Old Images of Chorley, Lancashire

Old photo of Chorley Lancashire England 1897

Glimpse the past through old images of Chorley, Lancashire, in the North West of England, UK.

Gracie Fields 1938

Mr Parkinson’s 12,000 employees built a factory for the government in less time than expected, so he held a big family gala with funfair rides and an appearance from Gracie Fields.

The previous year, the former cotton mill worker from Rochdale was the highest paid film star in the world!

Our Gracie – Our Guest At Monster Gala At Chorley Aka Gracie Fields At Gala (1938) – British Pathé on YouTube

Chorley Carnival 1960

Chorley’s carnival in 1960 involved a lot of advertising for Remington shavers! But this home movie also shows some of the local homes, many participants in the procession, the Carnival Queen, and the spectators lining the roads.

Chorley Carnival 1960 – Howard Greenwood on YouTube

The Caraboot 1964

In 1964, two inventors came up with the idea of converting a mini into a van with integrated caravan with detachable boat. The caravan portion could be removed by one person, allowing day trips in the small car, and the boat taken down from the roof of the mini.

In this lighthearted newsreel, we momentarily see an urban street. It’s presumably in Chorley, because most of the filming took place in Astley Park. You can see the distinctive stately home and the timber-framed building from the lake scenes.

The glass-reinforced plastic (GPR) vehicle was created by Euxton Coachcraft Ltd., based in the Lancashire village of Euxton. According to one of the YouTube commenters, the inventors were his grandfather, Eric Newby, and his partner, probably called Norman Theobald. Eric was married to Lorraine, also seen in this film.

The Caraboot (1964) – British Pathé on YouTube

Drive To Town 1984

This home video records a drive around Chorley before the ring road was completed. Includes a stop at the petrol station, near Kwik Save.

1984 drive thru chorley lancashire – nigel jones on YouTube

Chorley Buses

A more familiar form of transport this time, with trailers for bus DVDs availble for sale at PMPfilms.

While the focus is on the buses, there are plenty of streets, buildings, passing cars, passengers and pedestrians to spot.


CHORLEY BUSES DECEMBER 1997 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube


CHORLEY BUSES 1999 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube

Historic Book

Extract from “William Hall’s vindication of the Chorley spinners” by William Hall (of Chorley)

Published in 1825

Page 19

“Yet : far be it from me to say that , in their
eagerness to get rid of me , whom they have by name , both in public
journals and secret circulars , denounced and stigmatised , either Har
rison or Lightoller way – laid me with intent to assassinate , or that they
suborned any one to send a bullet through my head ; but , after Harrison
and Lightoller had sent four poor men to prison whose constancy they
could not subdue , I was shot at , as I was going home late at night , in the
vicinity of Chorley, and the bullet cut off a part of the top of my hat .

I repeat , I do not accuse those persons of this attempt on my life , but
I cannot help imputing it to the animosity excited by those masters
who turned the spinners out of their factories ? This turn out by
the masters , of the spinners , caused many persons to suffer bitter dis
tress , and Harrison and Lightoller , affecting to commiserate the wretch
edness they had created or aggravated , artfully laid the whole of the
blame upon the spinners , and of the 36 whom they cast off , they singled
me out as the peculiar object of their hatred .

Perhaps some misguid
ed person , unjustly incensed against me , and cursing me as the author
of his misery , might cherish an enmity so dire as to make this diaboli
cal attempt to murder me ? From whatever quarter the bullet came ,
such acts ought to deter every master from risking the public tranquil
lity by wanton oppression .

Why I did not take any public steps is
known to very responsible characters at Chorley and Preston . Since
that period , a spinner , at Preston , has been committed to Lancaster
Castle , to take his trial at the next assizes , charged with an attempt to
murder . Of the innocence or guilt of the party , I have no comment
to make , but , most certainly , transactions like these are blots on the
national character .

Yet , every day’s experience shows that the most
stern and callous masters labour incessantly to create dissension be
tween one trade and another ; per example , betwixt the cotton spin
ners and the weavers , and , with equal earnestness , between one part of
the same trade and another , with the design the easier to reduce the
wages of the whole .

Page 30

“It was stated to the magistrates by Mr. Lightoller , that every person in their
employ had half an hour to breakfast , and an hour at dinner ; and it was their own
fault if they remained in the mills , as the engine stopped the whole of that time .
It was the practice in this , as well as other mills in the country , to allow the hands
to have their meals sent into the works by their friends ; many of whom prefer
that mode rather than aflow their children to come home , and particularly at this
season of the year , when many of them are without shoes or stockings , and in
other respects but indifferently clothed . “”

With regard to the time of working , the hours were the same as at other mills
72 hours per week ‘ ; and in order that the hands might leave earlier on the Satur
day , and attend to their domestic duties , they worked half an hour longer on
the other days , and for this they have been singled out to be fined , to gratify
feelings and passions not creditable to gentlemen in the commission of the peace .”

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