Neil Mullineux - ‘A Mayor in Chains’ - Monday 19th February
Neil Mullineux investigates the crime, the conviction and the transportation of a Stockport dignitary. Add to that his subsequent rise (and fall) and you have a gripping tale but it is not for the faint-hearted. How did he achieve his position of eminence in the local community and what made him throw it all away?
(left: Tollgate of the Thornsett Turnpike Trust)
Transportation was a severe sentence and Norfolk Island was the ultimate destination. This was where the worst convicts, the recidivists and the murderers were sent. How did a middle-aged and middle class man survive the harshness, the depravity and the privation of his sentence to rise to a position of prominence once again? And what led to his final fall from grace? To find out, come to the meeting – 7.30 on Monday, and found out why the photo above.
We are not, for one moment, suggesting that all Stockport politicians are untrustworthy and out for their own ends. We have faith that all our representatives are upright and honest.
19th March: Sue Bailey – ‘Woodsmoor, The Story’
16th April: David Joy – ‘Liverpool Cowkeepers - A Family History’
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.
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?)
Judith 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!
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.)
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.