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.
Gordon Mills, yes a printer, but much, much more. Born in 1935, Gordon is remembered in Marple for his vast knowledge of the town’s history, for his books, his work both as a publisher and a photographer. His enthusiasm for the restoration of canals and waterways helped in their re-birth. Though, sadly, Gordon died in 2006, he has left publications that will continue to bring pleasure in the years to come.
In 1794 the Mellor Mill, Bottoms Mill was opened, six stories, 400feet long, and 33 feet wide the mill was powered by the Wellington Wheel. A breast water wheel 22 feet diameter, 18 feet wide. Power was transferred, from the edge of the wheel to the rest of the mill by vertical shafts. By 1804, 10,080 spindles were operating and up to 550 workers (mainly women and children) were employed. However less than fifteen years later the need arose for a second wheel, and the Waterloo Wheel, was constructed. And in 1860 investement was made in the new form of power, steam, the steam and boiler house.
John Hearle introduces the opening
(photo: Bill Beard)
Memories of Local People
This collection of memories of local people was originally organised and recorded by Gladys Swindells, chairman of the Marple Antiquarian Society as it was then known. The original interviews took place in the 1960s at a time when the interviewees were over 80 so their memories stretch back to the late nineteenth century.
In recent years, Ruth Hargreaves, Louise Thistleton and Bill Beard have painstakingly transcribed audio recordings and handwritten notes of times past, notably four contributions by Tom Oldham, a stalwart of the Society until his death in 1998. Both mediums provided challenges including the quality of recordings, use of dialect and neatness of handwriting. Recently, we have also received memories from people who lived in Marple in their childhood / teenage years and who have brought to life what it was like to live here in the 1940s and 1950s.
A further resource........the British Library page of Accents & Dialects
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.