projects and visits for the year.

We should draw attention below to the change of date for our January meeting, due to the first Thursday of the month being on the Bank Holiday. Happy New Year to all Cowling parishioners.



Ninth Year Begins with Objectives Set and Started.

February 16th, 2011 Comments off

Its always good to start a new year with an idea of what you intend to do. February began our 9th year as a group. Hopefully these are more than New Year Resolutions. So at our February meeting we set our objectives for the year as:

  • Viscount Snowden sign to be painted( completed 15/02/11) and cairn renovated (May to August)
  • Group walk on Keighley Road (New Road Side) to further record shops and businesses. (May)
  • Compile a Cowling Pennine Way history leaflet for B&B’s in time for Easter bookings. Group set up – (1/2 of leaflet completed and printers approached 14/02/11)
  • Commence digital photography of historic sites. Group set up (May – Sept)
  • Begin new research topic. Group to be set up. (Sep – Dec)

We have made sure that our objectives are in line with our aims:

  • Record Cowling History
  • Share Cowling History
  • Announce Cowling’s place in history through our website and other forms of communication.

The fact that two of these objectives are well under way is great news.

During the last month we have placed our pictures from the old village hall into storage as a result of the burst pipes in the hall and its general heating problems. A request was received and answered regarding the age of Lumb Mill Farm barn. Information regarding the group’s needs in a new village hall were given to the fundraiser. Lothersdale over 60’s requested an illustrated talk from our group. A November date was arranged.

Monthly subscriptions for the group were discussed. At present we are not covering the hire of the room with our income. Afer a variety of solutions were put forward a member suggested that monthly subscriptions be kept and raised from £1 to £1.50. This appears a large increase. It was however pointed out it was in line with other group fees and that it was the first rise in eight years. It was passed unanimously.

We are still searching for a three-drawered filing cabinet for our continued storage. New avenues had been pursued without success.

Finally some copies of very interesting documents were brought by a member. These were:

  • Local poor Law information 1830’s
  • Formation of Cowling Committee Against Conscription 1914-18
  • Cowling Under the Norman Kings (early history of the parish) – Craven Herald 1/10/1926)

These will in due course be copied onto this website.

Moonrakers Entertain

August 13th, 2010 Comments off

On the 21stJuly three Moonrakers gave an illustrated talk to Lothersdale Over 60’s, as a part of their programme of talks. As we had done such a talk a few years earlier, this one had to have different features. Over 30 people attended, which we were told was a high attendance

The one and a quarter hour presentation opened with dialect poetry from Cowling. We then projected photos onto a screen, using computer graphics and explained the information provided.

The first half of the presentation was an update for the audience of new items of history that have arisen since our last visit. These included: the cudgel from the Broughton Hall affray of the 1850’s, Gill Bottom Fire report of 1870, Pram Race Memorabilia from the 1970’s, Snowden Memorial signs, book on chicken sexing, used in Cowling, from Japanese authors,  a dilapidated cottage in Ickornshaw 1904 and new Foresters Hall information.

The first half ended with another dialect poem.

The second half was selected old and modern photos of Lothersdale projected for the audience to enjoy and assist with recognition of people and places. The computers programme’s ability to zoom into photos added great interest and detail. Much  audience interest was aroused

The Moonrakers involved really enjoyed doing it and the audience was most appreciative. We hope to return again in a few more years.

Much to Report in July, since April meeting.

July 30th, 2010 Comments off

Two trip out in the parish in May and June were reported on . (See earlier article)

The rest of a shortened meeting was spent reporting to the group items that had come in during the last two months when there had been walks instead of meetings.

Lots of pictures and news articles had been received from Mrs Dolphin (previously Mrs Clewes), the landlady in the Bay Horse when the  pram race began. Visits by actor/director Sir Richard Attenborough and singer Anita Harris, to present trophies for funds raised at two successive annual pram races between Cowling and Sutton, via Cross Hills were the main items of interest. These have been sent for inclusion on the website gallery.

Items have been received for storage but these will be detailed in the Autumn when there is more time at meetings.

Forester’s Hall research was reported and will appear as a separate article.

A first draft of a history leaflet for B& Bs and campsite was shown and it was agreed that this was possible to produce using the Microsoft Publisher computer programme.

Finally a family history request had been recieved and a member had been able to furnish information.

The shortened meeting was followed by a short walk up to Winkholme top, to continue from June’s trip. It was noted that the stone to mark the site of the toll bar at Winkholme top needed cleaning, as the words were hardly visible. A member has since done this.

2010 Objectives Fine Tuned

April 23rd, 2010 Comments off

Two guests who have been to a recent meeting attended again this month. It is good to have new interest, which is always welcomed.

In the last month we received an invoice for website hosting. Enquiries were made about a Berry Bottoms standing stone. A request was made by the Village Hall committee for a Moonrakers display board at their celebration of 125 years on April 10th. They also said that they may hold another event in the Autumn, as a further celebration. Notification of the possibility of repairs to Ickornshaw Beck Damstones was received. A request for payment for a replacement key for the village hall was received.

At the meeting the group agreed to pay £35 for Internet web hosting  for another year. It proves a worthwhile  form of communication with people interested in Cowling history, worldwide. It was reported that enquiries by a member regarding the missing Berry Bottoms standing stone have drawn a blank. No one seems to know where it has gone. The request for a display board by the village hall committee was turned down, due to the time schedule being short and members were busy over the Easter weekend. It was agreed if more notice was given of an Autumn event then we would try to be involved. The group asked to be kept  informed about Ickornshaw Beck Damstones but the group has no official view on the subject. It was decided that as the group had never asked for a key for the village hall and did not need one then no payment should be made for keys.

There then followed an in depth discussion regarding the objectives set for this year. It was suggested it was time to narrow these down to achievable objectives. It was felt that a ‘Nostalgia Afternoon’, a ‘Where Do You Think You Are Afternoon’ and a ‘Book of Old Pictures’ would be best left until members with the knowledge and technical  know how were once again available.

It was decided, one, that the Philip Snowden Cairn and Sign renovation could go ahead, in conjunction with the Parish Council. A site visit was agreed for the next meeting night on 6th May.

It was agreed that, two, one walk should be the first aim for the summer. The one to Ickornshaw, Cock Hall and Winkholme was chosen. A planning trip will be held on June 3rd. It was decided that, three, a recording of historic sites, with photographs and grid references could commence on this visit. Other recording trips may be undertaken later in the summer.

Finally a member offered, four, to draft an outline of the proposed history leaflet for B&B’s and campsite guests, using computer programme Microsoft Publisher. This would be shown to the group in May.

This was a good meeting’s work. The four objectives (numbered in bold) selected  can be noted as  fulfilling the groups agreed aims – To record and share as much as possible of Cowling’s rich past and announce its place in history through our website and other forms of communication.

Categories: Moonraker Updates

February’s Busy Month

March 30th, 2010 Comments off

So much happened in the month of February that the entire March meeting was virtually taken up reporting it.It was good to welcome two visitors to the meeting,  both of Park Lane Bottoms. They were generally interested in Cowling History.

The meeting began with a request from a third visitor, the chairman of the Village Hall Committee. He advised the group that the Village hall was 125 years old and that the committee were to celebrate this on the 10th April. He asked the group to be involved, to show what they did and to show the history of the village hall. The feeling of the group was that this was short notice. Members did not know if they were available on the date mentioned. We did know that we did not have enough information about the village hall to display its history.The chairman said he would contact the village hall committee regarding the matter.

Just after the February meeting a request had been received for the group to give a talk to Lothersdale over 60’s about our work. This had been arranged for 21/7/10

A member has acquired a postcard dated 1909, showing stepping stones crossing the beck adjacent to Carr Head. The whereabouts of these stones and the reason for a river crossing in that area lead to much discussion.

It was reported that two members had made a visit to the Emmett Moor shooting hut to see if anything remained of the circular hut portrayed on the group website. Part of the ruined walls remained, but a new rectangular hut was now in use.

In February the chairman had communications with a Slaithwaite radio station and the Moonraking festival committee, regarding our Moonraking story. It is hoped to forge a connection between the two villages with Moonraking in common.

There was a communication with a past visitor to a meeting, reporting that a member had helped trace part of the family history and extended knowledge about the Gott family tree.

The idea of having historic pictures in All Saints parish church was reported to the group. Permission was given for any website pictures to be used for this purpose.

A past landlord of the Bay Horse public house, 1973-6 had contacted the group offering memorabilia of the pub and pram race. They also questioned the whereabouts of a bowl and plaque commemorating fundraising efforts, from the charity concerned.

A member requested photos, information regarding the demolition of Providence Place, Cowling in the 1960’s. This is to go in the next newsletter item under “Do You Know?”

Drystone Radio again requested input from the group. The chairman is to inform them that we have been on a programme in the past and are quite happy advertising aourselves in the village through the newsletter.

It was reported that a standing stone with a hole through the top in Berry Bottom, near the footbridge, has been removed. It is suggested that the stone  could possibly be linked either to a gateway or industrial use in rope making.

Ickornshaw Beck weir, it was reported has collapsed. Presumably it has stood since circa 1791, when Ickornshaw Mill was built. One of the visitor to the meeting  suggested it may be rebuilt for historic reasons. The group asked to be kept informed.

It was reported that two members had walked from Middleton to Kildwick along as much of the Corpse Road as was possible at that moment, with there being no Ridge Mill Bridge at present.

The meeting ended on a light note as a temperance pamphlet from the nineteenth century was circulated. Thiswas against allowing a licence for a new public house. Unfortunately it was not dated and the public house in question was not named.

Categories: Moonraker Updates

Eighth Year Begins With Planning Routes, Village Photos and Receipts

February 20th, 2010 Comments off

February marks the beginning of the new year for Moonrakers. As we began in February 2003, this month is the commencement of our eighth year.

Fistly the meeting was advised of all the requests and communications we’d had since the December meeting (January meeting cancelled due to snow/ice and insufficient heating in the village hall):

1. A request for David Hoyle  sketches, following “The Dalesman” article “Raking in the Moon” January 2010

2. The above “Dalesman” magazine received to thank us for our assistance, with picture and information.

3. Website material received from a member and some added to site.

4. News of Carr Head postcard on EBay auction.

5. News that Gale Mill Hawes have on view the David Hoyle painting (copy) – section view of a textile mill, that we donated.

6. 1924 Philip Snowden visit to Cowling – letter re visit arrangements received.

7. Richard Bradshaw (ex Methodist minister) communication re Alice Smith aural recording on website.

8. A request for a David Hoyle CD.

After discussions about the above the proposed spring Nostalgia Afternoon was aired. It was decided that at this stage a date could not be fixed due to some members not being available, due to work or family commitments. This will be looked at again next month.

Summer short History Routes planning, another objective for 2010, was then examined. After discussion it was proposed that the following five routes could be planned (not neccessarily all for this year).

1. Cowling Hill to Middleton

2. Ickornshaw, Cock Hall and Winkholme.

3. Keighley Road – Winkholme top to Collinge Road and return via allotments to St Andrew’s church.

4. Lane Ends area and Dick Lane.

5. The Corpse Route – All Saints church to Wainman’s Bottoms (at present, until new bridge built, via Berry Bottoms)

Next month’s meeting will look at starting to plan the historic interest to be noted on these routes.

In our other items section member Dennis Harker brought some very interesting items.

To link in with the proposed picture book objective for the year Dennis brought two picture books he had compiled of village history. These books had involved many hours of preparation and could possibly form the basis for the picture book idea. Members at the meeting perused them with admiration and interest.

Dennis also donated for storage receipts from the old Cowling Co-operative store. These comprised of a reciept book from 1946 and a set of reciepts from 1928/9. Again members delighted in examining these and finding family members  or Cowling characters mentioned in these records. They have been added to our store of Cowling Archives.

Finally a request was made for aural recording ,available on the website, to be made available to Lancashire Local History archives. The meeting agreed and enquiries decided upon to do the same in Yorkshire.

Categories: Moonraker Updates

Obejectives Set for 2010

December 16th, 2009 Comments off

The December meeting was a little down on numbers, due to clashing village events. However it started with a flurish, as a non-member came to donate historic documents relating to an Ickornshaw Moor court case. These have been stored for safekeeping and can be viewed on request.

The major decisions to be made were to set objectives for the coming year. These were as follows:

1. A Spring Nostalgia Afternoon (decided last month)

2. Planning short history routes around our area, to be ready for use in summer,with resources for points of interest. 

3. A history leaflet for B&B , campsite customers.

4. Begin a record of all historic sites,with photographs and grid references

5. Renovation of Philip Snowden Memorial Cairn and signs in conjunction with the Parish Council.

6. An Autumn “Where do you think you are?” afternoon for residents who are not born and bred Cowinheeaders. Information, in the form of a picture show, would demonstrate what used to be where houses now are and also give the basic main features of history that makes Cowling a unique historic community. 

7. Commencement of a picture book of old pictures. 

This is quite along list, but it was thought better to put them all down and if all are not acheived, then they can be carried over to the next year. Work will commence in January, with a designer coming to talk about how the B&B leaflet and picture book could be approched. January and February meetings should also see work on the Spring Nostalgia Afternoon (date to be decided).

Other items presented to the group were:

  • a  Hugh Smith Charity document of 1902
  • an excerpt from the Kildwick Almanac of 1868 supporting the change from domestic industry to mills, due to it leading to a disiplined life for workers. This posed a few interesting questions over a century later and proved once again that hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The final item raise quite a laugh and brought proceedings to a close on a high. Research on the internet showed that William Bradley Wainman, of Carr Head, famous landed “gentry” of our area, was in the 1860’s quite a pig breeder. He was one of the early improvers of the Yorkshire White. He was a prizewinning exhibitor at both the North East (held in Belfast) and Royal Agricultural Association shows in the early to mid 1860’s, winning three years running with the same pig – Arch Trespasser, a boar ( as a small, then medium, then large white).

The funniest tale however was that Mr Wainman leant a tenant farmer a pregnant sow. The sow’s litter was then purchased by Mr Wainman. The proceeds of the sale allowed the tenant to pay off his rent arrears to the same Mr Wainman, in ‘the terrible year of 1860’ , when farmers were struggling to make ends meet. It sounds like Mr Wainman needed a pat on the back for being an understanding landlord.

Thus another profitable meeting ended as members left ,still digesting their pre – Christmas mince pies devoured at the refreshment break.