Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Queens Trees

A Postcard from where Werneth Low Road meets Cowlishaw Road or "Brow" as it's referred to - the grass triangle known locally as the "Queen's Trees", as Queen Elizabeth II planted trees here on the occasion of her visit in 1967 ... A favourite picnic area of many over the years.

This area is also known as 3 lanes end... I thought we had a picture of some cottages that were around here but cannot find it..

The Queen on her 1967 visit to the area... I think she was doing what most of us do when standing near to the 'Triangle'.. and that is admiring the view.

From The Book
A History Of Hyde
Thomas Middleton

Prominent amongst the Gee Cross characters were the Corbishley family, who got their living by carrying coal, for which purpose they kept twenty donkeys and a pony with crooked legs. There is a small triangle piece of land near the ‘finger-post’ at the top of Cowlishaw Brow on the summit of Werneth Low. Just behind the wall on the Hyde side of the main road, fronting this triangular piece, stood the cottage of the Corbishleys. The family and donkeys shared the same rooms during the day, and at night the animals occupied the lower rooms and the family the bedrooms. Their train of donkeys carried coal in panniers and packs from the local coalpits to Hyde and the neighbouring towns. The best known members of this family were two brothers, Sam and Jack. Death claims everyone in time, and at last Jack died, leaving Sam as sole survivor. Whilst the corpse lay in the house, and Sam was out, some of the Gee Cross farmers got into the house, dressed the corpse, placed it upright in a chair, and put a pipe in its mouth. When poor Sam returned he at first thought that his brother had come to life again.. But on touching the body it fell to the floor.
Jack Corbishley, in spite of his queer habits, had always shown kindness to William Wych, one of the Wych’s of Gee Cross Fold Farm: and ’Billy’ Wych undertook to bury his old friend at his own expense. The funeral took place at Mottram, and after the custom of the time ’Billy’ and the funeral guest called at the Mottram inns and drank heavily before returning to Gee Cross. The interment was on the Friday preceding Mottram Wakes’ Saturday and on this day there was a great pot market held. Primed with good ale, ’Billy’ Wych was seized with a mad freak, and mounting the hearse he drove the horse right through the pot market, smashing pots right and left… and scattering the crowd in all directions. He then paid for the damage, satisfied that there had been “a good finish to Jack Corbishley funeral”.

The Corbishleys had a friend who lived at Mellor, and was known as “Besom Ben,” on account of him being a ’besom’ maker.

Lady using such a Heather Besom

He went on the moor lands for the heather, made it into besoms, which he then slung in bundles pannier-like over the donkey’s back, and conveyed them into Hyde and other places for sale. There is a painting of him and his donkey in oils preserved in Hyde Public Library... I wonder if it is still there.... can anyone let us know please.


Tom said...

Great picture this one Nancy..
Was this the same triangle of grass that was donated by Walter Mansfield thethen landlord of the Hare & Hounds? I'm sure the story was that it was not is land to give in the first place.. ha! I think we have a picture of some cottages that stood across the road overlooking Hyde... and a very funny story about a pair of brothers who lived there abouts.. I'll try and dig then out..

Hydonian said...

I'm not sure, Tom? Would be great to hear some stories about it though...

Tom said...

I'll get right on it Nancy... give me a rest from typing.. ;o)

Tom said...

Nancy I added the two pictures I could find but I can't seem to find the one with the old buildings.. I've also added the story I mentioned.. I hope you enjoy it.

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

Queen's Trees? Never heard that before!

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

We had to stand on Mottram Road as kids to wave to the Queen as her car drove by. I had forgot all about this until I read this post. We stood outside Longlands Lodge.

Loved the story Tom:)

Tom said...

1967 Gerald... now you are giving away the fact you are not a Hydonian... ha!.. I'm sure there was a plaque up there... maybe Nancy will know.. I think we will have to adopt you as a honourary Hydonian in another year or two Gerald ;o)

Hydonian said...

Thanks Tom - Excellent add as always! The story is fabulous and shows that Hyde has always had its characters throughout the ages..haha
Manchester Lass - We stood at the bottom of Lumn Road - I was at Leigh Street Infant School at the time :)

Tom said...

We stood on Mottram Old Road just past the junction with Stockport oad... I recall it very well.. until that time I thought you could only have the colours Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Green, Brown, Black, and White.... the Queen came along and she was wearing a colour I had never heard of before.. and that was 'Turquoise'.. We had to draw a picture of the Queen when we got back to school... and the teacher told us the Queen was dressed in Turquoise... I asked "where was Turquoise" I thought it was a place.. not a bloody colour.

Dave Williams said...

Your childhood logic was almost correct Tom. Turquoise is so named because stones of the mineral of that name were so called because they were first brought to Europe from Turkey, which IS a place of course.

Tom said...

Cheers Dave..
I don't feel as bad now... ha! I've got one of James Leigh's poem in the pipeline... I'm sure you will recall some of the referances it makes to people and places around Gee Cross.. I'm hoping to be posting it in a while.