Chorley Remembers is a major heritage project devised, managed and delivered by Trustees behind the Chorley Pals Memorial, a registered charity no. 1121707, based in the Lancashire market town.
The charity was founded in 2007 by the town’s MP, Lindsay Hoyle, and local historian and author, Steve Williams. In less than three years it raised over £105,000 for a memorial to the town’s ‘Pals’ unit who fought at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
The statue was unveiled on the 28th February 2010 and stands proudly overlooking ‘The Flat Iron’ – the town’s main market.
The memorial was the first in the town to recognise the service and sacrifice of servicemen from Chorley. As that project progressed (and at the unveiling) locals and visitors alike began to ask why others, from all conflicts, were not recognised or named on the town’s Cenotaph in Astley Park. The Cenotaph was unveiled on the 31st May 1924 after a two year public appeal; however, no names were inscribed back then, or since.
Responding to the obvious demand to put right what should have been done 65 years previous, in December 2009 Trustees applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund and three months later were granted initial funding of £57,000 to develop the project.
In September 2010, we received a grant of £270,500 to deliver the project to develop the town’s remembrance assets. Since then we have overseen improvements to the Chorley Pals Memorial site and re-developed the town’s War memorial in Astley Park – finally adding 738 names of the fallen.
By mid-June 2013 we should have opened a new and permanent exhibition in the former Gallery at the Coach House on the Astley Hall complex – it will have a remembrance theme entitled Chorley Remembers ‘Experience’. At the end of June, work will start on conservation work on the First World War memorial arch at the Park Road (A6) entrance to Astley Park – it should take about eight weeks.
We would like to thank our main sponsors, the Chorley Building Society, along with Chorley Council, Barratt Homes, Malcolm’s Musicland (Chorley), Abrams Ashton Accountants (Chorley) and Kevills Solicitors (Chorley) for their support. Finally, a big thank you goes to our volunteers for all their hard work on the project to date.