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Marple Local History Society Meetings

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!

Subscriptions

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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Feb. '18: Neil Mullineux - A Mayor in Chains

Con shipThe website promised us a gripping tale and that is exactly what we got - a steady rise to a position of some eminence in local society - a dramatic fall from grace - a slow climb back then, once again, disgrace and punishment. A very Victorian moral tale worthy of Charles Dickens. And it all happened to a local man. Neil first discovered this fascinating episode when reading Tony Jones’ book on Bridges, Highways and Turnpikes and then found out much more as he researched the Isherwood family at Marple Hall.

(right: Conditions on a convict ship to Australia)

Read more: Feb. '18: Neil Mullineux - A Mayor in Chains 

Jan' 2018: Ian Miller - Arkwright’s Shudehill Mill

Arkwright Mill Blitz 1940

Situated on the northern edge of the city centre, the area known as Shudehill was at the epicentre of Manchester’s phenomenal rise to prominence as a manufacturing centre. Much of it was flattened by bombing in WW2 but it is only in more recent times that proposed development by the CWS has allowed any serious archaeological investigation. In 2005, the site featured on the TV programme Time Team and their 3 day excavation confirmed it was the site of Arkwright's mill. Ten years later, when the area was earmarked for redevelopment, Salford Archaeology led an extensive dig/survey of the site, revealing much more information about housing conditions as well as the evolution of alternative methods of powering early cotton mills.

 

Read more: Jan' 2018: Ian Miller - Arkwright’s Shudehill Mill 

Dec. '17 : Anne Beswick - 'Manchester Drunk & Sober'

Drunken

Anne began with an aside - explaining something that has puzzled us for a long time. Green Badge Guides specialise in a particular area whereas Blue Badge Guides cover the north west.
However, Blue or Green, they were all agreed that Manchester was a good place to party. It was ever thus. Edmund Harold, Manchester’s Samuel Pepys, described in detail going out on New Year’s Eve in 1712 and then went into rather more detail about how he felt the next day. ‘Never again’; but the next year he described exactly the same sequence. Will we never learn?

Manchester has a lot of pubs; a lot of very good pubs; and at various points throughout her talk Anne sprinkled it with a series of names (or were they recommendations?)

Read more: Dec. '17 : Anne Beswick - 'Manchester Drunk & Sober' 

Nov. '17 : Judith Wilshaw – ‘Marple & Mellor - A Textile Tale’

Holly Vale MillsJudith has always given us interesting talks but this time she tried something different. Rather than give a detailed analysis of a single topic, she elected to give a broad overview of the rise, the dominance and then the slow decline of the textile industry in north west England. In the process she demonstrated how Marple and Mellor fitted into that history. An ambitious tour de force!

Read more: Nov. '17 : Judith Wilshaw – ‘Marple & Mellor - A Textile Tale’ 

Oct. '17 : Wendy and Barrie Armstrong - 'Arts & Crafts in the Marple Area'

Fencegate & Redcroft (1895)

Wendy and Barrie Armstrong were introduced as giving us “two for the price of one” and they certainly did, as they seamlessly swapped roles during their presentation. They both retired early in order to indulge in their passion - a love of the Arts and Crafts movement and that love was clearly communicated throughout their joint talk.

(Editor’s note: left, Redcroft & Fencegate 1895, Middleton. Redcroft was Edgar Wood's own home. Wood was regarded as a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement. So busy was he in his attic studio, where he worked on his buildings, created paintings and designed furniture, that he installed a speaking tube to communicate with downstairs.)

Read more: Oct. '17 : Wendy and Barrie Armstrong -  'Arts & Crafts in the Marple Area'

Sept. '17 : Peter Wadsworth – ‘Strawberry Studios’

Strawberry Studios

Queues formed, money paid, forms filled, music heard, history told, tea taken doors locked, good night.

The evening in a sentence, but what lies behind those words? Yes, it was that September time again, not back to school for those that trooped into the foyer of the church, that was long ago, but a time to pay for membership or a visit, renew or join, cheque or cash.

Over ninety people sat down and faced the front. Are you sitting comfortably? Then the evening can begin. Chairman Ann Hearle welcomed members both old and new and introduced our speaker, Peter Wadsworth.

Read more: Sept. '17 : Peter Wadsworth – ‘Strawberry Studios’ 

At a glance: Meetings for the 2018-19 Season

Belle Vue

Crowd scene at fairground rides at Belle Vue Gardens, Manchester, 1968

(Photo: Marshall Collection / Chetham's Library online archive)

17th September: Michael Ogden -  ‘Hotels in the Sky - History of Zeppelins’

15th October: Julie Bagnall - ‘What to do with 323 Postcards’ 

19th November: Judith Atkinson - ‘A 1920s Bleaching, Dyeing and Weaving Mill’

10th December: Brian Selby -  ‘Belle Vue’

21st January:  Robert Humphrey-Taylor - ‘A STORM over Mellor

18th February: Anne Woods -  ‘Adlington Hall’

18th March: Ann Hearle - ‘Early Water Power in Mellor & Ludworth’

15th April: Diana Leitch -  ‘The Towers Estate’

Oct. '18: Julie Bagnall - ‘What to do with 323 postcards’

Cissie and Bella coverCissie and Bella, two working-class girls from northern England, left a legacy in the form of a collection of post cards.

As workers in the two major fields of female employment – domestic servant and mill girl – they tell of work and time off, of family life, of love and romance and every-day experiences. Their words range from girly chit-chat to heartfelt despair. They show that over time some things change and others remain the same.

That Cissie and Bella’s post cards survived is one thing. That they have enabled two ‘ordinary’ women to be brought out from under the cloak of invisibility which so often shields previous generations of working-class people, is quite another.
Marple features towards the end of the story when, during the 1920s, Cissie was employed at two homes as a domestic servant.

Julie will tell the background story of how the post card collection was acquired on which the book is based.

A slice of social history to enjoy on the evening of Monday, October 15th.

Sept. '18 : Michael Ogden - 'Hotels in the Sky'

‘Hotels in the Sky - History of Zeppelins’ with Mike Ogden

Zepp PhotoIn the opening presentation of the season, using both photographs and film of the period, Michael Ogden told us of the fascinating story of a lost technology, and a long forgotten way to travel the world

During the early years post the First World War,  very few thought the aeroplanes would ever develop into a safe, efficient and affordable way to travel long-distances. The first airliners had only a short range – 500 miles at most – though that was probably plenty for the passengers because they were uncomfortable, cold, noisy, far from reliable -- and not very safe either.

What a contrast with airships, especially Zeppelins! They could cruise for thousands of miles, carrying more passengers in far greater comfort than aeroplanes. They had kitchens and toilets and, on trans-ocean flights, cabins and showers as well. They were a little slower than airliners but, more importantly, they were two or three times faster than the ocean liners they were competing against.

Read more: Sept. '18 : Michael Ogden - 'Hotels in the Sky'