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17th February

Neil Mullineux – The Leghs of Lyme: How to join the aristocracy

Bridleway near Burbage edge

Snow walking in Lyme Park

Every family has got a few skeletons in the cupboard and the Leghs of Lyme are no exception. After all, in 600 years there are bound to be one or two black sheep (or perhaps a few more.) Join Neil Mullineux in exploring the high points and the low points of the family history since 1346. Who saved the Black Prince? Why was Peter Legh locked up in the Tower of London. How many illegitimate children did Thomas Peter have? Who walked to Windsor for a bet? However, this is not just a titillating history; it's a practical guide to teach you how to join the aristocracy.

At a glance: Meetings 2019 - 20 Season

  • 16th September 2019: Paul Hindle – Ordnance Survey History
  • 21st October: Roy Murphy – James Brindley – the first canal engineer
  • 18th November: Joanna Williams – Manchester's Radical Mayor: Abel Heywood, the Man who Built the Town Hall.
  • 9th December: Nici Matlow – 90 Years of Swizzels-Matlow
  • 20th January 2020: Judith Wilshaw – From Ancient Tracks to Modern Highways
  • 17th February: Neil Mullineux – The Leghs of Lyme: How to join the aristocracy
  • 16th March: Nigel Linge – The Red Box
  • 20th April: AGM & Frank Pleszak - WW2 bombing of New Mills and Hayfield

20th January 2020 Judith Wilshaw – From Ancient Tracks to Modern Highways

Bridleway near Burbage edge

Our ancestors moved about the area on routes which formed the basis of our modern footpaths. Then along came the Romans and laid out a network of such well-engineered roads that they lasted with little maintenance for the next thousand years plus. By the 17th Century repairs really were needed and the Turnpike System went some way to effecting the necessary improvements. But the required tolls were unpopular and did not bring in enough revenue to keep the roads in good repair, so gradually highway authorities were established, leading to our modern road system. Judith Wilshaw's January talk explore the evidence extant locally of every phase of the development.

'Roman Bridge’ so named for 19th century commercial purposes, was built in the 18th century, rejoicing for many years in the name Windy Bottom Bridge.

9th December: Nici Matlow – 90 Years of Swizzels-Matlow

Matlow

We knew something was going on when people started arriving for the meeting at seven o’clock. By the time the meeting started at 7.45 there were over 120 people in the hall, waiting in eager anticipation. So what was the attraction? Swizzels of course! Fortunately our speaker, Nici Matlow, had had the good sense to arrive early bearing gifts. Drumstick Lollies, Parma Violets, Fruity Pops, Banana Skids, Love Hearts, etc.etc. The audience sucked contentedly on their Fun Gums and waited for her to begin.

Read more: 9th December: Nici Matlow – 90 Years of Swizzels-Matlow

18th November: Joanna Williams – Manchester's Radical Mayor: Abel Heywood, the Man who Built the Town Hall. Manchester Town Hall

Dl746ORU4AEga0 Abel Heywood - Radical Mayor

They don’t make mayors like they used to! Joanna Williams took us through the life of one of the most important figures involved in the growth and development of Manchester. Abel Heywood was Manchester through and through; his life paralelled the history of the city, but it was hardly an auspicious beginning. Born to a poor family in Prestwich, his father died when he was very young and his mother moved to Angel Meadow. We know all about Angel Meadow, thanks to Mike Nevell’s talk on the subject in 2016 and it was certainly not a good start in life for anybody.

Read more: 18th November: Joanna Williams – Manchester's Radical Mayor: Abel Heywood, the Man who Built the...

21 October 2019 // Roy Murphy – James Brindley – the first canal engineer

Bridgewater Canal

Roy Murphy gave us a wide-ranging talk about James Brindley and the canals which he pioneered. It’s nice to think of him as a local boy made good but that is not quite correct. He was born in Tunstead, which is halfway between Whaley Bridge and Chapel, and only about ten miles from Marple, but there is no record of him having anything to do with Marple or Mellor though he must have been to both places. Instead he was more focused on places to the west and the south. He was apprenticed to a millwright near Macclesfield and showed exceptional skill and ability. As the name suggests, the original function of a millwright was to construct and operate mills powered by wind or water, and this developed in scope as the industrial revolution gathered pace.

above: Bridgewater Canal

Read more: 21 October 2019 // Roy Murphy – James Brindley – the first canal engineer

16th September 2019: Paul Hindle – Ordnance Survey Maps

Monday night was for the map aficionados. But not just for those map nerds, among us, because Paul Hindle’s Ordnance Survey talk brought a light touch introduction to an array of topics. However, deep down, it allowed us all to wallow in maps, maps of all sorts and all varieties.

First Paul explained the origins of the Ordnance Survey. The name gives us a clue. “Ordnance - guns, ammunition, a branch of the military dealing with weapons.” It was established to protect these islands from invasion. The Jacobites posed a very real threat, even after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, so the army was assigned the task of producing a map of Scotland under the chief surveyor, William Roy......

Read more: 16th September 2019: Paul Hindle – Ordnance Survey Maps