Places Still Available for Next Heritage Talk

Hi everyone.

Just a quick note to say that a few place are still available for the upcoming talk on Friday 9th September; “The History of the Early Chemical Industry in Widnes”.

On the night local Historian, Bob Roach will describe how, as a result of the arrival of the chemical industry in Widnes in 1847, the area changed from an isolated rural setting with several villages, to a major centre of the chemical industry with manufacturing processes that were extremely polluting.

As a result Widnes was described as ‘the dirtiest, ugliest and most depressing town in England’ in the 1880s.

Bob’s talk will be broken up by some live musical performances from Widnes’ superb singer songwriter, Greg Oldfield. Greg will be singing songs inspired by residents’ memories of Halton when the chemical industry was at its height. The songs were collected for a project and released on a critically acclaimed CD “Smoking Dragons” (by The Fetch and Greg Oldfield).

To see Greg sound checking for the event, please visit our Facebook page. He sounds superb!

To book your free place at the event, please contact Matthew Roberts on (01928) 592 405 or

The Myler Family Visit St Marie’s

The staff of Halton & St Helens VCA were delighted to welcome The Myler family back into St Marie’s, which was their Church when they were growing up in Widnes in the 1930’s and 40’s.

Myler Family

On the left is Margaret Gosselin (Myler). Then it’s Joan Kershaw (Myler) who remembers being a Hand Maiden (always an important role) to the May Queen in 1939. Next to Joan is Nora Cohen (Myler) who recalls enthusiastically clapping at the end of one particularly inspiring sermon. Sadly, no one other members of the congregation joined in. Finally, on the right is Mary Kirkby (Myler). Mary fondly remembers spending her pocket money on holy books for children which were available at the back of the church.

Some of the family had traveled from the beautiful city of Boston in America. We hope they enjoyed their visit!