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Farnworth Paintings

by Ernie Holden


Palace Cinema Farnworth Baths

Palace Cinema

The Palace Cinema, King Street was opened on 11 December 1911 and was Farnworth's first purpose built cinema. It had 764 seats and the Farnworth Journal described it as having 'a generous allowance of room for those who occupy the 2d and 4d places, every corner having its own tip up seat, whilst the 6d seats covered in pegamoid, and the 9d ones in red velvet are luxurious'. The cinema closed on 8 November 1958 leaving three cinemas in Farnworth, the Hippodrome, the Savoy and the Ritz. The last film was Richard Widmark in The Last Wagon ('Nothing could stop the last wagon coming through'). The cinema made way for extensions to Mellings Bakery.

Farnworth Baths

The baths in King Street were opened on Saturday 29 April 1893. There was a swimming gala, walking match, and a display of ornamental swimming by Theresa Johnson, lady champion of the world. Charges were 6d for a slipper bath, first class with two towels and 3d for a plunge bath, including towel. Loan of drawers was a halfpenny per pair and 450 pairs of bathing drawers were ordered from Cunninghams of Dunfermline. The plunge bath was reserved for ladies only on Mondays but on the first Monday only three ladies used the baths. One of the bath's managers in the 1930's, Mr. Albert Cunliffe, invented a scum remover,the first to be used in England, guaranteeing clean water.

Farnworth fire station, Albert Road Library and Town Hall

Farnworth fire station, Albert Road

The Fire Brigade was formed in 1864 and the the first station was in Darley Street. Thomas Entwisle was the first Superintendent and the history of the brigade is the history of this family. The Albert Road station was opened on 23 July 1914.The fire engines were always named and included Edith and Helen, christened in 1925. In 1935 one of the engines was named Miss Olwen. This scene shows the fire station in 1939, with an ambulance also stationed there. The new fire station, further along the road, was opened in 1979, and the Albert Road station was used as licensed premises for some time.

Library and Town Hall

Farnworth Library 1939. The library was opened on 10 April 1911 by the donor of the site, Mr A. Topp, of Topp and Hindley. The Scottish philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie paid for the building, a cost of £5000 and there are likenesses in stone of these two benefactors above the entrance. Mr Topp said that it was 'a building designed to contain whatever was good, beautiful and true which would place before the people the best fruits of the best minds'.

Town Hall, 1939. The building was designed by Mr W. J. Lomax the Farnworth Council Engineer, the builder was T. E. Cope and the cost was £10,000. As well as housing all the Council offices, except for education, it also contained the Council chamber, committee rooms, Mayor's Parlour, etc. The Council chamber, committee rooms, Mayor's Parlour, etc.

Farnworth Cooperative Saint James School

Farnworth Cooperative

The Co-op was perhaps the most striking building in Farnworth but was demolished in May 1985 to be replaced by a single storey open plan store. Some of the original brickwork was used to make the 'flower beds' on the site where it once stood in Victorian splendour.

Saint James School

Saint James Junior School was built in 1834 and added to at later periods but by the 1920's was in a dilapidated condition. in 1930 the junior school was entirely rebuilt and the infants' school remodelled at a cost of £5,000. A new school was built in 1990 and the old school opened as a community centre in 1991.

Bowling Green Hotel Farnworth Grammar School

Bowling Green Hotel

On the right hand side of Market Street stood the Bowling Green Hotel. This was an early hotel in Farnworth and there was a bowling green in the early years of its existence but it was taken over to be used as part of Farnworth Market in 1867. In 1851 the hotel was completely rebuilt. Many local organisations held meetings in the spacious clubroom and the hotel was a favourite place for their annual dinners. The hotel was also a favourite mark for the start and finish of walking matches, often involving miners who raced for money. It was demolished in 1967 and a new hotel was planned for the site, which was opposite the Midland Bank, but it was redeveloped as shops and offices.

Farnworth Grammar School

This building replaced the old Dixon Green School, which was situated in Albert Road, the location of the school since it's founding in 1715. The schoolmaster's house, now extended and privately owned, is still there on Albert Road. On its opening there were 156 boys and for the first time there were also girls (37) but it was designed to accommodate 340 pupils. A new wing was added in 1939. Famous pupils include Alan Ball and Kenneth Wolstenholme. Two hundred and seventy years of education came to an end in 1988 when the school was demolished. For Farnworth Grammar School web sites see links

The Wakes Saint James Church
The Wakes Saint James Church
Church Inn, New Bury Horse Shoe Pub, Market Street
Church Inn, New Bury Horse Shoe Pub, Market Street
Shakespeare Bird i'th Hand
Shakespeare Bird i'th Hand
Brackley Street Higher Market Street
Brackley Street Higher Market Street
Rock Hall, Moses Gate Country Park

Rock Hall, Moses Gate Country Park

Rock Hall, c. 1920. The Hall was built by Thomas Bonsor Compton's father, John, who was granted the lease in 1805. john reputedly never lived in the house as he died at about the time the house was completed. Later it was occupied by the managers of the paper mill. On Thomas Bonsor's death the mill was passed to his nephew W. J. Rideout. After his death in 1876 the mills were offered for auction but it wasn't until 1894 that the place was let to J. B. Champion, the once prosperous undertaking are Rock Hall, which is now the visitor centre in the Moses Gate Country Park, and the redesigned and landscaped Crompton's Lodges.