Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Oak Cottage, Higham Lane, Gee Cross

Oak Cottage

Oak Cottage was the home to James Miller, alias "Ewan MacColl".

Ewan MacColl (25 January 1915 - 22 October 1989) was a British folk singer, songwriter, socialist, actor, poet, playwright, and record producer. He was a dominant figure in the post-war British folk revival but during the 1930s and 1940s was involved in staging events and concerts that supported his keenly-held Communist views. A watch was kept on him by MI5 and police mounted a 'discreet supervision' of Oak Cottage in Higham Lane, Hyde, where he was living, and reports of activities and visitors are on the file. He is best remembered for his song "First time ever I saw your face" for which he won a Grammy award and "Dirty Old Town" which was made famous by the Dubliners. He was the father of singer Kirsty MacColl.


I met my love,
By the gas works wall.
Dreamed a dream,
By the old canal.
I kissed my girl,
By the factory wall.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.


Tom said...

This is a great post Nancy, I knew vey little of him but remember an article in the papers about him when he died. As for Dirty Old Town... I'll be humming and singing that all day now.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

O I loved his work, especially Dirty Old Town - of course I didn't live in Hyde then - met him once when he visited a folk club in Glasgow in the 60s - great memories.

Lizzy said...

That's a new one for me, I knew Wayne Fontana lived up there in the late 60's

Tom said...

Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders... my Elizabeth I'd forgot all about him..

Hydonian said...

He lived a couple pf cottages away from Oak Cottage ,I think!

imac said...

Ah yes, I remember him and the song.

Rachel said...

Please could you tell me what dates he lived there as we have lived next door since 1985 and were unaware of this fascinating piece of history.

Hydonian said...

Hi Rachel , I'm unsure of the exact dates but I know it was during the early part of the Second World War.

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John Hall said...

My parents owned oak cottage from 1957 till about 1997, Wayne lived in a bungalow next door from Jan1967 for one year, he was just 21 same as me, we became friends and still are ---we are both 71 now.
John Hall

David Hall said...

Wayne Fontana lived next door.
My family live in Oak Cottage then.