Bold Parish History

Brief History

Bold is now a civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of St. Helens and the Parish Council dates back to 1913. Bold itself is to the east of St. Helens and the parish extends, north to south, from the New Bold Estate through to Clock Face and onwards to the hamlet of Bold Heath.

Over the years Bold has been a merger between industry and agriculture - coal mining and farmland. During the period between the 60's and the 90's the industry base was drastically reduced as the three main collieries, Bold, Clock Face and Sutton Manor were closed down. While this caused a lot of hardship due to job losses, it created a situation where urgent regeneration was needed. The sites were eventually flattened leaving three large derelict areas.

The Bold Site was turned into one of the largest power stations in the country and was deemed to be so advanced as to attract a visit from the two most important Russian politicians, Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin, both of whom eventually became Presidents of Russia.

The Clock Face site was next to close and was not immediately regenerated apart from becoming a vast rabbit colony which at the time numbered in thousands! Apparently a single rabbit escaped from a nearby allotment along with his 'lady friend' and thus became a fully paid-up, as well as an overworked member of the local regeneration society!

The Sutton Manor site was the last to close in the early 90's and its closure created huge hardship in the Sutton Manor village which relied entirely on colliery employment.

Map of the Parish

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Last ten years

In the last ten years each site has been regenerated as follows:

(1) Bold Power Station became a large residential area with over 500 houses being built and became known as NEW BOLD ESTATE in the north of the parish. The estate abounded onto the COLLIERS MOSS COMMON only the southern half being within the parish boundary. This site was created in the early 90's and has now been designated as a Local Nature Reserve. It has relict mosslands and various habitats for all forms of wildlife, especially dragonfly species.

(2) The Clock Face site is at present in the final stage of becoming the CLOCK FACE COLLIERY COUNTRY PARK with parking spaces for visitors and ramblers. A note for rabbit lovers - not all the rabbits have left, some have found the new pastures very appetizing!
Adjacent to CLOCK FACE COUNTRY PARK is MAYPOLE WOOD, named after the neighbouring Maypole Farm and district. Maypole originally was a hamlet in Bold and the Forestry Commission planted thousands of saplings in 2003 to form part of the Mersey Forest. Next door (making three Country Park sites in close proximity) a further Country Park is under development, to be called Griffin Wood - named after the Griffin on the Parish Coat of Arms, and will eventually become a major attraction for local people and visitors. This site includes extensive woodland and stretches south down to the M62.

(3) The SUTTON MANOR COLLIERY SITE has now recently been turned into a magnificent Country Park and attracts a lot of visitors. The park itself includes bridal paths and many benches to ease the legs of the weary rambler.
We are very proud to have resisted much building on these three sites, as it has resulted in a unique collection of Country Parks in quite a small area.

Points of Interest

During World War 2 the Burtonwood Aerodrome became one of the largest American air stations in the country, and as well as being a bomber base it was the supply station for all American forces in Europe. Part of the M62 motorway was built on the actual runway. During the early American presence, people living in the immediate vicinity were used to hearing bombers taking off during the early evenings on their bombing missions.

Naturally during flying operations there were accidents. On the 30th August 1943 a B24 Liberator bomber took off from Burtonwood to fly to a bomber station in Northfield but soon got into difficulties and crashed just one and a half miles from the airport, killing all nine airmen aboard. The plane crashed on a small hillock about 32 feet high, known locally as 'Battery Cob', near Northfield Farm.

Three of the crew were passengers having hitched a lift shortly before take-off. Coincidentally, two planes arrived at Burtonwood on August 15th 1943 - one was to crash at Aspull, near Wigan, on August 27th 1943, and the other to crash on 'Battery Cob' on August 30th 1943.

'Battery Cob' seemed to have a fatal fascination for crashing American airplanes, for on 28th January 1945 a Lockheed Shooting Star crashed within a few hundred yards of 'Battery Cob'.

Buildings of special architectural and historic interest

Farm House at former Bold Hall Estate, Hall Lane.
Farm Buildings, formerly the stables, at Bold Hall.
Walled Garden adjoining the Farm at Bold Hall.
Bridge at Bold Old Hall, Warrington Road.
Gate Piers at Old Bold Hall, Warrington Road.
Old Moat House off Gorsey Lane.
Old Bold Hall Moat Site, south of M62 off Ladies Walk Track.
Anti-Aircraft Gun Site, Bold.