Local History Group

Meets: 2nd & 4th Tuesday AM

Location: Nazareth Unitarian Chapel, Knight Hill, Padiham BB128JH

Group Leader: Molly Haines

Contact This Group

The Local History Group was one of the very first Groups to be formed back in July 2007.

It meets in the mornings of the second and fourth Tuesdays each month. On the second Tuesday, we have talks or visit local places of historical interest; if possible ending up at a local pub or tea room for lunch. On the fourth Tuesday some of the Group meet in the Hameldon Room of the Unitarian Church for “hands on research”.

So far the group has produced THREE books – “A History of Mill Street, Padiham” in 2009 and “The Heyday of Palatine Square, Burnley” in 2011. The latest, published in 2017 , is “Some Prominent Padiham People of the Past” edited by Margaret Jones and available from the Weavers’ Triangle Visitor Centre, Burnley and the Mooch Café, Padiham. It is also on sale at our General Meetings, price £6.50 or contact the Website.

The research group is now looking at the history of parks, gardens and other leisure facilities in the Burnley area.

All meetings 10 – 12 noon in the Hameldon Room, Padiham Unitarian Chapel.

Next meetings:

Tuesday 10th September –  Come and tell us about your 20th century education. 
Tuesday 24th September –  Talk by Molly Haines.


Over the last twelve months members of the Local History Group have been occupied in researching nineteen topics in connection with ‘Bank Hall and All That’.  Topics include past and present buildings in the Bank Hall area as well as various facilities in Thompson Park, which has recently received a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

All this information will eventually be available on the Burnley Council Thompson Park website, with appropriate links, and will be used as the basis for various displays in the park.

At a meeting on Tuesday 11th June, Molly Haines, (pictured) leader of the Group, handed over memory sticks containing all the information and relevant images to Burnley Borough Council Officers, Simon Goff, (Head of Green Spaces and Amenities), and Victoria Woods, (Community Engagement Ranger).  Molly also gave them a bound copy of the topics included in the Research Project.

After accepting the gifts, Simon Goff thanked the Group for the time spent on this extensive project and stated that it would be invaluable in the development of the Park.  He also felt that Heritage Lottery Fund officers would be most impressed by the involvement of the U3A.

The presentations were followed by a talk, with powerpoint slides, by Peter Hughes on Thompson Park Miniature Railway – one of the topics in the archive.   






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History – 5 Sept and Architecture 18 Sept

History Group are having a talk by Tony Mackie on Chinese History at the Unity Church Padiham 10-30 am to 12-00 noon on Thursday 5 September.

Architecture Group are having a visit to Darwen Heritage Centre arranged for 2.15 pm on Wednesday 18th September with first a tour of the centre then a tour of some of the lovely buildings in the town ending with refreshments at the centre. Meet at the Unitarian Church with a view to moving off at 1.30pm in our own cars (some car drivers offering lifts). It is essential to book a place with Rod Wilshaw or with David Smith.


This is an urgent apPEAL for new members for the Handbell Ringing Group? Our numbers have suddenly plummeted due to illness or other difficult circumstances and we desperately need new members. If anyone has been harbouring an inclination to try handbell ringing, now is definitely the time to come out and give it a go. No previous experience necessary, ability to read music not necessary but an ability to count to 4 is required! Come and find out why or ring Valerie Widdas for a chat about what we do. We need you!

Handbell Ringing is on Wednesdays, 4th and 18th September at St. Leonard’s Church, Padiham from 2.00pm – 3.30pm.


Book Group Meeting – change of date

The  next meeting is on September 16th at 10-00 to discuss Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.  Contact David Venn.

August Open Meeting

The August Open Meeting will be held at Nazareth Unitarian Chapel, Knight Hill, Padiham BB12 8JH on Thursday 22 August 2019 commencing at 2:30pm. The meeting will feature a talk on “The journeys of Anne Clifford” by Sheila Gordon.

A full list of our Open Meetings for 2019 is available on our Schedule of Open Meetings Page.

Submissions for Newsletter

Please note that all submissions for the September 2019 newsletter should be e-mailed or telephoned to the newsletter editor by Wednesday 18 September.

October earlier date – Friday 4 October
November – Wednesday 20 November
December – tbc
January – Wednesday – 15 January

Get the latest newsletter here

Fancy Becoming A Member?

If you fancy joining Burnley and District U3A and attending one or more of our Special Interest Groups please visit our How To Join Burnley and District U3A page. Guests are welcome to attend up to two monthly meetings at a fee of £2.00 per meeting or to attend one Special Interest Group meeting as a taster session. If you have questions or just want to know more about the local U3A you will be welcome to chat with one of our Greeters at the monthly meeting from 2:00pm. The monthly meetings are held at Nazareth Unitarian Chapel, Knight Hill, Padiham Lancs BB12 8JH (see our location) and commence at 2:30pm on the fourth Thursday of each month. Download our Introductory Brochure (PDF).