The Ramsbottom Heritage Society has always been interested in recording memories of residents, and there are now over 80 recordings on cassette tape, which have been converted to digital format and made available on the website, where the interviewee has given permission.
This page will be the index of the recordings and as each recording is converted, a link will be given to a description of the recording and the recording can be downloaded for personal use. If a recording is required for business or commercial purposes, please contact the Society. We are looking for volunteers to listen to the tape and produce a synopsis, so if there is no description, get in touch and we’ll let you know if anyone else has been allocated to the recording.
Table of recordings
|Recording ID||Subject Matter||Name of the Interviewee||Date of the interview||Recording|
|T01||Mills from Summerseat to Stubbins||Mrs Florence Scholes||1987/ 1988||Yes - Side 1
Yes - Side 2
|T02||Life in Ramsbottom||Mr Charles Hall||Oct-87||Yes - Side 1
|T03||Life in Ramsbottom||Mrs Ellen Mills||1987-88|
|T04||Life in Ramsbottom||Mr Joe Barlow||Sep-87|
|T05||Memories||Mr Harry Archerly||Yes -|
|T06||Life in Ramsbottom||Clara Booth||1987|
|T07||Memories of Ramsbottom||Elsie Baker||13/01/1988||Yes -|
|T08||Memories of Ramsbottom||Amy Greenhalgh||17/01/1988||Yes -|
|T10||Memories of Shuttleworth & District||Wildred Beswick JP||23/08/1988|
|T11||Grant Family Ancestry||Mrs Constance Whittam||17/10/1990|
|T12||Eric Quinn||Yes -|
|T13||Housing WW2 Evacuees||Mrs P Rodwell||21/08/1989|
|T15||Mrs Edith Duckworth||26/08/1997|
|T16a||Mr Thomas Wightman||08/09/1997||Yes- ]
Duration 90 minutes 19 seconds recorded on the 8th September 1997
Thomas talks about ( approximates times when the topic starts)
Moving from Kent to Lancashire
3 minutes Rowland Methodist School, Summerseat - 1919/20
9 minutes Ocean Chemical Co. Ltd. First Job paying 17/6 a week
19 Joined the Army for 6 years
25 Back to work in Ramsbottom - describes the houses he lived in
28 Ocean Chemical Co. Ltd. - Names of Directors and description of various processes
43 Driving wagons
44 3 brothers, 1 sister
45 minutes Eldest Brother, Harold - from a ‘Two Bob a day Private’ to a Major
48 Cottage in Sumerseat - Children’s games
53 Pace Egging before Easter including song
56 Holcombe Hill - Good Friday, Whit Walks with Primitive Methodists
61 Social Live at the Primitive Methodists
66 Mr Pearson Headmaster - Motor Cars
68 Review of places of employment
1929 - 1952 Ocean Chemical Co Ltd
6 months Kirklees, Tottington
3 and an half years - Ramsbottom Paper Mill
22 years Porritts
76 Courtship and Marriage
78 Driving and Travelling
80 A good night out - Cinemas in Bury, Bolton Grand Theatre
84 Setting up home near Hark to Towler on Walmersley Road
86 Knocking up neighbours
|T16b||Mr Thomas Wightman||01/06/2001||Yes-
Duration 26 minutes 06 seconds recorded on the 1st June 2001
1955 Started working at Porritt's. Early retirement 1977.
About 700 employees
Different departments; warehouse, blending, felting, maintenance, main office, devilling hole, card rooms, weaving, spinning, washing & stretching,
drying, finishing, winding
Mules & old carding engines in 1955, line shafts
1957-5 New machines - independent motor drives
woollen bales - sorting
Synthetic fibres - staple
Change from wool to synthetic
Carding & scribbling
New carding engines & ring frames
Harold Robinson - manager
William Goodwin - supervisor
weaving looms' widths, Lancashire loom
Felts - paper making trade
Filter cloths - printing trade
Processing felts: joining (endless), drying, stretching
Cotton felts, & later, wires(synthetic) for paper trade
150 year Anniversary formation of company.. -.presentation blankets to workers
Employees - maintenance 24hr
lots of job changing
female workers} skill
Decline of trade
c 1975 Factory unsafe for heavy new machines
Carding engines & ring frames moved to Bury
Transportation of goods
Carriers - I .C.I.
Water supply - moors, reservoir
Col. Porritt, Lieut. Porritt - Territorials
Harold ? (stayed with Lieut. Porritt after he was shot in France)
Workers' profitable sidelines at factory - washing overalls, hairdressing, thieving
Line shafts, ring frame & carding engine motors
|T18||Mrs Edith Robinson||15/04/1996||Yes -|
|T19a||George and Margaret Kay||27/11/1997||Yes -|
|T19b||George and Margaret Kay||27/11/1997||Yes -|
|T19c||George Kay||27/11/1997||Yes -|
|T20||Jim Welding||Yes -|
|T21||Mrs Doris Hillary||01/03/1998||Yes -|
|T22a||Mr Keith Bradbury||28/05/1998||Yes -|
|T22b||Mr Keith Bradbury||28/05/1998||Yes -|
|T23||Jennie Johns||16/12/1997||Yes -|
|T24||Aliice O'Donnell||16/12/1998||Yes -|
|T25a||Harry Beech||16/02/1999||Yes -|
|T25b||Mrs Marion Beech||16/02/1999||Yes -|
|T25c||Mrs Marion Beech||16/02/1999||Yes -
|T26||Mrs Irene Green and Dorothy Farnell||05/07/1999||Yes -
|T27a||Frank Warwick Hall||08/11/1999||Yes -
|T27b||Frank Warwick Hall - continued||08/11/1999||Yes -
|T28a||Harry Hoyle||05/07/1999||Yes -
|T28b||Harry Hoyle - continued||05/07/1999||Yes -
|T29||Margaret Hammersley||18/01/2001||Yes -
|T30||Miss Joan Barcroft||24/01/2001|
|T31a||Jack Holden||07/03/2001||Yes -
|T31b||Jack Holden||07/03/2001||Yes -|
|T32||John Lomax||02/05/2001||Yes -|
|T33a||Brian Lamb||26/04/2001||Yes -|
|T33b||Brian Lamb||26/04/2001||Yes -|
|T34||Cyril Davenport||Yes -
0’15” Started working in the weaving shed
2’30” Territorial Army
3’00” Worked in the warehouse (15 yrs old, only 4ft 6ins, weighed 72lbs)
5’00” products made by the firm
6’45” Roland Spencer - visit to the factory
7’50” The Christmas Spree
11’00” parcelling (plaiting) the cloth
12’10” Number of employees
13’15” The war / the landmine at Stubbins
15’30” Characters who worked for the firm including a bookmaker
17’45” Called up to the war
18’15” Return to the firm after the war / Half-crown foreman /
19’00” Wages for the big loom weavers
19’45” Big loom weavers
21’30” After the war - worked on the doubling machine for 20 years
23’45” Shift work, staffing and wages (1951)
26’00” Characters - boilerman who played the flute
labourer who used to have a sleep in the toilets
29’45” Management turns a blind eye
30’30” Clocking in & out
31’15” Promoted to assistant foreman/manager over 3 departments
32’45” He was asked to become supervisor/foreman in the warehouse
33’15” Changed from cotton to synthetics
34’00” "Wet end wires" (conveyor belt) for the paper mills
35’00” Changing the name of the firm and products moved to different factories
36’45” In charge of 3 departments, Finishing manager- from when it left the loom to when it left the factory
37’45” Contact with the factory in Livingston, Scotland
38’45” troubleshooting - Assistant to the Production Director
39’30” "The wires" - conveyor belt for paper machine. Cost up to £60,000
43’15” Paper mills - most of them shut now
44’45” Export of wires all over the world (inc1 Japan & Poland)
46’15” Work study & automation - the biggest changes which have come in ; Reduction in workforce
49’00” Waste from the process
51’30” Changes in processes, with the coming of synthetics
52’00” Types of synthetics, staples and filaments
53’45” 5 -A -Side football
55’00” Safety procedures
56’00” Accidents at work
58’15” Family members who also worked for Porritts
His father was a gardner for Porritts during the 1914-18 war.
Several of his brothers & sisters worked there for over 40 years
60’00” The Porritt family and their homes
61’45” Strongstry houses available for workers
64’00” Various mills owned by the Porritts
65’00” The Porritts & Spencers who were directors
67’00” characters, - a man with a glass eye. someone who set fire to some waste
|T35||Mrs Marion Beech|
|T36||Edith Wood||Yes -|
|T37a||Coronation and Childhood Memories||Mrs Doris Hibbert||09/12/2002||Yes -|
|T37d||Mrs Doris Hibbert||05/03/2006||Yes -|
|T39||WW2 and General Memories (NWSA)||Lorna McTintosh||01/06/2001|
|T40a||Fred Entwistle||1990 and 1994|
|T40b||Mrs E. Moore||26/08/1990|
Also on the recordings are James's wife Gladys, their daughter Gladys Hamer and Roger Hamer
|James Davenport||01/03/2005||Yes - Side 1
Yes - Side 2
Yes - Side 3
|T42||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission|
Evacuation from Guernsey, and Ramsbottom Memories
|Elizabeth Haworth||30/06/2001||Yes -|
|T43||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission|
Memories of Edenfield
|Frank Woods||30/06/2001||Yes -|
|T44||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission|
Reminiscences of Ramsbottom
|Dorothy Moss||30/06/2001||Yes -|
|T45||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission|
Childhood in Bolton, and Ramsbottom
|John Maude||30/06/2001||Yes -|
|T46||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission|
Ramsbottom Library Service
|Bill Bennion||23/07/2001||Yes -|
|T47||Childhood play, teenage leisure||Barbara Southern||20/06/2006||Yes -|
|T48||Ships, Gas Mantles, Tippler's, Soundscape, 1950's||Eddy Chatwood||20/06/2006||Yes -|
|T49||General memories including World War 1 and World War 2||Violet Gregg||23/06/2006||Yes -
Side/Time in minutes Content
A00 Born at 89, Bolton Street, Ramsbottom 1st June 1907
Moved to Acre Street, off Bolton Road West
Attended St Andrew’s School from aged 3 years
Aged 11 was unable to go to a Secondary Modern School because birthday was in June
and you had to be 11 years in August.
A:02 Aged 12 halftime school/ half time work at Peel Bridge Mill, Kenyon Street
aged 13 went full time
left when she got married aged 25 (1932)
A:03 Acre Street – 2-bed terrace with outside closet. Men came to empty toilet. Front of Nuttall
A:05 lived for a while with grandmother on Albert Street as she was the eldest
WW2 –Zeppelin raid. 7/8 o’clock at night.
Father worked in Gas Works/ mother did work at one time
Aged 3 -Incident of being pushed down steps to Callender Street and Doctor
CROMPTON putting stitches in her hand. Doctor came to door to collect payment.
She saw Zeppelin floating over towards Holcombe. Heard a noise and later told there was a bomb in a field. Visited Holcombe next day. Not much damage to buildings
A: 13 Incident of stepson’s taking too much sugar (WWll)
Memories around WWI time. Queuing in Bridge Street. Prices 'weren’t so dear’ .
After her husband died her wages were £4 a week – to keep 4 of them (date not given).
Ration books in WW2.
A: 17 WWI -shops –2 C&ops on Bolton Street for food and furniture. 1 Co-op on Bridge
Street for clothing. All had 'divies’ .
Lots of other shops.
She helped a friend out at a Creamery laddling milk (where Threshers’ is now)
Best ice-cream available from John [?]Mofler’s. Cashland Dairy also sold icecream.
He took it round on a horse and cart.
A:21 Trips - Aged 7 (/9/4) went to Ilfracombe and Loch Lomond by train
Char-a-bancs to Southport – not comfortable
Trams to Holcombe Brook
A:24 Social life. Only went out at weekends with a friend.
Her son remembers parents going to the cinema when he was very small. They saw
'Three smart girls grow up’ with Diana DURBAN (about1937)
Went to Bury by train
Mother’s Union trip to London – since WW2. She nearly missed train.
Sailing on Lock Lomond
A:28 First marriage to Mr HOWARD in 1932 at St Andrew’s Church.
Weddings not a big affair then. Dress made by sister-in-law.
Married for 7 years. 3 children plus one born dead. After husband’s death worked
occasionally. It was hard- used to walk to save tram fares
Worked at bakehouse after children went to school
A:3 1 o 2 (before marriage).
As everyone left RC priest called people together and prayed. When prayers finished all planes had gone her husband saw a figure coming down. He said it was Jesus.
Story of Richard PORRFTT being 'blown to bits’ in WWII.
Aged 10/1 1 She took knitted gloves up to the PORRIFT’s house and was given chocolates by Mrs PORRITT.
Parties at end of war – she did not go.
A:34 Met 2nd husband when he helped out in garden of her bungalow.
He was one of last off Dunkirk. Salvation Army serving food and drink.
The marriage lasted 4/5 years till his death
Story of first husband slipping on ice and dislocating thumb. He worked on the railway.
Time of a lot of snow - up to window. He got a chill clearing the snow.
She went weaving down by the Station.
A:38 They grew potatoes and tomatoes. Gave some to vicars of St Andrew’s.
Rev. WILLIAMSON, there before Rev CARMYLLIE.
Rev WILLIAMSON- very nice and talked a lot about Christian love. Lived on Callender
Rev CARMELLIE – very nice -good speaker- he wrote a book-lived on Albert Street
Trams cost tuppence
A:41 End of tape
|T50||Father Ramsbottom Police Sgt., 1931-39; Amateur Dramatics (Summerseat Players)||Leslie Richard Norris||05/03/2006||Yes -
|T51||Recollections of Grant's Tower||Dorothy O'Reilly and Emily Bellenes||05/03/2006||Yes -
|T52||Miscellaneous recollections||Brian Farlow||Mar-06||Yes -
|T53||MD of Sims Wireworks||Denis Frearson||03/02/2006||Yes -|
|T55||Grandmothers memories of Nuttall||Norma Mills||22/11/2006||Yes -
Key Words Summary
Norma MILLS Tape no 55
Now of 28, The Old Vicarage, Bradshaw, Bolton Born 15th February, 1942
Interviewed by Kate Slingsby/ Brenda Richards on 23rd November, 2006
Side A: 43 minutes
Norma relates the stories of Nuttall Village told her by her paternal grandmother Charlotte MARKLAND (1878-1972) daughter of George and Alison MARKLAND. She also talks of her great grandmother MARKLAND who lived in the Round House, near Holme Mill, Ramsbottom
George and Alison MARKLAND married at Holcombe Church.
Charlotte eldest of 11 children.
Her father was a weaver, photographer and magician. Performed magic tricks in pubs around Ramsbottom - Charlotte was his assistant but often left outside pubs when too young to go in.
Story of no food bar bread and treacle for 2 weeks.
Song about ‘God bless John GRANT’
Charlotte’s extensive knowledge and use of herbs. ‘Nipbone’ was taken orally and used on wounds. Iron tonics made from soaking rusty nails in water. Home made wines, rose perfume, Christmas decorations
A:10 Siblings baptised at St Andrew’s. She went to school at New Jerusalem, aged 13, part time at school/ part time at Mill as a weaver
Two stories of incidents when walking in Nuttall – paranormal - girl seen on walk who was actually at home
A: 13 Members of family emigrate to America. Aunt becomes a nurse in Crimean War, married a surgeon, George RABY. Norma still in touch with descendants of this family. Seen photos of them with their black servants.
Charlotte sent to visit them – sea journey thought to improve her health.
Proposal from Australian sheep farmer whilst on ship.
A: 15 Ocean Chemicals ruined Nuttall by use of cyanide. All trees were turned white and then died. Workers had yellow faces.
Charlotte returns from America
A:20 1950s- Description of Charlotte showing Norma and family where used to live in Nuttall. Some confusion as she showed them round the house which still stands today but records show their address as Goit Street.
Black range in kitchen. Desk piled with papers as it was used as office for Ocean Chemical works. No other houses around – just ruins
Games children played. ‘top and whip’ ‘hopscotch’ in fields. Happy childhood.
Charlotte spoke local Lancashire dialect. Nuttall known at ‘Nutter’.
No electricity in Nuttall. Charlotte took candle to bed even after she lived in house with electricity with son and family in Walmersley as she did not trust electricity
A: 27 Charlotte taken by father for years to Manchester Eye Hospital. ? by train/tram/horse drawn tram
A.28 Story of Charlotte’s mother’s accidental but serious eye injury caused by father gleefully throwing his top hat across room when he got a job.
A:30 Charlotte’s brothers – she looked after them as children. They later worked in the mill.
A:33 Charlotte’s suitors. One drowned himself in the Irwell when she rejected him/ another (George ECCLES) was later killed in WW1.
Her marriage aged 28. All her sibs already married.
A:36 Brief history of MARKLAND family in Ramsbottom. Richard and second wife Betty MARKLAND had a cake shop around 1829 on Bridge Street.
A MARKLAND lived on Crow Lane
Family graves in Holcombe Church
A:43 End of tape
Side B: Blank
|T56||Turnbull & Stockdale, coal dealers in Ramsbootom, house at Bolton Road North, Rostron Plumbers, Smithy Brow, Turn school, Ramsbottom buses, linking Stubbins/Ramsbottom, churches, shops, politics||Phillip Dunne||29/08/2007||Yes -|
|T57||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Geraldine Mercer||10/05/2003|
|T58||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Richard, Irene and Frank Hall||10/05/2003|
|T59||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Tony Ashworth||10/05/2003||Yes -|
|T60||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Jack Isherwood||10/05/2003||Yes -|
|T61||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission|
Memories of Crow Lane
|Doreen and Fred Bardsley||10/05/2003||Yes -
|T62||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Florence Nadin||15/07/2007||Yes -|
|T63||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Derek and Zena Middleton||15/07/2007||Yes -
|T64||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Muriel Clark||15/07/2007||Yes -|
|T65||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Barbara Jones/Alan Richardson||10/05/2003||Yes -|
|T66||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||Raymond Wilcox||12/01/2009||Yes -
|T67||Recorded by the North West Sound Archive and posted with their permission||James E Isherwood||01/02/2011|