Browse through this collection of stories drawn from many sources including the Society's archive, newspapers and online sources. The catalyst to begin research varies from an inquiry that comes to Society, a document that arrives at the archive, or another trigger that sets the delving off.
In 1794 the Mellor Mill, Bottoms Mill was opened, six stories, 400feet long, and 33 feet wide the mill was powered by the Wellington Wheel. A breast water wheel 22 feet diameter, 18 feet wide. Power was transferred, from the edge of the wheel to the rest of the mill by vertical shafts. By 1804, 10,080 spindles were operating and up to 550 workers (mainly women and children) were employed. However less than fifteen years later the need arose for a second wheel, and the Waterloo Wheel, was constructed. And in 1860 investement was made in the new form of power, steam, the steam and boiler house.
John Hearle introduces the opening
(photo: Bill Beard)
Memories of Local People
This collection of memories of local people was originally organised and recorded by Gladys Swindells, chairman of the Marple Antiquarian Society as it was then known. The original interviews took place in the 1960s at a time when the interviewees were over 80 so their memories stretch back to the late nineteenth century.
In recent years, Ruth Hargreaves, Louise Thistleton and Bill Beard have painstakingly transcribed audio recordings and handwritten notes of times past, notably four contributions by Tom Oldham, a stalwart of the Society until his death in 1998. Both mediums provided challenges including the quality of recordings, use of dialect and neatness of handwriting. Recently, we have also received memories from people who lived in Marple in their childhood / teenage years and who have brought to life what it was like to live here in the 1940s and 1950s.
A further resource........the British Library page of Accents & Dialects
Transcript of cassette entitled: Jack Hadfield
Jack Hadfield was a native of Compstall, the eldest son of Sam Hadfield. Together with other members of this large family he worked at Compstall Mill where he started organising Trade Unions. He was also a member of Compstall Urban District Council—the smallest in the country.
Jack Hadfield tells us of the struggles of the workers of Compstall.
Transcript of cassette entitled:Jack Bradbury
Jack Bradbury, also a native of Compstall, has always lived in the village. He began working in Compstall Mill, but went on to be a gardener, in which occupation he ended his working life. He was in his 80's, at the time of recording.
"Are ya ready? Well, I’ve just arrived here to you now. I’ve been across at (doctor?)Hastings. I’ve bin havin' a good bunfire. Now I’ll just tell you about St. Martin’s, the school. Course in them days...."
Mrs Joseph Swindells
Mrs. Joseph Swindells, who died in 1965 at the age of 86, was Miss Fanny Thornley when she taught at Compstall School. She was a native of Compstall and lived in the district all her life. Her family were closely connected with Compstall Mill.
Memories of Compstall
In the early part of the last century George Andrew and sons founded and built the village of Compstall. George Andrew himself worked as a workman, travelling, with his meals tied up in a red cotton handkerchief slung over his shoulder.