Belthorn, Lancashire - The website for Belthorn village
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This is the best village site that I have seen on the net. I have been to Belthorn several times and seeing this site brought a smile to my face. Hope my English cousins enjoy it too. I would love to have a copy of the book on Belthorn. Is it possible that someone could mail one to me if I can find a way to transfer the money to them. Thanks.
Richard Hirst, Ontario, Canada, February 2013
 
 
I used to live in Belthorn when I was younger and have been told of a dvd that has been made of cine film Mr Nicholson made at the primary school. Do you know where I can get one from please?
Paul Murphy, February 2013
 
If anyone can help, please let me know and I'll pass the message on to Paul - Gwen
 
  
 Hi - I just wanted to say, I used to live in Belthorn in the early 60s I was only a child, but I recall my time at Belthorn very clearly. My sister Carol and I went to the 'Chapel School' in the village, the teacher was Mrs Ratcliffe. We only lived there around 4-5 yrs. The names I recall at the time, where my parents friends the Renshaws who also lived on Tower View (we were at No 1) Eddy Smalley the farmer, Mr Jackson (did he have a son called Colin?) who kept hens, I used to watch him pluck them.The children were ...Paul and Jerry cant remember their surname, always remember they had a shooting brake...they lived along from us. Paul once pedalled down Bank Fold lost control and ended up with a broken nose...Anna that lived at the house at the end of the lane (became the kennels). The Teague family who lived down Bank Fold, their father had a motorbike,There was a boy called Jake, I think he stayed lower in the village, also the Astley family, Melody, Shaun, and Eamonn. If anyone else can prompt my mind who lived up there at that time I would love to hear from them.We were there during the bad winter of 62/63 I recall the water bowser wagon coming around and going out to fill the kettles as everything was frozen up...and the sledging in the front field and field 'well' was great!! I recall nights playing around the mines, and seeing the deaf and dumb brothers at Waterside, as a child I was very frightened of them, as I could not understand why they made noises instead of talking.....At that time my parents had a vintage Bentley , so someone might remember that, it was kept in a car behind Tower view, and we paid an old lady called Edie for its use. My parents were called Roy and Winifred Ashworth, we were Carol and Davina, before them my mum's father lived at No 1 Tower View, Herbert Kenyon? Hope someone else recalls any of these people and maybe know where they are etc. 
Regards Davina Bary (nee Ashworth) - November 2011
 
 Although it is many years since my husband lived at Guide and myself in Blackburn, my brother sent me a copy of a school photograph of my class at the Convent of Notre Dame in 1949, This had been sent to the Lancashire Telegraph ' Looking Back' by a resident of Belthorn, Josie Feldwick.  It was absolutely amazing to see all my former classmates. I have since tried to contact Josie through the Lancashire Telegraph but they are unable to supply any information. Would it be possible to give Josie my email address to contact me if she wishes to?
 
Incidently, my father-in-law was the manager of Belthorn Co-op for many years both during the war and after and knew all the villagers. Before he passed away he often talked about the old days. Of the heavy winter snow and of being unable to get food delivered by horse and cart beyond the bottom of the hill. 
 
 
Characters in Belthorn? Of course there were many, I remember one man who was one of the first to have a pacemaker fitted. He still chewed tobacco, even at work in the carpet felt mill at the bottom of the village. My Father had an allotment just up the road from the old school. For those who do not remember, it was opposite the farmhouse up from the new, as was then, school. Developers moved in and the rest is history...now there are bungalows. Opposite Chapel Street, there was a plot of land where a house is now. The owner of that plot kept pigs, and when he went on a holiday we looked after them for him. Would that happen now? We had chickens, of course, as many did, and at the end of their shelf life, so to speak, our neighbour would wring their necks and we as children, would be assigned to plucking out the feathers. Then we all sat around the table watching my mother take out the innards. Gross, maybe, but it was how we lived and we accepted life and death. Do you want any more accounts of life in the 50's and 60's or more information on how the village ran? Just ask, I have many more memories.
Kevin Dinsdale, Liverpool - October 2011
 
 
Once again, I will tell you about my experiences growing up in Belthorn. I did not know until I read the website that it was a coal mining and weaving village. The coal mine was down the lanes near to Waterside... There used to be an entrance which my friend and I walked, with trepidation, into for about 200 yards before we gave up. Sadly it is blocked up now..if anyone walks down the lanes, there is a small concrete bridge over the stream from the reservoir. On the left you will see where the entrance used to be. Also, if you traverse the lanes down towards there, about half a mile from where Albert Hope used to live, on the left in a field, there is, or was, a large (about 12ft circle) metal cover for the air vent. I once was allowed to look into it, it must be hundreds of feet deep.
Kevin Dinsdale, Liverpool -October 2011
 
 I lived and grew up in Belthorn in the 50s and 60s. So much has changed....I remember the fishmonger with his horse and cart selling his wares every Thursday, until food hygiene stopped it...but we were never ill eating the food! I remember the spaces where houses are now.. I remember the fun on the swings (always locked on Sunday), and the long slide that now could never be built now due to health and safety issues. The stunning views, the three shops that used to be there - Post Office, Co-op (now the drum shop), and and quaint olde world one that was half way up near to where the working mens club used to be.. I could go on, if you want more of my memories, just ask.
Kevin Dinsdale, Liverpool - August 2011
 
 
Hello Gwen,
In 1986 to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Domesday book the BBC asked people to contribute to a BBC Domesday project.  The country was divided into blocks and people wrote about their daily lives and photographed their local area.  Over one million people sent in their entries to the BBC - however technology took over (the data was saved onto video discs and the CD rom quickly superseded it) and people never saw their entries.  25 years on the BBC are relaunching Domesday via a website available to the public in May. 
 
During our research we came across an entry concerning Bank Fold Farm in Belthorn.  I've attached the entry - I was hoping that you could shed some light on what happened to the farm and in particular whether the family of Albert Hope still live in the village.  The Domesday Reloaded project will be featured on Radio 4, Radio Lancashire, North West Tonight and the One Show the week beginning May 16th. I really hope you can help me in any way as it would be great to talk to people who remember the farm. Thank you in anticipation - if you need any further information please give me a ring.
 
Sue Leuty, Broadcast Co-ordinator North West,
BBC Manchester - April 2011 

Excerpt from the 1985 BBC Domesday project:
 
On  Tuesday the 2nd of July, 1985 we visited Bank FoldFarm. The man who lives there is called Albert Hope.He has no electricity, gas, telephone or mains water supply.   For water he uses a tank and an old bath to collect rainwater from the roof. He moved in on 1st November 1941. He uses paraffin lampsand a pressure lamp and stove. He cooks over a wood fire.He doesn't use coal. The farm was built in 1765. He has no flushing toilet, he uses an earth midden.Once he tried making a windmill for power supplies out of an aeroplane propeller but it broke and tore half the barn down. He goes to the general store for supplies. The farm isn't in use now but Albert, who is over 80 years old still keeps a horse in the tumbledown barn.                                 
 
G'Day to every one in Belthorn, I stayed in your village for about three weeks in'98, I stayed in one of the old weavers cottages near The Dog Inn. Talk about four seasons in one day, I remember doing a convoluted bus trip out to Pendle Hill one day, (beautiful spot), got a great view for about ten minutes before the weather closed in. I loved the quiet at night and the locals made me very welcome. I have fond memories of Belthorn.
Gerard O'Carroll, Brisbane, Australia - March 2011
 
 
Hi Belthorn, I have only just thought of looking you up. A long time ago (I was probably about 9 or 10), I spent a holiday in Belthorn and I believe my Mum and I spent some of the war years there. It seems my Dad who was in the Navy had a friend whos name could have been Kelly, who lived there, and to escape the bombing on Liverpool he somehow got us up there. When we went there when I was 9 or 10 we stayed in a house in a dead end lane next to a Church or Chapel. There was a stile at the end leading to a playing field. I remember fishing in a pond or canal just off a main road. If we did stay there during the War, I thank Belthorn because I have no memory of the horrors of the Blitz and hardships. Regards.
Arthur Cartin - Australia - April 2010 - (If anyone remembers Arthur why not write in via our Contact form and we can put you in touch with him?)