Sister cities of St Helens, Merseyside
St Helens ( pronunciation ) is a large town in Merseyside, England. It is the largest settlement and administrative centre of the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens with a population of just over 100,000, while the larger metropolitan borough had a population of 176,843 at the time of the 2001 Census. The town was officially incorporated as a municipal borough in 1868 responsible for the administration of the 4 townships consisting of Eccleston, Parr, Sutton and Windle, with the larger responsibility as a county borough established in 1887 (superseded in 1974 by the larger still metropolitan borough).
St Helens is situated in the south west of the historic county of Lancashire, in North West England, 6 miles (9.7 km) north of the River Mersey. The town historically lay within the ancient Lancashire division of West Derby known as a "hundred".
The local area developed rapidly during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries into a significant centre for coal mining, and glassmaking. Both prior and during this time it was also home to a cotton and linen industry (notably sail making) that lasted until the mid-19th century as well as salt, lime and alkali pits, copper smelting, and brewing.
Today, St Helens is very much a commercial town. The main industries have since left, become outdated, or have been outsourced leaving the float and patterned rolled glass producer Pilkington's, a world leader in their industry, as the town's one remaining large industrial employer. Previously the town had been home to Beechams (now part of GlaxoSmithKline), the Gamble family of the Alkali Works, Ravenhead glass (bought out by the Belgian nationalised Durobor), United Glass Bottles (U.G.B.), Triplex (owned by Pilkington, farmed out to India), Daglish Foundry (closed and demolished 1939), and Greenall's (now located in nearby Warrington).
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