Bamber Bridge, Baxi Heating Factory

old hob inn

The photo above is of Ye Olde Hob Inn, in Bamber Bridge, which features in this story.

During World War II there was a base in the town for American servicemen.  There were both white and African American servicemen here but, this being the 1940s, the two were segregated.  In June 1943 there were race riots in Detroit and their effects were not lost on the troops in Bamber Bridge, despite the fact that all the soldiers were welcomed by the local residents regardless of their colour.  The discomfort caused by news of the riots eventually led to a riot here in Lancashire, a riot which became known as the Battle of Bamber Bridge.  It began as a simple disagreement between some soldiers drinking in the Old Hob Inn, but it quickly led to a fist-fight between white and black men, which then spilled out onto the road and through the town.  It escalated into a battle between the African American soldiers and the white Military Police, and in the end shots were fired and one black soldier, William Crossland, suffered a fatal headwound.

Seventy years have passed since then, but at the local Baxi Heating factory, all is not well.  Some night-shift workers have reported feeling very uncomfortable during the darkest hours; they have heard the sound of someone whistling and, at other times, laughing.

In recent years, a security officer swore he would not venture into the warehouse again after he saw a ghostly World War II soldier…

© Copyright Melanie Warren, photo © Copyright Galatas and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


About LancashireFolk

Lancashire folklore, legends, ghosts, local history - author of 'Lancashire Folk' published by Schiffer Publishing 2016 - 9780764349836 £19.50. Please visit to see upcoming books. The Enchanted Valley and Manchester Folk will be published in 2020. Cumbria Folk almost ready!
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1 Response to Bamber Bridge, Baxi Heating Factory

  1. Donnie says:

    Hi ,just like to say I’m the security officer that actually captured the ww2 soldier on my phone camera I printed it n put it on the wall in the hallway of the manual press shop ,done some research found that William crossland died here during the mutiny of bamberbridge ,also on other patrols I had whistling around my feet and a dog running up to me ,others have seen other things too ,I’m not there anymore but was employed by stalwart security services bk then ,regards ,Donnie


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