Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Gib Row Memories

Jane was handed a few bits of paper the other week by one of our neighbours... I knew that my neighbour Ray Denton had once lived in Gib row.. but never thought that he would have so much to tell me of the area, the houses, people and of course the old mill itself. I looked through the papers and was fascinated by what Ray had wrote down for us... so it goes without saying that this post is dedicated to Ray and his memories..


Gibraltar Row consisted of a row of 16 houses, numbered  2 to 32

No.2 Tom Bromley ( The Bromley's) 7 Children
No.4 Mrs. Brown and son.
No.6 Mr and Mrs Donald Timperley 2 Children.
No.8 Mr and Mrs Bill Smith. (Taddy) 1 Child  (Kept Pigeons)
No.10 Mr and Mrs Bill Heron. Circus Performers 1 Child.
No.12 Mrs Shaw and Daughter.
No.14 Gore 4 Children
No.16 Mrs F. Denton 2 Children
No.18 Mr and Mrs Szmeryck  3 Children
No.20 Mr and Mrs Appleton. 4 Children
No.22 Mr and Mrs Tony Kelly. 2 Children
No.24 Mr and Mrs Goldstone. 3 Children
No.26 Mr and Mrs Billy Pope. 3 Children
No.28 Mrs Avison. Known as Aunty Lynne to all the kids.
No.30 Mrs M. Appleton.  Mary Appleton
No.32 Mr Dickinson (Early 1950s) Mr and Mrs Humprys moved in later.

Some families moved out while others moved in, but the names above are correct as Ray recalls them. The first and last house in the row had gas lamps fitted outside..The one on the last house was permanently lit, day and night. Ray says that  as far as he can remember there were around 20 gas lamps from the top of Apethorn Lane to Gibraltar Lane and half way up to Haughton Green. One of the memories of the Gib that Ray would like to share is of Tommy Bromiley's Goat... it took to following Billy Heron every time he went to the pub (The Old Dog) up the 'Green'. The Goat would wait for Billy to come out the pub and accompany him home... Ray said it had to be seen to be believed and caused many a laugh to the people who lived down the Gib.. Not everything was fun though... a tragic event sticks in Rays mind. A little boy was found drowned, he was caught up in the Sluice Gates. The little mite had fallen in the river 4 weeks before near to where he lived on Mill Lane. It was Tommy Bromiley who found him.


Ray can only recall about 4 of the houses having electricity, no one else could afford it.. Rays family and most of the other were still using gas lights up to them leaving in 1965-66, when  the houses were eventually pulled down. The family's who lived down the Gib, were all rehoused, some went to the new estate at Hattersley, some to Hyde,and some like Rays family to Newton. Ray said he enjoyed his time living down there, he said it was a nice place to live when you were young. All the kids had great times down there, he says it was all fun and games. No trouble at all, they had their own little world to play in. Only thing against it was that it was a 'bit out the way'. One of the houses did open up as a Sweet Shop, as the nearest shops were either in Gee Cross village, or up the hill to Haughton Green. Either way it was a long walk up hill so the shop was very welcome. Ray's grandmother was the last to leave Gibraltar Lane after moving there in the 1930s or even earlier.


Ray tells us that Gibraltar mill stopped working as a Cotton Mill around 1959-60. The mill did however reopen..  not as a Cotton Mill but as Brooksons Poultry Appliances, and Brooksons Sunshine Eggs Ltd. who also reared chickens on site as well.  Brooksons opened in the early 1960s. 4 brothers came from the Hadfield area and set up in the Poultry business.. they made large poultry houses and battery cages for keeping chickens in. Gib Mill was 5 stories high.... and most of it was turned over to the rearing of chickens. Some were kept as battery hens producing eggs, while other floors housed birds reared for the table. The company employed quite a few people, mostly from the Hyde area. Ray recalls seeing a local character called Billy Tym's who would come down to the Gib on his horse and cart to buy eggs to sell to his customers around the Hyde-Godley area where Billy Tyms had his farm. Ray says he was always amazed how the horse got back up Apethorn Lane with the cart being full of crates of eggs. The business did not last long, only about 6-7 years until the Mill building were condemned, and earmarked for demolition around  1966-67. The houses were pulled down first, as they belonged to the mill owners.


Great memories here Ray... I'm very pleased to have this wrote down here for others to read.  My memories of the mill workers must have been clouded... as they would have been dealing with the chickens and not cotton as I'd always thought.


One of our Dave's pictures taken from roughly the same spot as the first picture.
You could visit here today and not realise a Mill or Homes had ever been here.


Tom said...

I really enjoyed doing this post for Ray... and would welcome such memories from others about where they lived, went to school, worked, or anything you would like to share with us. All such memories can be sent in by email. your memories could then be seen by future generations and I@m sure would be of great interest to many.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Great stuff - from cotton to chickens - I've just put some photos of the artificial grass at Ewen Fields on Old Hyde.

Garry said...

Mr and Mrs Kelly was Pat and Linda Kelly's mum and dad. Also living down the 'Gib' was Pat's aunties Thelma and Dom Timperley, who had a daughter Elaine and Smez's mum and dad, Alec and Joyce, who had three children-John, Smez and their sister who now lives in Ipswich.
I remember them telling me all about it when we were kids.

Tom said...

Cheers Gary...
I will up date the Smeric's.. I was not sure how many children were in the family.. Smez as mentioned before about the family living at the Gib.. I did wonder about the Kelly's.. I remember Pat's dad from the Cheshire Chesse... he liked his pool as well as a pint. When I worked at Lowry's Pat turned up in his normal dress, a jumper and pants.. Keith who was working the door told him he could not come in without a collar showing... he told Pat to go home and put a shirt on.. Pat went away and came back about 10 minutes later..... wearing a red shirt under his jumper... as he walked past I noticed some writing on the collar.. It said Sylhet.. he'd only gone into the Sylhet Restaurant and grabbed a couple of serviettes and folded them to fornm a shirt collar... we let him stay in for his cheek... but with in with in half an hour he was fast asleep..

Hydonian said...

Should it be Szmerick ?

Fabulous post, Tom!

Hydonian said...

Szmeryck , I've been told ..ha!

Tom said...

It's took me 50= years to learn how to spell mine.. ha! I'd no chance with Smez's..

ilscuro said...

Some great info Tom, many thanks.

Tom said...

Hi John..
All made possible because of my neighbour Ray..

Raymond Bromley said...

Tom bromley lived at number 2 Gibralter row with his wife lucy and 6 children Jean,Raymond,Frank,Ken,Julie and Christine. Ray and his father Tom worked at the mill.We lived in the best place ever for our childhoods everything was brilliant for the children.
Kipper Herron was a retired circus performer.Bill smith had the pigeons,his wife Ester smith delivered the milk on horse and cart. We was also friends with Ray Denton.

Tom said...

Hello Raymond
Thank you for your comment and memories... I will look out for Ray walking past and let him know you have left a comment.

Alex Cleverley said...

Hi there. My grandfather Phillip Marshall and his first wife Elizabeth lived at 18 Gibraltar Row during WWII. I have it listed as his address around 1944. I am interested about the mention of a sweet shop in the road as my family say Phillip's mother Mary ran a sweet shop, but I've not been able to find her name listed in any trade directory. It probably isn't her shop as she was living in Birchvale Drive, Romiley at that time and then Gotherage Close by 1946.
Lovely post!

Tom said...

Hi Alex
There's a chap lives near to me who supplied quite a bit of information about Gib Row.. I will see if I can catch him if he walks past.

Geoff Brooks said...

]Geoffrey [canada]
Along with my Father& 3 brothers we
owned Gib mill and the row of houses
1959/66 and converted part of the mill to broiler chicken/egg production.depressed prices and over
production caused the closure.
an interesting fact was that the
older part was once owned by the
Arkwright family, there were the remains of a waterwheel that powered the looms etc, I have good
memories of some of our tenants,
the Bromleys, Kelly,s, and Smiths.
Thursday 31st November 2013

Rosemary said...

Hi Tom I use to live on Gibb lane I was one of the Wilson family that lived at no 24.

Ian wilson said...

I am one of Rosemary's brothers Ian Wilson along with mum and dad and sisters Patrick Rosemary, Linda brother David we lived at 24 Gibson row from 1943 till 1956 before moving to Auden Shaw to a lovely family home my mother and father bought. We all have fond memories of that time in our lives with gas lights, toilet down the yard, tin bath in front of the fire, swimming in the canal and the long walk to school everyday plus taking the accumulator for charging once a week up apethorn Lane to the garage in Gees Cross. My dad and motor bike and sidecar that we would all get into and especially when we went to North Wales to our Grandma's caravan for annual holidays. I recently visited with my brother and it brought back some great memories for us and he is bringing some pictures for me when he comes for a holiday next week in Turkey where I now live.

Anonymous said...

can anyone tell me why so much blue glass is found on the site of gib mill I over the years have collected many many pieces. glad of any imfo thanks Maria hall. Haughton greener lived here 48 years and love it