Old Helmshore.

Od postcard showing
Old postcard of the view looking up Helmshore Road over Bridge End.
Helmshore Prize Band of 1906.
Helmshore teenagers,before teenagers were invented!
William McQuilton as John Bull.
William McQuilton council worker as John Bull at the annual parade.
Nanny Lord-Helmshore midwife.

The Holcombe Hunt met at the White Horse until relatively recent times,the Hunting Act of 2004 banned the use of hounds to pursue and kill wild animals.

Holcombe Hunt 1926.

A move was made in 2017 to repeal the act but due to lack of support the proposal was withdrawn by Theresa May following the Tories poor election performance.

Great House Farm and Tor Side House 1860.
Great House Farm and Tor Side Hall once owned by the Porritt family.
The Tor Side property was another filming location for the BBC .
The t.v. series ‘Survivors’ was partially filmed there in 2008 .During filming the house owners were treated to entertainment with star Max Beesley playing the family’s piano between scenes.
A maid at the big house.
A studio photograph early 1900’s.
This young lady doesn’t seem a very keen on having her photograph taken.
Women’s Institute 1920’s.
Clarence Hotel and cottages  1900.
Clarence Hotel at Flaxmoss,Helmshore Road, in 1900.The cottages seen to the left were demolished prior to the Sports Centre construction in 1975
William Turner 1793-1852

William Turner was a main driving force behind the development of Helmshore. Living at Flaxmoss House,Turner owned 4 mills; Higher Mill,Middle Mill (later the site of the Airtours business)Tanpits and Bridge End. Six members of his family had purchased land to build Higher Mill on for £725 in February 1789(about £56,000 in todays value.)

Turner was instrumental in bringing the railways to Helmshore.An insurance payout of £5,000 due to a fire at Higher Mill enabled the mill owner to build a railway spur to serve his mills.

He was also a great influence in the construction of Holden Wood reservoir in 1840.The close proximity of Higher Mill to the reservoir ensured a constant water supply for his manufacturing needs!

A local magistrate he was known to be rather severe on any of his 2,000 employees who appeared before him,actually imprisoning those employees he thought guilty of shoddy work! It should be noted however that the money raised in fines was donated to St.Stephen’s School.

As well as mill owner Turner also owned the houses where his employees lived,this of course was another method of “man management”; lose your job and lose your home.

On the plus side he largely funded the building of St.Thomas’s church, paying £2,000,towards the construction. He further donated £400 for the eight church bells( naming seven after his surviving daughters) and also purchased the church organ.

Following Turner’s death on 23rd.March 1852 the consecration of the church was brought forwards and Turner became the first person to be buried there on the 25th.March 1852.

His estate including 140 workers cottages was auctioned off at the Turners Arms Inn(Station Hotel.)

Turner’s grave in St.Thomas’s graveyard.

After his death he had no male heir having eleven daughters,the mills soon closed causing mass unemployment and a migration of Helmshore mill workers left the area to seek other employment.

Church Army wagon.
Old Postcard showing the travelling Church Army wagon that toured the area.
Turfcote Helmshore Road postcard
A postcard showing Turfcote on Helmshore Road.
Annette Wilkinson Helmshore’s Post- Mistress c 1914.
Bridge End Staff 1870's
Bridge End Mill staff in the 1870’s.
Granville Street in the 1930’s and more recently.
House comparison 1920's construction and in 2004
Comparison in the 1920’s house construction and some 80 years later.The houses were built for the council at a cost of £2,970.
In an effort to create a safe play area for her children this Holcombe Road resident came up with a novel idea.
Needless to say the authorities soon objected!(1970’s)
Junior Tor Mile 1986
Junior Tor Mile 1986.
Holcombe Road property early 20th century.
Mr Watson and an unknown lady.
Family photo
An early 20th.century family studio portrait.
A 1970 photograph,showing a steam engine at the crossing on Helmshore Road.
At this time the station was being run as a museum having been closed in 1966.
(Photograph reproduced from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Licence.)
Helmshore’s signal box looking a little unloved after closure.
Abandoned Helmshore Station after the rails were lifted,following the failed attempt to host the heritage railway.
The present day Station Master’s house and the stone built replica signal box.

On the 4th. September 1860 there was a railway accident between Snig Hole and the Ogden viaduct.

Three special excursion trains had been organised to take some 3,000 people from Helmshore to visit the Belle Vue Gardens.

One train with some 1,000 passengers had stopped to disembark passengers, on releasing the brakes to continue the journey,16 of the carriages became detached from the rest of the train and began to run downhill towards Ramsbottom.

Despite efforts to warn an oncoming train, the runaway carriages collided with the approaching train .The resulting crash killed 11 people with a further 77 injured.

The Station Hotel once named the Turner Arms Inn.

The injured were taken to the Turner Arms Inn(Station Hotel) for treatment.The Inn was also the venue for the inquest into the fatal accident.

The resulting investigation ruled that a combination of defective couplings , inadequate braking power and an overloaded train combined to bring about the resulting disaster.