Book owner uncovers a treasure trove of memories

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A Chorley shop owner has uncovered a treasure trove of local history, ranging from Victorian ceramics through to Retro editions of our very own Guardian.

Andrew Baxendale, owner of Books and Bygones on Clifford Street, and recent star of BBC2’s Antiques Road Trip, proudly displayed a customer’s rare collection which spans over 75 years.

Mr Baxendale said that some of the items, including a business and family directory dating back to 1889, are one-of-a-kind and provide a wealth of information.

He said: “I love them, I think they’re fantastic I’ve lived in Chorley all my life and it’s brilliant to be able to look back at how the people of Chorley lived.” The extensive collection reveals how the face of Chorley has dramatically changed over the last 100 years.

Photograph booklets of the area, including images of Chorley neighborhoods from the 1900s, depict landscapes virtually unrecognisable to the ones seen today.

Duxbury Hall and the Free Library, which was on Havendale Road, are photographed in typical Victorian grandeur, but have since been sadly demolished. r Baxendale said: “It was an act of gross vandalism knocking that [library] down.”

Numerous branded glass bottles reveal that Chorley was once home to seven breweries, which were located behind the pubs on Market Street.

Additional items include commemorative ceramic jugs from the late nineteenth century, a 1901 catalogue of books in Chorley Library, and pristine copies of the Chorley Guardian dating back to the early 1960s.

Mr Baxendale said: “These kinds of items are rare, because once collectors get hold of them, they don’t let go.”

The owner of the collection, Neil Hodgson, says that he finds local history fascinating and is unlikely to be parting with the collection anytime soon.