Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Some Memories of Newton from 60 years ago

This  post is made possible by Tony who sent us the following photos and memories.

Tony writes...

"I hope the attached pics are of interest for the blog: The George & Dragon, Newton and (I remember as a child) "Mr Timperley" the  green grocer, the large hessian sacks full of vegetables and the brass scales by the double doors.  Inside was all white washed and the doors were (can just remember) always fully open.  The steel loading beam above was for a once stables perhaps?

A group of locals by the war Memorial in 1952
The War Memorial in 2012

Looking up Bennett Street towards the George & Dragon with Mr Timperleys shop on the right. 1952

The same view 2012.
Note the steel beam is still there !

 The new looking motorbike is a BSA A10 Golden Flash 650cc.  It's ridged back end dates it circa 1949-1952 although as the pic was taken in 1952 I guess that's the year of the bike.  But who is  the proud owner I wonder?
The front of the George & Dragon. 2012.
 View looking down Bennett Street in 1952
Same view 2012

Many Thanks for sharing these fabulous photos, Tony !

Friday, 30 March 2012

Name that show....

A nice picture sent in from Angela Garland, showing the participants in a production at Hyde Theatre around 1959, all members of St Paul's RC School Newton, Hyde.




If you can name the play that would be great and how about a few names..... thank you Angela for sending this in and making this post possible. If you have any pictures you'd like to share please do so.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Hyde Co-op Horse Brass

The recent post about the Hyde Cooperative Society, in particular the photograph  of the horses drawing the laundry carts caused me to think about these items I have in my possession. These two horse brasses were left to me by my surrogate grandparents who lived in one if the cottages on Railway Street.


As a small child in the early 1960's, I lived next door to them. John 'Jack' Braddock, one half of that wonderful couple, a Croix de Guerre holder from the First War, worked with the Co-op Horses for many years up until their demise. The stables were situated at the rear of the Railway Street cottages (I don't know if there were others elsewhere) in what I knew as the 'Co-op Yard'. The only access being through large iron gates situated next to where the Spiritualist Church now stands on Great Norbury Street. These brasses were presented to him in recognition of the regard and consideration he had for his charges.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mount Street Photo

Here is a photo taken on the corner of Mount street, with Thomas Street in the background. Brothers Brian and George Gregory are in berets and Jack Morris is front row,second right. Back right is Ernie Bentley and 2nd right his sister, Mary Bentley.
It is late 1930's.

thomasst, Corner of Mount street with Thomas St in the background.Gregory Brothers in berets (brian and george) Jack Morris front second right.Circa mid 30's


Here is the approximate view of the same place as seen today.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Bush Inn - R.I.P.

 The Bush Inn pub stood at 278 Market Street. It was a Robinsons House but also had a nice small selection of real ales. For a while there was a restaurant upstairs and they also used to host live bands. A decent pub with a nice atmosphere.
Unfortunately, it has become the latest victim of pub closures. A sad day indeed.

The Bush before its closure.


As it looks today - boarded up and neglected.
No doubt there will be some more flats appearing here soon....

According to Paul Taylors excellent "The history of the pubs of Hyde and District" , the Bush opened in 1840 and was virtually a country pub which was surrounded by farmland, most of it belonging to the Shepley Family. The first landlord was John Haughton & Haughton Street, which is adjacent to the pub, is named after him.
A bit of trivia also in the book states that over the years the Inn has had no less than three different addresses.  It was initially 164 Hyde Lane and then the number was changed when Market Street was extended above Tower Street and the Bush was given the number 64 Hyde Lane. Around 1910 it was renumbered again after the old Hyde lane was completely done away with  and Market Street was extended to meet Stockport Road and the present address of 278 Market Street was adopted.
The Folk Group "The Pennine Folk, were the resident Folk group for years in the 1970's until they moved to Hyde United Social Club. Many top folk artists of the time played at the Bush where the pub was regularly packed to the rafters with "Folkies"!  Shame they aren't still there !

Thanks Paul for the excellent information supplied. :)

Monday, 26 March 2012

Carpet Gallery

We are always requesting your help with pictures and memories and are very grateful when we check the emails and find such pictures as we have to you today. Below is the content of one such email we received this week.
In answer to your request for photos I am sending you two with a little explanation. My father (Paul Higginbottom) was given the lease in 1978 to the local authority owned shop (2 Clarendon Street) by Mr. Showman who ran the shop as a gents outfitters.
The first photo taken in May 1982 shows what it would have looked like from 1978.
The second photo also taken in May 1982 shows what it looked like until 1984 when my Dad having bought the shop in about 1980 from the local authority, sold it to someone else who opened it then as chip shop.


I certainly recall the shop.. as much for the colour schemes as anything else... I also recall that sometime in the early 1970's.. 73-74 I got my first pair of Levi Jeans from this building. I'm sure they were £3.00 and the Jacket was dearer at £3.50..   

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Oddfellows

We recently put out a request for any photos of the Oddfellows pub of which there seemed a shortage. We are delighted to say we have received three pictures off Paul which we have posted below. They bring back some great memories for me. Hope you enjoy them,too !



Another Ladies day trip again from the 1960's

A view from the 1980s

Thank you, Paul :)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Pub outings...

 This photograph shows a ladies outing from the Oddfellows.


Unfortunately, I have no date or knowledge of where they are.

If anyone has any photographs of the Oddfellows, please get in touch with us as we'd like to do a post on it. Thank you :)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Hyde Town Hall Disco

For people of a certain age, the Town Hall Disco was an important event. Usually on a Thursday night, it was a place to go with friends where you could hopefully attract the attention of someone you fancied.
The girls usually sat to the left and the boys to the right of the stage - don't ask me why! :)


These self same people may be pleased to see that there is a now Soul Night at the Town Hall every month . A chance to relive your youth :)
Be there or be square ....  and remember to bring your handbag to dance around !!


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Leigh Street School 1931

Class 5
Leigh Street School 1931.

Leigh St 1931teacher Mrs babbage, Mrs beard

The teachers are Mrs Babbage on the left and Mrs Beard on the right.
Alice Morris is front row 2nd right (seated).

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Chas. C. Minister

Update of original post dated 2nd May 2011

We were contacted in 2011 about the above bottle.. by an E. Minister
I have a stone pot/container that was a present from a friend - it was found by chance at an antique fair near to Preston. The name on it Charles C Minister, who is a family member going back to the early 1900's. I would be so grateful if you could put the picture on your 'site' and hopefully I could get to know more about its history. Thank you
At that time it drew many comments and all the team spent time trying to come up with an answer, but we could not come up with anything back then... today however one of our readers and contributors to the site 'Jeffrey Stafford' as come up trumps for us.

Regarding your contributors inquires about the Minister Brewery in Gee Cross. The brewery of Charles Crispin Minister of Gee Cross was established in 1892 after the death of his father in law, William Ball, who established his brewery in Booth Street, Hyde, in 1890. 
Charles Crispin Minister was born in Haddicoe, Norfolk, in 1868. The family left Haddiscoe for Hyde in 1877, and set up home at 7 Travis Street. He married Elizabeth Ann Ball, the daughter of William and Ann Ball, at Stockport in August 1891. William Ball died in 1892, and after his death Charles Crispin Minister set up a brewery of his own at 14 John Street, Gee Cross. The brewery continued making beer and herbal medicin until around the outbreak of the First World War. Charles Crispin Minister died in 1955, aged 88 years in Ipswich, Suffolk. Elizabeth Ann Minister died in 1957, age 86 years, at Burton on Trent, Staffordshire. It is no use looking for John Street, Gee Cross on any modern day map, the former John Street is now named Rock Street.
Jeffrey Stafford
 Further update:  Minister set up a small brewery at 12 John Street in 1890, then expanded after his father-in-law's death taking over larger premises at no 14 John Street.

So pleased we have been able to fill in this little bit of history, even if it as taken us a while... thanks to Jeffrey and everyone else who helped with this request.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Cottages In Kingston Hollow

                                      REMEMBERING HYDE

                        THE COTTAGES IN KINGSTON HOLLOW

By Jeffrey Stafford

Two of the most interesting cottages in Hyde until they were condemned in 1939 were number 167 and 169, Manchester Road. Known variously since the early nineteenth century as Wilson Brook or Kingston Hollow Cottages, for over a century they were the residence of the Smith family. No use could be found for them after they were condemned and for forty years the two cottages remained nothing more than a rat infested pigeon roost.
     The last two occupants of the cottages, which stood back from Manchester Road down a narrow pathway, were two sisters, Sarah Wood and Hannah Green. Their story, which is one that had been handed down by word of mouth from one generation of the family to the next, goes back to the time when the two cottages in Kingston Hollow overlooked a wide stretch of green fields and Stafford’s Nurseries.
        To this pleasant rural idyll about the year 1819 came Daniel Smith, a fifty five year old mechanic from Offerton, brought by John Sidebotham, the owner of Kingston Mill, to look after the new power looms which had been introduced in the mill. As an engineer, Daniel moved into one of the cottages in Kingston Hollow near the mill, besides Wilson Brook, with his wife Harriot and his son, William. Daniel and his family travelled to Hyde on horse back, the only means of transport possible, a striking contrast to the present day when cars and buses past within a few yards of where Kingston cottages once stood.
      Daniel Wood lived to the ripe old age of 87 and sired six further children, four boys and two girls: James 1821, Hannah 1824, John 1826, Jane 1829, Thomas 1832, and Edwin 1841.
      William, Daniel’s eldest son, followed his father’s occupation as a mechanic in the mill, and he and his father in their spare time built a working model of a power loom. Later, William emigrated to America and after his death left a vast amount of money with which his son, Daniel, set himself up in business in Denton as a hat manufacturer with Abraham Cooke.
      John Smith, who died in 1916, worked in the dressing room at Kingston Mill. A confirmed bachelor, he lived all his live in Kingston Hollow with his sister Jane. A keen gardener he cleared and cultivated all the land attached to both cottages. Jane and Hannah, the two daughters of Daniel Smith, both worked at Kingston Mill. Jane was 76 when she died in 1905.  Hannah married John Barlow in 1852. She died in Denton in 1905 aged 81.
     James Smith opened a grocers shop at 206-208 Manchester Road, and as it was the only shop in the area it did excellent business. It is said that the shops takings frequently amounted to over three hundred pounds a week. James also became a churchwarden at St.Lawrence’s, Denton. He died in 1906. Edwin, who died in 1916, was a joiner, and Thomas, who was gifted with a fine voice, which never broke, became a well known singer. He moved from the choir at St. George’s Church, Hyde, to Manchester Cathedral, and then to the Chapel Royal, Windsor, with which choir he was associated with until his death at New Windsor in 1910.
       On Tuesday, December 18th, 1888, a concert organised by Thomas Smith, who was described as the principal alto, Chapel Royal Windsor, was held at the Mechanics Institute, Hyde. Among the other artist who took part in the Grand Ballad Concert as it was called, were Miss Lizzie Dawson, Miss Louisa Bowmont principal contralto St.Peter’s, Manchester, Mr.Charles Warren Manchester Concerts, Mr.John J.Lewis principal tenor, Hyde Chapel, Mr.William Oldham of Hyde Philharmonic Society, Mr.Hesketh Meade Manchester Concerts, and Mr. J.H. Greenwood, organist of All Saints’, Manchester.
     Returning to Sarah Wood and Hannah Green. It was after the death of John Smith in 1916, that they both went to live in Kingston Hollow. They were the grand-daughter’s of Hannah Wood, who had married John Barlow at Cheadle St.Mary’s in 1852, and so for well over a century, the same family had been associated with the cottages in Kingston Hollow.

(Not To Be Copied Without Permission)


What a honour to be able to share this with our readers, thank you Jeffrey.
We have another one of Jeffrey's writings to show. Keep a look out for that one as it is a cracker!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Family Pictures

We had a nice email the other day from Joyce Jones, who told us how much she enjoys our site, especially the photos. Joyce’s brother Neil Howarth has donated photo's and memories in the past,  so Joyce has kindly followed suit and sent in the two pictures below. 


Joyce and her brothers Ian and Brian near the Cenotaph on Werneth Lowe, with their mum.  1955


Whit-Sunday gathering for Hyde Chapel, meeting outside Enfield  Street Infant school. Joyce thinks the year is circa 1962, going by the car and the colour of the bus stop I think Dave stands a good chance of coming a bit nearer to the date... I'm for later on this one. 

Thank you Joyce for sending these in... it's a pleasure seeing such pictures being sent in... I've always liked looking at 'family pictures' and the one where you are all on The Low is such a nice picture, and I'm sure I remember that bench or one's like it.


Joyce as been back in touch and as amended the date of the bottom picture to 1970, the 1960 date was a mistake.... the young lad under the flowers who is holding the banner is Philip, Joyce' youngest brother.. he was born in 1962 and was eight when this picture was taken... thank you for the update Joyce. 
Philip thinks it's 1974....
I'm not getting involved lol

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Some more lovely May Queens.

Leigh Street Infants May Queen 1926.
Dorothy Higginbottom is the May Queen.


Sadie Marsden.
Flowery Field May Queen. Date unknown.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Demolition of the "Seven Sisters"

2001 saw the demolition of 7 Multi-Storey 1960’s Tower blocks in Hattersley which were affectionately known as the "Seven Sisters".

Two blocks, Sandybank Court and Chapman Court were demolished using a highreach excavator.


Due to the location of Fields Court, situated near the main line Railway station and adjacent residential properties the tower block was demolished using the "floor by floor deconstruction method" so as to reduce any risks.


On Sunday 22nd April 2001 the remaining four tower blocks (Underwood, Honiton, Hattersley and Waterside Courts) were demolished using explosives.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Postcard from...

Newtown Street...or Newton street to us Hydonians !
Date unknown.


You can just make out Flowery Field Church and one of the Chimneys from Ashtons Brothers in the distance .

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Pickwick Papers, Leigh Street style.

A review of "Pickwick Papers" by Leigh Street Girls School.
Circa mid 1970's.



Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Werneth Low Horse Races

Shortly after the coronation of Queen Victoria an attempt was made to establish an annual race meeting on Werneth Low, and a racecourse was formed in the field opposite the Hare & Hounds Inn on the summit of the Low. The first races being held on Hyde Wakes in 1838. The races extended over three days, and over 6000 people were present on the first day. Traditions and some of the older end of the population spoke of famous contests on the low of no less famous jockeys and the winning of local derbys. Mr Robert Higham gives an account of the races in his book "Stella" which is founded on local life.The "racecourse" says the writer "was situated in a field a short distance from the Hare & Hounds and was very unlevel for races, indeed dangerous, as more than one horse met with its death and the rider with serious injury in going down a steep decline. The horse which won the first race belonged to Marlors of Newton. The course was ringed with stalls, booths and rows of bookmakers with the usual paraphernalia for a race meeting. The prizes ranged from 30 guineas to 10 guineas and there were handsome cups to be won. The course was changed several times, and was fixed finally in the large field fringing the high road, and stretching down to Werneth Hall farm in Cowlishaw Brow.It was intended to make the races a permanent institution, but the great cash incurred and the comparatively small amount of public support, added to the difficulty of reaching the top of the low, either by "Shanks pony" or by conveyance, brought the scheme to an end after a few years. The last races run on the Low were on September 9th, 10th & 11th 1850. It was then decided to abandon the races.

  The Above account of the races is from Tom Middletons History of Hyde & The Annals of Hyde. Photobucket The 1875 OS map shows part of one of the race tracks just below the Hare & Hounds. Photobucket The race card for 1850 for what was then known as the Hyde & Compstall Races.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Post Card View.. (but from where)

We've been contacted by Ben Mckenzie who would like information on the postcard below.


Ben say's that the postcard was sent from Hyde in 190? - last digit is not clear. In the top left hand corner is written Godley Val? - difficult to read the letters. It was addressed to Elizabeth Howard Taylor and the writer asked if she recognized anyone in the photograph.


Left Side Of Card


Right Side Of Card

Any background information would be most welcome.

Monday, 12 March 2012

John Shepley Clock

This post is by
Keith Hampson

I have now received my Shepley clock back all nicely cleaned and in good working order and you will see it is a fine illustration of John Shepleys work.
The dial is only 9in square which is rare for a longcase clock and usually indicates early work.The dial centre is very finely engraved with all over floral pattern reminiscent of the lantern clock made in the second half of the 17th century.The hand which is typical of the period has the addition of a brass tip which could be a nice later feature.
The engraving is very professional and looking at the later clock owned by Peter Wattenburg it was almost certainly done by a specialist.
The dial is signed Johannes Shepley, Hyde in abbreviated form.


The most important feature is the posted type movement e.g. horizontal plates with vertical corner posts similar to the earliest domestic clock in Britain, the lantern clock which is rarely found in the North West. It was thought that most clockmakers in this area first made clocks with vertical plates and horizontal pillars which had been the norm in London for at least 20 years by the time Shepley was making clocks in the late 17th century.


The lantern type movement is very much the order of the day but an unusual feature is the extended pillars which form legs below the lower plate similar to a lantern clock and again an early feature.John was keen to show his skill by beautifully filing the hammer spring although it would not normally be seen in a longcase clock. The bell and large hammer would ensure the chime could be heard in Yorkshire!


John Shepley clocks are often compared with those of the Whittaker brothers, James and Samuel of Middleton. The elder brother James was slightly earlier than Shepley and I believe one lantern clock by him does exist. All longcase clocks are thought to be of the plated form and I do have a longcase by Samuel. Little is known of his early life in Hyde  but it is thought that Shepley could have been apprenticed to James Whittaker before starting his business in Hyde.


To discover this clock was very exciting and it could in fact be the first clock made by John Shepley.


I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Dukinfield but I have many connections with Hyde. Sadly I did not make Hyde Grammer School for my secondary education. The first clockmaker in Dukinfield was John Taylor who could be slightly later than Shepley but his surviving clocks are scarce. When John Shepley moved to Stockport his market was much greater. I would be most interested if anyone knows of a John Taylor clock.


Thank you Keith for sharing your clock with us... it's a beauty and it is an honour to be able show it here... I hope information on a John Taylor clock is forth coming... 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Werneth Pub

Two shots of the Werneth Pub on Stockport Road.
Sadly, this pub is up for sale yet again. I hope it doesn't go the way that so many pubs in Hyde have over the years and close its doors...

The flood of 1906

Winter 2011