Coffey Time with Chris Coffey

The St Helens mayor who packed a punch

St Helens Star:

10:08am Thursday 17th July 2014

CAN you imagine a remarkable Victorian scene in St Helens town centre with a cow stuck within the roof of a solicitor’s office in Hardshaw Street?

Vulcan loco makes welcome return home

St Helens Star:

10:05am Thursday 17th July 2014

A LOCOMOTIVE that has strong connections with Newton-le-Willows will make a nostalgic return.

Medal-winning hero was from Pocket Nook

St Helens Star: FIRST WORLD WAR TRENCHES     YPRES? (7548284)

9:57am Thursday 17th July 2014

BERNARD Revill tells me his mum, Veronica, was reading a Coffey Time article relating to the First World War.

Steam survivors fly the flag for St Helens

St Helens Star:

10:32am Thursday 10th July 2014

THREE steam age survivors will be flying the flag for St Helens next week at a Staffordshire festival.

Share your Moss Bank memories

St Helens Star:

10:27am Thursday 10th July 2014

REGULAR contributor Kevin Finney shares his memories stirred by my piece about the Moss Bank railway crossing.

Murder most foul and a memorial concert among this month's history events

St Helens Star:

10:19am Thursday 10th July 2014

Local history events coming up this month

Contact Chris Coffey

St Helens Star: Gloucestershire university launches first ever online degree

10:02am Thursday 10th July 2014

Email or ring 01744 817130 or write to 37 Holbrook Close, St. Helens, WA9 3XH.

Animals were often the victims

St Helens Star:

6:20am Thursday 3rd July 2014

AFTER reading the story about animal antics in old St Helens related in Coffey Time, Steve Wainwright described how animals such as cows and pigs could wreak havoc in offices and homes.

Boys' Brigade president comes to the rescue!

St Helens Star:

6:20am Thursday 3rd July 2014

BILL Clarey, vice president of the North West District of The Boys’ Brigade and president of the St Helens and District Battalion has come to the rescue!

Soldier's descendants sought

St Helens Star: Lest we forget: 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I

1:22pm Thursday 26th June 2014

BILLY Mckinney tells me that although he hails from Scotland he has lived in Earlestown for over 20 years is a regular reader of the Star, enjoys Coffey Time and wonders if readers can help him find relatives of WW1 soldier Private Lake.

Local history exhibition

1:16pm Thursday 26th June 2014

ATTENDANCE was disappointing but otherwise the annual local history exhibition in the Central Library was excellent and great fun. My thanks to the 13 exhibitors, and to all who helped out.

Villagers remember the Great War

St Helens Star: The Great War took seven men from Tatton Street

1:12pm Thursday 26th June 2014

RAINHILL Civic Society is planning an exhibition to commemorate Rainhill’s part in WW1 that will be seen in St Ann’s Church on Friday and Saturday on September 26 and 27.

Roots team revelations at Rainford

St Helens Star: Excavated items come under scrutiny

1:09pm Thursday 26th June 2014

RAINFORD'S Roots team of volunteers has been busy washing, sorting and bagging finds from the four community excavations in the village.

Search is on for the Brethertons

St Helens Star: A stableyard scene at Rainhill Hall

12:59pm Thursday 26th June 2014

RAINHILL Hall, now known as Loyola Hall, was the family home of the Stapleton-Bretherton family, many of whom had military connections.

Local history events diary.

1:56pm Thursday 19th June 2014

Friday, June 20 (1pm-4pm) and Thursday, June 26(1.30pm-3pm): Archaeological excavations in the rear garden at Rainford Library will be open to the public on Friday and the following Thursday there will be a guided heritage walk of the excavation and wider area given people an opportunity to see what's been happening at the dig.

Contact details.

1:54pm Thursday 19th June 2014

Email or ring 01744 817130 or write to 37 Holbrook Close, St. Helens, WA9 3XH.

Where, what and why?

St Helens Star: Where, what and why?

11:21am Thursday 19th June 2014

TOMMY Jensen found this intriguing picture on the good old interweb and we are both curious to know more! Captioned ‘1st St. Helens B.L.B. Camp August 1916’ can anyone tell us what a B.L.B. was? Emblazoned with the name ‘United Transport Company’ the heavily laden lorry was probably commandeered for transport duties. Any extra theories or information would be most welcome.

Were you part of the Stuttgart 1962 visit?

10:59am Thursday 19th June 2014

STUTTGART MEMORIES Roger Kilshaw contacted me after the article in CoffeyTime (May 15) regarding the post-war link with Germany. “Your article brought back some happy memories for me,” wrote Roger.

St Helens footballer Harry Welfare set Brazil alight

St Helens Star: Harry Welfare was a star in Brazil

10:50am Thursday 19th June 2014

FORMER Saints marketing and media manager Simon Dawson thinks especially with the World Cup underway readers would be intrigued by a soccer link between St Helens and tournament hosts Brazil.

The mill owner, the mill girl and the gamekeeper

12:01pm Thursday 12th June 2014

My research about Muncaster Hall at Rainford revealed an intriguing story. Unlike other old halls of Rainford with their long histories, Muncaster Hall was purely Victorian in its origins and architecture.

No Boundary to your ingenuity

St Helens Star: Boundary Road.

11:57am Thursday 12th June 2014

AFTER our puzzle picture appeared on the Star website Coffey Time column on May 15 quite a few people contacted me with their answers.

Exhibition time at Central Library.

11:50am Thursday 12th June 2014

ST HELENS Heritage Network invite people to visit their local history exhibition being held tomorrow and Saturday at St Helens Central Library.

Cross Pit Lane was the place.

St Helens Star: Cross Pit Lane, Rainford

11:51am Thursday 12th June 2014

AFTER our puzzle picture appeared on the Star website Coffey Time column on May 15 quite a few people contacted me with their ansers. Tomejen said: “Boundary Road, looking towards Peter Street”. Bill Harrison from Canada asked: “Is that Gavin Murray’s up there on the left?” A. Gray replied: “Yes. Gavin Murray’s on the corner of Boundary Road and Kirkland Street looking from the Lingholme. Val Cunningham also rang me with the correct answer. Kevin Finney emailed his recollections of the area: “Too easy for me. It was a worn track between school and the baths and also to Queens Rec. “The showroom housed cars and a garage. The people at the house next to the showroom in Boundary Road had a girl who used to work behind the record counter at Rothery Radio a shop that recently featured in your column. “It looked a little quiet in your photo of a busy bus route. However, since the area to the left of the photo was decimated and replaced by flats and bungalows, not too many buses take that route. A nice memory. I’m sure it was a well trodden route for many other kids to the baths as well!”

Forthcoming events.

11:42am Thursday 12th June 2014

Sunday, June 15: St. Helens Cemetery – Fathers Day balloons.


11:40am Thursday 12th June 2014

•Email or ring 01744 817130 or write to 37 Holbrook Close, St. Helens, WA9 3XH. •Email me if you want our free monthly Heritage or Arts/Music newsletters.


6:20am Thursday 5th June 2014

Email or ring 01744 817130 or write to 37 Holbrook Close, St. Helens, WA9 3XH. Email me if you want free monthly Heritage or Arts/Music newsletters.

Local history events.

6:20am Thursday 5th June 2014

Monday, June 9: Queen’s Park Local History Group at the Sprayhurst Social Club, Boundary Road. 7pm. Joe Cowley highlights the five men who made St Helens.

Heritage exhibition at Central Library

St Helens Star: The exhibition will be in the Central Library, the Gamble Building and former 'tech'.

6:20am Thursday 5th June 2014

ANNUALLY since 2002 member groups of the St Helens Heritage Network join forces to host a local history exhibition.

WW1 and the St Helens Pals

St Helens Star: St Helens Pals

6:10am Thursday 5th June 2014

ST HELENS Townships Family History Society, will present a talk about the Heritage Lottery supported Project, 11th Batt. South Lancs Regiment - the renowned St Helens Pals.

Pulling power

11:07am Thursday 29th May 2014

THE Star’s pulling power has reunited three army pals.


11:06am Thursday 29th May 2014

Email or ring 01744 817130 or write to 37 Holbrook Close, St. Helens, WA9 3XH. Email me if you want free monthly Heritage or Arts/Music newsletters.

Where were we?

St Helens Star: What's the name of this popular meeting place?

11:03am Thursday 29th May 2014

DO you recognise these two Billinge landmarks, one of them a family seat amd the other a popular meeting place?

Lofty Billinge just the place for a tribal settlement

St Helens Star: Do you recognise this Billinge landmark?

6:30am Thursday 29th May 2014

Billingers are likely descended from the people of Billa, a people who settled around Europe and who came over to England a century or so after the Romans departed. Norfolk and Lincolnshire have many Billinga place names, just as our area has many Anglo-Saxon names. One tribe made their main settlement Billinge.

'Get under the table there's a plane coming'

St Helens Star: YELL CROY Why German World War 2 bomber returned to Croydon

9:53am Thursday 22nd May 2014

The wartime bomb story related in the April 17 column revived memories for Pauline Rimmer who writes: “I can recall my mum telling us about sitting under the stairs and under the table in the air raids, and the bomb that landed in Back Bolton Street and the house in the article being destroyed.

The pirates make way for barbers

St Helens Star: Bromley Gilbert and Sullivan show features genuine peg-leg pirate

9:46am Thursday 22nd May 2014

FOR more than 80 years St Helens Gilbert & Sullivan Society has entertained us raising money for charity in the process.

Diary Dates

6:20am Thursday 15th May 2014

Thursday, May 15, St Helens Townships Family History Society meet at St Helens Town Hall, 7pm start, ‘My Family History’, with Richard Waring.

Moss Bank Memories

St Helens Star: Someone, somewhere will know where this if even if they can't tell us the name of the dog!

6:20am Thursday 15th May 2014

THE old photograph reproduced on April 24 brought back memories for readers including Arthur Moore, of Moss Bank Road, who was delighted to be reminded of his birthplace.

Walter broke the ice with Germany after the Second World War

6:20am Thursday 15th May 2014

ST HELENS Rotary Club President Celia Parr has revealed an interesting link between St Helens and Stuttgart.

Where are we?

St Helens Star: Where are we?

2:33pm Wednesday 14th May 2014

DO you recognise this scene? Keep your answers coming!

When 45s took over from 78s

St Helens Star: The real thing Elvis Presley

6:20am Thursday 8th May 2014

RCA Victor introduced the first 45 rpm single record in February 1949, when they mailed out a selection of different artists and styles to USA record stores.

Target practice off The Wheatsheaf balcony

St Helens Star: A soldier belonging to an anti-aircraft battery polishing a searchlight (the original caption doesn’t say where this was taken)

6:20am Thursday 8th May 2014

ALAN Tucker is seeking photographs of St Helens scenes and I would also appreciate the same for use in future columns.

Cottages were built for pit manager

St Helens Star: The cottages at Garswood

6:20am Thursday 8th May 2014

The old photograph used recently of two cottages at Garswood brought a welcome response from Roland Hosker.

Murder Most Foul among this months events

St Helens Star: Murder mystery event raises hundreds for charity

6:20am Thursday 8th May 2014

History and murder mystery this month


11:19am Thursday 1st May 2014

You can send me an email at or ring 01744 817130 or write to 37 Holborook Close, St Helens, WA9 3XH.

School picture quest

11:15am Thursday 1st May 2014

Sheila Higgins is keen to locate a photograph of the industrial school for Catholic girls which was in Blackbrook.

Can you name these soldiers?

St Helens Star: Can you name these soldiers?

11:07am Thursday 1st May 2014

OVER the coming weeks I am including photographs of unknown soldiers in the hope that descendants will give them a good home. Here are two but I have no information on either.

Look into World War One history

St Helens Star: World War I

10:55am Thursday 1st May 2014

Peter Harvey writes “It still amazes me that so many people are not aware of their family’s involvement in WW1. Wherever your family lived, they would have been affected by the Great War.”

The Nancy in Pocket Nook

St Helens Star: Incident between rival fans at pub

10:47am Thursday 1st May 2014

Mary O’Shaughnessy has contacted me with some interesting facts.

Can you name this St Helens soldier?

St Helens Star: Does anyone recognise this unknown soldier?

7:10am Thursday 24th April 2014

Over the coming weeks I am including a photo of a local unknown soldier, in the hope that some of his descendants will give it a good home. This one is a postcard image but unfortunately with no information. Can you solve the mystery?

Anger's words on bridge over the East Lancs Road

St Helens Star: Health and wellbeing fair to mark International Women's Day

7:10am Thursday 24th April 2014

Around 1589 a woman named Jane Anger wrote a pamphlet for the protection of women: “To defend them against the scandalous reportes of a late Surfeiting Lover, and all other like Venerians that complaine so to bee overcloyed with womens kindnesse.”

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