Many of the houses and buildings in Crow Lane 

(collected from a variety of sources)

There is still considerable information to be added to this page – please visit it again later


Houses on the EVEN side of the street -  2 , 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16,  20, 32, 34, 40

Houses on the ODD side of the street – 11 (Crow Lane Nursing Home etc)  17/19, 21, 25, 43/45

St Paul’s Vicarage / Police Station / Chapel of rest

St Paul’s School

Back Crow Lane ( behind  St Paul’s School & nos. 11 – 27)

Land in front of Nos. 33 – 45  (last terrace on the left – opposite the Drill Hall)

Drill Hall

Buildings in ( & near to) Factory Yard – where Ramsbottom Mill once stood


            Children Playing in Crow Lane

            World War Two evacuees

            General Information





Houses on the EVEN side of the street


No 2   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.

Mr 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

It is believed that the Savage family also lived here at one time.


No 4      Doris Hibbert remembers……….    The Topping family once lived there


No 6     Doris Hibbert remembers………  Mr and Mrs Bridge lived here with their daughter Marion  


No 8     Doris Hibbert  remembers …… “a vestibule with beautiful coloured glass”.

 Mrs Wilson and her daughters Jennie and May lived here. 



 No 10  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 kitchen equipment.

  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 stairs.

  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 nine lives.

  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.



 No. 12.   Bill & 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).

  Her situation called for continuous attention, her husband taking care after his working hours and "Turns/Shifts" by St. Paul's Church Clergy, Day School, & Neighbours.

  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 befriend her.”

  The Nuttall family lived here also the Foggs and the Ramsbottoms.



No 14   Doris Hibbert believes that at one time her aunt Rhoda Ellen Holden lived here.

She also remembers the Crumbleholme family there and also Mr and Mrs Howsley.


 No 16    Doris Hibbert recalls ….    Mr and Mrs Frank O’Neill lived here at sometime.


No 18   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 Out”


No 20    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.

Anthony Ashworth  ( 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 Baker’s shop.  



  No 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.

  Jack’s wife 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  conditions).



No 34   Frank Hall writes…… the years when I lived in the Lane, No. 34 housed a Police Constable Davenport with a Notice "POLICE" over the front door”.



No 40    Doris 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 their window




Houses on the ODD side of the street


No.11. From Frank Hall: …..”During the 1920's this double fronted house was known as "Crow Lane Nursing Home"

  The local 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. 11”.

  Drs Crompton 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.

  From 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.”

  From 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.



No 17/19          17 / 19 were built as a house and shop

From  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 Poole, Dorset.

  From Alan Richardson……Vinegar….sweet coupons….Hacks…Zubes…’during the war’ ……sliced bread……….’open all hours’


From  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?              It was grocers, like an off licence as well, like a convenience shop really.

General store?              General 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.  

see also    Jack Isherwood

  There are still more memories from several sources to be entered into this site.

 Alan Richardson and his sister Barbara whose parents owned the shop lived there from c 1937 – 1951. Their description with plan of shop and living quarters compiled by them  are still to be entered 



No 21   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.


No. 25  

  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.                                

From 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.                                                                                                 

from  Anthony Ashworth     Born 1978        Current 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.

There’s 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 it


  No 27    Jack Holden remembers the Finnerty family living here


No  43/45   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.




  From 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.

  From 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.

  From 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.

  From Alice O’Donnell….I was christened, confirmed and married at St Paul’s Church…….

see also     Jack Isherwoods memories  (Police Station)


  St Paul’s School

  From  Jack 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 Miss Cook.

  From Alan Richardson…..St Paul’s School was used for all sorts of things over the years, Plays, Pantomimes, Parties, Dances, Local Elections, Talks, etc

  see also        St Paul's School

                        Jack Isherwoods memories


Back Crow Lane ( behind  St Paul’s School & nos. 11 – 27)  (see also no. 32)

From 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.



Land in front of Nos 33 – 45  (last terrace on the left – opposite the Drill Hall)

From  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.

  From 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

  From 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.

  From 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 Hall.

They had 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

  From  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

From 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.

  From  Jack Holden……..In the space where the BT building stands a fun-fair appeared regularly in the 1930’s.



Miscellaneous Information

Children playing in Crow Lane

From  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.

see also Jack Isherwood


World War 2 Evacuees

From 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 Walmsley’s butchers.


General I information

From 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 the war.