Photos: Barnoldswick Heritage Weekend memorial

The heritage weekend held in Barnoldswick on Saturday and Sunday has been described as “brilliant” by chief organiser Peter Thompson.

Despite the fact that inclement weather on the first day meant that several events had to be rescheduled for the Sunday – including a historic flyover by the last two airworthy Lancasters – an estimated 8,000 people visited the town over the two days and Mr Thompson said he had never seen the town centre as busy on a Sunday afternoon.

Author and historian Peter Thomson with his boo. Members of the community and relatives of survivors attend  Barnoldswick Heritage Weekend events marking the 100th anniversary of the HMHS Rohilla tragedy off Whitby, of 15 men on board from Barnoldswick, 12 died.

Author and historian Peter Thomson with his boo. Members of the community and relatives of survivors attend Barnoldswick Heritage Weekend events marking the 100th anniversary of the HMHS Rohilla tragedy off Whitby, of 15 men on board from Barnoldswick, 12 died.

The focal point of the two days was the centenary of the loss of the hospital ship HMHS Rohilla off the coast of Whitby in 1914 with the loss of 12 men from the town. Only three of the 15 from Barnoldswick survived.

The Upgang lifeboat William Riley, which unsuccessfully tried to rescue those on the Rohilla crew, and a present-day lifeboat from Whitby were the centrepiece of the weekend.

These were blessed by the Vicar of Barnoldswick, the Rev. Diane Weaver.

A book written by Mr Thompson recording those who have died from Barnoldswick as a result of conflicts in the last two centuries also proved very popular, with nearly 200 copies sold on the day, which is expected to raise a good sum for the Help For Heroes charity and the Yorkshire and North-West Air Ambulances.

Static displays inc luded an original Whittle jet engine, developed at Barnoldswick during the Second World War, and a nene engine, the first jet engine to enter service with the RAF.

“It was a brilliant weekend, “ said Mr Thompson.

“The exhibition was very well received and there were an awful lot of people there from out of town.

“I have never seen as many people in the town centre on a Sunday afternoon before.”

l Mr Thompson is to travel to Whitby on November 1st with a wreath from the Royal British Legion which has been embellished with 12 white roses – one for each of the men that died – and three red roses for those that survived by local florists House of Flowers.

He is set to travel out to the wreck of the Rohilla on the William Riley to lay the wreath on it.