Network of history

Tommy Oldham on duty at fleetwood's main station in Queens Terrace. It was demolished in the sixties after Dr Richard Beeching's review of rail services decimated the port's railway links
Tommy Oldham on duty at fleetwood's main station in Queens Terrace. It was demolished in the sixties after Dr Richard Beeching's review of rail services decimated the port's railway links

FROM Pilling to Warton, from Blackpool to Garstang, a good deal of research is being done across the Fylde, which would be of great interest to all local historians in the area.

And that has led to the Fylde History Network – which has brought together a system for liaising and communicating between the dozen or so local history societies and the various local historians – including several Memory Lane contributors – with their wide range of interests and research.

Regional Volunteer for the War Memorial Trust Mike Coyle

Regional Volunteer for the War Memorial Trust Mike Coyle

But, as the inaugural meeting discussed, where exactly are the boundaries of the Fylde – ignoring current local authority lines adhered to by Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. Is Over Wyre part of the Fylde? And what about Amounderness? In the Domesday survey this stretched as far east as Ribchester.

Much has happened in the past 14 months since the get-together and the network is staging A Local History Day this Saturday, in Staining, with a wide range of historical topics and speakers.

Christine Storey, a co-founder of the network, with Peter and Maureen Shakeshaft, will be one of the speakers, with her subject Aspects of Poulton.

A leading light in Poulton Historical Society and also the Lancashire Local History Federation, Christine says: “I began tracing my Lewtas family history in the 1970s, and soon realised I wanted to know more about Poulton where the family had lived for over 300 years.”

Retired teacher Margaret Croker, who will be talking about Fylde post or peg mills, says: “My curiosity about windmills was sparked when I came to live in ‘Windmill Land’ and my husband explained Allen Clarke’s exploration of the Fylde, describing the windmills, in 1916.

“I am currently looking back to the origins of windmills in England, the post or peg mills, and on William Yates map of 1786 there were 32 post mills on the Fylde.”

While most of these have disappeared, it is another kind of structure that interests Mike Coyle, a regional volunteer with the War Memorials Trust and a field worker for the UK National Inventory of War Memorials.

He is concerned with their protection, conservation and – at times – their rescue.

Mike says: “War memorials are lost to their communities at an alarming rate as churches, schools and workplaces close.”

And he will stress on Saturday: “War memorials don’t celebrate war, they represent the cost of war on families and communities, in real folk and real lives.”

Completing the line-up is Dick Gillingham, whose subject is Fleetwood: the first 12 years (1836 to 1847). Dick admits:

“From very early childhood, I have been fascinated by the unique atmosphere and history of my home town. I was drawing ships by the age of five and visiting Fleetwood Docks, where my father worked, from the same age.

“We had an inspirational primary school teacher at Chaucer Boys called Dorothy Bennett, and she helped to give me a lifelong interest in every aspect of the town’s history.”

Back to Christine, who says: “Everybody is welcome to come to A Local History Day this Saturday, and they can get full details by emailing me at mc.storey@btinternet.com or ringing on (01253) 885167.

You can find more information about the network at http://www.fyldehistorynetwork.co.uk.