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.
Marple Memories, 1940-47
(Keith Denerley lived in Marple during the Second World War and his memories of that time cast a fascinating light on everyday life during a very difficult period. He went on to become a vicar and never returned to live in Marple.)
Reminiscing about Marple in the 1940’s with a friend recently, she thought I ought to set such things down, so here goes.
My parents, sister and I moved from Didsbury Road, Stockport, early in the war, as the house (Richmond Lodge) where we lived was next to some railway marshalling yards, a favorite target of enemy bombers. My father had a chemist’s shop on Brinksway, Stockport, and also one on Stockport Road, Marple, that I believe is still there. We lived above the shop. There was a post office next door (where the son rejoiced in an O gauge electric railway), and a garage opposite.
Three generations of a Marple family in whose lives
The Albert Schools played an integral part.
Built as a Sunday Schools for the Congregational Church on Hibbert Lane in 1866, just a year or so after the Church itself was built in 1865; The Albert Schools played a large part in the lives of my grandfather, my parents and my aunt, and myself, siblings and cousins.
About 1916, my maternal grandfather, Andrew Cochran, moved with his wife and two small daughters from Paisley in Scotland, to Marple.
He was an ‘engineer’s draftsman’, and worked for Campbell & Calderwood in Paisley. They designed and made boilers for steam engines, pumps and other machinery.
My father’s chief leisure occupations were golf and gardening. He made a beautiful garden of our plot at the front of the cottage with immaculate lawn and beds of rose bushes. We had no back garden and there was no space for vegetables. Consequently, about the year 1920, he took over the tenancy of quite a large allotment on some terracing near the Wallers’ mill site in Moor End. He worked this with enthusiasm and produced large quantities of fruit and vegetables, much of which he gave away to neighbours.
When I was about three my father got to know the Wilson family who lived at the stone- built detached house just up Gibb Lane which in later years we were to occupy. They had a son my age called Norman and it was arranged that I should play with him. Permission was granted for me to run across the meadow when the grass wasn’t long and enter their back garden by a hole in the hedge. This, my first friendship, was to last until we were eleven years’ old. I started at Mellor School below the Church when I was five. To keep the boy infants away from the big rough farm lads, of up to fourteen years old, who all wore clogs; they had to use the girls’ playground. I found this a bit scaring as some of the girls were also big and rough and wore clogs. Most of the games they played, and expected us to join in, were completely bewildering.
Mellor between the wars – utilities and services
Many amenities, now taken for granted, were completely lacking in those days. I am sure there was no telephone in Top Mellor so if there was an urgent need for a doctor a messenger had to dash down to the surgery in Marple Bridge. When I was born this is what my father had to do in the night and I believe he jokingly remarked that he only had time to put his bedroom slippers on. A phone box put by the Devonshire Arms (left) in early 1920s was much appreciated. Apart from a sewer, up Longhurst Lane and through Moor End, there were no public services then in top Mellor.