GUNSMOKE, Bonanza, Alias Smith and Jones, Maverick, The Rifleman, Wagon Train, Rawhide, Bronco, Cheyanne, Tenderfoot, Lone Ranger, Range Rider and Annie Oakle were part of readers of a certain age’s  education. 

The names of Geronimo and Cochise and those John Wayne westerns have a familiar ring, but I never suspected a St Helens connection. 
In Arizona, near Apache Pass, Fort Bowie was a 19th century outpost of the United States Army, located in south eastern Arizona.

The remaining buildings and site are now protected as the Fort Bowie National Historic Site.

In the rubbish dumps, and also in the dumps of old ‘ghost towns’, historians have found glass beer and glass food bottles with the logo of CS&Co, identified as Cannington Shaw of Lancashire, England.

The twist is that in 1904 Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World show came to St Helens for three days.

The show began with a parade on horseback, with participants from horse-culture groups, including US and other military, cowboys, American Indians and performers from all over the world. The audiences would see main events, feats of skill, staged races and sideshows. 

When they arrived at Shaw Street railway station the Apaches were less than a mile away from the Cannington Shaw works that made the bottles which travelled all the way to the deserts of Arizona, a more familiar landscape to them than galloping around Cowley Hill.

This ignited my imagination.

I am having a go at writing scripts and planning performances to maximise the use of all genres of art to continue to uncover and present the many stories around Cannington Shaw.

It is more fun than listening to endless speculation about Brexit.

- Geoff Sandford reports: “Plans are being made for the Transport Museum to remember that 2018 is not only the town's 150th anniversary but also marks 60 years since the last trolleybus ran.

“We will be commemorating this as well as the borough celebrations. 
“I will give you more details at a later date but it will include the return of the St Helens trolleybus 387 (BDJ 87) to the town.

“It will be on loan from The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft near Doncaster. Many former preserved St Helens motorbuses will also be attending the event.

“We are also getting ready for the 150th celebrations of St Helens fire service lorry LDJ 57, which took part in the 100-year celebrations. I was on the float, so you will get some photographs of that as well.

“There is still a lot to plan for the trolleybus event. It could be the last time the trolleybus comes home.”