Meetings 2019

Meetings are held in the Hoole Community Centre, Westminster Road at 7.30pm. Please see specific meeting for the room being used.

  • Thursday January 10th (Room 3) - 'Hoole Lane from the Railway Bridge to Boughton' (speaker Ralph Earlam)

  • Wednesday February 20th (Room tba) - 'A matter of convenience' (speaker Monty Mercer)
The crisis in mid-19th Century sanitation and the sewers of Hoole

  • Thursday March 14th (Room 3) - 'Railway Connections to World War 1' (speaker Phil Cook)

Meetings - 2018

  • Wednesday January 17th (Room 1) - The petition (Memorial) for a new bridge in Hoole (speaker Monty Mercer)

In 1889 people from Hoole were already facing some of the problems pedestrians experience today, when passing from one side of the Hoole Bridge to the other. People used the bridge to go into the city centre, or to enter Chester General Railway Station: many made return journeys every working day. In 1889, experience of the problems of using the bridge led to action being taken to bring about an improvement.

A document from that time has been found at The National Archives in Kew, where it lay undisturbed until now from its creation in 1889. The document, a “Memorial” (which was a petition) has revealed fascinating details of its 197 signatories, their addresses and interests, and the reasons why they were petitioning the Joint Railway Companies in order to bring about a solution to the dangers to pedestrians and other users of the bridge over the railway.

The presentation will examine the events leading up to the petition, and its results, followed by an opportunity for members to work on and interrogate the document, thus learning about the people who signed it and their professions. Many who signed have already introduced themselves during our research into life in Victorian Hoole.

  • Thursday February 22nd (Room 3) - Female Friendly Societies (speaker Stella Young)

The Flookersbrook, Newton and Hoole Female Friendly Society, formed in 1817, marched every year until at least 1840 from The Ermine to Chester Cathedral, but because only a few records survive little is known about the Society's activities. Neston Female Friendly Society is better documented and Stella Young will tell us of her research into its formation, purpose and organisation, so that we may better understand what Female Friendly Societies set out to achieve.

  • Wednesday March 21st (Room 1) - History of the Leadworks (speaker Geoff Pickard)

The Leadworks has dominated the skyline of Chester for over 200 years and has provided employment for many of its citizens. Geoff Pickard, its former works manager has researched the Works in great detail, and has recently published an illustrated history; his talk will take us from the lead shot used by soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars to the radiation shields used in submarines, and also tell us about the people involved in their manufacture.

  • Thursday April 19th (Room 3) - Religion in Hoole (speaker Ralph Earlam)

As Hoole and  Newton's population grew during the Victorian era, people of differing religious backgrounds and denominations arrived in the area, and as a result many different places of worship were established. Ralph Earlam will describe and illustrate many of these, explaining some of their origins, from medieval times to the present day.

  • Wednesday May 23rd - Ralph Earlam will lead a walking tour along Hoole Road, starting outside The Flookersbrook at 7.30 p.m., and will explain the significance of some of the buildings and sites and their role in the history of Hoole and Newton.
  • Thursday June 21st (Room 3) - 'Where, when, and what was Hoole' (speaker Linda Webb)

When the Society applied for our grant to research the history of Victorian Hoole, 'a township which grew up outside the walls of Chester' the "Hoole" we had in mind was the area of the township which developed from 1840 onwards, spreading out rapidly from Faulkner Street on the Victorian/Edwardian footprint locally governed by Hoole Urban District Council until 1954.

Once research began, it became clear that the geographical area referred to as "Hoole" changed over time, ecclesiastical, administrative, and electoral boundaries also changed, and continue to do so.

When, where, and what was Hoole? These are questions about the place name and its changing boundaries and definitions which have produced many very interesting answers.
  • Wednesday July 18th (Room 1) - Members Evening to discuss progress since the 2017 AGM. There will be an opportunity for Members to contribute on two specific areas of research:
    • The "Memorial" (the 1889 Petition for a railway footbridge) - together we shall be following up further interesting information that has come to light about the local signatories to the Petition. Some photographs of the footbridge, which was eventually built in 1893, have also been found.
    • Local Listing – pooling information and photographs on buildings, other structures and landscapes that we would like to see conserved.
  • Wednesday August 1st  - Phil Cook will be leading walking tours in the area outside of Chester Station

This is to coincide with a general celebration, by parties involved in the railway service, of the 170th Anniversary of the opening of Chester Station in 1848. The Society will have a stall in the Station foyer from 10.00 -15.00.

Phil Cook will be offering two guided walking tours of the Station Building to present a little about Thomas Brassey, his new station, and why, when the railways were already in Chester, a new station was needed! The tours are at 13.30 (short version – 45 mins.) and at 18.30 (longer version – 90 mins. especially, but not exclusively, for Society Members). Please do join us to celebrate the day!
  • Wednesday September 19th (Room 1)

    Religion in Hoole Part 2 (speaker Ralph Earlam)

Part 2 of the talk will deal with the changes at All Saints Church in the twentieth century, the arrival of non-conformism and provision made for Welsh worshippers. The response to the building of large housing estates in Newton after the second world war will be covered, as will the story of three chapels on Hoole Lane and in Pipers Ash.
  • Thursday October 18th (Room 3) - The Cheshire historian George Ormerod (speaker John Hess)

John Hess’s talk will be on the Cheshire historian George Ormerod in whose house he lives. John is a graduate of Cambridge University and he wrote his first book, on the historian George Ormerod, in 1989. That has been followed by a number of works on local and family history. John founded the Backford, Mollington and District Local History Society in 2002 and was chairman of Cheshire Local History Association from 2011 to 2014.

  • Wednesday November 21st (Room 1) - A World War 1 Miscellany
Dave Rees will talk on the celebrations / commemorations for the Armistice - plus the wartime exploits of four local lads: a Pilot, a Gunner, a Medical Orderly, and a South Wales Borderer. Members of the public are invited to bring photographs,medals and records of their relatives who took part in the War. It is likely that details about their service can be found.
  • Thursday December 13th (Room 3) - Annual General Meeting

Meetings - 2017

  • Tuesday January 17th
  • Wednesday February 22nd - Hoole Allotments

    It is 100 years since the Hoole Allotments behind Canadian Avenue were opened. The Society would be glad to see photographs of prize specimens, certificates and cups for the best kept allotment, newspaper cuttings listing prize winners at the Annual Shows, and even photographs of grandfather (and grandmother) working on their plot.

  • Thursday March 23rd - Hoole Bank House (In the Community Centre Nursery Room)

    2017 is the Centenary Year of the founding of the Hammond School and the Society is working with the School on the history of Hoole Bank House whose records go back over 230 years, and which has had many interesting occupiers and uses. Hoole Bank House, now the Hammond School, was an Auxiliary Hospital during World War I. It has also been a national Respite Home for the Blind (St Dunstans), an outpost of Western Command in World War 2, and a YMCA.

  • Tuesday April 25th (17th is Easter Monday) - Football in Hoole (speaker John Evans) 

Local boy John Evans will recount his experiences of playing for Chester Football Club in the 1960’s and share his knowledge of some of the interesting properties in the area.

  • Wednesday May 24th - Thomas Brassey, 1805 to 1870 (speaker Doug Haynes)

Known locally for the construction of Chester General Railway Station in 1848, Thomas Brassey was by then cr
edited with the building of a third of the railways in Britain and by the time of his death, one in every 20 miles of railway in the world. He was born in Buerton, near Tattenhall and went to the King’s School. Douglas Haynes O.B.E. has researched the details of his life. 

  • Thursday June 22nd - By Canal and by Rail - a walking tour (guide Phil Cook)

Join Phil Cook in Boughton to walk along Hoole Lane and hear about canals that were never built, how railways affected that part of Chester around Westminster Road Bridge and about the interesting buildings which appeared in Boughton in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

  • Tuesday July 18th - Hoole & Newton Conservation Area
An examination of Hoole & Newton’s current conservation areas with the opportunity to consider whether other areas of the district should be put forward for similar status.

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Civic Amenities Act 1967, when Chester was already at the forefront of national developments in Conservation. Today, Hoole contains Hoole Road Conservation Area and part of the Chester City (City Road/Brook Street) Conservation Area.

Since 2011, Councils have been required to identify eligible buildings, features and structures considered to have local historical importance to the area, but which are not officially listed.

Members will begin the interesting task of finding out what heritage assets people think are important to preserve the character and heritage of the local area, not necessarily within the existing boundary of a Conservation area. They must be of special local value and need not necessarily be buildings - they can be structures or features, like a road sign or a local park.

  • Wednesday September 20th - History of Dee House (speaker Tom Walsh)

Its situation on the site of the Roman Amphitheatre often takes away from the story of Dee House. But detailed research by Tom Walsh reveals an intriguing story of identity and ownership of an iconic Chester building.




  • Thursday October 19th - the Co-operative movement in Hoole (speaker Bob Thompson)
  • Tuesday November 21st - Hoole's WW1 Hospitals (speaker Dave Rees)

We will be looking at the three hospitals in operation in Hoole during the First World War, Hoole Bank House, Hoole House and Chester War Hospital (otherwise the Workhouse/City Hospital), staff who worked there, stories of families connected to the buildings during the War and other individuals with a Hoole connection who supported the medical services during the War.



  • Tuesday 12th December - Annual General Meeting