Marple Local History Society Trips
Each year members of the Society have a choice of trips to various historical locations to choose from, the cost of which varies dependent on the destination.
Some times we leave Marple early in the morning to visit factories and mills many miles away before returning in the evening. We've been to Blackpool to climb the tower, eating fish and chips to fortify us for a trip on a tram to see the lights. We've also had an afternoon trip along the Peak Forest Canal before a buffet at the Ring o' Bells.
The winter visit of the Society comprised of guided tours of two venues, the Greater Manchester police station and Manchester Cathedral, last visited by in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Police Museum is the former Newton Street Police Station, the building from 1879 houses the original Victorian cells with their wooden pillows and the Charge office of Newton Street Police Station where time has stood still for over 120 years. Amongst the other attractions are historic police equipment and uniforms from the region. Uncover the fascinating world of forgery and forensic science.
Manchester Cathedral gained status in 1847, though its history dates from 1421. In 1940 a German bomb destroyed most of the north-east of the Cathedral and causes extensive damage to the rest of the building. All was not lost, the Cathedral still boast 17th century wood carvings, together with modern stained glass.
‘Ancoats ... is to Manchester what Manchester is to England’
Morning Chronicle, 21 December 1849
Manchester’s Ancoats area formed the destination of the second al-fresco autumn outing for the society members. Led by Mark Watson, of the Manchester Victorian Society, we enjoyed a two hour Ancoats tour, in the morning, with thirty one participants; the afternoon optional walk drew seven of the thirty one.
In a little over 50 years, from the late 18th century, a rural landscape on the eastern outskirts of Manchester was transformed into the most densely packed industrial landscape in the world. As a pioneer industrial suburb, Ancoats holds a unique place in industrial and social history.
Mark our guide for the trip, met us on the Piccadilly Station, to begin the morning’s exploration. We were first guided outside to a quieter spot, overlooking London Road. Mark gave a synopsis of the station’s history, from steam to electric, from London Road to Piccadilly. We then descended into the lower reaches of the station, the undercroft and the adjacent brick pillared car park. It was while in the latter, in the midst of its brick splendour, that we were ushered off the site by a very keen car park attendant. We had apparently wandered into
The first visit of the season to Eyam in Derbyshire took place on a misty, wet day in October. However, our members are a hardy bunch and we all gathered in the courtyard at Eyam Hall at 10.00.a.m. as Hilary climbed some stone steps, all the better to be seen and briefly explained the order of the day.
First, we enjoyed a welcoming hot drink and biscuits in the café before splitting into two groups to begin a day of two halves: one group to join the morning tour of the Hall and the other the guided walk, which was repeated in reverse in the afternoon.
“No Torrs on this tour " was the promise of this evening. Apparently there was a rival attraction in Russia, of all places but we were historians, not football fans. We swept through a near-deserted New Mills, covering 25,000 years of history in two hours of enlightenment. And Neil kept to his promise about the Torrs though we still had some steep hills to climb.
His preamble covered the theme of the evening – a town that emerged from obscurity to become an important cotton town despite a number of handicaps. This involved a move away from a textile-based description of the town's history to one encompassing many aspects, - communications, housing, religion and drinking.
We were promised that we would see the parts of Lyme that other tours didn’t reach, and so we did. But first we were given a brief history of the place. It started as a simple hunting lodge but the Elizabethans gave it a makeover and parts of the “L-shaped” building are still in evidence today. The big changes came in the early eighteenth century when an Italian architect was brought in. It was he who built the remaining two sides to make a hollow square, he who created the cloister effect in the courtyard and he who designed the classic Palladian South Front. The end result, however, was not an English country house but an Italian palazzo on the edge of the Peak District.
A hundred years later an English architect, Lewis Wyatt, made extensive but subtle alterations, particularly to the service rooms and servant quarters, and this made the house much more practicable and convenient. Our tour looked at how the house was organised and run in the “Golden Period” – that time before the First World War when this style of living was at its apogee.