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Boyd's photo diary.

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Jan 24 Feb 24 Mar 24 Apr 24 May 24 Jun 24
Jul 24 Aug 24 Sep 24 Oct 24 Nov 24 Dec 24
Sat 20 Jul 2024

This morning I cycled up to the Royal Observer Corps Bunker on Denham Hill, Brindle.
Bolton Wireless Club were running a ‘Bunkers on the Air’ event and after setting up the aerials, cables and equipment were able to transmit / receive from a ground level unit and also from the restored Cold War Bunker 5m underground. There were many conversations from other stations all over the UK and as far as Germany.

Setting up the aerials.



Mark on the radio in the bunker.
Tue 16 Jul 2024
Drove back to car park at Old Blair and walked to St Bride's Kirk to take some drone aerial photos. On way back climbed to Balvenie Pillar was erected in 1755 on the summit of what is now a densely wooded hill. The pillar is hidden from view but previously the hill or ‘Hangman's Knoll’. It was the site of the last Public Hanging on the Atholl estate in 1630.

St Bride's Kirk.

St Bride's Kirk. 

Burial place of Bonnie Dundee.

St Bride's Kirk
The fabric of the existing structure is believed to date from the 16th century but its origins are rooted in Celtic times. It stands on a raised circular mound which probably formed the site of an earlier building, and the dedication to St Bride or Bridget further suggests Celtic origins.
Surviving record show that in 1275/6 when Scottish churches were required to finance the crusades by the payment of Tenths (Teinds or Tithes), St Bride's made payments of 32 shillings (normally equivalent to £1.60 but a significant sum of money in those early times).
In about 1475, Argus of Islay (son of the MacDonald Lord of the Isles) raided Blair Atholl.

St Bride's Kirk.
The Earl and Countess took refuge in the kirk but were captured and taken prisoner. On his return to Islay, Angus experienced a fierce storm which he interpreted as a punishment for his actions. He returned to Blair Atholl and it is reported that he rebuilt the kirk as a penance. The arms of the 4th Stewart Earl of Atholl and his 2nd wife were mounted externally in 1579. On 27 July 1689 Viscount Dundee (John Graham of Claverhouse known as 'Bonnie Dundee') led his troops against General Hugh McKay's government forces in the battle of Killiecrankie. Amongst the many casualties, Dundee himself was mortally wounded. On his death he was buried in the vault at St Bride's three days after the battle. The burial vault was opened in the 1790s, Dundee's armour was removed and sold to tinkers from whom it was never recovered. The breastplate is now displayed in Blair Castle.
In 1824, the new village of Blair Atholl with its own Parish Church was built along the new road to the South of Old Blair and its castle. St Bride's gradually fell into disrepair. The 6th Duke of Atholl was buried here in 1864, as was his widow, Duchess Anne in 1897. The remains of other family members were reinterred to the West of the kirk from an earlier family cemetery near the main drive in 1953/4. On the death of the 10th Duke in 1996 he was buried at St Bride's.
In 1953/4 the 9th Duke arranged a programme of restoration by the Ministry of Works (now the Department of the Environment) and those efforts have recently been consolidated by further work to establish the historic structure by Atholl Estates.

Within the vault beneath are interred the remains of John Graham of Claverhouse Viscount Dundee who fell at the Battle of Killiecrankie 27th July 1689 aged 46. This memorial is placed here by John 7th Duke of Atholl K.T. 1889

John Graham of Claverhouse
Bonnie Dundee

John Graham of Claverhouse
Balvenie Pillar.

Sat 13 Jul 2024
Chorley Town Hall was the venue for the annual Lancashire Local History Federation At Home Day. The event was hosted by Chorley Heritage Centre Group and we were treated to some great lectures and an afternoon of various visits and tours.

Chorley Town Hall.
Dr Bill Walker presented “Myles Standish: Man of Mystery” and our guest historian was Alan Davies B.A (Hons) presenting “The Pit Brow Women of The Lancashire Coalfield”.
I have seen Alan’s excellent presentations about our lost coal mines and workers but the Pit Brow Lasses is a new one.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle M.P.

Alan Davies.

Pit Brow Lasses.

Mayor & High Sheriff

Astley Hall.

Signing over Astley Hall.
Thu 11 Jul 2024
Several members of CHAS (Chorley Historical & Archaeological Society) met at 11am, Leigh Town Hall for a tour of the Wigan Archives and a general tour of the fascinating Town Hall building that was completed in 1907 and is now a grade II listed building. The architect was James Caldwell Prestwich (1852-1950) who also designed many other buildings in the area. Our guide was Helen Kavanagh.

Leigh Town Hall.

Leigh Town Hall.

Architect, James Caldwell Prestwich (1852-1950)

Georgie Fame

Thomas Tyldesley (1612 – 1651)
Killed at the Civil War Battle of Wigan Lane, 25 August 1651.

Pete Shelley - Buzzcocks,
Tue 09 Jul 2024

Late morning walked to Whittle Village Hall for 11am to Vintage and Collectables Roadshow. Took 4 old Nikon bodies and was given £40 for them.

Nikon camera.
Mon 08 Jul 2024
It was great to re-visit my old school, Withnell Fold Primary School, near Chorley, this morning. I was there to talk to the students about the history of the school, Withnell Fold village, adjacent Paper Mill & the Parke family who made it all possible.

Withnell Fold Primary School

Withnell Fold Primary School
Fri 05 Jul 2024

Walked to St Bede’s School, Clayton-le-Woods for 08:45am. Did a brief introduction to Year 3, 33 pupils age 7 to 8. Then walked to Lower Kem Mill ruins with students and staff to give history presentation then walked back to school to arrive at 11:50 just in time for lunch.

St Bede's School,

St Bede's pupils.

St Bede's pupils.
Woke at 03:45 and went down to turn TV on to see progress of the General Election 2024 voting and results. I thought the Channel 4 coverage with Rory Stewart & Alastair Campbel was the best. Sunak is out and Keir Starmer is in as our new prime Minister.

Keir & Victoria.
Thu 04 Jul 2024

Whittle-le-Woods Village Hall.

Early evening out on bike and called at the Village Hall to vote in the General Election 2024.
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