Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Heritage Trust Newsletter



STOCKPORT HERITAGE TRUST NEWSLETTER WINTER 2015  
News Update
Work In the Church –At last the work in the church is finished and the carpets down. All is clean and warm and we are waiting to hear if we are able to use the old choir vestry for exhibitions, in the New Year. Roger Scoones, who has been the rector at St. Mary’s for the last 19 years, will be retiring following the Easter services next March. Roger has been a good friend to the Heritage Centre, which would never have been located in the church without his full support. He will be missed, and it is hoped that the new incumbent will also wish to be part of this unique partnership.

Merseyway Bridge – A group of members gathered together on a cold Sunday in November, to measure the distance from Lancashire Bridge to the Bear Pit. The reason for this dates back to a Trust outing to Rochdale, back in March 2009 when, seeing that Rochdale were claiming the widest bridge in Europe, our members became convinced that Stockport could beat them. It has taken six years to get around to measuring it and Stockport’s bridge is now shorter than it was, but Rochdale’s does not exist anymore. The distance measured was 436m (1430ft.), so we are throwing down the gauntlet to see if any town challenge that.

 Stockport Colour Calendar for 2016
Still a few calendars left in our Heritage Centre still £6 or order on line at our website.

Church Guide Book – St. Mary’s have a new book coming out, which can guide you around the history of the church, its building and its past. It was put together by Jill Trumble, one of our long standing members and with a colourful cover it is on sale in the church shop at £2.

Archaeology in Stockport - If you have an interest in archaeology in Stockport and its surrounds contact: ‘Dig Discover Enjoy’, Archaeology in Greater Manchester. To find out what is happening in the area go to  www.thedigsite.co.uk  

Christmas – the last day that the Heritage Centre will be open for gifts, will be Thur. 24th December, and we will be returning  on Sat 9th Jan 2016.

Facebook - We now have a new Facebook page called ‘Stockport Heritage Trust Group’.
Events –
Christmas Meal – Wed Jan 13th, we are gathering at the Rudyard Hotel, Heaton Chapel, SK4 5BP. The meal will be £10 but places need to be booked so please give your name and money to someone in the Heritage Centre if you wish to go.
10th Feb. 2016 – A trip to the Manchester Police Museum.

Chairman Tony Marsh 0161  432 1670
Hon. Sec. Coral Dranfield 0161 427 4006
For news, photos and upcoming events see     www.stockporttrust.blogspot.com
Website, walks, talks & book sales                                   www.stockportheritagetrust.co.uk 
We have a new email address                            stockportheritage@gmail.co.uk

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Bishop of Stockport The Rt. Revd Libby Lane visits our SHC and St. Mary's

The Mayor's Carol Service took place in St. Marys Church, 16th December 2015.
Our Bishop of Stockport The Rt. Revd Libby Lane, who was consecrated on 26th January 2015 at York Cathedral by Archbishop John Sentamu, took part in this service. Previously she'd been the vicar of St. George's Church, Heaviley.
She is a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Chester and is the first woman to be appointed as a bishop by the Church of England.
[A Suffragan bishop is a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan bishop of diocesan bishop. They may be assigned to an area which does not have a cathedral of its own]. 
Libby was born in 1966.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Stockport Colour Calendar 2016

 The Stockport Heritage Trust Colour calendar for 2016 is selling out fast.
Get your copies from the St. Mary's Church Heritage Centre, Bakers News, Station Convenient Stores, Davenport Post Office, Jacksons News or Stockport Market.

And hurry they may not last until Christmas.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Rev. Roger Scoones is retiring


On the  29th November, 2015 Rev. Scoones  announced that he will be retiring in March next year

Roger started as Rector in 1996, after being the Vicar at Congleton.



Here's a pic of him I took in 1998.

Before 1996, I had never been in St. Mary's Church before as it only seemed to be open on Sundays for services. 

After Roger became our Rector, one lunchtime I called in; I recall that he was alone in the Vestry. He and I had a long chat; we both have an interest in photography, together other shared interests and we quickly became good friends. 

In 1996 the Trust was homeless and all our monthly meeting were in the Pack Horse, and the Trust had been looking for empty affordable premises for a while.
I approached Roger on behalf of SHT to propose running, just a 3 months initially, a trail of a Heritage Centre display in the empty Choir Vestry, which had just been refurbished after a fire.
It took almost a year to negotiate this 'trial' with the PCC. The next 18 years are history. 

The small handful of early volunteer members when Iain McLean was Chairman worked as trojans together to furnish, man and create the our museum/centre;  we were open even then on all market days. 
Sadly most of these loyal volunteers are no longer with us today.

Without Roger's full support over the intervening 18 years, we wouldn't have our 'new' splendid Heritage Centre today.

I really hope that Roger has a long and happy retirement.

Phil [R]


Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Widest Bridge in the Country?

Does Stockport have the widest bridge in the country or maybe even the world.
In 1940 the new Merseyway Bridge was opened. It was a road that covered the river and stretched from Lancashire Bridge in the east to the Bear Pit in the west.


 For many years Rochdale have claimed that they had the widest bridge in Europe but this was disputed by the Stockport Heritage Trust.

As Rochdale have now uncovered their river they have no more claim to the title and the Heritage Trust intend throwing down the gauntlet to challenge any other claims.
On Sunday 22nd Nov. at 10am, a group of Trust members gathered at the newly revealed Lancashire Bridge and measured the length of the Merseyway Bridge.

It measured 435.7 meters, can any town better that?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Stockport Heritage Magazine in the Shops NOW

The winter 2015 issue of the Stockport Heritage Magazine is in the shops now !!
It contains articles about -

Stockport's invasion by the Vikings.
Archeology, architecture and ale.
Historic Inn's bicentenary.
Redrock development.
Hotbed of revolution.
Wilfred's war.
Moving our market.
Offerton's history man
In the shadows of Houdsworth Mill.
and many more stories and letters.

If you cannot find a copy in the shops, look on the Heritage Magazine website.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Open Day at the Bridgefield Dig

Manchester Archeology unit have been exploring the past life of Stockport's back-to-back Georgian housing, around what used to be Bridgefield St. Heaton Norris.


 The open day last Saturday allowed Stopfordians to view what has been uncovered of cellar dwellings with fireplaces where families would have lived in dire conditions.

The cellar of the Three Tuns Inn, that stood on the corner of Hatton St. and Bridgefield St., was also clearly visible.
 As was the toilet block that would have serve many families and stood in a central courtyard.
 A very old cobbled surface was also uncovered that predates the stone sets which we are used to seeing as an old road surface.

Items that have been found include Victorian bottles, broken pottery and the usual discarded shoes.
Shoes are an interesting addition to old superstitions. They were tied to the back of wedding cars for luck as well as often being walled up in chimneys of new buildings also for luck.
Could some of these shoes have been found in  chimneys when the houses were demolished?or were they just too worn to be taken away when the inhabitants left.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Replacement Lancashire Bridge plaque

A Lancashire Bridge replacement blue plaque has been reinstated.


In 2000, we at Stockport Heritage Trust, funded 12 new blue plaques for Stockport for the Millennium. They were chosen by a public vote and were funded by a Heritage Fund lottery grant.
A Lancashire Bridge plaque, identical to the above one, was displayed on the pavement, above the centre of the River Mersey, which was below flowing under the old bridge. Unfortunately it was mounted on a flimsy SMBC stand, and predictably, was stolen within a couple of weeks.

The new Merseyway bridge is finally finished and is resplendent with a replacement plaque :




This is a photo from 1937 of the original Lancashire Bridge :







Friday, October 23, 2015

Ron Vincent Shallcross

Ron Vincent Shallcross is a local man [72 years old {2015}], who may be related to the Shallcross family who had lived in Staircase House from 1605 to 1730. 




Monday, October 19, 2015

The Latest Marple Dig

 There is an archaeological dig beginning on the Recreation Ground off Strines Road.  Any one can join it, or just go along they will explain what they have found.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Vikings Invade Stockport

The streets were teaming with Vikings and there was plenty to see and do on the first day of Stockport's Viking Festival.

Longboats sailed down the mile, and strange dragons lurked in the dungeon.

St. Mary's Church was full of music and stalls sold the strangest clothes.
 Even a Roman soldier got left behind after the legions had left.

The stocks have never been so well used and people queued to go down and see our medieval dungeon.
 Tomorrow you can return to do it all again, except unfortunately the dungeon can not be opened as a film crew will be setting up to use it as part of their new TV drama.

We apologise for any inconvenience but it was out of our control.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Manchester Trip

A group of Trust members ventured into Manchester for a trip back in time.

Beginning in medieval times, the remains of the 'Hanging Bridge' were lost for centuries but can now be seen in the basement of the Cathedral's cafe.
It once stood across a drainage ditch which encircled the Roman fort.

The second stop was the 14th century Cathedral. Damaged in WWII as well as by the IRA bomb. A guide is esential to get the most out of the building and only £3 donation is asked.











Our last stop was at Rylands Library, where the the cafe is well worth a visit and the history of the building is explained as you go around. 
Be sure you visit the Victorian toilets.

Vulcan Visits Woodford for the Last Time




On Saturday 10th of October 2015, a very special aircraft flew for the last time over its place of birth, Woodford Aerodrome.  Sporting great delta wings and dressed in camouflage livery, Avro Vulcan XH558 performed two flypasts.  The audience of thousands beneath were almost hypnotised by the menacing yet graceful flight, and the famous howl it emitted as it accelerated.


The spectacle marked the end of an era for the fully restored XH550, the only air-worthy Vulcan in the World, flying again since 2007.  The aerodrome and runway, now almost completely demolished, was opened by Manchester based Avro (A. V. Roe and Company) shortly after the First World War, and was an intense centre of production during the Second World War.  The Avro Vulcan was first sketched by Avro’s Chief Designer Roy Chadwick in 1946(!), who was also responsible for designing many other highly regarded aircraft such as the Lancaster bomber, the Avro Anson and the Avro Shackleton.  It was a tragedy when Roy died in an aircraft accident the following year, but Stuart Davies fortunately was able to take Roy’s idea to reality, and the first full scale prototype Vulcan flew for the first time on 30th August 1952.  Roy Chadwick is buried in the graveyard of Christ Church, Woodford. Considering his enormous contribution to Britain’s war time aviation effort, the grave is somewhat humble.


 Roy Chadwick's grave at Woodford Parish Church


The Vulcan bomber was created to be part of the V-force, which was Britain’s (and part of NATO’s) strategic nuclear deterrent during the cold war from the 50’s to the late 60’s. It continued in service and the first and only time a Vulcan flew in anger was in 1982, when a Vulcan was used to perform the furthest bombing raids in history (at that time).  A complex mid-air fuelling strategy was enacted to enable the Vulcan to bomb the runway at Port Stanley Airport during the Falklands crisis.


The Woodford born Vulcan remains an icon of British engineering, and has induced much emotion in those who have been fortunate enough to witness it in flight. After the aircraft finally departed from view for the last time at Woodford, a spontaneous round of applause came from the grateful spectators, many of whom made no attempt to hide a tear or two.



 Video of the Vulcan's last fly-past at Woodford

Friday, October 09, 2015

Sad news, Ray Preston has died

On 1st October 2015 Raymond Harry Preston aged 83 years passed away peacefully.


Ray was an early member of Stockport Heritage Trust who actively supported our charity since around 1989, two years after it started.
He was known as "Mr. Offerton' as he was THE local expert and champion of Offerton.
He single-handedly was able to change the proposed line of a planned motorway route which had been planned to pass through Halliday Hill House in Offerton, which dates back to the 1300s, and is the ancestral home of the Dodge Family, which emigrated to Dodge City in Kansas, USA.

Ray's early detailed research on the Dodge connections enabled other Trust members In 2002 to visit Dodge City, to formally sign a Friendship Charter between Stockport and Dodge City in recognition of a common heritage.
These parchment  Friendship Charters are now on display in both Dodge City Town Hall and Stockport Town Hall.

Ray wrote several books on Offerton and was also a keen member of Stockport Operatic Society.
He joined the Friends of the Plaza when Stockport Council had plans to demolish it; after it had been saved, Ray continued to be an enthusiastic Front of House volunteer for many years.

The Trust will sadly miss him.

His funeral is next Wednesday 14th October at 3.15 in the Rowan Chapel, Stockport Crematorium.




Ray leading an Offerton  walk at Foggart Mill, Offerton, showing the bearings he had recovered from the mill race







Monday, August 10, 2015

Children's Fun Day in the Dungeon



Saturday 22nd August was a children's fun day in Stockport's Medieval Dungeon.

With games for the children and displays to send the parents and grandparents reminiscing, the biggest challenge was  to add the scores of the Roll-a-Penny game in old money.

There are still two open days left this year -

Sat 12th September will be part of the Heritage Open Days and the dungeon will be housing a display about Theatres, Cinemas and Music Halls.
And
17th / 18th Oct. The Viking Festival.

Watch this space for more information.