Marple Local History Society

Marple, Marple Bridge, Mellor, Compstall, Strines, Hawk Green, Rose Hill, High Lane.

This wonderful photograph, taken around 1902, records four generations of Margaret Davenport’s family. Margaret was born in Marple and recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

Close Hartle family

Her grandparents George and Ruth Close are standing at the back of the photograph (Ruth wearing a dark top). Sitting in front of them are Ruth’s parents, John and Julia Hartle*. The two young ladies are Ruth’s sisters, Sarah Anne and Martha. Sitting on great great grandmother Hartle’s knee is Frederick, born in 1901, the eldest child of George and Ruth. Frederick (Margaret’s uncle) was the eldest of eleven children, nine of whom survived to adulthood. I suspect that this photograph was taken at his christening.

The Closes were a Marple Bridge family. George worked for the railways and was the gravedigger at St Martin’s Church, Low Marple. The Hartle family farmed in Mellor.

The photograph below shows George Close with several of his children (left to right) Betsy, Fred, Hilda sitting on her father’s knee, Martha (Margaret’s mother) and Charlie.

Close Family

If you have an old family photograph that you would like to share with members, please get in touch via our Contact Page.

Hilary Atkinson, January 2019



*I was contacted recently by Maxine Massey, granddaughter of (George) Frederick Close, the baby in the first photograph. Maxine told me that the baby is, indeed, her grandfather Fred (brother of Martha) but that the older couple are mistakenly named as John and Julia Hartle, both of whom died before Fred was born. This mistake illustrates how important it is to look at old photos and if possible, record the names of the people shown; I am sure many of us have family photographs where we do not know the names of the sitters.

Hilary, October 2020