Concert boosts Chorley Remembers Appeal Fund

A concert by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment band at Chorley Town Hall last Friday raised over £1,800 for the Chorley Remembers project.

Presentation by Lindsay Hoyle MP to Bandmaster Craig Philbin

Presentation by Lindsay Hoyle MP to Bandmaster Craig Philbin

Trustees of the Chorley Pals Memorial, who devised and run the project, have to raise some £20,000 as matched funding, following their recent award of £270,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money raised will go towards placing the names of the fallen from the town on the War Memorial in Astley Park.

With the money from the concert, and a recent award from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, the appeal fund has topped the £6,000 mark.

In the audience were relatives of the Bandmaster, Craig Philbin, who live in Euxton.

However, the concert nearly didn’t go ahead, as almost all the band’s uniforms were left at Gibraltar airport. Only swift intervention by Chorley Councillor Peter Wilson from Lindsay Hoyle’s office ensured they were put on a flight to Manchester – with the uniforms eventually arriving in Chorley with a couple of hours to spare.

Commenting on the evening, which included performances by the Regiment’s Corps of Drums, the Chorley Remembers Chairman and town’s Member of Parliament, Lindsay Hoyle, said “We had a marvellous night and those who came heard a brilliant performance by one of the British Army’s top bands. We look forward to them paying a return visit to Chorley”.

He went on to thank everyone for their support and the event sponsors, which included the Gibraltar Tourist Board and the Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as local companies the Chorley Building Society, Pincroft Dyeing & Printing Co. Ltd., Kevills Solicitors and MBDA Missile Systems.

After departing Lancashire on Saturday morning, the band travelled south to play at the Gibraltar Day celebrations in the City of London.

Chorley Remembers needs your vote!

We can win an award of £6,000 towards our project if you, your family, colleagues, contacts, etc. vote for us.

Please go to our page on the NatWest CommunityForce website:, sign up and click on “Vote for us”.

NatWest CommunityForce LogoYou’ll have to register using your e-mail address but you can vote more than once if you have more than one e-mail address (i.e. personal, work, group, etc.).

The top three projects in the Preston postcode area will benefit, so every vote counts!

Thank you for your support; the deadline for voting is midday on Monday, 24th October – please vote for us NOW!


Heritage Lottery Fund award enables completion of Chorley’s major remembrance project

The Chorley Pals Memorial charity, based in the Lancashire market town of Chorley, has been awarded £270,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in support of the Chorley Remembers project, it is being announced today.

Chorley Cenotaph

Chorley Cenotaph

Chorley Remembers will explore and commemorate the service of local men and women in conflicts throughout the 20th century. The project will culminate in the engraving the names of the fallen around the town’s war memorial in Astley Park – something which hasn’t been done since its unveiling in May 1924.

Alongside this, a new exhibition telling the story of the social and military history of Chorley will be created, and new education materials created for local schools. An education programme will involve local schools and adults, whilst their website will be revamped to include a searchable database. The Memorial Room at Astley Hall will be redeveloped into a ‘Remembrance Experience’ and the Memorial Arch conserved.

Work will also take place to improve access and interpretation to the Chorley Pals Memorial site, as well as similar interpretation boards at sites around the town, coupled with a heritage trail with a remembrance theme.

Commenting on the award, the town’s Member of Parliament and Chairman of the project, Lindsay Hoyle, said “I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for recognising the aims and outcomes of the project, not only from a heritage point of view but for its legacy for the town and the whole community. A lot of people have been working tirelessly on this project for the last eighteen months and the award is a fitting recognition of all their hard work. I know they, along with the families and relatives of the 850 men to be recorded on the war memorial, will be take great pride in working on and seeing the project completed”.

The Memorial Arch at the entrance to Astley Park

The Memorial Arch at the entrance to Astley Park

Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said; “We at the Heritage Lottery Fund are delighted to be able to support the Chorley Pals Memorial. The history of conflict over the last 150 years has had a huge impact on the town and its people. This project will enable more people to learn about and explore their local heritage, particularly the part their community played and the sacrifices that were made by previous generations.”

Echoing those comments was local historian, Steve Williams, who devised the Chorley Remembers project, saying “This is great news, not only for those connected with the project but for the whole town. The award will allow us to deliver all elements of the project, with the work being viewed and available to future generations”.

Since the Boer War the Chorley and surrounding villages have provided servicemen and women to fight in all major conflicts. The town has had a barracks and drill hall since Victorian times supplying volunteers to the armed forces for over 150 years, including 3,500 in the First World War – around 6% of the entire population of Chorley.

Chorley ROF was one of the Royal Ordinance factories, at its peak employing over 40,000 people in producing munitions, including involvement in the bouncing bombs used in the famous Dambusters raid in May, 1943. The factory has closed down gradually over the intervening decades but has played an important part in the history of the town; the project intends to record the workers story.

The aim is to complete the project overall by December 2012 and will include further research and a memories project, exhibitions, talks, workshops and book about the project, finishing with a ‘Legacy Concert’ just before Christmas next year.


Chorley Remembers fundraising concert to take place in October

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a rare concert appearance by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Band who are making a short UK tour – Chorley will be their only appearance outside London and the South East of England.

Royal Gibraltar Regiment BadgeThe event takes place in the Lancastrian Suite at Chorley Town Hall at 7.30pm on Friday 14th October, with tickets priced at £10 for adults and £7.50 for Senior Citizens, Veterans & children.

Tickets go on sale next Monday lunchtime (26th September) from Malcolm’s Musicland on Chapel Street in Chorley, Lindsay Hoyle’s Constituency Office on Market Street or by returning the form below to Chorley Remembers Secretary Steve Williams.

All monies raised will go towards the appeal to place the names of the fallen from Chorley onto the town’s Cenotaph in Astley Park.

The Chorley Remembers project aims to raise £20,000 over the next 12 months from donations to the appeal and through fundraising events such as this one.

We are also expecting to learn next week if our Heritage Lottery Fund bid has been successful – we’ll reveal the outcome as soon as we know it via this website, Facebook and Twitter.

Decision day approaches for Chorley Remembers project

We will hear on the afternoon of Thursday, 15th September whether the Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded us the necessary £270,000 needed to complete the Chorley Remembers project.

A member of the HLF North West committee visited Chorley in mid-August to see some of the elements of the project, being shown the Chorley Pals Memorial, the Memorial Arch and Cenotaph in Astley Park, as well as seeing inside Astley Hall.

We are confident that our bid will be successful, as our project is acknowledged as being “well managed and representing value for money”.

Whilst we will be competing with other projects from across the region at the meeting on the 15th, Trustees are confident of success.

We will ‘Tweet’ the decision as soon as we have it!

Cenotaph Appeal reaches £4,000

The appeal to raise funds to place the names around the cenotaph in Astley Park has gone over the £4,000 mark.

The fund has been swelled in recent weeks by a sponsored walk by our Secretary, Steve Williams.

The fund now stands at £4,150 against a target of £20,000.

To donate, click here.

Sponsored walk boosts funds for Chorley Remembers’ Cenotaph appeal

Steve Williams today completed a sponsored walk from Chorley to Accrington, raising over £400 for the Chorley Cenotaph Appeal.

Here’s a video report made by Steve along the route, including a visit to the war memorial at Withnell Fold:

Pals historian calls for greater support

A First World War historian and author has called for greater support from his local community as he raises funds to place the names of the fallen on his town’s Cenotaph in Astley Park, Chorley.

Steve Williams is Secretary of ‘Chorley Remembers’ and co-founder of the Chorley Pals Memorial charity who run the Heritage Lottery Fund supported project.

Steve Williams polishing his boots in preparation for the sponsored walk on Sunday 14th August

Steve Williams polishing his boots in preparation for the sponsored walk on Sunday 14th August

After helping raise funds for the Pals statue and memorial, unveiled in the town in February 2010, he is seeking sponsorship for a 15 mile walk from Chorley to Accrington, along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath on Sunday, 14th August.

Back in 1914 the Chorley Pals Company of 225 men became part of the Accrington Pals Battalion that were decimated at the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916 and Mr. Williams feels it is fitting to make the walk between the two Lancashire towns next Sunday.

So far he has raised £325 in sponsorship but, much to his disappointment, most of the money so far has come from outside Chorley – from as far afield as Southport and Nelson, as well as a donation from a Councillor from Accrington.

He says “Our project and fundraising appeal has been highlighted in the media, in 15,000 mailshots sent out locally, on our two websites, as well as on Facebook and Twitter and at talks and events since the end of May. We have raised some £3,600 against our target of £20,000 but would appeal to the people and businesses of Chorley to get their hands in their pockets and support our efforts”.

The Chorley Remembers project has to raise the amount as part of matched funding, as they await a decision in September for funding amounting to £270,000 to complete the project in 2012.

Commenting on the appeal for funds, the project’s Chairman, Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle said “Times are a little tough at present but I know how generous the people of Chorley can be. Steve is passionate about this project and works hard promoting it and raising funds. I would ask everyone in the town to support his and our efforts”.

Steve intends to set off from the Chorley Pals Memorial on Union Street in Chorley at 8.30 a.m. and hopes to be at Accrington by 2.00 p.m. Last month he raised £250 for the appeal following a talk at Brindle Community Hall.

A sponsorship form can be downloaded here whilst donations can also be made at any branch of Chorley Building Society.


Talk raises funds for Chorley remembrance project

Steve Williams (left) and Terry Seed, is joined by Nikki Davidson-Kerr from the Chorley Remembers Project and Chorley Pals Memorial Trustee, John Garwood

Steve Williams (left) and Terry Seed, is joined by Nikki Davidson-Kerr from the Chorley Remembers Project and Chorley Pals Memorial Trustee, John Garwood

A talk by Chorley Pals Memorial Trustee and First World War historian and author, Steve Williams, raised over £250 towards the Chorley Remembers project.

The illustrated talk, held on Friday, 22nd July at Brindle Community Hall, was entitled ‘Pals, Terriers & Tommies’, and related stories of just a few of the estimated 3,500 men from Chorley who fought in World War One.

In attendance was Terry Seed from Chorley, a member of the Manchester Regiment 1914 – 1918 re-enactment group, dressed in authentic period uniform.

The Chorley Remembers project aims to raise some £20,000 towards placing the names of the fallen from the town on the Cenotaph in Astley Park.

So far the appeal has raised £3,600 since its launch in April and hopes to swell the fund next month when Mr. Williams is doing a sponsored walk from the Chorley Pals Memorial to Accrington, a distance of 15 miles.

A sponsorship form can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

Cenotaph Appeal Fund reaches £3,000

The Cenotaph in Astley Park

The Cenotaph in Astley Park

The appeal to raise money to place the names of the fallen on the town’s Cenotaph in Astley Park has reached £3,000.

The target is to raise £20,000 over the next 15 months from a public appeal and various events.

To find out how you can help the appeal, click here.

Donations can also be made into the appeal fund at any branch of Chorley Building Society