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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Local History Society

THE Whitehaven and District Local History Society held its February meeting with a very interesting talk and pictures by the very popular Ralph Lewthwaite.

His subject was Duke Street, Past and Present. He told us that the first resident was Henry Bragg. I think it was news to some of us that there used to be a beck running down the centre of the street called Plumblands beck. There was also a workhouse.

In 1791 mining work caused flooding and subsidence in the area of Somerset House so it had to be demolished and rebuilt.

Ralph came up with lots of tales about the street and kept us on the edge of our seats waiting for the next fascinating fact. We were reminded of the Empress Ballroom, we even had a roller skating arena. It makes you realise how many changes there have been in that small area over the years. So much that it prompted me to get out with my camera and take some snaps of the buildings of historical interest before they fall foul of the bulldozers.

Our next meeting will be held in the United Reformed Church Hall on March 19 at 7.30pm. It will be slides of old Whitehaven from the collection of Billy Phillips given by Barbara Reynoldson.


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