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From Hoole History and Heritage Society


Welcome to Hoole History and Heritage Society

Hoole Urban District Council Crest "All is in vain without the Lord". For more on its remarkable (and unfinished) story see: "Coat of Arms".
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WELCOME TO THE NEW, NEW WEBSITE. WE HAVE MADE SOME MINOR CHANGES: THE SIDEBAR ON THE LEFT WILL NOW TAKE YOU TO A PAGE WHERE THE INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES ON THAT SUBJECT ARE LISTED. THERE IS A LITTLE HOUSEKEEPING TO BE DONE BUT EVERYTHING IS STILL THERE AND THERE ARE SOME NEW FEATURES. THE INDEX IS LISTED IN THE SIDEBAR, OR USE THE BUTTON ON THE LEFT IF YOU ARE USING "MOBILE VIEW" AND THEREFORE CANNOT SEE THE SIDEBAR. THE ICON ON THE TOP OF THE SIDEBAR HAS BEEN CHANGED AND WILL ALWAYS RETURN YOU TO THIS PAGE.

The Hoole History & Heritage Society aims to study, advance and promote community awareness of the local history of the Hoole area (including parts of present-day Newton, Boughton, and Plemstall, as far as they impinge on Hoole). We provide an opportunity for our members to explore and share their interests in our past by facilitating research and discussion leading to the preparation and presentation of papers, documents, photographs, personal recollections, and online resource. We intend to create a detailed and accessible archive as a result of our joint researches so future generations will have an accurate record of the places and people that have shaped Hoole and the immediate surrounding area as it is today.

News

Notices

As usual we have no meeting in August. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, 27th Sept and is a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Society. The details of the program are being finalised. For nostalgic reasons the venue will be our old one at Westminster Road Community Center. We will return to The Kingswood Complex, Kingsway, Newton, Chester, CH2 2FF for the October and November meetings.

Updates

Website

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The most recent updates can be found in:

  • In the article Hoole Road a new section on 'Hoole Road North Side from Kilmorey Park Avenue to Newton Lane (Jan 22)


Past Meetings

As many of you know, our meetings programme was suspended following Government advice on the Coronavirus pandemic and replaced by meetings using "Zoom". Face to face meetings have now resumed. Below is a list of meetings during the last year. To get a full list of past meetings click on the word "Meetings" above.


Thursday, 30th September

“Compiling the Local Heritage List for Hoole” Part 1 - Dr James Dixon, Built Environment Officer (Conservation and Design), Cheshire West and Chester Council, accompanied by Ruth McKew, a co-Director of Headland Design Associates, presented a central government funded project to compile an up-to-date local heritage list for the area offering us the opportunity to engage in identifying locally significant heritage assets. This will hopefully ensure our existing research receives the attention it deserves.                        

Thursday, 21st October

Members’ Discussion and follow-up of Local Listing Part 2

Thursday, 17th November

“The Royal Agricultural Show in Hoole in 1893” (joint event with Hoole Allotments & Gardens Association) - The location was later used to form the Park, Playing Fields and Allotments. Preparations for the Show, the Show itself and its lasting legacy were illustrated by newly discovered contemporary stereoscopic photographs of the “royal” aspect. Monty Mercer

Wednesday, 15th December

Annual General Meeting - Ralph Earlam stood down after eight years as Chairman. Linda Webb accepted the nomination and was elected to the Chair. Derek Stanley accepted nomination as the new Vice-Chair and was duly elected. In addition to the continuing Committee Members (Ruth Ludgate [Secretary], Phil Cook [Treasurer], Monty Mercer, Peter Addison, Mike Fazey and John Ebo), we were very pleased to welcome Peter Elliott and Kath McGeough to the Committee. We look forward to working together to urge the Society on in this new era.

Chairman's Annual Report 2021


Wednesday, 19th January

“Robert Lewis Jones: Chester General Station Manager” Robert Lewis Jones started out as the owner of the Chemical Works at Chemistry Lock. He moved to Flookersbrook and became the Station Manager at Chester, where he was in charge when a major rail accident occurred. As a result of this experience, he went on to make a noted contribution to synchronising clocks using electricity. Peter Elliott

A related article can be found on Peter's website here

Thursday, 17th February

“James Hampson Spencer: Chester’s, almost forgotten, 19th Century Stereoscopic Photographer” In 2013, during a research visit into ‘Life in Victorian Hoole’, Linda Webb and Monty Mercer made a chance discovery of prints of James Hampson Spencer’s photographs at the National Archives in Kew. Extensive research has been taking place into the life and work of this previously little-known photographer since then. His stereoscopic photographs provide a ‘window on the world’ of Victorian society during the last quarter of the 19th Century. Linda Webb, Monty Mercer

Wednesday, 23rd March

“The Neston Collieries 1759-1855” Our first external speaker for two years, Anthony, a local historian with a diverse range of interests focused on maritime and industrial history in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, brought the competitive story of these local collieries to our attention.  He told the story of the use of remarkable construction and engineering ideas in successfully mining coal in this period. Individuals, as different as the engineer George Stephenson and Emma, Lady Hamilton (later, Nelson’s mistress), played a part in the story as did the dangerous, appalling conditions of work along with the living conditions and health of the individual miners and their families of Neston. Anthony Annakin-Smith

Saturday 23rd April

Members were invited to a talk at The Queen Hotel, by Trish Jones, entitled "The Voyages of the Sunbeam". This was organised by the "Thomas Brassey Society". Trish told the story of the 157ft yacht "Sunbeam" (considered to be the most beautiful schooner in the world at the time) owned by Lord Brassey (Thomas Brassey's eldest son) and his wife Annie. Annie Brassey, a keen photographer and anthropologist went on to write several highly popular books about their journeys. One particular global adventure they had was circumnavigation of the world with their family for eleven months which captured the imagination of the public at the time see: "A Voyage in the Sunbeam".

Tbursday 12th May

Our guest speaker for this occasion was Mike Curtis who will gave a presentation on “The 1737 New Cut of the River Dee”. The Dee estuary is unusual in that comparatively little water occupies such a large river basin. To improve access to the port of Chester, a new cut was, after several false starts, made through the Saltney Marshes towards Flint. However, the river diverted its course bringing unintended, irrevocable and unforeseen consequences over time and the shifting of the navigable portion to the Welsh coast. With the cessation of barge-transport of Airbus wings along the Dee there is now effectively no commercial shipping on the Dee.

Tuesday 7th June

The venue was a unique one: St Peter's Church, Plemstall. Society member Peter Elliott gave a talk on "Plegmund and his Well". Plegmund was Archbishop of Canterbury under Alfred the Great and is generally believed to have lived and studied in the vicinity of Plemstall, which is his day would have been an island in the Gowy estuary. The well associated with him is close to the church, which has very interesting architecture and memorials. Peter gave a description of the life and times of Plegmund and events involving Chester from that period. He also discussed Plegmund's impact on English literature, as well as some new research, including into the very peculiar circumstances of the restoration of the well in 1908. Before the talk, society members had the opportunity to inspect the graveyard and the Church's unique interior.

Wednesday 13th July

We undertook a canalside walking tour from Cow Lane Bridge to Hoole Lane Bridge led by Phil Cook. This is now a popular walking route but Phil showed that this was not always so and gave a detailed explanation of the industial and social history of this corridor through the city, pointing out many interesting features which can be overlooked.

Newsletters

During the shutdown the Society has continued to keep in touch and share information with its members through Newsletter emails. These are now being shared to a wider audience:

01HP2 Hoole Road early 1900s.jpg

Data Protection & Copyright

Data Protection Policy and Procedures

Hoole History and Heritage Society is committed to protecting all personal information that is entrusted to us by people and to respecting their rights around how their information is handled. If you wish to see our data protection policy in full, please use the 'Contact Us' page and request a copy of the 'Hoole History and Heritage Society - Data Protection Policy and Procedures'.

Copyright

A clause has been added to our 'Terms and Conditions' page to address regular requests the Society receives for copies of the photographs we have on the website. This clause reads "Materials (including photographs) from which the articles in this website are developed are, unless otherwise identified, believed by the Society to reside in the public domain. Should anyone or any organisation dispute this assertion please contact the Society (through the Contact Us page) and we will do our utmost to resolve the matter to everyone’s satisfaction (e.g. by appropriate attribution)."