Local Historical Stories

A COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL ARTICLES THAT FIRST APPEARED IN THE ALSTON MOOR NEWSLETTER

INTRODUCTION
Early in 1996 Alastair Robertson - our local historian was asked if he would write a couple of historical articles for the Alston Moor Newsletter. He thought he could manage three or four but in the event, over 20 years later, they were still going. Once, and only once, he received an unsolicited article from an outside source, this was the reminiscence of a school for wartime evacuees at Nent Hall that came from Mr. Michael Dickinson and it was gratefully included in the series.

They’re a real mixed bag, too random to put into a book, but they’re still worth keeping in a more permanent form, so the Historical Society website seemed the perfect place to have them.

Material for the articles came largely from local sources, from the Alston Moor Historical Society Archives, St. Augustine’s Church Records, Alston Library, the Cumbria County Records Office in Carlisle and the County Records Office Northumberland.

There has been editing in some cases that will be noted at the beginning of each item, otherwise the articles have been left as they were written, complete with occasional references to such things as cement lorries, the millennium, and foot and mouth disease, which are themselves now things of the past (?).
Read on …


Story No 31: Inauguration Of The Jacob Walton Memorial, 2004

Walton Memorial
The Jacob Walton Memorial was well and truly re-inaugurated on Tuesday 6th July 2004. The event was a great success with fine weather as a bonus; it was covered by press and radio, there were many people in attendance, including four generations of the Walton family and the HLF Project Officer, and with the Stanhope Silver Band for entertainment.

As the project manager, Alastair Robertson confessed later that his opening address overstated the importance of the Walton family by comparing them to the London Lead Company, which of course was a much, much bigger concern, but he felt justified because the Waltons were a local family with personalities rather than a faceless outside corporation, and they did play a key part in the lead industry of the region, particularly Jacob Walton who, as well as being held in high esteem in the industry, had the respect of his workers……………………………
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 32: Winter 130 years ago and Alston entertainment!

Alston Snow
TOWN HALL ALSTON

Friday and Saturday December 11 and 12 1874

The stage will be beautifully fitted up for the occasion. The room will be perfumed by Rimmel’s Apparatus.

Admission – First Class, 2s.; Second, 1s.; Third, 6d.; Family tickets admitting Five to first class, 8s.
Tickets to be had at the usual places in the town.

Doors open at 7.30. Wonders commence at 8. Carriages at 10.

Visit of the well-known and World Renowned Professor

CRISTO

The Greatest Organophonic VENTRILOQUIST ever known, Hindoo Illusionist and Anti-Spiritualist, will have the honour of presenting his Extraordinary Entertainment, entitled
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 33: J. Coulthard Walton - Colliery Manager

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After the collapse of the lead industry, the main export from Alston Moor was its workforce - people. A nephew of Jacob Walton, of memorial fame, is a successful example.

J. Coulthard Walton managed the Writhlington group of collieries at Radstock in West Somerset from 1883 to 1914, but he was not a native of the west country, he came from Nenthead on Alston Moor.
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Story No 34: Who was Samuel King?

Alston Primary School being built
The name of Samuel King is well known on Alston Moor because of the school named after him, but who was Samuel King? When he died in 1878 he left £2,000, a huge amount in those days, for charitable causes on Alston Moor. Why did he do this and what were his connections with the place? And - how did he acquire his wealth?

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Story No 40: the Alston Limestone Company Limited

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A hundred years ago, right next to Alston Station there was a large quarry operated by the Alston and Nentforce Limestone Company. The company had started life about 1890 and by 1901 it had become the Alston & Nentforce Limestone Quarry Co. Its typical output was illustrated in 1906 when consignments of limestone chippings for road making totalling 426 tons were delivered by the North Eastern Railway to Slaggyford, Coanwood, Lambley Crossing and Gilsland. The railway was helping in its own demise.

The North Eastern Railway was also the company’s biggest customer for stone to be used as railway ballast. To fulfil these orders quarrying activity had to be extended to a new quarry beyond the gas works on the other side of the main road to Hexham, which involved construction of a railway siding through a new tunnel that still exists under the road from Alston Station.
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 45: V.J. DAY, 15TH August 2020

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VJ Day (Victory over Japan)



VJ Day (Victory over Japan), is on Saturday 15th August, the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Twenty-seven men with connections to Alston Moor gave their lives during the war, at least four of whom died in the Far East.

Two Alston men, Gunner/Private Thomas William Elliott and Private John Reginald Shield, are commemorated with over 24,000 others on the Singapore Memorial in the Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore.

We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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Story No 49: In search of Wesley Dobson

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In search of Wesley Dobson


(From the Alston Moor Newsletter No.87, Winter 2013/14)

In the archives of Alston Moor there’s an envelope of photographs marked ‘People in Uniform - Mostly Unidentified’. One of the photos is a studio portrait of soldier from the First World War. Now then, the fact that the photo is here on Alston Moor implies that this man had a connection with the area, but what was it?
We need photographs to illustrate these posts. Do you have something suitable? If so, and you are happy to share it, please upload it in the box at the bottom of the page.

Do you have a historical story of your own or that you know of ? Please contact us to share it with the Society!

Thank you.
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We are adding a story every few weeks, so bookmark this page to come back for more………..


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We would appreciate any contribution you could give us to help us with our work.
About Us
Alston Moor Historical Society was founded in 1973 and, due to the nature of Alston Moor, it is a member of both the Northumberland Association of Local History Societies and the Cumbria Federation of Local History Societies.
Alston Moor Historical Society
LOCATION
Alston Moor, Cumbria
Alston Moor Historical Society - Alston Stories