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This website Forum is provided to allow discussion concerning the local history of the Newton-le-Willows & Earlestown area.
(Any posts made to this forum not related to the local history of this area, or that are deemed unsuitable, will be moderated or deleted.)
Hi All, Re. Pod's idea about 'Blue Plaques'. Maybe we could get some funding from the 'All our stories' grants that are up for grabs. ( See letter attached which was handed out by Chris Coffey at Monday 's history group meeting.) Chris was asking for suggestios to be put forward. I think this idea is worthy of consideration. Maybe members of this Forum could come up with some locations where these plaques could be put up.
I would imagine Planning permission would have to granted if they were to be put on public buildings but not on Sheil's house surely! Anyone got any ideas?
Also if we did get funding, we would need someone to design and commission them. And maybe ours could be a different colour than blue as they would be a 'Local thing'.
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I think this should be for places that could get lost in time because the younger generation would never know they were there had their grandparents never told them about it or its significance.
Certainly....unless you are playing on the railway (which this website would never encourage unless its Bob).....who would know about Huskissons memorial ah? You can only see it if you are passing it at 120 mph as it wooshes past like a blur.
So yes, it may have been an appropriate memorial for the steam train era, but not for our modern super fast Virgin train era.
So how about a blue plaque on the bridge - first man ever to be killed by a train/on a railway. That has to be a blue plaque surely!
Next I think we could say something about the battle of red bank....
Re the nature, design of the plaque, marker etc
As most of the Historic places of interest that would have been worthy of recognition, the places that gave Newton-le-Willows it's rich history in the first place, are now sadly no longer with us, and are, rather ironically, 'history' themselves
I vote for white lines painted in the shape of the place of Historic Interest.
( Like in crime scenes, when they draw a chalk line around the murder victim.)
That or a cross with R.I.P xxxxxx
I actually like the crime scene idea.
Whatabout road signs? Maybe we could just have a road sign with a castle and a strike through going through its centre and a big question mark. Did anyone ever get time team to cough up re its location ah......?
What a negative response from you Pod, after all it was you who brought it up in the first place. I agree that a lot has disappeared but there are still buildings of interest out there, especially in Newton.What about the Oak Tree being the oldest inn in town dating back to ? (formerely the Royal Oak). And the cottages opposite the old Police Station, dating back to 17th century.
These buildings don't need to have an important person linked with them like the official Blue Plaques, just something to show that we have a history in some of our older buildings or events.
I think a plaque on the bridge near the Bloody stone is a good idea and what about St. Peters church getting some recognition for it's roots in the 'Church activity' of our town. Also , what if the new supermarkat is eventually built on the Viaduct works site, what about them having some sort of plaque explaining 'the making of Earlestown'.
What do other members think , is it worth following up, or should we be apathetical yet again.
Something for Nothing....
I wasn't going to add to this thread, but you know how it goes...
My own opinion concerning this new grant scheme, and I hope someone can prove me wrong, is that its just going to end up a waste of time..
Its the kind of project which will bring people together and do some good 'only while the money lasts'..
Its no different a project than the old 'Children into History' project, which the local library does still have some of the prepared material but which is basically defunct as a project.
The material for the project unless donated by individuals will be gained from the library, who will want to charge a fee per item that it allows to be used 'to cover checks for copyright issues, etc' so that just like the Children into History project which had a grant of circa £23k the money from any grant will just be recycled back into the library system, and the materials forgotton or little used, untill the next grant thats offered and applied for..
The money from such grants, would be better off just given to the library to start with, and then any spare used to advertise the place to get more people into it..
A number of years ago, I was given a letter by Mrs Collier (the person who donated the largest collection of Newton History content to Newton Library) at the time, she was a little upset that her archive of donated material was not all available at Newton Library which it was supposed to be, whome it was donated to.., and that the donated archive material was mostly only available 'on request' even at St Helens, I had offered Mrs Collier to get together with a group of other local people to photograph and or scan each and every document that she had donated/leant free to the Newton LIbrary, and to put the whole of the content online, so that anyone, worldwide, could search it and view the photos, read through the donated papers. With the letter in hand, I visited the library, who said ok, you can do that, but we will have to have a charge of around 25 pounds, per item that you want to display online, the charge was to check the owner of the copyright so that it could be used, I again produced the letter, saying that I would pay 25 pounds, once, because I had a letter from the owner of the material, from the person who donated the whole archive, but the library still refused, saying that they would still have to check each item i wanted to use, because although Mrs Collier had owned and donated/leant it to the library she might not be the copyright owner... fair enough, but not really an issue for items that were pre 1600 > 1870s anyway, as the copyright owner even if they had a long life, would have been longer dead than the 50 years of copyright, so even the estate would have no claim, so the archive owners written permission should have been enough. I asked to do this on a bulk basis, one letter, which I had a copy already giving permission, but NO, it had to be done, item by item, 25 pounds each. So I gave up..
I later Offered to put together a group of people, with Bob, to scan and index the archive, and maps etc, so that at least when at the library the system might be searchable from a library computer, but we were told no, we offered this for free, and eventually were told that they were applying for a grant to cover the cost of making an index of the Library archives.
My view of this at the time, was that offering the service of volunteers to do this for free, might have rocked the attempt by the LIbrary to argue that they needed 500k or whatever amount from a grant, which of course, they could then spend, on themselves, doing the digitising and checking the copyrights at 25 pounds per item.
Sadly, what we were offering was to scan and archive for searching the actual content, when what the Library seem to be scanning currently will be produced just as an index of the items.
I am as you can guess bitter about all this...
£23k for the children into history material, would have paid for my webserver costs for around 50+ years at current hosting cost, their custom built 'grant aided' website went offline after the end of the 2nd year that the money was used up, my own website has been online for the last 12yrs and basically already does / provides everything that the above posted grant application asks..
I was sent a copy of the email concerning the grant through a contact at Liverpool Museum, but No, I am not going to ask for a grant, I am not going to get drawn into any more heritage committee's where councillors or MP's only turn up and seem interested while it suites their need to add the 'Local Heritage' tag to their current list of interests, but who decide at the time of a vote that they have to declare an 'interest' or other reason to NOT actually commit to making a vote, or who stop being interested as soon as elections, news print headlines or the wind direction changes..
These grant funded interest groups fold and melt quietly into the local history which their supposedly concerned as soon as the money is gone, and I plan to stay independant.
Grants for heritage etc should be given to people who care about it everyday, not someone who just likes committees, the headline or the extra tag for an interest list...
So, who ever applies, whatever happens, maybe, just maybe, some of the money could be used to pay some 25 pounds to the library, so that I can get some more of the older historical content online, instead, I spend my own money, and watch these various schemes waste their grants with no thought to any continuation of the project, past the last pound, so if you plan to get involved with the above project, maybe you could from day one also plan to share the history this direction, so that it reaches lots more than just the local people who can actually visit the library to flick through the old 'Children into History' box's.
Hopefully I will be proven wrong..
Just to say, it wasnt Pod! your m,lud
so Pod shouldn't get the flack from the plaque.
Hopefully when I read this again tomorrow I'll get a better understanding. But as for now those remarks just sadden me.
Sorry that the remarks sadden you mike,
but over the period that this website has been online I do not consider these to be the worst instances of waste or heritage hassle,
An example also related to the Children into History project, which I still find hard to believe which happened a few years ago, when one afternoon a senior person at St Helens library ring me at home, not a normal thing to happen when you don't have any books on order, no doubt having gained my telephone number from my Library card details, they went on to ask for a number of articles and other content to be removed from this website, listing out a number of pages and even seperate paragraphs within different pages, they requested this, because, they said, "some of the texts and associated photos could only have been sourced from one of J H Lanes 1914 /1916 books" and that I didn't have their permission to have the content online
I answered that they were CORRECT, the content was copied from one of Lanes books, and that I didn't need their permission because I had copied the content from my own original copies of the books, also that some images were copied from my owned original books into the website, the library person refused point blank to believe me, saying it wasn't a feasable explanation, to say that I could ever possibly own an original copy of either of Lanes two books, and was aghast that I then the audasity to inform them that I actually owned not one copy, but multiple original copies of each volume,
Saying that I could not have copied 'from my own books', because
~ anyone who was at all interested in local history would know that J H Lanes books were such a very small print run, with maybe less than a few hundred copies being printed of each book, that they were so very rare, that the Library itself was lucky to even have original copies ~
suggesting that this rarity was a sure proof that I must have copied the identified website content from the Libraries J H Lane books doing this at either Newton or St Helens Library, reiterating that because of this I needed the Libraries permission to have the J H Lane content online, and that it wasn't being given and that they wanted the content or website pages removed ........................
Before the call ended the person added that this website was a waste of time, and 'it' being online was stopping people from visiting the official Library history website, which at that time, the Children into History website was still online .... and which I was informed that they were applying for another grant, (further to the original 23k) so that they could add more information to their official Newton History website. (What the person was implying was, while your website is online for FREE we probably will not get the grant to keep our website online)
Which it seems they didn't get the second grant, and so, having such strong heritage conviction, they let the Children into History website and project die.
I seemed to remember telling the person to check their facts.... I then made sure that next heritage meeting I visited, I took along my own copies of the Lane books, to just sit them on the desk beside me, knowing they would be seen.. but the person didn't attend that meeting...
I could go on..
another thought came to mind, (doesn't happen often these days) that maybe if grants are available, and a group of people are going to make an application, that the request and action plan for the grant aid, could be written in such a manner, that ..
1/ some of the money allocated to help restock / renew some of the more battered / scratched newspaper microfiche rolls in the Newton Library, or, to add to the collection already held,
2/ maybe, even to purchase for Newton Library some new microfiche or Roll Film readers that can either scan or photograph and also print copies of what your viewing, one I used recently at another towns library, photographed the page that I was viewing, and then I was able to even save that image along with others already saved to a USB or CD.
I might delete my two posts from this evening after reading through them tomorrow, I think I am probably a little tired at the moment, there not really history related, just me having my 2pence moan
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