The Locals Help in Bacup, Lancashire

A chance encounter on the street corner leads to discovering more about Bacup’s past

Ken and Michelle’s England adventure continued on August 9 with a long drive up from West Sussex up to Lancashire, in the north of England. We stayed at a small hotel buried in trees on a bluff overlooking the industrial town of Burnley. The next morning, bright and sunny, we drove a short distance out of town to the south, to the small, former industrial town of Bacup. This is where Michelle’s Quaker ancestor came from in the 1700s.

Walking around the village, I spotted three men standing on the corner having a conversation. I don’t know what it was about these men, but I just sensed that they might know something about the history of Bacup. Sure enough, we struck gold with these three gentlemen. One owns an antique store and the other is just the local “man about town,” with a jaunty hat covering his long locks. We learned about the origin of the Quaker religion, which happened on the top of a nearby hill. We learned of the new location of the Quaker Meeting. We learned about the industrial past of Bacup. Michelle even was able to purchase a token of one of Bacup’s still thriving industries.

Michelle picks out a mineral water bottle, an antique, at a local shop owned by one of the three men who helped us

Ken checks out an old grinding wheel, and the old stocks, used for public punishment and humiliation

A walk around the village and a chance encounter with three very lovely men who helped us. It was an experience that really made our day.

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