By Tim Lambert
1552 A chapel dedicated to St Helen is mentioned for the first time. The town takes its name from the chapel.
1670 John Lyon leaves money to build a school next to the chapel. The town is growing rapidly boosted by the growth of nearby Liverpool.
1746 A turnpike road is built to Liverpool
1762 A canal is cut. Coal mining in the St Helens area booms.
1773 The British Cast Plate Glass Manufacturers opens. Glass making in St Helens booms.
1780 A copper foundry opens in St Helens
1798 An iron foundry opens in St Helens
1801 The population of St Helens is 7,570. With the Industrial Revolution St Helens booms.
1826 William Pilkington founds a glassworks in St Helens
1828 Josias Gamble sets up a chemical works in St Helens
1832 St Helens gains gas light
1833 The railway comes to St Helens
1839 St Helens Town Hall is built
1840 St Helens gains a police force
1845 A body of men is formed with powers to pave, clean, and light the streets of St Helens
1849 St Helens suffers an outbreak of cholera
1851 The population of St Helens is about 15,000. The Market Hall is built.
1853 St Helens gains its first local newspaper
1854 Cholera strikes again
1868 St Helens is given a corporation and mayor
1876 A new Town Hall is built
1881 Horse drawn trams begin running in St Helens
1884 The Providence Hospital opens
1885 St Helens sends its first MP to parliament
1892 St Helens Museum opens
1893 Samuel Taylor gives Taylor Park to the town
1899 The first electric trams run in St Helens
1901 St Helens has a population of about 84,000
1911 The first cinema in St Helens opens
1946 The last trams run in St Helens
1971 St Helens has a population of about 98,000
1974 St Helens is made a metropolitan borough
1982 The Hardshaw Centre opens
1986 St Helens Transport Museum opens
1998 St Mary’s Market opens
2000 World of Glass opens