In view of the current prominence of Samuel Oldknow and all his works shown up by ‘Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy’ in Marple, the main focus of our visit was to see the original portrait of Samuel Oldknow as a young man in his yellow trousers, by Joseph Wright of Derby, which is part of the art collection of Leeds City Council and hangs in Temple Newsam House. But having discovered one of the most beautiful churches anywhere with St Wilfrid’s in the nearby Leeds suburb of Halton, we started our day there. We were warmly welcomed by members of the congregation who provided much appreciated morning refreshments and then guided us round the wonderful church.
A small crowd of 27 forgo the chance of catching the 18,615th episode of the Archers, to hear of and explore the everyday story of other country folk, who experienced the first rumblings of the Industrial Revolution, and whose descendants lived through its high point and beyond.
Before the gathering broke into two groups, Anne O’Mara, the Blue Badge Guide for the evening, gave an outline of the history of the area that lay in the view before us. The 10,000 year old hilltop site of a Mesolithic Age fort on the opposite side of the valley; the 13th century Corn Mill that gave the area its name, in the depths of the valley; how the area was part of the Royal Hunting Grounds of Peak Forest, during the Medieval era; Ludworth Corn Mill serving the needs of the scattered farms in the area.
The Society's Summer Strolls 2018
The indoor season has drawn to a close, time to head to the great outdoors. And what better way to take the journey from Spring to Summer than to enjoy the summer evening strolls on the third Monday of the month in May, June and July.
Taking in Mill Brow, New Mills and Mellor Hilltop, these gentle walks of 1.5 to 2 hours, starting at 7pm, and with a charge of £3/perhead/perwalk, will have plenty of stops to look at points of interest. There will be no need to book…just come along on 21st May, 18th June and 16th July. For details, please read this PDF file. Summer '18 Strolls
N.B. that the flyer handed out at the AGM meeting has the wrong date for the May stroll, it is May 21st, as above, NOT the 14th which appears on the flyer, our apologies.
(above: Torr Vale Mill, New Mills. This water-powered mill was built in the 1790s. In the 1860s the mill was extensively rebuilt and a steam engine was added to provide additional power.)
The winter visit of the Society comprised of guided tours of two venues, the Greater Manchester police station and Manchester Cathedral, last visited by in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Police Museum is the former Newton Street Police Station, the building from 1879 houses the original Victorian cells with their wooden pillows and the Charge office of Newton Street Police Station where time has stood still for over 120 years. Amongst the other attractions are historic police equipment and uniforms from the region. Uncover the fascinating world of forgery and forensic science.
Manchester Cathedral gained status in 1847, though its history dates from 1421. In 1940 a German bomb destroyed most of the north-east of the Cathedral and causes extensive damage to the rest of the building. All was not lost, the Cathedral still boast 17th century wood carvings, together with modern stained glass.
‘Ancoats ... is to Manchester what Manchester is to England’
Morning Chronicle, 21 December 1849
Manchester’s Ancoats area formed the destination of the second al-fresco autumn outing for the society members. Led by Mark Watson, of the Manchester Victorian Society, we enjoyed a two hour Ancoats tour, in the morning, with thirty one participants; the afternoon optional walk drew seven of the thirty one.