Burnley Historical Society

News and Views


Thursday, 30th September 2018


Dr. Christopher Fitz-Simon


Tyrone Guthrie in World War II: from Dunkirk to Burnley


This lecture was given at Burnley Central Library as part of the Burnley Literary Festival 2018 and was attended by a round dozen of persons, including the speaker and some of his family.

We always knew that Burnley is somewhat of a cultural desert, this just proves it! The publicity wasn't good either and the enthusiasm of Burnley Historical Society members rather muted. Ah well, can't win them all!

The talk itself was very interesting and brought to life Burnley's small part in helping to preserve the artistic life of the country in World War II

Thursday, 13th September, 2018


David Wiseman


Transported: the story of two Burnley boys


In 1840 two young men from Burnley stole a few items of clothing etc. and were sentenced to be transported to Australia for 10 years. Luckily they both survived the land prisons, the prison hulks, the voyage to the other side of the world and the 10 years of semi-slavery ,to the extent of writing to relatives trying to persuade them to emigrate and join them. And, finally, leaving behind them the start of a new family, the descendants of which now number several hundred.

This was an interesting story well told by the speaker, the well known historian of the Burnley Football Club and himself a member of the same family as the boys.


Royal Exchange Theatre



On July 25th. members of the society enjoyed the second Summer visit of the year with

a trip to The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Two well informed guides led a conducted tour of the theatre and described some of the unusual features. The guides then talked about the history of the building and again pointed out many of its features. A tour behind the scenes followed including the wardrobe department and the wigs and make-up department where the people running them described their work and showed examples of what is produced. Refreshments were then provided with the guides answering questions asked by the members. An enjoyable and extremely interesting visit.




Dan Snow' History Tour


The well known TV presenter Dan Snow will be conducting a country wide History Tour during 2018-19. His talk will feature anecdotes and experiences from his career as a broadcaster and historian and will include facts and stories relating to each town visited.

He will visit Burnley Mechanics on March 9th, 2019.

Sounds interesting. We wonder which Burnley stories will feature!

added 24/07/2018 



New venue for meetings

As mentioned in the August 2016 Newsletter, we are leaving the New Church
at the end of this season. We have now found a new place for future meetings
from September 2017 onwards. This will be the Parish Rooms at St. John the
Baptist church on Ivy Street. It should be very good as the hall is the size we
want with the requisite number of chairs, kitchen and toilets. There is also a
large car park just outside the hall so no more on street parking.
Many members will already know where St. John's is but if you don't it is just
off Briercliffe Road. If you are coming from the Prairie it is on the left the next
street past Brennand St. If you are coming from the Centre it is on the right
just after Newman St and the LIdl traffic lights. Turn right at the pelican
crossing, When you turn into Ivy St. the car park entrance is immediately on
your right. The entrance to the Parish Rooms is at the far end of the car park
through a pair of large metal gates. The Parish Rooms are then just on your
If you are still not sure you can always Google "St. John the Baptist church,
Ivy St., Burnley" and you will get a street map with the church marked.

added 11/02/2017


If you are interested in online social networking services or even if you are not why not try our Facebook page. This is edited by Philip Cregan and people with access to Facebook and, if not, it is easy to log on to it, will receive updates about the Society and other local history news. The page is proving very popular having now attracted over 200 "likes". Phillip has asked members to send him photographs and information by email.
Find us on Facebook at "Burnley and District Historical Society"


Membership Secretary

Following the resignation of our long serving Membership Secretary Molly Haines, Roger Creegan has kindly volunteered to fill the vacancy and has now taken over. So any queries about membership matters can now be referred to him. He can be contacted at 01282 436542 or at rmcreegan@btinternet.com


added april 2017