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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

HMS Maple: How Marple Swept the Seas in WWII

Warship Weeks were held across Britain in 1941 and were vital fundraisers for the Government. The story of how Marple came to adopt minesweeper HMS Maple was lost to memory until one phone call brought events back to the surface. Leslie Howard and Noel Coward help to explain and we see how a new community effort has restored an important piece of history to pride of place.

Marple's Changing Face

Gordon Mills, yes a printer, but much, much more. Born in 1935, Gordon is remembered in Marple for his vast knowledge of the town’s history, for his books, his work both as a publisher and a photographer. His enthusiasm for the restoration of canals and waterways helped in their re-birth. Though, sadly, Gordon died in 2006, he has left publications that will continue to bring pleasure in the years to come.

View Video: Marple's Changing Face

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

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 3

Mellor Church & SchoolWhen I was about three my father got to know the Wilson family who lived at the stone- built detached house just up Gibb Lane which in later years we were to occupy. They had a son my age called Norman and it was arranged that I should play with him. Permission was granted for me to run across the meadow when the grass wasn’t long and enter their back garden by a hole in the hedge. This, my first friendship, was to last until we were eleven years’ old. I started at Mellor School below the Church when I was five. To keep the boy infants away from the big rough farm lads, of up to fourteen years old, who all wore clogs; they had to use the girls’ playground. I found this a bit scaring as some of the girls were also big and rough and wore clogs. Most of the games they played, and expected us to join in, were completely bewildering.

Read more: Tom Oldham's Memories Part 3