Marple Memories, 1940-47
(Keith Denerley lived in Marple during the Second World War and his memories of that time cast a fascinating light on everyday life during a very difficult period. He went on to become a vicar and never returned to live in Marple.)
Reminiscing about Marple in the 1940’s with a friend recently, she thought I ought to set such things down, so here goes.
My parents, sister and I moved from Didsbury Road, Stockport, early in the war, as the house (Richmond Lodge) where we lived was next to some railway marshalling yards, a favorite target of enemy bombers. My father had a chemist’s shop on Brinksway, Stockport, and also one on Stockport Road, Marple, that I believe is still there. We lived above the shop. There was a post office next door (where the son rejoiced in an O gauge electric railway), and a garage opposite.
Three generations of a Marple family in whose lives
The Albert Schools played an integral part.
Built as a Sunday Schools for the Congregational Church on Hibbert Lane in 1866, just a year or so after the Church itself was built in 1865; The Albert Schools played a large part in the lives of my grandfather, my parents and my aunt, and myself, siblings and cousins.
About 1916, my maternal grandfather, Andrew Cochran, moved with his wife and two small daughters from Paisley in Scotland, to Marple.
He was an ‘engineer’s draftsman’, and worked for Campbell & Calderwood in Paisley. They designed and made boilers for steam engines, pumps and other machinery.
Transcript of Cassette entitled : Mr. Lenthall - Mr. Lenthall lived as a boy at Marple Lodge, and as a young man in Mellor Lodge. He left Marple for New Zealand, Australia and Norfolk returning in 1927. When he returned to this district, although he worked in Manchester, he lived in Marple for the rest of his life. He died in 1964 aged 80.
Marple Lodge & Mellor Lodge
My father came to live in Marple Lodge in the summer of 1890. There were at that time two houses, Marple Lodge and Mellor Lodge, both built by Samuel Oldknow in 1790 and the mill was also built at the same time. There was a section of the mill, the stone offices on the south end, where the plaque with SO 1815 on it, was obviously built in 1815.
The original Marple Hall ……..llth century and was in the first instance the property of the Vernon Family. From the Vernons it passed by marriage to the Stanley’s from whom the family of Bradshaw purchased it, also Wybersley Hall in the year 1606. The Bradshaws came from near Bakewell in Derbyshire and they also purchased Bradshaw Hall nr Bolton in Lancashire from a much older branch of the Bradshaws who had owned it since Saxon times. Prior to the year 1606 the Bradshaws had rented Marple Hall and Wybersley from the Stanley Family. The grandson of the Bradshaw who purchased Marple Hall was the well-known judge, John Bradshaw, who sentenced King Charles I to death. He is supposed to have been born at Marple Hall in the year 1602 but is also said to have been born at Wybersley Hall or at the house called The Place in Marple, demolished about the year 1935 where the big garage now stands.
Transcript from cassette entitled: Mrs Courtney
Mrs. Courtney made her tape when she was living at Thornsett, but had spent all her life in Marple, and her working life at Hollins Mill.
Voice: Mrs Courtney tells the story of a half timer.
I was one of a large family, thirteen in number, and my earliest remembrance is the cottage meetings in the house, a preacher coming to talk to us and mother making the cake and a cup of tea for the people. The preacher talked to the people and then he read the bible and a prayer. My sister, twenty years older than me, worked at Hollins Mill. She was 8 years old and they had to stand her on a stool, she was so small. If the inspector came round they had to hide her. And what about the other now? My sister was full of humour. She got teased with the boy and she kicked the stool from under him. Then there was the man over there. He annoyed her one day and she let him go down the hoist half way and stopped him until someone else released him. I myself went half- time at work.
My grandfather came to live in Marple. They were natives of Tideswell and they came to live in Canal Row before the houses were finished off. There were sacks up to the windows, they hadn’t glazed them and they came to work at Bottoms Mill, Marple. There was a family came to live next door to them who had a grandfather clock and the ceilings were that low that they couldn’t get it in.....................
Mrs. Rowbottom, now 97 years of age(1974), has always lived in the Marple district. Through her grandfather, Mr Sherwin, manager of Compstall Mill, she knew the district very well.
I remember as a little girl going up to All Saints Church and father saying,” Now this is the new church and we only have funerals held in the old church”. I was born 1877 and I went to school as a little girl of about five, with two other friends, to a house that was behind , above the Wesleyan Church in those days and then ladies gave it up. I went to another school held in the Albert Terrace, Church Lane from there I went to Macclesfield High School. All my brothers went to the grammar school.
(Above: Weavers at Compstall Mill c1900.)