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It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of the Society's President, Ann Hearle, who passed away on the 9th of November at Arbour Court in Marple, having suffered ill-health for some time.
Ann joined the Society in 1987 and shortly afterwards became Chairman, a position she held until 2008, during which period membership doubled to almost 100, and then again for a year in the 2017-2018 season. Her great knowledge of, and assiduous commitment to, local history, coupled with her infectious enthusiasm for the subject all contributed to the successful growth of the Society and its activities.
Well known in Mellor and Marple, Ann, together with her late husband John, was instrumental in setting up the Mellor Archeological Trust. Many members will have fond memories of the annual July cheese and wine parties they hosted in their home, The Old Vicarage, where we were treated to looking at items from the archives, viewing Ann's vast postcard collection and learning about the Iron Age fort in their garden. Ann was also much involved in the restoration of the iron bridge in Brabyns Park, wrote three books for The Society (Marple and Mellor a new history, Brabyns Hall and Park, and Hollins Mill.) as well as compiling three books of archive photographs of Marple and Mellor.
We were very fortunate that over the years Ann was always happy to share her considerable research work with The Society and indeed, when she moved from The Old Vicarage into her small apartment in Marple she and I spent many happy hours sorting through her many papers which are now in the Society's Archives.
Ann will be sorely missed.
Hilary Atkinson, Chairman - [November 2020]
The final walk of the season took us to the opposite side of the valley from our first; our three summer walks comprise a trio of locations that demonstrate the importance of rivers and streams in the history of Mill Brow, New Mills and our final destination, Mellor Hilltop.
On what was for the remarkable summer of ’18, a grey evening, we gathered by dribs and drabs, around Ann resting on the wall of the Vicarage. The party of 32 was brought to order, shortly after seven o’clock, the 18,664th episode of the Archers would just have to be missed!