local traditions - the Rossendale Triathlon

10 year old this year, the Rossendale triathlon begins and finishes at Marl Pits and the run comes straight down Edge Lane. It is usually held towards the end of May or early June.

tri 2015 200

It comprises:
400 m swim (pool)
21k cycle (hilly!)
5k run, (three loops of a circuit)
The record was set by Carl Shaw in 2010 at 1:00:53.

The run circuit is based almost exactly on the perimeter of the old Springhill Farm lands. Its interesting how former boundaries re-emerge in a new context.

It is not an easy route:


tri CYCLEMAP_2013 200 tri RUNMAP_2013 200

52 residents in 52 weeks #21 Thomas Jenkins

Not to be confused with Jenkyn Thomas. An easy mistake to make.

They both had the same names
They were both Unitarian ministers
They both ministered in Rossendale in the early years of the 20th century
Only one lived in Springhill.

Thomas Josef Jenkins b21 Nov 1871 Pencarreg, near Lampeter. He was called to the ministry in 1896 and ministered at Bethlehem Unitarian Church, Newchurch, from 1913 until his death in 1918.

He is shown as being ‘of Springhill’ in Kelly’s Directory of Lancashire 1909. Interesting, as in 1911 he was enumerated at 20 Spa Lane, Hinckley, with his wife Annie Meriam Jenkins and daughter Gwyneth Irene (b ~1901, Rhyndwyclydah, Glamorgan) and son Jenan Kenneth (b~ 1906 Hinckley, Leics). Another child was recorded as deceased.

Just to confuse things, Rev Jenkyn Thomas was minister at Rawtenstall Unitarian church between 1902-1906.

Kellys' Directory of Lancashire 1909 shows Jenkins, Rev Thomas Josef (Unitarian) at Springhill. The Unitarian History Society records:
'JENKINS, Thomas Josef, B 21 Nov 1871 near Lampeter, Car Min 1896-1918. from 1913 at Newchurch, d Newchurch D 14 March 1918 at Newchurch. I:1918, 91 *1919.'

1911 RG14 - PN19008 RD402 SD2 ED1 SN226


Today traffic was halted on Bury Road whilst a chicken crossed the road.
No idea why it did that.

52 residents in 52 weeks #20 Francis Bridge

The Bridge family have been closely associated with the Springhill area since Rossendale emerged from forest law in 1507. Churchwardens, greaves and scallywags, they tumble through the generations in a succession of Adams, Francises and Christophers with the odd Jordan thrown in for good measure.

My interest in Francis was aroused when, browsing through the Lancashire Record Office catalogue (as you do) I came across:

QSP 198/9
Quarter Sessions Preston Michaelmas 1660
maintenance of child of Francis Bridge

Mmm that sounds interesting and indeed it was. Francis had married Ann Chadwick of Spotland (Rochdale parish, but the township extended to about a mile away). The couple had a son at some ungiven date and a daughter reasonably close to 1660. Francis abandoned Ann virtually at confinement, leaving her to be supported by friends. The matter was brought to the Quarter Sessions by the churchwardens who did not want responsibility for the upkeep of the child to fall to the parish, particularly as Francis had recently come into an inheritance. Interestingly one of the wardens is one Adam Bridge, almost certainly a brother/uncle/father/…

It didn’t go well as at we find:

QSP 202/24
Quarter Sessions Preston Epiphany 1660/1
Maintenance of Anne daughter of Francis Bridge of Deardenclough yeoman

Francis Bridge (or probably more than one) was engaged in a number of land surrenders between 1666 and1691. Unfortunately the court rolls for this period haven’t been transcribed and time to visit Preston has been lacking.

The parish records for Newchurch St Nicholas include the baptism of a son of Francis Bridge in 1565 but not of a daughter, Anne or otherwise, around 1660 nor of the death of a child of Francis around that date. They do record the death of an unnamed wife of Francis Bridge on 9 Jan 1659/60 - how did they not know her name, or why did the not record it?

Newchurch St Nicholas (via the Lancashire OPC)
v Jul 1656 Adam sone of francs Bridge of Dedwenclough
x Jan 1657/8 Mary d francs Bridge of Dedwenclough
9 Feb 1663/4 bap St Nicholas Thomas s Francis Bridge
22 April 1666 Ffranciscus Bridg fil ffrancisci Bridg of Cisclough
12 Jun 1670 Alice gem fil ffrancs Bridg of Cloughfoot bap St Nicholas
12 Jun 1670 Chroftr Bridg gem fil ffrancis Bridg of Cloughfoot bap St Nicholas
31 Dec 1671 Isaak Bridg fil ffrancisci Bridg of Newchurch
16 May 1675 Alice fil ffrancis Bridge

1 Dec 1668 Ffrancis Bridge - Mary Schofield

xx Nov 1659 ffrancs Bridge sone of Thomas Bridge of Newchurch
xv May 1661 ffrancs Bridge fil Adam Bridge
26 Oct 1675 ffrancis Bridge
22 Nov 1684 ffrancs Bridg senex of Clough
20 May 1686 ffrancs Bridg of Newchurch
15 April 1691 ffranciscus Bridg of Dedwinclough

Land surrenders:
1666 Surrendered land in Deadwenclough to John Bradley
167? ditto from Josuah Nuttall
1690 received property from Richard Heaton
1691 ditto to George Piccop
DDHCL /3/225

(Many thanks to
Mistress Agnes for help with some of the less legible words!)

Local traditions - BRGS leavers' day

The exact date varies from year to year, but on a (usually) sunny day in mid May the 6th form at the local grammar school stand down for revision and A levels.

Traditions around this have evolved over the years. In the 1970s it comprised holding hands in the hall and singing ‘Aud Lang Syne’ followed by de-bagging the head boy and girl and hanging their trousers over the school clock.

More recently things have become more sophisticated:
On the third last day the pupils come in their old school uniforms. As the 6th form takes from a wide range of lower schools there is plenty of variety.
On the second last day they come in their leavers’ hoodies. That in itself is a change from ‘tasteless shirt day’ from a few years ago.
On the last day they come in fancy dress, sing songs and eat lunch provided by the school

Then comes the ‘walk’ (out of school hours), taking in the Jolly Sailor, the Boar’s Head, the Red Lion, the White Lion, the Queen’s Arms then heading off down towards Edenfield…

fancy dress brgs leavers 200 red lion may brgs 200

As well as three generations of my family, all Springhill residents, attending BRGS Mr Holden, the second headmaster of the school, lived in Lawn House.