Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Monday, 31 December 2012

The Perdue Family History.

 After going through the many emails we have received for the blog, I found this very sad story that was sent to us some time ago by Dave (sorry, I dont know your surname)... I cannot see that it was posted at the time - please accept our apologies.
Over to Dave now...
 Family History

I realised a few years ago that I was the last generation of the family to have retained the oral history.   The generation below me were far too interested in the big world of television to be bothered to sit and listen to grandparents talking about the past.  As I have no children, I have no one to pass it on to.  So I set about writing down as much as I could remember in the hope that one day it would be appreciated.

As many of you history lovers will know there is nothing simple about family history as once you show an interest it completely draws you in.  For some people there were just sketchy reminiscences and one could not be sure how much truth there was in them.  So I set about trying to fill in the details. One that totally absorbed me and has now run to 25,000 words concerned my great great aunt, Elizabeth.  All I knew was that she had spent her days in the Cheshire Asylum, Parkside, Macclesfield, dying there in 1943.  I feared the worst in unearthing this story.

The first gem came from the census record for 1901 where I found her and her five-year-old daughter as lodgers in a house in Hyde and the note “suffers epileptic fits”.  I now started to find records for her daughter and discovered she was the only one of nine babies to survive.  Obtaining the death certificates began to unravel an interesting yet heartbreaking story.  Most of the babies had died in the first few months of “inanition” what might now be termed “failure to thrive”.  I was able to get the reports of three inquests from the Ashton Under Lyne Reporter where they had been reported on at the time.  One such report absolved the mother from any neglect and in the words of the Doctor attending at the time of death “The mother had been very attentive to it.  Although in poor circumstances, she had carried out his instructions.”  And. “She had done all she possibly could for the infant.” Another child did thrive but at about one-year-old his mother fell on him during a fit and he suffocated.

Her husband stood beside her and worked to keep the family but in 1906 he decided to follow his wife’s sister and family to Boston, Mass. where he had heard they had good jobs and an excellent standard of living.  He promised to send for his wife and their last surviving child when he arrived.

My next piece of oral history to build on was that Elizabeth and her daughter went missing and were gone for a few weeks, leaving the house just as she had been living in it.  No one knew where she had gone or why.  Her brother and his wife travelled into Manchester looking for her.  She had spent her youth in Ancoats and Miles Platting.  Census records showed that as a girl of twelve she was working as a children’s nurse to a local draper’s family in Great Ancoats Street.

There was no sign of Elizabeth or her daughter Alice.  A snippet from a letter my mother wrote to me when I first started to take an interest in the family history tells the story.  Elizabeth waited and waited for word from her husband, became very poor in health and no money. The worry sent her off her mind. The family lost touch some way. I suppose, as she got poorer she moved from one place to another until her health, money and mind gave out and she must have ended up in the workhouse. That was found out because on Saturday her brother Ned and his wife Mary went down Manchester and coming back sat on the top deck of a tramcar. They saw some beggars of which there were many in those days. It was just like Fagin, you could go to the poorhouse and get a child for anything. For a little skivvy, down the pit, any dirty job in a mill, factory, hostel, anything. Now among these beggars one man had something musical, barrel organ, violin, flute, don’t know what, but he had a dirty urchin with him. God only knew if it was a girl or a boy, but it was dressed in the dirtiest clothes you could imagine. A mans cap and men’s shoes, miles too big. For some reason Mary couldn’t get the picture out of her mind. It worried her and something kept reminding her of Alice. She didn’t know why, but they talked it over, even with the children and decided to go back and try to find this child. It turned out to be Alice. Then the story unfolded. The man claimed he was her uncle on her father’s side and he was looking after her, which was doubtful. A few shilling changed hands and Alice came home to her rightful place with the family. Alice was taken home where she had all her clothes and most of her hair cut off in the back yard, and burned. She was so dirty and ‘wick’.  Elizabeth was found in the Workhouse than moved to Parkside.
*local dialect – ‘alive’ as in crawling with lice.

I then managed to track down Elizabeth’s medical records from Parkside.  They told the story of how in 1908 she had been committed to the asylum from the workhouse. Due to the deaths of her children the Doctor at Manchester Workhouse had declared her “dangerous but with harmless causes” and in line with regulations at the time, the Hyde Board of Guardians had been obliged to commit her as an “insane pauper.”  They recorded the fact that her epilepsy had started when she was about 14.

As tragic as commitment might have seemed it was the first stroke of luck for Elizabeth.  Parkside was one of the foremost medical institutions of its time and the first to have a specialist epilepsy unit.  The records over the next 35 years recorded her severe fits and the physical damage she suffered after them.  She also received prompt medical attention and treatment, something which would have been very scarce in the community pre National Health.  For anyone who may have been embarrassed by the stigma of having a relative spend her days in the asylum.  She was described as “gentle in manner, well behaved and a good worker in the laundry”. The year before she died of carcinoma of the liver she had been one of the first people to receive new anti-epilepsy medication that was just on the market.

The strange twist to the tale was that whilst initially knowing nothing about her condition I have worked as a volunteer supporting an epilepsy charity for the past 15 years.  It was through that connection that I was able to find out about the history of the treatment of ‘epileptics’.  When Elizabeth was a young woman the main treatment was Bromide Salts.  Bromism, an effect of prolonged ingestion of bromide, is characterized by mental dullness, memory loss, slurred speech, tremors, ataxia and muscular weakness, and a transitory state resembling paranoid schizophrenia.  The side effects of ‘bromism’, not only affected the patient, neonatal bromism resulted in babies with poor suck, weak cry, diminished reflexes, lethargy, and poor muscle tone.

Her husband never did get in touch.  My great grandfather met a man who had served in France in WW1 who had served with him and met his “French wife”.  In the early 1940’s great granddad also received a letter from the man’s wife and child in Boston, Mass. trying to trace their “English cousins”.  He had even had the gall to name his daughter in America Alice after the one he had abandoned in Hyde.


 Here is a photo of "Lizzie Anne" as a young woman.

I have also attached a brief history of her life and cuttings from the Reporter re the inquests.


Sudden death.
At the Sportsman Hotel, Mottram Road Hyde, on Monday morning.  Mr Francis Newton, the district coroner, held an enquiry touching the death of Gladys Perdue, the five months old, daughter of Elizabeth and Ann Henry Robert Perdue, which occurred at Lumn Court on the sixth instant.  Mr John Firth was the foreman of the jury.  Dr Stephen Infield said that he had been attending the deceased for about five months.  It was an eight months old child and had been in delicate health since birth.  He last saw her on the 26th of October.  The mother had been very attentive to it.  Although in poor circumstances, she had carried out his instructions.  He saw the child a few minutes after death, but did not see any signs of convulsions.  It really died from inanition.  Elizabeth Ann Perdue wife of Henry Robert Perdue, a labourer employed by the great Central Railway Company, an ex-soldier second Manchester regiment served in the South African War, said she lived at 1 Lumn Court hide.  Gladys Perdue was her daughter and was five months old.  Deceased had been weak and delicate since birth and had been attended by Dr Infield.  On Friday morning, about eight o'clock, she was nursing the deceased and after watching her, she commenced sighing and moaning and died about five minutes past nine.  She sent to Dr infield but the child died before his arrival.  She had done all she possibly could for her.
A verdict to the effect that death was due to inanition was recorded.


Thanks for sharing this very interesting piece of family history with us, Dave. :)
Much appreciated !

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Magnificent View !

Here are a couple of photo's sent to us by Karl Barlow with the description below.

"Hi Hydonians,
Here are two pictures I took of Gee Cross Mill in the early eighties. 
The view of the tower  in the distance is St Georges church and, I think, James
North's Mill...The black and white photo is of the ladder inside the tower of GX Mill known as a Jacobs Ladder.It led to the hatch that
opened at the top of the tower. I climbed it a few times. There was a water tank up there if I remember and lot of pigeon muck ! What a view from the very top of the tower you could see for miles around!...."


Thumbnail for larger view.


Many Thanks Karl ! :)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Pole Bank Video

This excellent short film was sent to us by David Barlow.....
Click the link below which will take you to YouTube.

 Pole Bank Video

Hi Hydonians, For any of you who haven't had a wander around the pond and woodlands of Pole Bank lately this might be right up your street. It won't win any BAFTAs and Charlton Heston's not in it but I think it does capture some of the beauty and nature in Pole Bank. If you click on the link it should take you straight to You Tube. The quality suffers a bit on full screen on You Tube so it might look better just on expanded. If any kids watching start yawning...tell them to look out for a glimpse of Hyde Chapel steeple which makes a fleeting cameo appearance.
Many Thanks David !! :) Much appreciated !

Friday, 28 December 2012

William Leigh - Hyde and District Spinners Association.

We recently featured an article sent to us by Peter Fallon about his Great-Great Grandfather William Ovens .

William Ovens was involved in setting up the Hyde and District Operative Spinners Association with five other men.
Here is the memorial of one of the other men, William Leigh, which stands in the cemetery of Hyde Chapel.

william Leigh
Sacred in the Memory of William Leigh of Hyde who departed this life April 6th 1878 in the 50th year of his age.

Hyde spinners operative

He was one of the founders of, and secretary to the Hyde Operative Spinners Association . For a period of 20 years, during which time he used his energies in promoting their welfare in every possible way, and in adjusting any difficulty arising between Employers and Employed.
His exertions on their behalf  were not confimed to his own district but any movement having for its object the application of his class always found in him a ready worker.
During a visit to London to promote their interests he caught a severe cold which brought on his death and in recognition of all his services the association (assisted by a few friends) have placed over his remains this tribute of their esteem.

william leigh 1

william leigh 2

william leigh 3  

Association of Operative Cotton Spinners

By 1800 over thirty cotton towns in Lancashire, Cheshire and Derbyshire had local spinners' friendly societies or trade clubs. The first documented society was at Stockport in 1785. Other important spinning organizations existed in Preston (1795), Manchester (1795) and Oldham (1797). These societies became illegal under the terms of the 1799 and 1800 Combination Acts. Sometimes societies were reformed during industrial disputes such as the spinners' strike in Manchester in 1810. After the repeal of the Combination Acts in 1824 and 1825, spinners had more freedom to form associations of workers. In 1828 John Doherty became leader of the Manchester Spinners' Union. The following year textile factory owners began imposing wage reductions on their workers. In an attempt to persuade the employers to change their minds, members of the union went on strike. The strike lasted for six months but in October the spinners, facing starvation, were forced to accept the lower wages being offered by the factory owners. John Doherty realised that it was very difficult for local unions to win industrial disputes so he organised a meeting of spinners from all over Britain. The result of the meeting was the formation of the Grand General Union of Operative Spinners of the United Kingdom. Doherty's union only lasted two years and it was not until 1845 that a similar organisation was formed. This time it was a group of spinners in Bolton who created the Association of Operative Cotton Spinners. Despite its name, few people joined from outside that part of Lancashire. Other attempts at forming a national union took place in Preston in 1852 with the Friendly Association of Hand Mule Spinners. This time membership included workers from Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire. However, it was not until 1870 with the establishment of the Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners that the trade had a real national union.

Thanks to  spartacus.schoolnet. for the above information.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Reservoir off Queen Street

Here are a couple of photos showing the old James North/Slack Mill reservoir that used to stand on Queen Street .
The prefab building at the top of the photo stood on Wood Street and it was where a generation of Hydonians bought their families slippers at low prices !
It was known as "Wickles back" by some. I think this was because the prefab was a manufacturer called Wickles at some point . If anybody knows what they manufactured please let us know...

wood st
  After the reservoir was drained.

Aerial View showing Lumb Road to the Right and the Douglas Street part of Norths to the left.

Aerial view as it looks today !
Queen Street became Douglas Street at the Lumn Road end after the new Greenfield Primary school cut Queen Street in half.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Smithy Fold Farm

 The following snippet comes from the History of Hyde by Thomas Middleton.

Urian Legh (1566–1627) was knighted for his services in taking Cadiz in 1596. 
He was High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1613.

A map from 1831-56 showing the site of Smithy Fold Farm.

By 1875 the farm had gone and Fern Bank Farm stood nearby.

Modern map showing the area where Smithy Fold Farm stood.

Maps courtesy of Cheshire.gov.uk

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012



~xx Thank you for your continued support  xx~

Monday, 24 December 2012

George Frederick Byrom of Pole Bank

David Barlow sent us this fascinating article.....

"Hi Hydonians, I think this guy deserves putting on record for his sheer generosity"
George Frederick Byrom of Pole Bank

....of course we are all familiar with the link between Pole Bank and the Ashton family followed by the Beeley family but ultimately it was George Frederick Byrom who bequeathed his entire estate comprising Hall, gardens and woodland to the people of Hyde.
George was a wealthy Manchester cotton manufacturer, devout Wesleyan Methodist and was General Treasurer of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society for many years. He married Susannah Bowker of Manchester, they had 1 son and 3 daughters (source-who's who in methodism 1933)
George died 30th March 1942, his wishes were that upon his wife's death (Susannah died 26th February 1945) ownership of the Estate be transferred to the Corporation of Hyde for the people of Hyde with some conditions ......' upon trust that the said Corporation shall preserve the same for the use and recreation of the public in such manner and subject to such regulations in all respects as the Council of the said Corporation may from time to time think proper but subject nevertheless to the Corporation entering into a covenant that the said land and premises shall not be used for the purposes of Sunday games or Sunday music and that the sale or consumption of alcoholic liquor shall be prohibited on the said premises....' "
Attachments:  Transfer of land and property from the Estate of George Frederick Byrom to the people of Hyde

Area of land (edged in red) given to the people of Hyde by George Frederick Byrom

Thanks for sharing this with us, David. 
It's a great piece of local history !

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Chadwick Family

Following on from thursday post about the Chadwick Family, here is Peter Howard with some more information and great photos.... 
"Joseph Chadwick senior lived at 69 Nelson St, Joseph Edward Chadwick (my grandfather) lived at 69, and my father lived at 115.
My mother's sister, Ethel Chadwick, married John Finch. They lived on Travis St and had a sweet shop about half way down. In later years she worked at Byles".

Joseph Chadwick Senior and his second wife, Eliza Jane Sellers. Her family lived at 24 Nelson St

Chadwicks cart outside St George's Church, Hyde in 1920

The same horse outside 69 Nelson St. The house had a yard at the back where the carts and horses were kept.  The man holding the horse was Jack Braddock of Queen St.

Joseph, Rebecca and family. my mother Edith Chadwick (b.1903) is on Rebeccas knee, the other girl is Jane Chadwick, brother is Walter Chadwick (b.1890). The older girl is their niece, Fanny Pearson. Her parents died and they brought her up as their own. I remember visiting Aunty Fanny often. A very kind lady, as was Aunty Jane.

This must have been taken about 1904/5

 Joseph Edward & Cart. Joseph Edward Chadwick holding the 'horse' in Great Norbury Street. On the card is Joseph Chadwick senior, Edith (my mother) the child on the left, Jane on the right with Walter Chadwick aged about 14. 

"From what I have learned, Robert Middleton moved originally to Gee Cross - Werneth Low about 1820, then by 1840 lived at Acorn Lane, before moving to Fern Bank Farm. His son Joseph Middleton lived at Closes Farm in Godley where Rebecca (my grandmother) was born".

Once again, Peter, thanks so much for the photos and information. It's much appreciated that you took the time and trouble to send them to us !

Saturday, 22 December 2012

More Adverts from disappeared shops and businesses

Here are a few more Adverts from 1968.


Frankie Appleyard was a very helpful, well known and well liked man around the Hyde area.

Candair Engineering Co Ltd was situated at Johnson Brook Works on Johnson Brook Road.

We were recently contacted by Simon Harkinson the M.D. of Candair, I am reassured and happy to report that the company moved on to Newton Moor Industrial Estate in the mid 1970s where they still are today!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Joseph Chadwick

This photo and account has been sent to us by Peter Howard...
Over to Peter...


"The gentleman driving the coach is my great grandfather Joseph Chadwick (1844-1913). He was born in Compstall as his father was an overlooker of weavers in the mill there. His father William Chadwick was born in Newton where the many of the family can be traced through the censuses.
Joseph senior married and his family grew up in Hyde, during the cotton famine they went to America for a few years but returned to Hyde where he bought 3 houses in the newly built Nelson Street.
His son, Joseph (junior) Edward Chadwick (1875-1947) was born in the USA but brought up in Nelson Street. The family were coal carters and furniture removers. The Hearts of Oak business used to run excursions as can be seen, I guess the photo was taken just before 1900 or so.
Joseph Edward (my grandfather) married Rebecca Middleton in 1897. She was a member of the Middleton family that descended from Eyam in Derbyshire during the plague  of 1664/5. Like the old Mayor of Hyde Thomas Middleton. Although not immediately related , her branch was traced through the writings and research of Thomas Middleton. Rebecca's grandfather came to Hyde from Eyam around 1820 where he had Fern Bank Farm at Gee Cross.
My mother, Edith Chadwick, was born in Nelson Street and my father lived there also. They met as they both worked in 'North's Mill'
My Chadwicks can be traced to the late 1700's in Newton and were from a family connected to Mottram church. There being many Chadwicks in the Mottram, Godley and Newton area I cannot find the true origins, this is work in progress."
A very interesting account !
Many thanks, Peter. 
Your sharing is much appreciated :)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Bowling Green Pavilion 2007

Bowling Green Pavilion in Hyde Park taken in 2007, when it had been damaged by fire.
The Pavilion has since been restored.



Photos kindly sent to us by Phil Shawdale.
Many Thanks, Phil ! :)

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

William Ovens

Today we received this fascinating email from Peter Fallon,
Over to Peter...

"Following on from recent blogs of Ashton Bros / Newton Street Hyde.
My great great grandfather William Ovens who lived at 7 Newton Street Hyde, who died in 1910 worked at Ashton Bros for a grand total of 72 years one month which was a record and possibly has not been surpassed in the UK.
Please find attached files with reference to this.

PS Could you please put on your blog a request for anyone who may have photos of Ovens Butchers Shops, there was one on Manchester Rd, one on Mottram Rd also one on Market St.

Kind Regards"




Imagine telling 9 year olds today that they would have to start work and work for 72 years - the mind boggles !!

Many Thanks, Peter !! :)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Aeriel View of New Market Square 1968

Here is another aeriel view of the Market and the new development in 1968.
The HSBC Bank is still very recognisable from this photo but many of the old shops have gone, amongst them the shoe shops and the butchers shop that were opposite Woolworths.
 Look how many market stalls there were then compared with todays market ! This was maybe because the old market hall was demolished and the new one wasn't ready? Does anyone know?
The old Methodist Church that stood on Norfolk street can be seen top left of the photo.
Parking was available where the DHSS building now stands (bottom right).


Thanks to John Hopwood for the great photo !!
Much appreciated. :)

Monday, 17 December 2012

1968 Adverts

 All adverts as seen in the 1968 Green Guide.

Is this the same address that housed Mayfair Chemist from the 1970's onwards ?

Another Newton Street Disappeared shop !

Disappeared Business.

Originally established in Hyde in 1961... now operating as Bennetts Staff Bureau Recruitment Agency. 

Disappeared Business.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Another view of Newton Street...

 To round off our Newton Street photo collection, here is one sent in to us by Elsie D.
"I hope this will be of use to the blog" she writes...

At the junction with Manchester Road

Many Thanks, Elsie .
Much appreciated !

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Start the New Year right...

 Come and support your local team in an eagerly awaited "derby" match with local rivals Stockport County !



Friday, 14 December 2012

Newton Street

 Last week we did a post about Handforths pie shop on Newton Street and one of our readers, Werneth Low, wanted to see a picture of the stretch of Newton Street that she had forgotten about.
David Mills has very kindly sent us the following photo - I hope this is the stretch of road you wanted to see,Werneth Low. If not, it's still a great addition to the site  !


Flowery field church and Ashton Brothers Chimney in the background.

Thumbnail for larger view.

Many Thanks, David ! :)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Lovely View number 2

After yesterdays beautiful postcard of Bottoms Hall Wood from 1916,  I thought I would show how Hyde still has many beautiful places in 2012.

This is a view from the top of Apple Street taken on the 12/12/12 by David C. Hulme.
Absolutely breathtaking shot.

Thanks so much for sending it to us, David. I am sure many people will enjoy it ! :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Lovely view.

 A beautiful old postcard of Bottoms Hall Wood dated 1916.


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Beatrix Potters Hyde Connection

Here is another interesting email from David Barlow...

                                                 Thomas Ashton of Hyde (1775-1845)
One of the original founders of the cotton industry in Hyde, Thomas Ashton also held the Office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Lancashire and also Cheshire.
He was also the Great-Grandfather of Beatrix Potter with the family link described below...
Thomas Ashton married Harriet Booth in 1804 and they had a daughter Jane Ashton born 1806
Jane Ashton married John Leech and they had a daughter Helen Leech born 1839
Helen Leech married Rupert Potter in 1863 and they had a daughter Helen Beatrix Potter born 1866 
Of course looking at the dates Thomas Ashton never did get to see his great-grand daughter as he died about 20 years prior to her birth. 
Incidentally one of Thomas Ashtons sons, Thomas junior became Hydes first Mayor when it was incorporated as a Borough. Thomas junior died in 1898 ( in his late seventies I think)
David Barlow
 Thomas Ashton b.1775 d.1845
 Beatrix Potter with parents Rupert Potter and Helen Potter (nee. Leech).
Many Thanks, David ! :)