History

The Bacup Natural History Society and Museum, has had several homes over the course of it’s history.
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During the 1880s the club was open from 7 pm till 10 pm on weekdays, and from 2 pm till 11pm on Saturdays. A visitor to the town in 1903 asked a  resident where he would find the Nat museum.  After some questioning the resident replied “Oh! It’s the Muck-Flea Club yo want”,whilst others called it the “ bug club”. From 1889 until 1936 the Nat was based at  6 St  James Square, moving from that location in 1937 to the Sunday School rooms of  Zion Baptist Chapel. In 1947 the committee  decided to rent the former Hare and  Hounds public house at 24 Yorkshire Street, buying the property for £370.00 in 1951.  
A Warm Welcome. Museum Upstairs. The late Donald Entwistle President of the Camera Club and Bacup Nat President Mr Ken Bowden.
Over the years the focus of the museum and the society in general has switched from natural history to local history. The museum began with items brought in from the local hills or mines sometimes b society members, sometimes by well disposed members of the public.  This is why our collection is so ecletic; not one persons vision but the intrests of a whole town. Not everything however was local, many of the wealthier inhabitants of Bacup who travelled to others parts of the world would bring back items such as the wrappings of an Egyptian mummy, Stone Age implements from Yorkshire and Norfolk, or recieved donations such as Blodwen a Bronze Age Skelton, found on the Little Orme in North Wales
Another aspect of the Bacup Nat was that many of the members were part of what would become known as the Bacup Camera Club. Members had for many years shared thier intrests in photography but it wasn’t until  March 1920 that the members actually deicded to make the Camera Club a formality. On the 2nd March a meeting was held in the society rooms where about 100 lantern slides were shown. The Camera Club was officially opened on May 18th 1920 by Councillor Baron, and was known as Bacup Naturalist Camera Club. The club hasn’y been affiliated with the Nat for some years now.
Past Members  Past Members
Records show the  first home of the Nat was at number 17 South Street Bacup, the second home was situated in the home of a man named Nicholson at Hempsteads, Burnley Road. Following a move to the tea rooms of the Co-op store on Rochdale Road, in 1879 the society was offerd free use of a cottage owned by Dr J H Worrall, who lived two doors away. The cottage was demolished in order to build the Maden baths. It was at this time that the society recieved the name we know today, previous to this it had been known as The Bacup and Rossendale Field Naturalists Club. Members being encouraged to bring in natural history or fossil specimens collected during thier Sunday rambles a popular Victorian pasttime.
Bacup Natural History Society & Museum
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