Stories from the Archives

Browse through this collection of stories drawn from many sources including the Society's archive, newspapers and online sources. The catalyst to begin research varies from an inquiry that comes to Society, a document that arrives at the archive, or another trigger that sets the delving off.

Hollins Mill 1911:Dressed up for George V's Coronation

Past news of local crime and misfortunes

Peter Bardsley in 2006 at the Stockport Gourmet MarketThe late Peter Bardsley (1929-2010) scoured the 19th and early 20th centuries Stockport Advertisers, and other local papers, in the Stockport Heritage Library for these stories of the Marple past. Peter was a stalwart of several organizations in Marple, including the Local History Society and the Holy Spirit Church. He authored or co-authored several local history books, including Hollins Mill and Brabyns Hall and Park, both with Ann Hearle. In May 2011 a new display board, in the Marple Memorial Park, about the Carvers and Barlows, was dedicated to Peter.

Thank you, Peter
(left) at the first Gourmet Market in Stockport in 2006, tasting donkey sausages!

Read more: Past news of local crime and misfortunes

Jamaica to Mellor-An Apprentice's Tale

Royal Military Asylum, SouthamptonA recent request from Janet Davies enquiring about her husband’s ancestor, Ann Maria Vanpine, led to a search on line and in our archives. From these it is possible to learn about some periods in Ann’s life.

The Duke of York’s Royal Military Asylum,(left) records Ann’s admission to the Southampton Branch at the age of 10 on the 5th December 1821. This was a separate  branch of the Chelsea RMA and was exclusive to girls. It was established as a haven for the orphaned children of soldiers who had fallen in the war with France 1793 to 1815 (Battle of Waterloo).

Read more: Jamaica to Mellor-An Apprentice's Tale

John Rishworth

Peace Farm

A letter in Cheshire Ancestor from Joyce Rishworth with a photograph of The Jolly Sailor at the time of some celebration and asking whether anyone could suggest what event this was, led to a visit to our archives of Joyce, her husband, John, and his sister, Mary.

Read more: John Rishworth

HMS Maple - Marple's own minesweeper


Members of the crew of the minesweeping trawler HMT HORNBEAM, former solicitors' clerks, commercial travellers, lorry drivers etc., have formed a dance band "The Sweepers Swingsters".

75 years after the citizens of Marple raised £75,000 to adopt HMS Maple, the plaque commemorating this feat has been placed in Marple Memorial Park, near to the War Memorial. The plaque was acquired by Bernard Mifflin, local resident and art teacher at The Willows School and spent over 30 years in his garden. It has been donated to MLHS by his niece, Julie Clay.

Read more: HMS Maple - Marple's own minesweeper

A peek at Christmas 1951

Christmas 1959 Manchester‘Christmas comes but once a year.’ And the year is 1951. Dusting off the sheet, and gently lifting a corner, what surprises await us as we gaze down through 65 years?
Back to the time when a three-bedroom semi could be bought for £750, on an average wage of just over £10 per week. For this you would work 42 hours, in contrast to the average today of 32 hours. Rationing was still in force in 1951; people could still buy only 10d. (4p) worth of meat each week. Pensioners made up 6pc. of the population, today the figure stands at 14pc. In 1952 the number of people celebrating their 100th birthday was just 300, now the figure is close to 15,000. (left, a little licence taken, Manchester City Centre crowded with Christmas shoppers on a wet Saturday December afternoon. 19th December 1959)

Read more: A peek at Christmas 1951