Born in Grandborough, Buckinghamshire, in 1819, George started his younger days working on the railways in Derbyshire and Gloustershire.
Died: 11th September 1909, aged 90.
In 1848 he was appointed to make the seven million bricks needed to construct the Whalley viaduct.
At the age of 32 in 1851, he moved to Rishton, bringing with him his family, Hannah his wife, and relatives from Buckinghamshire and neighbouring Counties. These included the Coleman's, Quinton's, Bedford's, and Richardson's, and twenty years later, in 1871, constituted for four percent of the population of Rishton.
The works closed in 1960, but George had become instrumental in the making of Rishton. He was involved in the construction of Rishton's largest mill, The Victoria mill.
In 1864 Georges eldest daughter married Samuel Jones , some 15 years later the Jones family emigrated to New Zealand in 1879, where members of the family still live. (Correct as of January 2002).
George Clarke died on the 11th September 1909, aged 90.
The marriage of Mary and Samuel was the first ever marriage to be performed in the Wesleyan Chapel, an inscribed Bible being given to the pair to mark the event, which is still in circulation.
They went on to have a daughter named Elizabeth, and a leather bound photo album was presented to the family on their leaving from the Chapel, Samuel was the superintendent to the chapel at the time, and included all the names of the Sunday School children at the time.
George died in 1909 at the age of 90 having made a huge impression on the village, both through his work in the brick industry and his success in establishing the Wesleyan chapel.
It's the way they say it
REGARDING the article on Lancashire dialect (Letters LET, April 13, 1999),
I was about six years old and peering through our cottage window. I saw two horse drawn carts - one leaving, the other returning to the Norden Fire Clay works, owned by my great grandfather, George Clarke, known as "the father of Methodism in Rishton."
I was fascinated when the drivers drew up alongside each other and one said: "Wee-er for are ti bahn ta mooern at neet?" What a picturesque way of saying: "Where are you going tomorrow night?"
MARY C CLARK, Jubilee Street, Oswaldtwistle.
Rishton Remembered Kathleen Broderick.
Mrs Gay Spargo, (email withheld) Great Great Daughter of George Clarke. (January 2002)
Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 27th April 1999.