Sender: Robert Davies, Manchester. England

Comments: I was amazed how easily I found the poem "That welcome Bonny Brid". My dad used to recite it to me as a child. He was from Abram, just outside Wigan

Sender: Hammy (Ex Oldham, Lancahire)

Comments: I loved growing-up in Oldham, back in the '70s. I've lost my Oldham accent (thank God- sorry)! I still have my memories of what a warm and friendly place Oldham was though.

Email: joan@

Sender: Clitheroe Lancs

Comments: My G Granddad used to sing

this to us when he came home from the pub


Down went Mcginty to the bottom of the sea

Dressed in his best suit of clothes

they haven't found him yet

but we bet that he is wet

down where the water melons grow

and they've all got clogs on!!!


Sender: Hilda Graham Houston Texas77070

Comments: I am never sure about registering, I thought I had the right ID and password but I must have lost it I did try again. I do have quite a few things in sneaky Kitchen and am not sure if these are connected. Lancashire will always be home to me although I came to Texas in 1946.people here have always been nice to me here.But my heart is in these messages.

Thanks Hilda


Sender: wiltshire England

Comments: Great web page. A repeated query-does anyone have a recipe for oven bottom Muffins which are totally unobtainable in the southern counties. Everytime I go home (Rhodes/ Oldham,/ Middleton Junction) I buy some.


Sender: Karen Bretherton nee Elcock ....... Old Leylander ....... in B.C. Canada

Comments: Na then ower 'ilda ..Ah did wat yon mon Dave sed, an ah geet in a'reet ... burra geet stuck an cudn't geraht agen!!!......enyrowdup .. ahma member nah - like it er lump it!!!

Did tha talk posh then in Darren?

Dave lad .... Ev tekkena sken at thi site an ah rekkon tha's geeta gradlyun 'ere .. ah ed a reet gud laff. But sithi .. ow cum that thur's nobut 40 int' group ahm in? ... Esta geet a likkle group fert' daft 'uns like me?! .... an weers rest of'em eh?!!Tarra then.


Sender: Bernard Beasley London Ontario Canada

Comments: Very interesting site. I was born and brought up in Salford and hence find the items most interesting. I have just found it but will be back often.


Sender: Bryan fromCanada

Comments: Hi Carol from Blackpool. log on to if you don't see your school on that board email the web master he will put it on even if the school is not there anymore good luck.

Email: cegh@

Sender: Houston Texas Usa

Comments: I am originally from England Darwen Lancs and would like to join in your Lanky pages, I tried but e by gum I got nowhere, is this Lancashire lass doin summat wrong,<G> I do enjoy what i have seen, can anyone help?

Regards Hilda

Dave: Hilda. Owdo. But I do not have a clue what you mean. If you are talking about joining the yahoo group above, just click on it and follow the instructions to subscribe.


Sender: carol,born blackpool,live in australia.

Comments: hi what a great site,i was born in BLACKPOOL,in 1938,went to ROSEACRE and HIGHFIELD school.s.,left to come to aussie in 1950,searching for a few friends from school days,LETA THRELLFALL,MARGARET BUTCHER,JILLIAN PINDER,JEAN WOODHEAD,NORMA TAYLOR,DENISE HORTON,just to name a few,can anyone help.i lived in LINFIELD TERRACE,SOUTH SHORE, BYE AND THANK,S CAROL GROVES nee CORNALL.


Sender: Adrienne Regan Kirkcudbright, Scotland

Comments: Eeh. baw gum, what a gradely site.

A'm a lanky lass, oop here i Jockland, miss mi black puds thow

Email: Cegh@ aol .com

Sender: Hilda Houston Texas

Comments: Great site,I enjoy reading all the stories Etc. Do you know how to get Holy water? just boil the H--LL out of it
Nuff for now Hilda

Sender: miss rp

Comments: you lot are crazy... none of this makes any sense!!! but that's cool coz your website helped me do some college work! Thank you and good luck in getting the Lanky dialect recognised worldwide!


Sender: Tracey Bennett, Diss, Norfolk

Comments: Loved the site, am now an expat having lived in Norfolk for 2 years (don't get me started on the dialect down here!) I enjoyed the piece on the Royal Ordinance Factory as I used to live in Gorse Covert, Warrington just near the old site. I also remember being taken to see the site on a school trip in the early 80's when the old factory doors and chimneys were still standing. Going back to dialect, I remember my Nan used to talk about 'slutch' (mud), as in 'That yard's full o' slutch' (it's muddy out there!) Also, does anyone remember 'Peas above sticks' referring to someone who's a bit above themselves? Keep up the good work!


Sender: Mick Dover Kearsley Bolton Lancs

Comments: Has anyone heard the Expression "As Flat as a Fluke"


Sender: Todd- USA

Comments: My grand dad whose name was Samuel Howarth was from Oldham, born 1900. He used to say to me when I was being a pill, that he was going to give me a "forpney-one". Sorry I don't know how it's spelled. I've tried to find it in all the slang dictionaries, but to no avail. When I asked him what it meant, he would show me his four fingers, then his thumb, make a fist and say "this is a forpney-one". Has anyone heard this expression? If so, is it from the lancs or somewhere else?


Sender: Bryan Ont Canada

Comments: Hi Hilda glad you like the site I was born in Farnorth Bouton (Farnworth Bolton)I left Farnworth in sixty seven. You said on Ilckley moor's bout at. We sang on Ilkley moors bout tat. I guess if you sing it fast no one will know the differenc that is what is so unique about the lancashire dialect. I still have my Lanky twang.

Sender: Ian \ St. Helens

Comments: Jus wented tsay thanks fer havin me killin mesen laffin for tlast heyf hooer.

Vurry Funny Seet, Me old Prater.

Email: Cegh

Sender: Hilda Graham Houston Texas

Comments: I am thoroughly enjoying all the E mails and Comments I was born in Darwen Lancs. I did send my memories "Remember When" To The Sneaky Kitchen

And was so surprised at all the information about Lancs which they found. I am a long way from getting to the end of this site it is definitely going in Favourite Places If anyone is interested I have the words to the song? On ILkley moors bout at I never did speak with the broad Lancashire brogue but my parents did, I love it when we go to England I have 2 brothers there and one of my best friends as a child still has a home in Darwen

Nellie Brooks (maiden name Shipley )Her husband Ted repaired the part of Darwen Tower that was really deteriorating they also have a home in Spain and spend a lot time there We visit Morecambe with another friend and love The Lake District. Again thanks for sharing all this good stuff, Luv and Ta Ta For now,



Sender: Lyne Taylor Whangarei, N.Z.

Comments: Thoroughly absorbing, just loved the account of your mother's 
work in the munitions factory, congratulations on a very interesting 


Sender: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Comments: Does anyone have any information on the hylton colliery 
disaster in dec. 1910//// My grandmother was Sarah Morgan and i would 
appreciate hearing from them , the family emigrated to Canada in 1921 or 
thereabouts. Thank you


Sender: Chlorakas, Paphos, Cyprus

Comments: 'Ow do from a Lancashire lass in the Eastern Mediterranean. 
Originally born and bred in Warrington (though Mum was a Scot so I'm 
really a half-caste.)Still refuse to call Warrington a part of Cheshire, 
whatever the map-makers say. Great site - brings back real memories of 
my young days. When I visit Warrington now I can barely recognise it but 
I have a couple of books of old photographs which keep the memories 
Just found this site and read some of the messages. I saw someone was 
asking for a recipe which I think might be Oven Bottom Cakes. I know 
I've got an old hand-written recipe for them somewhere. If I can find it 
I'll post it soon.
Keep up the good work.


Sender: Graham from Barlick

Comments: I live in a town where all the locals want to be linked to Yorkshire but I'm Proud of my Lancashire roots having been born and bred in Burnley.

By the way can anyone tell me where the expression "like cheese at fourpence" originated?

Great site!!


Sender: Harpo, Herts

Comments: Alreeeettttt?????

How ya doin' cocks? I ain't bin in Leigh forr 5 friggin years and I cant say I bin missin it too bloodi much...xcept fort casba, spinnin jenni, turnpike cen-ter, an th'bloody george'n'dragon. oh ai' n also alt friggin pennishops which u cant friggin find down in herts...Pooles pies haz closed down leavin' a gap'in'th'marketplace fort chunkibeefpies'n'chiops'n'gravi...served witha bap...otherwise called a ciabatta'n'fries doon in herts...Wuz disappointed fort see that Leos supermarket haz becume asda or wotever...n'th bingo place and B and M bargains still running well. Is reubens still doin its club 11-16's nite? missed that dump loads...anyway...take care of yerselves ..tarrah fur now...


Sender: Christopher McNeil, San Francisco, CA, USA

Comments: I'm from America and am working on a play in which one of the characters speaks with an impossibly thick Mancunian accent.

Do you guys know of any sites/links/movies/sources that would be helpful? We've noted that Manchester is very close to Liverpool, but several English friends have assured us that Scouse and Mancunian are very different.

Are there any Manchester natives that could help us out in this matter?

There will be Brits in the audience and we'd hate to have them walk away shaking their heads.

Thanks. -Chris McNeil Centerpoint Theater Co. San Francisco, USA

Dave: Chris... Think Oasis rather than the Beatles... There's a guy on TV and radio  over here called Terry Christian whose voice would be a role model. Try a search on the net. Anyone else help - please get in touch with Chris direct.


Sender: sonoma ca usa

Comments: Born and bred in little old Darren, left 8 years ago to live on the other side of the pond. Miss Lancashire everyday. The people are still the best in the world. Great site brings me back to realty. Keep it up. Dave.

All the best dave h


Sender: suzan, leigh, lances

Comments: i thought them jokes about yorkshire folk were funny when i lived back home in lancashire, now i'm stuck in yorkshire there hilarious. thanks for the laugh?


Sender: Steve Morris - Leyther now living in Chorley

Comments: Hello Dave, Remember me?

I've been having a toot around your site and spotted a request for The Memories of Marion Varley.

It's not as difficult to find as you may think, cos if you pay a visit to my website you'll find it available for download in Adobe Acrobat format.

While you're there have a sken at the Lankie Page and the Poems Page. If you have owt to contribute, I'd be happy to include it.

Your site allus makes me chuckle, keep up the good work!

Steve Morris

Dave: Well done Steve. Thanks for letting us know. Nice site and keep up with your brilliant work.


Sender: malcolm jobling. ex Prestonian now residing in Cheshire (that's down south from preston!)

Comments: ah feelt at ome street away! thort at fust me grandma ad cum back from't grave. just bin thinkin on all't wurds i've bin missin: like chimly pots, cooookers, umberellas and all sorts. wer can you buy blakeys now? wot a crackin site! 10 outa 10!


Sender: mick booth,emerald,vic,australia

Comments: i am a darrener,but lived in snuffy harrod during my teens wouldnt give up my memories for quids,have family in and around gt harwood,clayton, oswaldtwistle,they dont email me enough,you must have a dear system?or summat....any ideas how to get the lazy buggers moving?


Sender: William Cordwell. Woodley. Reading. Berks

Comments: Hi, I liked your site very much it brought back happy memories of my very early days in Padiham. It is many years since I used the LANKY TWANG but I can hear my old folk when I read your pages.

Thanks a lot. William.


Sender: Moses Gate,Farnworth,Bolton

Comments: Does anyone out there know why we call reservoirs lodges?


Sender: Syd Winward Otematata New Zealand

Comments: Dave,

Yes you did go to school with my sister Barbara, Howe Bridge school our brother Jack and myself went to St. Georges.Can you give me an idea how I found your site? I stumbled into a Lancashire site and found you via a link, I thought I went back to the base site and put it in my favouites file. But it was the wrong one it has plenty of interest but no links,I found you again in an Ask Jeeves search but not the other site I was after any clues? do you know the best thing to come out of Yorkshire/ The road back to Lancashire! Syd.

Dave: No idea how you found the site Syd - but glad you did...


Sender: Syd Winward. Otematata New Zealand.

Comments: Hi Dave,

I just found your site by accident I was looking at Ask Jeeves for British steam locos and mixed up among them was a Lancashire site, so being a dedicated Red Rose man I had to have a look.I will be back many times haven't laughed so much for ages. I am an expat Athertonian but have been in NZ since Jan 1968.But I can still talk in dialect. My late wife and I used to talk Lanky all the time, and at work the Kiwis always knew when I was annoyed I went into dialect overdrive I was the only one who knew what I was saying but the guilty parties knew to keep away. Keep up the Red rose missionary work.


Dave: Syd. I think I went to school with your Barbara. Have a look at the Atherton site -



Sender: Linda , Dublin , Ireland

Comments: just want to say what a mad web site you have here it is brilliant . as the daughter of a lanky it reminds me of the people i sometimes hear on my trips to my dads hometown of manchester . it is also great to here regional accents being saved . who knows in a few visits to this site i might be able to use a lanky phrase or two !

keep up the good work !


Sender: Eric Whittle Durban South Africa

Comments: Av bin surchin this blinkin place fr any imfo on mi bruthr Paul hes got Paul Whitle cars on Manchester Rd Ince duz anibodi no if es got an e-mail addresss kaunt ger owd on th bugger.

If anyone knows of Paul and maybe find an e-mail address for me I would be very greatful.

Many thanx from an ex Wigan lad exiled in South Africa.

Email: mthrelfall

Sender: Michael Threlfall, Eastleigh, Hants.


William the Bastard (Conqueror) had a knight, de Fal, who was very useful during his invasion of England. When the dust had settled, William gave him parts of what we now know as Yorkshire, Cheshire and Lancashire.

This is the sad bit; Threlfalls were peasants, slaves or bondsmen who owed allegiance to da Fal, ie we were in thrall to de Fal.

I come from Preston but my Father worked for the Daily Telegraph in London; have lived in Kent, Northamptonshire and Hampshire but still feel a very powerfull sense of homecoming when I cross the Thelwall Viaduct!

It's a long story but my Grandfather died when my Father was only seven and his Mother had to return, pennyless, to the family home with two small boys; I do not know why but she and my great-Aunts broke the link with his fathers family. Does anyone have an Albert Threlfall in their family background? He would have died in about 1910/12.

Michael T.


Sender: Jeff Unsworth. Wigan.UK


Here's another Query Dave.

Someone from Canada originally from Bamfurlong asked if I had heard of this term.

"Get going, are you senegrud?"

Have you or any of your readers ever heard the term "senegrud".

The lady said it sounded like this but it may not be spelt like this, obviously.


Jeff Unsworth


Sender: emily. Albany. West Australia

Comments: Had a great nite enjoying the jokes and comments on your page, Its fantastic. Reminds me of mi dad.I was born in Ashton-under-Lyne. (Hubby Stalybridge)Came to OZ in 1952. If anyone remembers Emily Dawson (St James's school) please drop me a line. And if any rellies of the late Jack Baldwin who used to live in Stanhope Street. A-u-l. Please get in touch. Would love to hear from you. I remember if anyone was sick and we asked mum what was wrong with them. She would say ,Its thrutching ut pluck. Can you explain that????? I had to stop saying Bl--y Nora cause my little grandie would mimic me. Have an old tape somewhere with the Five Penny Piece on it." Keep your hand on your hapeney", remember that one? Thanks for the memories I've really enjoyed it. Will be back.


Sender: Jeff Unsworth, Wigan, UK

Comments: Does anyone recognise these lines from a dialect poem.

"Come in tha'rt welcome, bonnie brid

Tha shu'nt 'ave cum just when tha did"

If you do I would like to hear from you.

Dave: The poem is Bonny Brid by Sam Laycock who wrote around the time of the US Civil War which hit the Lancashire cotton industry really hard.

I've put in on this link for you. Enjoy it



Sender: Margaret Rose (Foy) Ward


Enjoyed your site! Very much - brought back a lot of memories. Thank you. Margaret NJ USA


Sender: Surrey

Comments: Hi all, has anyone heard of the of the saying " mot th'ole " ? Was it use when pouring liquid from one container to another ? In hope, Paul.


Sender: Jeff Unsworth. Wiggin. Englund.

Comments: Does anybody remember't Th'offal mon us ad caravan on bongs markit square. ( Tyldesley ) forr eawt er teawners.
He used sell aw soats of offal produce.
Here's a few of um in this poem.
Aah thowt it met be of some interest.

Gradely Mey't

It's ard fot understond dialect.

Ikkle surprise mi if tha con.

Cos theres cert'in things that's said reawnd here.

Tha corn't mek yed nor tail on.

I mean, eaw con't expect a southerner.

Us is in a queue wi us.

Understond when some yowth asks.

For two un orf peawnd er praytus.

Neaw.. folk up north are gradely.

Un by God thi know eawt eyt.

Cos thowduns learn or't younguns.

Eawt cook a piece er meyt.

Theres tripe un brawn un wessun.

Lambs fry un slavvery duck.

Theres ceawheel un sometimes a nice sheeps yed.

Wi't legs wi any luck.

Theres elder,pigs cheek un trotters.

Oxtail un a nice bit er tung.

Burr it's moo'istly thowduns that eyt it.

They'l not touch it when theyre young.

Today they know nowt abeawt cookin.

They gerr it aw eawt of a con.

Or else theyre defrost'in a packit.

Thowd road of cookin is gone.

In't thowd days, nowt gett'n wasted.

Ballyhond day, in't miggle er't week.

Aw't left ore's geet clod in a greyt fry'in pon.

Un come eawt as bubble un squeek.

Toad in't th'ole, lobbies un broth.

Else bakin till aw hars er't neet.

Jackbit that went a good way.

Were't th'answer for mek'in theends meet.

Tha could'nt blame really.

It were hard fot mek them eend's meet.

They did best thi could, with what they could get.

Un moo'ist were run off theyre feet.

I look back sometimes ter't thowd days.

Un although there were'nt allus Mey't.

I remember there were allus jackbit.

We allus had summ'ut fot eyt.

If yo waahn't read some moo'er visit..




Where is Lancashire? Oh is that tiny county west of the Pennines where there is only three towns; Burnley, Preston and Clitheroe?

Hahaha, Everyone's deserted you plus you thieved us accent. If tha wants ter sample a reight accent, cum ovver ter t'tarn an will showw thi ar a true noortherner tarks.

Peter Kay is a genius though, la.

Dave: Yorkshire's only there to stop Lancashire fraying at the side.

Sender: Dave from St.Helens

Comments: I'm from St.Helens not Liverpool.Nowt hurts a sint helliner more than bein called a scouser! we've got are own accent.That goes to everybody in Lancashire aswell as Yorkshire.Its pure ignorance and it hurts.And i'm not some old codger i'm 23!!


Comments: please send any info on fivepenny piece or the houghton weavers

Dave: Try


Sender: len jones

Comments: does anyone remember the ollerton family who lived in coppul in the 50/60 era my uncle was jimmy nickname tuckle his local was the plough any reply i'd be thankful


Sender: Lowton. (Near Warrington) LANCASHIRE

Comments: I wonder how many people would buy a copy of Lanky Spoken Here if it were reissued

Dave, Has it been looked into ??

Dave: It has been reprinted as Completely Lanky - which is an amalgam of Lanky Spoken Here and Lanky Panky. Details on the site. 


Sender: Richard Swift- Coppull,(aye a gawper)

Comments: Worrartgooinonabahtatall

As Les Dawson once said," Yorkshire is only there as a ballast"


Sender: Westhowfen, Nr.Bowton

Comments: Hi Lanky lovers. Want you to know about a Lancashire Souvenir pocket book just out called WELL I CAW'NT SPEYK and only GBP2. Every penny goes to 2 charities for the aged Age Concern, Bolton and W.A.S.P.(Westhoughton Age Support Project)

They are on sale at Sweetens Bookshop, Bolton and

Woods Newsagent(opposite Howfen Market)

Bey one fer thisel un tha mun bey one fer thi grondad. Tha wannts read that reet gud tale abeawt

when Julius Caeser tried t' tak ower one o' eawr streets. Oh, I wrote it!


Sender: City of Preston, Lancashire

Comments: XPhile2868 here. Great site. unfortunately, i don't use the dialect, but i wouldn't swap my accent for a million pounds. By the way, Frasier's dad in the popular sitcom is originally from Lancashire!


Sender: len jones bowton lanky england

Comments: just cum nline un fownd thy page ithink its gradley

Email: chores

Sender: Bryan from Canada

Comments: Hey Dave owd cocker av geet a cracking web site fer thi.It has all the albert poems on and a lot more lanky poems cant think of them all.Any way if yer dont know it (i wont bet on it) is bet you know it. .By Dave keep yer pecker up.


Just a few lines thanking you for the excellent Ex-Lancs. website, which brings back to me some memories of my father's experiences during his involvement in 1916. at  the battle of the Somme, Passchendaele, and  Ypres, in Belgium, during his four years in the trenches of W.W.1. He trained at first,as a reserve in the Cavalry at Aldershot, before being attached to  the 18th Div. of the Royal Field Engineers.  And was drafted to France, soon after war was declared. My father, Edward THOMAS, was born in Gorton, Manchester, 23/09/1895. One story, I remember quite clearly.  His task on many occasions was to  deliver water to the front lines, a job, that earned him the name, Water-Cart-King.  My father used to tell of the difficult times  he had  with up to 4, or 6 horses at full gallop, and how it used to hurt him, when he would lose one of them  through shrapnel.  I remember one horse he often spoke about, named Lippy. who liked the  taste  of beer. Lippy, was one of hundreds of wild horses from the U.S.A. that arrived at Aldershot, to be broken in.  A fairly big horse, which went all through the war to the end. Father, tried hard to buy this horse, after the war, but was told not for sale, all horses were to be killed for horse meat. what a blow, that was. 
Another remarkable story, was when  on one occasion my father, was making his way out of the  front lines, whilst on leave, back  home to Manchester, (which was granted to every soldier after each 12. months on  active service ) On one such  occasion,  he came face to face with his own father, under heavy  shell-fire. Both father, and son, I was told,  just stood there in utter amazement for a few seconds, staring at each other, completely bewildered before they were able to speak. It , turned out that his father, had just finished leave back home, and was returning back to the front line.  Seconds later as each other went on their way, a shell exploded near by. My father turned around, to see his dad, in a shell hole up to his waist in muddy water  The man of whom my grandfather was with at the time, was no where to be seen. Sometime later, my grandfather was discharged from service, due to having reached a certain age. My grandfather died in. 1949. 
My parents came to New Zealand at the end of 1922. from Oldham, (where I was born. in 1920.) He got his Army discharge in 1921). after being required to serve two years garrison duty either in Ireland, Russia or the Middle east,  The only alternative they gave him was he could sign on for a period of 21 more years and be posted to India. My father refused to serve in Ireland and or Russia, and chose the Middle East. 
Actually, The reason I began to send you this email, was mainly due to reading about Cpl. Whittaker's picture of his wife and children. Do you know, that although the picture appears to be a little dark, it can these days be reproduced to enhance a much clearer result  by computer technology. I have had some remarkable improvements made to several old and dull treasured photographs, which look as if they were taken just days ago. 
Incidentally, in conclusion, my father served for a approximately 18 months or so with the N.Z. Air Force, maintenance section.  Getting finally discharged, about two years prior to the end of the 1939-45, war. My Lancashire sister, also served approximately 4 years with Army Transport, and  a younger brother, who served with the N.Z. Scottish infantry regiment, in the Pacific. I had over two years with the Army, and served just over 3 years with the Air force. Also serving in the Pacific   Thus, a typical family at war. 
Looking forward to making more frequent visits to your website.
With kind regards, George THOMAS.


Sender: Graham Clarkson, Burscough.

Comments: It's about time Southport was released from the shackles of Merseyside and welcomed back into the Red Rose county. Although an avid Everton fan, I'm a proud Sandgrounder (living in Burscough) and demand freedom for my people. Scouse accents for Scousers not Sandgrounders!


Sender: Julie - Bolton, Lancs.

Comments: I am Yorkshire born & bred, but must have some bad karma to work out because I find myself forced to live in Lancashire. I must say that I agree with some of the previous commenters - there are several expressions on this site that you are claiming are Lanky but they are really Yorky. Anyway, I have linked to your site on mine and you can find a wonderful article all about the weird way people in Bolton talk at For the moment, it is also available at Both sites are mine, but the former is new and therefore has less on it. I am mentioning both because I want lots of visitors. Thank you.

Dave: I had a look at your article Julie and it's a load of fuzz oo'er nowt...

Email: chores

Sender: Bryan from Canada

Comments: Well Tom owd lad tha cornt make Lancashire ches cost to mutch fur th'equipment. Best thing tha con do is get on plain to england and buy some. I cornt get it either. Now Dave will be laughing his arse off lucky sod he can go t'shop and get it.flour cakes to.(CURSES)

Cheers Bryan

Sender: Phil,Clitherer

Comments: I think tha websites reet grand! Keep up t'gud work. Let's stick 'owd o' wur accent an' wur 'eritage. Proud tabi Lanky!


Sender: tom connolly

Comments: Luv t'seet can anyone tell me how to make Lancashire cheese there's not a lot of it ere in new zealand. As the saying goes here in NZ Australians only get married cos the sheep can't cook, well they can't make good cheese neither and same for the kiwis it all tastes like cheddar.

Keep up the good work Dave.




Oh, I have divided loyalties me. Surname Pendleton, birthplace Barnsley, grandad from Wigan. I only found your site 20 mins ago and all the dialect is exactly the same as mine. You don't miss the 'the's out do you or say 'thee' 'tha'? does tha? Personally, I reckon you're copying the Barnsley dialect. Watch Kes and you'll see how alike they are.

So from t'other side o't'Pennines, a'll sithi.

Dave: Tha wah?


Sender: Stuart Fraser

Comments: Looking for book of poems by Celia Fraser (may have used alias) one of the poems was called A Buttered Barmcake any info please


Sender: Tom Connolly Raglan New Zealand

Comments: Originally from Farnworth -moved to Adlington in 1974 and left for NZ in 1986 Used to go to the Red Lion folk club and the Brinsop but mostly the Bay Horse and White Bear in Adlington. Went to ST Gregs in Farnworth

Any one who knows me drop me a line

Sender: Sean Hargreaves Chorley

Comments: I was born in Yorkshire but moved to Lancashire 7 Years ago and i think that it isnt all good there are a lot of areas that need to be improved and dramatically because if we are to make it better we need to work together


Sender: Janice Millington ,Perth, Western Australia

Comments: Hi, really enjoyed your site, i've been in oz since 1989 and have two young sprogs who think that I almost speak another language especially when the rellies arrive to visit, Im originally from Boothstown/Tyldesley. Could anyone help me find some photo's of my grandfather (in law) who was a fiddler in the 30's (i think) at the Theatre Royal and the Carlton Majestic in Tyldesley. The year could be wrong but it was in the days of the silent movies! His name was Clifford Millington. Hope you can help..Ta very much..


Sender: Ern Riding. Port Augusta. South Australia

Comments: after fifty years away it is even harder to write it than speak it out of touch i guess


Sender: pie eater, wigan

Comments: # we cum frum wigun n we live in mudhuts.

# ere luv chuk meat n prata pie in toven.

# thas gettun bally warch n yed warch coz am bluddy klempt


Sender: joan carter cumbria (immigrant from lancashire)

Comments: help!! where can i find a copy of "lanky spoken here" i heard this record many years ago and would love to find a copy for my husbands birthday. can you help?. regards joan carter

Dave: We recorded it about 20 odd years ago. Can't get hold of it now. Try doing a search on the Internet. I have seen one or two copies in second hand record shops...


Sender: mike beighton, originally blackpool

Comments: I have been looking for two poems I learned as a child and can't seem to find anymore, I know they were in a paperback called Lancashire Evergreens but that was so long ago it must be well out of print. the poems are "Cowd winter is coming once more" and "Th'art welcome little bonny brid". I would be grateful for any help.

Sender: Joy Valerie Burton-  Nee, Thornes

Comments: Nurse at St Helens Hospital & Whiston, now living in Lincolnshire, anyone out there that knows me?


Sender: Lisa Gillibrand from Darwen

Comments: Hey people. I'm putting together a radio documentary about the lancashire dialect... Already spoken to Derek Stanton, Jim Atherton, Bob Dobson and some kids - all were keen to keep the dialect. I'm looking for interesting contributions.. A different angle - maybe you think the dialect is overrated? I'd be extremely glad of any ideas. My email address is Thanks.

Sender: Piemon - Wigin

Comments: A sampul ur ar dialect:

Is tha cummin fut sumut tate?

Am gowin douwn tut thin'firmry.

Fathurs a lobbygobbler tha duz.

Question: Wot duz tha geet if tha go intut chippy n ask fut babeezyed?

Dave: A babby's yed (bay's head) is what you ask for in a chippy when you want a steak pudding...


Sender: Jim Sanderson from Barrowford

Comments: Dear Lancastrian (EEH-EEH),

thank you so much for your marvellous website. I have had it linked to mine for some time now and revisit you regularly.This letter is also a cry for help, I have had the lovely story of "From candlelight to Laser beams" (The memories of a lady from Leigh)available on my website for the last two years, now alas! It has disappeared. I was hoping you might be able to 'track' it down for me.

Thanks again, for your sterling work furthering the greatness of Lancashire.

Sincerely, Jim Sandy.


Dave: Jim. I regret to say that the link is no longer operative so I don't know where the site is. I have tried doing a search but can't find it. This is a pity - it was absolutely brilliant. If anyone knows where it is, please get in touch asap.


Sender: Stephen Accrington

Comments: A great site, told my friend in the US to read it, then he can understand me. hehe.

I've always loved......

As bin man bin mam?

(USA) born bred on double decker chip butties in Preston

Stuart Whitehead

Tell you what Dave, this 'ere internet's a reet eyeopener. Did a Google search on 'Lanky'and went to thinking they were summat like th'Otton Weavers. Give it a try, just for a laugh anyroad. My boss is a natural comedian. I towd him I thowt I'd caught one of them theer computer viruses. Oh he says, "can't you wipe the outside down with antiseptic ?" No - it's true! I swear it. And he's not even from Yorkshire ! He reckons the internet's just a "gag" and it won't "catch on".

Keep up the good work. Adrian (a southern jessie name but not a southern jessie)

Adrian (a southern jessie name but not a southern jessie)

I've just discovered your site and I love it.  I was born in Southport, Lancs. and came to the U.S.A in 1956.  I had forgotten some of the Lanky expressions but they came back in a flash the minute I read them.  If there is anyone from Southport out there or from any place hear Southport  I would love to hear from them.
Patricia Johnson

Me Mowing..

Can anyone please tell me  if I have the above spelt correctly ? and if not, how it should be spelt ?!- Stuart Hammond

Dave: It's meemawing and comes from the mills and weaving sheds where, unable to make themselves heard, the workers would mouth the words in an exaggerated manner (a la Les Dawson) to enable the person to whom they were speaking to lip read.

Eawt goo'in on serry. ar't awreet?
Ah thowt I'd let thi know eaw much I enjoyed thi site.
Ahm a Wigginer burr av lived in Bongs un a werk't in Bent for a lung time, in one er't thowd Bowt mekers.

I was born in Blackpool,

but have lived in Freckleton all my life. I noticed a letter posted by Michael Threlfall, are we related some how? im John Threlfall by the way. Thats how i came across this site actually, i typed my name in and searched, and because Michael had posted a letter it came up with this web page. however when i first saw the name i thought it meant tall thin men!,which is also what i am, so i would have looked at the site either way.Great site, loved the gags about yorkshire!

John Threlfall

oreet Dave,

Just feynd thi site ont web an av bin lafin mi cotton socks off.Just fot let thi no thar am 29 an still speyk proper lanky an preyd fot bi a born an bred leyther.A geet a bit of elp from mi uncle gary who tha kno's on it'll be gradly fot lerim no thas geet a site on ere.Keyp on brustin baw gen wall on brustin it wit yed.

Just wanted fot tell thi anall beyt mi cusson mick who is brorder than apeyce o brord stuff,went int chippy and asked fo a bag o jockys and a widows memory. A was ont floor screykin!!!!!!! Cheers pal

Paul Aspey (leyther)

Keith Tanner, Sale. ""

A refreshing site for someone who joined "the drift south" over 40yrs ago - all of 30 miles from my place of birth in Blackburn! Enjoyed (fell about is more accurate!) all the quips and comments. Can anyone explain the origin of a saying used by my Aunt many years ago? If we got too nosey or, I suspect, she didn't know the answer to a question her response was "Lee'orns to catch meddlers". The Wilsons shuttlemakers label at the top of the page reminds me of a (true) story. Wilsons were taken over by Bancrofts of Intack. At dinnertime several shuttlemakers would gather and one of them, Lol who was an ex tackler, used to bring several boiled eggs from his own hens.

Over a period of several days the others played a trick on him. Whilst Lol was away brewing his tea they took one of the eggs, punched a hole in the end and stuck in a large black bristle from the yard brush. A quick dab of salt covered the hole. Each day the same thing happened - as he knocked the top off the bristle would spring up "B**dy *ll" he would say " One o' th'ens keeps pickin' up bristles in't yard". I'll kill when I find which one it is! He never found out. Lol swore manual labour was a Spaniard and spent one happy lunchtime trying to lift himself up in a bucket.

Dave: My granny used to say "Layholes for Meddlers and crutches for lame ducks"...

Neaw sithi 'ere Dave, stop teaching these folk all't wrong stuff.....a moggie's a cat an a meawse is a meawse.......I've lived in Haydock all my life from the late forties and at that time everybody seemed to work in coal mining, railway wagon making or cotton weaving. We were poorer than most and reading Maurice Fletcher's mail about fritters brought to mind our childhood days at primary school. The school being so close, my sisters and I would

come home for our dinner and my dad would have a plate of jam fritters waiting for us. These were nothing more than jam butties wit'crusts cut off, dipped in batter an' fried int' chip pon. We felt really privileged because he swore he'd been out and bought'em and we always believed him. Dave, I'd love to get hold of some tapes of " Lanky Spoken Here" if they are available.

Cheers. I'll bet youv'e heard this one a few times.....asbinmanbinmam..........Alsithi.- John McGowan

Sender: Val Seddon, London

Comments: Granny Jones must have made a right good parkin. I followed her recipe on Saturday and even my effort was quite tasty. And, like you Dave, I like a bit of best butter on mine - whether it needs it or not.

Dave: Florrie would be proud that her recipe is bringing so much pleasure! Glad you enjoyed it Val.

I was born in Preston, now living at Eastleigh, Hants. where I'm trying to bring civilisation to the effete South! (Chip butties, mushy peas, Lancashire cheese, Preston North End and real beer) 
Am very interested in your reference to Tom Thompson as he was a vague relative of mine and introduced me to fell walking, climbing and told me the most wonderful dialect stories when I stayed with him at his house at Newlands. He always gave my great-aunts a signed first edition of his books; I have never quite forgiven them after they gave them all away to a Boy Scout jumble sale. Incidentally, it was said that he gave Wilfred Pickles his first radio "break" by suggesting him for the part of "Owd Thatcher".

Michael Threlfall

Dave: Tommy Thompson was a Lancashire genius. A friend of mine, Bernard Wrigley, alias the Bolton Bullfrog, has recently been reading TT''s brilliant stories on Radio Lancashire. If you write to them at Blackburn, they might be good enough to send you a copy.

I found your site by doing a search on Black Peas, but I can't find any reference to them on the site.
I'm originally from Bolton (not Atherton I'm afraid) but now live "deawn Seawf". I've been invited to a Bonfire but was disturbed to learn that there'll be no black peas or parkin - worse still, they've never heard of 'em down here. So what I'd really like to do is get my hands on some and educate these Southern Jessies.
If you've any ideas how I can go about this, I'd be most grateful.
Thanks & regards -Sean

Dave sez: Sean. Just for you, here is a recipe for Parkin and Blanketlifters. The Parkin is from an old recipe by Mrs Florrie Jones of Atherton.


Cooking time 50 minutes
Oven temperature Moderate 180 deg C, 350 deg F, Gas Mark 4

175g/6 oz plain flour
175g/6 oz oatmeal
1 teaspoon ground ginger
100g/4 oz brown sugar
1 egg
little milk
100g/4 oz margarine
3 tablespoons black treacle
1½ tablespoons golden syrup

Mix the flour, oatmeal, ginger and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the egg and add a little milk. Melt the margarine and stir in the black treacle and syrup. Mix well into the other ingredients in the mixing bowl. Place the mixture in a greased 30 X 20-cm/ l2 x 8-inch baking tray. Bake in a moderate oven for 50 minutes. Serve sliced and buttered.

Black Peas.

Get a 1lb of Maple Peas from the supermarket (or the Pet Shop but check they are ok for human consumption!).

Wash thoroughly, removing any stones. Soak overnight. Drain. Place in a large pan. Cover with water. Bring to boil. Simmer for 2 or 3 hours. Keep checking and top up with water if needs be. Eat when soft, adding salt and vinegar to taste. They are best made and left to stand overnight I find. The "gravy" thickens and the flavour develops.

Now get 'em made and show them Southern Jessies what proper jackbit is.

Writing from somewhere in the flatlands of Norfolk.Originally from Accy
Found the website purely by accident. Literally. I was looking for a florist to send some flowers to me mum.
Had a laugh but somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered the name Dave Dutton and thought I recognised the voice.
So I went looking through  my collection of old records this very morning and came up with an LP of "Lanky Spoken Here" circa 1978. So you're the guilty party. Responsible for my favourite etiquette tip of all time. "Never drink brown sauce straight from the bottle"
Had a party here a couple of weeks ago. we served up the grub to some very puzzled people. They'd never seen meat and potato pie and mushy peas before and wondered why there was red cabbage with it.  Southern shandy drinkers. Cheers,Chris

The word clarty is used in Durham meanining dirty. Is it lanky as well?
I'm from Barnsley.
By the way forget D.N.A.   ---------- listen to Wiganers then listen to us. Wiganers are one of the last tribes of Yorkshire. - Albert Sawyer, Warrington - Lancashire

Thank you Dave for the comprehensive Lancashire web site. Can you or any of your guests help me with this question: what are the origins of the phrase "X has a mouth like a new turning"? I suspect it is similar to "X has a mouth like a busy intersection". For this to be true, new roads that take off from the main must automatically attract a lot of traffic. Is this phrase familiar to anyone here? It supposedly has Lancashire origins. I am writing from the central coast of California.

Dave: Never heard of it. Could be a mining expression. Anyone help?

Like the website!

My father lived in Warrington as a child, and heard the most Zen-like conversation he every heard, between a rag and bone man and a shopkeeper.

The rag and bone man would come to the shop and loudly shout: "Owt?"

If there was nothing, back came an equally loud and informative: "Nowt!"

I live in Rawtenstall now, but I live in hope to hear this wonderfully minimalist conversation in my lifetime!

Chris Ainsworth


You know it never occurred to me growing up in Clitheroe that "thrutch" was anything other than a verb meaning the action needed to precipitate an orgasm.But then I went into Valley Entrance in Kingsdale, and the description of that in "The Pennine Underground" includes a "short well-watered thrutch". But that really requires the same sort of action.Stephen Nightingale Kyoto, Japan.

Anne Maher (nee McDermott) from Burnley 1939 to 1954. Now living in Southport ,North Carolina, USA. Would like to hear from anyone in Burnley at the above time frame. Lived near Piccadilly Road and then Rosegrove.



Just found your website: absolute bonus! My new mate from Salford has

just returned home, and my phone bill's going through the roof here in

Adelaide. I luv hearing his voice, y'see, and your book is bloody

marvellous for me when I've got *&^*%! no idea what the hell he's

saying. He just rang me (at 5 am my time!) - I rang him back on his

mobile a little later: by then he was in a pub in Manchester with Our

Kevin, and it was a challenge to keep up with em I can tell you! I'll

send him the Lanky website just fer a larf! thanks Victoria



bryan from ont canada.hi dave just found your site it is exellent site.well me and thold lady will bi coming wom for a fortnit holiday in june.i was born in farnorth bowton thold lady born in wogden lanky.i can rember when my farther got mad with me he would say thed cause bother in a empty ouse.or maybe he would say.thed make a nun swear.but dave i was a good boy.mi mam told mi so been in canada thirty wife and i still have our lanky accent.merry christmas and happy new year. BRYAN

bryan from canada email 11 JAN 2001

Hi dave saw the message from roger .He wanted to know how to make oven bottoms i emailed him but it would not go though .In Bolton they are called flour cakes in Manchester they are called barm cakes.
In Georgetown where i live they are called [baps] well i have a recipe .if roger or any one would like to bake them.

4 cups flour 1 tea sp salt 1 tea sp sugar 1 package dry yeast 1 quarter cup lard (the soft secret perhaps.

Set the yeast working with the sugar and half the liquid warmed to tepid. sift flour and salt .rub into the lard. When the yeast is frothy add it to the flour with the remaining liquid. mix to a soft dough; cover and leave to rise for one hour. punch down, knead lightly; divide into small pieces 2 by 3 inches. Leave for about 20 minutes brush with water dust with flour and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes 
makes about one dozen.

Dave sez: Thanks for that - you can't beat a Barm Joe as we call em..

Last neat
I seen a leat
It was so breat
It frickenned me't dearth

From a Wigan lass living in Malta
Andrea McNamara


Sender: Tony Pomfret in Bent (Atherton)

Comments: Well, God bless thi, ahv bin ont net fer a lung time (from't DOS days till neh) an ah dint no that this wer ere, ahm fain ahv feynd it. phew this is hard work, I was looking for some Lancashire poem and found this, still not found it. I wonder if you know it, or where I could find it. I don't know the title but it goes something like:-

God bless thi little smiling face,
thei looks so fawse an good
thei looks up into thi faithers een,
Ah cud eyt thi that ah cud.

That's as much as I know Dave???

The other poem that I am after is called "Howdin 'Th' Chilt by "Billy
Button"I would be most grateful if someone knows where I can get a copy.Another recitation that I know and very fond of is called "Ar friend  Jem",
It goes like this:-

Jem Wilson ee wer a bonnie blade
An iron mouder wer is trade
Ney ar Jem ad a good an sobber waif
Er wert cumfert of is laif
But er wer often grief an often thinkin
Ey fert breyk im off this pay day drinkin
So one neet er sez " Jem, dust eer"
"Ah want thit stop suppin beer",
So Jem sez " Nan, theyt reet"
"An if ah shud live till next pay neet,
Ahl cum wom wi mi brass
An ah shall not av a single glass"

Well, Jem cum wom that pay neet
Steady, sober, an is brass awreet
Burre cudnt be induced to stay
Ee wer wus than an en as wanted to lay
Jem sez " Nan, Its no use, thi goint raffle a goose at 'Bill o Bobs'
an mah names deyn"
So Nan sez " Jem, just rait it deyn wot ah mun do fert pleus thi an av aw things reet" un er browt im papper pen an ink
"A mi slippers warmin up at fender, at kekle warmin up ont thob
An sure as gerrit rakin cob, fer wen ah cum wom, as want mi tay"
Jem laffed an went is way.

As ee wer cummin wom that Setdy neet
Ee thowt eed cum bit nearest way
As ee climbed oert garden waw
Er friend Jem ad an ugly faw
Not in a bed of roses,
Nay, not in a bed of poses
But in summat nasty, soft an weet,
Iy, an summat as dint smell so sweet

"Nan, Nan, Nan". ee roard
As ard as ee cud sheit
"Nan,Nan, cum on an elp mi eyt"
Nan coom an sed " Bi owl thi clatter
Ast not, fer thats not deyn ont papper!"

I hope that you like the above because I do and it's taken some time to write it down. I don't know the Author, maybe someone does.
I love your web site and will be popping in every now and again
CU Soon -Tony

Dave sez: Can anyone help my mate Tony? Send him an email with any answers you may have. Thanks...

How do?

I found your website very informative, very well-thought-out and thankfully free of all the pretension that passes for "academia". I myself speak the Long Eaton subdialect of Nottingham English, and that language has a lot of features in common with
your own. Danish forbears, evidentally. It's just unfortunate that so many native speakers are taught to "speak proper" and are chastised for using their first language. I seriously believe that doing so massively wears down a child's self-esteem, and that this has enormous implications for later life. It's all part of a programme to annihilate any diversity of language, culture or political aspiration, and it's very, very depressing.
Oh well. Least it's not France, eh?
A sample of my language, in my own orthography (which leaves a lot to be desired, I know, and which leaves me open for accusations of pretension myself): Maijnnd áat, laijgk, unn dóann leh' dhu bogguz gej juh dáann. Rifjúz unn rizist.

Críostóir Ó Ciardha -speaks Irish too

Iarnóta: What do you think of the possibility of Norse
influence or origin for northern English variants then?

Dave Sez: Thank you Criostoir for your encouraging remarks.


Well, I enjoyed your website, which I came across when looking for a recipe for genuine Bury black pudding. My mother is an exiled Bury lass, and although a mongrel, I can't stand the foul muck sold as black pudding these days. Any ideas where I can look? My grandfather was also in the trenches, but although a Bury man, when he volunteered as a bandsman he was posted to the Bedfordshires. I think he was at Ypres with them. He was a crack shot before the war and often had to raid the German trenches to get prisoners for intelligence, which I understand was a highly dangerous job. He was eventually badly gassed and invalided out, but only survived until 1948 and died of the effects of the gassing. We don't have much information on him as my mother and uncle didn't want to listen to the horror stories. I think he also suffered from post traumatic stress at one time. If you ever come across the name of Ernest Davenport I'd be pleased to hear about him. He ran a dance band in the town and played clarinet etc. Cheerio. jennie.

Dave sez: Jenny. Have a look at our book recommendation on

Dave , I get a real chuckle every time I visit your web site,but I need some help. Does anyone know how to make OVEN BOTTOM MUFFINS, can't get um ere in Canada. Place must be run by Yorkshiremen. Any help appreciated .
Anyone wants to drop me a line any time please do. Come from MOSSLEY famous for inventing fish and chips, its true honest.   Thanks Mate,A reet gradely site - Roger

Dave sez: Come on - help the lad...

I hat sher this un wi yer.  Me mum's second hubby, Fred is 80 yer owd.  When I had me first cherub here int States, I were yappin to im ont phone an he said "Weel haff cum't wet bebbie's yed."  Know warrit means?*
I'm from Bolton but have lived in  Galveston, Texas for 20 years.  Left there when I was 20 to travel the world and I did.  Married an American GI in Germany and that's all she wrote.

Really enjoyed this site.  Had me in tears o' joy and sorrow.  Miss me owd Bowton, ah do an me mum an sister there. A'm proud of me heritage an me accent which ha'nt changed er bit. 
Even I don't understand Fred sometimes, he's proper broad and comes out wi um sometimes. 
*Meaning: meeting the baby for the first time.

Thanks for a great, entertaining and very nostalgic read.  I will be back. Julie Hood


Sender: Llanelli, South west Wales

Comments: It's terrific to read Lancs dialect, and I will be coming back for more.


Sender: Rochdale

Comments: Does anybody know what 'Piffy on a Rock' means?
During one of my lectures at college we started to discuss dialect and somebody mentioned that their Grandmother used to say "I'm stook here like Piffy on a rock". Nobody knew what it meant but quite a few people had heard it said before.
Can you help????

Dave sez: The expression is "Like Piffy on a rock cake". It means being like the proverbial spare one at a wedding ie - someone who feels out of place or who is kept waiting for something (though who Piffy was or what he or she or it was doing standing on a rock cake of all things is beyond me? Anyone know? Just shows how surreal Lanky can be...


Sender: Lesley, Sarasota, Florida

Comments: "Ow do?"
I can't believe it, luv!
I was given your book for a Christmas present when I was in Bury this past December.

I left the old mill town in 62[thank god] shortly before the Irwell was cleaned up and before the local idiots on the town council tore up the beautiful centre of town, ...I used to take the electric train from Bolton Street Station (long gone) into Manchester in the 50s and wonder what colour the daily clouds of foam would be as they floated down the river & under the railway bridge.

I worked as a 'typist' in Manchester and paid 2s & 6d each way on the train from 57 - 59 when I had enough money saved & somehow talked my way into College with only 5 "O" levels.

After graduating from Matlock Teachers' Training College I went to teach in Fleet, Hants., where no-one could understand a word I said. So, realizing that my teaching days were over, I went off to the colonies where I have been ever since.

'Over t'years' an appreciation for all things Lanky has slowly crept into my soul. I work for an airline & sometimes work the JFK - MAN run.

The crews really like the Lanky passengers because the kids are polite and the adults are very funny...especially after a couple of Tetley's. I often have to translate for the yanks onboard.

When they comment on how different the Northerners are from the Londoners I have to explain the difference between Viking blood & Norman blood and how the 2 will never understand each other...the red rose & the white rose rivalry is harder to explain though because they look & sound so much alike to a Yank, grin..

I am very glad to find this web site after doing a web search for "Lancashire Roots" and will return often.

If anyone out there is a graduate of Bury High School (also gone for ever) I would love to hear from you....My sister went to East Ward Secondary and lives in California with her Yank husband & 2 sons and I know she would like to hear from anyone who went there in the 50s.

TTFN, Lesley.

Dave sez: I'm glad the crew love us Lankies. There's nowt wrong wi gradely fooak...Nice email Lesley...

Comments: an enjoyable site to visit!!!  Many tears shed over the jokes and sayings.   Thanks!!!!!!

A Lancashire Lass .. Sheila Hart

This was sent by an emailer who spotted it in Lancashire Legends by Harland and Wilkinson which was first published in 1883 and is now out as a re-printed version.

Two Lancashire riddles:

Red within, and red without;
Four corners round about.

Four stiff standers,
four dillydanders
Two hookers, two snookers,
and a flip-flap.

Answers  - 1.   a brick.   2. a cow.


Sender: Accrington

Comments: Ah reet gud site this is!


Sender: Jose   Granger Indiana

Comments: Re. Kevin's comment.My parlor name is Josephine Maria, after my Uncle Joe and my Aunty Maria. As my maiden name was Gaskell and we lived in the Orrell/Billinge area, where there are more Gaskells than Smiths or Jones's,then you had to be a bit different. I still get called "our" Jose by the family even though there are not that many Jose folk around! Thanks for the comment. This is a great site,isn't it!  Jose. :-)


Sender: Alison Abbott/Ann Arbor, Michigan US

Comments: I 'aven't bin 'ome to Bolton in 14 year. Thanks for the memories (and the refresher course)!!!-Alison

Sender: Phil o'Daves, Preston

Comments: What a reight gradely web site

Well, isn't this interesting. I live in Lancaster PA which is bass ackwards on the map from you have to go west to get to York. Oddly enough, we still call ourselves "The Red Rose City" and York still calls itself the white rose city.....would you believe that even as I write this our two cities are competing for the honor of being called "The All-American City."
And in our Lancaster, a great portion of the populace celebrates Cinco De Mayo.......and that here in Lancaster Pennsylvania you might even find a good lot of the Amish still speaking Pennsylvania Dutch.
Let me axe you spite of the efforts of radio and TV announcers speaking a homogenized form of British.......much as they do with the so-called Standard American regional dialects still thrive, or are they getting swallowed up? There is a place off the coast of Virginia, in the Chesapeake Bay called Tangier Island. For years there was no TV or radio and interestingly enough......many of the inhabitants still spoke a dialect similar to that spoken in Kent. Now that TV has made its mark on the local culture, the Tangier dialect has faded considerably......this in only the last 20 or 30 years.
I am fascinated by the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire. We don't tell York jokes in Lancaster.......but when I was living in Berwick (also in PA) I made up some jokes about Berwick and here they are: What do you call a skinny person in Berwick? A tourist. What's there to see in Berwick that is good? Seeing Berwick in your rear-view mirror, for starters...
Anyway, I had a good time

Dave sez: Dear Jewel, Thank you for your fascinating email. Glad to know that the Red Rose\White Rose rivalry is being carried on over the Pond. Regional dialects do survive. You would not understand a broad Lancashire speaker or a Geordie (native of the North East). Interestingly, your use of the word axe for ask used to be a feature of Lancashire dialect (still might be used by some old-timers) and I believe it comes from the Anglo-Saxon acsian meaning to ask. Good luck to the Red Rose City. Perhaps you should twin with Lancaster, Lancashire. (The name means Castle on the River Lune). 


Sender: Kevin Faricy Barrack Heights NSW Australia

Comments: Hi Jose Granger Indiana
I get my Uncle Joes from my Daughter Wendy who lives in San Jose California How about that for round the world service.Any road Jose not a Wigan name was your mam scared by a spanish onion.

Hi there Dave,

Wonder whether you can help me with summat -- I've always been curious to know how this "Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs" phrase came about. 

I'm guessing it's a euphemism for "Well I'll be damned" or "Well I'll go to hell" (altered for the obvious superstitious reasons) . . . but *why* the foot of the stairs?

Any ideas?  Just wondering whether there's some kind of specific source, similar to "Gone for a Burton", or whether it's just a nonsense-phrase like "I'll be a monkey's uncle".

Cheers,Andy (Glasgow -- raised in Cheshire!)

Dave sez: I  think it is a cleaned up version of something. For foot read f**k... As in I'll go to Hanover for I'll go to Hell...It is just a nonsense phrase...


Sender: Bangladesh

Comments: Very factual, informative and funny.
What does "scran" mean in Liverpool?

Dave sez: Snap, jackbit, grub, - I mean food...


Sender: Maurice Fletcher,7 Richard St,Weir,Bacup,Lancashire

Comments: A moggie is a cat and a teacake only has currants in if it's a currant teacake and a fritter is a slice of potato dipped in batter and is NOT a scolopp.
Well at least that's how it is around here!

Dave sez: What a load of scallops!

A moggy is something that a cat catches; what you call a teacake is a barmcake and we don't eat anything as poncy as a fritter in Lancashire...


Sender: Jeff Stones, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

Comments: I s'ppuas ah'd berrer 'umor yah buggers an' write t' yous..... burr a dun't reckon ah should.
Anyhow...ahm in America..teeachin' dem Yanks 'ow t' speyk propper... then ahm comin' ooem to teeach your lot.
Dave sez: The day a Yorky teaches a Lanky to speyk propper is the day Boycott turns humble...


Sender: St Helens - Lancashire (never ever Merseyside)

What a wonderful site.  I am proud of my heritage and am a Lancastrian - nothing else.   I can trace my family back to the early 1500's to Oldham and  to the early 1200's to Clitheroe. 

I get a heck of a lot of flack from the Scousers (they say they are different to the rest of us) I work with day in and day out, and not as a joke either, but we Lankies can give as much as we tek.

Keep on the good work and thank you very much for the site.
Dave sez: Scousers have such a lovely accent that it puts the rest of us to shame...


Sender: St.Helens

Comments: N.A.S.A have recently announced that they are to abandon their S.E.T.I.(search for extra terrestial intelligence) project and are going for the vastly more difficult S.I.L.Y.(search for intelligent life in Yorkshire)project.

Dave sez: No piggin' chance! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha etc..........


Sender: Jose          Granger,Indiana

Comments: Eh up! Neil Worthington int thonly un wi Unker Joes. Ah keep um i'th freezer. Nex time ahm wom, ah'll 've me sum more. Ah've gotfot ration em owt, else them'll be gone. But tha's welcome to um if tha cums ith door. Ay, the kettle's allus on at ower 'ouse! If tha wants Lanky tales fot childer, then Keith Roberts is yer mon. E ad un 'bout a Boggert. E's t'lad us sang un wrote songs. Eyup, ah've gotfot go. Ah'll sithi.

Sender:   Granger  Indiana  U.S.A.

Comments: Thank you for this site. I will be visiting again. Having been born bred and buttered in the Wigan area, it is like coming home. Ta. J.



Comments: I would like to get hold of the mr. & mrs Ramsbottom, yer know went to zoo, stick wit orses ead andle an all that.


Sender: barbara.barnes rochdale lancs

Comments:  I have never laughed as much as when I read the jokes and comments that expatriates had written.  I will be going into WH Smiths to buy the book. 


Sender: dallastown PA USA

Comments :miss auld lanky ,reading your pages keeps the memories vivid.thanks dave,from a skem lad.


Sender: Pete Walmsley   Swindon\Wiltshire

Comments: Good web site - keep our language alive!


Sender: Preston

Comments: I've lived in Preston for well over 40 years, and have always been intrigued by the saying 'in dickies meadow'. You still hear it mentioned occasionally - but what is its origin? Assumedly it is a Lancashire saying, but can you explain where it comes from?
Gordon Small  


Sender: Ron Taylor, Calgary Canada via Salford

Comments:Reet good, page.I really enjoyed it.I  live in Calgary now, been here 18years.I was born in Salford but lived most of my life in Little  Hulton.
I worked at the bus Depot in Salford, Cheers,

Email: Brian Fogg   E mail

Sender: St. Catherines. Ontario. Canada.

Comments: Is all saints school still open.??? I would like
to ear from old school mates from about 1946 to 1949. Some names i remember from back then are Bidders, Betty Elmer my first love. Towlers, Grundy.s Tommy Hall. What a treat finding your web site. Tara fo now. Brian.


Sender: Mark Jones, Cambridge

Comments: I'm a PhD student at Cambridge University interested in doing some research on Lancashire dialect, especially as spoken Preston-Blackburn area.
Over the summer I aim to do some fieldwork, and I'd really appreciate any contacts of people who might be interested in helping out and being recorded (in their own homes). I grew up in Sheffield, but don't hold that against me!

Thanks for your help, Mark Jones
(also e-mail at, snail mail
at Trinity College, Cambridge, CB2 1TQ)


Sender: Kevin Faricy Barrack Heights NSW Australia

Comments: Great site.Love all the attempts at Lancashire accents -not being critical just love it
When I was youngster sixty years ago me Mam told us this. I am the ghost of the slopstone pipe if you don't give me a penny I'll stay all night.
Whenever we tried it the miserable sods turned the tap on. Bloody cold in winter.


Sender: Eilleen Ovenden

Comments: Just such a wonderful site. Loved it, will be back again


Sender: Kirsten Hunter, Miami Beach, Fl. USA

Comments: Brill site!
I'm a Lancashire Lass from Horwich.
I wonder is anyone knows the rest to a song that starts:
We're reet down in't coal 'ole
Wit muck slapped on't winders
And when't bailiff cums ere
E won't be able fo't find us

One of my teachers used to sing it to us at school
I'd love to know the rest of it- and who wrote it


Sender: Amy Brown, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Comments: Thanks for a good laugh and a chance to practice a bit of my old stomping ground's dialect!  I'm a university student who spent a year in Lancashire.


Sender: John Cichowicz/Charlotte, NC USA

Comments: Born in Ashton-in Makerfield, I've been back several times and enjoy listening to the Lanky dialect!


Sender: Graham-John Aspin, i' Blackburn

Comments: Owdo. Ah's fair 'appy, ter see seh monny Lanky sites o' t' net, like. This is a good 'un, an' all. Weel dun, lad, ah think ah'll cum 'ere agen.

We must preserve our language-never mind Standard English and all that public school rubbish. We're from Lancashire. Wi mun speyk lahk it, an' all!

Just surfing round and found your site. Excellent piece about the relatives.
Also nice to know you also have problems with 'Yorkies'. 
I live in Lincolnshire ( and proud of it ), and get mistaken for a 'Yorkie' when I mention Grimsby as people have no idea of geography.
You can always tell a Yorkshire man ! Within 1 min of conversation, he will have told you so !!!!!!!!!!!!
I was once watching Yorkshire TV ( unfortunately our local TV station ) and it was ' Great Yorkshire Day '. They were roaming the county and stopping people asking them what it meant to them. They, unfortunately for them, stopped a man from Lincolnshire who replied ' We don't need a special day for it, Lincolnshire is always 'Great' . I cheered anyway !!!!
Keep up the good work

Ian Jackson


Sender: Frank Turner, Edmonton, Canada

Comments: It's reet gud!


Sender: nick duckett london

Comments: very funny web site. must get the book. Do you know of any collections of Lancashire folk tales for children?

Dave sez: Sorry Nick. I don't know of any - can anyone else help? 


Sender: Frank L Crawshaw BRISBANE AUSTRALIA

Comments: Nice to see a bit of Lancashire dialect. no doubt it is dying out. Reminds me of when I was young . Now 78 years of age. As they say out here good onya cobber .My home town was Accrington, Church  and ossy bye for now


Sender: B.Warhurst nee Smith . Heckington Sleaford

Comments: EEh by gum I ne'er thowt I'd ever see nowt like this ont computer I'll be blowed !
Dust onyone remember me ah was Brenda Smith from up Bowshire. send me one of these eer fancy emails
Ah used tr go tr Middleton Parish Church school durin last war!


Sender: Andrea Eling ,Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia

Comments: Ahm frae Clitheroe. Ah've just logged on to find out summat abaht clogs and fun thy site. Well, laughed misel to dee'ath. Ah'll bi back. Sithee.
Mind thee, Ah didn't laugh much at them war bits. Very moving. Am banna tell mi mum and dad i' Blegburn.


Sender: Barbara H. Friday, Port Charlotte, Florida, U.S.A

Comments: I am enjoying your site. Brings back a lot of memories. I lived in Prestwich, Lancs. Do you have any info on Heaton Park/Prestwich? Cheers. Barbara

Dave: No info - but maybe someone else can help..?

Sender: Lackyband Assassin, Chorley

Comments: Oh eck is sheeded is ale.


Sender: Cathy from Stockport

   Cool pages and if anyone wants to answer questions for my A-level Lanky Accent and Dialect project I would be very grateful!!!!! E-mail me with your e-mail address at


Sender: Mark Pendlebury , Leigh

Comments: Love the site sadly too young to have seen you when you recorded "Lanky Spoken 'Ere" in Leigh, But I do have a scratched "Well Played" L.P. of same. Also I am an entertainer "D.J." & an aquaintance of "Gary & Vera Aspey" be seeing them on Sunday afternoon 13/2/00 at Formby hall Atherton. Keep up the good work.

Mark (F.O.R.L. 10519/WD)

Dave sez: Cheers Mark. I saw Gary recently. The Aspeys are great entertainers. Lanky Spoken 'Ere was a scream to do.

Sender: Phil H, Sheffield

Comments: I'm from Manchester originally.  Recently I e-mailed a female friend and called her Little Miss Naughty Knickers.  Given that it should probably have been spelt "Nowty" can anyone confirm the existence and meaning of the word so that I can placate her?

Great site BTW

Dave sez: Nowty is a good old Lanky word. Means mischievous\ naughty\ bad-tempered as in "nowtyback!"  It exists all right.


Sender: Paul Forshaw, Atherton

Comments: Here's a joke with a Lanky punchline:
Before she became famous, a well known Olympic javelin thrower worked as a delivery driver for a bakery in Lancashire.
Whenever she made a delivery, she was greeted with the phrase "Eigh up! It's Fatima wi't'bread"


Sender: Lizzie in Nottingham

Comments: Its a reet good site lad, an a joy for all expats

Dear Dave,

I was just showing my dad your website - I bought him and my brother (who has emigrated to London)your book for Christmas.  They thowt it were beltin

We come from Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan but I'm afraid I live in
Bolton now. It's not the same as Wiggin tha' knows.
Any road up, my dad wondered if you knew why the Munitions factory was built at Risley....he was told that it was because of the local conditions.  The land is very marshy/boggy, being peat bog around there, and the atmosphere is very damp.  If there was ever going to be fog, then Risley was the first to become shrouded in mist - obviously a good cover for the factory, and observation planes would find it difficult to see.

My dad is very interested in local history and our family tree, and writes and recites Lancashire monologues in local old folks' homes, clubs etc.  He
has done quite a lot of research, especially for Ashton as that is where he has always lived, and has a small collection of interesting items relating
to the local area.Ah'll be seein thi! Tara

Claire Brennan
John Woodcock

Dave sez: Thanks for that Claire and John. I never knew that about Risley - makes sense though.If you go there now, you can still see potholes in the moss where it appears bombs or shells were tested.

Have a visit there if you get the chance - there is a vistor's centre relating to the flora and fauna and a tall tower where you can see the surrounding countryside. Well worth going...

(See the article written by my mum on the main Lanky page about her experiences there during the war) 


Sender: Roger Bailey, Bakersfield, California, USA

Comments: My late Pop was born in Oldham and expatriated at the age of 13.
Do you happen to know the location of the Top House Commercial (Oldham?). The address is 38 Co-operative St.; I have found no fewer than three Co-operative Streets (Shaw, Springhead, and Uppermill. The proprietor, Eddie Heap, is a relative whom I would have the opportunity to meet in a couple of weeks, if I could find the place. I'm enjoying your excellent site.

Dave Sez: Sorry Roger - haven't a clue on this one - can anyone else help?


Sender: Carol/Blackburn,Lancs. Now Oklahoma

Comments: This is a great page, I need to refresh my dialect! Get everybody's knickers in a twist.


Sender: Valeri Khabirov,  Russia

Comments: All is well and quite informative

Dave sez: Er, Spacebo, Valeri...



Sender: Northerner

Comments: Just over here on me holidays from Yorkshire. So nice to find a website with a bit of northern spirit. Keep on keepin' on!
Sometimes even us tykes have to admit there's culture your site o t' Pennines an all!!

Ayup! is a Yorkshire website, but there's nowt to touch your site, I've got to admit!!

I'm considering a "Foreigners" section. Your site would be on it, if you don't object that is.... [You know what us tykes er like. Anywhere further than Derby and we get a nosebleed!]
Keep up the brilliant work....

Si thi.

Dave sez: I don't believe this. Praise from "th'enemy". Still North is North - it's us lot against the rest. Beggar Scottish independence - what about Independence for the North of England? Then we wouldn't have to put interest rates up to keep house prices down in London. Our industries would stand a better chance of surviving.  I'm serious. 

Thanks Northerner. I've a confession to make - me favourite ale is Timothy Taylor's Landlord Bitter - brewed in Keighley!

I've only just fun t'site.  I hope to 'ave a sken at it later, but I reckon it looks reet gradeley.  I've already seen some words and phrases I haven't heard for years, deawn 'ere i'th'Seawth.

Do you know where I can find a copy of "Beawton's Yard", by Sam Laycock?  Or, failing that, tell me who lives at No 6 (verse in full, please).

Peter Royle

Dave sez: No sooner sed. I've put it on the website (see Lanky poems). Hope you enjoy this owd Lanky favourite which has been recited for many years


Sender: Kevin Mason; Durban, South Africa.

Comments: I really enjoyed your site. As a Burnley boy, who has not returned home since leaving for Africa in 1959, it was like coming home. Well done!

Sender: Barbara Hoertz, Buford, Georgia, U.S.A.

Comments: Dear Dave:

Tha's a reet card.   No doubt about it, Lancashire folk are unique. (Dave sez: We ruddy are an all!)   Hurray for us!

I was born in Clayton-le-Moors during WWII.   Also lived in Accrington for a number of years.   America's been home for the last 35.   I love Georgia but keep my Lancashire roots strong.

Look forward to visiting with you again in the new year.     


Sender: Lynne Soffer/San Francisco/USA

Comments: Thank you for this terrific site. I'm an anglophiliac actor/dialect coach who is just delighted to have come across this site. You are enriching more people with it than perhaps even you have imagined....

Dave sez: Thank for Lynne for those kind remarks. If tha wants to know how fert speyk proper, cum back anytime luv...


Sender: Casson, Doris.   Moe, Victoria, Australia

Comments: It was interesting to read the "dialect" poem and although born and bred in Oldham or Owdham or "ruffyed" town some of the words I found very hard to say or translate.  I always thought that the "dialect" was based on the words "thou" "thee" and "thy".   I must buy your book.   Avagoodweegend.

Dave sez: Eh?


Sender: Rossendale

Comments: Two Blackburn tacklers, tired of Blackpool, determined to go to the Norfolk Broads, and spend the annual holiday on a boat. Luck came their way the first day, and quite a haul of decent sized fish were landed.
Says Bob to Tum- "Did ta mark that spot where we've ben fishing?"
"Aye, I put a cross on t'boat."
"Tha silly fool, we mightn't get t'same boat to-morrow."
Two Bacup tacklers were indulging in the mid-day smoke when one said to the other:
"Bill, thad dowter o'mine has started taking lessons on t'piano , and th say she's doin' champion.Does ta know owt abeaut music?"
Bill: "Nowt."
Tummy: "Then tha'll nod hev yeard abeaut       Beet-oven's works."
Bill: "I've heard nowt, but I reckon they'll be like rest o't mills, workin' short time."


Sender: Robert Davies Dorking

Comments: Reet lets get down t'it. first awll there's yon Elaine (Perth Western Austrailia)from Croston tellin us awll abart Chippy Eddies. Corse us Tarleton Lads thowt Croston lasses wur reet gud. I bet Elaine knows t'Nelson (Reggies shop reet by the chippy). Top class ale house wur Nelson. Run be Reggie and Sally. Reg wudn't serve us on Sundays "Y'ell after wate while wife cums 'ome fre Church" An wur about Trafford Arms( Top Shop) an t'Grapes, Black Horse and t'Roobin Hood. Aye reet grand place is Croston only a small village but well provided fur wi pubs. We supped some OBJ's an Black & Tans aw made be Duttons. Duz tha remember what rice pie is Elaine? an dust tha know Millie Moon, Alice Duckworth an Irene Trafford. Irene probably lived near ya a'top o Church Lane.

Then ther's this lad Frank Wilson (Alberta) fre Pooert (proper way ta say Southport) another place wer Tarleton Lads like to show ther talents at Floral 'all. Naw then Frank wur asking about Wareing's at Bonks. I tell yer the're all Wareings there lad nee deep they are. More than tha cun wave a stick at. Any road up I'll ask me mate Hugh Wareing (lives ont Moss duz Hugh)when I phone im on Sunday He'll put us write.

Reet gud site this is next time I mite tell yer o Henry Moss (he lives ont Moss as well) but Henry is 80 odd and he rittin down lots o words wi write spelling as well

Merry Christmas Dave and all Lankys wherever you are a Happy New Year.   

Dave sez: Thank you Robert. A Merry Christmas to you and yours and to all Lanky folk everywhere. Wishing you all a safe and prosperous 2000.

PS. Did you hear about the Yorkshireman who went outside his house on Christmas morning and fired his shotgun in the air - then went back and told his kids that Father Christmas had committed suicide!


Sender: Cannington,Western Australia

Comments: Lovely to see some Lancashire dialect. Many of the phrases are very familiar.


Sender: Kevin Faricy; Barrack Heights NSW Australia

Comments: Just found your site. The best yet. Can't stop laughing at Lanky tales.
Origins from Owdham. Mam & DAD came from Hindley. Love to hear from anybody. If anyone knows I am an original Bardsley Crow
Look after Thee sens. Kevin


Sender: Simon, St Petersburg\Russian Federation

Comments: T'best waay ti get out o'Lancashire is
t'roid ti Yorkshire.

Now living in St Pete, Russia.

Dave sez: Not sure what point you're making Simon. Why would anyone want to do that? (I was in St Petersburg last July. It was a bit like Bradford - needs a lick of paint.)


Sender: Robert Davies Dorking

Comments: Best web site on the Net. Read it every week.
Keep it it up we expats love it!

Regards to all the folks in Tarleton
Dave sez: Cheers Robert. Eigh up Tarleton, Robert sends regards...





Sender: Colin from Nelson England

Comments: Young tackler goes to the jewellers to buy an engagement ring.
"Eighteen carat?" asks the assistant.
"Nay, ah'm chewin' baccy, but what the 'ells it got to do wi thee".
Dave sez: I can just picture them Southern jessies trying to work that one out!

Thanks for sharing your grandfather's letter for world war 1.

c. porter

Dave sez: Thank you for reading it. It is very moving isn't it? 


Sender: toronto canada

Comments:  As an ex. Blackpool lad 40yrs in the Colonies I've never forgot my Lancashire roots, this site gives me much enjoyment, "THANKS" Dave.


Sender: Martin Baird

Comments: where I wer dragged up a moggie wer a cat, otherwise a pretty damned good show old chap, could say Bluddy good, if I tried hard enough.


Sender: A South Wales Valleys Lad

Comments: Excellent website!  Gives me a good laugh!
Joke :

Lancashire man, Londoner, Brummie and Yorkshire man are all in a private jet.  Soon the aeroplane runs into difficulties and the four men all draw up an agreement that whoever died, each of the survivors would put GBP200 each into the dead man's coffin to help him on the way to the next world.

Sure enough, the Londoner dies and the Lancashire man, Brummie and Yorkshireman all agree to putting GBP200 into the Londoner's coffin.  The Brummie puts in his GBP200 in GBP20 notes, the Lancashire man puts his GBP200 in GBP10 notes.  They leave the Yorkshireman to put his money into the coffin - the Yorkshireman writes out a cheque for GBP600 and takes GBP400 change!
Dave Sez: A Welshman making jokes about Yorkies?!!!! We must be winning!


Sender: Mark - Chepstow - Monmouthshire

Comments: I was born in Farnworth as was my Dad, Grandad etc and a lot of my dad's rellies still live in Lancs and always will.  It's a great site you've put together and it prompts lots of memories - but a couple of little Lanky quirks for you - my Grandad used to say of my Nan: "her 'eads fulla jollyrobins" and I used to work in Wigan and the best piece of Wiganese I ever heard was "Yenyon yenyon yen yer?", which is a question asking "how many you were there" (if you're referring to more than one person).

Off to email my dad, Roy, recommending the site to him. Cheers

Lanky greetings
Luvly site, Dave.

The's nowt as queer as fowk, even fowk as left the County Palatine 20 years
ago, like me.

Dr Stephan Larsson
Vancouver Island Cancer Centre
At or about 48° 27' 00" N, 123° 18' 00" W
Puritanism - the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy. - H.L.

I'm a Preston girl at heart although have lived in Manchester for the last seven years.
My husband is a Mancunian and even though he has the benefit of living with a pure Lancastrian since 1992 he still can't speak the lingo! He tries but just can't get the pronunciation right! Oh well maybe in time!
My husband has printed off Mabel's story to send to his mother who worked at Snape's in the war filling ammunition belts and the Letter from the Trenches to remember his granddad who was gassed out there but survived! All very interesting stuff!Carry on the good work. The sooner folk get the hang of this Lancastrian speak the better. For some strange reason its very difficult getting folk to understand me at times!!!!Best wishes
Mandy J Harrison (Prestonian

What a luvely experience it waz for me tu see yer page,

I wud be onered if yud put a link to me omepage an a will put one tu yours,
yers ist best av sin sin a left ome fur Canada



Tha's a reet daft bugger. Aw live in Bath nehw so aw doesn't often hear fowk speykin lanky. 
I was born in St Helens (Lancashire not Merseyside) and raised in Haydock.
 I feel sad that the language (not just the dialect) my grandparents spoke is dying out. I never hear it now but sources are : the Billingers, and Songs of the People: Lancashire Dialect Poetry of the Industrial Revolution (Brian Hollingworth: editor), of which "Come whoam to thi childer an' me is my favourite." The Oldham Tinkers also make me laugh. Living in the South West of England I relish any northern sounding accent and have been told a couple of times by Yorkshiremen living down here that they can't talk to me because I am from the wrong side of the Pennines... In Bath they have a posh shoe shop called "Shoon". When I explain what that means in Lanky I'm met with blank incomprehension.
 Keep it alive.

Isaac Hanson and Great Grandmother and His brother Abraham Hanson and his wife, Margaret were from Lancashire.    I have spent Hours and Hours just trying to find any information on them.   They left that area for the USA in 1854.  I usedta get smacked on the hand for  sayin Hafta instead of Have to.
George Hanson   Salem, Missouri.     Interesting site

Dave sez: Any info on the Hansons anyone? - yer'll hafta let George know...  

ee by gum !
I was reet chuffed to ave read all o 't yorkshire jokes
made me giggle ta ta for now

Lancashire lad lonely in Canada ,ee by ek I missed the way thee talk, Michael Canada

You have thanks for the many chuckles I had when I 'discovered' the Lanky Website.  I am a former Prestonian, having left there in 1954 to visit my sisters in Montana, USA.  I am still 'visiting'.  During my visit I acquired a husband, two sons and two daughters. I have sent your address to my sister in Minnesota, I know she will enjoy
reading your Lanky pages as much as I did. I very often use Lanky expressions, and my youngest son is a perfect mimic when he tells me to EHY OOP, and says things like...OOO, INT IT AWRIGHT.  I love my Lanky expressions and will use them whenever I like, in spite of the funny looks I get from one or two Yanks.
I use the word LUV a lot when talking to children, never forgot that one. I think it's nice.
Thanks again for the laughs.  I would like to ask if you update your material and if so, when?

Dave sez: Ey up luv - I update it as and when. Keep tawkin proper sithee...


Sender: Valerie Hoyle - Salt Lake City, Utah

Comments: Hey.

Jokes ??????

Wanted to say I am enjoying this web site....

I shall be in Rochdale in November.. I was born there.
It'll be interesting to see what's going on.

Valerie Hoyle

Dave sez :It will..???


Sender: Rita and Robert Winstanley, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Comments: Great!!!! As exiled Wigginers wi luv'd it - except the jokes abowt us!
Suggestion: Drop the Wigginer jokes and add more Yorkshire jokes!!!

Keep it up

Rita and Robert Winstanley

Dave Sez: Pie-eyters gerrin' precious - whatever next?! It's all in fun - you can't get more Lanky than Wigginers.Aw reet.. Why do Yorkshiremen take big strides? - To save shoe leather! (It's only in fun you Yorkies!)

Ray Dickinson New Zealand

Comments: Very interested in picture of Atherton Nursery .I was there in 1941 when it had an air raid siren in the yard.
Keep up your good work
PS who took the picture???

Dave: Not sure Ray. It could have been the local paper. Anyone else go to Atherton Nursery? It is still there in the same place and the same building!


Sender: Wigan

Comments: s'alreet this page like. Tha's done a good 'un :-)


I remembered a poem from my childhood that my grandad used to utter as follows:

A little fly flew past our door
It flew right into the grocers store

It peed on the bacon it Sh.... on the ham and wiped its bottom on the grocers man 

after it had done its dirty work

it went right over to the lady clerk

she was just about to stab it with her pen when it cocked up its tail and did all again. 

I though it may interest you, I have obviously cleaned it up slightly. I have never heard it outside our family (but it could have travelled the world). My grandfather taught it me at around age 6-7 and sometime later in school when a teacher asked 'who knows any poems' I duly put up my hand and recited this, and was hence sent home from school forthwith with a note for my parents. So to get my own back I have taught it my children/grandchildren at about age 6-7 to carry on this important Ainsworth family tradition. I know its not in Lancashire Dialect but my grandad used to speak it in true Blackburn dialect (around 1949).
Dennis Ainsworth

Dave sez: That's brilliant Dennis. Any more funny Lanky rhymes anyone?

Sender: Antony from Oxford

Comments: The "Completely Lanky" web site's superb! I'm from down South but my girlfriend's a true Lancastrian from Chorley.
I can relate to the humour just from living with a true Lancastrian...great site, I'm going to buy the book for her today, she'll love it!


Sender: Elaine Byrne,  Perth Western Australia

Comments: What a great site.  We emigrated to Australia in 1983.  I lived as a kid in a little village called Croston, my mum and dad had a chippy called CHIPPY EDDIES, next to Wheatsheaf pub. Moved to Preston when I was 16, and then to Leyland.  Went back home last year and I bought your book to bring back and show to my friends I work with over here.  They are always taking the micky out of my accent.  But I'm proud of the way I speak and I'm glad  haven't lost it.  I can't write it but I can certainly speak it.  Keep up the good work on your site.

Perth Western Australia

Dave sez: Oztralians taking the mick out of YOUR accent?! That's pon cawin't kettle brunt arse! Ignore the cheeky sods.


Sender: Gerry Mawdsley

Comments: Sithee its yon mon, Av not Sin thee fer ages, So howt dooin. Wor abeawt FAWDEUX as a reet lanky word, Its not french as you might think but you could use it in a sentence like " My bike has Fawdeux".

Dave sez: Eh?   Stick ter playin't ukelele Gerry - tha'rt brilliant at that. (The George Formby Society meets on the last Wednesday of the month at 8pm at the Red Lion, Westhoughton, Lancashire). Everyone welcome. They'll even teach you how to play like George! Email Gerry for details. 


Sender: Nanaimo, Vancouver Island

Comments: Thanks for a reel bit of a laff.  I love Canada, but Canadians can't always appreciate the funny side of life like us lanky lasses can.  You blew away my homesick blues.


Sender: dennis hannam. brisbane. australia

Comments: A great site. Made my sides ache with laughter.
Keep up the good work. Stay away from Wigan.
Born Heywood 1945,left in Feb 1965 for OZ. Lived in Victoria New South Wales and Queensland.
Queensland the best.
Came ere wi nowt and still got nowt but loving it.
See you later. All the best.
Dennis Hannam.


Sender: Dennis Hannam. Brisbane. Australia.

Comments: Great site, loved the sayings, just think I used to speak like that and at times I still do.
I was born in Heywood in 1945 and left there in
1965 for OZ No matter what anyone says Queensland is the best state. Ta tar for now . All the best.
Dennis Hannam


Comments: not too bad but I still missed a few o' owd expressions. Could have got permission for the Rochdale cowboy  or referenced over to him..Ever heard of the lancashire lad poem.

I like the site and sorry that the feedback is not in lanky as well..


Sender: Annette Smith, Burlington.Ontario,Canada

Comments: Did you hear about the cannibal who wouldn't eat clowns, because they taste funny.

Dave sez: Er, aye I did...


Sender: R. O'Connell    Keauw Yed City (Westhoughton), Lancs.

Comments: Reet gradely site!
I was born in Farnworth, nr Bolton, lived in Atherton but have since moved to Westhoughton (Owfen), and I'm reet proud to live in God's own county, Lancashire, not Greater Manchester!
Its nice to see that someone is promoting our language on 't net!
But why do you not include "scouse" words in your guide? I know that it is a different lancastrian twang to the Lancs that people elsewhere speak, but nevertheless it is still lancs!
Yours, Richard O'Connell.


Sender: Sheila Perdue, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Comments: Dave: this page is hilarious...I am sitting here with tears in my eyes from laughing... I was born and raised in Warrington. Left for Canada when I was 12, then on to the USA.  I can remember my Dad using some of your phrases. One he used to say was "Grace before meals and grace afta.. Them that didn't get enough shoulda etten fasta"...I am coming home in November for a visit, and will definitely buy your book...I will be in Bradford, Yorkshire...( I know...I know..) but that is where my friend lives... but will be visiting Warrington.  I am going to try and e-mail the people in the US that are from Lancashire... Thanks again

Dave sez: Bradford?! Bradford?! Bluddy Nora! 

PS Shortly after Sheila posted this, a tornado hit Salt Lake City.! 


Sender: Wendy Shaw Illinois\USA

Comments: I was born in Oldham - this page really took me
back to when I was a kid!  I teach cultural geography in an American
University and always give examples of Lancashire
dialect when we discuss language.

Dave Sez: Keep spreadin't Lanky gospel Wendy.


Sender: Michael Howard, Blackburn, Lancs

Comments: Neah then, this is a reyt gud site, spokun like a proper lanky bloke wud seh.
Av just bin t'watch Rovers this aft (Aug 7th 1999), an thi wur a load of old cobblers, ay ope it'll get better furt'rest ut season.
Thur wurnt much stuff from Blegburn ur Darren in theer, so cum on you Darreners speyk up!!


Sender: Mark Cayton, Seattle Wa

Comments: Great Site.

I grew up in Burnley 'til I was 9, then things took a bit of a downturn and I ended up in Blackpool for ten years.
I loved the site. It tewk me back. May a recommend one of my favourites..
'az geet a fag? (Please may I have a cigarette)
All the best


Sender: Henry From coppull lancashire and proud of it currently living in new york  usa

Comments: ow do. ya outaa be proud ov ya self ya make a born n bread lancashireman away from his home cry
thanks I'm in new York USA.. Missing home.Ya just cheered me up no end
and if there's any english folk in ny or states who wanna hook up email me seems the brits dont club together  here like the italians irish etc and i could use some english company take care from big H.

Dave sez: Sorry H - didn't mean fert make yer skrike! Come on you Yanky Lankies - get in touch with him.


Sender: Norma Holliday - Hamilton, Ontario Canada

Comments: I came across your website while surfing, finding out about my father's homeland - his name was Gilbert Henry Ramsbottom, born in Preston, Lancashire around or about 1903.
I enjoyed reading the dialect from Lancashire.
Thanks for the chuckles.

Dave sez: There is a place in Lancashire called Ramsbottom where your ancestors must have come from. The locals call it - wait for it - Tup's Arse. (Tup being a male sheep)


Sender: Derek Brandwood,19 Longmeadow Grove,St Lawrence Court, Denton, Manchester M34 2DA

Comments: Great website.

Sender: Jim Farrow, Detroit, USA

Comments: What about an on-line reprint of Teddy Ashton's
Lancashire Annual?



Sender: Mary Lou McLaren, Ketchum, Idaho, USA

Comments: Thanks so much for this wonderful site.  The audio portions gave me chills....was just like listening to my Grandpa who grew up in Bolton.

Dave sez: Owdo Mary Lou (cue for a song!) I was born about 4 miles from Bowton - so that's why I sound like him

Brian Parkinson,

Comments: Na then Dave,
Tha's getten a reet gud page 'ere. Ah'd almost forgot that sum folk still speak proper. Ah've lived int US fert last 32 years an ahv awmust forgetten what a gud pint tastes like. Ah really bluddy screwed up and married a Yorkshire lass back in 1957 but Ah'm still tryin to make best on it, she was in MI5 and did a good job of hiding her dialect! Keep up t'good work

Dave sez: Commiserations Parkie...

Alan Wilson;Surrey BC Canada;

Comments: Na'then. There's nobbut just

Carole Kluger; Hanson, Kentucky;

Comments: Your web page gave me a lift on this humid Kentucky morning.  Thank you. This part of the U.S. is much like home-beautiful country and coal mines.

Dave sez: "Thank you Carole for those lovely comments. There's a section in the book called Lanky Goes Yanky where, for instance, "Lay some skin on me, man" is translated to : "Pass me the Black Puddings, serry..."

Tony Neale;Isle o Man (Ex. Sheffield)

Comments: Nathen.  Gu easy on uz Tykes.  Yer Git!
Dave sez: "Git" must be a quaint Yorkshire expression for "extremely intelligent Lancastrian gentleman."

Charlotte Mercer, Brussels,

Comments: Nathen, Dave lad! Well ah'll go to't top o' ower stuurs - brilliant to find this site that makes me feel at home in sunny (?)Belgium. I'm from Accrington and I really miss Lanky folk and Lanky humour. Ta chuck!

Dave sez: I really feel sorry for you Charlotte - sat sitting in a sunny Brussels square supping wonderful Belgian beer and eating chips wi mayonnaise on! Seriously though, you're not a million miles fra wom. Next time you're home, buy some Lanky books to take back with you - then you will always have the humour with you. Any good Northern bookshop sells them.Thanks for the nice remarks.



Phyllis (Smith) Becker, Ten Sleep, Wyoming, USA:

Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed your page.  It really brought back some wonderful memories of me Mum and Dad speaking.  I was born in Whiston, but moved to the USA at an early age and quickly lost me Lanky accent.  Oh to have it back again!

Dave sez: Thanks Phyllis. Just keep reading't book - you'll soon get it back!

Stu (Fozzy)Foster;Thumrait,Oman

Comments: I remember the book from a few years ago but have lost my copy. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Dave sez: Very kind of you Stu. As someone once said: "It's the best laugh I've had since the mother-in-law caught her t*ts in the mangle!"

Barbara Ferguson. I live in Clayton-Le-Moors near Accrington and I often hear people say something like, I's agate (well it sounds like that to me).  I think that they mean " I was saying".  Can you throw any light on this expression?   I believe it is used differently in Bolton,. There I think it means " I was doing".  My roots are in Liverpool so my Lancashire understanding is slightly different to the Accy variety.

*Dave sez:I can only speak from the point of view of somone who spent most of his early life in the Atherton area. There, agate means I was occupied with ie: I was agate doing something; in the act of...but it can also mean having a go at someone as in "He were gerrin' agate of me!". It can also mean "I was saying" as in : "I were agate 'Don't use your cheek to me!' ".Just shows how one dialect word can be multi-purpose. We don't waste owt in Lancashire! Hope you enjoy the book..

Roger Barton, Sheffield Yorks :(,

Comments: I was very interested to read Mabel Dutton's story.  My mother worked for Riley's Chemicals during the war.  They made war gasses.  Fortunately Mum worked in the office, but she was expected to "muck in" as required.

: Trace; Bolton;

Comments: I spy wi my little eye sumthin beginnin wi 'th'

Thashtray ont telly

(My younger sister thought that this is what it was called) a 'thashtray' !!

Comments: eh up! asta seen three old mates o' mine. Their monikers are: Mr. Dennis W. Benze, Mr. Ken Forsch, Mr. Gerard O'Dea (was, maybe still is, a bloomin boarding house keeper on Palatine Road Blackpool.
The lads are sandgrown'uns same as me, all from Bright and Breezy Blackpool. Ginger Benze lives or used to live on Orchard Ave. South Shore. He may be still a teacher at the Blackpool & Fylde College.  E was rite proper edificated and all these fellows go to the Bruns Grove Working (HA) mens club in Blackpool.Hope someone can help.
My address is : ROY INGHAM C/o Scott's Plains Recycling Inc. (Wher ther's money) 390 Pido Road, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, K9J 6X7

Dave sez: Perhaps someone in the Blackpool area can look them up in the phone book and email the info on to Roy.

Roger Butler Walsingham Canada . Email :
Comments: What a site. Laughed so hard my wife thought I'd lost my mind. Can't expect Canadians to get the point can you ? Formerly from MOSSLEY near ASHTON  now Tameside what ever that is, always a LANKY at heart- any Lankys in Canada,love to hear from you. Roger Butler, Ontario.

Dave Sez: Come on you Canadian Lankys - get in touch with Roger. Get some Lanky neets going!

Carolyn, Washington, USA,

Comments: I loved your website. It reminded me of home and all those words and expressions I'm forgetting.
One saying my grandparents used to use when I'd done something wrong because I was acting "as thick as two short planks," was "Ay, and tha knows what Thought did -- followed a muck cart and thought it were a wedding..." or, "planted egg and thowt 'en ud grow." Anyone else heard these?Thanks..In Washington, DC via way of Wigan

Dave sez:" Another less salubrious one was "Aye - he Sh*t in bed and thowt he were on't petty!" (lanky for lavvy).

June Nowell

Comments: Hi, I loved this page, took me a while to figure out some of the words, its been 15 years since I was in Blackburn, Lancs.  I live in Canada, maybe someone remembers me. June Foster, Duckworth St Primary and Billinge Grammar.  This page is great.

Andy Lomax, Tromsø, Norway -

Comments: Owfner (a person whose origin is Westhoughton) goes into a pub:
Owfner: Gi' uz a pahnt o' bitter...
Landlord person: Whitbread?
Owfner: Aye, I'll a' three slices....

Pete McCann, Preston,

Comments: Them t'others should speighk proper, like what we does!
You should speak with the proper linguistic inflections!
Well I'll go t'ut foot o'our sturs.
Well I shall go to the foot of our stairs.(I'm surprised.)
'E fell down't' coil oil.
He fell down the coal hole.
Th'ole in't wall.
The hole in the wall.

Comments: I was interested in your Lanky Page, particularly the bit about Yorkshiremen.Which made me think.  Why not have a Yorkshire Jokes section? You could start with:

1.  The definition of a Yorkshireman: a Scotsman with all the generosity squeezed out of him.
2.  Copper Wire was invented by two Yorkshiremen fighting over a penny!
3.  You can tell a Yorkshireman's house at Christmas: parking meter on the roof; turnstile on the chimney.
4.  The best thing which comes from Yorkshire: the A59.

Cameron S. Crook

Ann Langham, Bethany, Canada

Comments: reet good site, will visit again

Edith Peppin

Comments: Brill reading! Thanks for the laugh.

Neil Worthington, Doncaster

Comments: Ow do!

If you're still partial to mint balls, wander over to my place:

Neil Worthington (ex Wiganer)

Jo Lord, Fareham

Comments: Very, very funny - brought tears to my eyes!

Jenny Hodgson, Princeton,

Comments: Thank you so much for this reminder of home

Jenny H, Princeton NJ (ex Preston)

Did you know it was a Yorkshireman who made the Grand Canyon? He dropped 10 pence down a rabbit hole!

John Wilson, Chowbent.

Mike Dutson, Affetside (Bury),

Comments: Here's a lanky joke, maybe you've heard it, but it made me laugh.

A Wiganner (pie eater) and his wife went to Spain for their hols. They don't like the food so took with them a suitcase full of pies. On the first day the missus shouts over the balcony to her husband next to the pool "Tha dinner's aht". whereupon he rushes up to the room and declares "gradely, a couple o' grand pies" he then realises there is no gravy. He says to his wife "ey up lass, wheres uz gravy. Tha knows uz can't eat uz pies 'bout any bista'.(Bisto)..". She replies, "I've forgotten it!! So you'll have to mek do". He says "Well, I can't eat uz pies bout any bista'..Thee'll ave t'go t'town an geet sum". His wife replies "Tha daft ayputh, wer in Spain, they don't sell bista..But there's another English couple in the room opposite. They may have some. Go an' ask". This he proceeds to do. He crosses the corridor, knocks on the door and the occupant asks what he wants. The Wigan gentleman shouts out "Ast' anybista" and gets the reply
"Bugger off you Spanish sod and stop mitherin'"

This should be told with a strong Wigan accent to understand the punchline and the possible confusion with a well known Spanish saying !!!!

John Hatton/Hindley Green (formerly of Atherton)/

Comments: Worra gud fahnd.Gud to see lanky folk on't web.
John Hatton formerly Atherton now Hindley Green (I moved a long way)

Dione Gent/ Reedley,Pendle/

Comments: Thanks for sucha kool web site I'm at UNI in Aber and so  a site which reminds me of how it is so good to keep a Lancashire accent is wonderful!!!!

Maurice Paulissen; Nijmegen;

Comments: A nice site. I am currently visiting web-sites about dialects in Holland, Britain, Germany etc. Funny to see some similarities between the Lanky dialect and my own, Limburg dialect (Netherlands). For example: you still use the Old-English (?) form "thou" instead of "you". Lanky "ast" and "dust" is similar to Limburg dialect "höbste" or "hahste" (have you) and "deiste" (do you). But why all the jokes about Yorkshiremen on a Lanky page? Because you are neighbours??
Greetings, Maurice Paulissen

Dave sez: Owdo Maurice. Champion to know that you speyk some Lanky in Limburg. Why all the jokes about Yorkshiremen? Well, it all started with the Wars of the Roses...but it's not serious any more -except when we meet each other at cricket. Yorkshiremen also have a certain reputation for being "tight" ie mean with their money. That becomes the subject of a lot of Lanky humour. Quite rightly, I might add. "It's Ow much?!!" is said to be a Yorkshiremon's favourite expression. They also walk on their hands to save shoe leather I believe...

Glenda Eaves

Comments: There is more of us 'Downunder'!
I was born in Blackburn, my dad was a QEGS pupil and I have a beautiful long photograph of all the pupils around 1945. Have also been researching the 'Billington' families in Lancs. In particular William Billington the Poet, David the Swimmer from Bacup, and the Hangmen from Bolton. Would love to hear from anyone descending from these families.
What a 'heartwarming' site to visit and as we say in Australia. ' Onya '..

Marco Porrino; Munich, Germany ;

Comments: A smashing site .... I still get narked when I think about me 'ome town (Warrington) getting shifted into bloody Cheshire some time back.

A. Caddle; London;

Comments: Thank you for a right good laugh!  I run a nightclub in London, and we are having a specially themed evening, "War of the Roses Night:  Yorkshire vs. Lancashire" with ex-pats competing in a quiz for the grand prize of "Best County in the North"...Your website has been helpful and inspirational!  I have spent many pleasurable hours in and around Baxenden, Accrington,the Ribble Valley, Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom, Haslingden, and partner is a Lancashire lass and I am pleased to be considered an honorary Lancastrian by her family!

Dave Sowerbutts Accrington

Comments: Well, I'm fro Accy' and I'm benna ev a sken at thi page agean, it's champion.

Comments: O'reet, I now live in Canada and found myself smiling at your site. Yerl bi ret pleased to know its been bookmarked.
Gary, Calgary, Alberta.

owen sound ont Canada

Comments: My name is Bill Farrar I was born in Rochdale 1950 I have lived in Canada since 1975 I just found your page by accident I had a reet good laugh By the way my Grandad was in the Kings Own too with relatives in Atherton.(Samuel Farrar)

Ryan Doherty, Co.Derry,

Comments: I think the presently used term for money is "Poke" rather than brass, and I know my friends family who are from Bolton refer to wasps etc as "wuzzers". The only regional joke I can bring to mind is:

A man goes into the office at work and the boss says, "eh what've te done lad?"
"I've wharted over on me ankle".
"Ooh eck a'd better put it in't accident book, .... ow d'yu spell it?"
"I don't rightly know ........put keighkt."



Frank Wilson, Camrose, Alberta.

Comments: Gradely, lad! 'Ad t'reet gud chookle theer!
I emigrated to Western Canada from Southport in 1967 and still miss t'owd plehce. I've been trying to track down two old friends from the 50s and early 60s:Don Wareing, formerly of Gravel Lane, Banks, and Brian Lever, formerly of Throstlenest Avenue, Wigan.
If anyone has a clue as to the present wherabouts of either of them, I'd be very grateful to hear.

Graham Cunliffe; Westhaven, Humbolt County, Ca. USA. ;

Comments: Great site lads and lassess! I furget what fettlers and fetterlesses is. Ow art' fettling is stil theer though.
Maybe thy const fillus in like. Preston/Leyland EXpat

Comments: Some of this sounds familiar - to a person from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Also helps with Terry Pratchett dialogue.

Mark Band; Adelaide South Australia;

Comments: Bury lad down under!!! Good to have the link with HOME!
Comments: Have been looking for some 'right Lanc. poems' for some time on the net, well to be honest since Christmas when I got this thing. Your 'Seawnd o't Sea' hit the spot. I was born in Lancashire (Ashton-u-Lyne) but lived mostly in Dukinfield, dare I say it, in Cheshire; right on the border with Lancashire if you know it. Have written a few myself if you want to check one out look at my web page Will try to get the book soon. Best wishes Mike Rhodes.



Sender: Randall Atherton - Austin, Texas U.S.A.

Comments:  Thank you so much for doing this very interesting, and entertaining history of Atherton England.

I am very interested in finding out about my genealogy. My great great grand parents emigrated from England to the U.S.A., and mined coal in the West Pennsylvania mountains.

I would really like to correspond with someone about England, and the Atherton area specifically.

Thanks again so much for this wonderful site - I have been to England once for a short time (2 days) - but was not able to visit Atherton - next time I will be sure to.

Very best Regards,

Randall Atherton

email = 

Sender: Simon Whittle, Bag Lane Atherton

Comments: Thank you for your fond memories of growing up in Atherton. Myself being born and bred in Atherton can relate to most of the things mentioned and to bring back many happy memories, the difference being where we used to play on the Brickfield - it was Wigan Road where we used to go on the Wakes.
I was wondering if you had any recollection of my father or grandfather, my father is Jack Whittle : my grandfather was Moses Whittle - he used to live in the old pit houses on Leigh Road, Howe Bridge.
My dob 23/03/70.


Dave sez: The Whittles are a true Atherton farming family, Simon. You should be proud of your background. 

Sender: Mike Stephenson, Bettendorf, IA USA

Comments: Dave, I love your site, fantastic memories, though I'm only 46. I lived in Bolton, but 'grew up' in Atherton, I played football at Laburnum 1973-1979. Folks you might know, Mulcahy, Riley, Crillys, Bullen. I know your name but can't place you. I moved in 1979 but go back quite a bit, I miss 'Bent...'specially t'pubs. Thanks mate.

Hi Dave

My printing company recently did some work for the new owners of Prospect House, the former Citizens Advice Bureau offices on Bolton Road next to the Town Hall. The owners contacted Atherton Heritage Society to try to find out the history of the building, but were surprised to be told that they knew very little about it. So the owners had to do their own extensive research by walking across the car park to the library and looking through local books and newspaper archives.

Although not actually a listed building, it is a building of historical interest. It was one of the first houses to be built on Bolton Road and originally belonged to the Lilford family. The Lilfords owned a lot of the land in Atherton, and Prospect House was where the local mining companies had to go to pay Lord Lilford a weekly fee for the right to mine coal from his land. Lady Lilford was a teacher and at one time ran a private girls school from the house.

Below is an extract from local newspaper archive of the time:

"Sometime before this year (1839) a straight new high-level connecting road had been built from Bent Top to High Street and right across open country. Traffic from Bolton to Leigh was enabled to bypass the narrow lanes of the old township and the steep inclines of Bridge Foot so hard for horse-drawn vehicles. This new road threw Chowbent Chapel off the main beaten tracks. One of the first houses to be built along Bolton New Road in 1860 was Prospect House, for a long time the estate office for the Lilfords, which was later bought by the urban district for use as a surveyor's department. Then in 1860 came the first of the three mills of the Atherton Cotton Spinning Company. In course of time Bolton New Road became one of the most important of the roads in Atherton and by its justification inspired later the building of another high road, Tyldesley New Road".

The building, which had been derelict for several years after the CAB moved out, has now been extensively refurbished and restored to its former glory, complete with oak beams, doors, staircases and floors. Paintings and photographs of old Atherton decorate the walls. It is now being used as a private clinic for treating victims of heart disease and strokes.

Here is an article about Atherton Vicarage circa 1842, which the owners came across during their research.

"Curate Samuel Johnson leased the house known as the vicarage in Bee Fold Lane from Lord Lilford at a yearly rent of 8 guineas in 1842. He was already in occupation at the time the lease was made and it was to end with the expiration of his tenure of the office. The site area was 1 rood and 31 perches; additional a stable in Guest Fold and a field called Keepers Meadow, 4½ acres. Johnson was obliged to maintain the fences in good repair and attend at the local lord's court".


Paul Forshaw.

Dave: Thanks for that Paul. Glad to see that Prospect House has been "done up", thus retaining a bit of Atherton's history. You can't imagine where it stands now, next to the Town Hall, being open countryside.


Sender: john watkinson 71 Reef Run Rd. Pawleys Island, SC29585-7146 USA

Comments: I spent a lot of time as a kid playing by the brook that ran from the smithy,-where uncle Jack made nuts and bolts,-through Mansleys farm next to the Ruckings in Howe Bridge. We used to dam up the brook and test our homemade wooden submarines there. Mrs Mansley would let her Mastiff off the chain to scare us off.

We also used to birdsnest on Cleggy's farm doin' what kids do and he would chase us off in his Wellingtons with the Bull he had on his farm. In those days thats where the milk came from.


Sender: Marianne Fisher Wazelle,Reynoldsville Pennsylvania,USA

Comments: What a colorful history. I am my family's genealogist, working on the HAMPSON family history.
Is there anyplace else that I can to to locate the Baptist Church in Leigh? I am trying to locate a Thomas Hampson from Atherton and a Thomas Gregory from Leigh that was married to Mr. Hampson's granddaughter sometime in the late 1880s.I have a few old photos of the Bamfurlong Colliery  too. have created a wonderful site. THANK YOU...Marianne Fisher Wazelle

Dave: Marianne. Thank you for your kind remarks. Anyone help? I would think your best bet is to write a letter to the local paper - the excellent Leigh Journal, Railway Road, Leigh, Lancs, England. They will probably publish it and you might get a response. Good luck


Sender: Brian Lee\ Hindley ,Wigan.

Comments: I would just like to congratulate you on a brilliant website, I myself was brought up in Atherton up to the age of 12. Did you know where they got the name bongs from (Tyldesley), no well my dad tells me it means a bank, because Tyldesley was built upon a bank.  Hindsford means hind = small deer, ford = valley, thus hinds in a ford.


Sender: Tony Pomfret in Bent

Comments: The building next to The Kings Head, wasn't it Williams Deacons Bank at one time, or one of those banks that merged with another and changed their name to protect the innocent?
 You are to be congratulated Dave, on the web site, this is the second evening that I have sat at this keyboard on just one web site.
I spent two years of my sentence at 'Ekky Fleck',
1956to 1958, then moved to Worsley Tech. I was born in Manchester, there was a war on at the time, I have lived in Atherton though all of my life and am very proud to say that. I have done some family history and have found that from at least 1699 untill 1850 or so, my ancestors lived there also. They were nailmakers in the valley, George Pomfret was and always has been the family name. My direct ancestor moved to Whitegate Brow, Middle Hulton, he worked at the pit across the road (Horridge Fold), His son Henry, moved to Bolton Road, Westhoughton, his wife (owl Ellen) was the midwife. My grandfather, Albert (owd Talt) was born there but moved to Daisy Hill, where my dad was born, Carlton. He worked at Laburnums No 1 Mill but finished up living in Nelson St., Atherton. I still live round the corner in Prestwich Street.

Where the hell, apart from the Concert, do I know you from anyway???? :-) Ha Ha


Sender: Max Cleworth / Blackpool

Comments: You Say...Known locally as Bent (possibly after the bent grass that once grew there)...
Come must know it's the shortened version of "Chowbent"...I don't live there now but spent the first thirty-odd years of my life there, and we all knew that !

Max Cleworth

Dave sez: So where did the "bent" come from in Chowbent...? Bent is a type of grass of the genus Agrostis. Bent also is derived from the Old English word "Beonet" which comes from the Old Saxon word "Binet" which means a heath or unenclosed pasture. In other words, when our Saxon forefathers talked about Bent, they probably meant their unenclosed pasture. I don't think they thought it was short for Chowbent. 

Also, "Going up Bent" meant going up into the centre of Atherton - ie, Market Street and not going to Chowbent which is a specific district in Atherton. It is probable that in the past before it became a shopping area, it was unenclosed pastureland.

The "Chow" bit might be a personal suffix as in "Chowe's Pasture" as there was a farmer of that name hundreds of years ago who owned land in the area.

Steve Glover, a very talented Atherton musician (that's worth a pint Steve), told me that his father was of the opinion that it was a corruption of Chowe's Bint - Bint being a dialect word for a broo or top of a hill. Apparently, the coach and horses to Bolton used to stop there for refreshments.

Interesting to speculate but nobody knows for sure...


Sender: Michael Collier

Comments: Does anybody have any historical or architectural information on Chanters Farm or, alternatively, can tell me where to get it? Any information would be very much appreciated.

Dave sez: I would try Wigan Metro Planning Dept or drop a line to the owners. If anyone can help, please email Mike. There is also a new book out called "Bygone Atherton" which gives information on Chanters. It is available from The Secondhand Bookshop in Market Street Atherton (Ronnie Shone - Tel: 01942-792406) 

Hi Dave
I came across your Atherton web site a few days ago and was immediately hooked. It's terrific. It triggered lots of nearly forgotten Atherton memories of my childhood, during and just after the second world war. I am from Manchester not Atherton, but I did spend most school holidays with my grandparents at 83 Wigan Road. My family must have been one of the largest in the place. I won't bore you with all the details of them, as I could almost fill a book. However my grandparents were George Henry and Edith Baxendale. My father was their youngest son Jack. After that, the list becomes very large. I think I may write down as much as I can remember, just for my own amusement. 
It's a long time since I went up bent! 
Congratulations on the website, keep up the good work, I will visit from time to time in order to keep up to date.
Jack Baxendale Western Australia


Sender: Dr Ted Walker

Comments: Very pleased to visit your site, and fascinated by the mention of Prof Eric Laithwaite, who I remember from Royal Institution Lectures many years ago. I agree that he deserves greater fame in the town. I am currently Head of Hesketh Fletcher, and we intend to "do up" our Science labs this year. Perhaps he could get a mention there?
Oh! I forgot to say; thank you for an excellent site !!!

Dave sez: Dear Dr Walker - Great idea. Perhaps you could name the new science lab after him. I'm sure he would have loved that. 


Sender: john green  westhoughton

Comments: Dave,I stumbled on this site by accident but I'm really glad I did. I come from spring gardens and your mention of the brickfield and the wakes has left me sitting and staring into space reliving many happy memories. john green




The following info on a well-known Atherton group comes from Dave Peacock of Atherton...that's Dave middle front row...

Evolved from an Atherton Skiffle group called the Pythons formed by Atherton Cousins, Roy Hilton and Keith Halliwell and later became the Nightboppers and before disbanding were backing band for Adam Faith on two gigs. After various membership changes in 1959 mainly through the efforts of bass player Eddie Hitchen and Drummer Ray Sale,

Dave Peacock became lead vocalist in late 1959 and they were asked to perform many times in Liverpool during 1961 with several top Merseyside bands including the BEATLES on the 18th of February 1961 and the 11th of march 1961 at Aintree Institute Liverpool. (left to right) Dennis Taylor; Sax, Kneeling in front of him Jim Anderton, Drums, Ray Sale, Kneeling centre Dave Peacock Standing on right Eddie Hitchen on Bass and finally Johnny Sharples Lead Guitar.

Dennis Taylor has since the seventies lived in South Africa. Jim Anderton sadly died in 1986.
Dave Peacock and John Sharples still live in Atherton Lancs. Eddie Hitchen lives in Little Hulton and all are still good friends.
Dave Peacock played a dual role during this period as he was also a Middleweight semi professional wrestler who once fought Vic Faulkner from Bolton Lancs who eventually became the professional European Middleweight Champion. 

A Special hello to Jack Banks In Australia and how's the (Semi Crew Cut) these Days?

Goo'day Dave, compliments on an excellent site. As an ex Athertonian I've spent the past 23 years in Australia. I finally settled my family 11 years ago in Penrith NSW, which by Oz standards is classified as a city with close to 170,000 people. It is about 30 odd miles West of Sydney and is shortly to host the Rowing and Whitewater events in the coming Olympics. 
It's great to read the stories from fellow Athertonian's and see those photo's of the old place. Must say though, I thought Market Street looked better in the thirties than it does today, at least the shops didn't need shutters up those days except for the war years that is. Sign of the times eh ? Visiting your site keeps making me feel bloody homesick and I can't keep away from it. I'm sure that I am not the only one it's had that effect on. 
I grew up in Hindsford and attended St. Annes Junior School in Green St. and later, like some of your readers went to the old Ekky Fleck school from 1954 to 1958. That place certainly had character, and some characters. I think the teachers did their training with the KGB. Some of them had their own masochistic way of handing out punishment more aptly called torture. As a form 1A graduate our introduction to this discipline charter started almost immediately. Not even had time to swallow all that induction stuff when Fred Howker our form master, who at that time was a Rugby League touch judge decided to flex his arm by introducing us to this giant size PT shoe that I recall he named Daisy. Fred's theory on spelling was that one mistake warranted one wallop on the rear end from Daisy. Monday night was composition homework night and Fred marked them after school on Tuesdays. If your exercise book came back full of red ink you new it was time to brace yourself for Daisy. Needless to say on Wednesday morning most of the not too bright boys carried extra padding down below. 
Believe it or not Fred did have a good side. Being a touchy he would often hand out complimentary tickets for the next Leigh home game. If you were a league kid and not into soccer then Fred was your best mate. Used to even hold back on Daisy for those kids. I was into soccer myself so I took the good with the bad. Coming from Hindsford we would byke it to school or catch the trolley bus at the front of Hindsford Co-op. Threehaypenny return would take us to the Punchbowl and back. We would leave school through the top gates immediately the bell sounded, run down Bag Lane, call in Charlson's bakery for a pastie and hope to catch the 12 o' clock bus just down from the mill gates in Mealhouse Lane. Most times the bus would leave the Punchbowl early so that they wouldn't have to pick us up. 

One night a few of the Hindsford and Newbrook Road mob were kicking a ball around while waiting for the bus.
Unknown to us this old lady had reported us to the school. Just finished morning assembly when Harry Cornish, Deputy Headmaster and our woodwork teacher, called everyone that was playing to come forward. 

"Down to the woodwork room" said Harry. I recall about eight of us started to pack our pants as we very timidly made our way to the woodwork room.. His method of inflicting pain was to lean you over the work bench and with the finest piece of polished hickory land you with six of the very best . 
Mr Hodkinson was our geography master. 

He would scare the daylights out of form 1 and 2 kids but as we moved up into the 3rd year he would involve you more with his personal life and his exploits in Rhodesia. He could tell some real captivating stories. Being also our craft teacher he would use a very fine piece of flexible cane. He was the maestro of whip. His arm would not lift beyond the elbow but he would strike the finger tips hard with the utmost speed and precision. 
Paul Bean was our Religious Instruction teacher who I believe originated from Devon. He would detest you not paying attention in what I thought was the most boring subject in the whole curriculum. His claim to fame was to throw chalk, sometimes the length of the classroom and again with fine aim. 

Talk out of turn and the board duster would come flying over. One needed to be pretty quick to lift the desktop when Beany was on the rampage. He was a giant of a man and put most of his weight behind administering punishment.
Mr. Hall was our music teacher and a real gentleman. 

Loved his music but was a poor judge of a bad voice when he heard one. In my first year at Ekky I had been inducted into the form choir. While about half the class would take music, the other half usually played sport. Being into sport myself, I tried my utmost to sing out of tune and out of the choir, but dear old Mr. Hall would just not let me go. Maybe he had plans to do "ol man river" sometime. 

I finally got the sack just before the christmas carol service at the parish church. 
Mr. Grylls was the Head Master. These were the days when you would stand to attention whenever he entered the room. On rare occasions, usually for exceptionally bad behaviour a teacher would send you to the headmasters study where Mr.Grylls would administer his own punishment. 

Never made the trip myself, but at least those that did were behind closed doors which saved them the humiliation of having to show the sign of weakness before your classmates. Of all the canings and slippers I had witnessed at Ekky I can't remember seeing anybody being brought to tears. 

It just wasn't the done thing. 
I remember Dave Peacock coming out of the headmasters study with a real smirk on his face which earned him a double dose over what had already been six on each hand. A real larrikin was Dave. 
All the teachers were addressed as "Sir" those days and you would always give them the "Mr" title. They were all collar and tie teachers with polished shoes and were always given the utmost respect. 
I suppose we didn't have much option. 

Norman Dutton was my best classmate. Could he have been a relative Dave ? He lived down the Valley near my old Granny in Red Street. Unfortunately I read in the Journal he passed away last year. Hadn't seen Norm for 40 years or so and always had plans to have a beer with him in the Mort Arms sometime.
In my first year at Ekky I managed to gain a spot at left half in the Fletcher House soccer team and represented the school in the 3rd year finally to captain them in the 4th. Remember making the finals which were always played on the Flapper Fold. We went down 2-1 to Tyldesley Boys which was a big disapointment at the time.
There were some top schoolboy soccer players around Atherton and Districts at that time. Denis Butler, Bernard Mannion, Brian Phenix, Bill Edisbury, Anthony Roach and both the Barnard brothers were all on Bolton Wanderers books. 

Both Denis and Bernard would be about 14 when we formed Hindsford Athletic to play in the Leigh & District League. We played on Hindsford Park and changed against the Chanters fence but were threatened to be thrown out the league if we didn't have covered changing rooms so we aquired the use of the old barn on Pat's farm. 
I left school at 15 and started work at William Yates & Son's, Boothstown as a mill-hand later to become a Tackler. These were the days of the Teddy Boy. Bongs was the in-place those days with the main drag being from the Market Square to Frank's chippy. People came from as far afield as Salford to walk that strip. 

A lot of the girls came from Atherton and if you could score a date it was the back row at the Carlton Cinema, a stomach bitter at the Tyldesley Temp and then show off your bird as you walked her back home to Atherton via the strip. 
John Phillips, Frank Bamford, Brendan Byrne and myself often used to walk the strip together. Don't mind admitting it, but we fancied ourselves those days, but so did a number of rival gangs around Bongs and Bent. 

This gang from Princess Ave. Astley kept giving us the evil eye and it looked like it would soon be on for young and old as we brushed shoulders walking in opposite directions. To be truthful, the four of us really didn't fancy our chances against the Astley mob so we decided to do something about it and take some Judo lessons. An old workmate and ex Howebridger Tommy Aldred was into judo and invited us along to their gym which was a poky little room above what I think was a decorators shop right at the bottom of Princess Ave. Astley. 

Just got signed in and into the right gear when Tommy introduced us to the two of the guys that would be putting us through our paces. To our amazement both of these guys were members of the Astley gang. I can't remember what colour of belts they had, maybe that was because we spent the first lesson picking ourselves up off the canvas. 
I remember they said we would first have to learn how to take a fall. Well we certainly got plenty of practice that night. Needless to say the Astley gang became good mates after that. 
Growing up in those days was not easy. School made you respect people, not only for who they were but for what they were, especially those that had been fortunate enough to master the art of Judo. 

Might add that our first lesson also turned out to be the last. We had finally rid ourselves of the Astley menace, a case of "if you can't beat em, join em" ! 
Finally, is there anyone out there that can tell me how Hindsford was so called and how Tyldesley got to be called Bongs ? 
Lot's of stories Dave, but will have to save some for another time. Will try to dig out some old photo's. Love to read other people's input on the local sites so keep them coming cos this, among others is one hell of a site. Keep up the good work.

Best Regards, Jack Banks.
Sydney, Australia. 

Dave sez: Thanks for that Jack. Norman was my cousin. He was a great character and is sadly missed. Bongs is a corruption of Banks - the hills on which Tyldesley is built. Hindsford is just that - the ford where the hind drinks. (It hasn't seen a deer in centuries!)

The 2 brothers horrifically burned were two of three so injured together. They actually dropped a lit match into a vehicle tank when very young, and were lucky to survive. My family were great friends of the Silcocks, and used to rent ground to them-my father used to mend their machines.
My grandfather was a director of the L.U.T.,and most of my family drove for them. Grandad once had 2 cars delivered when he had only ordered one. He bet another director on the toss of a coin GBP25 or the car-he lost!

John Green (once owner of Sewing Paradise by Atherton Market-now owning Sewing Paradise in Taunton,Somerset)


Sender: Donna Twitchell--Cedar City, UT--USA

Comments: Loved your web page! I have been trying to find out some history on Atherton.
I would love to find out some more on the people who settled in Atherton, since this is my lineage. I end with a Humphrey Atherton, b: 1550 Winstanley, Wigan, L., Eng. My grandfather had some other Atherton's, clear back to the 1100's, but I cannot connect them to Humphrey. Maybe you could help.
Thanks again for a wonderful site, enjoyed it!!


Sender: Chris Gregory  Base camp Atherton

Comments: Did anybody go to the Atherton cemetery walk on 15th May? it wur reely great. There's a mon buried in Atherton cemetery that fowt int Americun civil war, and then came back to bent fert dee! Still best website on'tinternet!

Dave sez: There's some great folk buried in Bent, Chris! Any more info?


Sender: Alan Woods - Atherton

Comments: I was amazed to read your website. It's great. I've lived in Atherton all my life and I can relate to a lot of things you talk about.
It certainly is a place steeped in history.
Did you know that there is a place called Atherton in California - 25 miles south of San Francisco ?We were lucky enough to visit it this year.


Sender: Stuart Hatto - Basingstoke/UK

Comments: Moved to Basingstoke for work and love 2 years ago - but I still miss Atherton.

I used to live on the Chanters Farm estate and my best friend as a kid - Chris - used to live in the farmhouse.

He was convinced there was a tunnel between the farm and Alder House but we never did find it...

I remember finding the old well in the garden with him and trying to dredge it for coins - we found a few but nothing very old... it's still there today I believe but covered over.

It's a great web site, keep up the hard work.


Sender: jimmy denton from bent/then bongs/ neaw leythe

Comments: uswt to liff in bent ,carbank st 81, lived in morley st.whent tut littleinfants on bag lane,then st georges jnr ,then ekey fleck.hey lad thers many atale ha cowd speke abowt see never lost mi lanky dialekt  remember fishing at nobby clarks pit on bag lane,star lodge ,ten feet,chanters loge that were grand,playing for hours,ont rucks.cawt a 4 pownd perch bak ont seven feet hay lad they taks mi back.ha wer born 1945 in car bank st ,after eky flek started at uper george st pit did my training.went tut cleworth hall pit trained fort a mekanik went tu mosley common hee what a place never awik went past bywt somebody wer cared ouwt deed,unt stryks blymy pit men must ho loved them  every sunny day as i rikal.anyhow wentfromt thear to parsonage frikened miself deerth theer so left pits, went to prestwich parkers, became toolsetter int hotmaster shop -wot a job no wonder i went bauld ,joint army  14,20,kings hussars, didnt like so bout myself owt  geet married had for kids ,geten divorced geet married agin. joyent salford cowsel un they ritired mi on medicull growns,just lukin at towns histry taks my back,if they wants talk abowt past iym hear an doin sod all.

 see thy jim


Sender: Ken Mort; Desert Hot Springs, Ca USA

Comments: Can't believe I found this site. I was born in Spring Gardens and moved to Bag Lane. Lived with my folks in Mort's grocery store all thru war My dad worked at Chanters mine. Left Hesketh Fletcher in 1946 and moved to Blackpool in 47. Live in the desert nr Palm Spring USA. Think your site is great; ttfn - Ken.

Dave sez: Mort is a very old Atherton family name. It's a very big move from Spring Gardens Atherton to Hot Springs USA. The only hot springs in Atherton when you were there were in the Public Slipper Baths!


Sender: Atherton

Comments: What a great site! So many memories come flooding back and I definitely remember the Cuckoo Man!
Keep up the good work Dave.


Sender: Shaun. Oldham Lancs

Comments: A damn fine web site very imformative but fun. I used to work on the speedframes at Ena mill and my sister worked in the office, good to see it having another chance. It was a sad day when it finally closed even if it were bloody awful to work there (100 degrees in summer and endless noise). I also worked at Blakemore fasteners just before it moved to Westhoughton, mind you there were only a dozen or so worked there not the hundreds like in its heyday.
Keep up the good work. I must call again.


Sender: sara smallman, hindsford

Comments: my earliest memory of going to atherton would be when i were about five (1986)
me mam and me grandy would take me along to waterfields and we'd sit in and watch the people go by as we munched on cheese and onion pasties and i'd have a glass of orange. Later on when I were older me mam would take me english's for a kebab and we'd walk home through the town.
It's amazing how much it's changed in the last few years that I can remember, let alone all years that went before it.
me mother used for work in Allsops along with me aunty jean pomfret and they always used for tell me about serving him out of little and large.


Sender: Ian Sloan (Sydney- Australia at the moment)

Comments: I remember all the great summers going to watch colls or going down to Howe Bridge to watch the cricket on a saturday afternoon. Whole summers spent on dougy park playing football and jumping off the swings and waiting for paula derbyshire (my girlfriend at 7 years old) who lived at the Rope & Anchor.

Its nice to be in Sydney, but i miss the people, the chips and my family who all still live at home.

see ya' cocker

from Ian (Down under) Sloan


Sender: David Leatherbarrow  Lake Milton ohio usa

Comments: Nice site. I visited Atherton-  my mother's hometown. Had a few pints in the local pubs and enjoyed the town. Keep up the photo's I plan on showing them to my mother. Dave


Sender: brandonmanitoba canada

Comments: anybody remember the Wright family who ran the telephone  office in Atherton during the first world war? I would be interested in hearing from you. My father was the youngest of that family, he passed away just recently leaving just a little information, can anyone help???????

I came across some web pages about Professor Laithwaite that may be of interest to you: and

I too remember Manley's "Telephone Atherton No. 1" sign. I often wonder what happened to it when the building was refurbished and whether it would have been of any value to a museum or maybe worth preserving by the Heritage Society. I have visions of some builder ripping out the sign and chucking it into a skip before piling loads of bricks and plaster on top. If Manley's had the first telephone in Atherton, I wonder how long they had to wait before anyone else from Atherton was able to ring them!

I've just visited your web page and what a joy - as suggested I have down
loaded and printed info to put in the family album.

I'm a Leigh Lass, born and bred, now living in the north of Scotland - and
recently started researching my family's history- I have suddenly discovered
that my grandfather (mother's side) and his family were from Atherton - by
the Name of LEE, and also that my father's family named WEST were involved in the Atherton Photographic Society - certainly Charlie West was in 1939 as a cutting from the Leigh Journal shows.  I'm trying to trace any further information on the Wests and wondered if the photographic society still exists and if so what their address is.  Don't know if you are able to
assist in this, but any information would be great appreciated. Carry on the good work. Kind regards. Doreen Crouch

Dave sez: Please email Doreen if you can help at

Hi Dave,

I think you may find that the word 'bent' comes from the Saxon for brook or
stream of which Atherton as you know has many.  Unsure about the Chow bit
mind but I do vaguely remember reading a local history of the town many
moons ago, and, if my memory serves me correctly the name Chowbent is
derived from the Saxon for the town of many brooks/streams. 

Cheers, D.

Dave sez: Bent is also another name for a broo or a slope... Who knows...?


Sender: Chris Gregory (+Dianne!)

Comments: This is an interesting site.
There is a spider in the corner of my garage has its own web site but its not as good as this one!

Keep up the good work, when I have an interesting story from Atherton, or if something significant 'appens I will relate it to you here, for interest


Sender: Sue Bentley, Atherton.

Comments: It gave me great pleasure finding your web-site on Atherton. Thankyou for taking the time.

Hi Dave,
As promised, here are some of my memories, stories, etc of my life, as i can recall of Atherton 1934-56.

It all started at no 1, Hamilton St. on the 29th October 1934, that is were they tell me, that I lay in the cradle, sucking my thumb and filling my nappies, just like any other new born. I was to be the second child of a family of 7, 3 sisters & 4 brothers.
When I reached the grand old age of 3, the family moved to Garston Ave. Hag- Fold Estate, 1937-8. 

School Life

I must have started school somewhere near the start of the 2nd world war. My first school being St. Georges Infant, my memory tells me that we had half a day resting (morning) and the afternoon was learning and play.
I then moved on to St. Georges Junior School, until 11yrs old, and then on to Hesketh Fletcher, were I got a scholarship for Hindley & Abram, but due to family hardship had to finish school life at 15yrs, and join the work force.
My last visit to Atherton, i did a tour of those schools, the Infant school was still there, the Junior school was also at the same site, but alas, they had demolished the old Ecky - Fleck, and had rebuilt , in Hamilton St. not far away from my birth place.
My years at the Junior school were very enjoyable. That is were we used to have our mid-day meal, tables would be set up in the corridors, and the meals would be passed down the line of children, until all the tables were served. At the main entrance to the school, on the left were the sports grounds with the underground air raid shelters built on them. I remember we were all sitting in the class room one day, listening to the radio, a special item was to be broadcast. It was from Winston Churchill, the war with Germany was over. I was 11yrs old.

And so to Hesketh- Fletcher, for the last years of my education. The Headmaster was a Mr. Grylls, Mr. Smith taught English and French etc. ,Mr. Hall, taught maths and music, Mr. Hedges was our history teacher, Mr. Roscoe was our science master? We had many other good teachers who taught us well.
Once a week we would all attend the Parish Church for a service, walking along Market St. in orderly fashion, and back again after the service.
Mr. Hall taught music, his tuning fork would hit the top of the piano, and a chorus of "Dohs" would be rendered.
The school had a choir, both my brother Bill & I were members of it. I recall the choir attending a musical festival at Leigh, and Ecky-Fleck were the only boys choir in attendance.
Mr. Hedges used to organise rambles through the countryside, these were usually after school times, and in the summer months,popular places we would go were, Rivington Pike, and Belmont.
Mr. Smith, apart from English and French, used to teach us poetry, one of which i can recall was, Ducks- Ditty, "All along the back waters , through the rushes tall, Ducks are a dabbling up tails all...etc.
Of course one of the punishments at school was the cane. Any misbehaviour was dealt with by giving it on the behind or the hand. The headmaster always gave it on the behind , so you would prepare yourself prior to going to his study ,by placing a suitable piece of protection on your bum.
Some of the unusual tasks that we had , whilst in the final year at school, was with the Harvesting at the various farms in the area, such as -Hay- Making, Potato- Picking etc. Some of the farms used to have the Italian Prisoners of War helping out as well. They were distinguished by being dressed in overalls, with a coloured motif or a number on their backs. The farms that i can remember in the district were, Whittles(Bag-Lane), Pendleburys, Roberts, Mathesons, (Lovers-Lane), Blakemores, Fletchers, Whittles (near, little woods) and old Cosheys, on the estate.
Our sports days were held on the fields where the new school now lies.

To earn a little bit of pocket money after school, i had a job of delivering groceries for a firm named T. Seymour Meads, they were on the corner of Market St. & Flapper- Fold Lane. These deliveries were made on one of those bikes with the big basket on the front(just like Arkwrights). I went twice a week after school, and on Saturday mornings, and for that i was payed 12s-6d, 10s , went to help with the family commitments, and 2s-6d was my pocket money, which i saved , until eventually i had enough for a deposit on a new bike, an "Hercules- Kestrel' , i think the name of the shop that i bought it from was called Boydells, opposite Allsops in Market St. And so started my bicycle touring with the rest of the gang. Blackpool here we come.

Hindsford & Atherton C.W.S. were one of the milk delivers around the district, deliveries were made by a chariot style of a milk float, two large wheels , body, and shafts. These floats were pulled by great shire horses, magnificent animals, so gentle & trustworthy, and intelligent.
Bill, was the name of the milk man i used to help, and Dolly was the name of the shire. Bill never had to tell the horse when to move ,it did so itself, it new all the streets and houses that were on the milk run. Bills cuppa used to be at a house in Somerset Rd. Mr&Mrs Fullelove,as soon as we reached the house, on would go Dollys chaff bag, and Bill would go and get his cup of tea, whilst we sat around in the float. When the last house was served with milk, you didn't have to say anything to Dolly it was hang on, we`re off, and it would be full gallop down Tyldesley Rd. back to Hindsford & the stables, and when we arrived you met up with all of Dolly's mates, what a wonderful site it was to see so many of those gentle animals. In winter, the horses used to have studs in their shoes to stop them slipping in the ice and snow, especially going back to the stables at full gallop.
Other deliveries were made by horse and cart, apart from milk. One of these being a fruit and veg. This cart was a four wheeler, with posts on each corner, and a cover on top. On each post was hung a oil lamp, for use when it got dark. As usual the owner always had there comfort stops, so on would go the chaff bag for the horse, and in would go the driver for his cuppa. This is when we (Our Gang) came into action, quick as a flash it was all over. Next morning in a neat circle in the centre of the playing fields in Norfolk Rd., was the evidence of the night before. I don't know if he ever made a profit. This wasn't Billy Milk, Billy i thought used to sell Goats Milk?.

During the war years, and the air raids, of course there were no street lights of any sort, everything had to be pitch black. All vehicles driving at night had to have the top part of their lights painted black. We had the A.R.Wardens who used to patrol the streets at night to make sure nobody had any lights visible from their homes, if there were the familiar cry would shout out "Put that light out". We were always being warned of spies dropping into the country by parachute.
One little funny incident i can recall happened during one of the air raids. We were all under the table in the kitchen, when there came a loud banging on the back door and a muffled voice, which we could`nt hear to well for all the noise, was trying to contact us. Who the bloody hell are you said Mam. More banging, and then a voice said, it's 'Herman". With that we all started screaming, until the voice shouted louder, "It's alright Maggie, it's the A.R.P. Warden , "Herman Hume" just checking to see if everything is o k. We all thought he had said "German Here". Herman Hume and the Hume family were one of our good neighbours. One of the Hume brothers had a Barbers shop in Atherton, near to the Bacca Shop.

As the war went on air raid shelters were built at Stothert's, in North Rd. and that is were we all went when the siren sounded, we had a wonderful time as kids, people used to bring mouth organs, ukuleles, piano accordians,and other musical instruments and songs were sung with gusto,- solo's, groups, etc., we would spend many entertaining hours in the shelters. Later in the war years, families with 2 or less children had their own shelters built in the gardens, called Anderson shelters,those with larger families had to go into shelters built in the streets.
An enlightening incident that i recall, happened after the end of the war. Remember that we had been in total darkness for some 5 years or more,no street had a light whatsoever. Then the gas works started producing gas once more, and all the streets in Hag- Fold were ablaze with lights, it was a beautiful sight, all the people came out to see this wonderful sight. All the lighting of course was gas. (When the lights go on again all over (Hag-Fold). For a certain gang of kids of course, this was an invite. Two or three days later, the whole of Warwick Rd. was in darkness again, someone had shinned up the lamp posts and pulled the chains. Back to darkness once again.

One of the annual events that most kids took part in , was Guy Fawkes, we as a gang of kids would , for weeks ,go out and chop trees down and collect anything that would burn on for the bonfire. Most of the trees were acquired from several locations, "Squire Hultons Estate, either from the 'little woods or the big woods", from several farmers hedgerows, but our gangs favourite place was from Blakeys Hollow, which belonged to Blakemores farm Many a time we were chased across the fields, about six of us pulling a chopped down tree, with the farmer on his tractor chasing us. As the weeks went by, we would stockpile the trees in one of our backyards, then we would have to guard them from the other gangs stealing them in the dark. Come the Nov 5th ,everything was brought out to the street and a Guy Fawkes was placed on top of the pile , plenty of sparklers . And the whole of the street came out and celebrated the event.

After the war, i remember the first toffees that were made, they were called Apple Jacks. And Orsi`s started making ice cream once again. Whilst i was still delivering groceries for T.Seymour Meads, several deliveries of Vermecillo and Macaroni, were taken to Orsi`s for the manufacture of their ice cream, and eventually the little ice cream cart started coming round the streets once more, sometimes it was Mrs Orsi, sometimes Johnnie.
The Orsi family remind me of a story that my Dad told us as kids.

Our Dad had been in the Territorial Army for many years before the war and so was one of those men who were called up early, he was in the "Kings Own" Manchester Regiment, holding the rank of C.S.M. He was taken prisoner at Dunkirk, and held prisoner in Italy, and then later marched to Germany, staying in one of the stalag camps., were he was freed in 1945, it was 1947 before we saw him home again. 

It was while he was a POW in Italy with others from the Atherton region, including one of the Orsi brothers, that a plan of escape was discussed, Dad was included in the escape plan, but because he wasn't fluent with the Italian language, he decided not to take part. The escape plan was successful.
Having a Dad that was an army man, must have run in my veins also, for during the last few years at school, I joined the Army Cadet Force, we did all of our training at the Drill Hall in Mealhouse Lane, we also took part in all the parades , Armistice day , etc.Basic training ,Rifle shooting and Camps.
At the age of 18yrs i started my national service of 2yrs & 3 on the reserve. I joined the Royal Signals, went to Catterick for my training and then was posted to the War Office in London.
Whilst i was doing my basic training at Catterick, my Dad passed away. God bless him.

I`ve always enjoyed taking part in all sports. School years were always for Soccer & Athletics, we weren't allowed to play Rugby. After school years i played , soccer, rugby league, and rugby union. Soccer was played for Atherton North End, rugby union for Tyldesley (lowly grade) and rugby league for Atherton Recreation. Soccer was played on the ground between Devonshire Rd. & Norfolk Rd, on the Somerset Rd.side and rugby league was played on the same ground but on the Dorset Rd. side Our changing sheds were on Norfolk Rd. Jim Battersby was our coach, manager, etc for our rugby league club "Atherton Recs". We played in the 'Leigh and district amateur league", Which had teams from a wide area. We held our meetings in a pub in Bolton Rd. i think it was called the Red Lion.

 Training was done at the ground. During training evenings I remember this young lad watching us from his front gate in Norfolk St., we invited him to take part, but although he was a big lad he was still young. Years later whilst Great Britain's league team were playing in N.Z.., I met up with that young lad playing for Great Britain, it was Kenny Roberts.
We had a few beers together in their hotel in Wellington. Other sporting clubs that i can remember were Howe bridge mills, Atherton Colls.
Before we were old enough to join any clubs we used to play in the streets all day, the goalposts were the end walls of the air raid shelters. If the ball went into a garden it was a throw in.

On Saturday as a lad, it was picture time, the 3d rush. We used to try and get 6d to spend, 3d for the pictures 1d each way on the bus, and the other 1d was for a bad apple from Allsops. On many occasions we never had spending money for the pictures. But we found ways of getting sufficient money to see our famous Flash Gordon and the clay men. It was like this, most products that came in bottles in those years had a 3d return on the empty bottle, glass was scarce. 

And so there happened to be a product of Bleach in bottles , one was called Lanry & the other was Golden Bleach, each having a 3d return on the empty bottle. There were several shops in Bag Lane, each with their own yards, so over the fence we would go, empty the full bottles out on the floor, go to the next shop , and get our 3d for the empty returns, sufficient empties for the pictures and our apple, so off we went went to the Palace, with our hands smelling of bleach.

In 1949 I joined the work force, my employment was with Tootal Broadhurst & Lee at Daubhill as an apprentice Tackler(Overlooker) .To become one you had to go through all the different phases of the cotton trade, for a period of 5yrs. I remember for a whole week I spent sitting in a weaving shed tying weavers knots. Eventually I progressed to filling the batteries with shuttles for the automatic looms, until I was good enough to have my own looms. Alas the cotton slump arrived. We were on 4 days a week, this continued for sometime until I went and did my national service. On return from national service and back into Tootals to finish my Apprenticeship, they were still on short time. No good for a young man, so decisions had to be made.

I can remember most of the neighbours in our avenue and thereabouts ,they all helped together in those difficult years, swapping sugar for tea, cheese for butter etc We had the Harrisons, Wilsons,Tunstalls,Arderns,Rigbys,Woods, Seddons, Bretts,Blakemores, Alldreds, Greenfields, Gallimores, Humes, Speakmans, Duttons,Applebys, Ellisons, Sales, Nutters, Jacksons, Heatons, Fulleloves, Dwyers, Chivers, Thorpe, Butlers, Liveseys,Yellups, Southerns, Eckersleys, and, many others.
My Mum passed away while living in Shropshire with our sister Jean, Margaret also lives down in Shropshire, Bob is in Liverpool, Derrick is in Leigh, Dorothy is in Padgate, Warrington and Bill passed away in 1976, Bill lived in St. Michaels Ave, Howe Bridge. 
Dad was born in Ashton-under-lyne, and Mum was born in Parr, St. Helens.
In trying to keep and listening to my Lancashire Accent, I joined the fan club of the Houghton Weavers, and have got most of their C.D`s& Tapes, plus records of the "Oldham Tinkers", "Fivepenny Piece"& Gary & Vera Aspey and a well worn tape of "Lanky Spoken Here".

Just a few of my memories, tales etc of my life in Bent.
Hope to Pay a visit in July 2000, will have to brush up on my accent.

All the best,

Tom & Barbara .

Dave sez: Well done Tom and Barbara. Good memories - I love that story about Herman the "German"!

Thanks Dave for a very enjoyable time reading your pages. My name is Peter Marrow born in Atherton 1938. Lived in Prestwich st-Spa rd-and Gloucester St. Married Josephine Healey West St Hindsford soon to share our 40th wedding anniversary. Emigrated to Australia 1961. We are blessed with 4 daughters and 9 grandchildren. Been Retired 10 years, love lawn bowls fishing and travel. Revisited Atherton during the past 40 years several times. I'm happy just to walk up and down Market St and remember the Saturday threepenny crush [FLASH GORDON] .When the doors opened you would run as fast as possible to beat the trolley bus to the Savoy, controlling your speed by the imaginary dials located on your chest. I worked at Mosley Common - Gin Pit and Nook. My wife Jo worked at the Pay Office at St George's, Tyldesley. Remember the Little Hollow sweet shop and Wrens fish shop next door. During the war the building opposite was turned into soup kitchens. I went to St Richard's school and during the war years they would supply lumps of hard black chocolate. Dave, Jo and I have some wonderful memories TTFN, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 
Peter & Jo Marrow 

Dave sez: Cheers Peter - the Saturday crush brings memories back for a lot of other people. Wonder if that Ming the Merciless was as bad as folk make out??!


Sender: Geraldine Anderson ;Atherton, Manchester

Comments: Brilliant website on Atherton, I grew up in the 1950/60's and I remember Saturday nights at the Formby Hall and weekday at the Companions Club. It was in the Church House which is demolished now.  It was next door to the then Labour Club, now the Atherton Arms.  I myself am from Howe Bridge and hope to have a web site on the village up in March. I have put your link in my favourites.  Geraldine Anderson

Dave sez: Owdo Geraldine - I remember the Church House well - used to play snooker there. The tables were all ripped! (I think I was probably responsible for that. Possibly the worst snooker player ever...)


Sender: Brandon Manitoba Canada

Comments: You may be interested to know my grandfather and his family were caretakers of the Atherton telephone office about 1912 his three eldest daughters were telephone operators. His name was Charles Wright, he came there from private service as butler to Lord Norfolk. If you can supply me with any information regarding my family it would be much appreciated.

Dave sez: Can anyone help? I always remember that Manley's joiners had their old telephone number on  a sign in their window until the 1980's. It was  Atherton No 1!


Sender: London

Comments: From Val Seddon

Dave, thanks for a brilliant site. I left Atherton in 1970, but it certainly jogs my 60s memories. I had a Saturday job for a couple of years at the Trendsetter supermarket (co-op) working usually in the cig kiosk which had windows on the shop side and onto Market Street, so it was really busy.
The prices are fixed in my head:  Senior Service untipped, 5s5d for 20; Embassy 4s7d for 20. Park Drive tipped 3s6d.  We sold lots of 10s, especially to pensioners. Kids didn't really seem to buy them.
At Christmas, we sold packs of 200s in fancy wrappers - or flat boxes of 50s, which was considered very flash.
There was also tobacco, including chewing tobacco in twists of waxed paper, because some of the old miners still enjoyed a chew.
One clear memory is of the 1966 World Cup Final. The shop was empty - in fact the whole of Market Street was empty. In those days, the Trendsetter had a hardware/furnishing department down the left hand side of the store - so the manager put one of the TVs on and the rest, etc., is history.

One of your contributors asked about the Gem, and that led me down a strange little route. I don't remember it as a cinema; it was certainly a derelict site in the mid-60s, before it became a supermarket. But my mother remembered it. And that's the irony. She went to the pictures there. She shopped there. And that's where she was laid out in the funeral home, and the last place I saw her.
Memories are important. That's why sites like this are valuable. We're all linked by everywhere we've ever been and what places meant to us at different times.
Keep it going. It's reet gradely.
Val Seddon

Dave sez: Val - that was a very moving story about your mam. 

The Gem was in Bullough Street and opened as a cinema in 1912 and is thought to have closed around 1926.By all accounts, the interior was rather plush and there were even four private boxes. Did you know that over the funeral parlour, there is a school of dancing?!

Thanks for the comments. If you could sell fags at that price today, you'd never be short of customers. I watched the Cup Final in Atherton Liberal Club. I can still remember one bloke jumping up and knocking his chair flying when we scored the winning goal. By we, I mean Geoff Hurst - I wasn't actually with him at the time - only in spirit!

Hi Dave,
              I have just spent a couple of hours browsing your website,
Brought back lots of memories. I read Tom Boardman's letter and had to write and tell you that my Dad was born, in 1906,  at the same address as Tom. His family later moved across the road to number 36 where they lived for many years. My Dad's name was Tom Green and he was manager at the
Hindsford Co-op on High Street for a long time. My husband's family, Davies, also lived in Hamilton Street, at number 79. Small world.!   Great site, appreciate all the effort.
Pat Davies, Ottawa  Canada

Dave sez: It's a small world - but I wouldn't like to hoover it... What a fantastic coincidence. Anyone else born in the same house?!

Nice one mate, excellent site, I was born & bred in Atherton, but at the
age of  31, don't think that I have anything that will interest you, if
I have I'll let you know. Moved out of Atherton just over two years ago
- now working for Vickers Shipbuilders in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
My parents still live in Atherton so I visit quite often.
Your website brought back some happy memories.
Many Thanks
Nige Smith

Dave sez: Thanks for the nice comments Nige. 

Hi, Dave,

I am quite new to this thing called the INTERNET, but as I poke my fingers onto this and that and stumble across things that I get quite puzzled about , I came across your website. What an amazing time I had going through all the pages.

I am, Tom Boardman, still a Lancastrian, but living in N.Z. I was born at No. 1, Hamilton St. Then family flitted (moved) to Garston Ave, Hag Fold, this would be about 1938. I can relate to all that is in your web site, especially the story from Peter Woods. What Peter has said, is what I and my mates used to do, and more. 

As I have only just found your website, and this is the first week on the internet I have nothing to print at this stage, but feel sure that I will forward you my memories and more of Atherton , and other items of interest, if you wish.

Dave sez: See the incredible email above....


Hello Dave

I found your site wonderful to visit - good on ya mate !

My Grandfather and his family came to New Zealand from Atherton (my Grand parents William and Harriet Baddeley are buried there)
Unfortunately  my grandfather died when I was young and our family lost touch with relations in Atherton.
I have recently started collecting information on my family and rather than ending up with just dates and names am trying to learn of the life and times they experienced.
Your site has provided me with a wonderful insight into life at Atherton, I thank you for  that.

My Grandfather - George Baddeley sailed to New Zealand with his wife, brothers and sisters around 1910. They settled in a coal mining town called Runanga where they joined in with the local community and helped establish
the town.

I have a book with photos of the Lancashire lads outside their primitive hut amongst the bush, another of their sister outside hers doing the washing. Life wasn't easy during this time, they must have wondered what they struck.
I know from what I have read and from people I have spoken to they were well liked and respected, so although I can't contribute anything about Atherton, I thought you may be interested to know some of Atherton's sons and daughters did the place proud in their new lives at the other end of the world
Cheers, Pete Hasson
Dave sez: We get about do us Benters...Love to see the photo's sometime...

Ne' then Dave

I came across your Atherton site, where the anecdotes and poems fired
memories of growing up in Atherton in the 1940s and 1950s. It inspired me
to jot down a few of my own reminiscences. I've been away from Lancashire
too long to remember all the dialect I could once speak, so I'll write in
English, with the odd snatch of Lanky thrown in here and there. Over to you
whether you want to use it or not.

So long

Peter Wood, Rotorua. New Zealand

A Young Lad on an Old Coalfield

It was the pits that fascinated me most; working or abandoned, noise and
grime or silent ruins, red rucks and grey rucks, black-eyed colliers
squatting on their haunches at the bus stop with tommy tins hanging from
their belts, the dark-blue NCB lorries showering slack that washed along
the gutters as shiny black drifts. Uncle Albert points across the street to
a cripple in a chair. "That's Ted, good ripper was Ted, broke his back in a
stone fall." We lived in an end terrace house on Tyldesley Road, and I
remember being woken before dawn in winter, the frost ferns inside the
window yellow in the lamp light, and outside the offending clatter of
colliers' boots and clogs on the flags as the men marched down the broo for
the early shift down Chanters.

After my brother was born we moved to a new council house in Devonshire
Road on the estate at 'Ag Fowt'. The front bedroom looked over a panorama
of South Lancashire, usually hidden in grey murk, but once on a clearish
day I counted 53 tall chimneys, all adding to the murk. I don't recall how
many pits I could see, but half a mile away, stark and obvious, was the
headgear over the Gibfield shafts - Uncle Albert's pit.

I chose the back bedroom of course. It looked straight out onto the cinder
embankment of the railway to Wigan Wallgate. Four tracks carried coal
trains, passenger stoppers and expresses to Liverpool and Blackpool (next
station along was Daisy Hill; "Daisy 'ill! Daisy 'ill!" what a gob yon mon
had on 'im - nobody slept through Daisy Hill by mistake). At night I could
lean out of the window and watch the Black Fivers pulling along the incline
from Central Station, a flickering orange-red glow lighting the smoke over
the cab as the fireman opened the door to shovel coal.

A quarter of a mile the other way, the Kenyon-Bolton line crossed over the
Wigan line, and loaded coal trains from the pits deawn Leyth had a long
hard slog from Howe Bridge, through Bag Lane Station up the hill to
Chequerbent, before the easy run down though Daubhill into Bolton. When the
big driving wheels lost traction and steel spun on steel, the air shuddered
as the locomotive spilled steam, caught breath and grunted on up the hill.
Sometimes a bank engine would push from behind giving some lads the chance
of a free ride. Out from behind the elderberry bushes, a quick sprint along
the sleepers to the slow-moving engine, leap and grab the heavy hanging
chain behind the tender, and away swinging from the precarious perch. I was
never daft enough to try it, or mebbe just not brave enough.

The railway was a frontier. To the south, urban Atherton had expanded like
rusting iron, peeling aside the green paint of fields, some left as remnant
playgrounds. To the north were Squire Hulton's estates and its scatter of
old farms. Among the farms and woods were the relics of an abandoned
coalfield. The grey ridge-backed Elephant Rucks were the farthest north we
dared go. Beyond that, the red shale rucks of the old Chequerbent pits were
hostile territory. Denis was from deawn" Valley - he knew about gangs, and
he always kept a wary eye open in case the Chequerbent lads appeared on the

Alongside the rucks were patches of woodland in the middle of corn fields
and hedges. It was a country paradise for the likes of us. Figure-of-eight
wood was our favourite, though I later read on a map it was really Belgrave
Spinney. It was around here Denis taught me the arts of brid neesin'. Hedge
sparrows were "blue dunnocks", from the pure blue of their eggs, and
yellowhammers were "writing masters", from the curly scribble on their
eggs. Skilly and spadger were obvious derivatives from skylark and sparrow,
but I never did find out why starlings were "sheppies".

From the foot of the Elephant Rucks, the bed of a railway spur led from the
Bolton line to the ruins of the old Pretoria. I went back there in 1995 and
just about got lost in woodland, but in those days the fence line of the
Little Wood separated its trees from a barren wasteland of bricks and
shale. There were the two Big Rucks with their grandstand view of Atherton,
and the lumpy Little Rucks where clumps of burnt-out clinker still smelt
gassy. At the end of some railway sidings (rails long gone) the ruins of
low brick and concrete buildings (old locomotive sheds?) housed the gong.
Is it still there? The gong was a rusting steel girder bedded vertically
into a concrete base. Whatever it once held up was a mystery, but it made a
beautifully resonant clang when given a good clout with a brick. You could
hear the gong booming down on Devonshire Road when some lad was giving it a
good welting.

All the mine buildings had been demolished, but the massive brick bases of
the winding house still stood proud, and near by were two circular, green,
metal railings that were supposed to keep people off the concrete caps over
the shafts of No3 and No4 Hulton Bank Pits. It was No3 Pretoria Pit that
blew up in 1910. And again about 1947, long after the colliery had closed
(late 1920s?) and the shafts had been sealed. Great chunks of concrete a
yard or more thick had been tossed aside and the remnant of the main slab
was tilted back over the shaft. Why did it blow out again? We thought we
knew. The rails around No4 didn't keep anybody out, and the focus of
attention was the iron vent pipe in the centre of the cap. It was wide
enough to drop a brick down: let go -nothing-nothing-nothing-nothing-clang,
echoing back up the shaft as the brick hit a metal obstruction before
ricochetting on down. If you put your ear to the vent pipe a vague sizzling
sound could be heard, and we all agreed it had to be gas. It was fun to lob
bangers down other old shafts, but nobody I knew ever dared drop one down
gassy Pretoria - or did they?

Pretoria was a great place to play, but we all knew its macabre past. A
large iron pipe poked out of the edge of one of the Big Rucks, bent
downwards and disappeared back below ground. Denis insisted that one of the three survivors of the explosion had crawled to safety through that pipe,
but I was quietly sceptical, having figured out it was likely to be a drain
from one of the pit lodges. Grown-ups warned us of playing on rucks; there
were soft spots that could collapse and bury you, and swamps of orange
sink-slutch that would suck you down never to be seen again.

Granny Charlson told us that down on Tyldesley Road, the Pretoria explosion
sounded like huge doors banging shut, and in the early 1950s I thought I'd
heard that sound again. One Saturday morning a rumbling, crunching bang
rolled over Atherton seeming to shake both air and ground. Soon the rumours
were flying, but as time passed, the pits were ticked off as being safe;
Gibfield, Howe Bridge, Wood End, Parsonage, Chanters, Nook. An old woman in clogs, ground-length black skirt and old-style Lancashire head shawl called
balefully to no one in particular "It's not official, but they say it's
Plonk Lone". It wasn't though. It was an explosion on a rubbish dump at
Wigan, and atmospheric conditions had bounced the sound back down over
Atherton, but maybe that's what Pretoria had sounded like too.

From Pretoria the track lead past the Razzers (small reservoirs on the
Valley Brook as it trickled past the end of the rucks; they were silted and
swampy, a place where moorhens nested), towards Bolton Road. On the other
side of the road, to the north of Bongs, was Shakerley with its maze of old
pits, rucks and railways. Enjin Lone ran alongside the main line and lead
to the foot of  Kertaker Rucks (only years later did I learn they were Cut
Acre Rucks). Railway wagons were continually dumping shale onto the edges
of this growing mountain with smouldering sides. Coal pickers foraged for
slack on the rucks, and you passed them trudging back along Enjin Lone with
a full sack loaded on a push bike; girl's bikes were best as they had no

Peel Wood colliery was close to Bolton Road, and had been abandoned about
the same time as Pretoria. Unlike Pretoria, the shafts were still open
behind brick walls. The bricks around one of them allowed enough purchase
to climb to the top and lean out over the shaft. Hundreds of feet below
water glinted in the darkness. Cables and other scrap made it difficult to
drop a stone clear into the water. "Pey, ah varny geet that one deawn
wi'eawt 'ittin" sides". "Reet, well gerr eawt then, an' gee us a go. Berr
ah con get one aw"  road deawn." I shudder now to think that we could climb
up only because the bricks and mortar were so crumbly and loose.

Just across the fields towards Tyldesley was the small steep ruckings and
remnants of buildings at the Nelson Pit. Great Uncle Tom had been a bankman
there in the 1930s. He was a gentle old soul, who dressed like a tramp, and
had a wealth of silly stories for cousin Geoff and me. I'm pretty sure
Nelson was his Sucker Pit. He claimed they employed only bald headed miners
at the sucker pit, and instead of having a cage, the winding ropes had big
suckers on the end, and.. you can guess the rest.

Back towards Cut Acre, just south of the railway, the tiny wooden headframe
and single pulley wheel of Combermere Pit must have been the oldest mining
structure in the area. Around the shaft top were just wooden boards and
barbed wire.  I guess it dated from the 1870s when the pit was sunk. It
never wound good coal, but there was still a small brickworks at the pit
when Uncle Gerry first took us there around about 1950.

At Wharton Hall on the other side of the railway, Denis and I got the
biggest fright of our lives one gloomy Sunday. Like many of the old
collieries, it wound its last coal in the 1920s, but was maintained as a
pumping pit linked to Brackley working hard on the other side of Kertaker
Rucks. Not that Denis or I knew that then. Here was this small pit with its
beautiful latticed headframe and winding ropes disappearing down a shaft
hidden only by corrugated iron sheets. It was silent and deserted. We
pushed on the iron sheets and one yawed back over the shaft; dark round
rows of brick going down for ever - fascinating - scary. The engine house
had two rows of arched windows mostly with panes of grimy but unbroken
glass. We looked at them for a while, and decided we had to do what young
lads had to do. "Reet" says Denis, "Wull clod some bricks and see 'eaw mony
wi con smash."Yaye", I replied. A screaming roar erupted from a wide iron
pipe jutting out just above our heads as a horizontal blast of steam leapt
twenty feet across the air splitting our eardrums like knives. We dropped
the stones and ran like hell and didn't stop till we were a mile away,
shaking with adrenaline overload. Maybe it was coincidence, but more than
likely someone in the engine house was watching and listening, and had
decided it was time to send us on our way.

It was all a long time ago. Nearer in time to the Pretoria disaster, than I
am now to then. I guess most of the ruins and landmarks have gone, as the
reminders of Lancashire's coal mining past fade and disappear beneath
houses, parks and motorways.

Peter Wood ©
12 January 2000

Dave sez: Great piece of writing Peter. This brings memories back for me all right as I too used to lob bricks down the Pretoria shaft. It seemed a hell of a long time before you heard a splash. They've built houses on the Razzer now! They go right up ter't Rucks which are still there and covered in shrubs. They still afford a grandstand view of Atherton and all points south but there aren't as many chimneys to see. Still worth the climb though. 

You might like to read a poem of mine called No Carols This Christmas which is about the Pretoria Mine Disaster. It is on the Atherton poems page.

I think I can tell you why a starling is called a Sheppy. It's a corruption of Shepster.  It comes from the habit of them perching on a sheep's back to pluck out wool to line their nests in the Spring.

I love the story about the Sucker Pit. What a picture it paints.

Well done again. Write some more...

Peter sent me this picture of the headgear of Combermere Pit near Atherton with Cleworth Hall Colliery, Tyldesley,  pit rucks in the background. 

Taken around 1960. What a fantastically evocative photograph.

Hi Dave!

I couldn't get to your Atherton page last night, but I have now, and I've seen your link to Mum's memoirs. Brilliant! Thank you! I don't know how you put these pages together, but th'art reet clever!

I suddenly realised last night after I'd read your Lanky page that I've got a slim volume called "Lanky Spoken Here" that I bought at the Piece Hall in Halifax, and it reminded me of your web site. So I dug it out, and it's your book! A real bargain at 75p! I think I bought it in the summer of 1979 and it's been read with interest by many a furriner.

I used to go to school in Bolton, and rode on the old red L.U.T. trolley buses. I do remember going past the Bacca Shop each day, but I preferred the return journey back to Leigh because we passed an imposing pub, just past the Bacca Shop, near the Parish Church, which had a beautiful brown and green tiled frontage.

In winter, those trolley buses sometimes had a problem going up the Brew if it had been snowing, and passengers had to jump on and off the buses while they were still moving.

Helen Varley.

(See Helen's mum's brilliant memoirs of Leigh - linked from Lanky page)

Former Athertonian Ray Dickinson of New Zealand writes regarding Atherton Day Nursery:

I was only two when I was in the nursery but I can remember it well. Probably due to the air raid siren and the terrible bread and butter pudding (made from some strange rations) that they made us eat.
My grandad Charles and my dad Fred were from Tyldesley way. Mother came from Daisy Hill.
I was brought up in Howe Bridge and went to St Michaels and All Angels primary school. I lived at 125 Leigh Rd opposite. Cleggs farm was also across the road and I spent many happy days there. I believe it is a housing
estate now. Is Atherton Colleries cricket club still behind the church??
The boys in the village all belonged to Briarcroft Hall boys club where we could all have a crafty fag. Fortunately that habit has long gone.
There used to be a school dental clinic down behind Chowbent Church. The scene of many a shrieking child I can tell you.
Some of us went to Leigh Boys Grammar school. Arnold Mathews. Frank Smith  Dave Peach, Sam Eckersley Brian Hutton. The last two were from Atherton.
Howe Bridge station Central station and Bag Lane station were all in operation and used gas lighting.
In fact all Howe Bridge street lights were gas and the streets were cobbled. My own children have difficulty in believing that the coal, vegetables, bread and milk were all delivered by horse and cart.
Atherton had two cinemas the Savoy and the Palace and there were seven in Leigh. A good job too - that is were we did all our courting.

Dave sez: What a coincidence. I went to the Nursery; St Michael's and Leigh Grammar as well! I also went to the clinic near Chowbent Chapel. What a place - I had nine fillings in one session. I never went to a dentist for 31 years after that!

The Cricket Club is still behind the church and is thriving. I also remember the Savoy and the Palace - in fact I wrote a song with Bernard Wrigley called "Saturday Cowboys" in memory of the happy times I spent there. 

The Briarcroft was flattened a couple of years ago.


Sender: David M Willis, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.

Comments: Hi,
Nice to see a page on Atherton.  I was raised in Daisy Hill but attended Ecky Fleck for a year or so before the family moved to Cheshire.  Does the school have a web site at all (does it even still exist?) I can't seem to find anything on it anyway.
Still, I'll be looking back in on chance you receive any new photo's - it's always nice to recall one's roots.

Dave sez: Ekky Fleck is still going strong. Stands where the old Top Field was. It now has a website at:

Brilliant page, there isn't much about Atherton on the 'net. Keep it up!

Michael Gilmore

Hiya Dave. Reet Good page.

I have lived in Atherton all my life its good to see some amusing, info on the the town your page certainly reflects the Athertonian sense of humour, keep up the good work " - ITS REET GRADELY COCK" 

Email: aatherton@

Sender: alan atherton, ather-leigh

Comments: excellent site, keep up the good work


Sender: Paul Forshaw, Hunt Street, Atherton

Comments: Ray Dickinson mentions the Savoy and Palace cinemas, but was there not also the Gem cinema? I'm too young to remember, but remember it being the Gem supermarket.
I grew up on Bolton Road, four doors past Jack and Doris Peet's butcher and greengrocer shops. I remember about 30 years ago when George Stocks' shop was where the Far Pavillion Restaurant is now. It was a typical old fashioned corner shop of the time, that seemed to sell almost anything. In fact George could have been a forerunner to Ronnie Barker's Arkwright in Open All Hours!
I attended St Philips School at the same time as chess player Nigel Short.
I attended Hesketh Fletcher 1976-1981. Chemistry teacher Eddie Higson claimed to be a personal friend of yours. We were never sure whether to believe him as he often told some pretty unbelievable tales - some pupils nicknamed him Higson-ory. He once said that he and his wife (the English teacher) appeared on your latest live LP - they could be heard applauding along with the rest of the audience!
Me and some friends were recently reminiscing about what some of the shops used to be in Atherton in the late 60's & early 70's, such as when QS Fashions was a car showroom, Waterfields was Burtons tailors, the video shop next to the job centre was ESB Motorcycles and Ratcliffes cycle shop before that. Does anyone know what that old 3 storey building next to the King's Head was originally used for?(***SEE FOOT OF PAGE - DAVE)
We all recalled going to Brickleys for school pants and having to go up those creaky wooden stairs to try them on in the stock room. You still have to do that today - it must be the only shop that's never changed in the last 30-odd years.
The picture of Tommy Roach in front of Laburnum Mill reminded me of the time when Fred Dibnah was due to demolish the chimney, but someone else demolished it the night before. I was in the Red Lion that night when a gang of lads told me they were going to go up to the Laburnum to demolish the chimney. I thought they were joking at the time but of course it turned out that they weren't. Fred was a victim of his own success in a way, because he had appeared in a TV documentary a few weeks earlier explaining his method of demolishing chimnies by knocking out some of the foundations the day before then stacking wood underneath. Next day he sets fire to the wood and the chimney eventually collapses. Equipped with this information the lads had gone there and simply thrown a few matches on.
I heard about your website from my friend Chris Green who runs the unofficial Atherton LR site at

Dave sez: Thanks for the memories Paul. The Gem cinema is now a funeral home! I remember when I was a kid and always climbing buildings, me and a few mates gained entrance to the building. It was spooky - still left like a cinema but full of cobwebs. Like something out of a horror film. That would be around the start of the 60's.

I used to work with Nigel Short's dad David at the Leigh Reporter. I remember the day Nigel was born. David came into the office and said "We have a boy. We're going to call him Nigel". A colleague of mine - a bluff no-nonsense Athertonian remarked: "Nigel? Nigel? What sort of a ****ing name is Nigel?!"

Eddie Higson was right - he was heard clapping on the record! We recorded it in the Derby Room over Leigh Library. It was a fantastic night. I still get asked for Lanky Spoken Here but it was deleted by EMI. Eddie was a big folk music fan.  His son Trevor is a staunch Athertonian and was a founder along with me and several others of the Atherton Heritage Society. They still meet monthly - try and get to their meetings.

I remember all the old shops going back to the Little Hollow where the toffee shop had a library of about a dozen books you could borrow. No idea what the building next to the King's Yed was - offices I think, probably a bank. Perhaps someone could help. We used to hang out in the Zambesi Cafe - now a travel agents -  and the Temperance Bar at the Punch Bowl where we supped half pints of Hop Stout (non-alcoholic!).

I remember when the Atherton lads set fire to the Laburnum Chimney because I could see it out of my bedroom when we lived in Cumberland Road round the corner. One morning I got up and it wasn't there! We'd all been looking forward to the occasion. As I recall, there had been a raffle for charity and the winner got to bring the chimney down. Only they didn't...

Talking about Brickley's. Did you know it was the scene of a murder in the early part of the century. I believe a Liverpool bloke was hanged for it. Well fancy that!

Good luck to Laburnum Rovers (Atherton LR). They have great community spirit and have worked damned hard to improve the ground. They deserve every support.

**This is a picture of the terra cotta building next to the King's Head, taken by Athertonian Chris Gregory. It used to be a bank at one time. The building has great character and it is good to see it preserved.