Shedding new light on old lighthouse....(this article written Autumn 2016)

It is hoped that the following article will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Lancashire Local History Federation newsletter:

A major repair / restoration project is under way at Plover Scar lighthouse at the mouth of the Lune estuary. The lighthouse, close to the remains of Cockersand Abbey, was hit by a commercial vessel earlier this year suffering substantial damage.
Work began in September, with contractors MPM North West Limited of Maryport, Cumbria, arranging the erection of scaffolding around the structure.
The tower crane will stay in place until the end of the works.
It is being used to remove the stones, one by one, to the bottom of the damaged area prior to rebuilding.
Tension cables with ground anchors have been fixed to the crane and also to the scaffolding for the full circumference of the lighthouse.
Interestingly the crane which is being used for the works is the same crane that spent eight years up Blackpool Tower in the recent past for renovations at the tower (following which it was fully refurbished ready for the Plover Scar work).

Early October saw the dismantling of the upper part of the lighthouse with the removal of the lantern (see photo). The lantern has been taken to MPM's workshop at Maryport for refurbishment.
A Lancaster Port Commission spokesperson said: "It took a lot of effort to remove, after all it has been in situ for 169 years, but with the perseverance and dogged determination of the contractors, eventually it was gliding through the air to the waiting trailer."
The port authority is aware of the public interest in the project but has urged people wishing to observe the work not to attempt to gain access to the small parking area close the lighthouse by car. The route is a no through road, with no passing places, and no turning space at the end. The parking area overlooking the estuary and the lighthouse is now occupied by the contractor's site compound. The coastal footpath along the seawall banking remains open and can be accessed from Glasson or Cockersand.
A commission spokesman said: "We would ask any walkers to remain on the footpath, and for the sake of their safety and to minimise disturbance to the birdlife keep away from the temporary access track and the lighthouse itself - this is after all a construction site."
Mariners, jet skiers and windsurfers have been advised that an exclusion zone has been put in place between the lighthouse and the eastern shore of the estuary.

* A more detailed article, updating readers on the Plover Scar work, will appear in the February 2017 issue of this newsletter
Report by Anthony Coppin (Garstang Historical Society)
Photo courtesy Steve Pendrill  -

For more of Steve's photos of the lighthouse visit

Latest book presentations - Autumn 2016

Pupils at Garstang's primary schools have been learning about the part played by local servicemen during the First World War.
Copies of the book 'Garstang's Great War Heroes' have been given free to this year's autumn intake of pupils at Garstang Community Primary School, St Thomas's CE Primary and SS Mary and Michaels Catholic Primary, Bonds.
A spokesman for Garstang Historical Society, which has over seen the financing and publishing of the Garstang's Great War Heroes book
said: "Although the book has been written with adults in mind we have given copies to children with the idea is that it will be a 'long term' gift for both them and their families, with the youngsters' appreciation of the biographies in the book growing over the years."
* The book is on sale price £8 at Market Place News, Garstang Arts Centre, KwikKutz Barbers and Garstang Tourist office. For more info about the book, as well as offers of free copies to students from Garstang, Bonds and Bowgreave who attend schools/VIth forms/colleges outside Garstang, or are at university, please ring 01995 605824.
Caption: four pupils from Garstang Community Primary School with their history books


Story below from Autumn 2015

Lest we forget 1914 - 1918

Pupils from Garstang Community Primary School with copies of Garstang's Great War Heroes


Pupils at four Garstang schools have been learning about the part played by brave local servicemen during the First World War.

Around 1,300 copies of the new book Garstang's Great War Heroes have been given free of charge to pupils at the four schools in Garstang, Bonds and Bowgreave.

The schools receiving the books were Garstang Community Primary School, St Thomas' CE Primary, SS Mary and Michaels Catholic Primary and Garstang Academy.

All four schools lie within the boundaries of the area drawn up by the Garstang and Lower Barnacre War Memorial Committee in the early 1920s. It was from within that area from which the names which appear on Garstang war memorial were selected.

The £4,000 needed for the printing and publishing the new book was raised over the past 18 months following an appeal by co-authors, Paul Smith and Anthony Coppin.

Headteacher of Garstang Community Primary School, Mrs Stephanie Reeves, said: "We are grateful to Mr Smith and Mr Coppin for their work on the book. All the pupils were thrilled to receive a copy shortly before Remembrance Sunday. We would also like to thank all those individuals and local organisations whose donations made this publication possible."

A spokesman for Garstang Historical Society, which has overseen the Garstang's Great War Heroes project said: "Although the book has been written with adults in mind we have given copies to children with the idea is that it will be a 'long term' gift for both them and their families, with the youngsters' appreciation of the biographies in the book growing over the years."

He added: "From the positive feedback we have already had parents are saying they are finding it just as interesting as their children."

Two formal launches of the new title were held in Garstang - one for the sponsors as well as a public launch. The public launch was held immediately before Paul Smith's latest Great War lecture, this time on the topic of Women and the war. Both events were held at Garstang Arts Centre.

*Copies of Garstang's Great War Heroes are available on sale to the public, priced £8. They are can be obtained from Market Place News, Garstang, KwikKutz barbers, The Visit Garstang Centre (near Booths), and The Dewlay Cheese shop.

UPDATE:  More copies of the book are to be given to the three primary schools in Garstang in Autumn 2016. If you are a student at Garstang Academy and have not yet received a copy, please ask your parent or guardian to contact Garstang Historical Society by dropping a note c/o Market Place News, High Street, Garstang, requesting a copy of the book. One will be left for you at the newsagency.  If you are a student from Garstang or West Barnacre and attend a school  or college outside Garstang, and would like a copy of the book please ask your parent or guardian to drop us a line c/o Market Place News, as above.


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.