Marple Local History Society Meetings


The Society generally meets on the third Monday of the month from September to April, apart from December. the meeting is then  held on the second Monday of the month.

Doors open 7:15pm ready for the meeting at 7:45. Access is via the main entrance on Church Lane (opposite Mount Drive) and the meetings will be held in the church itself on the ground floor.

The church includes a hearing aid loop system which is most effective for people sitting near the side walls and in the rear pews of the church.

Venue and Location

The meetings take place in Marple Methodist Church on Church Lane in Marple.  Postcode: SK6 7AY

Visitors are welcome to attend at a cost of £3. But look below for details of our Membership bargains!


The annual subscription for the Society is £10 for 8 meetings,so there's a bargain you can take up !

This also allows participation in the Society's trips.

Membership is available at all meetings.

Use the menus on the right to browse our past and present meeting topics.

To park near to Marple Methodist Church

There are double yellow lines immediately outside the church, but there is limited on street parking further up Church Lane on the right hand side, down Empress Avenue and on Mount Drive.

There is a large car park, Chadwick Street Car Park, (SK6 6BY) between Trinity Street  and Chadwick Street, Marple. Access is from Stockport Road onto Trinity Street and from Church Lane onto Chadwick Street, exit is made via Trinity Street, in the direction of Church Lane. It is a pay and display car park, however, at the time of writing, October 2014, parking is free after 6pm.

The location of the Methodist Church  on Church Lane (red marker) is shown on the map below and you can enter your postcode to get directions there, or to the car park Chadwick Street) nearby (blue marker):


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14th December: Norman Redhead – Marple Lime Kilns

Strines Road Canal ArmThere are three main elements in the project for Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy - Marple Aqueduct, Mellor Mill and the Lime Kilns. The aqueduct is well-known and has just been repaired; excavations at Mellor Mill are well under way; but what about the Lime Kilns? Do they deserve more prominence and is anything happening to make them more accessible? Who better than the County Archaeologist for Greater Manchester, Norman Redhead.
He began by explaining just what a unique asset we had in the community. It was, and still is, one of the largest complexes in the country. It was notable for its gothic architecture, a statement of confidence and grandeur as it stared across the Goyt valley towards Mellor. And, uniquely, it incorporated housing in its design from the start. (Above:The Strines Road arm of the canal, now filled in, which used to run from Possett Bridge to the Lime Kilns.)

Read more: 14th December: Norman Redhead – Marple Lime Kilns

16th November: Ian Morison – The Story of Jodrell Bank

Early Days at Jodrell Bank

Neil Mullineux reports:

There are certain markers to show that you are getting old. The age of policemen; when a new arrangement of a pop song becomes a hit but you remember the first version; the procession of decennial birthdays - twenty, thirty, forty etc. Tonight we discovered a new marker – when the guest speaker at the History Society gives a talk on something you remember quite distinctly from your youth. Ian Morison related the story of Jodrell Bank and for many of us it was a journey down Memory Lane.

It all started in 1939. Bernard Lovell was asked to advise on radar at Staxton Wold, near Scarborough and he noticed some unexplained noise on the equipment. Thinking it might be cosmic rays he investigated them as soon as the war was over but quickly realised that these were radio signals from space.As with all classic academic investigations, the research was done......

(Photo:The first day at Jodrell Bank, with ex-WW2 radar kit)

Read more: 16th November: Ian Morison – The Story of Jodrell Bank 

September 21st 2015: The History of the English Longbow

TheLongbow 640x302The new season of talks will begin with a presentation, on the history of the English Longbow, by Bernard Dennis.The first meeting of the year is always busy with new members signing up, current members (I nearly said “old members” but that wouldn’t be right) renewing their subs and a crowd around the bookstall looking at the latest publication. However, what were we to make of a stranger bringing a couple of fearsome-looking bows and a quiver full of vicious sharp pointed instruments? We were about to call the police but he then introduced himself as the speaker for the evening - Bernard Dennis.

The vicious weapons were used to illustrate his talk and Bernard brought them out one by one, sometimes passing them round the audience. He took us through ten thousand years of history with ease, from pictures on cave walls and a demonstration of a .........

Read more: September 21st 2015: The History of the English Longbow 

At a glance: Speakers 2015 - 16 Season

Date, Speaker and Subject

  • 21st September 2015: Bernard Dennis – History of the English Longbow
  • 19th October: Donald Reid – Along the Packhorse Trails
  • 16th November: Ian Morison – The Story of Jodrell Bank
  • 14th December: Norman Redhead – Marple Lime Kilns
  • 18th January 2016: Judith Wilshaw – Compstall Retrospective
  • 15th February: Mike Nevell – Housing in 19C Manchester
  • 21st March: Ruth Colton – Whitworth Park: Pleasure, Play & Politics
  • 18th April: AGM & Michael Lambert - Brentwood Recuperative Centre, 1937-70

April 20th 2015: AGM & Marple Hall - The Inside Story

Marple Hall Fireside Scene

As the curtain came down on the History season at the April meeting, following a brief AGM section, we went behind the curtains – the curtains of Marple Hall. Although the Hall is long gone, Neil Mullineux took us on a visit to the hall. He guided us through the main rooms, revealing the richness of the lost interior. A local version of the Antiques Roadshow. Not only that but sale prices as well! How much was paid for a suit of armour or the bed that John Bradshaw actually slept in? And is it all truly lost? Where are these items now? What happened to the stained glass? And the unique French tapestries? If that is not enough to whet your appetite there may be one or two tales about the people who lived there. What happened to the girls who were rude to their new stepmother? Who was the man who married for money and got his comeuppance?

Read more: April 20th 2015: AGM & Marple Hall - The Inside Story