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Archive Stories

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.

Hollins Mill 1911:Dressed up for George V's Coronation

Grand Re-Opening Wellington Wheel Pit

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.

View Video: Grand Re-Opening Wellington Wheel Pit

Tom Oldham's Memories Part 2

Mellor between the wars – utilities and services

Devonshire ArmsMany amenities, now taken for granted, were completely lacking in those days. I am sure there was no telephone in Top Mellor so if there was an urgent need for a doctor a messenger had to dash down to the surgery in Marple Bridge. When I was born this is what my father had to do in the night and I believe he jokingly remarked that he only had time to put his bedroom slippers on. A phone box put by the Devonshire Arms (left) in early 1920s was much appreciated. Apart from a sewer, up Longhurst Lane and through Moor End, there were no public services then in top Mellor.

Read more: Tom Oldham's Memories Part 2

As I Remember

MicrophoneTranscripts from the recorded Memories of Local People

These memories were recorded, organised and presided over by Mrs Gladys Swindells, then Chairman of Marple Antiquarian Society (now the Marple Local History Society). The original interviews took place after 1961, by which time the interviewees were over 80 years of age, their memories returning back to the late 19th. century.


Thanks must be given to Bill Beard, Ruth Hargreaves and Louise Thistleton for transcribing the memory recordings. Given the quality of these recordings, from the early 60's, with local accents and forgotten colloquialisms, an admirable achievement.

A further resource........the British Library page of Accents & Dialects

Tom Oldham's Memories: Part 1

Mellor churchMellor between the wars – a picture of the district

Top Mellor is that part above the Devonshire Arms, consisting mainly of old stone cottages, often spoken of as “the old village”. At the time I am going to talk about Mellor houses were not numbered so the names of the small groups, New House Hill, Sundial, Springbank, Richmond Hill and Moor End, were used for addresses. We lived at Springbank and never considered ourselves to belong to Moor End.



Read more: Tom Oldham's Memories: Part 1

Mr Schofield's Memories

Bottoms MillMy grandfather came to live in Marple. They were natives of Tideswell and they came to live in Canal Row before the houses were finished off. There were sacks up to the windows, they hadn’t glazed them and they came to work at Bottoms Mill, Marple. There was a family came to live next door to them who had a grandfather clock and the ceilings were that low that they couldn’t get it in.....................

Read more: Mr Schofield's Memories