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Andrew Walmsley

Research student

Andrew Walmsley

Lancaster University

Bowland College



Research overview

Working PhD title:'The 'Mexico' Lifeboat Monument, St. Anne's on the Sea: a Symbol for a New Seaside Town and a Touchstone for Memorialization Culture'

 In examining this monument at St Anne’s on the Sea, Lancashire to a lifeboat crew who lost their lives in a disaster of December 1886 I am exploring unresearched or under-researched subject areas:

  • Monuments memorials and memorialization as a focal point for social and economic development and community identity in a local setting.
  • Heroism and ‘Everyday Heroism’.
  • The work of the sculptor, William Birnie Rhind and how it is placed within artistic and cultural frameworks.
  • How Rhind’s monument should be interpreted as a civic monument, a lifeboat monument and within wider frameworks of memorialization.


I am based in Preston about 20 miles south of Lancaster have undertaken the PhD on a part time basis. In 2016 I took voluntary redundancy from Lancashire County Council and embarked on a full-time MA in history at Lancaster. I graduated in 2017 achieving a distinction overall and in the dissertation, ‘St Anne’s on the Sea 1875-1914: Identity and Belonging in a Lancashire Seaside Town’, for which I was awarded the M F Howson Prize for the best written piece on Local History within the cohort.

I still work on casual basis in Libraries for Blackpool Council and undertake self-employed work as a gardener and local and family history researcher and speaker.

Summary of Higher Education Awards

  • MA, History (Distinction), Lancaster University,2016-2017. (M F Howson Prize)
  • MA, Literature and the History of Ideas, UCLan,1989-1993.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Information and Library Studies, Liverpool John Moores University,1988-1989.
  • BA, English (2i), Lancaster University,1984-1987.

Career Details

I spent over 25 years working for Lancashire County Council mainly within libraries but also across museums and archives. Between 2009-2011 I was based at St Anne's library as a Community History Manager and it was at this time that I developed an interest in the history of the area and the lifeboat monument. Much of my work was within the field of Local History and I am still a member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and its Local Studies Group.

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