Local History

Whether indoors in winter or outdoors in summer, Local History events are always a treat!

Scout & Guide HQ (unless stated otherwise)
1st Tuesday of the month for Indoor Meetings; details below for Outdoor Meetings during the summer months
2.15pm for Indoor Meetings; details below for Outdoor Meetings during the summer months
  • Leader: Margaret Gibbon - 01695 422678

We return to our indoor meetings at the S&G HQ.

Meetings begin at 2:15pm and all members are welcome


Tuesday 1 October – Historic Graffiti

Love it or loathe it, graffiti is not a modern day phenomenon. You may be surprised where some historic graffiti has been written, and what it says, some of it in Latin. Dr. Colin Penny’s illustrated presentation of graffiti from our past will enlighten us.


Tuesday 5 November – Lancashire’s Home Front in W.W.2 plus a commemoration of D.Day.

Professor Penny Summerfield joins us with her research in an illustrated presentation about life on the home front during W.W.2. Our afternoon continues with a film recording of an emotive and dignified trip to France with a small number of D.Day veterans. The veterans share memories of the largest amphibious invasion in world history when some 160,000 Allied troops landed on the Normandy coast, 6th June 1944.


Tuesday 3 December – A Winters Day

Our seasonal meeting with Local Historian Alan Crosby. More details to follow.

To help with seating and catering, please book at the end of November meeting or at November Horizons. Cost £3.50p


Our outdoor visits begin.

Saturday 27 April – The National Memorial Arboretum

The 150 acre site located in Staffordshire is the UK’s centre of Remembrance and home to the iconic Armed Forces Memorial. A land train with commentary can be booked to see some of the thought-provoking memorials. An introductory talk about the Arboretum is included and an opportunity to hear another presentation entitled Shot at Dawn.

Departs 9.15am, Long Lane near S&G HQ.

Returns approx. 7.15pm.

Cost – Coach £18 – Land train £5.


Sunday 12 May – West Derby Courthouse and Speke Hall Liverpool

The stone built Courthouse is the only free standing post medieval court in Britain. Built in 1586 on the authorisation of Queen Elizabeth I it functioned until 1910. We continue onwards to Speke Hall, a fine example of a timber framed Tudor house with an interesting history to be told by one of the guides at the Hall.

Departs 1pm, Long Lane near S&G HQ.

Returns approx. 6.15pm.

Cost – Coach £10, Speke Hall admission £10. National Trust members no charge. Please remember to bring your Trust membership card.


Saturday 22 June – A Day in Deva – now known as Chester

The Roman roads linking Chester with Lancashire may have passed through Aughton and Ormskirk, we do have a turnpike road and Roman coins have been found in the area. Our visit includes a cruise along the River Dee with a sandwich, cake, fruit, tea / coffee lunch. After disembarking we will be in time to see the Midsummer Parade that dates back to Tudor times. Led by a child, the City Drummer and a family of Giants, puppet animals, mythical creatures, hobby horses, musicians and more costumed participants add to the colourful parade as it makes its way around the City centre. Later in the day there will be an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Legion XX.v.v with Titus or Marcus. A stop for a meal / snack on return journey – please pay for your order at the venue.

Departs 9.45 am, Long Lane near S&G HQ.

Returns approx 8.45 pm.

Cost £28. Optional walk £4 extra.

More details and booking at Horizons.


Tuesday 2 July   A Tour of Liverpool’s Empire Theatre. Lunch at the Adelphi Hotel. A Tour of Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre.

All the venues are optional and we meet at the venue of choice.

The Empire meet – 10.50 am for 11am – 12.15 pm tour. Cost £5

The Adelphi meet – 12.40 pm. Cost £7.50, please pay for any drinks on the day.

The Playhouse meet -2.20 pm for 2.30 pm – 3.45 pm tour. Cost £5

Please book at Horizons.

All members are welcome to our indoor meetings/ outdoor visits but please note that there are no meetings in August and September.

2018-2019 Local History Indoor Meetings

We returned to our indoor meetings in the S&G HQ on Tuesday 2 October. By drawing together some of the events of the Great War that we had covered and some that we had not yet presented, our October and November meetings concluded our commemoration of W.W.I.

Tuesday 2 October 2018 meeting included a film, Defeat to Victory. The film centred around the 2nd Salford Pals Battalion of the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers as they prepared for the Battle of the Somme (1916). Authentic and deeply moving, the footage revealed what it was like to go `over the top` and how British tactics changed after the appalling consequences of that first day (01.07.1916).

Tuesday 6 November we reviewed war events from 1916-18 and Daniel Tyler joined us to relate some of the crucial incidents that led to the memorable time and date 11 am 11.11.1918. The Twenty Year Armistice was the title of Daniel`s presentation.

Members shared letters, documents and other memorabilia relating to W.W.I.

Tuesday 4 December – Muck, Fylthe and Executions. It was time to revisit the Tudor era as we mixed facts and fun whilst sampling some themed food and drink. Led by the `Lord of Misrule` with special guest, one of Henry VIII`s wives. Cost was the princely sum of 3 Groats (or £3 in `modern` money).

No meeting in January.

Tuesday 5 February 2019 – Medieval Manuscripts. Illuminated manuscripts are an interesting resource for understanding some aspects of medieval life, not only in castles and palaces, and they provide an insight into everyday life at the time. Brian Farrimond brought along examples of medieval manuscripts and told us more about them. As it was the first day of the Chinese New Year we began our meeting with fortune cookies and our horoscope for the year. Jasmine and green tea was available and enjoyed by all.

Tuesday 5 March – The Architecture of Lord Street, Southport and Bed and Breakfast in Southport. One of the most well-known streets in our local history is Lord Street, Southport, a fine example of a Victorian canopied boulevard. But have you ever stopped to look up at the interesting buildings? Julia Clayton’s illustrated presentation highlighted some of the architecture of Lord Street. We continued our afternoon with Jill Newsham’s presentation of some of the historic venues that have provided bed and breakfast for visitors to Southport over the years.

Tuesday 2 April – The Patients View of Health (19th century)

Author and Historian Elizabeth Roberts joined us to talk about her research including interviews with Lancashire folk and how they coped before the NHS. Members may have family remedies that they would like to share.

2018 Local History Summer Outings

Tuesday 1 May Imperial War Museum and a Tour of BBC Studios at Salford Quays

The coach departed from Long Lane at 12.30pm for a ‘self guided’ tour of the Imperial War Museum, followed by a guided Tour around the BBC Studios at Salford Quays. After extensive and comprehensive security checks, we were shown one of BBC Radio 6’s studios followed by the ‘Match of the Day’, ‘Blue Peter’ and ‘BBC Breakfast’ studios. Cost was £22.75.  We returned approx. 7pm.

Saturday 2 June Tour and Tales around the Ribble Valley

Our popular trip is fully booked with a waiting list. If your place is reserved please pay at Horizons and select your lunch menu. Cost: £32.

Departs 9.30 am outside S.&G. Hq. Returns approximately 6pm.

Tuesday 3 July Merseyside Maritime Museum and Afternoon Tea at 30 James Street Hotel

We were treated to two role play performances at M.M.M. Firstly, from Robert Hitchins who was at the wheel of R.M.S Titanic on that fateful night, 15 April 1912. We heard his moving account of the tragedy.

This was followed by Hope Chapin who was a passenger on R.M.S. Carpathia, the small liner that rescued the lifeboat survivors of Titanic from the freezing ocean.  We listened to ‘Hope`s’ narrative of the event.

We strolled to our next appointment, along Strand Street, to Afternoon tea at the former White Star Line Hq., Albion House, now restored as a hotel that pays tribute to its history.  We had a short tour of the hotel including one of the themed suites, followed by Afternoon Tea in the Carpathia Restaurant, overlooking Liverpool’s Historic Waterfront.

Cost £18. We met at M.M.M Albert Dock.

Spring 2018 Indoor Meetings

Tuesday 6 February:   Liverpool Revisited in Film and in Conversation

From a small fishing inlet to Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool has been home, a place of employment, a cultural and shopping venue and more, for many of our members.  All members are welcome to the meeting to discover/rediscover more about the pool that became the City of Liverpool.

Tuesday 6 March:   Poverty and the Workhouses in South-West Lancashire – 2.15pm

Vivian Mumford  joins us to present her research.

Tuesday 3 April:   It’s World Cup Football Year – Kick Off  – 2.15pm

Hear how Lancashire played a major role in the development of football and how local people have been involved in the game. Second half – `The Voice of Anfield` – stadium announcer George Sephton will talk about some of his memorable times with Liverpool Football Club.

There will be ‘Spot the Ball’ and other easy football related competitions plus pies, prizes and pots of tea and coffee.

Oyez – find out about the indoor and outdoor activities of the very popular Local History group

2017 Indoor Meetings

18 February : Cork Jackets and Drill – tells the story, through original music, songs and narration of the 1886 Southport lifeboat disaster, which claimed the lives of almost all of the crew members of the Southport and St. Anne’s Lifeboats.

The music, songs and script are by Southport based playwright Len Pentin whose work has been performed at local theatres, on BBC Radio Merseyside and at the London Fringe. The six person musical performance with its folk roots tells how the dreadfully impoverished mostly fishermen bravely gave battle one terrible storm-ridden winter night in 1886, in an attempt to save the crew of a ship in distress off Southport Sands.

At the time, the tragedy touched and deeply affected the whole of the UK but it is now sadly, largely forgotten. Cork Jackets and Drill attempts to reinstate the memory of the brave lifeboat men who risked and gave their lives that night for others.

‘And they call us part-time sailors, but we are soul-savers’

2016 Local History Summer Outings

In April, some of our members visited Ormskirk Magistrate’s Court for the last time. The Court closed its doors at the end of June.

3 May: After an interesting guided walk around the area known as the Ropewalks in Liverpool, the Athenaeum opened its doors to us for a tour and lunch. The Athenaeum was founded in 1797 as a library and newsroom for gentlemen. During its time it has acquired, usually from donations, an interesting collection of artefacts. We were able to see some recently discovered historical items such as an ‘1836 passport’ used as a bookmark, and the typewriter which belonged to the Liverpool born Nicholas Montserrat, who served in the Royal Navy in WW2, and who based his novel ‘The Cruel Sea‘ on his wartime experiences.

7 June: A warm welcome awaited us in June at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, home of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

7 June: We travelled on to Lancashire Record Office and heard a fascinating presentation of our local history and had the opportunity to see and handle some of our precious documents, maps and ledgers, linking us with our ancestors.

11 June: We enjoyed a Tour and Tales around the Ribble Valley on Saturday 11th June, visiting a few ancient Inns. According to the Ordnance Survey map we were in the centre of the UK when we visited Dunsop Village. Yes, we did have some rain puddles.

5 July: On our last outdoor visit we walked in the footsteps of Agnes, Kitty and James listening to some of the history of our three humble local history representatives. The photo shows us next to the statue of Kitty Wilkinson in St. George’s Hall.

Agnes Jones worked tirelessly to improve the conditions in Britain’s largest workhouse situated on Brownlow Hill, Liverpool. Kitty Wilkinson is remembered for her selfless humanitarian work especially during the cholera epidemic of 1832. James Carling was a pavement artist known as the `little chalker`.

Kitty Wilkinson’s statue in St. George’s Hall

Much appreciation to our photographers for taking and supplying the photos.

2015 Local History

Margaret Gibbon’s sensational Local History Group summer outings have been a testament to her enthusiasm, organisation skills and eye for historical detail.

May: Brief Encounter

June & September: Houghton Tower and Canal Cruise

December: Did we step back in time at our Lancashire Day celebration?

Autumn Indoor Meetings and Xmas Celebration

Tuesday 4 Oct.  Boat people on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal
2016 was the bicentenary of the Leeds to Liverpool canal; the first sod was cut at Halsall in West Lancs. Nov. 1770 and the canal was completed Oct. 1816. Essential commodities such as coal and cotton were transported in barges along the canal and also essential were the hard working boat people. Bill Huyton joined us with an illustrated presentation of two local boat families.
Tuesday 1 Nov.  The Battle of the Somme
The battle began on 1st July 1916. On that first day the British Army suffered 57,470 casualties,19,240 of whom were killed – the bloodiest battle in British military history. Of the fatalities almost 2,000 were from the Lancashire Pals battalions. Military historian Richard Houghton recalled more about the Battle of the Somme.
Tuesday 6 Dec.  Christmas Traditions
All members joined us to discover/rediscover the history of the traditions and ceremonies of one of our most important festivals – Christmas. Traditional food and drink was available for £2 50 on the day.

2010-2014 Local History pictures