Category Archives: Monthly Meeting

Guest Review – January 2017

David Hurrell – Peak and Northern Footpath Society



David came along to our January meeting to present the work of the PNFS. The group is highly dependant on subscriptions for income, so naturally, his ulterior motive in speaking to us was to gain new members.

Describing themselves as a preservation society, the group’s territory stretches from Morecambe to the outer reaches of Staffordshire, and from the region’s west coast to Derbyshire’s eastern border, their remit being to ensure that traditional footpaths remain open and accessible.  David provided us with examples of how the Members of the PNFS work tirelessly to keep our sometimes ancient pathways open to the public, even by actively chopping their way through pathways overgrown by brambles if needed, or by  negotiating with errant farmers who have  blocked public rights of way with for example, piles of manure or makeshift barriers.

The talk covered many aspects of walking from the more obvious health benefits (did you know that walking 1 mile equates to an additional 20 minutes on your lifespan?), to the pleasure of spotting seasonal flowers and vegetation and the fallacy that farmers may not graze bulls in fields with a public footpath running through them – they can, but the rules regarding the age of the beast and who they may consort with are complicated it seems!

If you would like to join the PNFS, enjoy some great company and enjoyable walks whilst contributing to their very worthwhile efforts in preserving the 20,000 miles of footpaths within their territory, you will find information on their website

Kim Whittle


October Monthly Speaker

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On 11 October, the speaker at Leyland U3A monthly meeting was Mr Neil Smith who “Had Guitar & Travelled”.  Not someone I would have volunteered to travel with : as he was both unlucky and found himself in many dangerous situations, as well as meeting many stars in fabulous hotels. A lead guitarist from the 1960s he missed out on a Hamburg tour with the Beatles and other Mersey greats and marriage to an American heiress. He was almost shot in Ireland, Russia, Greece and Transylvania. On the other hand he played at private functions for Elizabeth Taylor & Sophia Loren. No one could accuse Neil of leading a boring life and his entertaining talk was punctuated by guitar pieces in styles ranging from flamenco to rockabilly.


AGM & Summer Bake Off Challenge

Wednesday saw our second AGM, and to add a bit of interest the Committee decided to hold a Summer Bake Off Challenge.

Paperwork pertaining to the AGM can be found HERE

As we had no other nominations for the committee, the same members as last year will be continuing in their present posts. Details can be found HERE

The Great Summer Bake Off Challenge 2017


The challenge consisted of TWO categories, the first a Victoria Sponge Cake and the second Traditional Lancashire Barm Cakes. The winner of each category received a cup, certificate and Free membership for the following season.  The runner up also received a cup and a certificate.


The judging was undertaken by Lindsey Barrow, President of Buckshaw Village WI and experienced cake judge and assisted by Sheila Misseldine a retired pastry Chef.

Victoria Sponge Cake

We received EIGHT entries in this category.

  • First Place going to Maureen Pendlebury.
  • Second Place going to Steve Ellison.
  • The entries were to such an high standard that the judges aldo presented a Commended certificate to Sandy Fairey

Maureen Pendlebury receiving her 1st place Cup & certificate


Steve ellison receiving his 2nd place cup and Certificate


Sandy Fairey receiving her Commended certificate

Lancashire Barm Cake

We received SEVEN entries in this category.

  • First Place going to Brenda Strobie.
  • Second Place going to Pam carroll.

Brenda Strobie receiving her 1st place Cup & certificate


Pam Carroll receiving his 2nd place cup and Certificate

After the judging the rest of the members had chance to try all the entries in a Jacob’s Join. Boiled Ham and homemade butter provided by Jim Porter.

Ian Barrow


March Monthly Meeting

A Lancashire Garland – Sid Calderbank 

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Sid admitted he loves grubbing around dusty old archives researching Lancashire and its dialect and then performing the poems, songs and stories that form part of our ‘intangible heritage’.  He reminded us that his last talk took us up to 1856 and was about Edwin ‘Ned’ Waugh, the inspiration of hundreds of other dialect authors and poets. One of which was Samuel Laycock, a Yorkshire man born in Marsden but who moved to Stalybridge when he was eight.  Sam worked in the cotton mills and was inspired by Ned Waugh to write.  Sid performed one of his poems, “Bowton’s Yard”. Sam like half a million other cotton workers in Lancashire lost his job as a result of the Cotton Famine in the early 1860’s and he took to writing to support himself.  Sid performed one of his songs from that time, “Th’ Shurat Weaver’s Song”.  Sam later moved to Blackpool and became a supporter of the RNLI.  We were told of the loss of the Southport and St Anne’s lifeboats and 27 lifeboat men, the largest loss of life in the history of the RNLI, during the rescue of the crew of ‘The Mexico’ in 1886 and we learned that as a result Sir Charles Macara and his wife Marion were instrumental in establishing the first public collection days for the RNLI. Sam wrote “Tribute to the Drowned” following that disaster and Sid performed an excerpt from it. Sid then went on to discuss the “Bowton Luminary”, edited by John Taylor Staton, a penny dreadful which was published from 1852 to 1862. Staton later produced an anthology of poems and stories submitted to the “Bowtun Luminary”, one of which was Frank Ormerod’s “Owd Shunt” and we were treated to an excerpt from that.  Sid concluded with Edwardian musical hall poem by Ben Woods, “Bobby Grundy A Village Shopkeeper”, a veritable tour de force.  As always Sid demonstrated his knowledge and enthusiasm for the Lancashire dialect and the wit of its writers. His enthusiasm was felt by all and we were treated to an enjoyable and entertaining presentation.

David O’Malia

Match Monthly Meeting

History Of  R.O.F. Chorley by Lindsey Barrow

Following a detailed description on the outside of the site if you walked along Dawson Lane, Wigan Lane Euxton Lane and the A6 by our chairman Edward Almond, we were allowed to enter the “secret” site. Lindsey Barrow give us an illustrated fact filled talk of a site that everyone knew about but few people had actually seen.

The journey started in 1936 when a 875 acre green field site was was transformed into the worlds largest civil engineering construction site. In a period of 3 years 1600 building had been constructed, some of the statistics are amazing

  • 13 miles of railways
  • 80 miles of drains
  • 30,000,000 bricks laid
  • 1,000 000 cubic yards of concrete used. Mixed in the worlds largest cement mixer it the time.

We were given a brief description of two listed building Buckshaw Hall and Worden Old Hall that were lost to the outside world for over 70 years. These could be a good topic for a future talk ?

As the site was part of the M.O.D. and therefore part of the civil service you can expect that it would have bureaucratic site, and this was the case. Streets ran North to South and had a unique number. Avenues ran East to West and had a unique Letter. The site was split into groups each group split into lines, each line containing a number of buildings.

We were treated to numerous photographs showing different types of building filling process and the employees at work and  play through the 7 decades the site was open.

The talk was engaging with the audience who asked numerous questions at the end.

Ian Barrow