Over 60 veteran, vintage and classic motor cars rolled into Fulwood Barracks on Sunday for a lunchtime pit-stop at the Lancashire Infantry Museum. They were taking part in the Lancashire Automobile Club’s 54th annual Manchester to Blackpool car run.
There was more than enough gorgeous machinery on display to make a grown man weak at the knees
Three bank staff from Bolton have been pitching in at the Museum. The mission of the three, normally based at the Yorkshire Bank in Bolton, was to take part in a special ‘Give and Gain Day’ and so on Friday 15 May, they reported for duty at the Lancashire Infantry Museum in their own special uniforms with the ‘We Care About Here’ logo. Their mission, set by Museum Curator Jane Davies, was to help with cleaning historic scarlet uniforms from the Museum’s collection from The Lo…yal North Lancashire Regiment, the East Lancashire Regiment and the South Lancashire Regiment, all ancestors of today’s Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. ‘The historic uniforms are too precious to wash – so we use special chemical pads to keep the material clean and ready for display’ said Jane. ‘It is wonderful to have extra hands for task like this, and we are most grateful to the Bolton bank team’.
A four-year, £200,000 project to modernise and upgrade the region’s leading Regimental Museum was completed this week when the Lancashire Infantry Museum was formally re-opened by international rugby legend, and grandson of a hero of World War I, Bill Beaumont CBE DL.
With interest in Lancashire’s military history at an all-time high because of the centenary of the First World War, the 90-year-old Museum in Fulwood Barracks, Preston, was in urgent need of upgrading and modernisation.
“This Museum represents the historic infantry regiments of Central Lancashire – in particular the East Lancashire, South Lancashire, and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments in which the forebears of so many of today’s Lancashire families fought the two World Wars,” said Lieutenant Colonel John Downham, chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.
“We needed to be better able to tell their story, in better settings which more appropriately honour their sacrifices.
“And we were particularly keen that Bill should conduct the re-opening for us as he personally illustrates the eternal link between our regiments and the people of Lancashire.”
Very recent research has revealed that Bill Beaumont’s paternal grandfather, Harry Beaumont, then a Lieutenant in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, played a leading role as one of only four officers involved in the defence of the Diyalah River Crossing in Mesopotamia in 1917. The details of this epic battle, in which around 100 trapped Lancashire soldiers held off the Turkish army for some 30 hours, have only become better known in recent years.
Bill ceremonially re-opened the Museum, which has remained open to the public during the refurbishment, in front of an audience of invited guests on Tuesday 2 September.
The work was made possible by generous grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent fund, civic grants and fund-raising by many supporters. In particular money raised by Councillor Christine Abram when she was Mayor of Preston sponsored the complete re-fitting of the Waterloo Room, one of the main display rooms.
The project involved:
- the complete redesign and re-fitting of the museum’s principal display area, the Somme Room, using purpose-designed cabinets and interactive digital displays to tell the story of the regiments through the 20th and 21st Centuries.
- The development of the Waterloo Room which relates the history of the regiments in the 19th Century.
- And the conversion of a former store-room into a much-needed library and educational centre, named the Emsley Room, which has already seen over 2,000 Lancashire school-children pass through since it opened in November last year.
In all the Museum preserves, interprets and displays the artefacts, memorabilia and records of a total of 120 separately-identifiable regular, reserve and volunteer units dating back over 300 years. Through amalgamation and consolidation down the years those units eventually became The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in 1970, which in turn in 2006 was amalgamated with the Kings Own Royal Border Regiment from Cumbria, and the Kings Regiment from Liverpool and Manchester, to form today’s Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
The Lancashire Infantry Museum, Lancashire’s premier military museum, is being upgraded in time for the anniversaries of World War I – thanks to grants from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the largest-ever award from the Her Majesty the Queen’s Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund.
The museum, which is located in Fulwood Barracks, Preston, is seeing an increasing number of visitors as interest in the centenary anniversaries of World War I grows. The £150,000 programme, which has already begun, will enhance the visitor experience through modernised and greatly improved presentations outlining the history of the famous regiments of central Lancashire which fought both World War I and World War II – the East Lancashire, South Lancashire and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments.
The National Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed a grant of £95,000, and the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund has given the project its biggest-ever single award of £15,000.
The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Charles Shuttleworth, personally presented the Duchy’s cheque during a visit to the Museum. The Duchy Benevolent Fund was created by Her Majesty, who is the Duke of Lancaster, to re-distribute funds accruing to the Duchy through the Bona Vacantia system.
Lord Charles said that the Trustees of the Duchy Fund were so impressed by the work of the Museum in telling the story, and keeping alive the memory, of Lancashire’s Lads that they unanimously waived the Fund’s usual grant maximum.
The project will see the complete redesign and re-fitting of the museum’s principal display area, the Somme Room, using new purpose-designed and built displays to tell the story of the regiments and their post-war successors, the Lancashire, Queen’s Lancashire and today’s Duke of Lancaster Regiments, through the 20th and 21st Centuries.
Together with the recently-completed Waterloo Room, which relates the history of the regiments in the 19th Century, the project ensures that all areas of the museum have been modernised and brought up to date in time for the 100th anniversary of World War I in August.
“Our museum represents all the Lancashire Lads who have served their country in our regiments down the years, including in particular the thousands who did not return from the Great War,” said Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) John Downham, Chairman of the Museum Trustees. “We need the museum always to be a fitting tribute to their memory; one that can tell their story to today’s generations in the best and most effective way possible.
“Thanks to these two most generous grants, we can now do so.”
Much of the museum’s display furniture dated back to the opening of the old Loyal North Lancashire Regiment Museum in Fulwood Barracks in the 1920’s. Its replacement by modern cabinets will allow many more of the museum’s treasures to be displayed in more effective and informative ways.
The museum remains open while the refitting is taking place.
It is hoped to formally re-open the fully re-developed Museum in August, on the 100th anniversary of the day in which the Lancashire regiments first went into action in France at the beginning of World War I.
Wed 30th October 10.30am – 4.30pm
All Aboard! for a free half-term Family Day out at Preston’s Museums!
For one day only on Wednesday 30th October, catch a FREE vintage Ribble bus and explore the hidden gems of Preston. Ride on a train, make your own arty masterpiece, camouflage yourself from head to toe, and go on a spooky ghost hunt!
All Aboard! is a free Preston-wide family event organised by Preston Museums Group, with support from Arts Council England and buses supplied by Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust. The free buses will start from Ribble Steam Railway at 10.30am, and take a circular route stopping at the LancashireInfantryMuseum, then the Museum of Lancashire, and finally the Harris Museum & Art Gallery before setting off back to the Ribble Steam Railway.
Buses will run a hop on/hop off service between 10.30am and 4.30pm, so stay as long as you like at each museum. There is no obligation to visit all four museums, simply enjoy being on the vintage bus!
There are various attractions and events happening at each venue which will keep the whole family entertained and engaged:
Ribble Steam Railway – enjoy two opportunities to ride on a working train: the full-size outdoor locomotive which runs trips throughout the day, and the child-sized electric railway which runs up and down the main exhibition hall and is the perfect size for kids.
Lancashire Infantry Museum – learn the art of camouflage and catch a glimpse of the real soldiers stationed at Fulwood Barracks.
Museum of Lancashire – join one of four Ghost Hunter tours happening around the museum throughout the day at 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm (booking is advised).
Harris Museum & Art Gallery – take part in ‘The Big Draw: Drawing Future, Drawing Past’, a chance for people of all ages to have a go at drawing, try out new technology by drawing with tablets, and test Old Masters’ methods, from 1.30pm – 3.30pm.
Ray Bignell, Chairman of Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust, says, “We at the Trust are very happy to have an opportunity to operate these vintage buses as they were meant to be used, carrying the public and providing a free service to the people of Preston. Ribble Motor Services was one of the largest and most popular bus companies in the UK, spanning from Carlisle in the north, to Liverpool and Manchester in the south and Skipton in the east, but its headquarters were always in Preston. It’s great to be able to celebrate and promote that history in conjunction with Preston Museums Group.”
David Watkins, Chairman of Ribble Steam Railway, says, “All Aboard! will enable more people than ever to experience a great day out visiting Preston’s premier museums, with a free bus service running throughout the day and lots on to make their trip fun and enjoyable!”
Times: Buses run every 30 minutes throughout the day between 10.30am and 4.30pm.
Bus stops: Ribble Steam Railway – Car park
Lancashire Infantry Museum – Last bus stop on Watling Street just before the right turn onto Sir Tom Finney Way. The museum is only a few minutes walk away.
Museum of Lancashire – Car park
Harris Museum & Art Gallery – Park & Ride bus stop on Jacson Street.
For drinks and assorted refreshments, Ribble Steam Railway, Museum of Lancashire and the Harris Museum & Art Gallery all have café facilities.
MUSEUM GAINS NATIONAL TOURISM RECOGNITION – AGAIN
For the third year in succession, the Lancashire Infantry Museum has gained a prestigious national qualification as a top-class visitor attraction.
The Visit England Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VQAS) has again accredited the Museum as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction.
The Lancashire Infantry Museum is located in Preston’s historic Fulwood Barracks and represents the former county infantry regiments of central Lancashire.
The VQAS ensures that visitors and tourists enjoy only the highest standards of interest and presentation at participating venues. The Lancashire Infantry Museum has now received quality endorsement every year since joining the scheme. Continue reading
some years ago a letter in the Lancashire Evening Post asked why there was no memorial to the Preston Pals. It sparked local businessman Andrew Mather into action and on 22 July 2012, exactly 96 years less one day after D Company (the Preston Pals), 7th Loyals, suffered grievously in their first action at Bazentin-le-Petit, a memorial to their memory was unveiled on the platform at Preston Station from which they departed to war. The Museum provided enthusiastic support to the project, especially via our late, much-lamented Friend Joe Hodgson, without whose encyclopaedic knowledge the Memorial would never have come to fruition.
Details have been announced of our Battlefield Tour for 2012. “Jacobite Rose” will follow the course of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s doomed attempt to restore the Stewarts to the throne. June 25-30. Places are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first served basis. Contact the Museum for details and a booking form.