In August 1914 life in Netherton had changed very little for more than a century. It was as it had always been, a tiny Lancashire farming village. 80% of the men worked as farm labourers, with the big farmers pretty much in charge.
By September 1939 change was on the horizon. Netherton was larger and industry in the surrounding areas had opened up more employment opportunities. Still, though the difference was slight. It would take the upheaval of the Second World War really to start the advances that created the Netherton of today.
To mark the 80th anniversary of the start of World War Two we are seeking to gather together memories of Netherton during its last quarter century as a rural community.
Why are we doing this?
Eighty years is a long time. For most people living today, Netherton is an urban area in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside. It is dwarfed by its neighbour, Bootle, and even more by the great city of Liverpool. Driving through Netherton today you see no fields but just houses and shops.
It wasn't always this way, though. A century ago Netherton was a small rural village in Lancashire and life was much different. People living around the Green kept chickens and pigs in their gardens and, with only one small shop in the village, they were pretty much self-sufficient. The memories of these times still exist but time is slipping by and we want to record them and pass them on so that future generations in Netherton are made aware of their heritage. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund we are able to do just that.
The reason we are looking at Netherton and not further afield is twofold.
1. We are a Netherton project so we are interested in our own area.
2. Netherton is typical of the rural West Lancashire villages that were, to all intents and purposes, lost forever after 1945, eventually becoming large conurbations in Merseyside. That world has gone and we want to catch the memory of it before, that too, disappears.
What are we hoping to achieve?
During the course of the next year we be will be running a series of workshops to enable local people develop the skills they need to undertake local history research. Full details of these workshops are outlined in the information leaflet about the project.
We will also be running five community events during 2020 to keep community members informed about what we are doing.
In the end we want to bring together a written record of Netherton between 1914 and 1939 and to develop an online repository for memories and photos as a way of preserving our efforts and making them accessible for others. This page is the first step towards this goal.
How can I help?
- We are looking for volunteers to help with the practical work including conducting interviews, photography and copying records onto a computer.
- We are also really keen to speak with anyone who has memories or memorabilia concerning Netherton before 1939.
How can I find out more?
Firstly, download the information leaflet and/or come along to one of the sessions or community days. Details of these will be announced on this page and on our main "What's On" page.
You can also sign up for regular email updates by completing the registration form. Unfortunately we cannot send these by post although you will be able to pick up a paper copy by popping into the Feelgood Factory.
Wednesday December 4th at 1.30 p.m. - Introduction the the Poject
This will be a chance to get an overview of the project, find out where it stands at present and ask questions.