52 residents #4 'closer to home'

As the Springhill residents by definition lived there, there is plenty of choice here. However I have decided to go with William Spence:

William was the first of three generations named William Spence to farm Springhill Farm, moving there in the first decade of the 20th century from Chapel Hill farm a quarter of a mile up the hill. He was not Rossendale born, having been born in Slaidburn in 1862.

He died in 1914 and is buried in Sion Baptist graveyard. The grave is in the most northwesterly part of the graveyard, just across Edge Lane from his former farmhouse.


gravestone 7 Spence 1





52 residents #3 'long line'

There are a number of families who have had long associations with Springhill. I could consider the Ashworths who built Springhill House in c1830 and retained an association with it until 1923. I could consider the Taylors, five generations of this family having lived in Sunset View. However I will consider the Griffins family of 420 Newchurch Road, whose association with Springhill came to an end this week.

It was over 60 years ago that Martin Griffin, teacher and well known local trade unionist, moved into 420 Newchurch Road, then a council house. Martin and his wife Mary had two children, Martin junior and Maureen. Neither of the children married and they shared the house until Martin's death, after which Maureen continued to live there.

Maureen initially worked for an ice-cream company then in the bank for many years until she retired. In addition to her work life she was a JP for over 20 years, the treasurer of the local youth club, former president of the Soroptomists (amongst other roles) and very heavily involved in her church, St James the Less RC.

Sadly Maureen died this week aged 66. RIP, lovely lady.


Maureen obit Jan 2020
(screenshot Rossendale Free Press 17 Jan 2020)

52 residents...#2 'favourite photo'

There are any number which could be used as my favourite photo of a Springhill resident but I've decided to go with this one of Eileen Taylor, late of Sunset View.

She actually disliked it ('I'm fooling about, whistling') but to me it shows her sense of fun.

Eileen Taylor

52 Residents in 52 weeks 1 'fresh start'

I did this a few years ago and blogged about a selection of local residents covering a wide range of fields. I've been challenged to do it again, this time using the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks prompts of Amy Johnson Crow. And always been one up for a challenge (aka never knowing how to say 'no'), here goes. Some will be people who have been blogged about before, others will be new. Some will be detailed, others brief or even a picture. Some may not even be about residents but hey…

The first prompt is 'fresh start'. Well I can think of a number of residents who have made a fresh start in Springhill, many who migrated into the area for work or after marriage. However I'm gong to go with two religious communities who made fresh starts in their faith in the turbulent times of the mid 17th century.

The first is the Quaker community of Chapel Hill, It is unknown when the Quakers first began to meet in the area but the burial ground was in use from 1663, just 15 years after Fox had his revelation on Pendle Hill, 8 miles of so north of there. The Quakers now meet 3 miles over the moor in Crawshawbooth.

The second is the Baptist church at Sion in Springhill itself which has met there since 1672 (when the dissenting congregation known as the Independents was granted a licence to worship in the barn of John Picoope) and possibly earlier, although the legend of the curate of the local parish church resigning his living over the 1662 Act of Uniformity is almost certainly false. The church is still active.

New Year's resolutions

Happy New Year!

As this is the time for New Year's resolutions, I have come up with some one-place studies resolutions:

1. continue to get organised. This means finishing cataloguing my files/books/paper resources etc…
2. follow the Society for One-Place Studies shared endeavour of 'employment' over the next 12 months. This will be determined to some extent by the direction set by the society but I would like to look at the employment in Springhill and area as recorded in the census. What occupations were represented? How did that change over time? What is the pattern of child employment? Who had domestic servants - a quick look at the 1861 census indicates that domestic servants were employed by people lower down the employment ladder than might be expected.
3. increase 'networking' (I hate that phrase!) with other OPSers and those involved in similar fields - one-name studies, local history, genealogy etc. As a minimum I will continue #OnePlaceWednesday on Twitter, try to get involved in #AncestryHour (though that is not at a good time for me) and take part in shared endeavours, both the SOPS employment one and the FACHRs gardener. Ideally I'll manage a genealogy fair and join a Tweetup but who knows.
4. give something back - random acts of genealogical kindness, join in a transcribing project, be more reliable with my volunteering at the local museum.

Does anyone else have any OPS goals for 2020?