Miss Hudson standing by the sundial with Peter : I wonder where this elegant sundial is now?
In 1902 Charles Cooke (1860 – 1937) moved from Adlington to Brabyns Hall Farm with his wife Elizabeth and children and he farmed until 1937/38 when the family moved to Glossop Road. Charles and Elizabeth’s daughter Bertha married Walter Boden and had two children, Mary (1922 - 2022) and Geoffrey (1926 -2001). Geoffrey was a sickly child and in the late 1920s Miss Hudson suggested that the children moved into Brabyns Hall, where they would benefit from the cleaner air and there they stayed until the early 1940s. Mary and Geoffrey were treated as children of the house; Mary learnt to ride her horse in the park and they had a governess. Recalling her childhood, Mary often said “Miss Hudson was nice inside and out!
Mary and Geoffrey by the stable block
12 months ago, Mary’s daughter, Mary Moore contacted Marple LHS and asked if we would be interested in letters and photographs her mother had kept of the Hall and Farm; also a painting of Brabyns that had hung in the Hall itself. In late November last year, when visiting the area from her home in Norfolk, Mary brought these items for the Archives. [painting below]
The letters addressed to Daisy Cooke (Bertha’s sister) are mostly about paying for milk and potatoes but a letter dated May 20th 1931 finishes “I caught a Corona Cold! But am well again.” It would seem that the COVID virus is not unique to our generation.
Brabyns Hall Farm, Mr Manley to the left, unknown man to the right & Dolly
Some of the photographs are familiar but others are new to us and include this view of the back of Brabyns Hall Farm, which was near the stable block on the right hand side of the main driveway. At either end of the farm were houses for other servants, one of whom was Mr Manley the coachman.
Thanks to Mary Moore for donating these items to Marple Local History Society.
Hilary Atkinson - January 2024