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  • Walking group explored history of cotton mills on river walk

    Danielle Thompson

    A WALKING group enjoyed exploring the history of the River Darwen Valley last week – and are appealing for new members to join them on their future adventures.

    The Southport Hesketh Probus Club Walking Group spent the day at Hoghton near Blackburn on the walk led by club member Stuart Elliott who, as a former teacher of economic and social history, explained the significance of the sites visited. 

    He said: “Firstly, we visited a Methodist community settlement dating from the 1790s which included a Methodist chapel, a Methodist school and a Minister’s house. The group then went on to explore, through the medium of industrial archaeology, the site of former cotton mills alongside the river. These relied on the river to drive the waterwheels that powered the looms in the mills. 

    “We gained an appreciation of the challenges faced and overcome by the early cotton mill entrepreneurs in pioneering the rise of England’s cotton industry. This helped our country to become, by the time of the Great Exhibition in 1851, the world’s first developed nation.”

    For more information, or to join the group, call Stuart on 01704 577895 or email stuart_elliott@talktalk.net


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