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Chequerbent Days

Family photographs of Terry and Dorothy Riley

These photographs mainly relate to Chequerbent, part of Westhoughton, and a thriving mining community at one time.


Christopher Thomas Theckston was a hairdresser and he was Dorothy's mother's uncle. The photograph is dated about 1910. He had a shop in Manchester before opening one in Weston Street, Bolton. In those days he also sold and repaired umbrellas as this was a sideline for a hairdresser at that time. Dorothy's mother was Mary Theckston Matthews and she was brought up by her uncle and his family. Mary married George Austin, and Dorothy married Terry Riley.

Manchester Shop The Manchester Shop


Mr C Theckston
Christopher Thomas Theckston c.1910
Chris Theckston Weston Street

Weston Street Shop

Brancker Street

Dorothy's mother, Mary, a weaver, worked at all the weaving mills in Westhoughton, finishing at Taylor and Hartley's. When she married she lived at 5 Brancker Street. The street was situated just near where the Chequerbent roundabout is today.

The houses in Brancker Street were built by the Hulton Colliery Company for their employees. At the back they were blocked by the private railway line linking the colliery with the main line, which ran in a cutting almost beneath their front doors. The street got its name because two Liverpool men, Richard and John Brancker, were early directors of the company. The street knew tragedy in abundance. After the Pretoria Pit explosion on 21 December 1910 there was hardly a house in the street that didn't have a coffin.

5 Brancker Street 1930
Dorothy's mother outside 5 Brancker Street

Walking Day, Newport Street, Bolton May Sunday 1916

St Agnes, St Ethelberts and St Peter and Pauls.

Dorothy's mother, Mary Austin, is in the photo, aged 16.

Newport St May Sunday

Chequerbent FC, 1932-33

George Austin is in the middle row, third left. The photograph was taken outside the Stag and Griffin pub, the centre of social life in Chequerbent. The Stag and Griffin was situated where Chequerbent roundabout now stands.

Chequerbent FC

Chequerbent Mission AFC 1923-4

Dorothy Riley's father, George Austin, is on the back row 3rd from the right.

Ch Mission FC

Chequerbent fishermen's outing c 1940

In the picture are John Winrow, fourth from right, George Austin, wearing a flat cap in the middle, Charlie Harper, fourth from left, John Hodson, middle no cap, Ernest Gore, seventh from right, Peter Lee second right on front, Stanley Markland, fifth from right, and John Roberts, with cigarette at front. The comment on the back of this postcard says-"must be near a pub".

Chequerbent  fishermens outing

Dorothy Austin outside 43 Brancker Street

Dressed as Britannia to celebrate the Coronation of Elizabeth II, June 1953

Dorothy outside Brancker St