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Monday, 18 April 2016

A-Z: : I Remember.....Poulton, My Ancestral Home

                                          I Remember When......
    Recalling Memories of My Childhood

The small town of POULTON-LE-FYLDE Lancashire is at the heart of my Danson family history, with St. Chad’s Church at its focal point where my mother's family  were baptised, married and buried down the centuries from John Danson, christened there in 1736. to my own christening some 210 years later.

St. Chad's Church in photographs
taken by my uncle Harry Rawcliffe Danson

Poulton-le-Fylde  is a much older settlement than its more famous neighbour the seaside resort oi Blackpool.  The Doomsday Book of 1086 recorded three unnamed churches in the Fylde, one thought to be St. Chad’s and the first documentary evidence comes from a deed of 1094.  Registers date from 1591 and the oldest part of the present church the Tower (left)  dates from before 1638. 

Reminders of Poulton's past are still visible in the  Market Square, with its market cross, stone slab for selling fish, whipping post, and stocks.

Here sitting  in the stocks is the only photograph I have of my great grandfather James Danson (1852-1906),  He is the bearded figure looking very merry and clearly enjoying life.  By all accounts of his grandchildren, James was something of a ne'er do well with anecdotal comments that "Granny had a hard time with him". 

James was born in 1852 at Trap Farm, Carleton, the ninth child  of Henry Danson and Elizabeth Calvert. A joiner, he married 18 year old Maria Rawcliffe in 1877 at St. Anne's Church,  Singleton  and in 1881 they were living at Potts's Alley, off Poulton Square. It was ironic that Maria,  one of eight daughters,  and James with six sisters (and two brothers) should go on to have ten sons (eight survived infancy)  before their only daughter Jennie in 1897.  

I love this photograph of my mother and aunt,  Kathleen and Edith  Danson,  who are the two little girls  at the front of this photograph. All dressed up, they are in some kind of procession (Empire Day or Gala Day? ) at Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, with the group lining up outside St. Chad's Church.   It must have been taken around 1912, judging by the age of my mother and aunt,  and also the dress of the bystanders.  My aunt recollected that the little boy behind (Thomas ?) had been sent the Indian banner by an uncle in America.

Poulton War Memorial in the Square, with the names of two of my great uncles - John and George Danson remembered.

 We moved away from Poulton when I was 13,  due to my father's work, but we made frequesnt visits to relations and it remains my ancestral home.  


A Plethora of P's:
What were your favourite POEMS at school?
What PETS did you have as a child? 
Did you have PENFRIENDS? 
What POCKET MONEY did you get? 
Was your family involved in local or national POLITICS 
Did you take part in any student PROTESTS? 


In Case You Missed
A-Z Challenge 2016 Theme Revealed:     
I Remember......Memories of Childhood

                                                  Copyright Susan Donaldson, 2016.  All Rights Reserved 



  1. I love all the photos - very interesting to me, thank you for bringing the town to life.
    Do you have a stray Margaret Danson on your tree? ... born abt 1724 and married to William Singleton in 1746.

  2. That's a long tradition in one place! I don't think I got pocket money per Se but I do remember I'd get the odd note from my grandmother and I didn't go without. Yes, protests...civil liberties; pets, always cats and budgerigars (birds).

  3. Susan, what a great series you've created here, and have really engaged people as well. It's brought back lots of memories and inspired me.

  4. Excellent. And by the way, I just love the name "Poulton-Le-Fylde." So exotic. (Your "Q" coming up does double-duty with Sepia Saturday if you are interested.)

    1. Thank you, Wendy, for your reminder about Sepia Saturday. I haven't been paying much attention to the site this month, with the pressure of A-Z , so may well follow your suggestion.


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