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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February 17th 2014: Mill Brow - A Hamlet in Ludworth

In February we shall escape the wilds the Atlantic Ocean and St. Kilda, and travel to the green fields and streams, of Mill Brow, where, by the nineteenth century, four cotton mills graced the valley The area which had been part of the royal hunting grounds of the Peak Forest in medieval times, developed with agricultural activity, served by Ludworth Corn Mill, in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The local farms, Hollywood End and Pear Tree Farm date at least from the seventeenth century. In February Ann Hearle & Anne O’Mara will give us an insight into the history of the valley, a valley filled with Primrose, Clough, Hollywood Head and Holly Vale Mills located on Mill Brook.

January 20th 2014: St Kilda-Islands at the End of The World

St. Kilda, an enigmatic name. An archipelago of five islands, lying 40 miles west of Benbecuala, outer Hebrides, whose remaining population were evacuated, on an August day in 1930. Even in late 19th century the islanders could communicate with the rest of the world only by lighting a bonfire on the summit of Conachair, ('the beacon')  the highest point, and hoping a passing ship might see it, or by using the "St Kilda mailboat". A daily ‘Parliament’ meeting, was held every day after prayers, attended by all the adult men. The population survived by catching seabirds for food, feathers and oil, farming crops and raising livestock.St Kilda became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Donald Reid, President of the Society, will give us an insight into the history of this iconic island.


Read more: January 20th 2014: St Kilda-Islands at the End of The World

December 9th 2013:St. Nicholas - The Origin of Santa Claus

December brings the Christmas party and a talk by Warwick Burton, on the seasonal subject, the story of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was born in Patara, at the time in Greek territory, now on Southern coast of Turkey, in the third century. This meeting is for members only, tickets  £2,and must be bought prior to the evening.  A ‘bring and share’ event, members bringing either a sweet or savoury course. Alcohol is not allowed in the hall. Warwick Burton is well known locally for his knowledge of the railways of Marple, an interest which his father, Monty shared. Warwick’s book ‘Railways of Marple & District from 1794,  online at Marple Railways.

Read more: December 9th 2013:St. Nicholas - The Origin of Santa Claus

November 18th 2013: Mather & Platt, A History

Iron Bridge, Brabyns ParkWhy an early photo of the Iron Bridge, Brabyns Park, to illustrate a talk on Mather & Platt? The Bridge, Grade II listed, is one of the very few cast iron bridges that survive from the period it was built, 1813,and the connection between this Bridge and Mather & Platt? The Bridge was built by Salford Ironworks, which later evolved into Mather & Platt. Ken Bishop will visit, to lecture on the history of the company. Which became international, but is best known, locally for its factory in Newton Heath, Manchester. The Park Works site,on a site measuring 50 acres alongside, and with direct access to, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway was developed from 1900. Just over a century later, in 2005, Mather & Platt became part of Willow Pumps, Germany

Read more: November 18th 2013: Mather & Platt, A History

October 21st. 2013: The Kinder Trespass

In October Keith Warrender will bring us the story of the occasion when Bowden Bridge Quarry, Hayfield, saw the start of a mass trespass, that marked the start of the campaign for freer access to the countryside, that culminated in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. 400 people participated in the trespass onto Kinder Scout,  the highest terrain in the Peak District. As the trespassers scrambled towards the Kinder Plateau, they came face to face with the Duke of Devonshire's gamekeepers. Scuffles ensued, resulting in five Manchester men being jailed including, leader Benny Rothman.

Read more: October 21st. 2013: The Kinder Trespass