Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Disappearing Hyde Streets.

Whilst researching for this blog it has come to my attention that approximately 36 streets have disappeared from the Hyde area over the years.....and that's just the ones I've noticed so far!

Helen St
Norbury St
Foundry St
Platt St
Thomas St
Albion St
Cotton St
Mottram St
Lewis St
Spring St
Haughton St (Godley)
Hoviley Brow
George St
Bank St
George St West
Cooper St
Hewitt St
Wharf St
Oak St
Lucas St
Charles St
Hall St (Not Newton)
Rochfort St
Cooper St
Alma St
Mill St
Randall St
Howard St
Oak St
Thomas St (Flowery Field)
James St (Flowery Field)
John St (Flowery Field)
Mulberry St (Flowery Field)
High St (Flowery Field)
John St East (Flowery Field)
Broadbent St (Flowery Field)
Mount St (Flowery Field)

Please feel free to add any other you might be able to think of!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Hyde Lads Club.

Hyde Lads' Club commenced on 5th October 1928, utilising two rooms in Hyde Town Hall. The Club's founder was the Chief Constable of Hyde, J W A Danby.

clubs Hyde

In 1930, Hyde Lads Club moved to new premises in Beeley Street after becoming too popular for their old site in the Town Hall and then the Wesleyan Church. Here they remained until the building was demolished c1993, and the Club wound up. This building included a gymnasium, assembly room, games rooms, library, reading room and lecture rooms. The new Club was declared open by the Duke of Gloucester on 6 February 1930.

Hyde Lads Club stood on Beeley Street.

The Club's ethos was to provide a safe and "sound" outlet for the energies of the young men of the Borough. The Club ran football teams, physical training, boxing and games such as ping pong and bagatelle.

Hyde Lads Club giving a gymnastics display.

Cheshire Cheese, Newton

The Cheshire Cheese stands on the corner of Ashton Old Road and Bennett Street in Newton, Hyde. There were until resently 3 pubs in Hyde with this name... the one on Market Street is no longer a pub.. this one seems to be hanging in there. I wish it luck.

Hyde Reform Club


Hyde Reform Club was an imposing building that stood on the corner of Foundry street and Clarendon Place, almost opposite to where the "Jolly Carter" pub stands today...
It was known as the Liberal Club and was a hotbed for local politics.


This view shows the side of the club taken from Foundry street itself, before its demolition. Rutherford Way and Gabbotts Farm shop now stand roughly where Foundry street was. On this photo you can just see the doorway to the Jolly Carter pub, next to the shop named Crown which was a " pound shop" of it's day , selling wallpaper rollends..

foundry st

The Reform Club is the Grey building marked out in the middle of the map.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

The old Bank Chambers Building

The old Bank Chambers building stands on the corner of Hyde Market. It seems to have been unchanged for all the time it's stood here which is well over a hundred years now.


In its time its has been the London City and Midland Bank ,the Midland Band Ltd (from 1923) and is presently the HSBC bank .In 1999 The Midland bank was rebranded as HSBC .According to some maps it is also believed to have been a post office in or around the year 1896.

Elijah Smiths funeral

This shows the building on the extreme right of the picture.It still has the same distictive arched windows. This was taken during the funeral procession for a soldier called Elijah Smith who lived on Union Street. He was shot and killed during the first world war. This appears to have been the only military funeral held in Hyde during the first world war.

midland bank
The building during it's Midland Bank days circa 1990.


The building can be seen in Local Artist Harry Rutherfords' most famous work "Northern Saturday", a vibrant painting showing life in Hyde on Market day.

market bank

A present day photo showing the market view from the Town Hall.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Brownsons Tower.

Brownsons was a clothiers that was situated on the corner of Clarendon Street and Hamnett Street near to Hyde Market. It was started originally by Thomas Brownson and was run by the Brownson Family who had stores in other towns in the area namely Ashton under Lyne and Stalybridge. This was a store that catered for the whole family having a mens ,ladies and juvenile section.

It was a very distinctive store owing to the fact that it had a tower.
This building was later used by Woolworths Ltd and presently is occupied by a Poundstretcher store.
This 1910 shot shows Brownsons with the sunblinds down. The view is looking down Clarendon place towards the Queens Hotel.
This scene shows the view across the market place in the 1920's.


Thomas Brownson Esq. BA was a JP who had dealings with the Mechanics institute in Hyde . He lived at "Burnside" which was situated near Gower Hey Woods .


Mrs Brownson ,his wife, laid one of the foundation stones at Zion Congregational Sunday school in 1898.

A paper cutting showing an advertisement for Brownsons store in Old Square ,Ashton under Lyne.


"Brownsons Tower" Circa 1965 . Woolworth was occupying it by then.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Hyde Corn Mill



In the old records from Godley there’s mention of a corn mill that once existed, but of which every trace gone and so ancient was the structure that we are now unsure where it was at all.
Hyde was more fortunate as the picturesque old corn mill of Hyde, stood, as ruins to around the 1880s. Thomas Middleton wrote about it in the Annals Of Hyde and I quote him here: “At one time its situation upon the banks of " the bonnie river Tame" was one of great beauty, and the old mill made a grand addition to the pleasant features of the scenery. It doubtless was the successor of former structures upon or near the same spot, as a corn mill had existed on the river at Hyde from the time of King John.”


In years long gone the mill would have formed an important institution in the surrounding area. It enjoyed the patronage and protection of the lords of the manor, and at one time also had a worthy reputation among the poorer people of the neighbourhood.
In the 179os John Aiken's gives mention to the mill in his book ‘40 Miles Round Manchester’… "Betwixt the bridge and Hyde Hall is a mill for grinding corn, for the use of which as well as for that of a water engine on the Lancashire side belonging to some valuable coal mines of Mr. Clarke, is a weir which throws a broad sheet of water to a considerable depth below, where it has worked a hole many yards deep and wide. The appearance and noise of this cascade have a romantic effect, and the river for half a mile above is made by it to appear like a lake forming a fine piece of water, well stocked with trout and eels."


Prior to the making of the railroad and the Peak Forest Canal, a winding valley ran from the river almost to where Hyde Town Hall now stands. The sides of this valley were covered with trees, and the place was known as " Mill Wood " on account of the corn mill being situated at the end of the valley. The last remnant of this valley was filled in around 1890. Most of the buildings and streets behind the Town Hall stand upon earth that has been "tipped"…. That’s hard to imagine now when you think of Asda and the Theatre Royal.. Corporation Street, Great Norbury Street, the railway, canal, then towards the scrap yards on Raglan Street, then across to where the old Gas works stood…. that’s some tipping for sure.
Thomas Middleton wrote in the Annals Of Hyde 1899 the following: “what is now Corporation Street was a deep hollow, with a brook at the bottom; the sides of the valley being laid as gardens“ he recalled in the book a story from an old lady who knew Hyde well, who wrote this of the old Corn Mill and the Miller: "Anyone walking along the river bank could not but be struck with the sound of the 'Old Hundredth' or of one of the Church chants, sounding morning and evening from the mill, as the miller did his task, vibrating through the stately beech trees which towered far above the old building that had been worked by generations of one family now all gone to rest. The sound was so impressive that I often recall it with very deep feelings. And each Sabbath morning, when the splash of the water-wheels was hushed, there at his cottage door, across the river, could be seen the miller, with his large Bible on his knee, reading aloud to his family. It was a sight not readily forgotten, particularly in summer, with the lilacs and roses in bloom, and the sun shining on the river, and the music of the falling weir coming through the spray."


The above account now well over 200 years ago paints a nice picture of this area, with Hyde being very far removed from how we know it today. The millers were a family of Ashtons, who worked the mill for generations, in the old registers at Denton Old Church., there are entries there about this family, of which two of the later ones state the following:: 1796. John, son of Robert Ashton, Miller, of Hyde; born July 18th, baptised August 14th. And then in 1812. Hannah, daughter of John Ashton, Miller, of Haughton, Nancy: born August 9th, baptised Sept. 22nd, 1812.
Thomas Middleton wrote that he spent many hours in the ruined rooms of the old mill, playing in his childhood. The building was then dilapidated with age and crumbling to decay. It was, however, of picturesque appearance and with care would have worn out generations of mortals. When the building was eventually pulled down, the oak beams and floors were purchased by Mr. John Thornely and were formed into handsome hall cabinets.


By the look of this picture it was near to where the Showman’s Guild have their site in the dip off Mill Lane, and nearer to the bridge than I thought it was. You can get a better idea of it from the Haughton side of the Tame, then walk further down following the Tame then look up at where the old Gas works once stood on Raglan Street.… that’s quite a hill to say it was part of the landfill from the back of Hyde Town Hall.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Hyde Lane & It's Off-Shoots

A History Of Hyde Lane

The track that was to become Hyde Lane was never a good road in olden days, in winter and wet weather it was almost impassable, as none of the brooks that it crossed were bridged or culverted until the beginning of the 1800s. The lane began at the entrance of the road from Lancashire into Cheshire. Crossing the river Tame by the ford from Broomstair, the road reached a point on the Hyde side of the river, just below the junction of the Tame and the brook coming from Godley and Newton known as Wilson Brook.


Old cottages in Kingston Hollow
Showing the road to the old ford crossing

The road followed the course of the brook to the foot of " Bowker's " Brow , now known as Kingston Brow, then it ascended the brow to the entrance gates to Hyde Hall (White Gates).


The White Gates Inn

The road to the hall was also the road to the Old Corn Mill, and to another ford which crossed the Tame below the Corn Mill, for Glass House Fold, the Coal Pits, and Haughton Green.


Hyde Cornmill

Sometime in the mid 1700s, Squire George Clarke built a bridge over the river Tame at Broomstair, made a connecting road and another bridge over Wilson Brook near to the cottages in the picture above, to the foot of Bowker's Brow, and by agreement with the inhabitants of Hyde and Haughton, dedicated them to public use, he to have the old road, ford, etc., and the public to repair the bridge and new road for ever.


Manchester Road where the road cross Wilsons Brook

Hyde Lane crossed the canal by a bridge which is still known as Hyde Lane Bridge, and went on towards Hollow Brow, Newton Street.


Newton Street-Dukinfield Road Junction

When the Ashtons built the "Hollow Factory," early in 1800s, Hollow Brow was only a Pack Horse Road, worn down between lofty banks, and so narrow that two horses could not pass. It was shaded by high hedges and trees. The road forded the brook at the bottom of the brow, and winding its way up the opposite slope, went along the Old Road to the junction with the ancient highway from Yorkshire to Lancashire Bennett Street and what was then called Muslin Street but now known as Talbot Road.


Top Of Matley Lane

The Waggon and Horses on Mottram Road


Muslin Street/Talbot Road

The Yorkshire road came from Saltersbrook, the meeting place for the exchange of traffic by the Lancashire and Yorkshire carriers ; it crossed the moors of Longdendale, Hollingworth, made its way down Matley Lane, Bennett Street, Newton Hall, Dukinfield Hall, to Shepley Bridge, which at one time the only bridge across the Tame in these parts. At he time of the building of the Hollow Factory there was a water wheel on the Newton side of Wilson Brook, which worked "Pump Trees," up to the coal pit at Flowery Field. The Ashtons widened Hollow Brow, built the bridge, and altered the road to its present course, and established a Toll Bar at Bayley Field, and tolled all wheeled vehicles until the road was taken over by the township. The point of junction of Hollow Brow with Hyde Lane was called Atterclough, and the length of the road from this point to Hoviley Lane was called Red Pump Street.


Newton Street - Manchester Road Junction

Hoviley Lane branched off Hyde Lane at Squire Hegginbottom's house, later the District Bank at the corner of the market, and passing the Ridling Pits, and went down Hoviley Brow and forded the Lumn Brook near the printworks' gates. From here it went to Hoviley Ford, which, previous to the building of the printworks, was opposite the site of the Talbot Inn.


Hoviley Brow

The brook having been diverted for the purposes of the print works. After leaving this ford, the road skirted Newton Green which was then common land, joined the road coming over Newton Moor from Ashton, then forded the brook from Goodier Bottoms, and finally went to Pudding Lane, which ran by Brook House Farm to Mottram.


Continuing from its junction with the Hoviley branch, Hyde Lane went past several old cottages and a farm, then Hegginbothams Tan Yards now the site of Corporation Street, to where the road crossed the brook to run down Mill Wood to the river Tame. Next it passed some low-lying houses and the village Pinfold and the Stocks. It passed a footpath which as grown into Union Street which led across "Shepley Fields" to Ridling Lane, and, further on, a road leading to various farms and Wood End-Church Street.


Higher up, on the easterly side of Hyde Lane, were several Squatters' cottages, which existed until the start of the 1900s. The lane went by these to Tinker Hill, where a junction was made with Back Lane. This lane led to Walker Fold Lane, down Lumn Hollow, where an ancient bridle path, passed by Lumn Farm, then branched off, and then it became Ridling Lane, until it joined Hoviley Lane at Ridling pits (on the site of Queen's Hotel, Clarendon Place).


Walker Fold Birth Place of Hyde Poet James Leigh

From Back Lane to Smithy Fold, Hyde Lane had wide margins of grass land on each side. Smithy Fold was really a small hamlet with farm houses, cottages, etc., and the road passing through the midst of them. From this Fold Hyde Lane wound its way past Clough Gates, Back Bower Lane, and eventually became part of the Turnpike Road, close to which Hyde Chapel had been built in the year 1708.


While doing this post, I was very much aware of all the streams/brooks and such like that had now been crossed. There's folk in Hyde who do not even realise how many there are. Some are now but trickles but at one time these brooks have been put to good use for the running of water wheels and such like. In the 1800s they were culverted and bridges built to carry the roads over them. As these brooks were in valleys, these would have been needed to be filled in... changing the lay of the land to what we know it as now. Some of us recall the amount of earth moved when the M67 was cut in the 1970s.... none of us can remember the earth that must have been needed to level the valley's and gully's of old. It would have been the same with the canal and railways... Hyde as certainly seen its fair share of civil engineering take place, and Hyde Lane must have been quite an achievement when it was done. Next time you are out and about and near to a stream just think of it's course and how it cuts through our town on it's way to the Tame.... think of the work that was done, some over 200 years ago and marvel at the workmanship and a job well done...

Fernbank Farm

Fernbank Farm, or Raymonds Farm as it was affectionately known, stood on Stockport Road near to the junction with Lilly Street. It was a rundown old farm which was owned by a lovely man called Raymond who was also a milkman. He was a real character with whom I used to love to share stories with. Sadly the old farm was demolished circa 2003 and and Raymond moved to a house next door to the Werneth pub.


After the farm was demolished this stone plaque was uncovered and now is proudly displayed on Oxford Road next to where the old farm stood.


On the site of the farm is now a small housing estate called Fernbank Court which was built by Loxleys - twelve houses on the site of which was one dwelling ! Fernbank court is in the centre of this map just below Oxford House..



In 1838 the Working Men's Institute was opened, Hyde saw trouble with the Chartists... Thomas Ashton stood before a grand jury at Chester assizes, asking that Hyde might be appointed as an additional polling place in the district of Stockport.

In 1838 the population was 11,000,... the number of paupers in Hyde that year was nine, four men and five women, the former received £26 10s. 6d., and the latter £29 14s. 4d.; there were 24 other cases of pauper expense, amounting to £207 3s. lOd.

The inhabitants were occupied in farming, spinning, weaving, mining, and in the ordinary retail business of a small market town. There were 35 steam engines, and about 6,000 hands employed in the mills. In these mills 48,000 Ibs. of cotton wool were spun into yarn No. 24, and woven by 1,200 looms, working at the rate of 125 shoots per minute, into 1,500 pieces of 25 yards long. The average wages per week, for children was 3s to 5 shilling, women 12 shilling and for men 24 - 25 shillings.

Information from Annals Of Hyde

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Brook Fold Wood, Godley

Brook Fold Wood

Brook Fold Woods was a favourite place to head for in Victorian times... these woodlands, and many more that surround and cut through our town, were once part of much bigger woodlands and would have provided much food and hunting in days of old.

If you walk along The Trans Pennine Trail..... towards the end of the old Goods Line at Godley East, Brook Fold Woods runs up towards Mottram Old Road, at the side of the railway line, it's quite overgrown in places now.. Again, this is a place to spot the odd Roe Deer.. These deer are quite timid and soon make off at the slightest sound... They have for years made good use of the railway lines to move around.. so try to keep the lines in sight and if you are lucky you might get to see them. I have stood on the train bridge on Mottram Road, popped my head over and looked down the lines towards Hattersley Train Station and seen them grazing.. My friend as a pictures or some grazing here I must try to get some copies for here.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Hyde Theatre Royal 1

The Theatre Royal was opened in 1902 as a replacement for the first Theatre Royal, which stood in Frank Street; this was owned by the Hyde Theatre Company Limited who secured the land for a newer and better theatre in 1901. It opened as the New Theatre Royal in 1902 and seated 1000.The Design/Construction was by Campbell & Horsley (Manchester).


In 1914, the theatre was leased for cinema use, and called the New Royal Cinema, but the name of Theatre Royal was soon in use again for the regular pantomimes, variety and local shows. In 1932 alterations for cinema use were by Architect P Cummings. In 1950 it became a repertory theatre for two years, and thereafter reverted to cinema with Christmas pantomime and occasional shows until the 1960s when it was used largely as a cinema. The last show was staged in October 1972. The stage area was then converted into a second cinema. It finally closed as a cinema in 1992/3.


Although consent for demolition was given in 1999 and a redevelopment scheme, including plans for a pub on the site, approved, the building was spot-listed in April 2000. It remains, nevertheless, a Grade II listed building.


The Theatre Royal Onward Trust was set up for the preservation and restoration for the public benefit. Theatre Royal Onward Trust

The Globe Inn, Lumn Road

What a truely sad site this makes.
If anyone one as any older pictures from inside or outside of the Globe, Nancy and I would be more than pleased to see then and include them here.

Sotally Tober

Starkle starkle little twink
who the heck you are I think
I'm not under what you call
the alcofluence of incohol
I'm just a little slort of sheep
I'm not drunk like tinkle peep
I don't know who is me yet
but the drunker I stand here the longer I get
Just give me one more drink to fill me cup
'cuz I got all day sober to Sunday up.
David Hudgins


The Globe in better days..... picture donated by Gerald England of Hyde Daily Photo

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Church Brow, Woodend Lane, and Captain Whitle's Wind

Just on the left is a footpath known as Church Brow that leads from Gower Road, as you cross the road theres a cobbled passageway that leads to Albert Road and towards the centre of Hyde. This footpath seems to form the boundary of Church Street - Woodend Lane
The building that juts out onto the road was an old farm known as Thornely Fold Farm, it was pulled down in 1909.
In the early 1970s this was our prefered way to walk to Greenfield Street School, it was around this point we had to make the decision to carry on walking towards Albert Street and a day spent at school.. or turning left onto Woodend Lane and spending the day wagging it from school and getting up to mischief on the Peak Forest Canal... I must admit by the time I'd been at Greeny for two years the pull of a day on the canal got greater.. in fact the pull of a dentists pliers was sometimes more appealing than a day sat in a classroom. Ha! that says more about me back then, than Greenfield Street school.
The red arrow on the map above shows the point the footpath crosses the road, it is interesting to note that this 1897 map shows the brook in the valley as Gorehay Brook.. but it is know and named as Gower Hey Brook, in fact the valley the brook runs through is known as Gower Hey.
The above photo is taken on Woodend Lane, looking back towards Church Street, the other picture as been treated to a make over in a drawing package on the computer... and shows St. Georges Church towering above the surrounding houses.

The name of Captain Whitle's Wind was given to a certain terrific and sudden hurricane which swept over parts of Hyde and surrounding districts sometime in the 1800s. The effect of this storm was tremendous, and the town bore many signs of the devastating powers of the gale. One Hyde story will suffice here. In the orchard adjoining the old white farm which stood near Church Brow, close to the St. George's Vicarage, a great tree was blown down, and for a long after was known as Captain Whitle's tree. Now for the derivation of the title. Captain Whitle lived at Hollingworth Hall, and was a stout old sea-dog of the days when English ships were reaping plunder on the Spanish main. He is said to have been officer on the first English ship of war that ever sailed the China seas. . The Captain died at Hollingworth, and was buried at Mottram Church, where, so runs the tale, when the bearers emerged from the church doors with the coffin on their shoulders to carry it to the grave, the storm referred to above burst on them in all its fury, blew the coffin from their grasp, and carried it, bump, bump, bump, down the old grave-yard, terrifying the beholders, as well as dashing them about with as little mercy as it treated the corpse. That gale was known henceforth as Captain Whitle's Wind not only in Mottram but far beyond the windings of pleasant Longdendale. The inhabitants of Mottram and its neighbouring towns and villagers were very superstitious, and many an old worthy would huddle up in the chimney corner on a fierce night, when the wind howled without, and the gale screamed past, firmly convinced that the gruff old seaman rode in ghostly state upon the wings of the storm.
From the book Annals Of Hyde by Thomas Middleton.