Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Quartet of Old Lytham Photographs (or, as the case might be, three old photographs and one greyscale painting)

Please Note: The numerous projects with which we're involved (sleeping, drinking, and eating being some of the top priorities) have, once again, got the better of me so, for the time being at any rate, this board is taking another breather. No doubt we'll be back again before too long. In the meantime the forum's still open for business and Wyre Archaeology's relentless destruction of Lancashire's green and pleasant fields continues apace. Here's the last posting for now, but keep dropping back every so often won't you, because I'm sure we'll return eventually.

Let’s stick with facts this week and keep the speculations/pointless asides under wraps. People have been complaining, apparently, that I take our local history far too flippantly. Oddly enough, these complaints don’t appear to have originated from anybody who’s tracked down an Iron Age settlement or Roman road recently, but who’s checking? History belongs to everyone, I suppose, even those who consider it to be a matter of life and death, so, tongue out of cheek again sharpish; here’s the serious version of events.
This is Lytham Hall. (Was that formal enough, do you reckon?)


Work began on the building in 1751 from the designs of ‘Carr of York’, and was completed in 1764. The Manor of Lytham itself was originally held by Earl Tostig (King Harold’s rebellious brother killed at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066) before being granted by the Lord of Woodplumpton (Richard Fitz Roger) to the Monastery of Durham in 1190. (Is everyone following this closely? There might be questions at the end. Probably not…but you never know.)
The site of the hall became the monks’ priory, but was abandoned before the dissolution reached town, the prior renting the manor off in 1539 to somebody called Thomas Dannett (I don’t know who he was…go and check out the genealogical sites if you’re that interested) on an eighty-year lease.
In 1554, well before the lease had actually expired, Thomas Holcroft (whoever he was as well) bought the manor from the crown.
Green Drive Lodge, shown below (er…obviously) was one of the two gatehouses to Lytham Hall.


The Clifton family (of Lytham Hall…or did I mention that?) also owned nearby Witch Wood on the edge of the estate. The wood, unfortunately, wasn’t frequented by mysterious brunette maidens without their cuddies on (Steady…you’re degenerating into flippancy again! Ed) but was actually named after one of the family’s favourite horses. The Witch’s burial place is marked by a gravestone, and has spooked many an unwitting rambler.
Onwards, to the launch of Lytham lifeboat.


In 1839 John Rye, following the loss of several fishing vessels in Clovelly, founded the Shipwrecked Mariners Society. From 1851 the society operated lifeboats at Lytham, Portmadoc, Hornsea, Tenby, Llanelly, Teignmouth, Rhyl and Newhaven but eventually became two separate organizations, one concentrating on rescuing lives while the other helped bereaved families.
In 1854 the Society transferred its lifeboats to the R.N.L.I.
And finally for this week, the all important (and extremely serious) donkey rides on Lytham Beach.


According to John Porter’s ‘History of the Fylde’ (published in 1876) during the nineteenth century slightly more upmarket races, involving the pick of the local farmers’ horses, were held on the Green every Whit Monday.
The races took place on the sward between the windmill and an old limekiln approximately one mile north towards the hamlet of Saltcotes. Porter records that: “These races, which are described as having being very fair contests, were kept up for many years. The prizes competed for were saddles, bridles, whips etc.”
There…honour satisfied -- an entire article without one flippant remark. Hopefully that should keep those dour antiquarians with nothing better to complain about quiet for a few days at least.

32 comments:

Andrew said...

Is it safe to look up cuddies on my clean computer? Disappointingly no definition makes sense in the context.

Brian Hughes said...

Andrew,

That's actually a typo. It ought to read 'scuddies'...

Ann ODyne said...

I know of two posh houses round Melbourne, named Witch Wood, and still wonder why.
I can't see a gatehouse without thinking of Audrey fforbes-Ham, and now Debo the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire is in one.
had to look up that word -

scuddies - 1 Magazine-based pronography, preferable found discarded in woodland by bigger boys**?. 2 adj. The appearance and actions of a poor, inbred, usually white-trash person. Scuddy people live in trailers or backwoods...

**? 'bigger' than what? Lytham Hall?
Carry on digging Hughes.

Brian Hughes said...

Annie,

It seems the online dictionary of slang is incomplete. Round these parts, 'scuddies' simply refers to 'undies'.

Jayne said...

Tis blinking freezing here, hope the sun shines on your efforts, scuddies or no scuddies.

Brian Hughes said...

Jayne,

In some respects the sun's shining a bit too much here. The ground's baked like concrete. At this rate it'll bend the scoop on the digger.

John said...

Well, I must say that even if you HAD included a flowchart, I would still have gotten lost within this post. Quite a bit of rambling, wandering, and passing-by of what could have been interesting bits if we had stopped long enought to see them.

Oh, I get it... a collection of photos all loosely connected... it's just that some more segue between sections would have helped. Truly a 'whirlwind tour' of what must be a fascinating place.


Sorry to see that you're taking another break. Hopefully all is well, and that you'll just be busy digging up some fine history for us.

I shall miss your posts, as I alrady miss your flippancy. Sure, you kid around, and even make jest, but noone knows the Fylde % Wyre like Michelle does, and noone explains and makes it as interesting as you do. :0)

PS Do keep in touch via email, huh? I'm going through a rough time here, and could use some of that wacky English humour to get me through the day. :0)

Brian Hughes said...

John,

I shall, of course, be keeping you up-to-date via email on all the latest Dr Who episodes, archaeological events around the Wyre and domestic feline antics (both recovering from upset stomachs and massive vet's bills at the moment).

JahTeh said...

I don't know about flippant but my double entendre detector went bing numerous times but since I've been taken to task before for sullying this virginal board, I'll refrain from the "Carry On" effect.

Brian Hughes said...

No, Matron, no...

Ann ODyne said...

No Matron! indeed.
The biog of the fabulous & kinky Ms Hattie*Jaques IS a real mindbender.

Brian Hughes said...

Hattie's Blog? Oh, Madam...

Jayne said...

Hope the digger and weather are behaving for you, and there's plenty of finds to be unearthed :)

Brian Hughes said...

Cheers Jayne...we're getting there...slowly but surely. There's much digging and avoiding of cows to go yet, however...

John said...

I had commented here some time ago, but apparently it disappeared into the void! Was wondering why I didn't get a reply from you Brian.

Oh well... I'm too nackered to try to remember what it was that I wrote, except that I will indeed, as I have the last few weeks, miss(ed) your posts. Came here hoping for something new. :0)

Good luck in all endeavors, and I'm sure we all look forward to your report(s). :0)

Brian Hughes said...

Nothing new for this board as yet John...still very busy elsewhere, unfortunately...or possibly fortunately, depending on how you look at it.

Ann ODyne said...

dig dig dig dig

Brian Hughes said...

Annie,

There's always somebody having a dig at me somewhere.

JahTeh said...

You're not busy at all, you're spending the newly found hoard on a single malt distillery in Scotland.

Word Ver. is lomparp, sounds just like you after a single malt.

Brian Hughes said...

And here am I without a single malt (or even a single beer) in the house...and too bone idle to pop down the offie to buy one.

Marshall-Stacks said...

I was listening to Alan Bennet today, and a line in his piece mentioned Fleetwood, and it reminded me to make a day trip to the estuary.

Carry on.

John said...

Brian,

come back! Fall is upon us, and it's been too long since I've wandered Olde England's shores, dodging seagulls and picking up odd bits from Roman days.

How's about a rousing Ghost story to get us ready for the cold months ahead? Surely you've got a Bogey or two in the archives that you've forgotten to tell us about?

Come on... practice it at the pub for free pints, and then get it to us here complete with spooky illustrations.

Please?

Brian Hughes said...
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Brian Hughes said...
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Brian Hughes said...

Annie,

Generally when people mention Fleetwood in prose it's in a very negative light. I was amused to see Julie Walters on GBH the other night wearing an expression of extreme disappointment when she discovered her surprise holiday was to Fleetwood.

John,

I'll return as soon as I can. Unfortunately I'm currently drowning in an ocean of 'must get this lot sorted first' stuff.

Marshall-Stacks said...

My dear Mr Hughes, it was the monologue where Alan plays 'Graham who lives with his mum' and the topic was her offer of a honeymoon week in Tenerife, to which her friend says she is lucky, as "all I got was a black eye and a daytrip to Fleetwood". I love Alan Bennett.

Brian Hughes said...

Annie,

Like I said, always in the negative (although probably deservedly so). What I want to know is, why is there an Eddie Izzard video showing in my slideshow column?

Ann O'Dyne said...

... why? because Eddie has also been the site of a few digs?

Brian Hughes said...

I doubt it Annie...his high heels would get stuck in the mud.

Marshall-Stacks said...

yes, well, speaking of mud ... your weather has become wintry which must preclude digging and portend blogging?
we all miss you

LaLa said...

Oh Brian! Where art thou? I miss your quirky comments on my blog. What have you been up to lately? All the best!
Lala

Brian Hughes said...

Lala...I'm over on Facebook. Should have said something really. Come on over and look me up.