Saturday, 18 July 2015

George Smith

It is quite common for residents of Furness Vale to live well into their nineties and George Smith was no exception.  The following tribute is from Miss Hobson's notebook:

Mr. George Smith

died February 15th 1913 aged 94 years

For 40 years Mr Smith had been employed as a block printer at the Birch Vale Printworks. He walked there daily from Furness Vale.
He was a well known  musician and at the time of his death was the eldest surviving member of the New Mills Old Prize Band. He played the ophicleide, a large instrument now seldom seen. Before the coming of the railway, on many occasions he had walked with the band to play at Ashton or Stalybridge. For many years before St. John’s Church was built Mr Smith attended the services in the old mission room and accompanied the singing on his instrument.
Mr Smith had lived through the reigns of Georges III, IV and V and those of three other monarchs. At the Coronation of George V in 1911 he, as the oldest resident lit the bonfire at Furness Vale.
As a last tribute the New Mills Old Prize Band marched to the funeral at Taxal, playing the Dead March and other sacred music.

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