The Lancashire villages of Hesketh Bank, Becconsall & Tarleton

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36 Hesketh Lane, Tarleton


We've lived at 36 Hesketh Lane now for 28 years, only the second family to do so since it was built in 1932. When we moved in, we asked Mr and Mrs Melling, the son and daughter in law of the elder Mr and Mrs Melling, the owners of the corn mill which used to be on the site of 'The Beeches' and first owners and commissioners of the home, if they had any old photographs, but they had not; both are now sadly deceased.

I wonder if anyone else has a photograph which includes 36?  Would be happy to pay for copying and return the photo undamaged.  We have recently had to say goodbye to our front garden in favour of a turning area for cars. Very sad.  Other than that, almost nothing is changed, but I'd love to see a picture of before we moved in.  I do know the house used to be called Braemar.

Fingers crossed.


Lisa Horry, 12th November 2014
horrylisa (at)

Becconsall Mill

I would like to ask if anyone has a photo, drawing, painting of Becconsall Mill, my family on my dads side goes back to the Banks family who lived and worked there in the late 1700s and 1800s. would love to see what it looked like, and anything on the history of it.

Also though not in Tarleton or Hesketh, I am looking for a picture etc of the original Plough Hotel at Crossens, again family connections through the Gregsons and to The Old Duke founder of Southport. brenda440 (at)

Thank you.
Brenda Barker, 28th April 2014


Dear Editor,

I am currently doing some research into the history of Bank Hall in Bretherton and it's family, tennants and what the army did there during the war. I have very little evidence of what the inside of the house looked like prior to deterioration and I wondered if there was anyone who may read your web pages who may have any copies of photos of Bank Hall (interior and exterior) or from the estate, the gardens, etc.

Also if anyone can tell me memories that have been passed down generations to them from relatives who may have worked on the estate that would be of great help.

A great mystery of Bank Hall is what happened to the peacock fireplace surround from one of the upper bedrooms as this was removed before the deterioration.

Any help on my research would be of great use to myself and the Friends of Bank Hall for their archive history (all contributions will be credited) and I may be contacted on bankhallbretherton (at) hotmail (dot) com

Kind Regards,
John Howard
Friends of Bank Hall and Bank Hall Action Group, 3rd October 2012

Tarleton Electric

Dear Editor,

In regards the mention of electricity coming to Tarleton in 1930 I can add that my late father, John Iddon Ashcroft who lived at the old brickworks in Hesketh Bank, once told me that he remembered coming home from school at the age of 9 (in 1930) and being told by his mother that they had the power on.

I was born in Southport and lived in Tarleton until we emigrated to Australia in 1966. I always keep an eye on your web site to see how life is progressing back home. I live in Canberra.

Brian Ashcroft, 6th February 2012

Tarleton & Hesketh Electricity Committee

I am just starting out looking for pictures and information on my Great grandfather Robert Latham who on Nov 1st 1930 was chairman of Tarleton and Hesketh Electricity Committee and was presented with a brass inscribed key, (which is in my posession) for turning on the Electric Supply when it came to Tarleton.

Can anyone help?

Best Regards
Peter Latham 31st January 2012
peter (at)

John Webster's Road Roller

I have acquired a fantastic limited print ( no 30 out of 100) of a Burrell Road Roller 15 ton dated 1902. TB3778

It is signed by the artist (Horton somebody?) and is in fantastic detail. It is in a mid brown heavy frame with an unusual bee raised motif. It has on the canopy - John F Webster Tarleton.

Anyone interested in purchasing it? Don't know if you have a local pub? It is £40 plus postage (probably about £10). Any interest just contact me on jill.manning (at) or call me on 01624 837707.

Jill Manning. 15th May 2011

Hundred End Revisited

Dear Sir or Madam,

It was very interesting seeing the photos taken of the old railway between Southport and Preston on your website. For I lived in Southport as a teenager and in my early twenties and I did use the railway from Southport to Preston.

I can remember the tank engines pulling the carriages at a such a slow speed. Nevertheless that must have been a great facility for the rural folks. I also used the Ribble X 27 and X 47 bus services between Southport and Preston. My daughter and her family have just moved to Southport in the last six weeks or so. Yesterday I took the opportunity to drive from Southport through Banks and onto Hundred End. I have not been to Hundred End for at least fourty years.

It was quite nostalgic seeing No 1 Hundred End Cottage, the semi-detached bungalow on Hundred End Lane, because I became friends with the Marsden family who owned it at that time. I used to visit them on Saturdays on the bus. The family were very kind to me. If my memory is correct the father's name was Jack, the wife's name was Betty, the daughter was Sheila and the son's name was Alan. I know Sheila moved away as I made contact with her through a bookshop she was working at which was a surprise. Whether Alan stayed in the local community or moved away I have no idea. It was amazing to see the flat lands again, the marshes, and the black soil.

Best regards,
David Jones, Winsford, Cheshire. 3rd October 2010

Local Recipes

Dear Editor,

I was recently given, by my Aunt Margaret, an old recipe book which was her mother's. Margaret Sergeant will be 90 years old on Tuesday 21st of September and was, with her husband Ronnie, for many years the proprietor of Hesketh Lane Post Office.

Her mother, my Grandmother Nanny Edmondson was, with her sister Martha, in her day proprietor of Tarleton chip shop and the recipe book was Martha and Nanny's. It is a printed book in a dilapidated state and has no covers left, so it not possible to say exactly what the book is. It appears to be a collection of recipes sent in by members of the public in the area we now call South Ribble. Many of the recipes are for cakes, but also include savoury dishes and even do-it-yourself medicines, cleaning mixtures etc. appropriate to the era. The recipes are generally homely and simple in terms of their ingredients (few of them and everyday items) though lard figures more heftily than would be the case today. There are however a few surprises: Indian Curry from Mrs. Kirkby of Lostock Hall and Frogs Legs (green marsh frogs are recommended) from Mrs. Rostron of Bamber Bridge. Judging by the advertisements printed, such as Walmsley's Chara Tours of Bamber Bridge showing an antiquated charabanc, the date would seem to be pre-second war.

Orange Cake Recipe

There is only one submission from Tarleton/Hesketh Bank. It is for Orange Cake and was sent in by Mrs. R Melling of Tarleton. It is likely for the time that the R stands for her husband's first name rather than hers. I attach a copy of the relevant page from the book. Perhaps some of your readers, possibly descendants, know of the lady in question. I have made the cake following the simple recipe and it produced a delicious result.

Dave Edmondson, 22nd August 2010

Origin of "RUNNER PLAT"

A ' runner ' is a wide ditch or watercourse, and a ' plat ' or ' platt ' is a flat bridge over said ' runner '.

Richard Hodson, 20th August 2010

Origin of "RUNNER PLAT"

Dear Editor,

An associate has raised a question on the origin of the Runner which is presumed to be a section of land or road in Mere Brow and not having been able to find the answer until attending a function last Friday at the Community center where I spotted the emblem "Runner Plat" affixed to the entrance of the building.

Can you or any of your readers elaborate please.

Best wishes,
Ian White, 19th August 2010

More on 'Meanygate'

The information I have is that any road with meanygate after it gave the farmers with that name I.e. Taylors the right to pass over the landlords land to take produce or animals to market without paying a toll. Thus they passed through the mean gate. Which over the years came to be known as taylors meanygate. Bolten's, Sward and Boundry being others.

Margery Aughton, 17th October 2009

History of Tarleton Mill

Hi, i wonder if anyone can remember the Tarleton Mill down by the canal?

I lived in Tarleton from 1951to 1969 my gaurdians were Alan and May Davidson they were related to Eddie and May Farrell. I worked at the mill approx 1965.

I have looked at the history of cotton in Lancashire and can't find any info on Tarleton Mill. I wonder if anyone can remember the name; I seem to remember it was taken over several times by various company's any info would be gratefully received.

Thank you. Mary Ward, 1st July 2009
madmaryward (at)

Bernard Dickinson Shop Photos

This year our business is 50 yrs old - Dad founded the business on 2nd April 1959. I am looking for some old photographs of both the original shop on Station Road (which is now Bang Bang school clothes), and of the current site on Hesketh Lane - formerly the Mission Room. If anybody can help I would be most grateful.

Yours sincerely,
John Dickinson. 21st April 2009
john (at)

Visit of 'The Mauritania' to Hesketh Bank

It was around 1950, my Dad recollects he was about 12, when one morning on looking out of his bedroom window of McCloeds butchers, at the railway bridge in Hesketh Bank, a giant was in the fields over near the river. He said it looked like a huge hotel jutting out in to the sky.

With great excitement of a young boy he raced over the fields to have a look, it was a ship, a huge ship, it was also a huge stuck ship, grounded in the small, narrow River Douglas." The Mauritania." The story went, the liner was being towed to the breakers yard, when they took a wrong turn up the Douglas and the large liner got stuck.

My dad Peter Trafford McCloed is interested to know if anyone else has memories of this happening, or if there are any photos. What happened to the ship?.

Pauline Trafford, 1st March 2009

Memories of 1954

Dear Editor,

I had the usual Christmas letter from a Lancastrian 'exiled' in Canada, thanking me for the Hesketh Bank calendar. I would like to share a little of it with you and any readers.

"Your calendar sure brought back a lot of old memories, now I know exactly where you live. Way back in the 1950's when I delivered milk for Reeces after Crossens and Banks we delivered all along Shore Rd., then up Chapel Rd. to Station Rd., back down to the School and top of Shore Rd., then out through Tarleton, Bretherton Croston, Sollom back to Rams Head down to Mere Brow then across to Black Lane, Back into Hesketh Bank then down Newarth Lane and Moss Lane across the moss to the Mere.

One vivid memory I have is the Christmas eve of 1954 there was a blanket of snow on the ground, we were almost at the end of our round out in the middle of the moss. As we drove into the farmyard, there in front of the house was the Hesketh Bank Brass Band playing carols. It was a picture made for a Christmas Card.

So thanks again for the memories."

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas,
Mo Bentley. 29th December 2008

Tarleton Fire Engine

Dear Sir,

On your web site you have a photo of a Tarleton fire engine reg DPU 15 for which you are seeking details.

This is a Dennis Ace that was new to Chigwell Urban District Council Fire Brigade, Essex, in May 1936. It would have passed into the National Fire Service (NFS) on 18 August 1941 when the fire service was nationalised.

After the war the service was returned to local authority control and in England and Wales the 146 counties and county boroughs became the new fire authorities, effective from 1 April 1948 when for some reason DPU 15 joined the fleet of Lancashire County Fire Brigade. I don't know why and can only assume it must have been moved to Lancashire by the NFS and not returned to its original home. Fire engines were moved around the country in numbers during the war to provide effective cover for the fires caused by the Blitz, and the ratepayers of some local authorities were more than a little miffed when expensive vehicles they had paid for were not returned on denationalisation.

I believe the appliance went out of service in 1955 so we can conclude that your picture was taken between 1948 and 1955. I hope that is of interest.

With regards,
Roger Mardon, Canterbury. 9th October 2008

Tarleton Lock

Dear Sir,

With regard to Harry Hall's letter asking for information on the subject of the Douglas Navigation etc. I believe I may be of some assistance to him.

I live at Douglas House which was built for the Douglas Navigation Scheme 1726 and have been conducting some research on the subject.

I have quite a lot of information, drawings and diagrams etc. and also know of the workings of the transhipment of goods via the Douglas/Leeds Liverpool Canal Co.

I am still in the process of compiling information but will submit something to this website in due course. In the meantime if Mr. Hall wants to contact me he is welcome to do so via these pages or by 'phone.

Yours Sincerely,
J.E.Hodson. 25th June 2008

Tarleton Lock

Dear Sir

I am at present reading diaries of my great grandfather who lived and worked the whole of his life in Freckleton. The diaries are from 1884 (when he was 24) until his death in 1950. He was a shipwright by trade and worked in the early part of his life at Freckleton ship yard building schooners but his family (Rigby) ran a coal business which involved bringing coal from Appley Bridge via canal.

At times he would help out working on the “flat” which was a type of canal boat. The route taken was to go out of the small Freckleton pool (River Doe) and into the main Ribble channel on the ebb tide and probably anchor off just below where the Douglas joins the Ribble. When the tide turned they would, using poles manoeuvre the barge up the Douglas and enter the canal at Tarleton lock and then proceed up the canal to the pit at Appley Bridge.

There is never any mention of the use of horses but I was wondering if there was a stables situated near the lock entrance where horses were hired out. On your web page you have pictures or the Douglas and the old railway bridge which my great grandfather refers to. Does anyone have any knowledge of the history of the lock and canal and its workings around 1880 to 1900? If so, I would be very grateful if you would share any information you may have.

Yours sincerely,
Harry Hall, 19th June 2008

Tarleton Corinthians

I am compiling a history of Tarleton Corinthians FC which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2010. I would be interested to hear from anyone with photographs of past teams or anecdotes about the old days before the club developed into one of the biggest and most successful in West Lancashire. Please email egjohn (at) with any information

Graham Johnston, 6th March 2008

mv Gladiolus LM 12

Hello out there. Does anyone remember this boat? Any yachtsmen, seamen , ships carpenters etc.

I am researching the history of this fishing boat which was built in Lossiemouth. She was eventually bought by Billy Hogarth in 1957 and based at Glasson Dock. She was sometimes used as a safety boat at Stanlow Pier and was also used as a standby pilot ship at Heysham.

The latest I have found was that she was bought by a Director of Leyland motors around 1960, and converted into a yacht/cabin cruiser, and moved to River Douglas. I realise that this was a long time ago, but it is amazing the response i've had from letters in the Visitor and Lancaster Guardian, and maybe someone in your area remembers something.

I would be grateful for any information, no matter how little you think it may be. I can be contacted at billandirene31 (at) or Mr W.A.Smith, 31 High Street, Lossiemouth, Moray IV31 6AA I will acknowledge all correspondence

Bill Smith, 24th October 2006


Because of Neglect, Arson and Vandalism, the Greaves Hall Mansion has lost its "Grade Two" listed status and is to be demolished.

Whilst Greaves Hall Mansion is not in Tarleton & Hesketh Bank, nevertheless many local residents will have worked there in various capacities and will recall the handcrafted fireplaces, panelling, staircases etc & have seen the "Hammer Beam" roof & minstrels gallery in the main hall, As well as recalling the lovingly maintained gardens surrounding the building in its NHS "Heyday".

Though the mansion is not as old as Bank Hall it has, sadly gone largely the same way [Does that tell us something of "Heritage" in 2006 Lancashire? - or perhaps the impotence of both WLDC, English Heritage, Lancashire County Council and our national laws to protect such buildings. The failure to find a "Community" use for the building and to secure its future by the NHS on their leaving, seems to leave little credit on a number of groups and individuals. Despite its long service to the community, it was cast off like an old shoe.

The building [for its epitaph] is a little over 100 years old and was constructed by a branch of the Scarisbrick Family when they were the "Richest Commoners" in Britain. I am not certain as to who the architect was, however they employed Augustus Pugin [of Palace of Westminster fame] in their other edifice in Lancashire, "Scarisbrick Hall" the quality of the workmanship being at least as good at Greaves Hall. Another northwest building by him is the R. C. Church at Cheadle.

Perhaps the best that can be hoped is that some of the contents might be "Salvaged" and carefully re-used elsewhere.

In Sadness,
Arthur Wright, 9th October 2006


Dear Editor,

As I understand it, the term 'Meanygate' is derived from the original roads being built privately, subsequently becoming 'Toll' Roads, hence the name Meany.

Yours Sincerely,
Cllr. J.E.Hodson, 27th September 2006


Dear Sir,

When I've looked into this before (yes you're not the only one to think about this stuff), the only thing I came across when searching the internet was the following reference to a "Meangate" in a document about Burscough:

"He also gave three large and good acres of land bounded by ditches and four crosses, these limits being respectively near the Smith oak, the Forked oak, the Sty oak, and the Meangate close of Ormsdyke".

This kind of suggests that it might be a corruption of "main gate".

I also wondered who was Ralph that his wife needed her own lane and what about "Cockle Dick" who's that?

P.Hipwell, 26th September 2006


Can anyone tell me the origin of the name Meaneygate which is used on many of the roads in the locality. Thanks.

John Rimmer, 25th September 2006


Hi, Just come across your site for Bank Hall. What a loss and so sad that it has been allowed to get in such a state!

I lived in the wing of the Hall, when I was home from school, during the war. It was used in fact as the Headquaters of Army Movement Control. My father was the Colonel in command and he was responsible for the movement of troops in and out of all the North West Ports.

I think he opened up in Bank Hall in 1940 and left in late 1945. When I was there it was still a beautiful house with a grand staircase, an emormously long table which ran the length of the entrance hall and a Fourposter in a main bedroom. I fear you have an almost impossible task on your hands looking at your recent photo but good luck all the same.

Best wishes.
Mike Jones, 26th January 2005


Thank you for the excellent web site, however, I feel I should point out that the Vikings of the West Lancashire coast were mainly Hiberno-Norse rather than being Danes. Hesketh, Meols, Birk, (as in Birkdale) Orm, brick/breck (as in Scarisbrick and Swarbreck), Kirk as in Kirkby/Ormskirk, Litherland etc are all Norse not Danish.

There are many other examples. Danish test words include Hulme etc and are just not found in West Lancashire. Prior to settling (many as refugees) along our coast, the Norse Vikings settled in Ireland where they established Dublin as a major trading centre - hence the Irish elements in certain local place names including Becconsall. Keep up the good work

Thanks and regards
Stephen Hesketh, 23rd January 2005

Viking Mersey: Scandinavian Wirral, West Lancashire and Chester by Stephen E. Harding.


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