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.
Our Spring visit was a day of two halves: industrial heritage in the morning followed by an afternoon tour of an historic mansion and the opportunity to stroll around gardens in the warm sunshine.
An early start of 9.00.a.m. was more than compensated for by a pleasant drive through Derbyshire to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet on the outskirts of Sheffield. Once the largest water powered industrial site on the River Sheaf, it has been a place of metal working for hundreds of years......
How long have you lived in Stockport?
What is that building opposite the Town Hall?
Have you ever visited it?
The chances are that you have never been to the Stockport War Memorial and Art Gallery. If you haven’t, you should be ashamed of yourself as it is a gem; unique, not just in England but in the world. It is the only building, anywhere, designed and purpose-built as a combined war memorial and art gallery. There are now forty people from Marple History who can look their friends in the eye; they have been and they have learned a lot. Lynda Jenkins organised one of the most moving tours the society has sponsored.
Standing at the junction of London Road and Whitworth Street, the building has been largely empty since 1986, gradually deteriorating. It has been a Grade II* listed building since 1974 but that did little to save it. From this prime position it stared reproachfully at every one of the thousands arriving at Piccadilly each day. After years of inaction Manchester finally got tough with the owners. It has now been sold on to another company, Allied London, who will start development in the spring. That left a small window of opportunity for those enthusiastic nerds who wanted to see the interior of an iconic Edwardian building. Jonathan Schofield,Gathering our favourite Blue Badge Guide, leapt in to fill the gap. As well as a series of public tours over the Christmas/New Year period he agreed to put on a special tour for Marple History. Despite the short notice, Hilary Atkinson took up the challenge and assembled 40 like-minded anoraks to accompany her. It’s fortunate that they were anoraks as we were greeted with the traditional Manchester weather.
‘To boldly go where no Society has gone before’ – a noble objective but not true on this occasion. The consultation exercise with the members earlier this year had drawn the suggestion to revisit destinations of yore. So we found ourselves on the way to the Avro Heritage Museum in Woodford. Turn right at Poynton, travel past the airport relief road and enter through the old factory gates. These had given entry to the BAE factory, which closed in 2011, after almost 87 years on the Woodford aerodrome. Houses are being built to populate the site; eventually some 4,000 will materialise. A classic case of changing swords into ploughshares.
A tale of a nineteenth century model town, five locks, and a July day in God’s Own County. On boarding the coach, early 9am start, we discovered that Judith had lost her voice, but the day proved that she had not lost her organising skills. David Burridge became the voice of Judith for the day, on board the chara. On this final Society outing of the season we were to be taken out of our comfort zone – Manchester and Cheshire. Our destination this Saturday was to be the World Heritage site of Saltaire and the watery staircase of Bingley Five Lock.
After being treated to the experience of reversing a 49 seater around a corner, we arrived at Saltaire and were ushered into Victoria Hall. With our chairs arranged around the edge of rather large wooden ‘dance floor’, memory skipped back through the years to girls dancing around handbags, while this correspondent and other callow youths looked on, awkward and embarrassed. Once we were settled down with tea or coffee, Maria and Sally, our guides, distributed a bookmark to everyone. Each bookmark had information on one of the occupants of the village in the nineteenth century - name, age, occupation and marital status. Maria’s costumed character, Mrs Ellin Dooley, is as ‘common as muck’. She lives in an ordinary worker’s house on Amelia Street with her husband Henry, 12 children and another on the way. Sally is Mrs Caroline Hill, the wife of Saltaire’s security chief, Colonel Thomas Henry Hill. They live in the second biggest house in the village at 47 Titus Street. Their spouses were revealed....