The Town I Left Behind

Leyland is a town in South Ribble that also includes Penwortham, Wigan and Walton-Le- Dale. It is six miles South of Preston.

The town of Leyland was discovered a while after the Battle of Hastings. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book. King Edward the Confessor took control of the whole of Leyland. He chose noblemen to plough the lands.

Throughout the twentieth and twenty first century, the Leyland neighbourhood has witnessed a big growth in workforce and population along with farming. Leyland Motors was, and still is, the biggest factory in Leyland, having started up the company in 1987.  They merged with a Dutch company named (DAF) Dutch Auto Manufacturers. They manufactured vans, trucks, semi-trucks, coaches, along with buses, trailers, box trucks and taxi cabs.

Arable land is the best land in Leyland for grazing sheep and horses, as well as for roaming dogs. The Woodlands cover a vast amount of the park and was granted the Green Flag Award in 2006. The Park features a large playground with swings and slides for the young children as well as the teenagers. More features of the Worden Park include Chocco Lotty, miniature golf, arts and crafts, a hedge maze, as well as a refreshments kiosk. Dog walkers love to take their dogs in this park.

Each year on the fifth of November the Park hosts the best firework display in Lancashire. Lots of people turn out for this event. The firework display hosts a huge bonfire along with stalls of goodies, with all the proceeds going towards the upkeep of the Round Table which gives hampers to people who have nothing at Christmas. The park has three big car parks that can be reached by entrance onto Worden Park to the West where stand the houses of Wade Hall where low paid families dwell along with the elderly.

My mother grew up as a child in this large park. The Head Gamekeeper was my own Grandfather, M.Vincent Sinfield. They began this task in nineteen fifty one. My Grandmother, Mrs Margaret Sinfield, was the cook for the Chief Squire of Farington. My mother said she loved this park. The Farington family bought the home and adjoining land  of Shaw Hall and changed its name to Worden Park. The Faringtons built their own home to accommodate their wealth and social status. The area outside the dwelling contained blossoming gardens. My mother was aged two when the house caught fire; she told me how she loved walking around the glass house and maze and that she would always go onto the railway line in the park to ride the train.

The centre of Leyland is at the north of the park where there is a vast array of housing from Council, both private and owned.

The Leyland Rubber Works was founded in eighteen sixty two by James Quinn. The Rubber Works first started its life as a workhouse. All the people who worked in the Cotton Mills knew their tasks so they had been sent here to carry out the Leyland Rubber Plant duties. These duties consisted of producing valves, sheets, buffers, washers, rings, cylinders, steam packing, hose tubing, Indian rubber machinery, belting, and woven linen hose pipes for agriculture, fire brigades and mill purposes. They went on to manufacture solid tyres and surgical products and named it the Foundation of Leyland Medical International.

Leyland supports many exceptional sporting facilities like the Leyland Tennis Club based at Fox Lane Sports and Social Cricket Club.

All of the schools within Leyland boast a good Ofsted Report, but the best remembered school is that named Balshaws which my own son attends. He loves this school.

There is a drama group based in the Methodist Church on Golden Hill Lane and an addiction group, named the AA. Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Wednesday evening in the same church. There are churches everywhere.

The Leyland Festival is an annual Charity event. All the local people, volunteers and businesses, along with the Community, play a part in it, ensuring the Festival goes from strength to strength each year. The Festival begins with a vintage and modern parade.

Floats are designed by some schools and businesses which are looking for promotion. There are marching bands, Morris dancers and cars. The Leyland Festival is supported also by the South Ribble Borough. The Enterprise Company deals with waste and recycling and is the UK’s biggest maintenance and utility company. They work with the Public and Regulated Sector customers to bring about places to live, work and travel, by delivering a whole range of services; they have 320 contracts. Their utilities range from Power Consulting, Water, Gas, Metering Services, Strategic Highways, Rail, Local Highways, Defence and Social Care.

Some famous people came from Leyland, including Fred Beardsworth, a famous footballer who was born in Leyland in 1899. He played for the Farrington Villa and the Preston and District League in 1909 at the age of only nine.

Mark Strange was born on 8th October 1973 in Leyland. He is a film producer, English actor and martial arts action performer. He worked on the films The Medallion, Twin Effect, and Batman Begins. He produced the films Displaced, Underground, and The Bodyguard. The stars he worked and performed with included Jackie Chan, Joey Ansah and Danny Joh-Jules from Red Dwarf.

Rugby star, Chris Tuson, was born the 25th February 1988 in Leyland. His education was gained in Balshaws C.E. High school. He started his playing career with beginners clubs like Leyland Warriors and Bamber Bridge but was introduced to Wigan Warriors in 2006.

My own time in Leyland, Lancashire, has been memorable.

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