St Helen's Church

Churchtown

St Michael's Church

St Michael's-on-Wyre

 

The gentleman was pleasant and polite. I read your column every month (thank you sir, we have at least one!!) and although you ramble on a bit on paper, I look forward to you describing a real ramble for us one day. He said. Now the old legs are not what they used to be for either of us and the Boots pinch a bit and it looks like rain so Dear Reader jump in the car and let’s go to Fleetwood. Now, there are only two Grade 1 listed buildings in the whole of Wyre Borough and one of them is of course our own Cathedral of the Fylde, St Helens Church.  As we leave our car park to head to Fleetwood we don't have to go too far to get to the other Grade1 Building none other than our friends at St Michaels' Church. The village named after the Church although strictly the village name is Upper Rawcliffe with Tarnacre and to locals of course Rawcliffe is pronounced Raycla. Next up is Great Eccleston which, until the 1700s was part of St Michaels Parish as was the neighbouring village of Elswick. At about that time the villagers from these parts got fed up of the 10 mile or so round trip to get to Sunday worship and sought permission to build their own place of worship. They compromised on erecting it half way between the villages on a hill in the Hamlet of Copp.  Originally only considered a "Chapel of Ease" on dedication in 1723 it was over time to become St Annes Parish Church . Church and School still thrive today. Onwards to Poulton and the Church of St Chad. Famous for many things but let us highlight just two. The Pirates Grave which has scared many a young Poultonian over the years. You will find it directly outside the Vicars Vestry door at the South East of the Church. Have a look next time you are passing,

 

can you see why it's called The Pirates Grave? Secondly many people in this part of the world are attracted to Poulton Churchyard in early March to view the magnificent display of crocus (plural crocuses croci??) a swirling carpet of colour that features on paintings, photographs and various souvenirs in local shops. Not many people know the moving story behind this display or have heard the name Derek Kay. Derek was a former Head Choirboy at St Chads highly respected and well loved in the Village. A regular worshipper at his Mother Church until his work sent him to Scotland in the 1950s. Tragically Derek was killed in a motor cycle accident on the A74 near Glasgow in 1959. This was at the time Poulton Churchyard was being closed and sealed bodies were being exhumed for reburial and the grounds were overrun with diggers. There was soil everywhere. The Church was full to overflow for this popular young man's funeral but at his families request no flowers were to be brought. Instead the family asked mourners to bring crocus bulbs by the hundred which they were asked to scatter about the ploughed up Churchyard. The resultant tribute by a Village to one of its finest young men can be seen in February/ March every year when Derek Kays crocus bloom. Well there we have it sir ,run out of space again, set out for Fleetwood and have only got as far as Poulton!! Maybe more next month. See you in Church                                                The Churchwardens.

 

 

Church Wardens Ramblings

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