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.
‘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....
Into Cheshire for the Society’s spring trip 2016, Nether Alderley Mill in the morning, and Jodrell Bank Observatory, in the afternoon. The sun shone on the day and the travellers, but alas a cool wind scurried across the Cheshire Plain, on the big day for William Shakespeare, 23 April 2016.
But first, a puzzle. Given the numbers 8, 16,19,22,27,29,33,41, what is the next number in the series? Had the travellers of the day looked back during the day, they would have the answer, which is revealed, at the foot of the article.
No coaches allowed on this trip. Make your own way, pal! Not a great surprise though, as the destination was Manchester. Your scribe began his day’s odyssey in the waiting room of Rose Hill Station, learning from a fellow traveller the benefits of a Wayfarer ticket with a senior railcard. With this you could have a reasonably-priced junket to see the Flying Scotsman in York. Diversion over! - Back on track to Manchester.
(Left: Opening of the Library by King George V on July 17th 1934)
There was no problem with finding Wentworth Woodhouse. With 365 rooms, it is the biggest house in Europe. Quite a contrast to the miners’ cottages that we passed on the way there. However it might not have 365 rooms as our friendly guides wouldn’t confirm that. How do you classify a corridor with eight fireplaces or a cupboard bigger than a bathroom? We hoped to understand this problem once we got inside the house but where was the front door? It began as a Jacobean house with a gateway by Inigo Jones and that is still the core of the house as nothing is ever knocked down. The first Marquess wanted something rather grander so he grafted a very large baroque house onto it - the west front.