Chorley Pals and Pubs Exhibition at Astley Hall Farmhouse

Background to the latest exhibition which starts on Friday 3rd February 2017
 
The Centenary of the Battle of Festubert Exhibition in 2015 involved helping local schools research soldiers killed at the battle of Festubert and this sowed the first seeds for our Pals and Pubs project. Local Historian Adam Cree had already been conducting his own research into Chorley’s casualties through his research into Susannah Knight and the “Golden Books” at Astley Hall and he worked on the Festubert project with St Michael’s School.
 
Pupils from primary and secondary schools around the area contributed to the project by producing “pop-up exhibitions” on individual casualties for display and this was to be the inspiration for our own project. The collaboration between Linda Langford and Adam Cree in working with pupils at Euxton St Mary’s Primary School on their casualties was to be the catalyst.
 
Following the successful exhibition in June that year we started to think how the project could be expanded upon and taken into Chorley’s wider communities. After a couple of pints and a bit of head scratching we agreed to bring together some of our work to promote local history and links to Chorley's casualties of World War 1, the churches and pubs of the town, where they would undoubtedly have visited. Information from my blog on Chorley’s Inns and Taverns and Adam’s digitised records from Susannah Knight’s memorial album of 1921 were combined to create our own pop-up exhibitions in public houses in and around Chorley. The idea of producing the boards inside the pubs with the assistance of local people proved to be an inspiration, invariably leading to much discussion and debate and brought to life their own memories and family history.
 
Our first board went on display in the Prince of Wales on Cowling Brow on 24th March 2016 and more followed at the Bay Horse Heath Charnock, Bootleggers, Cricketers’ Arms (Brinscall), White Bull, Malt and Hops, Plough Hotel, Eagle, Lock and Quay, Mitre, Prince of Wales (Town Centre), Shepherds’ Hall Alehouse, Sebastopol (TBA) and J&L Vintage Tearooms Whittle. After many months on display some of the boards were looking a little battle-weary so have now undergone restoration and are ready for our exhibition.
 
We hope you enjoy looking through the work as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it and would welcome any feedback you wish to give. Our thanks must go to the landlords and regulars in our chosen pubs who have given us a warm welcome and support in making this project possible.
 
Richard Langford January 2017

Chorley Pals and Pubs Exhibition at Astley Hall Farmhouse