This is St.James Church at Dalehead being demolished because of the reservioir being built there.The last service took place there on the 24th May 1936.The church was rebuilt further up the valley.The Flyde Water Board covered the cost of building the new church.The present church was consecrated by the assistant Bishop of Bradford on the 30th July 1938.This church was on the road from Four Lane Ends to Bowland Knott.The church was orginally consercrated by the Bishop of Ripon, Charles Thomas Longley (who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury) on the 27th October 1852.In 1925 in the local paper it was announced that the bodies interred in the graveyard were to be removed to a new burial site away from the reservioir.The new site was consectated by the Bishop of Bradford on the 12th November 1926.

This horrible and macabre task took three weeks to complete in conditions that can only be straight out of a Hammer Horror Film.John Heap was one of the men working on the transference of the remains to the new site.He was interviewed by Graham Johnston for the Lancashire Evening Post in 1976.He and his work mates had to exhume 150 bodies,he said in the interview,"The gruesome ordeal of exumation-the operation lasted for three weeks-still sends a shiver done my spine.In the sinister shadow of flare lights they removed the tombstones and crumbing coffins behind hastily erected hessian screens...After the first night an official sent along by the local medical officer was so sickened that he went home saying he would rather lose his job than carry on."

This terrible most horrible job that any human being could perform must have been a nightmare especially because for what ever stupid reason they had to work at night in conditions worse than a Hammer Horror film.Why they had to work at night and not in the cold light of day that at least would of made the job slightly more bearable I just do not know.Working in the 'sinister shadow of the flare lights' removing dead bodies that are years old is just as bad as it gets.I just hope the poor buggers that worked there earned enough to retire off.But I doubt it.

Dalehead has always been a place I have had an interest in.It must be so bizarre too of lived there all your life with your family and friends,and have your whole life and community moved else where.It must be even more bizarre to see the ruins of the old pub,school and houses still there when the water goes down in a drought.When I came across the box of old plates with Dalehead on,I was really excited and hoped the box would contain plates of unseen photographs of the village.Unfortunatly most of the photographs are just the church and as rare as they are,they still just look like any other church.But I'm sure to some one they are totally priceless.

'The majority of the people have gone,thinking not of the new Dalehead but of the old.They are bruised of soul at the uprooting of much they held so dear'

The Advertiser and Times,July 1932.

'Blackpool got its water at a cost of more than £3 million and a community had been destroyed...Even if the shells of the former farmsteads were located,it would be hard to visualise the way of life sixty to seventy years ago...'

Horace Cook, 1975.


Dalehead Church