Factory memories to be saved forever

Leyland Rubber works. (old Preston)
Leyland Rubber works. (old Preston)
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Cherished memories from Leyland’s old factory workers are to be recorded for future generations.

Leyland Historical Society is appealing to folk in the town, and their families and friends, to help it establish a database of Leyland and Farington workers.

The society’s oral history project will feature workplaces such as Leyland Motors, Birmingham Rubber Works, BTR, Baxters, Leyland Paints, the four cotton mills, gold thread works, bleach works, and any other factories, workshops and other manufacturing premises in Leyland and Farington.

The memories will be recorded and made available to local museums, libraries, colleges and schools in the form of CD, video and publications.

In 2010 the society researched and published The Industrial Heritage of Leyland and Farington, documenting the history of over 55 factories and businesses in the area over the past 150 years, most of which have now disappeared.

At its peak there were more than 18,000 working in local industries in Leyland and up to 30,000 including Farington.

The first edition of the book sold out and a second edition will be available in early 2018 containing updates and covering additional research.

Following the book’s success, the society started a search through leaflets, internet and social media to locate former factory workers.

Society chairman Peter Houghton said: “As our population ages, we are in danger of missing out some important historical facts and traditions.

“By getting in touch with former workers and supporters of industries in Leyland and Farington over the past century and recording their thoughts, stories and experiences, we can develop a priceless database of information to relay their stories to future generations.”

The society has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for the work.

To find out more go along to a free Leyland Historical Society meeting in the Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland, on February 12 at 7.30 pm or visit the society’s website www.leylandhistoricalsociety.co.uk.