Archive of ‘History’ category


Hi everyone. Henry here again. Hope you are enjoying the blog so far. I know I am having a lot of fun writing about it and being able to show you a side of England that you might never think to see. Smelling the virtual roses, so to speak. And a good thing, too, because otherwise you’d miss out on all kinds of good things. Today I was thinking a lot about small town pride. A place like Failsworth deserves to have immense pride in itself.

It is a small town but it has been showing an impressive amount of steady growth. More people are realizing that it is a nice place to live, with the ability to connect to the larger parts of Manchester through the metrolink with ease, giving immense flexibility when it comes to working and family life. A place like Failsworth has all the benefits of living in both a small community and a thriving metropolis at the same time. I really feel that it represents the best parts of England in a small package that is both historic and wonderful, and not to be missed.

I think that being part of a small town like this changes your mentality in ways that set you apart from those who live in bigger and more populated areas, especially with spaces in the town that are critical to either its fame and/or history as well as its continued success. A company like Failsworth Hats, for example. I am sure when you see it from the street, Failsworth Hats doesn’t look like it would be home to high-end fashion pieces, stylish and trend-setting quality headgear as well as basic and more traditional articles of clothing. It can be hard to reconcile those white exterior walls with the slick, glossy pages of their catalogs.

But knowing something like that has the ability to change your viewpoint on something. Yes it does seem peculiar to basically have a town founded on hats, but that is what Failsworth has done. And done well! It’s true. Look around on the internet for genuine Failsworth hats and see what I mean. They pitched in for the good of country when necessary, they were able to adapt to changing times and markets, and they take pride in their business practices, their products, and also in their workspace. It is tremendously heartening to know that a company that has been around as long as Failsworth Hats understands its place in the community and strives to continue to advance the lives of everyone that works there.

The exterior of Failsworth Hats is a no-frills white color that manages to look both historical and sturdy, professional yet inviting. It is very much in keeping with the rest of the town. There is so much that can be said about the upkeep, too. It must take the best paint sprayer available to get the walls coated so professionally and efficiently. It is such a wonderful display of pride that bright white walls can inspire others to do the same, whether it be their own homes or other areas around town.

The Failsworth Cenotaph and World War One

ambualnce-failsworthFailsworth is a town that also helps demonstrate the fact that even the most obscure and small towns in England were affected by the horrors of World War One. There’s a cenotaph that was constructed in the year 1923, and it is dedicated to the two hundred Failsworth soldiers who fought and died in World War One. It should be noted that small towns like Failsworth tend to be very strongly affected by the loss of even a few citizens compared to big cities.

All deaths are tragic, and all deaths are going to have a huge affect on any local community, as well as individual members of that community. However, in a town that already has a small population, a relatively small population decrease is going to have wide-reaching effects. The town of Failsworth managed to lose a lot of able-bodied men as a result of that catastrophe, and many individuals within the town were going to have to struggle in order to pick up the pieces.

Failsworth is a relatively obscure small town, but this cenotaph tends to get more visitors around Remembrance Sunday. The legacy of the people who died in World War One has not been forgotten, thankfully enough, even though the war has passed out of living memory. World War Two is undergoing the exact same transition now, which is all the more unfortunate. However, it seems as if people are collectively trying to make sure that the most brutal wars of the twentieth century remain part of humanity’s collective memory, hopefully so they will not be repeated in any capacity.

Towns like Failsworth are certainly doing their part admirably. The people that travel to England in order to visit sites like these are doing their part just as surely, since they are sending the signal that there is still plenty of public interest in the history of World War One, as well as the victims of World War One.

The Failsworth Pole

2249067_a2d50316The lovely countryside that people can see in Failsworth is going to be enough of an attraction for a lot of people. Many individuals would specifically go to small towns like this in order to escape the look and feel of urban areas. However, there’s a great deal of history behind the town of Failsworth, so it’s natural that this town is going to have plenty of famous landmarks.

Many people that travel to Failsworth can never leave without seeing the Failsworth Pole for themselves. The Failsworth Pole is a genuinely majestic political pole that has a long story behind it, which people will learn in detail when they decide to visit the site. Sadly, the Failsworth Pole that people can see today is not the original one. The original pole was lost to history in the year 1950 when it unceremoniously blew down.

The pole that people will be able to visit today is only from the year 2006, which seems to make it an important marker in the level of public interest that the town of Failsworth has managed to attract. The people who visit this site today will manage to see another majestic clock tower next to the pole. Clock towers are strongly associated with English history and the English landscape in general, which makes this site look even more appropriate. The gardens surrounding the clock tower and the pole are also lovely and well maintained, which is just going to make the area that much more picturesque for any of the visitors.

People that visit this site will also be able to see a statue of Benjamin Brierley. The quality of the statue is excellent, and this famous historical figure is depicted holding an open book in a contemplative manner. Benjamin Brierley wore many hats in his lifetime: poet, writer, and weaver. Today, he is remembered as one of the most famous individuals from Failsworth, so it isn’t surprising that the town chose to remember him in this fashion.

The statue is actually close to the public library of Failsworth, appropriately enough, and the people who decide to visit the library will be close to some of the most famous landmarks of Failsworth. The library will also help give them more of a sense of the cultural life of the town, since libraries once had more of an effect on the cultural life of almost any small town community. Before the Information Age, people couldn’t do research anywhere else, and learned people all journeyed to their local libraries. Failsworth is a town that clearly values education, and clearly valued education in its recent past as well.

A Brief History of Failsworth

918077877_b143ff2454The recorded history of Failsworth only goes back to 1212, which could be considered the unofficial beginning of the town itself, since the rest of it is going to be lost to history. Not very much is known about the town of Failsworth before the nineteenth century. Many small towns from this era did not keep detailed records about themselves, and the voices of the peasants are largely lost to history. Plenty of the historical buildings from this time period were converted into more modern buildings during the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, or else the buildings have been lost entirely. Its old school, for instance, was turned into a Free-thought Institute by the early twentieth century, reflecting many of the cultural changes that were occurring at the time. However, many aspects of the town are still unchanged in spirit, even in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution.

The events of the nineteenth century were revolutionary throughout the world, and the town of Failsworth is no exception. Before the nineteenth century and the world-changing events of the Industrial Revolution, Failsworth was an agricultural township that didn’t have a great deal of influence outside of its local borders. The Parish of Manchester was the centre of a good portion of its cultural life. Churches during that time period weren’t merely places to pray. People went there for community in a way that is significantly more niche today.

The people of Failsworth made their living off of their agricultural products before the nineteenth century and all of its associated changes. Handloom weaving was also popular among the early people of Failsworth, although very few people exclusively made their living off of these sorts of textiles. The handloom weaving eventually gave way to a textile industry during the nineteenth century. Failsworth rapidly became a mill town, which is still clear to the people who visit it today. The large red brick industrial buildings that signify mill towns are still there, and they have now become symbols of the town’s history.

Interestingly enough, Failsworth was specifically noted for hat making. The idea that hat making could be so lucrative seems somewhat dated today, but it should be noted that wearing hats was once nearly universal throughout the Western world. People wore hats in order to cope with the new industrial pollution that many people had not yet gotten used to, since environmental reform was going to come later in history. Wearing hats all the time was possible as a result of the new industrialization, and wearing hats on almost any occasion became the standard manner of style by the early twentieth century. Failsworth managed to be one of the areas that helped facilitate that trend, reflecting and reinforcing it at the same time.

Failsworth has always been a town with a small population. In 1901, the population was 14,152. In 2001, a full century later, the population had only risen to 20,555. There are some universities that have a larger population than that today. As such, Failsworth has retained a great deal of its small town character. Outside influences have certainly had an effect on this town, but it is still going to have a very different look and feel to it compared to many of the larger cities of England. A lot of them seem to be completely different places each and every time you visit. Failsworth is a town that seems like a classic that cannot be truly altered.