Buckley (Welsh: Bwcle [ˈbʊklɛ]) is a town and community in
Flintshire, north-east Wales, 2 miles (3.2 km) from the county
town of Mold and contiguous with the villages of Ewloe,
Mynydd Isa. It is on the A549 road, with the larger
A55 road passing
Buckley is the second largest town in
Flintshire in terms of
population. At the 2011 Census, its community had a population of
15,665., with the contiguous Argoed community
Buckley has a
population of 21,502.
A prominent nearby landmark is the
Hanson Cement kiln just south of
3 Geography and climate
6 Community facilities
Buckley Town Band
9.3 Popular music
12 Notable current or former residents
13 See also
15 External links
Buckley was an
Anglo-Saxon location, with some of its houses later
recorded in the Norman
Domesday Book of the 11th century. However, the
first documented evidence of its existence dates from 1294 when it was
described as the pasturage of the Manor of Ewloe, spelled as
Buckley may derive from the
Old English bok lee, meaning
meadow, or field. The likely meaning of the name was "clearing in a
beech wood" (with boc meaning beech tree and ley meaning wood, glade
or clearing). The name could also have been construed from bucc, a
buck or deer; or bwlch y clai, meaning clay hole.
In 1420, Henry V presented
Ewloe and the pastorage of
Buckley to his
wife, Catherine of Valois, as a wedding present. It was worth £26 per
The town became an industrial heartland for pottery and coal mining
between the 17th and 19th centuries. The first was opened in 1737.
However, it only grew into any kind of prominence during the
Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, when coal and clay were
extensively mined there, and the name
Buckley became synonymous with
the production of various fire-clay and pottery products. By the early
19th century, there were 14 potteries in the town.
Buckley was a popular location for mining, as there were many faults
in local rock formations that allowed seams of coal to be mined
directly from the surface. Its heavy, clay soil also allowed for
excellent pottery and bricks to be manufactured. Bricks from Buckley
were transported all across the
United Kingdom and as far as the
United States, as
Buckley became a brickworking centre. A great deal
of people moved into the area, particularly from
Ireland and Liverpool
to find work in the mining and brick industries, giving the town a
distinctive accent. Many pottery and earthenware products manufactured
were taken on the backs of donkeys to either
Chester market or
exported via the River Dee, as early as the reign of Elizabeth I. The
last pottery kiln was fired in 1946. The site of the brickworks is now
being redeveloped as a housing estate. However, a local cement works
is still in operation.
In 1932, a tradition started in
Buckley of running an annual
pantomime. Dennis Griffiths produced a version of
Dick Whittington in
1933, and ran the pantomime for 27 years, famously using the programme
to invite any and all complaints to arrive written "on the back of a
10 shilling note (non-returnable)".
In the Second World War, a
Luftwaffe plane, most likely on
its way to blitz
Liverpool was shot down and crash landed in a nearby
district, with the plane's engine crashing into a small lake known
locally as 'The Trap'. The pilot survived, captured by a Special
Constable, Peter Griffiths and taken to
Hawarden Prisoner of War camp.
Urban district status was conferred on the town in 1898; at this time,
the area comprised two parishes,
Buckley (1874) and Bistre (1844). The
urban district of
Buckley was formed of Ewloe, Pentrobin and Bannel
(which was formerly a part of the parish of Hawarden), Argoed, and
Bistre (the oldest part of the town).
Wat's Dyke formed the western
Prior to then, it was divided between the parishes of Mold and
Buckley is part of the Alyn and
Deeside UK parliamentary
constituency and the Alyn and
Welsh Assembly constituency.
Geography and climate
Buckley is situated in north east
Wales approximately 6 miles from the
border with England to the East.
Buckley is in the lee of the
Snowdonian mountain range to the west and is therefore in a rain
shadow area. Average annual rainfall in
Buckley is approximately
700–800 mm (28–31 in) which is significantly lower than
areas to the West of the Snowdonian mountain range. However, in
comparison to areas in the East and South East of the United Kingdom,
Buckley still receives a fair amount of rainfall. Since
located approximately 130–150 m (430–490 ft) above sea
level, snowfall is more frequent in winter months in comparison to the
lower lying ground in neighbouring areas.
Areas in the parish of
Buckley outside the town centre include Bistre,
Lane End, Padeswood,
Buckley Mountain, Drury, Pentrobin, Bannel,
Alltami, and Ewloe.
Although very few locals speak with a 'Buckley' accent nowadays, due
to people moving in and out of the area, and with the proliferation of
television and radio, a few of the town's older citizens still speak
in a form of the strongly accented dialect, full of colloquialisms,
and often unintelligible to outsiders. One of the last remaining pure
'Buckley' speakers was noted linguist Dennis Griffiths, a Buckley
resident, who died in 1972, and whose books are the main repository
and record of the dialect. A few examples (mainly phonetic) are noted
Wunst every blue moon – rarely occurring
Thou fries me to death – the limit of boredom
A lick and a promise – a quick wash
Fasen the fost un fost – fasten the first one first
The daddy on um aw – the best of the lot
Husht thee naise – be quiet
I conna meke thee out – I can't understand you
Chunner – Complain
The last 'pure' speaker of the
Buckley dialect was Joseph Charles
Shone, a foundryman born in 1917, who died in 1987. An example of the
Buckley dialect was recorded by community heritage archivist John
Butler in 2016. In this item, long-time
Buckley resident Margaret
Shone recounts one of Dennis Griffiths's specially written stories, an
adaptation of the
Parable of the Prodigal Son
Parable of the Prodigal Son into the Buckley
Hanson Cement kiln under construction in 2005.
Buckley has a population of around 20,000, and has numerous
light industries. Those who cannot find work locally commute to
Wrexham and Merseyside.
Hanson Cement works at Padeswood is the only large scale industry
remaining in the town. Its 200 ft kiln is now the major landmark
on the skyline, visible from many miles away. Despite many locals
considering it an eyesore, according to its website, the company has
reduced pollution produced by the cement works by up to 90%.
Buckley has a large area of common land, known simply as 'The Common'.
It has a large playground for children, as well as a duck pond. A
funfair visits during the
Buckley Jubilee in the summer, usually on
the second Tuesday of July, which is the town jubilee.
There is also a small lake, known as 'The Trap', which is stocked with
coarse fish. A German
Messerschmitt bomber crashed into the Trap
during World War II, shot down by anti-aircraft fire after going off
course following a bombing run over Liverpool. The land is primarily
heavy clay soil. Etna Park, which is just a short walk from the town
centre, is part of the Heritage Trail walk in the area.
Buckley has a shopping precinct, as well as a supermarket run by Aldi.
There is a town-centre car park which is charged at 20p per hour. The
town contains a wide variety of public houses, which includes the
local working men's club. The local branch of The Royal British Legion
closed in 2010 and has since been demolished.
Buckley has four primary schools: Westwood County Primary (Formerly
known as West Lea infants and
Buckley CP – juniors) which is on
Tabernacle Street, Southdown Primary School on Linderick Avenue,
Mountain Lane Primary School on Knowle Lane, and Drury County Primary
on Beech Road, Drury.
Buckley has one secondary school, the Elfed High School, located near
the Common on Mill Lane. The school includes a sports centre and a
swimming pool, for use of both the students and the public. Many
Buckley also attend Argoed High School, located in
nearby Bryn-y-Baal, or the Alun School, in Mold. All schools in
Buckley are run by the
Flintshire Local Education Authority.
Buckley is unusual in having two ecclesiastical parishes. The Church
of St Matthew is the oldest parish church in the town, and was
consecrated in 1822. Bistre Emmanuel Parish Church was built in 1842,
despite appearing much older due to its early Gothic-style
architecture. The first
Primitive Methodist church in
Wales is on
the outskirts of Buckley, in Alltami.
The present St John's United Reformed Church was originally a chapel
known as "Chapel in the Meadow", set up by a noncomformist pottery
owner, Jonathan Catherall, in 1737. Catherall received special
dispensation from Lord Hawkesbury, after whom he named his house, to
hold services at his house. As the Church forbade chapels from having
bells, he built a bell tower in the grounds of his home. The site of
this unique non-conformist bell tower is marked by a mound and plaque
near the skate park at the Elfed Sports Complex.
The Our Lady of the Rosary
Catholic church in
Buckley was built in
2000 to replace a much older building. Other churches in Buckley
include Bistre Methodist, Pentrobin Methodist,
Methodist, Bryn Methodist, and Drury Lane Methodist.
Buckley Jubilee in 1965
Buckley observes an annual regional celebration and march that is over
200 years old called the
Buckley Jubilee, which is celebrated on the
second Tuesday of July. Officially, however, the Jubilee was begun in
1856. The difference in dates stems from the 'official' date being set
Buckley Temperance Society first sanctioned the march. The
Jubilee is a ceremonial march that begins on "The Common", a large
area of common ground owned by the people of the town used for leisure
and recreational purposes. The term 'jubilee' was first used in
On the Common starting at around 3pm is a non-denominational Service
led by the Minister of the Church/Chapel leading the Jubilee that
year. The Sunday before the Jubilee, the leading church is presented
with the Centenary Shield, which they hold for the year. A
fifteen-minute service takes place, with two hymns accompanied by the
Buckley Town Band. The march then leaves the common, and marches
through the town, with representatives from the local Sunday Schools,
Scout and Guide troops, and many of the local schools. Banners from
each of the local faiths are carried.
Buckley Town Band
Buckley has a famous brass band, the Royal
Buckley Town Band. The band
is one of only two in the entire
United Kingdom to have received
sanction from a British monarch to use "Royal" in their name. They
lead the Jubilee every year.
Buckley has one nightclub, the Tivoli Nightclub (known locally as "The
Tiv"), on Brunswick Road. Formerly both a cinema and a music hall, the
Tivoli has seen many bands play there over the years, including Uriah
Black Sabbath and
Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s, and many
Britpop bands including Oasis,
Ocean Colour Scene
Ocean Colour Scene and the Super Furry
Animals in the 1990s. It has been described as 'one of the finest
quirky little venues of our time' and is featured in the
of Oasis's album, Definitely Maybe. Between summer 1992 and spring
Radiohead played there twice. Bands such as Cast, Ash, Stiff
Little Fingers, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Skindred,
Hed PE and OPM have
all played there. Since a renovation and rebranding in 2000, few bands
played live at the venue, with the club music policy having more
emphasis on commercial dance and pop music, with a rock night on
Fridays. The venue attracts crowds from Chester, Wrexham, Manchester
The town was also home to a community radio project which used to
broadcast 'trial' or 'temporary radio' licences to Buckley, Broughton,
Deeside and the surrounding areas. The station was known as
Flintshire Radio and its offices were found above the swimming
baths on Mold Road. The station was heard on eight separate occasions
between November 1996 and July 2000 as part of a campaign to bring a
local radio station to Flintshire, following the demise of Mold-based
BBC Radio Clwyd. The project helped pave the way for a permanent local
radio licence which was awarded to
Chester FM (known as Dee 106.3)
which broadcasts to Chester, Ellesmere Port,
Deeside and Buckley.
Buckley has a sizable two-storey library, with the second level being
dedicated solely to history and reference pieces, mainly on the local
area. The second floor also doubles as the local museum.
Buckley has a football club in the Cymru Alliance,
Buckley Town F.C..
In addition to the men's team
Buckley also has a women's team, Buckley
Town Ladies FC, who play in the North
Wales Coast Women's Football
The Elfed Sports Complex was built in 2005, near the Elfed High
School, and includes a swimming pool, which replaced the outdated,
Victorian-style baths on the Mold Road high street.
Buckley is located on the A549 road, and is near the A55 expressway,
which passes to the south of Ewloe.
There are a number of bus routes that pass through Buckley, mostly
operated by Arriva Buses Wales, which now means on most weekdays a bus
Chester or Mold is available every 10 minutes.
Buckley has previously been served by up to three different stations
on lines operated by the
Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway and
the Mold Railway.
Buckley railway station
Buckley railway station is a minor stop on the Borderlands
Line, which runs from
Bidston on the Wirral. It is operated
by Arriva Trains Wales. Trains run every 60 minutes, Monday to
Saturday daytimes, and infrequently at other times. Connections can be
made at Shotton,
Wrexham General or
Bidston railway stations.
There are two platforms, one for each direction the line runs in.
The nearest major airports are
Liverpool John Lennon Airport and
Manchester Airport, both around 45 minutes' drive away, although there
are minor airfields in nearby
Hawarden and Broughton.
Notable current or former residents
Tommy Astbury (1920–1993), former footballer with
Chester City F.C.
Frederick Birks, holder of the
Victoria Cross for extreme valour as a
first world war soldier.
Danny Collins, professional footballer with Grimsby Town.
Cherry Dee, former professional glamour model and Page Three girl.
Sylvia Heal, now a Labour Member of Parliament.
Ann Keen, Labour politician and former MP for Brentford and Isleworth.
Howell Elvet Lewis (1860–1953), known as Elfed, a Welsh
Congregational minister, hymn-writer, and devotional poet, who served
Archdruid of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Elfed High School is
named after him.
John Lyons, a former professional footballer.
Blake Pelly (1907–1990), emigrated to Australia and became an
Australian air force officer, politician and businessman.
Ryan Shawcross, a professional footballer with Stoke City.
James Williams (1880s–1916), a professional footballer who died in
active service during the First World War.
St Matthew's Church, Buckley
Elfed High School
Buckley Town F.C.
^ "2001 Census: Buckley". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18
^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 12 October 2016.
^ a b c d e f "About Buckley".
Buckley History Society. Retrieved 2
^ a b c d e "History of Buckley".
Buckley Town Council. 14 August
2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
^ "The Prodigal Son – a story adapted by Dennis Griffiths".
People’s Collection Wales. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
^ "Cleaner and healthier: The new kiln and the environment". Hanson
Cement. Archived from the original on 24 August 2006. Retrieved 25
^ Tattum, George (4 June 2009). "
Buckley Jubilee plans finalised".
Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
Buckley Jubilee Procession". Gathering the Jewels. Archived from
the original on 20 November 2005. Retrieved 5 August 2005.
^ "Recapture That Spark". No Rock and Roll Fun. 6 July 2004. Retrieved
25 September 2005.
Radiohead gigography". Retrieved 14 June 2006.
^ "Disused Stations: BUCKLEY (1st) Station". contributed by Paul
Wright. Disused Stations. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 12 October
^ "Complete national rail timetable (eNRT) – Network Rail". Network
Rail. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
^ "Buckley". TRAIN INFORMATION SERVICES LIMITED. Retrieved 12 October
^ "North East
Wales hero soldier". BBC. 17 June 2008. Retrieved 11
^ a b "North east
Wales soccer stars paired at Stoke". Wrexham
Chronicle. 2 September 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
^ "Cherry Dee". IMDB. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
^ "Sylvia Heal: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian.
Retrieved 2 September 2009.
Dialect extracts are taken from Dennis Griffiths' book
Talk of My
Buckley Young People's Cultural Association, 1969. It can be
Out of This
Clay Dennis Griffiths 1960 Published by Gee and Son, Ltd.,
The Making of
Buckley and District by T.W. Pritchard, Bridge Books,
2006. ISBN 1-84494-031-4
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