Events in 2005

The Society regularly holds events in the community and we are also asked to participate in a number of events, such as school reunions etc. For more information, please contact us.

Historic building has been saved

By Emma Cruces
Skelmersdale Advertiser

THE battle to save one of Skelmersdale’s oldest buildings has finally been won.

Park County Primary School in Barnes Road has been empty for 10 months, but is now set to become a new children’s centre.

Since the closure of the school last summer, local history campaigners feared it would become derelict.

Instead, Lancashire County Council is applying for permission to refurbish it as the new headquarters of Sure Start, which provides support for young families.

Eddie Appleton at Skelmersdale’s Heritage Society and an ex-pupil of the school, said he was delighted at the decision.

“I think it’s wonderful what they are doing with the school. It was extremely sad when the future of the school was in jeopardy and now it will be put to the best use possible. It can continue to be a vital piece of the community.”

Park County was originally called Barnes Road School and is one of the few old buildings that escaped bulldozers in the Sixties.

Famous landmarks such as Stormy Corner, Skelmersdale Town Hall and Digmoor Hall Farm were not so lucky.

Sure Start will now become known as Children’s Centres and will offer three centres in total around Skelmersdale.

The other two centres will be located at St John’s Primary School in Birch Green as well as at the existing Sure Start centre for Digmoor and Tanhouse.

Angela Aspinwall-Livesey, head at St John’s School, is chair of the project.

She said: “We should be up and running by March 2006. There is a real need to put communities at the heart of these decisions; Skelmersdale is a community-driven place.

“The community have told us what they want and now we can make the scheme as large as they want.

“We could have endless community services at each centre, depending on parents ‘ choices.”

Each centre will provide 52 places for babies and toddlers.

For further details contact Angela Aspinwall-Livesey on 721323.

Old Town days go on display

By David Sudworth
Skelmersdale Advertiser

CROWDS flocked to an exhibition depicting scenes of Skelmersdale in its pre-New Town days.

Around 200 people attended the event, arranged by Skelmersdale Heritage Society, at the Busy Bee pub, Kiln Lane.

More similar exhibitions are now in the pipeline, including an appearance at The Respect Festival held at the Ecumenical Centre in May.

Talks are also in progress about featuring it at Skelmersdale Library during Local History Month.

Chairman Eddie Appleton said: “It was a fantastic evening, people were literally standing shoulder-to-shoulder because it was so busy.

“Photographs of Sandy Lane were of particular interest to a lot of people. There were a lot of Old Skemmers there – some had come from Wigan, Standish and even Southport.

“New Towners who attended were telling me that since moving they have grown to love Skelmersdale and become more interested in its history.

“The encouraging thing is that we have also recruited some more members, which is excellent.

“My thanks go out to all who attended, as well as Ian Parry and Kim Buoey from Westgate Interactive and Arthur Adlen, of West Lancs CVS.

“I must also mention the fantastic coverage given to us by the Skelmersdale Advertiser.”

Memorial plan gains support

Skelmersdale Advertiser

PLANS for a lasting memorial to the town’s mining past are gathering pace.

Skelmersdale Heritage Society has put together funding bids in the hope of placing a life-sized statue of a coal miner in a prominent position in the old town.

And the group is also set to make its mark by reaching out to the community by holding an open evening sometime soon.

Chairman Eddie Appleton said: “We would like vistors to come along and hopefully we will be able to put on a display of how Skelmersdale used to be. There will also be items for sale.”

Skelmersdale Heritage Society was formed last year by a group of local history enthusiasts who are keen to see the town’s largely forgotten past remembered.

Eddie added: “There is nothing to suggest that Skelmersdale was once a thriving mining town.

“It has changed beyond recognition since the advent of the New Town in the 1960s and a lot of people don’t know much about its past.

“Indeed, we would like to help schoolchildren understand how the town has changed. Recently one of our members went to Glenburn High School to give a talk on it.”

Photo exhibition at the Greenhill Community Centre

Photo exhibition at the Greenhill Community Centre, Old Skem, in 2005

Pictures from our Bickerstaffe photo exhibition are available to view here