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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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

September 16th 2013: More than a Shop

In February, on a bright and chilly day, a coach took three dozen or so members to Rochdale. Not only to view the magnificent Town Hall, but to tour the refurbished Co-Op museum on Toad Lane,where the Co-Operative was born. In September this year, as the curtain raiser for the season, we are to enjoy a talk 'More than a shop, the story of the Co-Op' by Gillian Lonergan , the Head Archivist of the Co-Op. In 1844 Rochdale Pioneers Society was established, starting a period of phenomenal co-operative growth. Based on their eight 'Rochdale rules', including distributing a share of profits according to purchases that came to be known as 'the divi'.

Read more: September 16th 2013: More than a Shop

April 15th 2013: AGM, Marple Fly Boat and Tramway

Packet Boat

Let them eat cake! That’s the way to do it! To ensure that the members of the Society come along on a balmy spring evening to the drudgery of an AGM, bribe them with a cuppa and a cake ‘tween AGM and the talk. The committee are mandated to provide the cake, is there no end to their responsibilities? That evening though, unbeknown to them, there was a further treat; not one, but two talks from Kevin Dranfield. Though originally scheduled to give us a talk on the Marple Fly Boat, Kevin generously threw in a freebie, a talk on the Marple Tramway.

Read more: April  15th 2013: AGM, Marple Fly Boat and Tramway

March 18th 2013: Ollersett Waterworks

Goytside, Ollersett Waterworks pumphouse Ollersett Waterworks, was the subject of March's talk given by Derek Brumhead, a look at the development of one of the essential supplies of modern life. Derek gave a stimulating talk on the work that began with an Act of Parliament by George W. Newton in 1831, enabling him to supply water to his farms and part of New Mills. Derek then took us through a journey to new springs,new owners, development, and through to the present day. In doing so, the members came to realize that they really must keep their eyes open more on their travels around New Mills, to be more aware of the industrial history to still be seen around them.

Read more: March 18th 2013: Ollersett Waterworks