Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

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.


Hydonian said...

Excellent post, Tom. I remember tales of Capt. Whitles wind from when I was little. I didnt realise he had lived at Hollingworth Hall and was buried at Mottram Church though!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I love the old pictures. Your area is full of interesting places and stories.

I remember that Beatrix Potter's family had roots in your area. Her mother was from Gee Cross and her father was from Glossup. My interest in her is that her father's family were Unitarians. Have you done any items on her family?

Tom said...

Hi Philip... I was only thinking of you an hour or two ago.... we have done nowt yet on the Potters as yet but I'll let you know as soon as... hope you are well my friend.

Anonymous said...

I like your photos, Tom and the words with them. It is entertaining.

I used to take off and hide on old abandoned farms when I was in school. I did it to be around the house when the truant officer showed up. lol

But I made it one way or another and am now almost 76 years old. Got a job as a writer the other day of all things. Am digging out some of the stories I have in archive.

I am taking a break from blogging for a while now. I need some time off.

Tom said...

Hello again Abe.. I'll take the compliment on behalf of me and Nancy.... coming from a published author, photographer, and a man who had is own TV show... and much more.. compliments don't get much better... Enjoy your new venture with the writing, I'll be in touch by email soon my friend.

jogo crazy said...

Hi all

I have recently bought a property on woodend lane.

Im trying to find out some history, On the old map its named Hillside house.

The property is split into 3. My stain glass has the initials HRA

If anyone can shed some information is would be greatly appreciated.

There are many features with the date 1894