Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Wishes.


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The following photo was sent to us via email from Alan and Barbara Tomlinson.

"Here is a photo taken on the top of Redfern`s rubber work`s roof circa 1948/49. It shows the canteen staff and in the background you can see what used to be Slack Mill and, of course, the chimney ".

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"On the back row from left to right. Margaret Smith (PEG) Mary Tomlinson, Mrs Crosby    ..?..    front row  ..?..  ..?.. Dorothy Standing. We hope someone can fill the rest in.

What a nice bunch of ladies and what good meals they made."   

Many thanks, Barbara and Alan.
Much appreciated ! :)   


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Harry Rutherford

Last week Beryl and I went to Tameside's Central Art Gallery in Ashton to see the Harry Rutherford Exhibition which runs from 28 February to 8 June 2013 (though why it's in Ashton and not Hyde I don't know).

One of the paintings there, from a private collection, is of the old Bricklayers Arms on Reynold Street in Hyde.
As you may be able to make out from the name-tag on the bottom left, however, it's shown as being in Ashton. The young lady curator told me that a couple of people had already pointed out the error, so it may well by now have been corrected.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Unknown Pantomime

Here is a great photo sent in by Graham Sharp.

It shows an unknown Leigh Street School Pantomime or Play in 1948 or 1949.

I think it could possibly be Dick Turpin looking at the Highwayman.
Maybe one of our readers is on the photo that can remember what it was and let us know?

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Thanks Graham !
Much appreciated. :)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Greenfield Street Mural for sale.

Here is an unusual item that is for sale on ebay at present.
It's a mural which I can only assume was hung in Greenfield Street Secondary School.
It's a bit pricey for me but a one-off nontheless.

I have included the link at the bottom if anyone wants to look at it.
Wasn't DJ Robinson one of the teachers at Greenfield Street?

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ebay description and link

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

June 3rd 1953 Street Party

Here is a great photo and description from Trish...
The children look like they are having a lot of fun !!

 I have come across this photo,and dad had written on the back "June 3rd 1953 Street Party" Although the party was not actually held in the street, but at the Union Street Church schoolroom. I can actually remember this photo being taken, I am on the 2nd row, 2nd from the left Patricia Garbett with my friend Jennifer Booth (Booths Taxi's) Jenny is looking round at the big lads stood at the back, she did have two older brothers John & Geoffrey though not sure they are there! My younger brother John is just in front of me. The streets included in the party were Brooks Ave, Coronation Ave, Auburn Ave & King George Rd Hyde (where Jenny & I lived).

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 List of people I can remember on photo:- Back row lads standing, I can only recall Richard Green on the right. 3rd row from left:-   ?,  ?, Rhona,  Michael Green ( it helps that hes dressed just like his brother!) ?,  Philip,  Brian Swann, Michael Barber, ?,  ?, 2nd row:- Jenny Booth, me, Patricia Garbett ?,  ?,  Stuart Bowers, Granville Bradbury( Granville lived next door to us on King George Rd and let us have his old Beano & Dandy comics) lady unknown, Janet & Ian Carter. Front row:- my brother John Garbett, Jill Barber, can't remember the rest at the moment!

Many thanks, Trish !! :)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Memories of the Unity Inn by Ken Smith

I have just been catching up on recent postings and came across the one about the closure of the Unity Inn in Hyde.
That establishment holds countless memories for my wife, Wynne, and I as it was Wynne’s mother, Jennie Cooper, who took over the license in 1960. We had just returned from Singapore where I had been serving with the RAF to be given the news of the move. Jennie had been the extremely successful licensee of the Grapes Hotel in Gee Cross for several years but family circumstances had forced her to move on. Stationed at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, some of our leaves were spent at the Unity, which became somewhat cramped as we now had our two children, Duncan and Debbie with us.
We left the RAF in 1966 and settled initially in Denton and as the children grew older and attended school Wynne began to work part-time for her mother, which was the start of an extremely successful partnership.
During this era pubs offered very little in the way of food – meat pies, crisps and nuts were about all that was on offer. Jenny was a very astute landlady and on Monday evenings, when the pub was quiet, she would put free food on the bar. It was simple fare – a bowl of cut-up tripe, simple sandwiches, potato pie, or black peas and cowheel, but it brought in the punters! Some of the ‘regulars’, who worked locally, suggested that if such food was available  they would be only too glad to partake of it along with their lunchtime pint and so, a whole new episode in the life of the Unity began.
Wynne was, and still is an excellent cook and began serving simple, freshly prepared food at lunchtimes. Everything she served was cooked from fresh produce including all the roasts and, as the menu increased, so did the lunchtime clientele, which now included many local businessmen, solicitors and doctors alongside the engineering workers from Adamson’s and the like. The kitchen at the Unity was tiny and ill-equipped and how she managed to produce such outstanding food, all of it to order, I will never know. Eventually, the pub was heaving at lunchtimes and, although there was no evening catering, many of the customers made The Unity their favourite evening ‘watering hole’. It also became very popular with the members of the local amateur dramatic societies who used it as their base when there was a production at the Festival Theatre. Over the following years, The Unity enjoyed considerable success which, undoubtedly, was in great part due to Wynne’s efforts, ability and dedication.
Jennie retired in 1988 when The Unity was taken over by Bill McDermott for whom Wynne carried on working. The character of the pub changed considerably under the stewardship of Bill and his partner Alma. Out went the organ, which had been played by Charlie Perrin on most evenings and which made the pub more attractive to older customers but lunchtimes continued as before.
The photograph of Jennie and Wynne in the bar of the Unity may remind some of your readers of whom I have been writing.

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Thank you so much for sending in your great memories, Ken.
Much appreciated ! :)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

New Book

This is the cover of a book I bought last Thursday, written by Lee Brown and published by Amberley Publishing of Stroud, Gloucestershire. The three earlier books of archive photographs of Hyde in the Local History Series which I have were also published in Stroud, but by two different publishing firms. The latest book is different to the earlier ones in that the author has not confined himself to archive photographs but has used his own camera to show current views as a comparison. I bought my copy of the book from KBz News in the Mall, but it's also available at Bill Harrison's on Market Street and no doubt at other newsagents too. I've only had a quick look at it so far, but I can recommend it to anyone with an interest in old Hyde.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

More Trams

Here are a couple of postcards showing the Trams at 
Hyde Market Place.

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Friday, 22 March 2013

ROGER V. CHADWICK Memories of Hyde part 1

Below are some memories of Roger Chadwick who very kindly sent them in to the blog. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did !!


Born in May 1939, I grew up at 247 Mottram Road. Formerly the servants quarters of the adjacent property then known as “The Hollies”, it was a large and interesting house for a child – with cellars and an attic, the back room replete with six “servants” bells only one of which was in use being the front door bell which would clank and swing every time it was “pulled” from the front door! The kitchen was situate down two huge steps and had a black leaded grate and a hot fire! There was a washhouse, a coal house down the yard and a pleasant garden overlooking Gee’s Brook and the allotments sloping up the hill to a view of the old Godley Vicarage, Godley School and the tower of St John Baptist poking through the houses. We had a ginnel in a tunnel from the back door to the front pavement and the iron railings had not yet been taken down for the war effort. Just over the garden wall you could see the crenellated “castle” now called Brookbank Folly and three enormous trees. Brookbank House then belonged to Dr Grau who had a surgery in one of the front rooms of the house. He and his family could often be seen pottering around his huge garden.

Early memories of life at “247” was an earth tremor in 1944 , which shook the house for a moment: the distant glow of Manchester on fire during the blitz and the terrifying noise of a V1/2 Flying Bomb over the house as we hastened down to the cellar for safety. With all the fields and woods around, that bomb fatefully exploded on the farm buildings only a mile to the east of our house and very near to the The New Inn at Matley.

SHMD trams hurtled past our house across the cobbles and every fifteen minutes, the local “Joint Board” and North Western buses bound for Mottram and Glossop. This was the then infamously busy A57 trunk road with endless processions of traffic and the tar boiler was perpetually on duty with a man pouring liquid pitch between the setts and throwing to us little boys small globules of the stuff to sniff!!

Towards the end of the war a convoy passed through and stopped on our road. Soldiers got off the vehicles and lay across the pavements waiting for the order to move. Some of the women came out with beans on toast for the men, regardless of their own shortages. We cycled up and down our tricycles talking to them. The noise, smell and smoke of the diesel coming from the tanks was a memory for life.

The view from “247” across Mottram Road at that time was of the land belonging to the Ashbrook family. They lived in the end terrace house and at the end of the garden adjoining was their large shop which opened and closed a few times during my childhood. The shop afforded some shelter from the rain while waiting at our Glen Wood bus stop for buses into Hyde. By the side of the shop was Green Lane, from where, by way of the back of Ashbrooke’s garage, we could collect frog spawn from the water from the side of the bomb craters in the field above.

I was allowed across this road if I used common sense and being an only child looking for things to do, would often, with permission, saunter up Green Lane towards the railway bridge and Dove Holes Farm. The land was rough, boggy in parts, with reed beds, cotton grass and May flowers in the spring. Lying in the grass and looking up to the blue skies, I could often hear skylarks. Green Lane marked the end of the town and the start of the country and I loved it. Werneth Low seemed a long way away and would be an adventure later on.

The Bridge that leads from Green Lane. 

The Iron Bridge
Dad was an unknown figure for he had been at war from my birth until I was nearly 6. He was “demobbed” in 1945 and came home in a smart suit. The war was over. A new chapter was opening.


Many thanks, Roger !! :)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Werneth Low and surrounding area.

Today we have a couple of photos that were sent in to us by Dave Hamilton.

Many Thanks, Dave :)

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Werneth Low 1990's

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The Hare and Hounds 1990's
In the foreground you can see the brown roof of the Louvolite boxing club that stood behind Hyde Baths on Union Street, in the middle is the  James North Douglas Street Building seen from Nelson Street side and behind that to the right is the back of the main James North (Slack Mills) building as it would have appeared from Queen Street..

If anyone else has any photos they would like to share please send them to us at hydonian@gmail.com with a brief description, date and your name (if wanted).
Many thanks !!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Otto Monsted Book Help Required

I wonder if anyone can help the person below with his query on an Otto Monsted book ? As we have posted before ... 
"Otto Monsted was a Dane went into partnership with local man John Broomer, operating a margarine factory at Godley, (in an old hat factory) near Hyde. Broomer sold his share of the business shortly after but is credited for having established the first margarine works in Britain". 

Otto Monsteds Margarine Factory in Godley

 "Denmark, A brief survey"

Dear sirs:  One of the several books that were left to me by my father-in-law, Edgar Jepsen, is a booklet (title above) published under the auspices of the Otto Monsted Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark.  Printed by Egmont H. Petersen, by Appointment Printers to H.M. the King of Denmark.  Drawings are by A. Sikker Hansen.
I would appreciate any information you might be able to give me re this booklet. For instance – it has no publish date and no authors name.
 Thank you for any information you may have.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

More memories from Jacqueline

My late sister Patricia Ingham (nee Holt) used to work in Middletons Record and television shop. If you wanted any records whether it be jazz, pop, classical, or whatever, Pat would order it for you. This was in the days before cds, mp3, downloads etc, the first ones were 78’s then they went to 45’s and LP’s, Pat had all the record catalogues and would order anything from them, many of the musicians in the area would order from her.

The BBC did not play many records other than Family Favourites on a Sunday and we had to rely on Radio Luxembourg to hear the top twenty hits, usually by Frankie Laine, Johnnie Ray, Guy Mitchell, Doris Day etc. We all had wind up gramophones to play these 78’s. Later electric record players came out which played the newer types of records. Middletons was a meeting place for all and Pat would play all the hits for us. Middletons also sold pianos and musical instruments and Pat would play the piano to test for customers.

When television came out, one of our friends Grenville Godley was the television engineer and installer. Those days are a far cry from the Music of Today. Our favourites was the Jazz and to go on 42nd Street in New York was magic. Frank Sinatra was a favourite too, and of course Tony Bennett who we saw near Carnegie Hall NY.

Hope the oldies in Hyde remember this.

Many thanks again, Jacqueline

Monday, 18 March 2013

Beames Advert

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A photo showing Beames when the shop stood on George Street.This was before the motorway cut through Hyde and George Street disappeared.

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Thanks to Nick C. for use of the photo. :) 
Much appreciated.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Hyde "Old" Supermarket

Below is an advert for the old supermarket on Clarendon Street showing  the range of goods and services that were available circa 1976.


When I was young I used to love going in there with my Mum and Nan on a Saturday afternoon and  buying chocolate biscuits which were all sold loose by the pound . As I got older I liked to peruse Hubbles record shop on the first floor. My Mum used to spend a lot of time on the haberdashery stall at the top of the stairs which always left me free to roam the entire shop floor with my sister. I never went in the Bingo area though - that was out of bounds.
Happy days !!

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An aerial photo showing the old supermarket ( just above the middle of the shot)

Thanks to John Hopwood for the photo :)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Newton Lodge

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Hyde Park, which opened in 1904, was originally the grounds of Newton Lodge, home of Col. CJ Ashton who paid to build St Stephen's Church, Bennett Street. It was given to the town by his daughters, following his death.

The lodge was demolished in 1937. Two years later it was replaced by Bayley Hall which was funded by Sir John Bayley.

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Thanks to Tameside.gov for the information

Friday, 15 March 2013

More Memories Of Hyde From Jacqueline Ridgway

Below are some lovely memories from Jacqueline Ridgway.

"Hi, I was looking on the blog and reading about the green cabins on Werneth Low, I remember going up to the cabins when I was a little girl with my Father John Holt and Mother Margaret Holt also my Grandmother Margaret Holt(nee Winterbotham) and my father’s Auntie Elsie Denerley(nee Winterbotham). We had picnics there with strawberries and we used to go up to Windy Harbour Farm for milk and cream, Dad would go to the river and fish".

Hydes Tea Rooms Windy Harbour.

"Elsie Denerley lived in Bank Street at the tripe dressing business and we used to go and visit, there were big stone vats with tripe in,also they kept chickens at the back. 

When I was 15 I worked at Fletcher Miller’s in the office and later it became Castrol, it was a good place to work and I still keep in touch with people I worked with. 

Saturdays were good as we would go and watch them making Godley Rock in the market Hall ,also there was a house in Godley where you could buy it ".  

 The Ritz.

"The Ritz was a haven for romance and we loved to go to the pictures, but when we were younger we used to go to the Hippodrome on Saturday morning this would give the mothers a break and we would buy sweets from the shop next door. 

Does anyone remember the shop lower down from the Hippodrome ,where the bus station is now, it used to have great blocks of salt at the front door".

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 Hyde Park Bandstand 1960's

"Sunday after church services lots of people used to gather in Hyde Park and listen to the Band and then a visit to Meschias. 

Happy Days"

Thanks to Steve Hill & Elsie D for the photos and, of Course, Jacqueline Ridgway for her memories. :)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Low Top Farm Information needed.

 The following email was sent to us by Geoff &  Merrilyn Reeves from Queensland, Australia. ....

"In the course of Examining out family history, we often came across the Area known as  Werneth Low and my wife remembers her grandmother speaking fondly of it as she was growing up in Tasmania.
On my wife’s side of the family, it is well established that her grandmother Ethel Maud Widdowson and Joshua Hadfield moved from Hyde to Launceston Tasmania Australia
Phyllis Hadfield (her mother) came with them as a 3 year old, about 1912

Merrilyn’s  grand father Joshua Hadfield married Ethel Maud Widdowson in August 4th 1907 the Ceremony that took place at St Pauls Church Werneth.
We tried to find the church back when we visited in 2000 but failed, so adjourned to the magnificent old pub at the top of the hill with the great view and gave up.!

The question we have is:  the address provided on the marriage certificate where they lived is Low Top Farm Werneth
We do not know why but we think this farm property, if that is what it is,  was owned by a Thomas Widdowson, who may be Ethel Maud’s Father
Can any one assist in providing information about either the Farm or the two family’s
Much appreciated for any assistance".

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Map showing Low Top Farm 1875

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Map from 1910

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Aerial view of Low Top Farm circa 1970's

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Modern map showing Low Top Farm

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Map showing the site of St Pauls Gee Cross 1870's

St Pauls became Holy Trinity Church after part of the township of Werneth was transferred to the district of Gee Cross. Is this the church you mean ? See links below for more information.

St Pauls Werneth  Holy Trinity Gee Cross

Many Thanks, Geoff and Merrilyn. I hope we can find out a little more information  for you through the blog :)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Memories of a bygone era.

The following memories were sent to us by Jacqueline Ridgway

"My Husband Colin and I were born in Hyde just before world war 2. We lived in Newton for many years before we moved to Gee Cross when we married and then later moved to Lichfield. My Great Grandfather was Amos Winterbotham who was the Mayor of Hyde in 1931 when the famous Ox-roasting took place you can see the photo of that in the History of Hyde book by Thos. Middleton he was with Lord Derby. Amos had a Tripe dressing business in Hyde with one of the Green cabins on Hyde Market and as a young girl I used to go and help out My grandmother Margaret selling tripe. We look at the Hyde Blog everyday and we remember the Unity Inn having a drink there after the pictures. My Grandfather Albert Holt had a butchers shop on market street and his brother Fred was also involved see the book of Hyde by Barbara Sole. My Husband’s Uncle Sam Ridgway was a good bowler and won many trophies for his bowling he was known by many in Hyde also for playing the concertina."

The Ox-roast in 1931

Many Thanks for sharing with us, Jacqueline. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Another one bites the dust.

Sadly, another iconic Hyde pub has recently bitten the dust.

The Unity was one of those fabulous old fashioned pubs that had a great atmosphere and wonderful food.
We always used to visit there after we had been to the cinema or the Theatre Royal and usually once a week for a pub lunch with dear friends..

A sad loss indeed.

A piece in Paul Taylors book "A history of the pubs of Hyde and District" states that the Unity didn't get its full licence until 1962 and for many years was nicknamed "The little boys pub".
It dated back to 1869 and probably got the sign of the Unity around 1880.

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Before closure circa 2009

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As it looks now.

The second and third photos were sent in by Phil Shawdale.
Much appreciated, Phil :)

Monday, 11 March 2013

A postcard from Home.



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And so say all of us !! :)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Friends of Pole Bank

Below is a superb video from Dave Barlow 
and the Friends of Pole Bank.


Over to Dave...
"Hi Hydonians....You might be interested in this short promotional video featuring some of the work carried out by 'Friends of Pole Bank'  We are a fledgling group and any new members who are willing to pick up a brush, spade or perhaps do some litter picking will be welcome. We usually meet the first Sunday every month as a minimum.
We've had the solid support of Councillor Philip Fitzpatrick behind the Group, he has obtained funding for us and organised renovation of pathways into the woods and restoration of the damaged stone bridge also within the woodland. Of course in these times where services are having to be curtailed funding has its limits and so we are constantly looking at new ways to raise money as there are many projects that could be carried out at Pole Bank.
The pond itself is one of the main breeding grounds for amphibians in the area however since it was dredged in early 2010 there has been a marked drop in the water level due to some leakage. We managed to locate this leak a month or so ago and thanks to repairs carried out by Tameside Engineers we are hopeful that the water level should now increase substantially.
(For any closet Cliff Richard fans the music on this one should get at least one foot tapping!)
Dave Barlow"

Thanks so much to all concerned for making Pole Bank a lovely place to visit and, of course, to Dave for the video and information. :)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Our Beautiful Town Hall Interior

The following selection of photographs were sent to us by Phil Shawdale. They were taken in 2007.

They show the inside of Hyde Town Hall and the mural painted by Harry Rutherford.
We are very lucky to have this beautiful building.

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Many Thanks to Phil for sharing the photos ! :)

Friday, 8 March 2013

Union Street Church Football Team.

 The following was sent to us by Alan Bell in regards to our appeal for Union Street Church's exhibition.

Over to Alan....

"I read with interest about Union St. church celebrating its 200th year. You asked for any information or photographs about the football club there. The attachment is a picture of the 1960-61 football team after we had won the cup in the picture. The final was played on Hyde United's ground and Union St. won 3-2. My name is Alan Bell and I am 3rd from left on the back row.Can anybody help me by filling in the rest of the names all I can remember is John Holt on the back row and I think it is Arthur Chesworth Holding the cup.
Yours Alan Bell."

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Many Thanks for this, Alan ! 
Much appreciated :)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Enfield Street School

Below are a few mixed photos of Enfield Street School before it became Laurel Bank Residential Care Home circa 1990..

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 The previous two photos show the School  looking up from Knott Lane.
I love the fact that it is literally a lane ie no proper road laid yet ! It looks so rural !

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Joyce Sharp surveying the demolition of the "Big Hall" in 1987

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Enfield Street School 1987

Many thanks to Joyce and Graham Sharp for the photos !
Much appreciated ! :)