Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Monday, 29 November 2010

H. Finch... Wheelwright Shoeing and Smith


The beautiful sign-writing on the gates tells us this is H. Finch, resident of 36 Grafton Street. If you know of any other Blacksmiths, Wheelwrights or Farriers from around Hyde let us know...any more pictures would of course be gratefully received. I have always liked the idea of a local blacksmith and would have been drawn to their yard as a child. My old school friend Jack Hilton is a farrier and makes his living shoeing horses. When he left school he went away to serve his apprenticeship... it was one of the longest apprenticeships there was. 


Just over Broomstair Bridge is an engineers yard... I have known the chap there for quite a while and worked at the yard on and off in the past... more for something to do than anything else... at one time in the yard ... right at the back covered in some brambles I was clearing I came across an anvil... much the same as the one above... but this one had a cast iron stand.. I asked John if I could have it... he said yes if I could pick it up and carry it to my old land rover... ha! I could not budge it.. never mind carry it. John had all the tools that went with such a thing... all hand made by his father.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Hyde Cemetery Gates


A portion of the Back Bower estate, a total of 24 acres ,was converted into a Cemetery, and these gates opened to the first interment there on November 3rd, 1894. It was owned by Edward Hyde Clarke but was occupied by William Radcliffe according to the Tithe Maps of 1836-51. The plots were known as Geranium Field (or Meadow) and Higher Field.
Looks much the same today

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Spring Street (2)

Recently we did a post about Spring Street which was in the "disappeared streets" series. We were lucky enough to get a picture of it off Barry who follows our Hyde Blog. Here is another one sent to us from Barry.


This one shows Barrys sister Delia and younger brother Stephen. They are standing outside number 9 Spring Street where the family grew up. It was taken circa 1960. In the background, with the white window, is Tom Smiths Chippy which stood on Cheapside. Sadly ,there aren't many old style chippys left in Hyde.

Many thanks once again to Barry for allowing us a glimpse of his past.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Stockport Road

Looking down Stockport Road

I've posted this because I like the interesting perspective. It looks more hilly than Normal. The Clarkes Arms is the white building in the middle of the picture. I also like the sunshine lighting up the distant buildings ,one of which I think is Oldhams Council Office block..

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Around Clarendon Place

A couple of old shots here.
The first one is a photo of Clarendon Place looking in the direction down towards the Town Hall.

The old fingerpost sign post used to stand in front of the Queens . The large building to the left is the Reform Club and the pub facing it on the right of the picture is the Jolly Carter


The second photo is of the bottom part of Thomas Street looking over the houses to Clarendon Place. The Roof with glass panels in is now home to the "Fizz" shop.The Multistory car Park now stands on this spot.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Captain Clarke's Bridge


Captain Clarke's Bridge is at the bottom of Woodend Lane, it was originally named Wood End Canal Bridge. The bridge type is known as a 'Roving Bridge' and was designed not just to move the tow-path from one side of the canal cutting to the other... but to allow the horse pulling a narrow-boat access to the other side without the need to be unhitched. This bridge must be the most photographed bridge in Hyde, it shows up on a few old post cards of Hyde. When I was at Greenfield Street School we would sometimes walk this way to and from school... if we were on our way there we would stop here and decide if we should continue or skip school for the day.. I'd say once it was suggested it was a done deed... trouble was for me that, one day lasted very nearly 3 years... ha! 

Monday, 22 November 2010

Cooper Council Ltd - Disappeared shops

Cooper Council Limited was a store who , like many of that day, did weekly payments or "tick" on most household furniture. It was situated on Borough Arcade in Hyde.

I don't know much about this store. If anyone out there has any information , feel free to share.

Postcard of Borough Arcade

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Rumbelows - Disappeared shops

Rumbelows was an electrical and electronics retailer on Market Street, Hyde , now the site of Ca$h Converters. In it's heyday it rivalled Currys, Dixons and Comet. I used to love to buy ex chart singles from here - 25p a go.

Fred Dawes established the company as a chain of television and radio rental shops in the 1950s, naming it Fred Dawes. In 1969, the business was sold to Radio Rentals (which had merged with Thorn Electrical Industries in 1968), and all the rental accounts were transferred to Radio Rentals. All 90 of the Fred Dawes high street stores became electrical retailers instead, and were renamed Rumbelows. The demise of Rumbelows started in the early 1990's with all shops closing by February 1995.
For two seasons, from 1990 to 1992, Rumbelows were the title sponsor of the English Football League Cup, a professional association football competition.

Rumbelows circa 1995

Next to Rumbelows you can see Hibbertsons the Bakers who also had a cafe as part of the shop.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Around Brookfold Godley





Brookfold is an area that as almost been forgotten and looks much the same today. It is a perfect place for a Sunday stroll. Any information of this area would be of interest to use... and please feel free to send in your pictures so we can add to the post.

Friday, 19 November 2010


If you are of a certain age and hear the name "Meschia's" mentioned you can be sure it will bring back fabulous memories of a great institution that stood on Market Street Hyde for many years. For me, it evokes memories of saturday and sundays sitting in the milk bar chatting with friends ,drinking vimto and eating toasted currant teacakes in the "American style" booths. The older teens sat on the right of the cafe near to the pinball machine whilst the youngsters sat to the left - all aspiring to ,one day ,be part of the "happening" group on the right.

Here's a short history of the family business.

Louis Meschia arrived in England in the 1880s. He was part of the widespread emigration from Italy, coming from the Province of Genova of Northern Italy.It was family connections that brought him to Ancoats in Manchester, the area that became known as ‘Little Italy’. Shortly after arriving, he was told that there was an ice cream factory for sale in Hyde, then owned by Harry Gichero at 139, Market Street.
He liked the shop so much that he bought it and invited his fiancee, Maria Levaggi to join him from Italy. The couple married at St Paul’s Church and had three children — Amelia, Clarence and Joseph.


Clarence was born above the family’s Market Street shop in 1912 and went to Harrytown School and later, Flowery Field. By the age of 12, he was working in the family business, pushing a handcart around Hyde, selling ice cream.

Clarence Meschia during WWII

Louis had begun to expand his enterprise and had taken a wooden hut on Hyde Market in which he had a brazier that he used to boil large pans of black peas that he sold to shoppers by the mug-full. And, of course, he also sold ice cream. By the age of 14, Clarence had left school and was given a horse and cart to expand the operation into Newton, Woodley and Bredbury.


Market Street was as much a bustling place then as it is today - the shops, billiard halls, cafes and the ‘Monkey Run’ as the courting circuit was known. Many romances began (and some ended) at Meschia’s Milk Bar.

Clarence met his wife Betty while dancing in Manchester. They married in 1936 and went to live on Church Street where their two daughters were born. But then came the war and Clarence was called up to serve with the British forces in August 1940. Two weeks later, Italy declared war on England and many families of Italian descent were interned in Bury, or transported to the Isle of Man or Canada. Not so Louis Meschia or his son Clarence who joined the 8th Training Battalion RASC. He served through the war as Company Quartermaster Sergeant of 799 Air Despatch Company and was heavily involved with the supply drops for the D-day landings and Arnhem.

Meschia's Ice Cream van in the 1970's

After the war, Clarence rejoined the family business and despite rationing of ingredients such as butter and sugar, the business began to flourish. Ice cream was then a great luxury in the post-war austerity of Hyde. The family opened a factory in Pine Street from where they supplied forty outlets, but by the early 1980s Clarence and his brother Joseph decided to retire.
Meschia’s is still represented in Hyde Precinct today, next to the outdoor market where Louis first sold his black peas back in the 1920's.

Unfortunately , I have yet to discover a photo of Meschias Milk Bar on Market Street. If anyone has one ,inside or out, that they'd like to share ,please send to Tom or I so we can post it on here. Thanks .

Thanks to The Rhodes family and the Reporter group for the information contained here - very much appreciated.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Grapes Bowling Club Gee Cross

There is a history of a bowling green at the hotel for over 100 years with members paying an annual green fee to the licensee who was the brewery’s representative and responsible for maintenance of the green.
The present club was formally founded on Monday January 26 1953.
Although there is no record of any club prior to this date several present day members recall watching bowling matches as young kids in the early 1930’s.
One team was entered in the Hyde & Denton league and the following year a second team was entered. By 1963 the licensee had changed and he had requested excessive greenage fees so it was agreed to hire the implements from him and find our own Greensman. By now we had teams in the H&D, Ashton & Chadderton leagues and in 1972 a rule was passed forbidding the animals to graze on the green. A new club pavilion was erected for the start of 1974 season and the Hyde & Denton had changed to the Tameside league. In January 1978 we were asked to arrange a handicap to celebrate 200 years of selling beer at the Grapes but Robinsons brewery refused to sponsor the event. 

One of our celebrated members was Bernard Kelly, twice winner of the Waterloo in 1953 & 1954, but it must be said that he won the events before joining Grapes and a current member, John Bancroft, has also won the Waterloo.
Talbot Ladies transferred to the Grapes club in 1982 and have been very successful ever since in the Oldham league.
The club had teams accepted into the Longdendale & Stockport leagues in 1984.

S&D Veterans Pairs Division C Winners 2008

R. Ewing (inset)                                                N. Shore (inset)
K Knowles J Redfern W Sefton D Catlow E Mills H Richardson
D. Topping A Birtchall E Downs (Capt) R Barron
 R Barlow (upper) F Rigby ( lower ) D Jones A Hodkinson 

Amongst other competition wins have been The Bruner cup and the Husband cup and 2010 Merit winner in S&D premier league was club member Dave Walker.

Current position of teams is: 
Longdendale 1team
Tameside 1 team
Tameside Vets 2 teams
Stockport & District 2 teams
Stockport & District Vets 2 teams
Failsworth 1 team
Oldham Ladies 1 team
Tameside Ladies 1 team

This post as kindly been submitted by Eric Downs... if you would like to submit something yourself please get in touch.  

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Joel Lane Primitive Methodist Chapel

Joel Lane Primitive Methodist Chapel was first organised in the 1870's in an old room at the bottom of Joel Lane in Gee Cross. The rent was £4 per annum. Prior to this services were held in a cottage situated lower down than the Werneth Hotel. The Room at the bottom of Joel Lane was really a loft over a stable that was heated by a coal stove in the centre of the premises. It was not uncommon for the services to be interrupted by the grunting of Pigs or braying of Donkeys - must have made for some interesting sermons! Abraham Lee from Compstall used to lead the singing and accompany it with his cello playing.


The foundation stones were laid on the 29th May 1875 by :-

Mrs Horsefield of Slack House ,Hyde.
Mrs Thomas Beeley ,Hyde.
Mrs Ellis ,Grimsby.
Mrs John Lee's Buckley ,Woodley.

The opening services were held on February 27th and March 5th and 12th 1876 and the first minister was the Reverend J.Hall.
New classrooms were added in 1884 as the congregation grew and further improvements were carried out in 1904.


The Hyde Primitive Methodist movement is said to have originated in a school held in Thomas Street,Floweryfield. The noted Methodist Hugh Bourne preached in Floweryfield around 1821 and the Thomas Street School was,in all probability , the outcome of his mission.

Reverend Hugh Bourne

The Chapel was finally closed in the late 1960's and, after its demolition, a new Close named Buckley Close was built on the site named after one of the layers of the Chapels' original foundation stones.

Up Date From Our Comments

Prior to the gatherings in the old room at Joel Lane, the first gatherings were in the home of Abel Stafford who lived in one of the cottages that still stands at the bottom of Treacle brow. Missioners from Woodley commenced the work and the old P.M.curcuit of Woodley, Grieve Fold and Joel Lane survived unchanged until the mid 60's.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Back Bower


Are these building still about... ? I can not place where this would be. Can you ?

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Tom Marsden Remembered

We recently showed a great picture of a pair of bikers from Flowery Field, the picture was sent in by Roger... We were lucky as Roger also asked if we would be interested in these pictures of Tom Marsden... 


We were more than pleased to show them.. and thought they would make the perfect post for Remembrance  Sunday.. I'm sure we will all have someone to think back on today.. and wherever you are, and whoever you are remembering may this day be a peaceful one for you. 



Driver Tom Marsden
Smart Flowery Field Patriot. 
Left Southampton October 6th, 1914, for Zeebrugge, and was in action near Ypres.


I was able to send Roger a bit of information from the Hyde At War book as Tom Marsden was mentioned.. Roger said  Tom would have hated leaving for Southampton on that particular day,  Oct 6th as the following day was his daughter's birthday, she would have only been  3 or 4.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Theatre Royal (derelict)

In 1992 the Theatre Royal closed completely and was soon on the market for sale. Initially it failed to attract a buyer .In April 2000 a group of Hyde residents achieved success when the Theatre Royal was awarded listed building status, following the threat of demolition to make way for a housing development. The group who named themselves "Theatre Royal Onward" succeeded in gaining listed status on their first attempt, and hence saved the building from the bulldozers. The theatre is presently owned by an investment company. It is in need of extensive repair and restoration to return it to its former glory and enable the doors to open again.


A sad sight for many - The Theatre Royal in a derelict state.




If you'd like to keep abreast of what is happening with the Theatre Royal building please take a look at this website which is run by the group who are fighting to re-open it.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Bottoms Hall Woodlands Walk

We have got to thank Mary R for this walk back in time... these are pictures and post-cards from her own collection of Bottoms Hall and are shared here today in their entirety. Like us she will browse the internet for such pictures of her home town to collect.. and has been lucky in her finds. We will hopefully be showing more from Mary's collection of other parts of town in the near future. Mary says she keeps her pictures of  Hyde in a special box that she once used for her sewing. She tells us she enjoys reading the posts and reminiscing about her past life in Hyde 
















Mary say's she walked these woodlands as a small child, and as fond memories of her younger brother sat atop of her fathers shoulders.. she recalls picnics by the stream and paddling in the water by the bridge in the 3rd picture up. 
If you would like to see your pictures and words here please get in touch with either me or Nancy on hydonian@gmail.com we will be more than pleased to show them here.