Harry Rutherford's Festival of Britain Mural
Scavaging for coal at a local coal pit head or tip???Mo
I've drawn a blank on this one Nancy... I even down loaded the picture, change the colour contrast and enlarged it as best I could and still nothing came to mind. I hope someone else as more luck..
I first thought canal or railway construction but the dress is too modern for that. I would also go with scavenging for coal or else agricultural working - potato picking or some other crop.
Too deep for potatoes or other crops in my opinion, could they be digging a new water course?
Just an observation, the men hardly seem dressed for labouring, especially in waistcoats. I also note the children in the foreground. I doubt that any serious excavation, ie, canal, watercourse, building etc would allow kids on the site. Barry in Oz.
I'd noticed the children and the fact that the men hardly seem to be labouring in the recognised sense of the word and have been pondering over what might be the reason for this activity. The photo looks to have been taken well before the last war, which rules out a 'dig for victory' thing, and the only thing I can think of which may fit is that it's something to do with the creation of some allotments - such as the ones off Mill Lane. Oddly enough the figure to the right of centre in the photo has a basket or container of what appear to be potatoes.
Paul Taylor as pointed out to me the follow text from the History Of Hyde book by Thomas Middleton.. page 155It states... "In the early months of 1912 a great National Coal Strike took place, and every pit in the country was idle. Remarkable scenes were witnesses in Hyde. Men, women, and children, with all sorts of implements, assembled on old pit banks in all parts of the borough, and on the spare land near the railway's coal sidings; slag heaps were turned over and over for any stray pieces of coal. In the wood, on Haughton side of the river Tame, opposite Hyde Hall, and in Peacock Wood near Gibraltar mill, men began to mine. Several gangs of men collectively extracted in one week from Peacock Wood over 30 tons of coal, and but for this fuel, Gibraltar Mill would have had to close down"Thanks Paul for pointing this out.... it might not pin point where this is but seems a likely explanation for what was going on.
Hi, After studying the picture and info from the History of Hyde quote, I think I may have come across a good site for the photo. I think that the picture was taken in the fields at the rear of the old Kingston House on Manchester Rd. The house to the right would be Kingston House, the mill chimneys belonging th either Kingston Mill,Barnfield Mill or Millwood Mill. The river Tame would be to the right and Throstle bank mill to the left. The map of 1897 shows quite a few old coal shafts in the area up towards Dunkirk Wood.
Thanks Paul I know you've spent some time on this and had problems posting as well. I hope that Angela reads the comment and is pleased with all the interest shown..
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