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Rishton has always appealed to me, as a child I enjoyed it as a quiet Lancashire town with lots of little nooks and crannies to investigate. It is these nooks and crannies that later turn out to be the important pieces of the history of Rishton, although when you are a child you would never realise it, you would only play on them!

The Website Author August 2002.

The second child of Ann and David Wilkinson I was born as a home delivery at 58 Hermitage Street, Rishton on the 5th April 1964 and given the Christian name of Paul. Here I grew up for the next 18 years before meeting my ex-wife Chauntelle, Being an ‘Arrod lass, and me being male, I soon gave in to our choice of location for setting up home, and moved to Great Harwood in 1982 at the age of 18, where I still live. I now have two children, Dean, born in 1987, and Garth, born two years later.

Much of my childhood was spent in Knowles Street, were my Grandma and Granddad Belch used to live. Their house was number 8 and I remember that it had no bathroom; but my grandparents had had a bath fitted in the back bedroom that had curtains hung around it for privacy. This made bath times great as the bedroom had a gas fire fitted and was always toasting warm! I vividly remember that my Grandma had an old boiler in the little lean-to kitchen for doing her washing. When the water was piping hot she would almost mulch the washing to clean it, stirring the water with wooden tongs. The clothes would then be put through the mangles and I would turn the wringer for my Grandma. The clothes would then be placed on the rack over the fire for drying. The rack was hosted up to the ceiling so the hot air from the open fire dried them out.

The open fields that then surrounded the area of Knowles Street were very much used and abused by me and my friends! My co-conspirators at this time include Keith and Trevor Sheard, Karen and Susan Gregson and Grant Nield.

When at home, especially during my teens, a lot of time was spent hanging around with Grant Nield. By this time the Nield's had moved into Burton Street, which was around the corner from me, so it was easy to call on him. Weekends were spent sleeping at each other’s houses, or camping out in the Dunkenhalgh woods at the side of the bottom lodge.

As an adult I eventually looked back over my shoulder at the place were I grew up, and realised how much of it has been changed or destroyed. As I enjoy local history I spent time reading through several books and magazines that mentioned Rishton. I came to the conclusion that one-day I would like to piece all this information together so that I could see the complete history of Rishton.

Having gone through many occupations from butcher to creeler; from foam processor to delivery driver to roofer, I now find myself working with computers. The idea for a web site came about whilst I was studying at Accrington and Rossendale College during 1998/99. My “chums” at the time were all writing web sites and asked me if I had one. I hadn’t, and the reason was that I didn’t want to write a web site on something that was already there, for example a search for Manchester United will fetch up about 3,000 hits on any search engine, why the need for another one?

During 1998 I started work at BT in Preston, supporting BTs computer systems. It was during quieter moments that I started searching for web sites on Rishton. Much to my amazement I did find one for Great Harwood, but couldn’t find one for Rishton. As a result, all my interests and hobbies came together and the web site was created. I am sure that as the Internet connections grow in this Country that there will be more sites on local history, but I am proud and feel privileged to state that my site can be acknowledged as the first on Rishton!


Meaning of PaulThe meaning of Paul, the name, not the person.