Marple Local History Society Trips
Each year members of the Society have a choice of trips to various historical locations to choose from, the cost of which varies dependent on the destination.
Some times we leave Marple early in the morning to visit factories and mills many miles away before returning in the evening. We've been to Blackpool to climb the tower, eating fish and chips to fortify us for a trip on a tram to see the lights. We've also had an afternoon trip along the Peak Forest Canal before a buffet at the Ring o' Bells.
31 hardy souls braved the wintery weather to travel into Manchester for our winter outing – a tour of the Refuge Assurance Building, now the Principal Hotel. Our tour began as we huddled in the original entrance porch where we listened to Jonathan Schofield’s ‘brief history’ of the Refuge Assurance and the building.
After 24 hours of heavy rain the usual pick up points saw people scurrying from their chosen shelter to head on to the coach. The rain had begun to ease as we approached the bridge at Runcorn. A magnificent Cable Stay construction that elegantly straddles the River Mersey linking Runcorn to Widnes, but beware, a toll fee has to be purchased online before crossing the bridge otherwise a hefty fine will be charged. The bridge leads us quite effortlessly on to the site of the Catalyst Museum, an area still surrounded by large areas of ground cleared of past industries. Two hundred years ago, this area was called Woodend. This was before the development of the chemical industry due to its environment being green and verdant. Once the chemical factories and laboratories were established no green spaces were left in Woodend. However today, the region has returned to a something justifying its early name. Woodend was selected in 1847 by John Hutchinson as a good site for a factory producing soda cake as it provided excellent transport opportunities to bring in many of the necessary raw materials needed by the industry.
Neil’s objective this evening was to show that there was more to Disley than just a set of traffic lights on the A6. He also wanted to show how the roads and the railway have changed the shape and the nature of Disley over the centuries. It might be the closest settlement to Lyme but it is not dependent upon the Leghs of Lyme - it has an independent existence.
We started off in the station car park because it was quiet and also free. (Which was more than could be said for the Ram’s Head car park.) He showed us a series of maps which illustrated the development of Disley since the Norman Conquest. Originally part of the Macclesfield Forest, a Royal Forest largely reserved for hunting, it did have a few people living there. However, they preferred the higher land away from the valley bottoms but below the moorland. What we now know as Higher Disley is the site of the original settlement.
At 9:15am on Sunday 7th July a party of 24 left a rather cool Marple and headed for Bakewell where, after a 25 mile drive, we were greeted by Mike Hillam at the Old House Museum with a welcoming drink of tea or coffee. The clouds quickly dispersed and the day rapidly turned into a scorcher.
When the Andrew family came to Compstall, the village, if it could be called a village, comprised several farms and some cottages known as Becum Fold. From this beginning, George Andrew and his sons built a spinning and weaving mill, a textile print works, houses for 800 people, a church and other buildings, including the Athenaeum. In fact, they created a community.