Village Landmark Refurbishment
has resumed on the restoration and refurbishment of the Yeoman’s House in
West Derby Society (WDS) has been concerned about the future of the landmark, a
feature of the Village since late Tudor times.
The Grade II-listed building, seen about 1900, has been empty for many years.
began in 1987 and extensive repairs and improvements were made including an
extension at the rear.
Builders are now active on the site, working with City Council conservation
officials. WDS is closely involved in the project with the owner and local
councillors to secure the future sustainability of the property.
is how the Yeoman’s House will look with its original features restored.
riding on the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath recently I saw a plaque set into the
wall of a cutting east of Haskayne which stated : “The first spadeful of earth
dug 5.11.1770 by Hon Charles Mordaunt of Halsall Hall”, writes Alastair Caird.
canal was the first of the Trans Pennine canals to be started and the last to be
completed. The length and complexity of the route meant that the canal took 46
years to build at a cost five times the original budget.
canal originates from a proposal in 1765 to construct a canal from
1770 Canal Act set a route from
1773 the first part to open was the lock-free section from Skipton to Bingley
(above). By 1777 the canal was open between
years later in 1791 work restarted on building the canal west from Gargrave. In
1794 a new act was passed, changing the route to run via
plan to continue the canal as planned from Johnsons Hillock to Parbold was
abandoned through lack of money. An arrangement was made to use the section of
engineering of the canal is very different from other Trans Pennine canals. Most
of the locks are concentrated in groups with long level sections between.
Tunnels and cuttings are avoided where possible with the canal following the
contours round bends and loops. In some sections the distance between points by
canal is twice the shortest distance. The earliest locks between
most spectacular feature of the canal is the five rise lock staircase at Bingley.
canal prospered through the 19th century and was used for carrying stone, coal
and many other goods. The impact of the railway age was not as great as with
other canals but the coming of the lorry finally saw commercial traffic on the
canal dwindling. Commercial traffic continued along the main canal until 1964
the latter part of the 20th century the leisure potential of the canal began to
be appreciated. Boatyards, marinas and boat hire companies have developed along
the canal which is now very popular with boaters for its stunning scenery and
long lock-free sections ideal for cruising.
Rufford branch between Rufford and Sollom was built around 1760. A branch from
Burscough to Rufford opened in 1781. The final section from Sollom to Tarleton
opened in 1805 as part of the Croston drainage improvements.
Courthouse is adjacent to the former tram terminus building, housing tram crews
and horses the building later becoming the Robewell furniture factory
before being demolished and the site redeveloped in 1986.
courthouse has never been used as a police or county court, although the
interior fittings resemble both. It was a manor court presided over by the
Manor of West Derby eventually came into the hands of James, 7th Earl of Derby
and at a later stage passed to the Marquess of Salisbury. Henrietta Countess of
Ashburnham, only surviving daughter of William 9th Lord Derby sold it to Isaac
Green of Prescot. Green was born in
boasted that if time allowed he would own all the manor lands of
1910 the courthouse was used about once a year and all copyholders summoned to
attend but in reality most stayed away.
division of the country into hundreds took place in Saxon times and is generally
accredited to Alfred the Great. Basically the notion was that the country be
brought under military rule - each “hundred” was responsible for 100
hundred years ago the main road through the Village, Almonds Green - Town Row
the centre of the Village is a richly-ornamented Victorian monument. In the past
it was called Heywood’s Monument as it was erected by Mrs P Heywood of Norris
Green House, on the site of the ancient chapel altar.
first mention of a chapel in
1494 it was reported as being in bad repair and Henry VII allowed five marks out
of his Manor of West Derby towards making it suitable for divine worship. In
1552 it was described as a poor, ancient, chapel with only two small bells.
After the Restoration it is recorded that a curate looked after the chapel on a
stipend of £43.2s.8d.The steeple was rebuilt in 1745 and the chapel itself in
it was finally demolished about 1853, among the debris were found stones shaped
in a way indicating they were once part of a thatched roof.
has been suggested by others that the first chapel may well have been a wooden
building thatched with straw. One old legend says that during the Reformation
Commissioners came to the chapel but the priest had hidden the sacrament vessels
and plate beneath the pulpit but they were never recovered.
of the bells from the old chapel hung in the
interior of the chapel had high pews, so high that children were not able to see
the minister. It also had a three-decker pulpit. The clerk, Thomas Lawton, a
local blacksmith, occupied the clerk’s pulpit.
minister went into the vestry before the sermon to exchange his white surplice
for a black gown: in those days it would have been unorthodox to preach in any
colour other than black.
Society’s Summer Outings
WDS evening mystery tour on Wednesday 18 June had an added twist this year –
the coach broke down.
set off in a westerly direction and halted alongside Kirkby parish church, St
switched from ancient
last Earl, Hugh, told staff: “I don’t want anyone walking on my grave.”
The Earl’s ashes, along with his wife’s, were placed in the wall of the
Shepherd’s Church on his Abbeystead estate,
coach broke down just after we left the Queensway Tunnel at
Caernarfon day trip on Saturday 5 July went without a hitch. The sun was shining
when we left the Village at
and shone all day.
was busy but not packed and there was plenty to see – from the picture
postcard quaysides to the towering majesty of Edward I’s castle.
latter was a magnet to most of the party. Braving the hazardous spiral
staircases was rewarded with stunning views.
trips were again well supported with just one seat free on both coaches.
Alder Hey Memories
hospital asked WDS chairman Stephen Guy for his memories which were published on
the hospital website (see extract, below).
This prompted Society member:
Langeveld to write:
awful memories I have of
wonderful place but very frightening for a child.
three, I was in for one week - no memories really, except I was very sick,
having been poisoned by a green lolly ice made locally in a tin container.
still like iced lollies but won't eat green ones.
10, in the summer of 1954, for a couple of weeks with ‘pains' - diagnosed as
early 1955 I was re-admitted, re-diagnosed as pericarditis resulting in several
months at Alder Hey.
too sad to go into all the details but I do remember being wheeled on to the
balcony of the ward, in my bed (I couldn't walk), wrapped up in blankets and
left alone, just staring across at the shops.
wondered what I'd done wrong to deserve such punishment.
was told the fresh air would be good for me.
was a weekly ambulance ride to the Southern Hospital for some procedures which
were not available in children's hospitals.
said all that, I am eternally grateful. My life was saved at this wonderful
place, and am so glad that children nowadays have brighter and more cheerful
environments when they are poorly.
it good that we can look back with such mixed emotions and gratitude?
misery, fear and missing my mother.
hours were very strictly timed. Lying in bed staring at the door, waiting for it
to open and let my mummy come in. She always had a lovely smile on her face
towards me and I really didn't notice anyone else....
was wonderful while she was there but when visiting time was over (was it only
half-an-hour?), I always cried and asked her to take me home with her.
dreadful she must have felt.
almost feel as if I am re-living that part of my young life (the medical
problems didn't stop there, but I'm not about to write a personal medical
journal - heaven forbid!) but it is good to remember, and to know the medical
team were wonderful people.
contracted measles and my parents noticed I had a squint or lazy eye, as it was
called in those days.
had two operations at Alder Hey, in 1952 when I was four and at the age of six
operations, while successful, left me short sighted and I have worn glasses
since the age of four.
was a shy boy who was very finicky about food. My stays in Alder Hey – both
lasting about a fortnight – were ordeals.
those days the hospital was very different from today. A grim lodge with a
glowering attendant guarded the main entrance in
inside the main building, the smell of anaesthetic gas pervaded everywhere. It
churned my stomach and created nausea.
ruled the ward firmly but compassionately. Boys and girls occupied alternative
beds. I used to admire the older girls in their pretty nighties or pyjamas and
the younger ones were fair game for teasing. “I’m going to eat you for plum
pudding!” I told the girl in the next bed – she was about my age. She pulled
a face and hid under the bedclothes.
hours were strictly controlled. I was delighted one day when gran brought me
some of new multi-coloured chewing gum wrapped in cellophane.
sniffed: “Don’t swallow it Stephen or it will wrap itself around your
this day I have a dread of swallowing chewing gum.
was served using sensible unbreakable tin bowls, mugs and plates. The ward was
filled with weird scratching sounds as we finished off our corn flakes.
the weather was fine we were moved into the open air at the end of each ward. We
sat in chairs in our dressing gowns with blankets over our legs.
was utterly homesick and felt I was in prison. I would look wistfully over at
the busy shops on
real terror started after the operations. Both my eyes were covered and I was
plunged into darkness.
times were the biggest ordeal, times of unimaginable horror.
squeaking of the trolley and smell of over-cooked food filled the ward. I could
hear the tinny scraping as the food was dished out.
your mouth Stephen,” instructed nurse.
was no clue or indication of what was being shovelled in. I was not keen on
savouries and remember gagging as a mass of garden peas filled by mouth.
Puddings were fine.
meal time was torment but I was well brought up and did not spit anything out. I
simply swallowed to get rid of whatever it was.
remember vividly when the bandages were taken off and I was back in the familiar
world. They gave me my stitches as souvenirs and I kept them until they fell to
have recently acquired a soup maker – a type of food processor producing
delicious piping hot soup in less than 30 minutes.
was prompted by the milkman delivering a box of fresh vegetables once a week.
don’t know what will be in the box filled with seasonal, locally-sourced veg.
are usually potatoes, onions and carrots supplemented by cabbages, cauliflowers,
peas, parsnips and courgettes.
there are some left over. Enter the soup maker.
the lid, chop up any combination of goodies, add some stock and water, switch on
and – hey presto – delicious soup.
had me musing on how labour-saving devices have transformed food preparation.
still have mum’s old cookery book, acquired as a young bride in 1939.
recipes involve all manner of manual food preparation – folding in, beating,
chopping and kneading.
sure some meals must have led to repetitive strain injuries.
preparation is often a great pleasure yet some people avoid it like the plaque.
read somewhere that 30% of British men live off takeaways and beer, a sad
reflection on modern lifestyles.
reporter colleague used to have most of his meals at Little Chef restaurants –
he spent a lot of time travelling. Admittedly, the cost was often reimbursed as
asked him why he never cooked.
way I never have to do any washing up,” he replied, which I suppose is fair
has sometimes successfully objected to takeaways being opened where there are
already enough operating. I think there is scope for tighter legislation.
“You are what you eat” says the old adage yet many people ignore it at their peril. The majority of British adults are now overweight or obese.