The Entwisle Family -
A Story of Service and Bravery
The early history of the fire brigade in Farnworth is connected with the Entwisle Family. Thomas became the first Chief in 1867, and his son James succeeded him in 1886.
A younger brother, Alfred, became Chief in 1906, and his son Joseph was Chief Officer from 1937 to 1940.
Joseph was awarded the King's Police Medal for conspicuous bravery on the occasion of the fire at the Golden Lion Hotel, Gladstone Road, Farnworth, on May 9th 1928, when three persons were burned to death. Together with PC Richards he made many attempts to rescue the victims. The heat was so intense that the ladders were burned beneath them.
An eye witness said, " There were flames in the room and in the roof over his head and the way he went into that room was marvellous. You can't say anything too good about him."
He also received an inscribed gold watch from Farnworth District Council and the Lancashire Medal for bravery.
When he left to be Chief Officer at Barnoldswick in 1940 it was the first time there had been no Entwisle in the brigade.
In 1941, on the formation of the National Fire Service, he was made a Divisional Commander for South Cheshire. In November of that year he was tragically electrocuted while attending a house fire at Crewe.
Joseph's daughter Pat began work at Farnworth Library in 1942 and in 1969 was appointed Borough Librarian. This was at a time when few Chief Librarians were women.
Pat went on to work for Bolton Libraries until her retirement in 1987. She was the founder and President of Farnworth and District Local History Society, and gave her time freely to many organisations.
Service to the community and to the town was part of her background and a driving force in her life, which together with her belief in local government, led to her taking a very active role in local politics, right up to her death in 2003. She served Farnworth and Bolton in one capacity or another for over 60 years.