AN archive which stores historical information of the upper Hodder Valley and its inhabitants is to auction a number of paintings.

Housed in one of Slaidburn’s oldest buildings is a treasure trove of documents, photos and information relating to the area’s past.

Started in 2005, the Slaidburn Archive has gone from strength to strength, not only as a place for people to deposit local information and photos for safe keeping or to be copied, but also as an essential resource for people to research their families and the surrounding areas.

Helen Wallbank, of Slaidburn Archive said: “The archive receives no regular funding and relies entirely on grants and donations. Because of this it has had an extremely generous donation of 11 paintings to sell in aid of funds, for which the staff are very grateful. They are to be auctioned by Silverwoods of Lancashire on June 12 in their bi-monthly Fine Art and Antiques sale at their Clitheroe auction house.

“The paintings include seven local scenes by the Pendleton artist, Fred Cawthorne, who was painting in the early part of the 20th Century. Born in 1877 in York Street, Clitheroe, Fredrick Charles Cawthorne came from a family of talented artists who all had their favourite subjects. “Later the family moved to Littlemoor, in Clitheroe. In 1939 he lived at East View, in Pendleton, where he described himself as an ‘Artist – Portrait and Landscape’ and was also married.

“He served his apprenticeship at Hargreaves Photographers in Clitheroe, he then worked in studios around the country, followed by Pye’s of Clitheroe. From Pye’s studios he also taught people to paint, but in spite of this he remained ‘as poor as a church mouse’. He would sketch on a frame and painted on Watman’s Imperial Sheet, but if his funds did not allow he would use cartridge paper.

“He died in 1940 after undergoing a minor operation and is buried at Pendleton.

“His local scenes are charming, often with figures or animals in the foreground. Being a local man, he knew his subjects well and his paintings are a snapshot in time.

“He loved his home village, as shown in one of the paintings of Pendleton.”

To be sold together is a of pair watercolours featuring Slaidburn and Newton bridges.

There is also a painting of the old Hodder bridge.

An oil painting of Bolton by Bowland also features and is from the entrance to the village and looking towards the Church.

Slightly out of the area is a scene at Newby Bridge in Cumbria.

Fred’s father, Elijah, was his mentor. He was born in 1843 and was a well-known artist in his own right having attended Clitheroe Royal Grammar School and being awarded the First Prize for Drawing in 1858.

In 1861 he taught painting in Blackburn and on the 1871 census he is described as a ‘drawing master, watercolour and oil painter’. Elijah died in 1913, aged 69.

One of his paintings offered for sale is a scene of Pendle from Stoneyhurst with the two bridges in the foreground.

Also included in the sale is a pair of 18th century oil portraits of an unidentified gentleman and lady, unsigned.

A more modern painting is by the acclaimed artist, Michael Jackson. Born in Preston in 1961, his speciality is wildlife and his works have commanded record prices at Sotherby’s, Chrisities and Bonham’s.

He now lives in SW France, where he paints for a select clientele. This signed gouache of a barn owl in an interior is dated 1994 and is a rare opportunity to acquire one of this artist’s early works.

The Archive was founded by the late Jenny Bradley and originated from a request for her to become the archivist for the Hodder Valley Agricultural Show. The archive’s remit and collections have expanded and grown into a large collection of photographs and historical records of the agricultural and genealogical history of the upper Hodder Valley. All records are available for study by the public.

In 2014 Jenny retired and was awarded the Society of Genealogists’ Certificate of Recognition:“For devotion to the village of Slaidburn and through her efforts the preservation of the history of its people and places”.

The paintings can be seen on the Slaidburn Archive website and full details of the sale can be viewed at

It is open on Wednesday and Friday from 11am to 3pm. Please contact first through the website: or tel 01200 446161.