1. Hot pot supper on March 14th 2018: time 6pm -
Tickets will be available at the February 2018 meeting.  Cost: £8.

2 Coach trip to Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018, with host David (who has taken us on several previous day trips). Cost £40, including a meal at Hawes. More details will be announced at the February, March and April meetings. Note, we need 40 people to make this trip financially viable. That looks possible as we are likely to be joined by members of the Longridge Historical Society, as in previous summer trips.

Dear web viewer,

Yes, welcome indeed.

This website aims to promote the work of our historical society as well promote interest in local history in Garstang and district.

There is plenty of history locally  - as witnessed by the recent rapid growth in numbers of people attending our monthly lectures.

We do our best to keep this website updated, but please note, there are some gaps and improvements still to be made. We only have a small organising committee and, to coin a relevant phrase.... Rome was not built in a day!

That said we will try to update / incorporate news and information and historical matters from time to time.

With good wishes

Peter Burrell,

Chairman, Garstang Historical Society
01995 601054

One of the latest issues which has attracted attention in our area is the ongoing work to repair the damaged 169-year-old Plover Scar lighthouse at Cockersand. One of our members has written on the topic for the Lancashire Local History Federation. His latest article is reproduced below.

Another topic which has aroused interest is a fascinating suggestion to bring back part of the old Garstang and Knott End Railway route. An article on that topic will appear on this website soon.


PLOVER SCAR LIGHTHOUSE: update (Late January / early February 2017)

Repair and reconstruction work is continuing on the 169-year-old Plover Scar lighthouse in the Lune estuary (see article in the November 2016 issue of LLHF newsletter).

The lighthouse off the north Lancashire coast (near Cockersand Abbey) was hit at night time by a large light (ie empty) cargo vessel en route to Glasson Dock in March last year.

Substantial damage was caused by the impact. The upper section of stone wall was nudged/shifted a third of a metre off-centre and metal strengthening bands around the lighthouse snapped. The impact also left a gap in the stonework which in rough seas and high tides would have meant more stones being dislodged, further threatening the stability of the structure.

An engineering inspection recommended the only method of repair to be the dismantling and rebuilding of a substantial part of the upper part of structure - an exercise complicated both by the movement of tides and the need for approvals from environmental regulatory bodies and the procurement of a Marine Licence.

Another issue which had to be considered was whether the work should be done using a spud barge (a specialised type of flat decked boat with legs, used for marine construction operations) or onshore. The latter option was chosen.

The lighthouse is owned and maintained by Lancaster Port Commission, based at Glasson Dock. Its website reports (January 4, 2017) "The project is taking longer than originally anticipated for two reasons. Firstly, due to the length of time it took to obtain the necessary licences and permissions, the contractors lost a considerable length of time when they could have been working during two low-tide periods per day in daylight, rather than the one they are now restricted to.

"Secondly, our only view into the internal structure before work began, was through a hole created at the impact site. From this view, it had been assessed that the centre of the structure was loose stone rubble fill. This has turned out not to be the case, as the stone rubble was actually set in concrete, which has had to be jack-hammered loose before removal. All this fill material has had to be hand-shovelled into tote bags, which have then been lifted by crane onto the seabed, awaiting re-use as the structure is rebuilt."

The lighthouse has been shrouded in scaffolding for the past few months, giving contractor MPM North West Ltd of Maryport the opportunity to carry out work when the tide is out.

Last October a crane carefully lifted the cast iron lantern off the "top" of the lighthouse. The lantern has been taken by trailer to Maryport for restoration work. The lantern did not contain any old lighting gear, prism lenses, etc.. Equipment of that nature was vandalised many years ago, and the lighthouse has used battery/solar-powered lighting in more recent years. Similar lighting, to maintain the statutory requirement for a lit navigational aid for shipping in the estuary, is currently attached to the temporary scaffolding.

Lancaster Port Commission says 229 stones have been removed from the structure, each of the stones being individually numbered before being lifted off. They have been laid out on the beach and dressed ready for re-use.

The onshore work has been carried out in a specially created compound on the car park overlooking the estuary as well as on the beach.

A suggestion from one quarter, at an early stage of the post-impact discussions, was that the damaged lighthouse be completely dismantled and permanently removed, and replaced with a simple, concrete tower with a navigation light on top. That idea was firmly rejected by Lancaster Port Commission which was determined to see the iconic structure restored to its pre-impact condition.

One interesting historic point discovered during pre-work research, and proved during the dismantling works, is that an extra casing of stones was added to the lower section wall nine years after the lighthouse was constructed in 1847.  This extra stone casing actually formed the lower walkway.

No definite date for completion of the current work has been announced, but Lancaster Port Commission is hoping it will be within the next two months.

The likely costs involved in the repair and reconstruction project have not yet been made public as legal and insurance issues have yet to be fully resolved.

* Report by Anthony Coppin, vice-chairman Garstang Historical Society

* Thanks to Helen Loxam, CEO of Lancaster Port Commission for assistance with this article.

* Photo courtesy Lancaster Port Commission.

* For more information about the ongoing work at the lighthouse visit www.lancasterport.org/news


e to the website of Garstang Historical and Archaeological Society.
The society was formed in 1965 to promote interest in historical subjects both local and national.
Lectures are arranged from September to April on a variety of topics.
Our meeting venue is Garstang United Reformed Church Hall.
This website was launched in early summer 2013 .... as it develops we hope to carry more news and information about historical goings on in this part of Lancashire as well as articles, some popular in tone, some slightly more academic, on matters of local historical interest in Garstang and district.
We will be inviting local historians such as Paul Smith, Brenda Fox, Ron Greenall and John Askew to contribute to this site.


ABOUT 40 members and friends of Garstang Historical Society took part in the group's summer outing on May 6 2014..

The trip was a combined coach and train journey taking in highlights of the Settle to Carlisle railway including Ribblehead Station, the nearby viaduct, Pendragon Castle, Hawes and Appleby.

The trip was led by rail historian David Alison, who last year gave a talk on the history of the Settle to Carlisle line, which prompted interest among Garstang Historical Society members for a trip on the line.

The first part of the trip was by coach, the second was a rail journey between Appleby and Settle. Mr Alison was thanked by society chairman Peter Burrell. The trip was organised by society treasurer Pat Hanger.

The 73 mile long railway line takes in vast tracts of scenic countryside in the north of England. In 1984 British Rail announced plans to close the line on cost grounds, but a five year fight by rail supporters resulted n the government saving the line in 1989.

Archive item (September 2013):
RIP: The society is sad to report the death on September 9 2013 of our much loved and respected treasurer Jean Porrit.
The society sends its condolences to her family.
A service was held at Garstang United Reformed Church on Friday, September 20, attended by family and friends.
The minister spoke of Jean's early years, her enjoyment of dancing, her marriage and family life and of her move to Garstang.
She was involved in several local groups as well as the historical society, including the Scottish Country Dancing society.
Following the service cremation took place at Lytham Crematorium.
Garstang Historical Society was represented at the funeral by several committee members, including chairman Peter Burrell and assistant treasurer Pat Hanger.
The society extends its condolences to Jean's family on their loss.

This website was created in early summer 2013.
Web design Google Sites.
Techy stuff/sorting out hosting Norman Hadley of Garstang (using Webfusion).
Answer: Eric Gill, one of the most controversial characters in the arts movement in Britain in the 20th century as well as the nation's best known typographers.
What is his connection to Garstang? Click here or on the photo to find the answer.