52 residents # 52 Resolution

Well all my 2020 resolutions went the way of the virus. Here's hoping 2021 is better.

1.Continue to organise and plan my study of Springhill. I have drawn up a plan to organise future research (in Scrivener, which so far has been the most useful of the organising tools I've tried even if it was originally designed to help writers). I have started to catalogue my paper and digital resources, this needs to be finished. Now there is a spare room I could do with organising the physical material better as well.

2. Give something back to the history community. I hope to continue on the committee of the Society of One Place Studies and hopefully contribute a bit more to webinars and the like. I would also like to be able to pick up my role volunteering at the local museum which was put on hold because of the you-know-what. It would be good to contribute to a transcribing project sometime, but Transcribe Tuesday is on my busiest work day.

3. Finally, this year, I'm going to complete my in-depth description of Springhill for the SOPS website.

I was already pretty good at taking life as it comes, rolling with punches and counting blessings. 2020 has taught me the value of these and reminded me of the importance of family and little things which bring joy.

52 residents # 51 Winter

The Springhill area tends to be somewhat understated when it comes to external Christmas decorations. In recent years there has been a trend to memorialise people on lamp posts: it started in 2018 for the centenary of ending WW1 then in the summer of 2019 cancer patients were remembered with sunflowers with donations to the hospice. This Christmas it is candles, again with donations to the hospice. As they have had their fundraising curtailed this year due to covid one cannot grudge them it. I'm not sure that sponsorship by a local funeral director is the most subtle thing however…

hospice memorial 640

and yes, the lamp post is wonky.

52 residents # 50 Witness to History

There are relatively few 'witnesses to history' that I know about in my place as little of historical importance has happened there. It is interesting to reflect however on how national and international events impacted the area:

1642-1652: English Civil War. Rossendale was (probably) for the Parliament, though there were areas with high levels of Recusancy locally.

1662: Act of Uniformity
1672: Dissenters' meeting house registered for worship

1914-18: WW1, four Springhill residents lost their lives

1939-45: WW2, no known Springhill casualties.

2016: UK votes to leave the European Union - history in the making

2020: covid 19 - more history in the making.

52 residents # 49 Oops

Oops: A Zeppelin pilot followed the Irwell in WW1 thinking it was the Rochdale Canal to Manchester. He dropped two devices within a mile of Springhill (one incendiary and one explosive). Thankfully neither went off.

Oops 2: Dec 2010, a gas explosion in New Hall Hey took out the gas and electricity to Springhill (together with much of the surrounding area). The electricity came back on after a few hours, the gas after a couple of days. The work was undertaken cautiously as the explosion was just above the water main from Haweswater to Manchester. Had that been fractured, half of Manchester would be without water and a fair part of the lower Irwell valley would have flooded.