I HAVE to take issue with the old joke that nostalgia is not what it used to be.
I think we squeezed every last memory out of the Beatles’ links to the town these past few weeks.
Although it’s vital to look forward and to keep moving, I’ve always believed that local history is important.
We need to keep telling the old stories, keeping our mythology alive. If we lose sense of our past, we lose sense of who we are.
We learn from history. History repeats and we must learn from our past mistakes.
I do wonder, however, when I look at the way the US and North Korea are squaring up to each other like testosterone-pumped street fighters whether we ever learn from history.
There are always historians falling over themselves to record what’s happening on the world stage.
So it’s at the grassroots – where most of us live – that events can be forgotten.
That’s why I felt it important to record readers’ recollections of Warrington’s connection with the Fab Four.
I was reminded of this when I went through my mum’s things after she died recently. I sifted through box upon box of old photographs. Black and white, sepia, colour, some curled at the edges with age.
I recognised many of the faces and was able to put names to most. But there were a few taken in India, where my mum was born and grew up, that I couldn’t identify.
Chances are we’ll never know who these people were.
So I’ll make sure I label the ones I do know.
My family and I spent Easter in Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. We visited a church at nearby Thornton-in-Lonsdale that has a fascinating link to Sherlock Holmes.
His creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle married his first wife at the church there and had his wedding reception at the neighbouring pub. The reason he got wed there is that Doyle’s mother lived for 35 years at a nearby village.
Local historians have preserved this fact for posterity. It’s fascinating to know that an area near the church is called The Holmes, while the vicar of the church in which Doyle was married was called the Rev Sherlock. Great local history.
Nearer to home, did you know that Richmal Crompton, the author of the Just William books, was educated at St Elphin’s Clergy Daughters School in Warrington, near the parish church?
While we’re on this local history groove, if anyone has any information about Richmal Crompton, please forward it to me and I’ll share through this column.
Likewise, if there’s any other tidbit of local history waiting to be retold, please get in touch.