our past
Religion Print E-mail
Friday, 07 October 2011 17:49

Chow Bent is an area of Atherton around Bolton Old Road and known locally as 'The Valley'. Chow Bent Unitarian Chapel has been a place of worship since 1645 though the current building was erected in 1721. It has a rich history including one Minister James Wood who took the Ministry after his Father. He was a supporter of the House of Hanover (1714 - 1815) and in 1715 he marched off with some of his flock up to Walton near Preston where they fought with and repulsed the Rebel Jacobites and prevented them from crossing the River Ribble. Slight problem here though was the fact that the Lord of the Manor back home, Richard Atherton, was a Jacobite, oops! Being a tad upset by what Rev. Wood had been up to he threw out the congregation and shut the Chapel as it stood on his land. But Rev Wood, undaunted, built another Chapel which is the one still standing and in use today.

Political landscape Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 February 2011 09:18

A look into Atherton's past reveals a long history going back several hundreds of years. A concise history can be found at British History Online. More recently in 1974 Atherton, along with several Urban District Councils like Leigh, Hindley, Tyldesley, Golborne, Bilinge and Winstanley, Ashton in Makerfield et al fell under the control of Wigan MBC. This ruffled a lot of feathers, certainly in Leigh where old rivalries with Wigan in sporting arenas were and still are very strong. Elections in the borough predominantly returns a majority of Labour councillors and always shows up red on political maps in general elections. I remember as a child being brought up in Leigh hearing on many occasions from various people that they thought that Labour could put up a donkey and it would win. While Wigan is still a Labour stronghold nothing can be taken for granted these days. The 21st century is a time when international and global events seem to be considerations in local council elections, something I can never understand.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 February 2011 00:02
Mining Heritage Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 February 2011 09:17

Mining was a large employer in these parts with several mines in and around the Atherton area. Its also fair to say that mining not only shaped the natural landscape but also the urban landscape. The Fletcher family built a village, complete with Church, miners houses, school and Village Institution. Without the Fletchers and mining Howe Bridge, a village on the south of Atherton, would look very different today.

Today there are no mines left in Atherton but their legacy lives on in the buildings and homes in Howe Bridge which are still in great condition and are part of a conservation area.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 February 2011 00:01
Atherton's Industrial Past Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 February 2011 09:16


Ena Mill Detail

Atherton has grown and prospered over the years on the back of a number of industries. Coal, Nail making, and of course Cotton, this is Lancashire after all. Today the evidence of some of our industrial past remains. Ena Mill still stands and is used for a number of purposes including a "Mill Retail Outlet", it is a red brick building with some quite interesting and visually pleasing detail and its huge chimney pierces the skyline boasting its name. As for mining, the Mines Rescue Station, the first in the Lancashie coalfield, is now a garage, the first pit baths ever built is also now a motor repair garage (that now bears a plaque commemorating the fact), the model village of Howe Bridge is a conservation area and unless you set out with the sole purpose of finding evidence of the mines existence then you could pass through the area without knowing it was once full of mines.

As for nail making, an activity that dates back as far as the 14th century in Atherton, the industry evolved over time and nuts and bolts and metal fixings of various sorts became the replacement. For the most part, housing now sits where furnaces would have once heated the metals for forging into nails.

There is a nod to the nail making history in the form of a public house in Atherton called the Jolly Nailor, seen here to the left. I think it is fair to say that Atheron is in a state of constant change, which is a good thing, it means the place is still alive, its heart is still beating. In these uncertain times Atherton is fighting to keep up with the times. The fact that the people of the area are willing to volunteer their time and efforts to keep the place alive is a positive and encouraging thing.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:50

Frank's Photography

Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.