Meetings 2013 - 2014
In February, on a bright and chilly day, a coach took three dozen or so members to Rochdale. Not only to view the magnificent Town Hall, but to tour the refurbished Co-Op museum on Toad Lane,where the Co-Operative was born. In September this year, as the curtain raiser for the season, we are to enjoy a talk 'More than a shop, the story of the Co-Op' by Gillian Lonergan , the Head Archivist of the Co-Op. In 1844 Rochdale Pioneers Society was established, starting a period of phenomenal co-operative growth. Based on their eight 'Rochdale rules', including distributing a share of profits according to purchases that came to be known as 'the divi'.
In October Keith Warrender will bring us the story of the occasion when Bowden Bridge Quarry, Hayfield, saw the start of a mass trespass, that marked the start of the campaign for freer access to the countryside, that culminated in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. 400 people participated in the trespass onto Kinder Scout, the highest terrain in the Peak District. As the trespassers scrambled towards the Kinder Plateau, they came face to face with the Duke of Devonshire's gamekeepers. Scuffles ensued, resulting in five Manchester men being jailed including, leader Benny Rothman.
Why an early photo of the Iron Bridge, Brabyns Park, to illustrate a talk on Mather & Platt? The Bridge, Grade II listed, is one of the very few cast iron bridges that survive from the period it was built, 1813,and the connection between this Bridge and Mather & Platt? The Bridge was built by Salford Ironworks, which later evolved into Mather & Platt. Ken Bishop will visit, to lecture on the history of the company. Which became international, but is best known, locally for its factory in Newton Heath, Manchester. The Park Works site,on a site measuring 50 acres alongside, and with direct access to, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway was developed from 1900. Just over a century later, in 2005, Mather & Platt became part of Willow Pumps, Germany
December brings the Christmas party and a talk by Warwick Burton, on the seasonal subject, the story of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was born in Patara, at the time in Greek territory, now on Southern coast of Turkey, in the third century. This meeting is for members only, tickets £2,and must be bought prior to the evening. A ‘bring and share’ event, members bringing either a sweet or savoury course. Alcohol is not allowed in the hall. Warwick Burton is well known locally for his knowledge of the railways of Marple, an interest which his father, Monty shared. Warwick’s book ‘Railways of Marple & District from 1794, online at Marple Railways.
St. Kilda, an enigmatic name. An archipelago of five islands, lying 40 miles west of Benbecuala, outer Hebrides, whose remaining population were evacuated, on an August day in 1930. Even in late 19th century the islanders could communicate with the rest of the world only by lighting a bonfire on the summit of Conachair, ('the beacon') the highest point, and hoping a passing ship might see it, or by using the "St Kilda mailboat". A daily ‘Parliament’ meeting, was held every day after prayers, attended by all the adult men. The population survived by catching seabirds for food, feathers and oil, farming crops and raising livestock.St Kilda became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Donald Reid, President of the Society, will give us an insight into the history of this iconic island.
In February we shall escape the wilds the Atlantic Ocean and St. Kilda, and travel to the green fields and streams, of Mill Brow, where, by the nineteenth century, four cotton mills graced the valley The area which had been part of the royal hunting grounds of the Peak Forest in medieval times, developed with agricultural activity, served by Ludworth Corn Mill, in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The local farms, Hollywood End and Pear Tree Farm date at least from the seventeenth century. In February Ann Hearle & Anne O’Mara will give us an insight into the history of the valley, a valley filled with Primrose, Clough, Hollywood Head and Holly Vale Mills located on Mill Brook.
March will see the Society take to water, as we learn of the history and development of Peak Forest Canal from Grahame Boyes. For much of its length, the canal runs alongside the River Goyt. Both the canal and the river are havens for plants and wildlife The Peak Forest Canal boasts two Scheduled Ancient Monuments in its 15-mile length – the grand, three-arch Marple Aqueduct and the historic Bugsworth Basin. Bugsworth Basin is the end of the canal, where it once connected with a horse-drawn tramway that carried gritstone, limestone and burnt lime to be loaded at Bugsworth for onward carriage to Manchester, the North West and Midlands.
Bill Mellor is the latest member of a long established local farming family to run Higher Farm on Threaphurst Lane in Hazel Grove. After reading animal husbandry at university he began working with his father and subsequently took over the farm which he now runs single handed. He has a herd of pedigree Simmental beef cattle and a flock of pedigree sheep. Bill sells all his meat direct from the farm to local clients, or to selected local butchers. He is a prominent member of the National Farmers Union and promotes their 'Back British Farming Campaign'.
Bill will review the way in which British farming has changed during the time his family has run the farm, and about how things are done today on a local farm.