Sunday, 18 October 2020

Reddish Farm

 Reddish Farm was in Whaley Bridge on the southern bank of Toddbrook Reservoir. The buildings have recently been converted into housing.

 These notes from our archive date from  September 10th 1968 when Mr. A. Slack was interviewed by George Tomlinson.

Mr and Mrs Slack came in 1924, he was at Combs for a year before, came as a tenant on the Jodrell Estate. The farm was sold by the estate in 1947 when Mr A Slack bought it. The house is very old; wash house built in 1896, Major Toller had the porch built. Shippon built from an old cottage about 1930. An old shippon has a dry stone wall with a date on the stone which looks like 1625. An old cheese press is built into the wall, inside one building. The wall is plasteered and appears to have been lived in. The barn has been altered many times.  Whaley Bridge Memorial Park has been taken off Reddish land just after the 1914 - 18 war. Hedges were planted. The acreage is now 53, inthe 1923 sale catalogue it was 35. Land behind Yarkers belonged to Dowery.
"Lomas Knob" name given to by Slacks to hay field on the left hand side of Linglongs. This belonged to the Royal Oak. Cotrell and G Hill of Crowhill had field below the Lodge Field with Botany Works belonging to Butcher who used it for grazing (called Morton?).
Reddish increased in acreage about 1930.
Dairying was always done on the farm. Milk used to be sold to Brogden who had a milk round. Started own milk round in 1930s. Had shorthorns to start with always reared own stock, except two lots of Ayrshires from Scotland. No cheese made. Pigs for own use only. Fewer poultry now, more foxes about and have to shut poultry up. The fields are the same size, i.e. not enlarged. Land for football field went first year of Slacks time 1924. Five fields have been ploughed, grewpotatoes, oats, last potatoes 1951. More beasts can be kept on grassland so no ploughing now has sown permanent leys, cocklepark leys successful. Last ploughing about 1950s. Fertilizers do the job. Spreads the muck.
Has 60 head of cattle on the farm in winter, 31 milking cows on farm in summer (puts beasts to agist). had sheep once only could not keep them in. Has hens, had ducks once but they went to the reservoir. Had one man living in at one time and one employed at another periood, then Harry, his son left school and was able to help.
Mr and Mrs Slack came from Staffordshire. Mr Slack helped to build Clutton cheese factory. Dowery was lived in by Frank Morton's father (after he left Reddish) Frank Morton was born at Reddish. Jodrells sold turf off some fields. Old plough marks called "reens" (as in Sycamores at Sitch).

Names of beasts:  to 12 months called calf, 12 to 18 months called yearling, 18 to 24 months called stirk, 24 months to first calving called heifer, first calf to second calf called cow heifer, second calf onwards called cow.

The planning application for conversion to five homes was approve in January 2012, The details including existing and proposed plans may be viewd on the High Peak Planning Department website: http://planning.highpeak.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=132198

An historic photograph of Reddish Farm. Comparison with more recent photographs shows considerable alterations to the building on the left.

 

The following photographs show Reddish prior to conversion to homes.







                                                           A home made wheelbarrow


Thursday, 15 October 2020

The Driven Gipsies

 


I don't know where the German Gipsies started their journey nor where it finished but in 1906 they weren't given a very friendly welcome by either the Derbyshire or Cheshire police.
One Friday night in October the Sheffield police tried to drive them across the border into Derbyshire; the Derbys police sent them back. Eventually the police tired of this game and the gipsies, 60 of them with horses and caravans were allowed to camp in a field a few miles from Sheffield.

Saturday morning and 20 or so Derbyshire police  were ready to drive them over the moors through Hathersage, Hope, Castleton and Chapel-en-le-Frith.  It was late at night by the time they crossed the river at Whaley Bridge and so into Cheshire.  At that time the Cheshire Police didn't know of their progress so they were able to set up camp at the roadside.  The bridge was guarded on the Derbyshire side to prevent their return and it was reported that the encampment looked like  a fair.  The people of Whaley made them welcome and feeling sorry for their treatment even gave them money.  The gipsies even did some trade in cheap jewellery.  They declared that they liked the country and intended to stay for two years.



The Cheshire police however, got wind of their presence and a contingent from the Macclesfield force, 30 officers strong, led them through Bollington and Adlington and so on to the Stockport Road.  There was some disorder here. One of the gipsies threw his hat into a field and was prevented from going after it. The gipsies then threw sticks at the police to show their resentment but were soon persuaded to continue their journey.  The Stockport police joined the Macclesfield contingent on reaching Hazel Grove and the band was kept on the move along Buxton Road. At the Stockport boundary, 2 inspectors and 25 officers took charge.  They were not allowed to go into shops but occassionally dashed in to beg but were quickly brought out again.

The group were disappointed at not being allowed to stop in Stockport. At Heaton Lane, they were turned off of the main road towards Heaton Mersey where the Lancashire police were telephoned and a force of 20 were sent to meet them .  As darkness fell, the gipsy leader pointed to the children and indicated that they were becoming tired and needed sleep. Inspector Moore of Stockport insisted that they continue.  "You bad inspector" shouted the gipsy leader, "we come back when you gone". The inspector replied "if you come back, we shall lock you up" The Stockport men escorted them along the Didsbury Road until a little way beyond Barnes Homes, the body sent out from Old Trafford took charge. They were allowed to turn into a field for the night, very glad to get some rest.

This is the last we hear of them, presumably they were allowed to settle at some stage or they would be wandering still.

Monday, 5 October 2020

Back to School in New Mills

Tony Beswick has supplied a selection of photographs mostly featurning New Mills School. 

 

Church Lane in the early 20th century, looking towards St.George's Church. In the centre is St.George's Primary School and on the left, Beech House. The empty fields to the right of Church Lane are the site of New Mills Grammar School. The school opened in 1912 and is a Grade II listed building.  St George's is the Anglican parish church and was built in 1829-1830 to the design of  R. D. Chantrell.  The Chancel was rebuilt in 1898.

 

                               The North East corner is the nearest to Church Lane

                        The West Side is only visible from within the school grounds



     The Sports Fields photographed c 1919. The rooftops in the background are perhaps Ardern Street

                                                   The school football team of 1916





                                

                                   A glimpse inside the school. Photographs from 1919.

 

                                                                  And for your groceries:-


                           Hunter's grocery stores were at 49 Market Street and 72 Albion Road


    An early photograph of Union Road Bridge with Torr Mill in the foreground. The buildings on the         eastern side of Union Road had yet to be constructed.



 

Saturday, 8 August 2020

An Overnight Stay


In 1863, John Warren wrote in his diary: "William WELCH of Whaley Bridge was put in the Buxton Lockups for being Drunk and Disordley the cost was all together £4.2s.6d."
The fine was the equivalent of £450 today, a hefty penalty for being drunk.
The location of the Buxton Lock-up is unknown. It had opened in 1829 and was in use until about 1899. The inspector of prisons described it in his 1850 report. It was a detached building with two cells, but no accommodation for a keeper. The building is very ill adapted for its purposes. It had been built at the cost of the township and was intended chiefly for vagrants in want of a nights lodging, and that was its main use. Only one cell was used, the other used to store coal and other articles. This cell is about 9 feet long, 6 feet wide and 6 feet high. It is dry, with an open fire. It had unglazed window, through which people outside might be hand anything in. There were two poles fixed on each side of the cell for seats, and there was some loose straw for bedding. The constable said that there were formerly proper benches, but that they had been pulled to pieces and burnt.'
Many towns and villages had their own lock-ups, established mostly in the 19th century as local police forces were established although some were of a much earlier period. They only served as temporary accommodation, usually for a night or two. Apprehended for a minor offence, an offender might be held whilst waiting to appear before a magistrate or released, their temporary incarceration having been considered sufficient punishment. Most of these were closed when replaced with police stations which had their own cells. Many were accompanied by a set of stocks and often a pen for seized livestock.


Another local lock-up was that at Chapel-en-le-Frith. Built in 1844, its situation was described as convenient and unobjectionable although it had no provision for heating the cells. When inspected one of the cells was found to be damp although the keeper said that this was improving as the new building dried out. The inspector found that the airing yard was insecure and said that no prisoner should be left there unattended.


New Mills had been well provided for. The famous “Drunkard’s Reform” on Dye House Lane had originally been called “The Town Jail”. It is an 18th century building and a former lock-up. The building was purchased in 1854 by Thomas Handford and converted into his home. Handford, a teetotaller for ten years had previously been a notorious drunkard and had spent many a night in the lock-up.
This facility was replaced with a police station on Market Street, possibly at number 58. Between 1854 and 1875, an office named Swallow lived there with his family and another officer. The building also contained a “strong room”
The Police Station in Hall Street, opposite New Mills Library appears to have been built at some time between 1875 and 1878. It was famous for housing in its cells, the ramblers arrested in the Kinder Trespass of 1932. The Constabulary Station closed in 1993, described as “the worst police station in Derbyshire”

Whaley Bridge too, had its solution for minor misdemeanours. Tony Beswick writes:  "There are two fine prison houses on Old Road in Whaley now rented out I think. The ground floor has no windows or doors to prevent escapes.
When I lived on Rock Bank Mrs Rawlinson aged in her 90's told me there was a cell just down the road. If you went up Rock Bank from Old Road past the stone cottages it was set back there where the two garages are/were.
"

There is no evidence of Whaley ever having its own police station although a newspaper report of  1888 states that two constables were stationed there, one from the Cheshire Constabulary and one from Derbyshire. No doubt these officers policed opposite sides of the River Goyt.

Correspondents have  told us that 72 Old Road had a police cell in its cellar and that in the early 1900s, Will Goodburn was a police officer living on Old Road.  Two adjoining semi detatched houses on Williamson Crescent served as a Police House in the 1950s and later. 14 Orchard Road is also remembered a a Police House.  Constables Henderson, Jones, Robbins,Yates and Brown  and Sergeants Cameron and Nixon have all been mentioned


Many local lock-ups have survived. They are often distinctive little buildings, commonly with conical roofs. Below are some examples from Derbyshire:


The "Round House" or "Honey Pot" at Curbar

Smisby Lock-up was built in 1790

"The Drunkard's Reform", the former New Mills Town Jail 

This article first appeared inour July 2020 Newsletter

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Keith Holford 1935 - 2020

We were sad to hear of the death on 15th June, of Keith Holford of Chinley.  Keith had been a great friend to this Society, contributing many articles and photographs relating to the history of our neighbouring village of Buxworth. Many of our members and friends will remember Keith as guest speaker at some of our past meetings. He had an extensive collection of historic photographs and a great store of meticulously researched historical facts and anecdotes about Buxworth and Chinley. Many of Keith Holford's articles may be found on this website.



Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Yeardsley Cum Whaley

Yeardsley-cum-Whaley is a name that is often seen on old documents. This was the name of a township within the ancient parish of Taxal. In 1866, Taxal became a civil parish but was abolished in the 1936 boundary changes when it transferred from Cheshire to Derbyshire. The map below shows the township boundaries as well as adjacent townships. As can be seen from the map, the northern half of Furness Vale fell within the Disley township and parish.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Reuben Wharmby of Furness Vale

Reuben  Wharmby was born in 1914 and lived in Canal Row where his mother ran a small general store. The shop was probably at number 7, in the middle of the row and had a good trade amongst passing boatmen. In the 1920s the business re-located to the house by the canal bridge, formerly the beerhouse The Jolly Sailor/Traveller's Call.  On leaving Furness Vale school, he bought a small lorry and established a fruit and vegetable round in the village and neighbourhood. 
Listen to this 1999 recording by the Imperial War Museum where Rubin tells of his life in pre-war Furness Vale and New Mills and of his wartime experiences: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80018207


Saturday, 13 June 2020

Crowning The Whaley Bridge Rose Queen

Every year a lucky young lady was voted as Rose Queen for the year and as always she was crowned on the front lawn of Taxal Rectory by a notable personality.
This would be usually a local councillor or some equally obscure nobody. But things changed in 1950 when Miss Clarke won the award. And who was announced to crown her? Well when the door opened the Minister welcomed in Mr. Albert Pierrpoint the infamous hangman.
Until then a hangman kept his job secret, even from his wife.
But Pierrepoint had become famous after executing many German war criminals. After the ceremony he spent the rest of the afternoon in the Royal Oak in Taxal.
He was also seen on occasions in the Board Inn and The Shepherd's Arms.

Tony Beswick
Albert Pierrepoint was himself a publican, first at Hollinwood and later at Much Hoole near Preston. In 1950 he hanged James Corbitt at Strangeways, one of his own customers.
Albert Pierrepoint


Monday, 8 June 2020

A Wayward Italian


 
May 1908 saw the appearance of an Italian named Soberti Diego before Stockport Police Court.  He was charged with being on enclosed premises for unlawful purposes and with assaulting a police officer in Whaley Bridge on April 27th.  Diego had been seen climbing from a wagon up into the rafters of the goods warehouse at the station. The prisoner had refused to descend and when the police constable arrived he jumped onto a van and threw a stone at the officer, which hit him in the chest.  Diego jumped over the wagons and tried to escape but the pursuing policeman fell over him and a desperate struggle ensued.  The prisoner had a razor with which he attacked the officer, cutting his hand.  It was only when support arrived that the Italian was overpowered.  Speaking through an interpreter, Diego explained that he had arrived in England seven months previously and finding himself in Whaley Bridge without food or money, decided to head to London.  He thought he would be safe hiding in the rafters until a train should arrive.  He had only used the razor to prevent the police officer from choking him.   Soberti Diego was sentenced to 28 days in prison and advised to leave the country as soon as he was released.


Sunday, 7 June 2020

Off The Rails





On Monday 9th September 1867 the most serious of the local rail incidents took place on the Midland line.  A goods train had entered the tunnel between Chapel and Peak Dale and had stopped to unload gravel for track maintenance.  Against the rules, a following train carrying 1000 sheep and cattle was allowed to enter the tunnel shortly after 5pm, where it crashed into the stationary ballast train.  A little girl had taken some clogs to her father, a blacksmith called Vaines, who was working in the tunnel and together they were in one of the wagons. She was the first fatality of the day.  Several other workmen were injured.  Two engines hauled the cattle train and these left the track causing the 23 cattle trucks to become detached and these started to roll backwards.  On leaving the tunnel, the guard and three drovers jumped and their injuries were not known. The telegraph wires were out of order and it was not until the wagons sped through Bugsworth that the signalman there, was able to warn New Mills and have the signals set to danger.  The train was seen approaching New Mills at 6pm A passenger express had already set off from New Mills and was halted by the signal after some distance.  Driver Cooper set the train in reverse and he, the fireman and guard all jumped off.  There was still a collision in which four cattle drovers were killed and a fifth injured.  Many sheep and cattle lay dead amongst the wreckage. The express in the meantime was still travelling backwards out of control and its speed increased due to the collision. The train was not brought to a halt until directed into a siding at Romiley. None of the passengers were injured although some suffered from shock.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Bridgemont

A postcard from Tony Beswick featuring Bridgemont

The picture is undated and there is not a vehicle in sight. The street is lit by gas lamps which continued in use until 1955. The Dog and Partridge has a car park sign so they are already catering for motor trade. In the distance is the phone box in front of the Bridgemont Mission. It is the K1 style introduced in 1921 and made from cast concrete. Opposite the pub is the Post Office with a sign advertising Star Cigarettes.



Historical Interactive Map of Whaley Bridge



Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out of the map. Left click and drag to pan. Click on the icons for further information on each location.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Bonus Sweatmore

Bonus Sweatmore started work at Knowles Brickyard in 1930, aged 16. 
49 years later, on 1st June 1979, he retired and was presented with a clock by his employers.
Bonus lived first in St George's Road in New Mills before moving to a newly built bungalow on Marsh Lane in the 1970s. He walked to and from work every day, come rain or shine. He was able to enjoy a long retirement before passing away in 2008.

Few  people spend all their working  days with one employer but having left school, Bonus Sweatmore found a "job for life".

 Bonus was born in December 1915 and married in March 1940.

 Bonus, photographed at the wedding of his daughter Ann in 1965

 Bonus and Ann in his garden in 2003

 The inscription on the clock reads: "Presented by Messrs R E Knowles Ltd to Bonus Sweatmore in recognition of his 49 years faithful service with the company 1st June 1979"

Knowles Brickyard, Furness Vale. Bonus Sweatmore's place of work for 49 years.

Death by Poisoning

A young lady (name not known) was in service at Brookfield House, on Reservoir Road, Whaley Bridge in 1930. Brookfield House was, in those days, the servants’ quarters for Whaley Hall.


Brookfield House, Reservoir Road


She was somehow ‘involved’ with a local police officer, Police Constable Gage from Bridgemont. She told other servants that she and Gage used to meet on Reservoir Road and go to the hen house for a drink.


One Saturday night she got off the Buxton train at Whaley Bridge and started to walk up Reservoir Road to Brookfield House where she was ‘in service’. She was followed by PC Gage from Bridgemont as witnessed by Frank Collier who was employed at Botany Bleach Works. PC Gage did not see Frank Collier.

It was rumoured locally that the girl was pregnant but if it was true it never came out officially.
The next day the young lady was found dead in William Eyre’s hen run and, not intended as a pun, foul play was immediately suspected. The hen run was in the field opposite Brookfield House. The field is now owned by Grant Ford and the hen house is still there after all these years.
A post mortem revealed that the girl had been poisoned with a very rare poison. The police made enquiries at all the local chemists and the only person who had acquired this type of poison was Police Constable Gage. Gage was suspected of murdering the girl and was summoned as a witness/suspect to the inquest held at the Mechanics Institute on Market Street in Whaley Bridge.

The number of people who wanted to attend the inquest was far too many than the building could cater for so seats were fixed on the pavement outside and loudspeakers were erected so that those people could at least hear the proceedings. Gage was very evasive with his answers to the Coroner. When asked why he had bought the very same poison that killed the girl he said he knew nothing about it and he had simply bought the poison to end his dog’s life as it was suffering from a medical condition. The Coroner asked Gage where he had buried the dog so that checks could be made on its body. Gage said he had thrown it in the fire-box at Blandola Riddle Works in Bridgemont close to where he lived. Asked where he had kept the remains of the poison so that could be also checked he said he had also thrown that in the fire-box.


The jury was ordered to return an open verdict and Gage was free to go. He was transferred the next day to take up duties in Northwich and nobody was ever charged with the poor girl’s murder.


Below is a photo of Grant Ford’s field before his house was built and the hen house is in the corner. You can see the Masonic Hall in the background at the entrance to the Park.


Tony Beswick

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Gerald Hallworth

We are sad to hear that Gerald Hallworth of Ringstones Farm passed away last week. 
Born in Stockport, in February 1928, Gerald was 92 years of age.
He had lived at Ringstones since 1953, mostly farming dairy cattle, with a herd of 50 at its largest. At times, he also kept pigs and poultry. 
Gerald was a good friend to the History Society and was often seen at our meetings and events. He will be very much missed in Furness Vale.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

An Anniversary Tale

On this day in 2001, Great Train robber, Ronnie Biggs was finally captured on arrival home from exile in Brasil.

Tony Beswick writes about his colleagues:
 
Another brief tale and this time about Bennetstone Hall.
After the Great Train Robbery some of the gang escaped from prison and obviously had quite a bit of money. One such person was Charles Wilson. He was rumoured very strongly to have stayed at the Hall. He would be right up Gerry Adshead's street. Gerry liked money and characters. It was said that Wilson used to sit quietly at one end of the bar drinking. Apparently even the police knew he was living there and spent some time drinking with him.
Don't forget there was a lot of sympathy for the robbers after their excessive sentences and they became sort of heroes. Wilson did get caught and I think he was the last man to be released. He was asassinated in Spain years later.  Others got away scott free.
 Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind, after he was finally released did one last job: he broke into a mansion in Macclesfield, opened the safe and stole £50,000.00 He thought he would have to go on the run again but the crime was never reported.
 
 Charles Wilson

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Historic Furness Vale in pictures

A selection of photographs of the village from the collection of Tony Beswick. He will be adding to this album in the coming days.


 A group photograph of Bugsworth School from Tony Beswick. The picture is undated but the style of dress suggests the Edwardian period.

Carr Farm and the view across to New Mills. The spire of St. George's Church is prominent on the horizon. The white cottage between the railway line and Marsh Lane was known as Nob Hall.

A pre-war view of Bridgemont showing the War Memorial on the left. In the distance can be seen the hanging sign of the Dog and Partridge, opposite the Post Office.


 An early photograph showing three shops. The space between the two blocks was later occupied by a small house which was eventually incorporated into the Post Office. The shop in the centre was at the time of the photograph, Lowe's Confectioners. The nearest shop appears to be selling clothes or drapery. It later became a fish and chip shop and finally, a newsagents. 


 A procession passes the Corn Store. Members of the Foundation of Truth Lodge of the Oddfellows are on parade. The Oddfellows was a benevolent society, a forerunner of the Welfare State. The Lodge, which met at the Soldier Dick, included avery large number of the village's population in its membership.
 "Burnside" at the corner of Yeardsley Lane and Diglee Road. This was the home of one of the Saxby family, owners of Furness Vale Printworks. In the garden is the grave of "Spider", the dog which accompanied Mr Saxby to the Soldier Dick each evening, and guided him home.
 One of the outbuildings at Longhurst Farm.



Bridgemont in 1905, looking very much the same as today but without the traffic
 A procession passes Birch Wood. This may be part of the 1911 Coronation celebration in Furness Vale.
 The Post Office, Hills grocers, Smalley's newsagents and the Wool Shop. Posters advertise Double Diamond on the wall of Williamson's greengrocers shop.
 The bridge over the River Goyt at the foot of Station Road. Just to the right was the location of a toll cottage.
 The "Australian Bungalows" on Diglee Road and "Brookside" at the corner of Yeardlsey Lane. The field in the foreground is now the dite of several houses.
The village is decorated with flags and bunting,
 perhaps for the 1936 Coronation. A single car approaches


 Birch Wood. Although all of these houses remain, the scene today looks quite different.

 The 1911 Coronationof King GeorgeV and Queen Mary. A band leads the procession through the village.

 An early 20th century view, looking down Yeardsley Lane. A row of four houses was built in 1914 where we see the stone wall of the right. We can see the back of the building that wasto become the Garage but this is before extensions were added to the side and rear.
 A view of the Printworks from the canal towing path. The woman is Mrs Swindells





 Digging for victory. Furness Vale School Garden in wartime was given over to growing vegetables

 The teacher on the left is Walter Mason. In the background are two of the small bungalows which once stood on Yeardsley Lane
 Miss Hobson. A popular teacher still well remembered in the village. She was an enthusiastic historian and recorded much of our village's heritage

 The 1911 Coronation of King George V saw great celebrations in the village. It seems that most of the population took part in the procession along Buxton Road.
 Ladies in Edwardian dress parade past the Post Office and Lowe's confectionery shop. We don't know the occasion; it is not a celebratory event for there are no street decorations.

 The Soldier Dick and Buxton Road. The village is festooned with bunting, probably for the 1936 Coronation of King George VI. Note the telephone box on the right hand side. This is an example of the K1 style installed between 1927 and 1929. These were constructed from pre-cast concrete with metal doors and window frames. The two storey extension to the pub was, at this time, Ford's Ironmonger shop.

 Broadhey Farm above Furness Vale. The large stone barn on the left of the picture was converted a few years ago into four homes. The farmhouse on the left is a 19th century replacement of the original home, abandoned when the water supply failed. Its location can be seen at the top of the hill where a remaining barn still stands.

 Three photographs this morning from Tony Beswick. The first picture shows a group of children gathered at the gate of 59 Buxton Road.. On the left is the Wool Shop, then a haberdashers. 
 

Alongside the canal at Bridgemont was Mr Fox's boatbuilding workshop. The top floor was used by the Bridgemont Mission for several years after it was founded in 1893 by Mrs Fox. The business later moved to Furness Vale where Mr Fox continued to build and paint narrowboats and where he became a leading member of the Methodist Chapel. The building was demolished to make way for the by-pass.


More Edwardian children meet at the village bench. Note the wooden projection on the front of the Corn Store. This was a St John's Ambulance box and housed a stretcher and other first aid equipment.

 Yeardsley Lane in a severe winter. The poplar tree on the right still grows in the garden of Matlock House.



A rare visitor to Yeardsley Lane

 Cottages at 30 to 34 Yeardsley Lane. The date is 1960, the time when the street lighting changed from gas to electric. Built in 1822, they served as the first Methodist Chapel and school in the village

 Construction of the water Treatment Works. It opened in 1924

For many years I worked for Edward Hall's Botany bleach works. One of my main jobs was to protect the river from pollution. At one time e everything went into the river without question. But times changed and effluent was diverted into the sewer system.
The raw cotton had to be boiled for hours in Caustic to remove the linseed oil.
The caustic then had to be neutralised using an acid. There were two acids on site Sulphuric and Hydrochloric. One was used as the main agent and the other as a backup just in case somebody forgot to repeat the order, which was quite often.
When mixed with the backup acid it made the foul smelling hydrogen sulphide and they went in thousands of gallons daily down a 12 inch pipe from Whaley and emerged at the Sewage treatment plant. There was absolutely no problem apart from the dreadful smell. I remember a chap calling on me when I lived on Yeardsley Lane and asked me to sign a petition demanding improvements to the Sewage works. I told him the truth of the matter and that I couldn't sign something that was wrong.. He looked at me as though I had just come from outer space, used a bit of choice language and went off shaking his head.

Tony Beswick

                Buxton Road with the School in the background.

     The entrance to Knowles Brickyard. Behind the wall on the left   was the entrance to the tunnel under Buxton Road.