Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Producer's Market

The Christmas Market had a Victorian feel to it, with hot roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and Santa on his sleigh, as well as samples of food and drink to warm shoppers who braved the cold.
It is the last for this year, but they will be back in 2008!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Disaster for St. Mary's Graveyard

Disaster struck St. Mary's small graveyard last week when a large tree was brought down, in the high winds, right across where our volunteers have been working so hard to clear the foliage and make the gravestones accessible.

The weight of the tree was luckily taken by the wrought iron fence and the stones were not actually damaged, but the fence is looking the worst for it.

This is a sad blow, as the volunteers, who had just planted bulbs along side the stones, and are hoping the damaged tree will soon be removed.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Craft Fairs

Staircase House on Saturday was the delightful setting for a Christmas Craft Fair.

Not to be mistaken for former residents of the house, our three Puritan ladies were only there for the day, selling items from the Trust shop.

Next Saturday between 1pm and 4pm, the Trust will be in Marple Bridge manning another stall, at the very popular, Winter Wonderland.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Mayor's Charity Blue Plaque Walk

On Sunday last the Mayor and Mayoress led a group of willing participants around the town's two and a half mile, Blue Plaque trail, in order to raise money for her charity.

At the same time a virtual Blue Plaque walk was being offered to those of a less energetic persuasion, in the community room of Staircase House.

All were later refreshed with mulled wine and mince pies.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Winter Heritage Magazine out Now

The winter 07/08 Heritage Magazine is now in the shops.

With a re-enactment of the shooting of Constable Birch on the front cover, and the Old Rectory behind, it is full of histories, stories and memories from Stockport people.
There are articles on-
  • Cheadle's Vanishing Halls
  • The Edgeley Riots
  • Journalism in Stockport
  • Holidays in Middlewood
  • Stockport's firefighters
  • Marple Council Sparks.
  • The Winter of 1948 and much, much more.
Don't forget to buy your copy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bill's Memorial

Today in Woodbank Park, a tree was planted to the memory of our dear friend and colleague Bill Hoad.

The Trust was represented by Jim Clare, Iain McIean and Kevin Dranfield.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Logging St. Mary's Graves

A group of Trust volunteers have been working for some time on the huge task of recording and logging all the graves at St. Mary's in the Market Place in Stockport.
Led by Phil Rowbotham and Nuala Kay the volunteers have reached the small, secluded graveyard, next to the car park, at one time entered by a grand arch, and have had to remove, soil and foliage from the top of the graves before they could uncover the inscriptions.

It is hope that a booklet will be produced by the team, containing details, photographs and locations of the most interesting graves.

If a grant becomes available to help this project it is hoped that the Queen Anne graveyard can be supplied with seats and spring flowers, allowing access to the public all the year around.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What is Happening at Brabyns Park

The pathway through Brabyn's Park is closed while the old Iron Bridge is repaired. This is expected to be finished by February next year. In the meantime the Bailey Bridge has been taken off and the conservation work is under wraps.

Not far from the Iron Bridge, an even older one, 'Scroll Bridge' is also being put back together. With carved scrolls on each corner this bridge should be a sight to enhance the landscape of this beautiful park.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

New Heritage Trust Website

Thanks to a successful grant application to the Stockport Fund, we have now got some new computer equipment, with the surprising advantage of a free website from microsoft office. This is now under construction, and awaiting hoards of visitors!

Please have a look, and check back for new pages when you can.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Trust Outings

The latest Trust outing was a trip to Ordsall Hall in Salford, where eight members enjoyed a fascinating tour of the Elizabethan manor.

The Hall, reputed to be one of the most haunted houses in Britain, is an exceptional survivor considering its location.

Special arrangements were made to see parts of the house not yet restored, and the bows and arrows made on the premises were put at our disposal.

The results were 2- 0 to the women.

The next Trust outing will be to Eccles Old Church, Wed. 30th Jan 2008 for more information contact Kevin at 01614274006

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hallowe'en Ghost Walk

Fifty Ghostly spectres walked the streets of Stockport on Wed Nov 31st.

Led by Steve Cliffe and Jim Clare they circled the graveyard, saw a skeleton rise from a tomb, plunged the depths of the dungeon and witnessed the shooting of Constable Birch.

Thank you to all who took a part in making this a very enjoyable evening.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Old Town Inns

The Trust now has a new town walk that they can offer to groups interested in a look at Stockport's alcoholic past.

It takes about 90 minutes and is led by Coral Dranfield, who will tell you the history of the oldest inns and hostelries of Stockport's centre, some present, some past and others a distant memory. It isn't a pub crawl and regrettably there are no free samples.
For further details email us at

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Stockport Heritage Centre

Have you visited Stockport's Heritage Centre?

It is to be found at the back of St Mary's Church in the Market Place. It houses a huge collection of black & white photographs of old Stockport and districts as well as books, information and an array of interesting items on display. There is a corner set aside dedicated to the Cheshire Regiment.
Jim Clare, the Trust's chairman, has amassed a collection of class photos dating back to the 1940's and willing volunteers are eager to answer question and help with information.

In a separate room there is a changing exhibition area which at present houses a display of children's vintage clothes and toys.
There is also a shop where we sell local history books, teatowels, heritage magazines (including back copies) and Stockport souvenirs of all kinds.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oldknow's Turnpike

Samuel Oldknow's 1901 turnpike from Stockport to Marple (and Hayfield) continues to give concern down Dan Bank.
As long ago as 1978 monitoring started to measure the slippage of the roadway down the slope towards Marple Brook.
Remedial works 5-8 years ago with earth anchors have not proved the final solution and soil mechanics engineers have recently been carrying out test bore holes.
These will identify lines of underground strata to enable a comprehensive design to be undertaken.

Ray Preston, the Trust's Offerton expert spotted one of Oldknow's boundary posts exposed during the test bore work and has alerted Stockport Council on the historic importance of these stone posts. Two further stone are also visible and others may be hidden nearby.
It is not often that evidence of 1800 roads can be seen due to ongoing developments and we must make sure these stone posts are preserved for the future.
Possibly they could be repositioned to compete a section of boundary fence between Seventeen Windows and Dooley Lane-the site of the Old Toll Cottage.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Heritage Open Days

Saturday was another successful National Heritage Open Day and this meant four guided walks around town offered free of charge by the Trust.

Jim Clare took two around the Medieval parts of Stockport and Kevin Dranfield visited the Blue Plaque sites, and added extra stories to the information given in the Blue Plaque Guide.
Goodie bags were given out with balloons for the children.
Thank you to both guides for their hard work.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Marple's Iron Bridge

Work has started to restore Marple's Georgian cast iron bridge following years of campaigning and fundraising.
It began with the construction of a temporary access road and footpath diversion, followed by the removal of the Bailey Bridge and nearby trees this week.
The Marple website (see links) has featured a web cam so people can watch the work as it takes place.
The 194-year-old bridge should be fully restored by early next year.
(Excerpt from Stockport Times).

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Plaque unveiling at the Rat Pit was a great success, with a fun day had by adults and kids alike! We were very lucky with the dry weather and had a lot of visitors keen to know more about William Watson.

The display inside the Rat Pit was also very popular, even though there is still no picture of the elusive chap!

I was particularly keen on the Captain who joined in the day (my husband!)

Celebrations continued into the evening with an excellent band - The Deltones -providing the entertainment, and a particularly scary bit for me when I was given the microphone and asked to tell everyone about William!

Look out for details of his life in the Stockport Express this week.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Walk Around Reddish

Paul Rand's Guided Walk around Reddish on Wednesday last was a great success.

Twenty four people turned out for a very interesting and informative walk around the history of the area.

We were told about the Saxon, Roman, as well as Georgian and Victorian times, the people and the places.

Thank you to Paula for a very enjoyable evening.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Chadkirk Medieval Festival - another perspective

Stockport's Heritage: Chadkirk Medieval Festival

The Chadkirk Festival this year was despite its limitations, because of the weather a great success. Stockport Heritage Volunteers worked very hard at the weekend event. I think particularly a good idea was the Bran Tub and hitting the knight with the arrow. This was a great success with the children, and a great addition for future years. Doreen did well selling Chairman Jim's Cloths, mind you she could sell coal to Newcastle. The bulletins on Trust Walks went very well, and seem a great money spinner.

Bradshawe's Plaque

Somerfield's new store is open in Marple and the Bradshawe Blue Plaque is back in place, looking very grand with a brand new coat of paint.

Lets hope it stays that way!

Chadkirk Medieval Festival

It was glorious weather and the crowds turned out to enjoy it.
In spite of the fact that the adjoining field was too wet for the 'Knight's in Battle' to camp there this year, there were still plenty of things to entertain the visitors.

Dancers in costume, a chain-saw sculpture of an owl, Circus Skills for the more adventurous and many stalls including our own Heritage Trust stall.

This year adding to the fun was a Bran Tub and a 'Shoot the Knight' game, where boys and girls alike tried their hand at shooting arrows at our brave knight.

The Trust was out in force as usual and many costumes could be seen around the field.
All in all a very successful weekend.