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Last Newsletter    November 2016

Ken’s Corner
“Let us now praise famous men” were the opening words of the lesson at the Grammar School’s annual Founder’s Day service.
Who do you regard as Burnley’s most famous man? George Birtwistle perhaps, a brilliant mathematician, or P.G.Hamerton, Angelo Waddington, or G.B.Rawcliffe….
My nomination might be Kenneth Cameron (1922-2001), who, according to his obituary in the Guardian, was ‘the leading authority on English place names’.
Born at 1 Byron Street, near All Saints church, his first school was Habergham Primary. My Auntie Amy was the head there and always regarded him as ‘one of hers’.
He passed to the Grammar School in 1933 and we can see from the Brun magazine what a brilliant all-rounder he was: captain of football and cricket and of his school house, Ribblesdale.
He left for the R.A.F. in 1940.I can just remember him coming back to school in his uniform, not boastfully but with a sense of pride and gratitude.
He married Kathleen Heap, a High School teacher, at Claremont Church in December 1947.I have put together what we call a ‘pamphlet’ about them at the Library, and perhaps some day their children or grandchildren may find it
[Editor’s note: We were interested enough in Ken’s note to check the Guardian obit. on Wikipedia and learnt that Kenneth Cameron was a toponymist (one who studies place names –good for crosswords!), a wartime pilot, and a leading academic who taught at Nottingham University’s English Department from 1950 to 1984, finally becoming professor and head of department. It was said that he and his wife were famous for their warm hospitality – high teas and currant cake. A typical Burnley couple then.]

Denise North


An acquaintance of mine Joe Winkley spends time during his retirement helping to maintain All Souls Catholic Cemetery in Barrowford. On the 1st. of July 2016 he cleaned a family headstone and whilst removing moss from the stones surrounding the grave uncovered an inscription on the stone at the foot of the grave. It read Pte. Joseph Cowen, killed in action on July 1st. 1916 aged 23 years.
Joseph Cowen was serving with the 1st. East Lancs. Regiment when he was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme. He has no known grave and is therefore listed on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme in France. This may be the reason why his family had him commemorated on the family grave where his parents and sister are buried. His name has probably remained hidden from view for many years until it was revealed on the hundredth anniversary of his death.


Molly Haines has received a letter from the Nobbs family in Norfolk asking if any of our members have family connections with James and Horace Nobbs, who moved to Burnley from Norfolk.
Molly Haines can be contacted at 24 Singleton Ave , Read, Burnley, BB1 7JP or on 01282 773176



Libraries under threat 22

Most of the following information is taken from our local newspaper (Burnley Express 16/9/16).
At last the axe has fallen on four of our libraries, fairly swiftly, given the previous delays and so Briercliffe,Rosegrove,Pike Hill and Burnley Campus will close on Friday, 30 September unless there is a last minute reprieve, which seems unlikely.
The decisive criteria by which libraries and other community facilities were chosen for closure were access and deprivation of local communities. . The County Council reckons that ,after the closures, some 95% of the population would still be within 2 miles of a main library and 70% of those in less densely populated areas would be within 3 miles of a library facility.
On the ground that means, for example, that there would be no library of any sort between Brierclffe Library, now due to close, and Burnley Central Library. Barbon Street Library and Colne Road Library were closed some years ago and Colne Road Library’s replacement Burnley Campus Library now also due to close.
Although the distances are not as great we don’t suppose the inhabitants of Rosegrove/Lowerhouse and Pike Hill will be too happy either
As a sop, work will begin next year to create LCC neighbourhood centres, whatever they might offer, in, amongst other places, Burnley Central Library (plenty of room there now that the Children’s Library and the Music Library have been moved downstairs to the Lending Library) and Padiham Library ( how you could squash anything else into a small town centre library is a mystery)
On a closing and somewhat threatening note the County Council notes that there might be more library changes ahead, with the suggestion that it might investigate the future transfer of the library services to an external provider. More privatisation!. Will they favour Veolia, or Capita, both firms with lots of library experience or will they persuade Boots the Chemist to resurrect their lending library service, which ran with some success between 1898 and 1966, if you could afford the subscription?.

Libraries under threat 23

We learn from a recent letter sent to library volunteers that:
Libraries which have been selected to remain open may in future have other services located there and will be known as neighbourhood centres.
Some libraries may be selected to become a satellite libraries.
These are not things from outer space but are in a building which delivers other LCC services. The satellite library will have a book stock and a self service machine. It may also have some library volunteers.
Briercliffe, Pike Hill,Rosegrove and Burnley Campus Libraries will close for good on 30th September.
For any car user who used Pike Hill Library and who is thinking of using the Central Library and who is not fancying the parking situation there why not try Coal Clough Library. The stock is better and there is plenty of easy on street parking. To get there go up Manchester Road, turn right down Scott Park Road and the library is at the bottom at the junction with Coal Clough Lane.. Open every day except Monday morning, all day Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. Otherwise 9.30 to 5.00.


Libraries under threat 24
Since the County Council took over Burnley’s library service in 1974 the following two libraries have been opened:
Burnley Campus
Coal Clough ( This was a transitional building already started by the former County Borough of Burnley at the time of the handover of library services to Lancashire County Council)
And the following nine libraries have been closed:
Barbon St.
Burnley Campus
Burnley Wood
Colne Rd.
Pike Hill

 They do say that facts speak for themselves.




 Book News

1. The History of Burnley by Walter Bennett. For a limited period only Part III and Part IV of this book is available at the bargain price of £1.00 per volume. If you would like to purchase copies please see our Secretary, Stephen.
2. The Society has been given Volume 2 of the Victoria History of Lancashire (this is the volume which covers the Burnley area). Any member who would like to borrow it can do so and should contact a committee member.

Thursday, 8th September, 2016

Dr. Malcolm Greenhalgh
The river Ribble and how our present day countryside came into being
What should have been a somewhat depressing talk was elevated into interest and enjoyment by the likeable personality of the speaker. His subject was the continued environmental degradation of our landscape. Brazilian farmers are destroying the rain forest, our farmers are destroying the British countryside and the flora and fauna inhabiting it. And all this in the laudable cause of feeding growing populations.
Dr. Greenhalgh’s talk was illustrated by slides of the still splendid landscapes through which the Ribble flows.



Thursday, October 13th,2016
Mike Clarke
The two hundredth anniversary of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
This was the annual Walter Bennett Memorial Lecture chaired by our President, the Mayor of Burnley
The audience were treated to a comprehensive and exhaustive account of the canal’s history with emphasis on planning, whose complexities left the HS2 route discussions completely in the shade.
The evening was completed by a lively question and answer session.