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, parking is free after 6pm, at the time of writing March 2021. For up to date informaion go to Chadwick Street Car Park.

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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October 15th 2012: Guernsey Evacuees in the North-West

Guerensey refugees in CheshireIn October 2012, Gillian Mawson visited the Society to present a talk on Guernsey Refugees of the Second World War in the North West.

Gillian began her research into this subject in 2008, at the University of Manchester, concentrating on the thousands of evacuees, both children and their teachers, that arrived in unfamiliar  industrial towns in Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire, as refugees in 1940. Gillian's research has included interviewing  some of those who took part in this flight to the mainland.

Read more: October 15th  2012: Guernsey Evacuees in the North-West

November 19th 2012: Dunham Massey

Once upon a time, on a dark November evening, the folk of Marple, scanned their calendars, and diaries. And perhaps, they thought, ‘Dunham Massey?’ at the History Society tonight.  Been there, been round, been for a scone and a pot of tea, and left with the T-shirt. What more can I learn? If the decision was made to put their feet up for that evening, and give Peter's memorable talk a miss, what a treat they missed ! Peter Braun visited the Society that night, to deliver an entertaining and memorable talk on the National Trust property of Dunham Massey Hall and Gardens. Peter gave us a virtual tour of the house, both interior and exterior with his illustrated talk. Using this aid, Peter wove a fascinating story of the house and those families associated with the same.

Read more: November 19th 2012:  Dunham Massey

December 10th 2012: Wellington Wheel Pit, Mellor Mill

Wellington Wheel Pit

From somewhere in the hall came the cry “Who’s been messing with my mill”, eyes darted round the room seeking the source. Then the kitchen door opened, light flooded into the gloom and through it came……

The members had come for the Christmas Party that evening.  Eight tables were filled with them. All sat patiently, or did they, as others took their turns at the festive feast spread out, brought by all, and shared by all. Decks cleared, they settled back to hear the story of Mellor Mill and the Wellington wheel pit from Bob Humphrey-Taylor. But then whispers began, “Where is Bob”, “He was here five minutes ago”, but now, nowhere to be seen. And who is that coming through that kitchen door? (L. Wellington Wheel Pit)

Read more: December 10th 2012: Wellington Wheel Pit, Mellor Mill

January 21st 2013: The Kinder Trespass

This will now take place on 21st. October 2013

Keith Warrender in October 2013 will bring us 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 which culminated in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. 400 people participated in the trespass onto Kinder Scout, a bleak moorland plateau, 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, as the result of which five men from Manchester were jailed including the leader Benny Rothman.

February 18th 2013: The Together Trust

In February 2013 the Society will welcome Liz Sykes , archivist at the Together Trust, who will guide us through the history of the trust.The Together Trust was founded as the Manchester and Salford Boys and Girls Refuges and Homes in 1870 by Leonard Kilbee Shaw and Richard Bramwell Taylor, who were Sunday school teachers at St Ann's Church, Manchester. They were determined to take some action to help the many children and young people whom they observed living rough on the city's streets.

The photograph left shows applicants for the Summer Camp at Birkdale queuing at the Children's Shelter on Chatham Street for a place.

Read more: February 18th 2013: The Together Trust

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

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

September 2011: Detective Work in Local History

Manchester in Old Postcards

On 19 September 2011, Chris Makepeace's talk opened the season. Chris came to the Evangenical Hall on a  light September evening, with members hurrying to renew or take out their first membership.  As the evening grew into night, Chris talked of the solving some of the mysteries of local history research, in an effort to put in place that last piece of the jigsaw.

Read more: September 2011: Detective Work in Local History

December 2011: Railway Pubs & Relics

The Railway Public House

After the food had been eaten,the non-alcoholic punch drunk, the Christmas Party folk settled down to hear an entertaining talk by Warwick Burton on Railway Pubs and Relics. An education for some, including your correspondent,  as Warwick described the past life of some of the local railway pubs, and how he came about to own some railway relics. Warwick who now lives in York, had spent his childhood in Marple, and some of his exploits in those days came to light during the evening.

Read more: December 2011:  Railway Pubs & Relics