Thursday, 11 November 2010

Martha Beatrice Webb

Martha Beatrice Webb was a notable woman.



Born in Furness Vale in December 1863, she was educated privately at Broom Bank in Stockport. At a time when few women enjoyed a university education, Martha studied at Newnham College Cambridge for a tripos in natural science.



In 1890 she was appointed as assistant mistress at Edgbaston High School For Girls and taught there for the next ten years.

Martha was 38 in 1902 when she enrolled at the newly opened Birmingham Medical School, one of the first female students. Her education included training at the General Hospital and Queen's Hospital. Graduation as MB ChB was at Edinburgh followed in 1909 with MD. During this period she suffered a great deal of discrimination from both her male colleagues and patients.



Much of Martha's career was spent as a GP in Birmingham where she gained much influence in the medical profession.  She lectured at Birmingham University on personal hygiene and became medical officer to the Department of Education. Martha started the Women's University Club and the Women's Medical Society and in addition held posts with a number of medical committees and asscoiations.  Research work for the Ministry of Munitions led to the publication of two books "Health of Working Girls" and "On Keeping Well".  Webb was an active supporter of the BMA's campaign for equal rights.



There is no account of her private life and as her name never changed, she perhaps never married.



Martha Webb retired in 1932 and died in Birmingham in February 1951.



Her father Philip Henry Webb was born in Runcorn in March 1839.  He married Frances from Wrexham, seven years his senior and came to live in Furness Vale.  The 1861 census does not include the Webb family so they perhaps arrived shortly after.  Ten years later they were living at "Shirt's Row" which seemed to be a terrace of 6 houses.  Philip was a manufacturer of cotton yarns.  Martha at that time was 7 years old and her brother James Henry Philip, two years younger.  In 1891 the Webbs were living at Bank End where both Philip and his son were stone merchants.  Martha was already living in Birmingham.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Furness Vale Co-op

The Furness Vale Co-operative Society was registered as an independent society in 1876.  The store closed briefly in 1890 and re-opened on April as a branch of Whaley Bridge Industrial and Working Man's Co-operative Society following a merger.  A public tea was held at the Board School to celebrate the event.  In 1913 the name was changed to Whaley Bridge and Buxton Co-operative Society to reflect expansion into that Town.  Pre war photographs show that the store only occupied part of the building, the other half appearing to be a private residence.
The Society had it's own education committee and it's members included President Mr.W.A.Bradbury of Yeardsley Lane, Mr Mark Kenyon of Shady Grove and Mr Joseph Carter sen. of Clough Lea.

The Society had in fact opened its first store in 1861 as an unregistered Co-op, seemingly at 47 Buxton Road before moving to the purpose built store opposite.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

For The Right Of Light 2s 6d per annum

29th March 1901 at the Station Hotel, Furness Vale an auction was held by George Brady to sell both the pub and adjoining shop.   The pub had lately been occupied by Samuel Hall and was currently being run by grocer and provisions dealer James Hall.   Inn and shop were in one block and each had the "usual out offices".  The buildings were described as substantial and in good condition.  The ground plot was of 480 square yards, leasehold with an annual ground rent of £4.1s.  The inn was purpose built, modern and commodious having bar, bar parlour, smokeroom, taproom, kitchen and cellars.  Above was  a large clubroom  and 6 bedrooms.  There was a large yard with good stabling. Loose fixtures and trade utensils were to be taken by the purchaser at valuation of the auctioneer.  Further details were available from Mr James Hall on the premises or Elijah Hall of Furness Vale
7th January 1920 Turner & Son were to auction at the Macclesfield Arms a number of Hotels, Public Houses, Beerhouses, Off Licences and Cottages.   The sale included the Station Hotel and adjoining shop.  The shop was let  at £14 6s per annum with the tenant paying the rates.  The 999 year lease had begun on 29th September 1864, the ground rent was still £4 1s.  The London and North Western Railway was paid a sum of 2s 6d per annum "for the right of  light"

Also in the 1920 sale was The Shepherds Arms, Whaley Bridge with the stables &c., adjoining thereto situate between the new and old main road from Manchester to Buxton.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Kelly's Directory

Kelly's directory was the forerunner of today's Yellow Pages.  The business was formed in1799 by Frederic Festus Kelly who first published a London directory This was followed by county editions which were issued periodically.   The 1910 Kelly's Directory for Cheshire lists businesses in Furness Vale and Bridgemont. Unfortunately addresses were not given. 


Furness Vale


Furness Vale Print Works.......................James Hadfield,  Manager
Richard E Knowles.................................Fire Brick Manufacturer
James Williamson...................................Stone Quarry Owner


Station Master........................................William Taylor
Soldier Dick Inn......................................Samuel Bridge
Station Inn..............................................John Joseph Ardern


Manchester and County Bank.................Sub Branch
Whaley Bridge Industrial & Working Men's Friendly Society Ltd.  Furness Vale Branch


Whaley Bridge Co-Operative Society.....Thomas Hallam,  Manager
Mrs Sarah Beard...................................Shopkeeper
Reuben Bennett.....................................Yeast Dealer
James Bowden.......................................Insurance Agent
William Bowden................................... .Draper
Edwin Cook...........................................Fishmonger
Thomas Cook.........................................Ironmonger
Thomas Ford..........................................Boot Repairer
James Hartle...........................................Fried Fish Dealer
James Higginbotham...............................Confectioner
Sam Longden.........................................Grocer and Corn Dealer
Frederick Pearson..................................Insurance Agent
Joseph Prestwich....................................Fried Fish Shop
James A. Worth......................................Postmaster and Stationer
Charles H. Lowe....................................Shopkeeper


Bridgemont


Blandola Company Limited.....................Manufacturing Chemists
Matthew W. Lockett..............................Painter
Jesse Robinson.......................................Joiner


Dog and Partridge Public House............. Mrs Mary Jane Walker


Stephen Edge..........................................Grocer
Edward Rathbone....................................Shopkeeper
Mrs Mary Ann Taylor..............................Shopkeeper

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Tickets Please

Today, the return train fare to Leeds is £24.20.  In 1945 it was just 11shillings (55p)

Monday, 30 August 2010

Murder January 1868

Joseph Dixon and another man had been drinking in the Soldier Dick on Saturday night. At closing time they started fighting outside the pub and Thomas Ainsworth intervened. Dixon hit Ainsworth who then took out a knife and stabbed Dixon twice in the abdomen. Dixon died from his wounds and Ainsworth, a 23 year old miner was charged with wilful murder.
Ralph Horsefield a fellow miner, gave evidence at the inquest. He stated that about a fortnight earlier he had said to the accused "Joe Dixon and you have a sore time of it." Ainsworth replied "Aye, but I'll do him his job the first time he says anything to me again." Horsefield then said, "Nay Tommy, don't do him no harm" the answer was "Well, but thou'll see."
The verdict of "wilful murder" was given and the prisoner committed for trial. Ainsworth was jailed for 14 years.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Lady Pit, The Beard and Bugsworth Colliery

In 1949 a 100 foot high brick chimney still stood at Lady Pit.   Lightning struck on the 5th December bringing down the 80 year old structure.  Bricks were scattered up to 300 yards away.  

More solid is this stone air shaft still standing alongside Dolly Lane.  The only other evidence that this was a busy coal mine is the old railway embankment stretching across the field on the other side of the road. 

Lady Pit in 1896 employed 36 miners and closed in 1903. 

Ringstones

Ringstones Colliery closed in 1896 although some workings had been abandoned in 1878.

There were three pits; the "top pit" is shown on the 1875 OS map at the head of the clough. The "bottom pit" at Ringstones, is still very evident and the capped shaft is surrounded by caravans.  Further down the clough was a third shaft near the masonry which still straddles the brook.

The mine was connected to the canal wharf at Bridgemont by a tramway and until recently a raised embankment was to be seen running down the middle of the field below the caravan site. 

In 1875 the works at the foot of the clough was a tannery. The site was occupied later by the Blandola Seaweed works.



Friday, 30 April 2010

The Fox At The Paragon Garage

A LETTER FROM PETER THOMPSON REGARDING THE PARAGON GARAGE

Not sure about the spelling but the owner was Joel Bold followed later by his son Edwin, the fox was his pet and I saw it often. In fairly recent years Edwin still lived in one of those quite nice houses on the right heading toward Furness just after Bank End.  He had a couple of dogs with him last time I saw him out walking.  Used to be very much an outdoor type ,shooting etc. seriously dressed for it.  Probably shot the fox cub's mother.

Joel had a plaque on the garage, which read something like –

You are now in Derbyshire;  Strong in the Arm Weak in The Head

 For a short time the Paragon was owned by Jim Riddick Senior's brother, I think his name was Jack. 

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Errwood Hall Web Site

Whaley Bridge Local History Forum has embarked upon a new project.  A Posting on the Forum concerning Errwood Hall located in the Goyt Valley in it’s heyday the home of a wealthy local family the Grimshaw’s now just a few ruins has accumulated a great deal of interesting information and pictures.
 
The members felt that the information should be kept in an orderly fashion for the interest of future researchers it was proposed that a website be set up to attain this aim.  Members are now collectively building the site;

Now in early stages but you might find their work to date interesting, address below.


Peter Thompson

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Furness Vale Brickyard

A 3D digital model of the brickyard under development.  The main buildings are yet to be added.