Sunday, December 09, 2012

What the Dickens Happened in Stockport

It was Stockport's Christmas Market on Sat 8th Dec. and the Heritage Trust were out in all their glory.
 14 costumed characters included Mr. Pickwick and Mrs. Gamp who read from a Christmas Carol and Pickwick Papers, in the dungeon, under the watchful eye of our gaoler.

Bill Roach came to sign copies of his book at Isis, on Mealhouse Brow and the town cryer, with his able assistant anounced to all the town, the entertainments and activities going on around the Market and Underbanks.

There were choirs, bands and singers positioned around the town with street entertainers including the Plaza Youth who were a great success with their songs from Oliver and Annie.

Councillor Iain Roberts was put in the stocks and many an adult had to try adding in 'old money' on the roll-a-penny game to save face in front of their children.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Manchester People's Musuem

Today's Trust outing to the Manchester People's Museum was not well attended, but no less enjoyable for that.

With galleries about Peterloo, Chartism, Trade Unions and Suffragettes as well as the National Health Service and post war politics, how could it fail to be interesting.

The museum was followed by lunch at the Law Courts and a visit to the Manchester Christmas Market, which is bigger and better than ever this year.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reddish Archaelogical Dig Results

The recent Dig Greater Manchester project at the site of Wood Hall in Reddish was a great success. With research (and assistance from a lady in her nineties, who remembers playing in the hall as a child) the archaeologists were able to pinpoint the location of the buildings. Carefully removing soil and rubble, they gradually uncovered stone steps leading down into the cellar, where they found these beautiful tiles. They were made by Mintons of Stoke-on-Trent around 1850.

The paving was a mixture of cobble stones (large pebbles from the river - cheap and locally available); granite setts and cream sandstone flagstones. The changes reveal increasing investment in the property.

Many more items were discovered including shoes; a porcelain egg (placed in nests to encourage chickens to lay); bottles; coins and part of a marble fireplace. There were finds from a wide range of dates showing changes in use over the years.

Wood Hall was built in a strategic position - a woodland clearing on high land  near the river. Because of this, the team believe the site could have been in use as far back as the Stone Age (around 10,000 BC). There are potentially many more, older relics to be found.

A longer article about the dig can be found on the Stockport Council Heritage Blog.

Interested in getting involved in local archaeology? Contact SMART (South Manchester Archaeological Research Team).

For now, the project is over but the team will be back next year and on the lookout for new projects. Do you know of a site which has the potential for a future dig? Email David.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Winter Heritage Magazine 2012 - 25 years old.

The winter issue of the Heritage Magazine will be arriving in your shops this week.
It is filled with stories, memories and letters about -

An eye witness  account of the Stockport Train Crash.
The Brow that lost it's bridge.
The Squirrel sweet works.
Turner's Vaults.
Diphtheria epidemic of 1938
Alexandra Park School.
Woodsmoor days.
Poverty & poetry.
Stockport's Heritage  over 25years.
The story of Bukta.
Bruntwood Hall and Park.

News for Stockport Heritage Trust and much, much more.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Heritage Centre Announcement

Stockport Heritage Trust are facing a crisis of space. Following their temporary move out of St. Mary's church for the duration of the internal improvements, they have made their home quite happily in premises above 'Direct Fish' on Bridge Street Brow.  Unless storage facilities can be found in the town centre, in the next few months, they will be facing the need to down size their huge collection of vintage and heritage artefacts.

For this reason a plea has gone out  to people who have given or loaned items over the years, that if they would like them returned could they please contact the Heritage Centre before  Dec 31st this year. Following this date, if no other storage can be found, they will be sold to raise funds for the continued running of the Heritage Centre.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Spooky Walk

There is a Halloween Walk around Stockport on Wed 31st Oct.

Begining from Staircase House in the Market Place at 6.30pm

For more information contact Jean Bailo on
Tell: 07812129754 

4 Heatons Voices

4 Heatons Voices - ‘Those 20 years’

An exciting new history project is to be launched in The Heatons in November. ‘4 Heatons Voices’ is the inspiration of the Rotary Club of Stockport Lamplighter and will be 12 months of events and activities looking at ‘Those 20 Years’ – the period between the 2 World Wars.

The project will include visual and oral histories, where those with personal memories of the period will be able to record their memories and preserve them for future generations. It is an opportunity for older people to give their own, individual accounts, rather than the ‘official’ history of those times and will help younger people in their understanding of that time, in their community.

 The project will be launched on Sunday 4th November at The Crown Inn, Heaton Mersey, with both Jazz and Ukelele Bands playing music from the era and will continue with talks, help to sort out your family archives & those of local organisations, visits to the Heritage Library, a 1920/30s fashion display, archive films of the period and much, much more.

We would like to hear from anyone with personal recollections of the period and from individuals or organisations who would like to join in.

Please contact: Clyde Raine – 0161 432 7161

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stockport Colour Calendar

Stockport Heritage Colour Calendar is better than ever this year. With 12 stunning pictures of Stockport at its best and still only £6.
They are on sale from our Heritage Centre, Bridge St., from Crystal Angels market stall, Bakers, Hempshaw Ln. or the Station Convenience Store Heaton Moor. For online sales go to our website - and for orders by post ring Kevin Dranfield on 01614274006.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reddish Archaeological Dig 2012

From the 8th to 20th October the University of Salford will be conducting an archaeological excavation at the site of Wood Hall in Reddish Vale.
From the Reddish Vale website:

"Wood Hall was the centre of an ancient freehold estate in Reddish, situated on high ground on the western edge of the Tame valley. ‘Wode Hall’ is documented in 1501/2, at which date it was owned by the Wood family. They owned land in Reddish in 1314 when there is mention of Henry del Wood, implying that there was a hall here by that date. It is likely that the Wood family took their name from the place which was itself named after an area of woodland. 19th-century maps show the hall set within a roughly oval area, which is suggestive of a small medieval assart or enclosure, reclaimed from woodland or waste."

On the Open Day - Saturday 20th October - people will have the opportunity to take part in guided tours of the site and there will be site based activities such as family history, crafts stalls and a small trench where children with their parents can have a go at excavations.

Members of the public are also welcome to help with excavation on other days, by prior arrangement with Brian Grimsditch. Heritage Trust members will be following progress of the dig with interest.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Heaton Moor Historical Society

   The date of the next Heaton Moor Historical Society talk in the Plough will be on Thursday 27th September, at 7.30 p.m.
Clyde Raine will be giving us a talk on architecture :
Art deco in Stockport and in the city.
On the 8th November Kevin Dranfield from Stockport Heritage will be giving a talk on 'Wellington Road, the World's first bypass'. 

Talks are on Thursdays every 2 months at the Plough, Heaton Moor and start at 7.30 prompt; there is usually no charge.

Hope you can join us.
   Kind regards,
Phil ................
07752 368308

Romiley Station 150 Years Old

A commemorative plaque was unveiled at Romiley Station by Andrew Stunell MP, on Saturday 8th Sep,  to celebrate 150 years of the railway line.

Also present were Stockport's Mayor and Mayoress Wendy and Claire Meikle and on behalf of the Heritage Trust, John Bardsley.

There was fun and entertainments for all the family, not to mention cake.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

New Heritage Centre Open Day

The new Heritage Centre on bridge Street Brow had its official opening day on Sat 1st Sep.
A number of local Councilors came along to see us, as well as Stockport's MP Anne Coffey.
With free refreshments for all our visitors the day was an enjoyable one.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Roughleys Bike Show 2012

The annual charity event Roughleys Bike Show was held on Sunday in the market place. It supports Rainbow TrustTogether Trust and the NABD.

We opened the Heritage Centre and the Dungeon and were pleased to receive lots of new visitors.

Coming up, Heritage Open Weekend. We will have free walks and talks from Thursday 6th - Sunday 9th September. The full schedule will be posted soon.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Chadkirk 2012

Chadkirk this year was as popular as ever. Fitting all the entertainments and activities into one day instead of two,  seem to increase visitor numbers as people flocked to watch the opening of the new foot bridge over the Goyt and then to join in the fun of the Festival.

 Stockport Heritage Trust were there as usual, brightening the day with colourful costumes and good value books and gifts.

Old Town Dungeon 2012

On Saturday 4th August the dungeon (at the top of Mealhouse Brow) will be open to visitors. There will be an exhibition of photographs of underground Stockport, revealing the hidden tunnels beneath our streets. 
At 12.00pm Jim Clare will be leading his Old Town Walk, which includes a talk in the dungeon. He then takes visitors to lots of interesting sites around Stockport. It's a fascinating and entertaining journey through Stockport's history. To book places on the walk call 0161 474 4444 or call into Staircase House. Places are £5 or £2.50 for Heritage Trust members.
The Heritage Centre on Bridge Street (above the fish shop) is now open too - come in and see our large collection of photos or just to learn more about Stockport from our knowledgeable volunteers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stockport Station Rail Show 2012

Today's beautiful, sunny day was perfect for the annual railway enthusiasts’ fair and this was reflected in the excellent turnout.

Held by Virgin Trains and Clic Sargent , a charity supporting children with cancer, the show started off with a visit from the Union of South Africa.

Representing Stockport Heritage Trust  were Emma; Sue; Coral; John; Paula and Kevin. Members donned their Sunday best for today's event.

Kevin Dranfield delivered, to a packed waiting room, his popular talk and slideshow about the fascinating history of Stockport's viaducts (yes, there are actually two separate viaducts - look closely and you will see the gap!)

As well as railway memorabilia and model stalls, local railway station friends groups were there, including Friends of Heaton Chapel Station and Friends of Reddish South.

From donations and the sale of books we were able to donate £40 to Clic Sargent.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Open Day at Mellor

Mellor Archaeological Trust held an open day at Shaw Cairn (the burial mound on Cobden Edge) over the weekend and an exhibition of finds at Shaw Farm near New Mills Golf Club.
On hand to answer questions were archaeologists with flints dating back to the Mesolithic hunter gatherers who used the site and Donald Reed, the man who identified the amber necklace as a find of special significance when the Bronze Age burial mound was being excavated. (pictured)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Stockport Heritage Magazine Summer 2012

The 2012 summer magazine is in the shops this week.
You can read about -

Recycling of Stockport pubs.
The Plaza's unique equipment.
Bombers over Stockport.
Iconic Head Gear.
Well Known in the hatting Trade.
 Stockport's Heritage Students.
 Edgeley's Cockeleshell Hero.
Reddish Pram Race.
Stockport Harriers and Athletic Club.
Wood Hall Dig.
Stockport Canal.
Cheadle Parish.
Marple Memorial Park.

Also book reviews and letters, news of the Heritage Trust and many more interesting facts.
If you know a newsagent that is willing to sell it, please contact the Editor 01663719129.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

National Market Day

Stockport pulled out all the stops for National Market Day on Sat 23rd June.

Inspite of the weather forecast, all the stalls were taken and a combined Saturday, Vintage, Farmers and Teenage Markets gave a good selection of goods, interest and entertainment.

The new Leader of the Council, Sue Derbyshire visited, with MP's Anne Coffey and Andrew Stunell.

The icing on the cake was of course the Heritage Trust stall and the open day at the Dungeon. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Memorial to the Poor of Stockport

Stockport Heritage Trust and the Co-operative Funeral Care have combined forces to provide a memorial to the numerous people of Stockport who were buried in the Borough Cemetery without their own marked grave. Many of these spent their last days in the Union Workhouse or in poverty at home.

The memorial was unveiled by the Reverend Ken Kenrick, at a short service on Sunday 29th April 2012. It was Ken's last day as the Workhouse Chaplain and the day he retired a minister of St. Thomas' Church.

To see the unveiling ceremony follow these links.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Changes to the Stockport Heritage Trust website was created and maintained free through Microsoft Office Live, which has kindly decided to discontinue the service as of 30th April. One of our volunteers is working on a replacement website,  which should have increased flexibility, but due to other time commitments, there will sadly be a temporarily reduced service. However it is hoped that there will be no 'down time' and a website which will be improved over time will be available. Sincere apologies.

It hoped to also link a 'Stockport Memories' blog to the new site, and on this blog of course, where Stopfordians can write their reminiscences of anything and everything (suitable for family viewing of course!) about our town. This would hopefully be not only a good read, but an archive for future generations. 

Memories of simple, more practical things, or even local phrases can easily be lost through time, so we hope many of you will please contribute when it's up and running.

Thank you 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Heritage Magazine Spring 2012

The 2012 Spring magazine will be in the shops near you by the end of this week.

It contains stories of :-

Brewing on Hillgate
Bus tickets with local advertising
Tales from the Nelson Yard
The Davenport Theatre
A cowboy landlord at the White Lion
When Stockport was timber-framed
Family connections
Dad's pie shop
Mass Trespass
Stockport's black goalie
Was the 'Bowler' invented in Stockport?
Mellor Mill
Mirrlees memories

and much more including letters and your comments.

Market Signage

Stockport Heritage Trust is wholeheartedly supporting the Market Traders in their efforts to get an arch and street markers around the fringes of the Market Place in order to encourage visitors to the town to venture further than the Peel Centre and Mersey Way.

Stockport’s historic Market Place and Underbanks have a lot to offer and are sadly underused at present, but the Trust is constantly passed over when these discussions are underway and our voice and that of other stakeholder, market area retailers and St. Mary's Church, are not being listened to.

We hope that in the near future we can bring you better news.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Otterspool Weir

The weir at Otterspool dates back to the time of water powered cotton mills. It was built by Jessie Howard of Stockport to run a new mill but was never completed. Nearly 200 year after work on the leet ceased this valuable source of water power is to be used to turn two Archimedean Screws which will produce electricity for the National Grid.

Work began last year and is progressing well.