Cracks from a Cobbler’s Seat



Written in the 1870’s by Robert Rowe, a cobbler from Chorley and set in Euxton and the surrounding area, “Cracks from a Cobbler’s Seat” are now 130 years old.

First published on 29th December 1887 by John Arkwright of the Olde Book Shoppe, Lune St, Preston and advertised in the Lancashire Evening Post for sixpence as “humorous tales in the Lancashire Dialect”, Cracks proved hugely popular, running to eight editions between 1887 and 1925.

 To celebrate this anniversary Lancashire dialect expert and Euxton resident Sid Calderbank has reprinted the book and recorded all eight tales and will be giving readings at three local venues:

Friday 29th December 2017,  2.00pm – 4.00pm at St Mary’s Social Centre, Wigan Rd, Euxton. PR7 6JW. Admission £3.00 (On the 130th anniversary of the book’s publication and on the site of the old Red Lion pub, where many of the tales are set)

 Saturday 13th January 2018, 2.00pm – 4.00pm at Brinscall Methodist Church, Parke Rd, Brinscall. PR6 8PU. Admission by donation. (In the village where the author, Robert Rowe, was born in 1832). 

Monday 5th February 2018  7.30pm – 9.30pm as guests of Leyland Historical Society at Leyland Civic Suite, West Paddock, Leyland PR25 1DH. (Several tales end up in Leyland after walking over the fields from Euxton!)

 Chorley Silver Band will be in attendance to add an authentic Victorian atmosphere and the book and double CD recording will be on sale at all of these venues. 

The Book and CD are £10 each or £15 for both

More information is available from Sid at or 07778933879

Sid’s latest TV appearances!

These are links to TV appearances I’ve done recently.

These four links are to the Youtube pages for Talk Lancashire which is a local TV service for the Preston area on Freeview Channel 8. It’s not available if you don’t live in the area but the producer of the show has let me have these links so that everyone can have a look:

You may have noticed me on Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys where he uses his Bradshaw’s Guide Book to compare places in the past to places today. This is a link to the programme dealing with the journey from Preston to Swinton. He came to see me on Kersal Moor just north of Manchester where Edwin Waugh is buried at the local church. I sang him a song with the Red Rose string quartet accompanying me. Michael joined in the chorus.

This is a link to the BBC iplayer where you can watch the programme for another three weeks or so.



National Dialect Day at Rydal Hall, Cumbria

This is a link to the article that appeared in the Independent in November

It is a very well written article about the 2014 National Dialect Day that took place at Rydal Hall organised by the Lakeland Society. There are a number of photographs and videos of performers in this article which you can have a look at as well.

From a Professional Lancastrian!

What an exciting time I had around Lancashire Day 2014! I’ve had barn dances and Lancashire Nights, spoken to primary school and 6th form college students and I even got the opportunity to perform John Trafford Clegg’s “Yeawl Fro’ T’ Roch” in Rochdale, underground in the culvert, stood in the river beneath the town’s 13th century bridge!! A video recording was made of the event and, if it turns out, I’ll put it on here and explain why we did it.
Many of you will have seen the article in the Independent Saturday magazine on 29th November on this years National Dialect Day in the Lake District – an excellent piece of writing which has generated a very favourable response. Likewise my few minutes on Countryfile when they were in Lancashire on the 30th has done me no harm at all except for the BBC awarding me the title of “Professional Lancastrian” which will no doubt continue being a source of amusement to my mates!
This is a link to Youtube where some kind soul has put the extract of the programme. Hope you enjoy it if you haven’t seen it yet:
God Bless Lancashire — onward & upward then……

November Blog

November 2014

Well, here we are already in November and my busiest month  of the year due to the fact that LANCASHIRE DAY falls on the 27th.. The day was originally the idea of “The Friends of Real Lancashire” in 1996 and the date is, apparently, the anniversary of the day in 1295 when 2 representatives of the County were called to parliament by Edward I.

The whole idea of celebrating our County’s heritage has really caught on  and now there’s always plenty happening. I’ve got a mini tour of libraries on the 25th with Burscough at 11.00am and Thornton at 6.00pm then on the 27th I’m in Euxton Library at 10.30am, Queen St Mill, Burnley with Joy Hunter at 2.00pm and finishing off the evening at Hoghton Tower  as 50% of “Tackler’s Tales” with Mark Dowding.

 After that there’s a few Christmas parties for Historical Societies and folk clubs then I can settle down to plan a few 2015 projects, more of which anon should they ever get off the drawing board!

 Look after yourselves, keep an eye on my diary pages and I’ll see you around.



Well, what a great summer – trips, weather, performances all went well and I can’t find anything to complain about! Joy & Gaynor made it all the way down Offa’s Dyke, I had a great holiday at Sidmouth, really enjoyed my spot at Dartmoor Festival and Joy and I had a whale(!) of a time at Whitby with 10 performances in the week. Final festival for this year was the last Fylde Folk Festival at Fleetwood – well done Alan Bell and thanks for everything. A new festival with new organisers is planned and, as Chairman of the Lancashire Society, I will be staying in touch with them to see if our traditional Sunday Afternoon concert will survive the cuts!

My new CD of old Lancashire songs, stories and poems, accompanied this time by the violins of Joy Hunter and Julie Proctor, is finished and now on sale at gigs or on the CD page here. Roll Up! Roll Up! I’ve got bills to pay……

New things are on the calendar up to the end of this year, contact the organisers, the  venue or me if you need any further details of any event.

All the best for now – more news as we get it……