Community and family life

School group in period costume

The industrial revolution of the area in and around Lightshaw Meadows brought about many changes. Employment moved from working on farms to working in factories or down the mines, often with dirty and dangerous conditions. A rapid rise in population saw housing conditions worsen and help for anyone during difficult times would today be considered unacceptable.

The history of community and family life around Lightshaw Meadows may be one of hard work and often great hardship, but it is also one of community spirit, socialising and tradition. Many social activities took place in the area which helped to create a unique community spirit and which have now become traditions including Morris dancing and Pace egging. Industry often helped to bring about such traditions, for example the collieries formed colliery brass bands and factory workers instigated the tradition of clog dancing.

The flashes also provided much entertainment, especially for the younger members of the community, who would spend hours playing and swimming in and around the flashes.

The flash was just a playground. We used to build rafts and all sorts.” Jack