Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Zion whit walks

Here is a photograph showing the Whit walks circa 1966. 

More specifically it shows the Zion Congregational group of walkers including yours truly and my sister standing outside Middletons shop on Market Street.:) There are many old familiar faces on here... including the lady to the right who was a much loved teacher at Zion Sunday School called Gladys. Another favourite was Margaret who can be seen to the back of the group.

Some names I can remember

Martin Wilson, Philip Park , Linda Shepley, Jacqueline Heathcoat, Janet Shepley, Jean Nohas, Ann Lofthouse, Howard Whittingham, Shaun Taylor, Linda Easter, Russell Hamer.

If you are on this photo but not listed please let me know and I'll add your name to the list.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Mitre

The Mitre Public House was a relatively short lived beerhouse which opened around 1880 and closed down in 1911. It was situated on the corner of Crook Street and Reynold Street' opposite the old Bricklayers Arms.
The first Landlord was Thomas Kershaw and the last was Herbert Knowles.
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The Mitre premises in the 1980's 

Many thanks to Paul Taylor for the photo and information. :)

Monday, 29 July 2013

After the sun comes rain....

Here is a great photo taken by Paul Husband.

It shows Alexandra Street (off Croft Street) during last nights thunderstorm.... it was quite welcome after all the hot weather we've had recently.

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Many thanks, Paul . :)

If anyone else has any Hyde related photos, past or present, they'd like to share, please don't hesitate to send them to us.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Hot Summers Day

A picture of King Edward Court taken in the recent hot weather.
The Werneth Pub can be seen in the distance in the middle of the photo.

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I wonder if the house building will ever get finished down there?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Aeriel View

Here is an aeriel view from the late 1960's.
It shows, amongst other things, the Baptist Chapel on Chapel Street which was founded in 1869 and closed in 1971.
It has now been demolished.

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Henry Street runs down to the left of the photo and Holmes street is to the left of the Chapel.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Historical Pageant 1931.

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As part of the Jubilee celebrations in 1931 Thomas Middleton wrote a script for a pageant which included scenes from Hyde's past introduced by Father Time. This scene seems to be connected with the first section of the pageant which showed the conquest of the Ancient Britons by the Romans.

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Another scene from the pageant of 1931. The pageant was performed on Hyde United football ground which was decorated for the occasion by a mock-up of a medieval castle.

Photos and information taken from the book Hyde in Old Photographs by Alice Lock.

Many Thanks.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Gone but not forgotten

Here is a view of the much missed Lads Club, which stood on Beeley Street, just prior to its demolition circa 1991.

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Thanks to Marjorie R. for the loan of the photo.
Much appreciated !  :)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Local Ads

Here are some more stills from the adverts that were shown at Hyde Theatre Royal.

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Many Thanks, Steve.
Much appreciated as always :)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Leigh Street School Photo

I've been asked by a friend in Australia if I could put the Leigh Street class photo on the blog. It shows her daughter Denise Morris (at the time) on the bottom row third from left. in her class in the late 1960's. Shirley her mother emigrated with her family to Australia a few years later. Any other info about the photo, such as names etc would be appreciated.

 photo LeighStprimary_zps522d32ac.jpg Back Row:  ?, Tony West, Susan Richardson, Christopher Johnston, ?
 Middle Row:  Anthony Savage, Mark Rogan, ?, Stephen Ferris, Voya Sarcevic, David Bradley, Martin Arrowsmith, Peter Catlow
Front Row: Carol Slater, Carol Hamer, Denise Morris, Ceridy Walker, Sharon Knowles, Jane Rudge? Jane Morris (my sister)

Sorry if any names are spelt wrong.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Room with a view.

Here is a photo looking down Stockport Road , taken from the Werneth pub balcony .
Another pub seems destined to bite the dust looking at the for sale sign . Sad times.

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Sunday, 21 July 2013

A view of Werneth Low

A view taken across the fields towards Werneth Low. Note the Cenotaph is missing which makes it pre 1921 !!. Also, note the path leading down to the old Isolation Hospital.

The same path now leads down to Alder Community High School.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Clash of the Titans !!

Today I received this wonderful email from Phil Leech and just had to share it.

I wrote the bit below as part of my reminiscence of my band, 'Biggles Wartime Band' which I formed with Trevor Hague (now James) and Jock ( who is still the current wonderful front man) and later, Graham Buckley - he of The Verge fame and who is still the organizer and banjoist with the band. I was about twenty years old when I met Jock and we decided to form a band. I am sixty three now and proud that the band plays on (even without me) Biggles, that is to say, me (Phil) and Trev, had this wonderful idea of forming The Hyde Orchestra!
This was in the days when there were terrible and quite snobbish arguments about where Arts Council funding should go. I think that when we approached this stupid and outlandish project in 1974 or 1975, I would be about 24 or twenty five years of age. We had no real ‘art’ intent. It was a huge joke. They said it was ‘‘inclusive’’.

Well, looking back, it did. But we never intended that. It was a joke. Actually, it was just one of a few ‘projects’ that we worked on at the time.

I remember reading a critique of Arts Council cash handouts, comparing the London opera and ballet, the usual recipients of large funding, to ‘Northern poets with carrots up their noses’ who were getting grants for the most outlandish projects. The conventional arts were being downgraded in favour of these more ‘ community’ based projects. The leftie press favoured, of course, the northern poets.

We never thought of applying for and of course never received any grants, but we were viewed by some of the artistic community and some of the left wing intelligentsia as ‘new’, ‘community’, ‘inclusive’, ‘avant garde’ ‘free thinking’.

And viewed by a lot of Hyde people as ‘daft buggers’, ‘probably students who should get proper jobs’, and some with sage comments like, ‘They’ve nowt better to do’. 

Now. Here is the essence of the Hyde Orchestra.

Anyone can join the orchestra. 
There are no restrictions at all – except one.
The instrument you play must be totally unfamiliar to you. 
You must never have played it in the past.
It would help if you own it, so that we would not have the actual owners arguing about it being abused.

Members were encouraged to swap instruments with friends, so that we kept the variety alive.

I played saxophone. Played might be a little of an exaggeration. Actually, after about a week, I could bash out (or blow out) a recognizable rendition of ‘I do like to be Beside the Seaside’. We warned everybody that if they became proficient at their instrument, it could be changed at the last minute. 

The conductors decision was final. And usually purposefully stupid.

We were amazed at the number of people who wanted to join. It got to the point where we were actually turning people away. It would be nice to think that we auditioned people and took them on, on the basis of how completely crap they were at playing even paper and comb, but I don’t think we reached this dizzy height of stupidness. But we did hire or turn away people on the basis of what instrument they could bring to the band (or Orchestra)

Our first rehearsals were at the White Gate Inn at the bottom of Manchester Road, Hyde. We rehearsed in a room at the back. Most bands usually rehearse by playing through a piece, perhaps stopping at some point if needs be, going back a bar or two and trying again.

The orchestra rehearsed (we preferred ‘practiced’) by trying to get everyone just playing the same tune. There was no sheet music. There was no musical arrangement, just a desire to get everyone playing the same tune, in unison and at about the same speed. Being in the same key helped. Being in tune with one another was rare. 

We must have practised at least twice there. On one occasion, we were pestered, yet again, by a scruffy, under age, inarticulate yob who wanted to join in. He had asked if he could become a part of this a couple of times before. We told this irritating, snotty, whining, little red haired bit of a kid, “No”. (well actually, we were a bit more verbose than that. A little more direct, might one say)

So that is how we first met Mick Hucknall, famous front man and indeed founder of Simply Red.
So much for early talent spotting. 

After two or three ‘rehearsals’ we decided that we would do a gig. I cannot remember if the gig was at the White Gates or at the Gee Cross Sports and Social Club. However, we did a gig.

We were always pretty good at local advertising. Biggles was by now quite well known locally and so anything we gave to the local papers was almost always printed. So we had a good large audience at, er, er, Gee Cross or Haughton Green. I think it must have been the White Gates, but I cannot be sure.

Well, this gig went as me and Trev expected, which was badly. The joke was that many people, Biggles fans (who were mostly in on the joke) interested members of the public, curious, dour and sceptical pub locals and a member of the press, attended and listened to this musical travesty. One tune after another was ruined, tortured, ridiculed and, well, played badly. 

Some people walked out. Some orchestra members went for a pee whenever it suited. A few people stuffed handkerchiefs into their mouths as they walked outside and then laughed and laughed.
A lot of people did not get the joke. The artistic, inclusive and radically new nature of this ‘peoples orchestra’ which was ostensibly an outreach project aimed at the poor members of the public who did not experience live music – or indeed classical music – was missed by quite a few. 

However, two people did.

One was the concert secretary of the Droylsden Labour Club. He BOOKED us to appear at his club. We appeared. It was awful. The good people of the club (who were part of ‘clubland’ as it was sometimes called by the cognoscenti) booed and hissed. They were used to acts which, well, entertained. The Hyde Orchestra fell down on this score. It fell down on a lot of other scores as well. Including longevity.

The other chap who did not miss the joke was the local, tongue in cheek, press reporter, who decided to run a story on us. It appeared in the local rag, the North Cheshire Herald. This enterprising reporter, whose name escapes me, then sold the story on to the nationals, so his report then appeared in the Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph and a couple of red tops. 

The high brow press had fallen for the story of the plight of the poor down trodden Northern ‘peoples’ artists, even though it was admitted that it was difficult to play a saxophone, violin or cello with a carrot up your nose.

We were chuckling all the way to the pub. We had to take a bit of stick from our friends. I will never forget Jimmy Etchells shouting to us as he stumbled home late one night, “You never made the Daily Star, did you.”

It was all a great lark.

Our national coverage gave us much local fame. We were the talk of the town for about ten minutes, but we fell foul of the real local orchestra which was called:

The Hyde Festival Orchestra.

They were a proper band, not scruffy, musically inept upstarts like us. They gave concerts and wore black suits and white ties and were serious musicians with a grand Hydonian history. They never had pints of beer at their feet whilst playing or left burning cigarettes in ashtrays lying around near them. 
They could, unlike us, actually play classical music, and read musical scores and follow the conductor and not eat sandwiches whilst playing.

However, I suspect that, unlike us, they never attempted the likes of ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street’ and ‘Bye, Bye Blackbird’ and ‘I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside’.

Their director or the president or some such – their main honcho anyway – instructed his solicitors to write to us to demand that we stop using the title ‘The Hyde Orchestra’ as it could easily be confused with their proper band, which was called ‘The Hyde Festival Orchestra’.

We were, arguably, one of the worst orchestras on the planet. The fact that we could be confused with ‘The Hyde Festival Orchestra, was laughable, and also never intended. I remember thinking that they never mentioned how we would bring them into disrepute. The solicitors letter never actually said we were crap. I wish I still had that letter. It would be reproduced on hundreds of tee-shirts by now. 

So we had a meeting. In a pub of course. Just three or four of us. We laughed and joked about the letter, putting forward suggestions as to what we should do next. Although we all appeared quite calm and relaxed (dare I say ‘cool’) by this turn of events, we were all, secretly, a little shaken by the fact that this stupendous hoax might have got a little out of hand – first the national press, now letters from solicitors – whatever next?

There was not much discussion as to what we should do. Trevor took over the meeting and told us what would happen next. He would write a letter in reply offering a solution. He explained what this would say. We all fell on the floor laughing and then got another beer. 

Trevor sent a letter to their solicitor in reply. It said, (I do not have the original, but this was the gist)

‘Thank you for your letter of the (whenever it was)

We are quite clearly in dispute regarding the titles of our two orchestras and must find a way forward.
We believe that the only fair and gentlemanly way of resolving this matter is in the boxing ring. We propose that the two conductors go head to head in a contest of ten rounds in a ring agreed by both parties at a mutually agreed venue. We propose that we have the red corner, and you have the blue corner. 

The winner will have the right to choose any name he pleases for his orchestra, and the loser accepts that their own orchestra might be re-named. 

The usual Queensbury rules should apply.’

We did not get a reply, and Our lovely band, ‘The Hyde Orchestra’ never played again.

The Hyde Festival Orchestra survived this hiccup in its illustrious career and, as they say, ‘the band played on’.

Many Thanks Phil, for allowing us to share this great story.
Much appreciated.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Hyde Hall

Here is a nice colour picture of Hyde Hall.

Hyde Hall (not to be confused with its surviving namesake, Hyde Hall Farm in Denton) was situated on the left bank of the river Tame.

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Lord Sebastian Coe, the former MP’s great-great-great-great-grandfather was George Hyde Clarke of Hyde Hall.

Lord Coe discovered that his ancestor earned a fortune through ownership of a Jamaican sugar plantation. However, this revelation proved more bitter than sweet as the estate workforce comprised more than 500 slaves.

More surprises were in store. Although George was married to Catherine Hussey of Denore, Ireland, by whom he had two children, he also fathered six illegitimate children by four other women. His domestic arrangements in Jamaica were interesting, as it is believed he lived jointly with his wife, Catherine, and his mistress, Sophia, with whom he had an affair lasting 15 years.

George returned permanently to Hyde in 1789-9 and became a patron of Denton Chapel (Denton St Lawrence). During his tenure as a justice of the peace in Cheshire and Lancashire, in 1811, he contributed to the suppression of the Luddite disturbances.

The hall was demolished in 1857.

Thanks to Tameside.gov.uk  For the information here.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A view from the past

Todays photo is of Gee Cross Mill as it looked from the Canal.
I always thought it looked very picturesque..

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The Mill was oroginally known as Apethorn Mill and apparently the name was changed to Gee Cross Mill after a boiler explosion on 7 September 1887.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ring O' Bells

Here are two pictures of the Ring O' Bells pub, past and present.

The first shot is around 1910, the second, 2012.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Marching Together.

I haven't got any information on this photo other than it appears to be of a Whit Walk in the late 1960's - early 1970's.
It shows a band marching past Hyde Town Hall but I have no idea who the band is.

Any info gratefully received.

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Monday, 15 July 2013

Hyde Town Hall

Another view of Hyde Town Hall.
Unsure of the date on this one but think it is the turn of the 1900's.

I see the fountain which now stands in Hyde Park is on there

Sunday, 14 July 2013

"Eastern Bazaar" Official Handbook. Adverts from 1900

Below are three adverts taken from the Hyde Wesleyan Methodist Church

"Eastern Bazaar" Official Handbook.

The Eastern Bazaar was held at The Mechanics Hall  from Thursday Feb 28th through to Saturday March 2nd 1900.
It was a huge event for its day that was extremely popular by all accounts !

Is this who Fairbrother Street (now Grange Road North) was named after ?

Love the modern Cooker shown ;) !

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Hyde Festival Orchestra

The Hyde Festival Orchestra was founded in 1954.

They were very popular and played many, many concerts all over the area but especially at Hyde Town Hall. The concerts used to be packed to capacity. 
My mum was associated with them for around 50 years and I have some very happy memories of the concerts.

Interestingly, on this programme pictured below, the solo violinist was Michael Davis who eventually played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also led many of the main London orchestras and was for a number of years principal violinist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra !!

Happily, I can report that the orchestra is still in existence today albeit on a smaller scale. :)

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Friday, 12 July 2013

Old Adverts from the Theatre Royal intermission.

Here are some stills from a 35mm cinema reel of silent adverts that were used at the Theatre Royal Cinema.

I used to love the "Pearl and Dean" adverts section. :-)

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Thanks to Stephen Hill for sharing :)

Thursday, 11 July 2013

View from a Hill

A telephoto shot from the Low which shows how clear the Powerhouse Gym sign is from up there.
I love this shot - It looks like a model village  :)

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Many Thanks, Werneth Low :)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Corporation Street - Past and Present

Here is a view of the Firestation which used to stand on Corporation Street.
It was a beautiful building and another one which, sadly, bit the dust.

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Here is a present day view of the same spot.

Thanks again to Werneth Low for the photos :)

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Dean and Noble

Below is a postcard which shows, amongst other shops, Dean and Noble, which stood on Market Street on the corner of the Borough Arcade..
The advert below is from when it stood lower down Market Street next to the alley, Longmeadow Passage.
Dean and Noble had an iconic status in Hyde as a place where you could buy almost any small electrical item or accessory

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Here is a still from a 35mm cinema reel of silent adverts that were used at the Theatre Royal Cinema.

Thanks to Werneth Low for the postcard and Stephen Hill for the advert :)

Much appreciated !!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Pole Bank Hall

Here is a postcard of a  lovely shot of the main entrance to Pole Bank Hall which we don't often see ...
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Many thanks, as always, to Werneth Low :)

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Hyde Market Place- Past and Present.

Hyde Market Place
I much prefer the old look .

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Many thanks once again, Werneth Low . :)

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Hyde in Black and White ( and red)

Here is a lovely study of Hyde Centre.
Taken outside the Town Hall, you can see the two statues that commemorate the Chartist Movement and Hyde Seal and also the old Co-op building (now Wilkinsons) to the left.

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Many Thanks to Paul Husband for sharing this.
Much Appreciated :)

Friday, 5 July 2013

Bits and Bobs 2

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Sunset from Werneth Low, May 2010

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 Views from Werneth Low of Mottram Old Road.

Many Thanks once again to Werneth Low for the lovely photos :)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Ollerenshaws Farm.

Here is a postcard supplied by Werneth Low.
It shows Ollerenshaws Farm which stands on Werneth Low Road over to the Greave side..
I'm not sure if the present name is still the same.

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Present day photo

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Map showing its location. The farm is top right.

Many Thanks to Werneth Low for the loan of the postcard :)

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Bits and Bobs part 1

Over the next few days I will post some odds and sods that were sent to us by Werneth Low.
These are just the sort of things we are looking for.

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Ashton Brothers in its full glory.

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Ashton Brothers R.I.P.

Many Thanks to Werneth Low for sharing.
Much appreciated. :)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Old Local Buses

Here we have a 211 Hattersley-Hathershaw 1965 Daimler Bus Photo Postcard.

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This postcard is a 1955 Atkinson Double-Decker Stalybridge-Hyde Tram Bus.

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Monday, 1 July 2013

Timpsons Shoe Shop

Following on from the post the other day about Borough Arcade, here is another photo of the same building when Timpsons Shoe shop was there.Timpsons is the middle shop for anyone who can't make out the sign :)