Bobbies on Hibbert Lane outside what is now the Vets. This picture is thought to be pre-WWI.
Transcript from cassette entitled : Mrs Rowbottom
Mrs. Rowbottom, now 97 years of age(1974), has always lived in the Marple district. Through her grandfather, Mr Sherwin, manager of Compstall Mill, she knew the district very well.
I remember as a little girl going up to All Saints Church and father saying,” Now this is the new church and we only have funerals held in the old church”. I was born 1877 and I went to school as a little girl of about five, with two other friends, to a house that was behind , above the Wesleyan Church in those days and then ladies gave it up. I went to another school held in the Albert Terrace, Church Lane from there I went to Macclesfield High School. All my brothers went to the grammar school.
I remember Hibbert Lane when it was just a narrow country lane before it was widened at the beginning. Then I remember in Church Lane there were a lot of trees in those days. I remember an old building that was the Conservative Club and then they built the new Conservative Club. The hall upstairs was called Shepley Hall because old Mr Shepley lent a £1,000 for that Hall to be built and he was the mill owner of the old Shepley Mill.
When I was about sixteen my father bought the house called Lime Villa on Strines Road. After we had been there about 12 months my brothers came in one night, very excited, and said there was a fire down by the Roman Lakes and the old Mill was burnt down. I can remember going down to the Roman Lakes. There was a row called Brick Row (left) and another row of cottages then. Mr Oswald Carver lived at the big house and he had a bridge made from his house into his gardens so his children hadn’t to go down the road and pass the cottages.
When I was quite little my mother used to tell me that before she was married she used to go by canal boat to Macclesfield. There was no railway from Rose Hill in those days and she went by boat to meet her sister who lived at a farm in Wildboarclough. This sister and her husband, they used to come down every Tuesday and Saturday to bring cheese, butter and eggs to be sold in Macclesfield Market and mother used to meet them at a hotel.
When I was about sixteen father bought the house called Lime Villa, Strines Road and after we had been there for about 12 months he died but mother lived on there until her death. Then after her death we sold the house, Lime Villa, to the Congregational Church Union and the vicar of that Church used to live there. After we went to live at Lime Villa Arkwright Road was made and the big houses of course built on that Road.
From being a little girl I remember going to Compstall. My grandfather was Mr Sherwin and he was the manager of the Mill (below) and lived at a house call Poplar Grove. We used to be quite excited going there because he had a coachman and carriage. He had an orchard and we used to love having the fruit from the orchard. It was a very nice house with a lovely, large dining room because he had a big family you know, 13 children, and a large lounge, morning room and large kitchen. The drawing room was always a great interest to me as a little girl. My aunts were three maiden ladies and they had all sorts of beautiful things in their drawing room so it was quite exciting for a little child like me. My grandfather died in the year 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. We children were not allowed to go in the procession or go to the fields after the procession for tea and buns because Grandfather Sherwin died at that time.
When I was about sixteen I became Sunday School teacher. Then we had the old school , the ladies/girls school upstairs and the boys downstairs. I taught in that school until it was demolished and the new Sunday School was built. It was a day school as well, and I taught as a Sunday School teacher until I was married in 1908. Two of my friends were teachers also. Canon Adams was the vicar and Mr Evans was the curate at that time. As a Sunday School teacher we had a procession every Whit Saturday. We used to meet in the school yard, sing hymns and then march up to the church and have a little service. Then from church, after the service, we walked up the Ridge down into Hawk Green. From Hawk Green, Hibbert Lane, back again up Church Lane to the school for tea and buns. Then after tea we used to meet in a field have sports and games until about 9.00. Of course prizes were given for the winners of games of runs. The girls would have runs and the cricket match was often held as well.
My brothers were all members of the Marple Cricket Club and on Saturday afternoon a few of us sisters or wives used to go down and make tea in the tent for the cricketers. This was held in the field below Rose Hill Station on the left hand side below those two houses that stand there now. When I was young of course there was no picture house, no swimming bath and our own entertainment used to be at Christmas. Christmas Party held at the Sunday School and then my brothers and elder sisters they used to get up a dance, perhaps one or two in the winter, and invite special friends . If they came from a distance they used to sleep at our house.
When I was married I lived at High Lane for about seven years and then when my little girl was ready for school we came to live in Marple. After I had been living in Marple a year or so Mrs McNair, who was the honorary secretary for the Sick Nursing Association in Marple, came to invite me to be the treasurer as Mrs Cresswell wanted to resign and I became the Honorary Treasurer. I was on that for 23 years until the Sick Nursing Association was taken over by the NHS. When I became the Honorary Treasurer I know there was about £200 balance in the bank but when I resigned we had made well over £1,000.00. With some of this money we bought the Alms Houses (left) and still have some invested in War Loan. With the interest we do repairs or any work necessary to the Alms Houses. The President of the Sick Nursing is always the Vicar of the Parish and then Mr Pat Sinclair is the Honorary Treasurer. Just about five of us form the committee and we meet when Mr Sinclair calls a meeting or anything to be discussed. The applicants for the Alms Houses we have to appoint, as one person may die or leave. We then appoint a newcomer to the house.
When I was young we used to go down and skate on the two ponds in Marple Hall Park. Old Mrs Isherwood was living then and Mrs Dobson lived with her as a sort of companion/housekeeper. In the old days of course Mr Dobson was the coachman. He used to drive them up to All Saints Church every Sunday morning and park his carriage in the coach house that is still below All Saints Church. Mrs Isherwood had two sons and two daughters. The elder daughter I don’t think ever married, but the younger daughter married a curate from the Church in Stockport. His name was Toogood and her name was Esther. She had a very quiet wedding held at All Saints Church.
We used to have some terrible winds in the winter time and I can remember as a girl going backwards over Strines Road so I would not face the awful wind. When first we lived at Lime Villa the Lime Kilns were working and they used to have a little barge, like a coal barge, on the canal. They brought the lime from the lime kilns, loaded it onto the boats at this branch of the canal and that was how they took the lime away in those days. Then when Mr Wright Tymm lived below Rose Hill Station they had a works down there below Rose Hill Station and the lime kilns stopped being used at all as a lime kilns. (right:The Lime Kilns in decay, mid 1960s / early 1970s) After Mr Wright Tymm used the works below Rose Hill Station of course the canal branch they did not use that at all and eventually you see that has been filled in.
Market Street in the old days there were some cottages where the self service store stands now, the furniture shop and behind those of course were just fields. Then in Church Lane of course it was very different and down to Rose Hill Station of course it was just fields. None of those houses that are standing there now were built but there was an old house where Mr Hodgkinson, a partner of Hollins Mill with Mr Carver, where he lived. There was a lodge and then a drive up to his house. That lodge of course was taken down when they built the houses. My father used to play bowls on a bowling green that was behind the Jolly Sailor Hotel and quite a lot of gentlemen were members.
Biil Beard, Ruth Hargreaves and Louise Thistleton