Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Wish you were here !

 A couple of postcards of Werneth Low

Pre Queens Trees

Todays view

Pre Cenotaph

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Special Constable 'Sam Thornley'


Sam Thornley

Last week we did a post on Hyde's Chief Constable Danby, which struck a cord with John Thornley who is one of our regular readers and contributors. John's grandfather was appointed a Special Constable in Hyde on the 18th November 1916.. John kindly sent in the pictures for this post.


Borough Of Hyde Warrant Card


Warrant Card signed by J.W. Danby


Specials Badge


Sam Thornley

Once again a post we did as led to someone having memories bought back and being able to send in information or like John as done shared his family history and these great photographs... Thank you John 

Monday, 27 February 2012

Hyde Seal Swimming Club

The  Team  That  Beat  The  World



Since Nancy and myself started this venture we have been ever so lucky to get books offered us... one such book came all the way from Canada.. today's book didn't come that far but I wanted to show it to you.  We did a post about a group of Belgium swimmers and Marjorie Davies (the books author) got in touch and told us we'd find her book useful for future posts on 'The Seals'. The book is in the library, but Marjorie kindly donated this to us ... for which we are very grateful and assure her it will be put to good use.
These books are now hard to come by, but Marjorie still as a few copies left to sell, so if you'd like your very own copy contact us here by email and I will gladly pass your request on. 

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Parade 1904


A large parade consisting of Hyde Police and Fire Brigade on its way down Stockport Road, just passing the Ring-o-Bells pub on the left. Date 1904

Thanks to Paul Taylor for this post



It as been said the above picture looks like a young girl waving.. and I agree it dose.. but I think these are flags, there's a few sets of three flags in the picture. I will sort out more close ups to see if it helps identify the parade.


2 more crops of the original... it's been said in the comment that the prade looks to have been coming round from the side of the Clarkes Arms from what is now the top of Lumn Road. The trams are a mystery and quite unusual as it looks like there are two double deckers.. both open-topped and look to be connected to two single deck carriages.


A close up showing the single decked carriages, it also seems these are heading away from from the parade if the booms are anything to go by.
The British Electric Traction Company Ltd., were granted powers under a Tramway Order of 1896 to construct and operate an electric tramway system, and in 1897 the Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Hyde and District Tramway Company was registered. By June 1899 the first service had begun. In the first four weeks of operation, passenger numbers were so great that it was planned to hire eight double-deck cars from Leeds to supplement the existing rolling stock of sixteen tramcars. In addition, twenty trailer cars were ordered, but, in the event, only twelve were delivered. They were not a success and although four were motorised, the remainder were seldom used and eventually offered for sale.

Oldham Ashton and Hyde Tramways took over from Hyde Corporation, 1 mile of track from Hyde to Pole Bank, Bredbury on the 1st January 1903... 

I wonder if the 4 single carriages are the four motorised trailer cars mentioned above. 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Trouble Brewing





Pictures By Kim B.


11.50 am   Lets hope this is all it is.. I doubt though.
I 've a friend done there now who says the centre is very quiet apart from the the few stood above... but others are gathering.

12. 25 pm "BNP, EDL and Asians now gathering ready to march luckily looks like there are more police than protesters"

1.00 pm Large numbers of protesters and police in the town centre... police in large numbers and reporters..


Police in the car park of Asda this morning preparing the planned protest by the E.D.L and B.N.P.  
There will be no 'winners' in this protest just one loser.. HYDE.
Take care if you are out and about today.. and if at all possible keep well away. 

It seems that most of the car parks are shut down... the one near to the taxi rank is shut until 7pm.. could mean the police are trying to control the numbers of people entering the area.. which will have the knock on effect of visitors needing to park further from the town centre and walk there..  


13.10 Police Helicopter is hovering over the town centre 

13.35 Reports of fighting


Not a place for small children and babies today.


15.30 Hopefully the reports of fighting  were not as bad as first thought and there's message's on Facebook that the town is quietening down.. I know of people who have been working today and are happy to be home as they did not feel safe... I feel sorry for local businesses who are having a hard time of it already. Also I know that home-helps and carers have been carrying on their visits to the housebound while all this has been going on.. shop workers as well...
I hope that it now settles down and no trouble flares up later in the Evening.


A bit of trouble.

I just want to add my thanks to the Police and Volunteers for their sensitive handling of todays Protest.
I'm proud of you.

Friday, 24 February 2012

J W A Danby

 This postcard shows the funeral procession of J W A Danby who was the Chief Constable of Hyde, from its inauguration in 1899 until his death 1931.


Does anybody recognise the road they are marching down? 


I think it may be this . Market Street.

 Hyde Police Force was founded in  1899 . In 1947 became part of the Cheshire Constabulary, and in turn in 1974 became Greater Manchester Police or GMP as it is better known..

A helmet badge.


Chief Constable Danby's name lives on in a Road, Close and Place named after him in Newton.
The very least he deserved for all the good work and committment he gave to the township and people of Hyde.

More about JWA Danby here . Chief Constable Danby

Thanks to Sheila for sharing the postcard with us. :)
(Map courtesy of Google Maps).


Chief Constable Danby and the Hyde Constabulary probably round the 1920's.
Update by Paul Taylor

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tragedy On Werneth Low 'Update'


 Jeffrey Stafford

      The case came to light on a chilly Friday afternoon, 23rd October 1903. Fourteen years old local boy Alfred Booth was playing in a field near his parent’s cottage on Werneth Low, about a quarter of a mile along the road in the direction of Romiley from the corner of Joel Lane, Hyde. He got bored and decided to walk over to the old quarry in the field adjacent to Werneth Low Road. The quarry was not fenced off, except for a few wooden posts and some strands of broken barbed wire in between them. The water in the quarry formed a pond about ten yards across and about six to seven feet deep. In June the water is cold, in October its freezing. Striding over the barbed wire, Alfred walked innocently around the edge of the quarry, as he had done many times before; suddenly he noticed a dark bundle floating on the surface. A dead dog maybe? His curiosity aroused, he broke a branch off a tree, and reached out and turned the object over; to his horror, he suddenly realized that it was a dead child. Horrified and almost incoherent with shock, Alfred ran home to tell his mother, who was ill in bed. Later that night, when his father arrived home from work, Alfred told him about his horrific discovery at the quarry.
         The pair went directly to the police station in Gee Cross, where Alfred was interviewed by Sergeant Thomas Bright. A pin could have been heard dropping in the police station that night, as the distraught boy told Bright about his gruesome find in the quarry on Werneth Low.  When questioned, Booth said that he had not been near the quarry for about a month, and knew nothing about a child’s body being there until he spotted the bundle lying in the water, less than a yard from dry ground.
        It was ten minutes past eleven when Sergeant Bright left the police station and hurried to the spot where the child’s body was lying. Then as now, there were no houses on Werneth Low Road beyond the Hare and Hounds Inn, the nearest habitations were a handful of small isolated farms and cottages below, and a lonely cottage on the brow that leads to Romiley. At night the road was lonely and dark, and as creepy as a graveyard.  When Bright reached the quarry, in the half light, he could just make out the body floating in the murky water, about a foot from the side. Finding a short branch, he eased the dead child towards dry ground and lifted it gently from the water.  On examining the clothing of the child, Bright found that it was stamped “Stockport Workhouse, Female Hospital.”  Finding the one who’d dumped the tiny body in the quarry was not going to be a problem.

        The body was taken to the mortuary at Hyde Police Station, where the following morning, Saturday, 24th October, Mary Greenhough, a young nurse at Stockport Union Workhouse Female Hospital, was brought to identify the body lying in the morgue. When taken down to the mortuary to view the dead infant, she was able to identify it as being the baby girl born to twenty one years old Elizabeth Davies, on 23rd September. She had been present at the birth, and had noticed a small birth mark on the child’s spine. Greenhough told the police that the mother had stopped in the ward from 21st September to 9th of October, when she was discharged at half past eight in the morning. With these facts established, it was plain that the child found drowned in the quarry on Werneth Low was the infant daughter of Elizabeth Davies. Further investigations went on over the weekend when it was learned that Davies had gone to stay with her mother, Emma Davies, at her home in Culmington, Shropshire.
        At about 7:30 am on Monday, 26 October, Police Surgeon, Thomas Francis Daniels carried out a post mortem on the dead child in the presence of the Medical Officer of Health, Dr.Bennett. Dr.Daniels confirmed that the child was a female about three weeks old, and that death was caused by drowning. There were no external marks of violence, and no signs of disease.
        That same day, Inspector William Moore of Hyde Police Force travelled to Shropshire and arrested Elizabeth Davies at the residence of her mother, Ivy Cottage, Culmington, Shropshire. She was brought back to Hyde and charged with having caused the death of her infant daughter by drowning on or about the 9th October. By all accounts Elizabeth Davies was a very attractive young girl with fair, curly hair, a full breast and a nice complexion.
        The following day a special session of the borough court was held, presided over by Councillor J. W. D. Barron and the other magistrate on the Bench was Mr. S. N. Brooks. Elizabeth Davies was a 21 year old servant girl, a native of Culmington, near Ludlow, who had been in service in Stockport and Hyde. She appeared a quite, respectable girl, and she seemed to keenly realise the serious position in which she found herself.
         The Chief Constable, J. W. Danby, said the prisoner was arrested on Monday night in Ludlow, Shropshire, and brought back to Hyde by Sergeant Moore.
          Dr. Thomas Francis Daniels, of Hyde, surgeon for Hyde Borough Police Force stated: Yesterday, October 26th, I carried out a post-mortem examination on the body of a child. It was apparently about three weeks old. As a result of my examination I came to the conclusion that death was caused by drowning.  
           The Magistrates Clerk then asked Davies if she had any questions to ask herself. She replied: No sir.
           Inspector William Moore said: At 4 10 p.m. yesterday I found the prisoner at her mother’s house at Culmington, near Ludlow, Shropshire. I arrested her, and brought her back to Hyde Police Station. I cautioned her, and charged her with “feloniously with malice and aforethought did cause the death of her illegitimate child by drowning at Hyde, on or about the 9th October.”  Davies replied, “I am guilty.”
           Councillor Barron: Do you understand the seriousness of your position?
           Davies: Yes.
           Councillor Barron: And you heard what the inspector said: is that true or not?
           Davies: Yes sir.
Sergeant Thomas Bright was the next witnessed and he was able to shed some light on the recovery of the child’s body from the quarry. He said at 11 10 p.m. on 23rd of October I recovered the dead body of a female child from the disused quarry on Werneth Low. The quarry was full of water. Where the child’s body was found the water was about four feet deep. The child was in the water about a foot or so from the side. I took the body down to the mortuary at Hyde Police Station. On examining the clothing of the child I found that it was stamped “Stockport Workhouse, Female Hospital.” The dead infant was fully dressed. I produce the clothing of the child.
       J. W. Danby, the Chief Constable, said the Assizes were next week, and he wanted the prisoner to be tried there. In the meantime he would have to get in touch with the public prosecutor, for there were a lot of formalities to be gone through.
       Asked by the Magistrates Clerk if she had any objections to being remanded to Saturday morning?
Davies replied, “No, sir.”
          The inquest on the body of the illegitimate infant daughter of Elizabeth Davies took place in the afternoon at Hyde Police Court; Mr. H. Newton, deputy-coroner for the district of Stockport, hearing evidence from Sergeant Thomas Bright and Dr. Thomas Francis Daniels.
           In opening the inquiry the Deputy Coroner said: I propose to-day to take evidence of the finding of the body, and then to adjourn till Friday afternoon at four o’clock. There is little evidence that I think the police will be able to obtain before that day, which will be, in my opinion, very important material, and under those circumstances I think it would be wiser and better to postpone the enquiry until Friday afternoon.
           The first witness was Sergeant Bright, who recalled the events of Friday, October 23rd.
            Dr. Thomas F. Daniels, surgeon, of Hyde, was the next witness. The room fell quite when he presented the results of his post mortem:

            The body was that of a child of about three weeks to a month, with no signs of external violence, except for a depression at the bottom of the spinal column which had been there since birth. The child was well nourished. Froth and blood was coming from the child’s mouth, and putrefaction was just beginning at the face and neck. The cause of death was asphyxia caused by drowning.

          The Deputy Coroner then adjourned the inquest until 4 o’clock the following Friday. 
           When the inquest was reconvened on Friday, 30th October, again at Hyde
 Police Court, the first witnessed called was Alfred Booth. He stated that on the previous Friday afternoon, between two and three o’clock, whilst playing near the quarry he saw something floating on the water. He went round to the other side to see
what it was, and broke a branch off a tree, with which he turned the object over in the water. Then he noticed it was a baby. He hurried home and told his mother, who was ill in bed, so he waited while about half past seven for his father to arrive home. His father took him immediately to the police station in Gee Cross, where he told Sergeant Bright what he had seen.
           The next witness called was Mary Greenhough, a nurse at Stockport Workhouse Female Hospital. She told the inquest that the first time she saw Davies was on the night of August 16th, the day she was admitted. She testified that Davies was the same woman, who on 23rd September gave birth to a female child, and stayed in the hospital until 9th October, when she was discharged.
           Margaret Singleton, a portress at Stockport Workhouse was the next witness. She said she remembered Elizabeth Davies leaving the Workhouse on Friday, October 9th, at 9-55 a.m. She had a new born baby girl in her arms, and wrapped round it was a brown shawl. After brief testimony from Margaret Singleton, the Deputy Coroner called Edith Bowden to the stand.
           Edith Bowden, wife of Harry Bowden, an oil and tallow refiner, living at Back of the Hill, Gee Cross, said she remembered Friday, 9th October. Between 12-30 and 1 pm, dinner time, she heard a baby cry outside. She was in the house at the time, and there was a knock at the door. Her daughter Edith answered the door, and shouted “Mamma.” A woman was on the doorstep, and she asked if she could come in out of the rain to feed her baby. She had the baby in her arms; no one else was with her. I told her to come in, and she did so. She stayed fifteen minutes, and breast fed her baby, and I give her a little dinner. She told me that her home was in Shropshire. I then asked her if she had travelled by car or train, and she said she had walked from Stockport.
             The Deputy Coroner then asked Davies to stand up, which she did. He informed her that she could make a statement if she wished. “Do you desire to say anything to the jury?”  She responded by saying, “No, sir.”
               In summing up, the Deputy Coroner, pointed out to the jury that they would first have to be satisfied that the dead child found in the quarry was the child of Elizabeth Davies. I they thought the evidence not sufficient on that point, then there could be no charge against her. If, on the other hand, they were satisfied that it was the child of Elizabeth Davies, then they would have to consider, first of all, how the child met its death, and who was responsible for the death. The evidence was circumstantial. There was no direct evidence that Davies was seen to put the child into the water; but they had evidence that on Friday, the 9th October, she was discharged from Stockport Workhouse Hospital with her new born baby; that she was next seen between half past twelve and one o’clock on Werneth Low by Edith Bowden, and she had a child with her, and she was in Mrs.Bowden’s house for about fifteen to twenty minutes; and that according to Mrs.Bowden’s statement, she was in considerable distress. If they were satisfied on the points, then the verdict could only be one of wilful murder. The law on those facts was perfectly plain; it must be either wilful murder or nothing. The court was then cleared while the jury considered their verdict. The jury then deliberated for in private for fifteen minutes and returned with its verdict, Elizabeth Davies was found guilty, but with a strong recommendation for mercy.
              Davies was then asked to stand again by the Deputy Coroner, while he conveyed to her the verdict of the jury, adding that it was his duty to commit her to take her trial at the next Assizes to be held at Chester. She was held in Knutsford Jail, which had facilities for female prisoners. The trial was set for November 5th, 1903.

                When the case against Elizabeth Davies’s reconvened before the magistrates on Saturday, 31st October, the streets around the court building were thronged with people, fighting to get the best seats in the court room.
                 Mr. Joe Cooke, of Messrs J. and E. Cooke, solicitors, Hyde, opened the proceedings with a lengthy speech, in which he traced all the facts of the case, laying stress on the most salient points, though throughout his speech he exercised great fairness towards Davies, and the concluding portion of his speech was uttered under evident emotion. The circumstances of the case are familiar to every one reading this, so I need not reproduce any of the evidence given at the magistrates’ court.  The hearing of the case lasted from about a quarter past nine in the morning to half past three in the afternoon.

            During the hearing of Inspector Moore’s evidence a point of law was argued by Mr. Cooke as to whether the magistrates would accept the admission made by the prisoner to Inspector Moore at Culmington as evidence. Mr. Cooke cited several cases showing that it had been done, but the magistrates decided in the prisoners favour not to admit it. At the end of the hearing, Elizabeth Davies was committed to Chester Assizes to stand trial on a charge of wilful murder.  

              The trial of the young domestic servant, Elizabeth Davies opened at Chester Assizes on Thursday, 5th November, before Mr. Justice Bruce and a jury. Mr. Colt Williams and Mr. Ralph Banks prosecuted, and by the direction of the judge, Mr.Trevor Lloyd defended. During the day a string of witnesses testified to a series of events that left no room for doubt about Davies’s guilt.  They included all the witnesses who had testified at Hyde, with one or two additional ones, including Davies’s mother. The first witnesses testified concerning the events at Stockport Workhouse Infirmary on the morning of 9th October. All testified as to Davies’s fine character and her fondness for the child. The second set of witnesses described events after the recovery of the body from the quarry at the top of Werneth Low. The most compelling testimony again came from Dr. Thomas Francis Daniels.  The case for the prosecution was straightforward as the facts were hardly in dispute. Despite an impassioned plea for mercy by defending council Trevor Lloyd, the jury returned after an hour and a half to deliver a ‘Guilty’ verdict, with a strong recommendation of mercy on account of the prisoners age.
     When asked why the sentence of death should no be passed upon her, Davies made no reply.
       His Lordship then donned his black cap, and amid deep silence in the court,

                       he said: Elizabeth Davies, you have been found guilty of murder. The jury recommend you to mercy. That recommendation I will send to the proper authorities. He concluded by pronouncing the sentence of death.
         On hearing the sentence Davies swooned in the dock, and had to be supported by two warders.

          Immediately upon hearing that Davies had been sentenced to death at the Assizes, Councillor J. W. D. Barron, who had been the presiding magistrate at the Police Court proceedings at Hyde, orchestrated a vociferous campaign for her reprieve. The first thing he did was to arrange for petition sheets to be printed, these were done free of charge by Joseph Maloney, Printer and Stationer, 145 Mottram Road, Hyde. The petition sheets were then distributed at the mills and workshops throughout the town, also at many other places, including public houses and places or worship. On Saturday evening, 7th November, along with two men he had hired for the purpose, Councillor Barron had a stall on Hyde Market Ground containing petition sheets, and in this way alone about 2,000 signatures were obtained. The expense of all this work Councillor Barron bore himself.  Between the 7th and the 11th of October, over 20,000 signatures had been obtained. The petition sheets were distributed in Hyde, Denton Stockport, Glossop and Hadfield, in this way over 25,000 signatures were collected. It seems that, throughout the district, Elizabeth Davies had gained mass public sympathy.
           The following is a copy of the petition prepared by the Town Clark, Mr. Thomas Brownson:-
                               (1) ---  That Elizabeth Davies was on Thursday, the fifth day of November, 1903, sentenced to death by the Honourable Justice Bruce, at Chester Winter Assizes for the murder of her illegitimate child, aged sixteen days, at Hyde, on the ninth day of October, 1903.
               (2) --- That your petitioners desire to submit for your consideration with a view if it shall seem to you to meet after the inquiry into the circumstances attending such, that you maybe pleased to advise His Most Gracious Majesty The King to exercise in favour of the said Elizabeth Davies his high prerogative of mercy, and to respite the said Elizabeth Davies from the sentence of death under which she now lies, and to deal with her as otherwise may be thought fit.
                (3) – That the petitioners respectfully submit to you as grounds for the exercise of such prayed clemency the facts. That the prisoner is only 20 years of age. That she gave birth to the said child at the Stockport Workhouse Hospital on September 23rd, 1903, and left that Hospital on October 9th, 1903 only sixteen days after the birth of the child. That she then had no money and was at a long distance from her home and friends. That she walked with her child to the Borough of Hyde a distance of four or five miles in heavy rain and that having regard to her recent confinement she was not in a fit condition to undertake such a journey or to be left alone. That there was evidence to show that she was an affectionate mother but was greatly depressed in spirits shortly before committing the crime of which she was convicted. That there was no evidence of premeditation, but that on the contrary the evidence tended to show that the action was an impulsive one, due to the prisoner’s depressed condition and to her recent confinement. That the prisoner did not seek to hide her crime by removing the clothing of the child, which was stamped with the official mark of the Stockport Workhouse, or in any other way.
                 (4) – That under all the circumstances of the case your petitioners humbly and respectfully submit that after due consideration you may be pleased to advise his Most Gracious Majesty the king to exercise his prerogative of mercy with the result that the sentence of death will not be carried out.

       During the morning and afternoon of Sunday, 8th November, hundreds of sightseer visited the scene of the tragedy, the quarry on Werneth Low Road. The spot is six to seven hundred yards beyond the Hare and Hounds Inn.

        On Thursday, 12th November, 1903, the Town Clerk, Thomas Brownson, received from the Home Office the following important communication, written in response to  a telegram sent by him on Wednesday, 10th November :-
                                                                      Whitehall, 11th November, 1903.

   Dear Sir, With reference to your letter of the 10th inst., respecting the case of Elizabeth Davies, who is lying under sentence of death in His Majesty’s Prison at Knutsford. I am directed to acquaint you that the Secretary of State has felt warranted under all circumstances, in advising His Majesty to respite the capital sentence with a view to its commutation to penal servitude for life. I am sir, your obedient servant, C. E. TROUP.
      The news of the reprieve was received in Hyde, and elsewhere throughout the district, with great satisfaction. It was felt that it would have been extremely cruel to have kept the sentence of death hanging over the young girl any longer than was absolutely necessary, and the promptness of the Home Secretary was most commendable under the circumstances.

     Before news of Elizabeth Davies’s reprieve had reached Hyde, Councillor Barron had penned the following letter for publication:-
                                                         Garth House, Ridling Lane, Hyde,
                                                                                     November 12th, 1903.

Sir, -- The Mayor (Mr. Councillor Sherry) has kindly informed me he has written a letter thanking all those who worked to make the petition for the reprieve of Elizabeth Davies strongly representative of the feeling of the Borough, and I also wish, in conjunction with my friend the Mayor, to offer my grateful personal thanks to the many kind friends who so nobly came forward to help in the efforts made to obtain the reprieve of one more sinned against than sinning, yet who in the solitude of the condemned cell has to bear the burden of her crime alone.  Although my name has been so prominently associated with the movement for a commutation of the death sentence of the law, I feel that the honour of being privileged to take part in so worthy a movement is not mine alone, but must be shared by those whose self denying, indefatigable labours have resulted in my being able to secure nearly 13,000 signatures to this just petition. My grateful thanks are due to my friend ex-Councillor Maloney for printing the petitions free of cost, to Mr. Pearson, of Matley, for opening his stall to receive signatures, for the hundreds he was able through this and other means to add to the petition; to Mr. Waring for lending me his stall on Saturday night, and Mr. Hindley for so kindly providing the lights. I an also most deeply indebted to Councillors Knowles, Gee, Williamson, and Pope, and Messrs. Gregory, Cain, Barton,, and Sallis, for circulating the petition through the various mills  and workshops; by which means thousands of signatures have been obtained; to all those who took petitions and obtained signatures whose names I do not know ; and last, but not least, to my young friend Eric Tinker, for his splendid effort in going from house to house, and by this means securing some hundreds of signatures. To all these and many others whose names I cannot enumerate, not forgetting those who signed the petition, I desire to give that praise which is their due more than mine. If the efforts put forth by the Mayor, those I have mentioned, and myself, only accomplish our desires (and I have every reason to believe from an authorative source they will) our hearts will be gladdened and we shall each feel we have contributed something towards comforting and relieving one who now sits in darkness and the shadow of death, and saving from the gallows somebody’s child, feeling sure that our petition will be granted in the interest of justice and mercy.
                                                      I remain yours faithfully, J. W. D. BARRON.  
              P.S. – Since writing the above I have received an important (private) communication stating that the Home Secretary is advising His Majesty to exercise his Royal clemency. 

           A few days later, Councillor Sherry (the Mayor of Hyde) received the following letter of thanks from the sister of Elizabeth Davies:

         I think it is my duty to thank you for your kindness in having raised the petition on behalf of my poor unfortunate sister. My Mother and all our family are most grateful to you, and to all the gentlemen who have taken such an interest in her. It lightened our burden when we knew she had been granted a reprieve. I have not heard yet what her sentence is. How thankful we are that her life has been spared. I hope that at some future time she may return to the home of her birth. She has begged for forgiveness from us, and we give it her if only God is as ready to forgive her, and I think he will if she will put her trust in him. Thanking you for your kind letter to mother, which was a great comfort to her, and for all you have done for us.
                                                                                         Ealing, London

     Following the commutation of the death sentence Elizabeth Davies was conveyed to Aylesbury Prison in Buckinghamshire, where her conduct was exemplary. Throughout her incarceration the Mayor of Hyde (Councillor J. W. D. Barron) campaigned vigorously for her release, and in October 1908 he visited the Home Office, and was told that the case was to be fully reviewed by the Home Secretary. Elizabeth Davies was destined to spend only another five months in prison until she was released in February 1909. We know absolutely nothing about Elizabeth Davies after she was given her freedom. She may have returned to Culmington, or she may have married. In either case, after her release from Aylesbury Prison she vanished into obscurity.       

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Tragedy On Werneth Low

We had a very interesting email this week.. see part of it below:

The recent posting on the Hare & Hounds reminded me of a story I heard many years ago about the cross that is carved into a large stone in the wall about 100 yards beyond the pub towards Romiley.
I was told that it marked the spot, where in the very early years of the twentieth century, a young servant girl who had given birth to an illegitimate child, drowned the baby in the pond that lies at the back of the wall.  The girl was subsequently charged with murder, found guilty and sentenced to death.  However, in view of the circumstances and the sympathy surrounding the case, this was later commuted to imprisonment and after a time she was released.
 Since I last looked at this stone a number of years ago someone has painted it white.  It does highlight the location, but unfortunately the painting has somewhat obscured the definition of the cross.
I've read an account of this incident in 'The History of Hyde' but the article does not pinpoint the location, so I am assuming that the story I was told is correct.  Can anyone confirm this?  And does anyone know what happened to the girl?  Did she come back to live in Hyde?  Or does anyone know who she was?




From The History Of Hyde
By Thomas Middleton

     In October, 1903, a sensation was caused by the discovery of a child's dead body being found in a pond in an old stone quarry on Werneth Low. The child was illegitimate, and had been drowned by its mother, Elizabeth Davis, a servant Girl, who was afterwards condemned to death. The circumstances of the case were such as to arouse great public sympathy. Alderman Barron J.P., took up the matter; the sentence was commuted to penal servitude, and after serving a few years the girl was released.

It would be interesting to find out a bit more on this story and the circumstances of the case... was that stone set in the right place... these certainly a pond of sorts there... not sure about an old quarry though. Can anybody add to the story?


I think I've found the Quarry.  It MIGHT have been one of the two shown due to their locations.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Views From Around Lord Derby Road, Gee Cross

Another set of great pictures from our roving photographer Dave Williams... he tells me these are all from around the Lord Derby road area... and the little track off it.


I'm glad to see this view as it clearly shows along the centre of the shot the new school building at Flowery Field which is to left of St Georges Church Tower and the Town Hall, and right of Flowery Field church. St Stephens which is now shut looks well behind the new school building.


Holy Trinity is just poking up over the roof tops, and to the right is Hobson Moor which is another fine vantage point to take in the fresh air and views.


Middle of the shot and to the left is Bowlacre old folks home. Above that the rooftops of Haughton Green and Denton... then the water park at Debdale.. incredible to think that an Osprey as been sighted there.


Looking over towards the top end of Newton, just above the lamp post centre shot can be seen a row of trees... these are Poplars and are behind the houses at the top of Talbot Road, in fact to the right slightly lower is the roof top of The Bay Horse. Above the trees is the hill at the top of Yew Tree Lane, Dukinfield.. I stood there many a time taking picture looking back towards Gee Cross. 


Jodrell Bank


Excellent use of the telephoto Lens Dave

Monday, 20 February 2012

Big Tree ( Family Tree )

The 'Big Tree' which stood on Stockport Road Gee Cross


Family Tree Help Needed

We have had an email from Dave Sheldon which I think is interesting as apart from the usual search for relations he is seeking help with the work they did. I'll let Dave take over now....

Part of my family moved to the Dukinfield/Hyde area in the 1870s. All the women in the family worked in the cotton Industry. I am trying to work out which Cotton Mill they would have worked at. Maybe the houses they lived in were built by one of the cotton mill owners.Cencus returns indicate the following..

For Mary Sheldon

1871 Census at 16 Magdala St , Newton Heath ,Manchester , Age 22 Cotton worker
Living with parents William & Agnes Sheldon , Esther Bell – sister , Hannah Taylor-sister and William Taylor-Brother-in –Law

1881 Cencus at 138 Ashton Road , Newton , Hyde age 32
 Living with Hannah Taylor-sister ,William Taylor-Brother-in –law, Martha Taylor-niece , William Taylor-nephew , Mary Taylor-niece , Agnes Taylor-niece, Esther Bell-sister

1891 Cencus at 279 Birch Lane Dukinfield, Age 41 Head, Occupation Jack Frame Tenter
Living with Esther Bell (formerly Esther Sheldon) widowed sister age 50, Occupation Jack Frame Tenter

1901 Cencus at 6 Gregory St , Newton , Hyde. Age 52 head
Living with Esther Bell , (formerly Esther Sheldon) sister age 60, William Taylor –nephew Age 26

1911 Cencus at 5 Stafford’s Buildings , Newton , Hyde , Age 62 , A Cotton card Room Hand
Living with niece Mary Taylor Age 32
Buried age 81 on 12 June 1929 at Hyde Cemetry

I Would be grateful if you could avise me, or point me in the right direction.
Regards Dave

Thanks Dave for contacting us... it will be interesting to see what turns up on this.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Another Mystery Building

Another mystery building somewhere in Hyde. The photo looks to date from around the 1940-50's. Next door is a Fruiter/Greengrocer with the last 3 letters of the name being "RST". I am sure I know the building but just can't place it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



Ladbrookes Bookmakers on Market Street.

It's surprising what a new facia does for a shop front !

Thanks to Google Street maps for the up to date picture.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Verge, above The Cheshire Ring


The Verge, a great place in Hyde for live music... with many great acts strutting there stuff on the stage. The venue is just the right size to be up close and personal with the acts. If you have never been.. you are missing out. A hidden gem in our town.

We now have on the sidebar to the right a link to the venue and a monthly list of who is playing.... where possible will be included links to the acts own web pages. 


Mik Artistik 'Vocals' 


Johnny Flockton 'Guitar'


Benson Walker 'Bass'

Last night's band..  Mik Artistiks Ego-trip were fantastic and prompted me to do this post... we'd seen this band before and had such a great night we went back for more... what saddened me was a half empty room.. and with tickets costing £5 pre-booked or £7 on the door I felt disappointed for the band and organisers. Saying that Mik and the boys give a performance that was worth every penny of the entrance fee and more... 
Well done to all at the Verge for keeping this venue going.. where is The Verge.... above the Cheshire Ring, Manchester Road. 

The Navigation

What was once The Navigations as been known for many years now as The Cheshire Ring.

Cheshire Ring

The pubs a classic... retaining some great features and original deco.. best of all it as a fine array of beers and larger's. There's quiz nights curry nights and much more. Well worth a visit to this friendly pub.