OF MEMORIES OF
of the houses and buildings in Crow Lane
from a variety of sources)
is still considerable information to be added to this page – please visit it
ON THIS PAGE (See below)
on the EVEN side of the street - 2
, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 32,
on the ODD side of the street – 11 (Crow Lane Nursing Home etc)
17/19, 21, 25, 43/45
Paul’s Vicarage / Police Station / Chapel of rest
Crow Lane ( behind St Paul’s
School & nos. 11 – 27)
in front of Nos. 33 – 45 (last
terrace on the left – opposite the Drill Hall)
in ( & near to) Factory Yard – where Ramsbottom Mill once stood
Children Playing in Crow Lane
World War Two evacuees
REMINISCENCES - INFORMATION
on the EVEN side of the street
Doris Hibbert, Frank Hall and Jack Holden all
remember that in this bay windowed house lived Mr
Peter Armstrong, a bachelor, brother of Mr John Armstrong owner of John Wood
Engineers of nearby Garden Street until its closure.
Armstrong was well known to the local lads for occasionally sending police to
chase them away from the dirt/ash lane between Crow Lane and Garden Street –
known as the “bottom” - which
was used by to play cricket and football
is believed that the Savage family also lived here at one time.
Doris Hibbert remembers……….
The Topping family once lived there
Hibbert remembers……… Mr and Mrs Bridge lived here with their daughter Marion
…… “a vestibule with beautiful coloured glass”.
Wilson and her daughters Jennie and May lived here.
The Holden family, Father Richard,
Step-Mother Edith, and their daughters Edna May and Doris lived here.
Doris (now Hibbert) was born in the
front bedroom in 1930 and lived there until her
marriage in 1956. Below is her description of the house:
“No 10 was the middle house in the
first row, opposite the school. Entering the house through the front door you
went along a hall, or lobby, with its row of coat hooks – one for the adults
high up, and a lower one for the children – there was also a lovely wrought
iron umbrella stand.
First door on the left was to the
‘front room’ only used occasionally – I loved it when we had a new cream
tiled fireplace installed - built
in cupboards and drawers to the left of the fireplace.
Through a door to the stairs and the
living room. In this, our main room, we had a clothes rack hanging from the
ceiling. I (vaguely) remember a
large black fireplace range with oven and side boiler. You scooped the water from the boiler with a lading can.
Later we had a Bungalow Range with fancy mottled tiles on the oven door!
To the right of the fireplace was an oven so the fire fed the oven and
that is how you cooked. There was no cooker in the kitchen at that time. Built
in cupboards and drawers to the right of the fireplace contained household and
To the left was the door to ‘under the
stairs’ where a stepladder, tools, cleaning equipment etc. lived.
During World War 11 Mother, Edna and I occasionally slept under the
Then to a
tiny kitchen with a gas boiler, white sink and cupboards.
In the back yard two sheds – one
housed the mangle and the other coal and wood. The outside toilet
was a ‘tippler’ which is controlled by the amount of water that goes
down the drain so the water from
washing, bathing and cooking, and rain of course,
would go own and turn this tippler and it would get rid of everything out
of the toilet. So it only went every so often. I hated it – it seemed such a
long way down when you’re little. I felt I might fall down; it’s a wonder I
didn’t. Once our cat fell down and Mother rescued it on a mop and plunged him
in a bucket of water to clean him up. (Another cat fell down the bedroom chimney
but fortunately landed in the front room fireplace where there wasn’t a fire
that day). Our cats must have had
Upstairs to two bedrooms and a bathroom.
My parents had the front bedroom (with fireplace) and my sister and I slept
together in the back room – no separate rooms or beds in those days.
The miniscule bathroom had an airing
cupboard, wash basin, bath and round gas geyser with flames underneath – it
made the most peculiar noises and frightened the life out of me.
& May Hogan resided here.
Frank Hall recalls…..Bill
worked in the local Railway Yard on Railway Street. He had served in the Royal
Navy during 1914/18 war. May was a
permanent arthritic invalid, having been confined to bed as long as I could
remember. She was under the care of Drs Crompton and Struthers & the nursing
staff from No.11 (at that time the Crow Lane Nursing Home).
called for continuous attention, her husband taking care after his working hours
and "Turns/Shifts" by St. Paul's Church Clergy, Day School, &
The NHS has
taken over so much these days, it is difficult to recall the total involvement
of Crow Lane people in sharing the care and
nursing May received from all ages, from ten years of age to the elderly,
male and female. The teaching staff and pupils at the School were encouraged to
assist with things such as her shopping, and with the consent of parents, to
help out of School hours. Looking back I find it hard to believe from the age of
ten years, such a number of the pupils shared a daily involvement in caring for
May…. Later May was received into Hospital, dying there.
Doris Hibbert remembers
…. We all called her ‘Auntie May’ and the children at St Paul’s used to
Nuttall family lived here also the Foggs and the Ramsbottoms.
Doris Hibbert believes
that at one time her aunt Rhoda Ellen Holden lived here.
remembers the Crumbleholme family there and also Mr and Mrs Howsley.
Hibbert recalls ….
Mr and Mrs Frank O’Neill lived here at sometime.
Frank Hall writes:…….“At
No. 18, the fan-light above the door informed passers by that "Pianoforte
was taught within” also in smaller print
and (only on recommendation "Voice Production”). This was by my
Father. A well known Accompanist at musical gatherings, Concerts & Dances
within the area. As you can imagine his four children were all expected to play
at least one musical instrument. I regret ….that I was the "Odd One
Jack Holden remembers
…” At no 20 was Cookson’s bakery. Bottles of sauce and pickles were
stacked in seven high pyramids. The lads trick was to try to dislodge these by
using a long cane through the window frame air holes under cover of darkness!
Unsuccessfully according to memory.”
The sketch of
shop layout (drawn by Jack Holden) has not yet been included
Frank Hall recalls
….. “Cookson's Bakery & Confectioners, a thriving little Shop where
work-people from "RUMNEYS" (the factory at the bottom of Crow Lane)
could order a hot meal (on a plate) from a variety of meals, to collect at
Mid-Day. It was said that their Custard Pies were the "talk of the
town" and beyond, from the "theatricals" at the Co-op Hall, as
they toured the North East & West.
( Born 1978 Current
resident of Crow Lane).
Can you remember any other shops
(other than 17/19 & 43/45) ? Not on Crow Lane, no.
There has been talk of the shop next door to me at No 20. Apparently, a
32 - see also Back Crow Lane (
behind St Paul’s School &
nos. 11 – 27)
Frank Hall writes…no.
32, where a Mr. Jack Horrocks lived. He had been in the Services during the
1914/18 War & returned home to Ramsbottom and married, settling down at No.
32, remaining there until his death.
His trade was
as a Cooper, and when he set up as such (1920's) it was in a dilapidated
building backing on to Paradise Street, facing the backs of 19/27 Crow Lane.
On damp days
youngsters, mainly boys, would congregate outside the coopers work doors to
watch him, and he could be very abrupt with us. Yet, as we grew older & had
a genuine interest in his work, he could be most pleasant.
died mid 20’s and he lived alone. In his will he created the John James
Horrocks Trust leaving the income on his money to be given to elderly persons
over the age of 75 who live alone in the Central Ward of the old Urban District
of Ramsbottom (subject to certain qualifying
Hall writes……..in the years when I lived in
the Lane, No. 34 housed a Police Constable Davenport with a Notice
"POLICE" over the front door”.
Hibbert recalls…..” in the Mill Yard there
were three very old terraced houses: Mr
and Mrs Dalston lived in the first one and had a wonderful view up the lane from
Houses on the ODD side
of the street
From Frank Hall:
…..”During the 1920's this double fronted house was known as "Crow Lane
Medical Doctors, with assistance from the Cottage Hospital were involved in it,
and the Staff was a Nurse Brentnall & her father who was a retired Medical
Doctor. Maternity cases, and Elderly Care, on the recommendation of their own
G.P. seemed to be the patients.
Most of this
would have been unknown to me, but my Mother & Nurse Brentnall had become
acquainted and a friendship had developed, making Nurse Brentnall a regular
visitor to our home. I soon became aware that "babies were born at No.
and Struthers looked after patients there.
Also, when the "theatricals"
(as they came to be known locally) who appeared at the Co-op Hall when they
visited the town, looked for "digs". Quite often No. 11 had private
rooms vacant and available. On occasion my
parents accommodated some of them, to the four Hall boy’s delight.
Doris Hibbert: ..”at No 11 lived Beatrice
Tattersall, then the Dodd family. Mr
& Mrs Dodd worked during the
day and in the evenings at the Cinema. …. Downstairs at No 11 there was some
kind of board office – I don’t know what for – so the Dodd’s sitting
room was upstairs. I found that fascinating.”
Alice O’Donnell…….Mr Manfred rented a room
down Crow Lane - Mrs Dodd she was called….so I went there for piano lessons.
Mrs Dodd….was Relieving Officer for Ramsbottom. If anyone went into
Jericho Hospital she had to go and take all particulars.
17 / 19 were built as a house and shop
Jack Holden……At no 19 the Richardson
family had a grocer’s shop. At the end of the1940’s it was
taken over by the Hall family, Jack, Kathleen, Valerie who left to go to
From Alan Richardson……Vinegar….sweet
coupons….Hacks…Zubes…’during the war’ ……sliced
bread……….’open all hours’
Anthony Ashworth ( Born 1978
Current resident of Crow Lane).
19 yes, that building was a shop when I was living
here. From when we first moved
here, there’s been two occupants, when it was actually a shop and then when it
closed obviously they converted it into a house, and did a lot of modernisation
and lot of refurbishments to it, but as it was a shop it was like as it was
originally. There was a
cellar and all the fixtures and fittings for the shop, all the shelving,
racking, the big window, like all the sweet shelves in the window itself.
What sort of shop was it?
was grocers, like an off licence as well, like a convenience shop really.
store yes, sold all sorts, coffee, tea, chocolate, biscuits, milk, pop, beer
Can you remember who owned it? There
were two. One was a guy called
Trevor – I’m not too sure of his second name.
And the last owner before it was shut down as a shop – it was sold as a
shop but it never got took on as a shop, it got changed over - was a guy called
Martin Humphries and he had it for I’d say about six years, that’s all.
He only had it about six years and then probably it was due to the start
of the opening of this Kwik Saves. I
think Kwik Saves was the main one that came into Ramsbottom which cancelled a
lot of corner shops and stuff like that out, apart from the little corner shop
just up the top there but this one felt it and knocked it on the head.
also Jack Isherwood
There are still more memories from several sources to
be entered into this site.
Richardson and his sister Barbara whose parents owned the shop lived
c 1937 – 1951. Their description with plan of shop and living quarters
compiled by them are still to be
From Frank Hall
……at No. 21. (my birth-place) by 1925, Fred Taylor had opened his front room
selling Fish & Green-Groceries. Fred, his Wife & family of three, Two
Boys and a Girl, had recently returned North from Newmarket. He was a man fond
of horses ... and had one for his Green-grocery round. My brother Billy, was
friendly with his elder son Arthur, and I with the younger boy, Jack and we were
given many rides on the Horse & Cart when empty. Fred used to tell us it was
good exercise for the horse (I've forgotten the horse’s name!).
In 1936, the Taylor Family returned to Newmarket.
From Frank Hall.… No.
25 was a Lady's Hat Shop, the proprietor being a Miss Maude Cordingley. This
shop was well patronised by the ladies from Rumney's Mill, particularly at
Whitsun & Ramsbottom Wakes Weeks.
Alan Richardson …..This shop became empty in the
very early war years but later was occupied by a family from London who had come
to Ramsbottom to escape the bombing. After the war the shop was pulled down, due
to subsidence I think.
Anthony Ashworth Born
resident of Crow Lane.
Not a lot has changed in the last 20-odd years apart from when just before we
moved here, there was a No. 25, which had been pulled down just recently, about
1980. So for about two years it was
just wasteland and then it was acquired by the occupant next door, to them, 27,
as a garden. They made it into a
garden – put a fence up, put flowers and shrubs and trees in it and just
neatened it up, because before it was just soil and debris and you know rubble
from the old house.
no 25, now, they demolished it. It were unsafe, apparently, it were unsafe and
were pulled down and the rest of the structures were reinforced, all the rest of
Jack Holden remembers
the Finnerty family living here
From Frank Hall….The
Last Shop on Crow Lane in these years was on the bottom corner, facing what had
been the main entrance to RUMNEY'S Mill originally, this sold Groceries, and
also Hardware, and was owned by a Mrs. Booth & her daughter. In the early
30's the daughter married & became Mrs. Bosley. Her husband entered the
business and they continued to run it until the war years. For a time it seemed
to manufacture light shoes or slippers & then closed.
ST PAUL’s VICARAGE
/ THE POLICE STATION / CHAPEL OF
Frank Hall…..In the year 1887 St Paul’s
Vicarage was completed and given the number 9 Crow Lane.
In 1937 it was vacated and taken over by
the Lancashire Constabulary for a more suitable Police Station than the existing
premises below the Railway Station. Police Sergeant Richard Norris and his
family were the first to occupy the new premises until his retirement in 1939.
Jack Holden …. Where the Chapel of Rest now
stands was situated the St Paul’s Vicarage which was used as a Police Station
for many years.
Alice O’Donnell The
Vicarage was right across from the Church and in winter time it was very
cold…We had a party there one Chrismas, the choir, and we were all sitting
shivering in this room and as soon as the vicar’s wife went out to make a cup
of tea we all gathered in front of the fire. It was a really cold, dark
place……It’s the Chapel of Rest now.
Alice O’Donnell….I was christened, confirmed
and married at St Paul’s Church…….
see also Jack
Isherwoods memories (Police Station)
Holden…..I attended St Pauls School from 1933-35
(see photo). Primary School- Miss Whittaker, Miss Hassall and Miss Shaw. Junior
School – Mr Price, Mr Lindley, Mrs West, Mrs Cook, Mrs Metcalfe.
My sister Marie attended between 1945 and 1949 under Miss Hassall and
Alan Richardson…..St Paul’s School was used
for all sorts of things over the years, Plays, Pantomimes, Parties, Dances,
Local Elections, Talks, etc
St Paul's School
Jack Isherwoods memories
Back Crow Lane ( behind
St Paul’s School & nos. 11 – 27)
(see also no. 32)
Alan Richardson…..Outside the back gate [of 17/19] –
back street if you will – there were the remains or ruin of ‘TUB YARD’.
One of the old coopers who used to work there was Mr Jack Horrocks who lived in
Crow Lane, no.26 I think.
Next to this old tub yard was Jack
Pickup’s wood place. He had a large circular saw and there was a planing
machine. He ran this business on a
part time basis. At the weekends people came from all over to buy timber which
he would cut to size. He also had a
large motor cycle on which he had fitted a kind of large box sidecar if you
will, to deliver the timber! People
bought the material to make sheds, hen cotes, and all manner of things. Something on the lines of a very early B & Q I suppose.
The room above this timber place was the
Band Room and if my memory is right Stubbins Vale Prize Band
used to practice in there. This seemed to get disbanded in the war years,
probably most of the men getting called up for National Service.
in front of Nos 33 – 45 (last
terrace on the left – opposite the Drill Hall)
Jack Holden……..The terraced row which
had a flagged path past the front windows was faced by a dirt/grass area which
we played on.
Before the front gardens were put in
place in c1940 a pile of sand presumably for the road stood on the corner facing
the Drill Hall. For some time a
Bren gun carrier was parked there.
Alan Richardson…..Lower down Crow Lane the
houses on the left didn’t have front gardens then, and on this piece of land
during the war there used to be a large Emergency Water Container.
It was constructed in a tubular steel frame which had a very strong
webbing lining for holding water. Near
to this stood a Poison Gas Detector – it was merely a post of 3” x 3”
timber driven into the ground with a piece of board nailed to the top at about
a 45 degree angle . This board was painted with a special lime green
paint which would change colour if poison gas was dropped.
Occasionally on this land a long RAF low
loader vehicle would arrive with a damaged airplane. As kids we were fascinated
with all this.
The Drill Hall
Alan Richardson ….the Drill Hall was used by the
Home Guard during the war years, but I seem to remember the odd dance or two
there! Along the side of the Drill
Hall is an unmade street which the ‘kids of the day’ called ‘down the
bottom’ because it is the last
street off Crow Lane. In fact it is called Atholl Street and is another access
to John Woods Engineers in Garden Street which is sadly closed down.
This unmade street was also used for
training during the Home Guard era. Children
also played games – cricket and football on this piece of land.
Alice O’Donnell….I can remember the Drill Hall
but not a lot about it. I know it
was a big cold place but it was used for quite a lot of big meetings and old
peoples affairs. They used to hire
the Drill Hall and I can remember when it was wet at Whitsuntide, after we had
walked we went to the Drill Hall and the band played.
That was St Paul’s. They
marched to the Drill Hall on Remembrance Sunday at one time. Whether they did that before they went in Church and then
marched up Bridge Street after, I can’t remember.
That was after the Second War. They used to play badminton in the Drill
dances. They used to have Hanson’s Band a lot. Jimmy Hanson played cello I
think, Isabella Hanson played the piano and Billy played the violin
From Frank Hall…..In
the 20's the Caretaker was an ex Sgt. Brierley. (I'm almost sure that was his
name). He was very strict with the youngsters in the Lane.
At that time
it seemed to be used mainly for the Territorial Army Training in the 40's the
home Guard took it over.
In the 50's the Territorial's again, and
also Trainee Recruits at the Rifle Range. And certainly once in the 60's the
Ramsbottom Conservative Association
for an evening of ABA Boxing
Jack Holden……..In 1940 where Ramsbottom Glass/Glazing
is now was an old weaving shed. This
was used by the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yoemanry as a stable for their horses.
We went there to stroke the horses.
With the arrival of the Army a notice went up in the Railway Hotel window
that no one would be served with more than 15 pints!
Buildings in and near to Factory Yard – where
Ramsbottom Mill once stood
See also the Drill Hall
Alan Richardson……The buildings on the left
hand side at the bottom of Crow Lane where Ramsbottom Glass is situated have
been used for all sorts of purposes over the yeas. My earliest memory was a
concrete plant where all sorts of concrete products eg paving slabs and kerb
edgings. At one time during the war
there were dozens of horses stabled there for the Duke of Lancaster’s Cavalier
Brigade. I think the soldiers were stationed at Cuba Mill in Stubbins.
It was also used for a firm called ‘Insulated Tapes and Sleevings’
which were used in electric motors etc.
For a short spell it was also used for storing Tobacco leaf.
In the beginning however the whole area
around where the British Telecom
now stands, was a Weaving Shed called Rumney’s
My mother was a weaver there at one time. On this land ….was an outside market. I think this was only
on once a week. One of the traders
on there as called ‘Seymour Meads’ who I believe came from Manchester.
Also an odd time or two there was a fair with Dodgems, Roll a penny
stalls, Coconut shies and quite loud music.
Jack Holden……..In the space where the BT building
stands a fun-fair appeared regularly in the 1930’s.
Children playing in Crow Lane
Jack Holden……..A lad’s trick was to tie adjacent door
handles together then knock on the doors and watch the struggle to open them
from a safe distance.
With little traffic Crow Lane was used
for roller-skating, marbles –mirps - in the gutters. Racing with iron hoops
guided by sticks and bogies made from pram wheels and wooden boxes fitted with
two long handles.
World War 2 Evacuees
Alan Richardson…..When the war started and
evacuees arrived, all of Crow Lane
was filled with buses which brought the children from Manchester. They were
found accommodation – some were housed at one time in Nuttall Hall.
There were also children from London
and I remember one from Jersey who must have been about
14 I reckon because he worked for John Greenwood, Butcher, later
General I information
Doris Hibbert…….Then came our lovely St
Paul’s School (what happy memories) farther down Richardson’s shop which
sold everything – middle of the next row another Tattersall family, and at the
bottom of the row Booth’s and then Bosley’s grocer’s shop.
The Mulligan family also lived in that row.
Our [evens] side of
Crow Lane had pocket handkerchief front gardens surrounded by railings
painted sombre colours – these were taken away for salvage during World War 2.
Mum loved her garden (she was a countrywoman at heart) and grew rhubarb during