Firsts and Facts about Rishton

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Here's a list of fascinating facts and firsts achieved by the people, and town, of Rishton.

  1. Rishton (Tottleworth) was the first place to weave calico cloth in the Country.
  2. Tottleworth was also the first place in the district were coal was mined as early as the 12th Century.
  3. The River Hyndburn, which flows through Rishton at the Eastern end of the Town, is the only river in the Country to flow in a Northerly direction.
  4. The youngest person found on census records was born in Rishton, and was listed in the 1881 census as being just 45 minutes old. (Correct as of September 2005). The son of Robert and Nancy Shaw, It was found on the 1891 census that he had been named Leonard Shaw.1
  5. Rishton Councillor Claire Hamilton became the youngest councillor in the country when she was elected in May 2005, at the ripe old age of 21.
  6. When it was installed, the bay window in the Roebuck looking onto George Street, was rumoured to be the biggest bay window in Europe.
  7. George Thomlinson, Winston Churchill's Education Minister, was born in the town at 55 Fielding Street.
  8. This web site, when created in 1996, was the only one to contain any information on the town. Others soon followed, but none have surpassed.
  9. Lord Rutherford who split the atom, was partnered by Ernest Marsden, born on Hermitage Street.
  10. The last piece of cloth to be hand woven in the town on Cutt Lane, was made into a shirt and presented to the Methodist Minister.
  11. Did you know that the biggest single flag stone in Rishton is next to the Legion club?
  12. Largest Flag stone in Rishton?
  13. We have two Harwood Roads in Rishton, one in the town, and the other leading to Great Harwood from the New Inns Public House.
  14. Tottleworth is a preserved area.
  15. Between the 21st - 26th February 1947 the weather was recorded at 24 degrees Fahrenheit, a record high for the month, by the 23rd the temperature had dropped to -26. The temperature had not risen above freezing for the whole week prior to this. This was followed by 18 inches of snow on the 26th.
  16. Harry Allen, Britains last Hangman, lived at number 1 Tottleworth, after his retirement, from 173 to 1977. He was a popular figure around the town of Rishton at this time.
  17. Sidney Francis Barnes, who lived on Harwood Road, took 49 wickets in 4 test matches in a cricket series, the record for a series.
  18. In 1991 Peter Sleep, the owner of the Wickets Hotel, he broke the all - time Lancashire League batting record with an aggregate of 1,621 runs.
  19. In the 1920 - 21 football season, Entering the B division, Rishton United Football Club. the team played over 38 matches in the league and cup, winning the championship and the Taylor Cup knockout cup as well as the charity shield, and never being defeated, a record for the league.
  20. On the 15th May 1948, Fred Freer, Rishton CC pro and Australian test cricketer took 9 wickets for 3 runs against Enfield, a Lancashire league record. Four of these wickets were off 7 balls of an 8 ball over. Enfield finished on 30 all out.
  21. History was made at the Sparth Hotel, Clayton Le Moors, on Saturday the 27th January 1996, when Denise Topham and John Kelly from Rishton were the first couple to be married there, in the Oak room of the ten year old hotel, after Hyndburn Borough Council granted the hotel a wedding license after new marriage laws had been passed.
  22. On the 11th September 2005, playing for Rishton cricket club, (although he had played for someone else in-between), Peter Sleep added the amateur batting record to his Professional one. At the age of 48, Peter needed just 47 runs against Rawtenstall in the final game of the season to pass the 1990 record set by Craig Smith, who had amassed 1,069 runs during that season. He totalled 60 runs before being out leg before wicket, to set the record at 1,083 runs. In his final day tally he hit 10 fours and a 6.
  23. Martin Dobson, former England and Burnley football was married at the Methodist church on the canal bridge in Rishton, and was also born in the town.


1Found by Catherine Duckworth from the Local Studies Library, Accrington. (Extracted from Family Tree Magazine, September 2005)