Timeline

NOTE: If you notice any omissions or errors in this timeline, please contact me so they can be fixed.

Pre - 1270 A.D.


7th century: Middleton is thought to have been settled by this time.
1086: Rochdale recorded in the Domesday Book as Recedham.
1164: Heywood family recorded in local area.
1183: Records for Ashworth start around this time.
1197: Reference to Birtle in records.
12th century: Hopwood family recorded at site of current Hopwood Hall.
1210: Reference to hamlets of Lumhalghs (Lomax) and Hep (Heap) in records.
1260: Land at Pilsworth granted to William de Radcliffe.


1270-1600


1260s-70s: Adam de Bury grants land to Peter de Heywood.
1278: William del Bridge granted land near Bury.
1292: Reference to Hoppewode in records
13th century: Bamford family living in Bamford area.
13th century: Peter de Heywood builds Heywood Hall.
13th century: Woollen mill recorded at Bamford
16th century: Woollen mill recorded at Bridge Hall.
1514: St James' was established as a 'chapel of ease' at Ashworth by the Holt family. Worship at Ashworth is reputed to date back to Saxon times. The church was declared a parish chapel in 1650.
1552: Heywood Chapel referred to in a report.
1560: Corn and fulling mills recorded at Ashworth.
1577: Heywood depicted as ‘Hawood’ on Christopher Saxton’s new map of Britain.
1580: John Blackwall granted the right to mine coal in the Cheesden Valley.
1594: Roger Holt recorded as having a water mill and house at Bridge Hall.

1600-1800


1600s: Much of what used to be common land was being enclosed by this time.
1605: Peter Heywood participated in the arrest of Guy Fawkes.
1611: Heywood Hall rebuilt.
1636: Scholar and poet Richard James visited Heywood and recorded the events in his lengthy poem ‘Iter Lancastrense’.
1637: Makin Mill (corn processing mill) recorded at Back o’th’ Moss.
1640: The old Heywood Chapel was rebuilt by Robert Heywood, although it was not consecrated until 1862, following the English Civil Wars.
1640s: The estate of the Royalist Heywood family was sequestered by Parliamentariansduring the English Civil Wars. The Ashworth estate of the Holt family was also sequestered. These estates were recovered by the families after payment of a large fee. 
1650: Parliament assigned the tithes of Whittle, Heywood, Bamford and Lomax to Heywood Chapel.
1650s: Church survey shows 95 families or householders living near Heywood Chapel, including the areas of Bamford, Gristlehurst, Marland, Hopwood and Pilsworth.
17th-18th century: Most of Hopwood Hall was rebuilt during this time. Edward Gregge took over Hopwood Hall in 1773 on the death of Lady Hopwood and assumed the name Hopwood by act of Parliament.
1716: George Warbuton recorded as manufacturing paper at Bridge Hall Mills, Heap Bridge. These mills were being operated by Thomas Compton c.1766-1810, and then the Wrigleys until 1924.
1717: Heywood family sell Heywood Hall and estate to John Starkey of Rochdale.
1718: Queen Ann Inn named on Heywood Hall Estate Map.
1730: Church Inn, Birtle, built as ‘Tap Laish’ by Robert and Elizabeth Diggle.
1761: First mill built at Crimble. Edward Kenyon was producing woollen goods.
c.1770: Chapel House, Ashworth, rebuilt as the Egerton Arms around this time.
1777: Wrigley Brook Mill becomes the first cotton mill in Heywood.
1780: Kershaw Bridge Mill becomes the first mill to open in the Cheesden Valley. 14 other mills were to follow.
1780: Makin Mill converted by Robert Peel into a cotton mill.
1780: Heywood had population of 2,000.
1786: Cheesden Lumb Mill built.
1789: St James’ chapel at Ashworth rebuilt. It was enlarged in 1837.
1793: Heywood’s first Sunday School opened on Hind Street by Wesleyan Methodists from the Gooden Lane Society.
1797: ‘Hare and Hounds’ built for Richard and Mary Ashworth. This pub served travellers on the Edenfield Road Turnpike (opened 1796) and later became known as ‘Owd Betts’.
c.1797: Bury New Road constructed under Turnpike Act 1797. The roads to Bury and Rochdale were turnpiked at this time.


1800-1820s


1800: Population of Heywood is 4,238.
1801: Congregational Chapel opened at Bamford. It later became a United Reformed church. A Sunday School was added in 1861.
1805: Wesleyan Methodist Chapel built.
c.1810: Coal pits opened around Hooley Clough around this time by Simon Dearden.
1811: Lord George Byron resided at Hopwood Hall. Byron was Lord of the Manor of Rochdale 1808-23. 
1814: New Jerusalem Church ('New-Church') established on Oak Street.
1814: Crimble Hall built by Joseph Fenton of Bamford Hall for his son John. In 1832 John became Rochdale's first MP.
1815: St Luke’s School opened in York Street.
1817: Ten cotton mills in the town.
1819: Pioneering war photographer Roger Fenton was born at Crimble Hall.
1820: Population of town is approx. 10,000.
1821: Sylvester Litton Ltd founded at Sandy Lane.
1824: Power looms made by William Smith & Bros.
1824: Birtle Dene Mill built for Thomas Ramsbottom.
1824: Congregational Church, Rochdale Road East, founded. This building was demolished in 2005.
1826: Fustian mills built at Hooley Bridge for Joseph Fenton. He also established the Hooley Bridge village with 160 cottages around the mill.
1826: John Diggle hanged at Lancaster for the murders of Benjamin and Alice Cass, Birtle.
1826: The 'Act for lighting with gas the village of Heywod, within the parish of Bury... 7, George IV' came into law. A Gas Works was built at Hooley Bridge during the following year.
1827: St Mary’s Church built at Birch. St Mary’s National School opened in 1836. The church was demolished in 1964.
1828: Primitive Methodist Society established.
1828: New Jerusalem Church built off Church Street by Swedenborgians. It was enlarged in 1838 and replaced in 1914 with a building on Hornby Street.
1829: Crimble Mill rebuilt. It was converted to steam power in 1850 and the main section was added in 1886.


1830s


1830s: John Grundy, owner of the Bridge Hall estate, ran the Bridge Hall Woollen Mills.
1830: Belgrave Shuttle Works opened at Broadfield. The works were transferred to Springfield Street. in the 1920s. The company relocated to Preston in 1997.
1832: Heywood, after the Reform Act 1832, was represented as part of the South Lancashire constituency.
1833: 27 cotton mills in the town.
1834: Rochdale Canal (opened in 1802) was extended from Bluepits (Castleton) to Gooden Lane (Hopwood), providing a new means of transporting cotton, coal lime, iron and timber. The Sun Iron Works opened along the canal in 1834, and ten other mills opened there soon after. A wagon road linked Nancy Coal Pit, Hopwood, with the canal wharf. A warehouse was built at the head of the canal in 1871, but the Heywood branch became disused in 1937 and was officially closed in in 1952.
1835: Petty Sessions held at the Queen Anne Inn.
1835: Workers (including many pauper children) started to be brought up from southern England to work in the mills, under the Poor Law 1834. About 300 such people were settled in Bury and Heywood during 1835-37. This system continued until 1885.
1835: Primitive Methodist Chapel opened, Bury New Road. This closed in 1998.
1836: Heywood Baptist Church completed, Rochdale Road. It was replaced in 1979.
1836: Wesleyan Methodist chapel opened at Kenyon Fold. The church has since been demolished.
1837: Heywood Gasworks was constructed.
1837: St James Church and Tower Street School built. The church was consecrated in the following year. The church closed in 2014.
1839: Railway station opened at Bluepits, Castleton, on the Manchester and Leeds Railway.
1839: Earthquake tremors felt around south Lancashire, including Heywood area. 


1840s


1840: The chapelry (a subdivision of a parish) of Heywood was constituted. 
1840: Heywood Coal Company owned two collieries, including one at Captain Fold. 
1840: Population of town is 14,856.
1840: Mechanics Institute formed.
1841: 34 cotton mills in the town.
1841: St James’ Church built at Heady Hill.
1841: Heywood railway station opened on a branch line from Bluepits for the Manchester and Leeds Railway. Until 1847 the trains on this branch were still horse-drawn.
1842: Writer Samuel Bamford visited Heywood, describing it as a ‘large and modern village’.
1842: 'Plug Drawing Riot' mob rushed through Heywood. This was part of a general strike that occurred when the Second Chartist petition was rejected by parliament. Strikers removed plugs from factory boilers to stop them working. Several mills were stopped and shops broken open.
1843: Healey Brothers Ltd established.
1844: Heywood’s first newspaper (the Heywood Observer) was printed and published by John Manock.
1844: Methodist New Connexion church opened, Miller Street. this building closed before 1895.
1847: Ten Hours Act passed, limiting the hours worked by children aged under 18.
1847: Heywood Mutual Burial & Assurance Collecting Society established.
1848: Railway line opened to/from Bury. It was closed for passenger services in 1970.


1850s


1850s: Following the Irish Potato Famine, the number of Irish immigrants in Heywood during the 1850s grew from 159 to 1,167 (6.7% of total population).
1850: United Methodist Free Church, Bethel Street, opened in 1850, replacing their earlier Queen Street building (1835). The congregation joined with Market Street. Wesleyan Methodists in 1940.
1850: The Mechanics' Institution building was built on Longford Street. This place was later used by the Reform Club (1871-82) and then became the Municipal Buildings.
1851: Until this time, Paved Brow (the section of Bury Street from Bridge Inn to Wham Bar) was the only paved road in town. All other roads were dirt tracks.
1851: Gas street lighting introduced.
1852: Captain Fold Pit, Chadwick Lane, closed after two miners drowned in flooding there.
1852: Seven miners drowned in accident at Birtle Pit, Elbut Lane.
1852: John Clegg’s ‘Star Works’ opened at Wham Bar. Hargreaves and Clegg took over the mill in 1902.
1853: Market place erected. 
1854: St Joseph’s R.C. Church, Dawson Street, built. It was replaced by the Mary Street building in 1915.
1854: Consecration of St John the Baptist Church, Birtle.
1855: First printing of the Heywood Advertiser.
1856: Roman coins circa A.D.268 found in small urn near Plumpton House.
1856: Heywood Cemetery opened.
1856: Public baths opened on Peel Street.
1856: Britain Hill Unitarian Church founded.
1857: First recorded reference to the nickname ‘Monkey Town’ is made by writer Edwin Waugh.
1857: Bury Union Workhouse opened at Jericho, replacing former parish workhouse on Bury Old Road near Wham. This new workhouse was replaced by Fairfield Hospital in 1948.
1859: Old St Luke’s Chapel demolished.
1859: St Luke’s Parish School completed.


1860s


1860: Population is 17,442.
1860s: Town badly affected by the Cotton Famine when raw cotton supplies stopped because of a naval blockade of Confederate ports during the U.S. Civil War. Mills either closed or worked on short time.
1861: A new Wesleyan Methodist chapel is built on Market Street, replacing their 1805 structure.
1862: Christadelphian Church on Starkey Street by this time.
1863: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway co. opened wagon building works on Green Lane. This later became the Standard Railway Wagon Co., which closed in 1992.
1863: St Luke's Church, the church of Heywood chapelry, was built at a cost of upwards of £10,000 in the decorated English style. It comprised a nave of 80 feet by 24, with aisles, and a chancel of 42 feet by 22. A private mortuary chapel was erected at great cost additional to that of the church. It is ornamented with coloured marbles and alabaster, and has a detached tower with a spire 185 feet high.
1864: The town was in Heap township or Civil Parish. The first local government in the area was formed in 1864, when part of the township of Heap adopted the Local Government Act 1858. Heap Middle Division Local Board was formed to govern standards of hygiene and sanitation for the Heywood part of Heap township.
1864: Baptists build ‘Jireh Chapel’ on Queen/Starkey Street. This building became the Christadelphian Church in 1932, after being used by the Labour Party for a short time.
1866: Bethel Street United Methodist Free Church, Heap Bridge, was consecrated.
1867: Heywood extended to 1 mile radius around St Luke’s. The area of the local board was enlarged by the addition of parts of the townships of Birtle with Bamford, Castleton, Heap Hopwood, and Pilsworth. At the same time it was renamed as Heywood Local Board.
1867: Gas Works purchased by Local Board.
1867: St Joseph’s School opened. 
1868: Heywood became part of the South East Lancashire parliamentary constituency.
1868: Annual Rush Bearing festival ceased due to ‘rowdy behaviour’.
1869: York Street Congregational Church consecrated. It replaced an earlier York Street building (1836). Congregationalists had held services in Heywood as early as 1821. This building was closed in 1968 when the congregation moved to the church on Rochdale Road East. It was demolished in ????.


1870s


1870: Hopwood was described as a township in John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales as a Middleton parish, including the villages of Birch and Gooden. “Many cotton mills, and an extensive iron foundry are at Gooden; and a national school is at Birch.”

1870: Bamford was described as a village in the township of Birtle-cum Bamford, parish of Middleton. “It has a post office under Rochdale, and an Independent chapel; and its inhabitants are employed chiefly in cotton factories. Bamford Hall, the fine old seat of J. Fenton, Esq., is adjacent.”
1870: Birtle was described as a township in the district of Bury, Lancashire. The township bears the name of Birtle-cum-Bamford; is in Middleton parish. The population of 2,350 was “employed chiefly in cotton and woollen manufactures, and in calico printing.”
1870: Heap was described as a township and parochial chapelry in Bury. The township included the town of Heywood. The population exclusive of Heywood in 1861 was 4,529.
1870: Pilsworth was described as a township in Middleton parish, of 1,478 acres and a population of 343. The property belonged to the Earl of Eglinton.
1870: Castleton was described as a township in Rochdale and included the hamlets of Buersill, Lowerplace, Newbold, Marland, Lower-Lane, Broad-Lane, Backlanes, Roeacre, Captainfold, Castleton-Moor, and Bluepits. “There are traces of a castle, supposed to have been built before the Conquest.”
1870: Post Office opened in York Street.
1871: A major fire at the canal wharf burned for over one month.
1872: Bridge Street Primitive Methodist chapel founded. They opened another church on Miller Street in 1900.
1872: All Soul’s Primary School opened.
1874: First Free Public Library established in rented premises in Market Place.
1874: Trinity Methodist Chapel founded.
1875: Toll bars, where vehicles were charged to pass, removed from Heywood roads.
1878: Birtle School built to serve the St John the Baptist church, Birtle. The school closed in 1954.
1878: Heywood Cricket Club formed.
1879: Parts of Hopwood and Pilsworth townships were added to the area of the Local Board.
1879: Queens Park opened. It was paid for from the estate of Heywood man Charles Martin Newhouse, who died in a railway accident in 1873 but had not made a will. His estate was handed to the Duchy of Lancaster, and the local board agreed to create a public park, named in honour of Queen Victoria.


1880s


1880: The Heap Bridge Branch (freight only) of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co. was in operation by this time. This line serviced the various mills in the local area.
1880: Population of town is 22,979.
1881: In 1880 the inhabitant householders of the Heywood area petitioned the privy council for the grant of a charter of incorporation under the Muncipal Corporations Act. The request was successful and a charter was granted on 18 February 1881, constituting Heywood a municipal borough. A borough council consisting of a mayoraldermenand councillors replaced the local board.
1881: First Municipal Elections held. Thomas Isherwood was elected first mayor of Heywood.
1881: St John’s Church, Hopwood, opened. The original church was made of iron. This was replaced by the current building in 1905.
1881: ‘Manchester, Bury, Rochdale & Oldham Steam Tramways Co.’ ran service to Heap Bridge. Steam tram links between Rochdale and Bury were maintained until 1905, when the system was electrified.
1882: Separate Commission of the Peace granted to the Borough.
1882: Andrew Duxbury bought the Heap Bridge Paper Co., for Yates Duxbury & Son Ltd. They erected a new mill around 1905.
1882: Salvation Army established.
1883: Royal assent given to Heywood Corporation Act.
1883: Heywood’s St John’s Ambulance Brigade formed.
1884: The 'Manchester, Bury, Rochdale & Oldham Steam Tramways Co.' runs narrow gauge trams to Heywood.
1884: Mutual Mill No.1 built. By 1914 the Mutual Spinning Company was the largest firm in the district, and by 1924 there were four mills at the site.
1884: Nine miners die in flooding at Birtle Coal Pit, which was afterwards sealed and closed.
1884: Heywood Corporation opened the Municipal Buildings in the old Mechanics Institute. This building was demolished in the 1980s.
1885: Parliamentary constituency of Heywood formed. The first MP was Isaac Hoyle of the Liberal Party.
1885: St Michael's Church opened on the Bury and Rochdale Old Road. The church had originally been based at Gnat Bank in the 1850s, and their school opened in 1875.
1886: Heywood Mission opened on Fox Street. Thought to be originally part of the Salvation Army, it later followed the Wesleyan Methodist doctrine. It was damaged by fire in 1994 and later demolished.
1889: Heywood FC and Heywood Central FC among founding members of the Lancashire League.


1890s


1891: Yew Mill erected. With 112,000 spindles, this was the world’s largest spinning mill under one roof.
1891: Population of town is 23,185.
1891: Public Swimming Baths, Fox Street, presented to the town by Mr A Grundy.
1892: Heywood Cricket Club, based at Pot Hall, are founding members of the Central Lancashire League.
1892: Spiritual Temple opened on the corner of William Street and Heywood Hall Road.
1893: Anthony Palmer, recipient of Victoria Cross in the Crimean War, buried in Heywood Cemetery.
1894: Municipal Technical School opened on Hind Hill Street.
1894: Cemetery transferred to Corporation.
1894: Local Government Act - boundaries of Heywood extended and Heap township was dissolved.
1896: Towel manufacturer William R Lees Ltd bought Hooley Bridge Mill. Several local streets were rebuilt at this time.
1896: JW and R Healey & Co. established at Wham. The firm moved to the Broadfield Mill on Pilsworth Road in 1932.
1897: Botany Sewage Purification Works opened near Gristlehurst Woods.
1897: Ashworth Colliery, off Ashworth Road, closed because of flooding. The Water Board sank a borehole on the site in the 1950s.
1898: The Phoenix Brewery opened on Green Lane.
1898: Heywood and Middleton Water Board formed. This merged with other boards to become the West Pennine Water Board in 1967 and then the North West Water Authority in 1973.
1899: Rhodes Brothers established.

1900s


1900: Part of Castleton Urban District was added to the Borough.
1900: All Souls Church erected.
1900: Heywood FC win the Lancashire Junior Cup.
c.1900: JC Kay & Co. open Phoenix Foundry at Heap Bridge.
1901: Electricity works opened.
1901: Population of town is 25,548.
1902: Working hours limited to 55½ hours per week.
1903: Refuse Destructor Works opened at Bottom o’th’ Brow.
1904: Heywood Cricket Club win the Central Lancashire League for the first time. There are further wins in 1929, 1931, 1945, 1960, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1974, 1976, 1984, 2006 and 2008.
1905: Construction of new Carnegie-funded Library completed.
1905: Last steam trams run and first electric tram passes through Heywood.
1905: Wesleyan Methodist Church, Market Street, built.
1906: Official opening of the new Library in Church Street. This was one of 650 Carnegie Libraries built in Britain with money donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (the Heywood library cost £,6,000).
1906: Plum Mill opened at Broadfield.
1906: The first Council School erected on Bamford Road.
1907: 35 cotton mills in the town
1907: There are seven blacksmith shops in Heywood, showing that horse-drawn transport is still the predominant form of transport.
1908: Electric trams run along Bury and Rochdale Old Road.
1908: Ashworth Reservoir opened after ten years of construction work.
1908: Magdala Street Council School opened.
1909: ‘Park roller skating rink’ opened on Starkey Street, in the ‘Park Picture Palace’ which had formerly been a live theatre. The building was demolished in the 1930s.
1909: Regent Street Council School opened.


1910s


1910: Bullough Moor Recreation Grounds opened, covering 8¾ acres.
1911: Restoration of St Luke’s church bells, as a memorial to King George VII, completed.
1911: Walter Martyn hanged at Strangeways for the murder of Edith Griffiths in Plumpton Wood.
1911: Hopwood Recreation Ground opened, covering 5¾ acres.
1911: Population of town is 26,697.
1912: The Heywood Technical School building was extended and reopened as the Heywood Day Secondary School. In 1924 the name was changed to Heywood Grammar School.
1912: Art Gallery and Museum opened. 
1913: Scott House, Memorial Home for Crippled Children opened at Norden.
1913: King George V and Queen Mary visited Heywood on 12th July.
1914: Heywood United FC win the Lancashire Junior Cup.
1914: Central Council School opened.
1915: Heywood reached its all-time peak of cotton production during this year to become the 15th largest centre of cotton spinning in Britain.
1915: Heywood MP Harold Cawley killed at Gallipoli in World War 1. At least 50 Heywood men were killed at this place.
1918: Parliamentary constituency of Heywood & Radcliffe formed.
1919: 27 cotton mills were closed in Heywood during 1919-39.
1919: Robert Barker Ltd established, operating from Wilton Works, James Street, from 1924. The business closed in 1991. 


1920s


1920: Heywood Cricket Club moves from Pot Hall to current ground at Crimble.
1921: Population of town is 26,693.
1920s: Harold Pyott, billed as the ‘world’s smallest man’, living in Heywood
1920s: ‘Heywood Athletic Club’ formed. The club wound down in 1950.
1922: Queens Park Boating Lake opened.
1923: Fire Station built on land at 12 York Street (site of current market), purchased at a cost of £900. the station closed there in 1966.
1923: Approx. 22½ acres of land added to Queens Park – the gift of Alderman D Healey.
1923: The Hopwood family vacated Hopwood Hall. It was purchased by the De La Salle brothers in 1946 and then sold to Rochdale Council in the 1990s. 
1925: Unveiling of the War Memorial.
1926: New Market Hall opened on Hind Hill Street, replacing the old markets on the site of the present Memorial Gardens.
1926: Garden of Remembrance opened.
1926: St Joseph’s R C Infant School opened.
1928: Transparent Paper Ltd. established in former Heap Bridge paper mills. This business continued until 1980.
1929: Heywood Cricket Club win the Wood Cup for the first time. There are further wins in 1945, 1970, 1971, 1984, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
1929: New York Mill closed.


1930s


1930: ‘Heywood Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’ formed.
1931: Borough of Heywood 50th Jubilee.
1931: Population of town is 25, 968.
1931: Heywood man Tim ‘Percy’ Hunt wins both junior and senior titles at the TT races on the Isle of Man.
1933: Boundaries extended again when part of the Borough was added to Bury Borough and parts of Norden Urban District and of Birtle with Bamford and Unsworth Civil Parishes were added to Heywood, making a total of 8,341 acres.
1933: Queens Park Road & Bridge opened by the Earl of Derby. Prior to the bridge being constructed, the southern section of this road was known as William Street. This work was paid for by businessman David Healey. 
1933: ‘Heywood Rotary Club’ formed.
1934: Trams replaced by motor omnibuses in Heywood.
1934: Fireman Paddy Kelly killed in fire at Yates Duxbury Paper Works.
1934: Public Health Offices and Clinic opened.
1935: Tram lines removed from the streets of Heywood.
1936: Mace presented to the Borough to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI.
1936: Heywood Police Station and courts opened on Hind Hill Street.
1937: Heywood corporation replaced its horse and carts with motor vehicles.
1937: Back o’th’ Moss estate built.
1938: Establishment of RAF Maintenance Unit on Pilsworth Road.
1938: Heywood-born Peter Kane won the World Flyweight Championship.
1939: Population of town is 25,063.
1939: Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses established in Heywood, in a hut on Cartridge Street. In the 1970s they acquired the former municipal baths on Fox/Taylor Street and turned into a Kingdom Hall.


1940s-50s


1940: Heywood Home Guard formed.
1940: German bomb landed on a house in Hopwood, killing a young girl.
1941: The noted astrophotographer David Malin born in Heywood. He grew up in the Ashworth Valley area.
1945: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Heywood.
1949: Heywood section of the Rochdale Canal closed.
1949: Annual ‘medical charities’ fetes’ ended in 1949 after introduction of the NHS, although Heywood Charities’ Fete still continues.
1949: Heywood Townswomen’s Guild formed.
1950: Parliamentary constituency of Heywood & Royton formed.
1951: Bamford Hall demolished.
1951: Last coal mining at Bamford Close.
1951: Population of town is 25,201.
1953: Open-air theatre opened in Queen's Park. It was paid for with 'Festival of Britain' money and replaced the bandstand that had been taken down during the previous year.
1956: Heywood Flying Club (Pigeon Racing) founded.
1956: Heywood Hall demolished
1957: Picturedrome Cinema, Market Street, closed.
1958: St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Secondary School opened.
1959: Plum Mill and Unity Mill ceased production as a result of reorganisation of the cotton industry. Leesona took over Unity Mill the following year, and Plum Mill was demolished in 1978.


1960s


1961: Sarah J Bentley elected as first woman mayor.
1961: Population of town is 24,090.
1962: First families move into houses on Darnhill Overspill Estate.
1962: New Telephone Exchange built.
1963: Approval given for flats to be built on Darnhill Estate.
1963: Day club for retired people opened (Sandon House).
1964: Heady Hill School closed.
1964: St Margaret’s C.E. Church and School opened.
1965: Sutherland County Secondary School opened.
1965: Heywood and Middleton Water Board open Greenbooth Reservoir, on the site of former Green Booth village.
1966: New Civic Hall opened in the town centre.
1966: Heywood woman Julie Goodyear lands the role of Bet Lynch in Coronation Street. She was awarded the MBE in 1996.
1967: Air Ministry Maintenance Unit No 35 closed.
1967: New Fire Station opened.
1967: Darnhill Branch Library opened.
1967: Heywood twinned with Peine in Germany. The Friends of Peine Association was formed in 1977.
1968: Heywood Grammar School closed. The Hind Hill Street building was used for the new Heywood Junior High School, which had a new Senior High School at Siddal Moor, Newhouse Road. This school was renamed ‘Siddal Moor’ in the mid-1970s, and the Hind Hill Street building closed in 1981.


1970s


1970: Passenger railway services from Heywood withdrawn.
1970: New Post Office opened on Hind Hill Street.
1970: Jack Talbot Sports Centre opened, West Starkey Street.
1970: Heywood Distribution Park officially opened at Pilsworth.
1971: Healey Bros. became British Twine & Rope Co.
1971: Heywood linked with new section of M62.
1971: Population of town is 30,443.
1972: Victoria Hotel demolished.
1972: Heywood Lions formed.
1973: Leonard Nuttall became the last mayor of Heywood.
1974: Under the Local Government Reorganisation Act, Heywood became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, and also left Lancashire to become part of Greater Manchester.
1974: Heywood woman Christine Gaskell won gold medal for swimming at the Commonwealth Games.
1975: Fox Street Baths closed down, and the new Gaskell Pool opened on West Starkey Street.
1975: ‘Heywood Rugby League Club’ formed.
1975: Ames Crosta Babcock started production. The factory was officially opened in 1978.
1976: New Fire Station opened. 
1976: Heywood man Bill Lennard became 'News of the World' darts champion.
1977: Baptist Church demolished. 
1978: Adult Training Centre opened.
1978: Leesona Ltd, Unity Mill, closed.
1978: Gem Cinema, Market Street, was demolished.
1979: Heywood Job Centre opened.
1979: New Baptist Church completed, Rochdale Road.


1980s-2000


1981: Final phase of the St Luke’s new school, Queens Park Road, (commenced 1970) completed.
1980: Heywood-born Lisa Stansfield wins “Search for Star” talent contest. She went on to have an international No.1 hit with ‘All Around the World’ in 1989.
1981: Citizens Advice Bureau opened to the public.
1981: Population of town is 29,686.
1982: Wharf Mill (formerly Stanley Mill) demolished.
1983: Parliamentary constituency of Heywood & Middleton formed.
1983: Morrisons Supermarket opens on Dawson Street.
1983: Roach Mill demolished.
1988: Back o’ th’ Moss Community Centre opened.
1990: ‘Heywood Memories Society’ formed.
1990: Sutherland High School is renamed Heywood Community School. This school closed in 2010.
1991: Population of town is 29,286.
1991: Heywood Markets move from Hind Hill Street to York/Hartley Street.
1996: Heywood’s first woman priest ordained. 
1997: Roeacre Mill demolished.
1998: Times Retail Park opened.
1999: Guinness Trust takes over the running of Darnhill.
2001: Population of town is 28,024.
2003: Extension of East Lancashire Railway sees stream trains return to Heywood.

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  1. Correction to your entry -1828 New Jerusalem Church built off Church Street by Swedenborgians. It was enlarged in 1838 and replaced in 1914 with a building on Hornby Street.

    The New Jerusalem Church (The Swedenborgian Church) was still in use on Church St until the 1970's, the building on Hornby St was the Sunday School built about 1850. Part of the school was burned down in 1914 and rebuilt in Accrington Brick. The old and new sections of the building are still standing. The day school was closed about 1914 when the new council school (now Harwood Park School) was built but the New Jerusalem Sunday School continued until the 1980's at that time it was locally known as the New Church Sunday School but formally known in the 1800's as Wham School or Hornby St School. (Logbooks for the old school at Lancashire record Office).

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    1. Thanks so much for that, kind stranger, I'll fix it up soon. That's just the kind of input we need for this timeline. :)

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  2. A great page, thanks for the info

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  3. LOOKING FOR ANY INFO ON A HOUSEFIRE 0R A KNOWN FIRE ON OR AROUND HIGH STREET, WHERE A LITTLE BOY OF MAYBE 4/5 LOST HIS LIFE, COULD OF BEEN BEFORE FLATS BUILT OR EVEN AS FAR BACK AS 1920s

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    1. I've not seen anything along those lines but will keep an eye out.

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  4. Hi Chris
    I was born in 1943 and lived in Heywood until 1966. In your timeline you say the Gem cinema was demolished in 1978. I have a pair of indian clubs that my dad had made for me when I was at primary school, and they were made from a beam taken from the Gem when it was demolished, so I'm guessing around 1950. For sure there were only 2 cinemas in the town when I was growing up, the Picturedrome (later called the Roxy) and the Palace.

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    1. Thanks Brian. I'm looking into the cinema history soon so I will recheck that.

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