Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Weir on the River Tame.

The Weir on the River Tame.


Constructed by John Sidebottom to help power Gibraltar Mill which was built in 1794). The spare ground on the right of the picture was formerly occupied by the mill which was demolished in the 1960's. Note the flood marker on the right.

The Sidebottoms were perhaps Hyde's second industrial family after the Ashtons.
They also owned Hyde and Haughton collieries and Kingston Mill.

The Weir

The Great local flood was in 1799. During it's height the River Tame increased by several yards. At Hyde Corn Mill the Millers were busy for many days and nights using long poles to try to divert the trees and logs that had been uprooted by the sheer mass of water and washed downstream. They had to do this to prevent them doing serious damage to the Mill itself. Crops were ruined and damage was done to a wide area and caused inconvenience for months after due to many local bridges being destroyed.

Here's the Flood Mark in detail.

Thanks to John Hopwood for the photo - very much appreciated :)



The two pictures above are from Dave Williams our resident photographer... Dave went on to say

These are the photos I took today of the marker by the weir. I notice from the photo on page 33 of the booklet 'Hyde Cotton Mills' that it doesn't seem to be the same marker. The one in the booklet looks much bigger, there's a 'th' after 'Aug 17' and the line indicating the water level is underneath the date. Were there two markers, was it redone at some stage, or is the photo in the booklet a fake? Another thought-provoking post!
Once again thanks for the pictures and input Dave... I seem to recall the marker being rebuilt.... and the fencing added... I can't be 100% on this but I have an idea it was knocked down by so called 'joy riders'. I'm sure a car was dumped in the river around here.


Here's the Flood Mark on the old mill itself... and on this one it is as Dave said... there's a 'th' after Aug 17. As I look at this picture now I remember the noise of the weir.. it must have rebounded from the mill... it was very loud. 


Tom said...

I spent a lot of my childhood around here... I remember 'Gib Mill' as a working mill... I recall the houses as well. When I was little to get to the river bridge you had to walk left of the main gate and along a pathway next to the mill.. I'd look through the windows at the workers... I remember a big smile from one of the lady mill workers... strange what sticks in your memory. When the mill shut it became a play ground for me... and others... everything seemed to have been left there... I remember playing in a red lorry that was in the yard. Baskets with wheels on them, became racing cars... I recall flying down past Gib Row in one whist racing my older brother...
The flood mark was always a point of interest... I'd sit on the river bride a think of all that water, even as a small boy I think I realised how bad it must have been. I remember the sadness I felt when the mill was demolished... it was like a theme park to young lads back then. I've mention before about the 'Air Raid Shelters' in that area... I think there was five, 2 on the left of the mill and 3 to the right. These of course were our dens... there were chairs in some.. and the big one near to the houses we filled with 'swag' from the mill.
Happy days come flooding back seeing this post Nancy.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

I took a photo of the weir from Gib bridge in March 2010 - you can see it here

Dave Williams said...

I remember reading about the flood of 1799 some years ago and had seen old pictures of the marker on the side of the mill showing the level reached by the water, and I had assumed that this had been demolished along with the rest of the mill. I've also walked along the path by the side of the river many times and idly wondered about the little bit of wall there, never thinking that there might be something on the other side of it. I've been down there today and I'll email the couple of photos I took to you.

Dave Williams said...

I suspect that the marker didn't show up too well on the original photo and someone has doctored the original negative but not got it quite right. It's correct what you say about a car being dumped in the river - in fact I wouldn't be surprised if it's happened more than once - but I remember about 10 or 15 years ago I used to walk down Apethorn Lane quite regularly and would see an Austin A30 or A35 from the early 1950s parked there. One day I walked down but it wasn't parked in its usual spot and when I got down to the bottom I found the car in the river, obviously dumped there by joyriders.

Tom said...

The incident I seem to recall would not have been that one one Dave... I'm thinking back to at least 30 years ago. Saturday and Sunday mornings cars would regular be found dumps around here... One was dumped in the canal near to the green bridge one weekend. But most ended up set on fire near to where the houses used to be.

Anonymous said...

Been down Gibraltar Lane lots in the past (health allowing), knew there used to be a mill there and houses but only what I've heard about via friends, I'll look out for the ghost near the flood mark next time I'm down there, I can still recall Gee X mill, think it was mainly a ruin tho and was due for demolition at the time.......

I'll have a look for that magic tree next time I'm down there with my dog, wish I'd been around at the time to see the large house that stood there, can still (if my memory serves me correctly) see the / or part of the driveway and gateposts - all overgrown.

Can recall an air raid shelter near the end of Gibraltar Bridge!

Nick Folwell