IN April, 1971, we were reporting how “a powerful blast” had hit the Army’s headquarters in Bury. Thankfully there was no need to panic as the blast in question was referring to a sandblasting at the headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers which was undergoing a much-needed spring clean.

The barracks, on Bolton Road, were originally completed as part of the response to the Chartist riots in 1845 and by 1873 they had became the depot for the two battalions of the 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment. The regiment evolved to become the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1881 and amalgamated with several other regiments to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1968 with the barracks demolished in 1969. The Regimental Headquarters in our picture were retained and used as a Regimental Museum until 2009 when the collection moved to Moss Street in Bury. The Regimental Headquarters were then converted into a business complex in 2013.

Also facing a clean up in March, 1976, was St Paul’s Church in Bury, which was about to enjoy a £12,000 spruce up of its graveyard.

The church, which was built between 1838–42, was constructed on land given by the 13th Earl of Derby.

At the time of our report many of its graves were broken and sinking and while most were set for removal some would remain at the special request of relatives or because they were of significant local interest. Sadly, the work was not enough to save the church, which was built in the 1830s, as on November 1, 1995, it was declared redundant. Worse was to come when it was damaged by fire in 2004 and the building has since been converted for residential use and is now designated Grade II listed.

Interestingly, the churchyard contains the war graves of 13 soldiers of World War I and an airman of World War II, and in 2006 a commemorative memorial erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was temporarily stored away from the church until the conversion into apartments was completed.