Cotton mill owners were given the title of the Cotton Lords to signify their powerful status in the economy and society. The Cotton Lords of Preston were sometimes viewed as manipulative, greedy tyrants, and other times they were lauded as the deliverers from unemployment and starvation. They truly were benefactors of relief and community enhancements, but sometimes their wealth gaining methods were questionable or downright wrong. Continue reading “The Cotton Lords”
In our sanitised, bleached, painted and plastic homes and towns it takes a big leap to visualise Victorian living conditions.
Who better to provide those details than Charles Dickens.
In January 1854 Dickens visited Preston during a cotton workers’ strike. He decided to educate readers about the working conditions in the northern industrial towns, and, using Preston and Manchester as his inspiration, he created a fictional place called Coketown. He called the book “Hard Times”, and the novel first appeared in a weekly serialised form between April and August 1854. His descriptions of ‘Coketown’ provide valuable insights into what Victorian Preston must have looked and smelled and felt like. Continue reading “Charles Dickens in Preston”
I regularly take missionaries from the Preston Missionary Training Centre on a Church History Tour of Preston and Downham. They are always a delightful mixture of nationalities and often full of surprises. Last week’s tour provided the coming together of descendants from four missionary legends.
The photo above depicts the great, great, great grandchildren of (from left to right): Joseph Fielding, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt and Samuel Smith. All serving at the same time Continue reading “Missionary Legends”
When this crate arrived from Utah it was like Christmas, Birthday, Easter, Father’s Day and maybe even pancake day all rolled into one. I knew what was inside, but even so I could not wait to rip off the ‘paper’. This wooden wrapping paper proved a little more challenging than the norm and half an hour later I finally got my hands on the contents.
I was in awe.
The vision for the Hartwood Pioneer Memorial had been brewing for a couple of years when, in September 2016, I read that Elder Holland had just dedicated the Light of the World Garden at Thanksgiving Point in Utah. I curiously clicked through and what I discovered was a revelation View the Garden here The garden is magnificent with 35 monument size bronze sculptures of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ set in a couple of acres of the Ashton’s entertainment complex. The sculptor, Angela Johnson, had spent years creating this incredible masterpiece testifying of His Divine mission. Continue reading “The memorial vision”
Our missionaries arrived during a traumatic upheaval as cotton had moved from a domestic to a factory setting. At first cotton manufacturing was a wholly domestic affair. In the early 1700s many Lancashire homes were purposely built to accommodate spinning wheels and weaving looms. Many of these homes can be easily identified today by their basement windows – the damp basement helped prevent the cotton from snapping. Continue reading “Domestic to Factory”
“To understand LDS Preston you have to understand cotton”
Cotton became such a major economic force in nineteenth century Britain that some claimed that “Britain’s Bread hangs on Lancashire’s thread.” Our LDS missionaries arrived when the cotton industry was exploding across the Lancashire landscape. There were a number of factors that contributed to its success, but a basic way to remember why Lancashire was so cotton friendly is to list the three Cs: Canals, Coal and Climate.