Norman came to what was then the Fylde Historical Society in 1976 through his interest
in the genealogy of local families, which led to his interest in Blackpool’s early
development. He was then working in a Preston bank, so was conveniently placed for
the many hours he spent after work in the Lancashire Record Office studying old wills
and deeds held there.
Norman joined the Committee in 1979 and was Treasurer between 1981 and 1995. He
became an Honorary Life Member of the B&FHS and was one of the four trustees of the
Along with the late Alan Stott, Tony Difford and Ted Lightbown, he helped put together
the Society’s Layton Exhibition in 1980. In 1982 he worked on the Bispham Exhibition,
for which he wrote a booklet on Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The exhibition was repeated the
following year and, like the Layton Exhibition, has been held in revised forms occasionally
In 1985 Norman provided personal name and general/place name indices for the Society’s
reprint of Thornber’s 1837 History of Blackpool and 5 years later helped in the preparation
of new captions for the Society’s reprint of ‘Blackpool’s Progress’ of 1926.
Norman was active in the North Lancashire Methodist History Group and in 1992 he
wrote and published “The Beckoning of the West”, chronicling the spread of Methodism
into the Fylde and Blackpool. In 1997 the B&FHS published his book ‘Aspects of Blackpool’s
History’, which provides unprecedented detail of Blackpool’s early development and
families. Ten years later, the Society published his “A Journey Through Bispham,
Norbreck, and Little Bispham”. Under this deceptive title Norman gave an account
of the ownership and tenancy of the area’s settlements and farmsteads in past centuries.
It is doubtful that anything similar will ever be attempted again. In keeping with
Norman’s rigorous approach, all these books are assiduously indexed and referenced.
(The profits from these publications were put into the Society’s accounts.)
Norman is up there with Alan Stott as the all-time best Blackpool local historians.
The History of Queen Mary School Lytham
Liz Bickerstaffe, a volunteer in the school archives at AKS Lytham (formerly King
Edward VII and Queen Mary School) is writing a book on the history of Queen Mary
School and is very interested to hear from anyone with memories of their school days.
As well as chapters on the school's foundation and development the book will include
profiles of the headmistresses, key staff members (including support staff, where
information is available) and many memories of pupils and staff relating to the school
day, discipline, the uniform, the dining experience, games, clubs and
societies, trips, community support, wartime, careers advice, the Old Girls' Association
If you have memories or photographs to share, please could you contact Liz on 01253
713850 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The school archive also welcomes donations of memorabilia which are catalogued and
made available through the school's online catalogue.