In November we decided to change the way we are distributing our re-issue CD: ‘Tales of Cowling’ by David Hoyle & Norman Binns We are now not charging an amount for the CDs but asking you to make a donation of your choice to our local history work. It should make excellent Christmas stocking filler. Most of our meeting was spent examining and labelling the Moonrakers Dennis Harker Memorial Archive. This is virtually complete. Only indexing is now needed. Our Bradford Industrial Museum visit is now going to take place in 2017. Finally we would like to wish all parishioners and followers of Cowling local history a happy festive season.
At the October meeting it was agreed to defer selling the re-issue Cowling Memories CD, previously sold in 2007, until November. This will be in time for Christmas, at £9 per copy. It should make an excellent gift for anyone interested in Cowling in days gone by. All proceeds will go to funding our local history work. Following the success of our July mining talk, the group decided to have an annual talk on different subjects which fit in with Cowling local history. Further work on sorting/labelling Moonrakers Dennis Harker Memorial Archive took place. Most of the November meeting will be given over to this work. October 13th saw two members represent Moonrakers, with a display, artefacts and documents at Cross Hills Library History Morning. This was very successful as new contacts were made with individuals and groups. We were able to exchange information and show what we did. Finally we are now hoping to visit Bradford Industrial Museum in November. We will get there eventually.
During August we were very thankful to have bequeathed to us the personal archives of our late member Dennis Harker. All who knew Dennis will know that his retirement was dedicated to researching and gathering information regarding Cowling local history. Work has commenced on sorting through this very important archive. It is planned to label all items ‘Dennis Harker Memorial Archive 2016’ and store them within our Moonraker archive for our use and for parishioners to view or loan at one of our meeting, by previous arrangement. Two other items at the September meeting were both feedbacks, on our successful mining talk in July and from two members who represented us at St Andrew’s Chapel users’ service. Looking forward we agreed to be represented at Cross Hills Library Local History Day on the morning of 13th October. Lastly, it was agreed to reproduce a memories CD we originally sold in 2007, for sale commencing October, as a possible Christmas stocking filler. Further details will be published next month.
A packed Bancroft Room enjoyed our first ever public talk on our July meeting night. Sutton’s Mike Gill entertained the rapt audience with detailed, illustrated information about where and how mining and smelting had occurred in Cononley, Glusburn, Sutton and Cowling parishes. This was followed by many questions as the audience probed for even more information. One answer astounded everyone. To the question of how was lead formed, the answer was in the heat of a supernova star explosion, when the earth was still forming! Discussions then continued over refreshments on a very enjoyable and successful night. Thanks must go to Mike Gill for a very well organised and informative talk, to all Moonrakers’ members for making the night run like clockwork and to local people for supporting the event.
It was with great sadness that the June meeting heard of the death of member Dennis Harker. Moonrakers and Cowling local history owe a great debt of gratitude to Dennis. He loved Cowling and its rich history. No one of his generation contributed more time and energy to increasing our knowledge of life in Cowling in days gone by. Dennis spent countless hours travelling to various record offices and at home, typing out his findings. In addition he travelled abroad researching his family history and also regularly volunteered for the Lancashire Archive Service in Colne. Dennis was tenacious in his quest for accurate historic facts and continued working even when his health was failing. The meeting held a minutes silence as a mark of respect and for the same reason postponed the groups June visit to Bradford Industrial Museum until the autumn.
On a lovely warm and dry evening in early May we held our first outdoor meeting of the year, recording photographic evidence of historic buildings along Gill Lane from Gill Top to the old Middleton Chapel, and up Middleton Street. Thank you to the residents that we met who offered information and generally showed an interest in the hamlets rich history.
On Tuesday June 7th we are visiting Bradford Industrial Museum to view its textile exhibits and also its vehicles and houses.
Our June 2nd meeting is indoors at St Andrew’s Bancroft Room 7.30 – 9.15 pm (all welcome), when we will finalize plans for the Bradford museum visit and publicity for the July 7th 7.30 pm Talk: Mining in Cowling and Cononley by mining specialist Mike Gill of Sutton-in-Craven, to which all are welcome. This talk is free. Donations to our local history work will be accepted.
In April we studied Cowling Baptist Monumental Inscriptions. Although Cowling Hill Baptist Chapel was built in 1724 these inscriptions are on graves in its second graveyard and only date with names from 1816 (earliest we found). The first graveyard was a triangular plot behind the chapel. The list we used was compiled by Keighley Family History Group and was dated 1996 and thanks must go for their endeavours in compiling it.
The 1816 inscriptions were very sad. A young mother Mrs Martha Shuttleworth of Ickornshaw, aged 29, died in July. In September of the same year her one year old son John also passed away. This represents how short life could be not that long ago. There was however also many people living into old age.
Several burials are from people who lived in many villages around the area. This could reflect the distances that people were prepared to travel to this, one of the earliest non conformist buildings in the Craven area.
On looking at the most common family names buried at Cowling Hill, it will be no surprise that Smith topped that poll. Other local family names that featured prominently were Emmott, Harrison, Rushton and Shuttleworth. A mention should also be given to the several Whitakers, Snowdens, Shackletons, Scarboroughs, Gotts, Binns and Bensons who obviously worshipped at Cowling Hill Baptist Chapel and were buried there.
Finally on another subject, we can give first notice of a talk to be held at our July 7th meeting entitled ‘Mining in Cowling and Cononley’, given by mining expert Mike Gill of Sutton. This talk will be free, with donations welcome.
Our March meeting was taken up with an examination of various documents recently given to the group for safekeeping in our archive.
Ways of raising funds were also discussed. At the April meeting the group will study Cowling Baptist Monumental Inscriptions.
Our February meeting centred mainly on a discussion of old road systems in the parish.
This was stimulated by a document given to us, which was a copy of talk given on the topic over thirty years ago. The main aspects of interest were Jeffrey’s map of 1745, the workings and naming of the Turnpike Trust system, the Blackburn-Addingham- Cocking End turnpike, toll booth positions and William Moore’s Causeway.
Finally monumental inscriptions at both Cowling Hill Baptists and Holy Trinity Church were briefly discussed along with planned visits to record offices.
Our January meeting was full of business about the running of our group.A new involvement with our website for the photographer members was explained and demonstrated.
The main business however was working together to decide on a programme for our meeting, research and visits for 2016. More museum visits are planned, as is a group record office visit. We are to continue our record of historic building in the parish, in the summer months.
So as we move into our fourteenth year there will be some new things and a continuation of work in progress. As always we will look forward to welcoming anyone who feels they would like to come along in 2016, to see if they would like to join us in sharing our enjoyment of Cowling’s wonderful and unique history.