Old Hyde

Old Hyde
Pole Bank 1910 ----------------------------------------------------------Town Hall 1937 --------------------------------------------- Cenotaph 1990

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Henry Enfield Dowson

The following information is taken from "A History of Hyde Chapel" chiefly from the materials and reminiscences of John Thornley compiled by Thomas Middleton and published by Cartwright & Rattray Ltd, Manchester, 1908.

"What Hyde Chapel owes to Mr Dowson, the present generation can never know. It will only be when, after the passage of years, the historian of the future comes to sum up events ... that the true value of Mr. Dowson's ministry will be known and understood."

"Henry Enfield Dowson was born at Geldeston, Norfolk on the 23rd day of November, 1837, the son of Septimus Dowson." He was educated first at the school of his uncle, John Withers Dowson, at Norwich. Subsequently he studied at London University College School; Malleson's School, Hove House, Brighton; Higher Burgher School, Heidelberg. In 1857 he proceeded to University College, London gaining a first class B.A. with classical honours. After a theological course ar Manchester New College he was appointed co-pastor at the the Church of the Messiah, Birmingham. In 1867 he came to Gee Cross to take up ministry at Hyde Chapel.

He married Lucy Osler in Birmingham in 1866 and went on to sire four daughters and four sons.

"Outside his purely ministerial labours, his chief work in Hyde has been rendered on behalf of education. He has taken an active part in the management of British Schools ... Boston Mills School [became] an infants' school and old Hyde Lane School opened as a British School. He also had a part in the management of the George Street School, formerly the Methodist New Connexion School. ... the Gee Cross Undenominational School and the Wesleyan School were handed over to the Town Council after the passing of the Education Act of 1902."

He was a staunch supporter of the Liberal Party, was President of the Seal Club since its inauguration and also President of Hyde Cricket Club.

"A great feature of Mr. Dowson's ministry has been the happy relationshio between him and all churches and sects. ... No more striking testiomony to his popularity and the general respect in which he is held by all classes could be produced than the unanimous welcome which met the announcement that he, in conjunction with the Rev, F.A. Screeton, M.A., Vicar of St Thomas', Hyde, was to make an effort to bring about a settlement of the dispute which led to the long "strike" at Ashton Mills, in the early part of 1908."

"Mr. Dowson is commonly spoken of - not in irony, be it said, but in a spirit of admiration as - 'The Bishop of Gee Cross,' and 'The Grand Old Man of Hyde.'"

See also
D is for Dowson, Revd H.E. (1837-1925);
an account of Enfield School;
David Barlow's overview of his life in a YouTube video.

Friday 19 June 2015

Fashion in the 1940s

At the recent Gee Cross Fete I was asked to photograph a newspaper cutting that included this photograph of a Mannequin Parade at Hyde Town Hall. I think it was a cutting from the North Cheshire Herald. There was a handwritten date of 1930 given but the text refers to clothing coupons and so it must in fact be from the 1940s.

There was no evidence of the battle for "the longer skirt", now said to be raging in the fashion houses of London and Paris, at the Mannequin Parade at the Town Hall Hyde, on Tuesday, presented by the Mayoress's Ladies' Committee and Clegg's, Newton Street, in aid of the Mayoress of Hyde's Hospital and Charity Fund. The models were all the current just-below-knee length. Gracfully displaying the wide range of styles were the Misses Doreen Tewson, Eva Hambleton, Pauline Norman, Mrs Cowling and Mrs Burgess, and they carried themselves with the poise of practised mannequins, though usually they are serving behind the counter at Clegg's .

Noticeable features were the pre-dominance of feathers as trimming, the popularity of the off-the-face hat and the tendency tcwards a one-sided outline by the skilful use of side draping in gowns and off-centre bows on hats. Colour combinations of note were: black and sage green, cherry and turquoise, and turquoise and brown.

As an added note of colour a large white cameo-type brooch was pinned to the lapel of the coat. For the fuller figure was a charming brown fur fabric coat with full swing back from a circular yoke. With this was one of the new hats figuring the east-to-west trend, and underneath was an ice-blue wool dress trimmed with self-coloured frilling. Having long sleeves with turn back reefer cuffs it should be a cosy style for the colder days.

The evening dresses were outstandingly smart, in particular a lemon crepe trimmed with black sequins on the pockets, and a full draped skirt, worn with a silver fax cape. Peploms were a noticeable feature of the evening wear, being either draped or pleated and longer than some months ago, when they were first introduced. The woollen indoor suits in fine jersey cloth were very attractive. but at 14 coupons they are out of reach of the woman who wants a winter coat out of her ration of 20 coupons.

Thursday 19 March 2015

Carrfield Mill

This old postcard shows the junction of Newton Street and Dukinfield Road circa 1920.

The tram in the foreground is one that was operated by SHMDJT - Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Joint Tramways from the 1900s until the 1930s.

Behind the old tram is the Ashton Brothers' mill complex: Carrfield Mill, Bayleyfield Mill and Balaclava Mill. The latter two mills mere demolished in 2008.

Carrfield Mill was founded by the Ashton Brothers, Samuel, Thomas, James and John. Erected in 1817, Carrfield Mill was intended as a combined spinning and weaving mill from the start and 200 powerlooms weavers were being employed there in 1819. The partnership known as Samuel Ashton & Brothers was dissolved in 1821 when Samuel left and the remaining three brothers traded as T.J. & J. Ashton. In September 1823 this partnership too was dissolved, John and James forming another partnership with Robert Ashton, a younger brother, at Newton Moor Mill and Greencroft Mill. This left Thomas Ashton in sole control of the Carrfield Mill site.

Originally known for manufacturing Zorbit terry nappies, it became the home of "Christy Towels". The brand was founded in 1851. Christy is the world's oldest towel manufacturer and is the UK's leading towel brand. Christy invented the first loom to mechanically weave what remains today the basis of the modern towel and is the exclusive supplier of the towels to the world famous Wimbledon Tennis Championship. The 1 billion USD Welspun Group acquired an 85% interest in Christy for a business valuation of GBP 15.6 m, in July 2006. In 2008 they closed the dyehouse and making-up departments at Hyde and transferred the machinery to a specially designed site at Welspun's Anjar facility in India.

Their UK HQ and sales office remained at Carrfield Mill until 2012 when they took over 12,000 sq ft of offices and showroom facilities at Orbit Developments' Park Square complex in Cheadle.

The last remaining mill was demolished in 2013 although the office building wasn't finally raised to the ground until 2015. The 7 acre industrial and office development site is now for sale.

See how Newton Street looks now on Hyde Xtra and take a peek at the demolished mill site on Hyde Daily Photo.

Sunday 11 January 2015

Hyde Carnival 1923?

This photograph was sent to me by Sheila Metcalfe who writes:
This photo is believed to be of the Hyde Carnival Parade and my grannparents belonged to an acting company taking part in the parade. My grandfather is the "Queen" at the front on the right. I see the "King" is holding a large key which must be symbolic of something.

According to my aunt, my grandparents were in Hyde for six months doing repertory theatre at the New Theatre Royal. They were most probably with Langley Howard’s Company. My aunt was born in January 1923 and the family (Godfrey, Winifred and Joan Ward) lodged with John and Jane Mattin and their adult daughters. In the 1911 census John Mattin had a grocer's shop at 77 Commercial Street, Newton, Hyde. When Jane died in 1932 they had moved to 75 Mottram Road, Hyde. I'm not sure which address my grandparents were at. Their adult daughters were a school teacher and a tailoress.

I think they were probably there from about June 1923 for 30 weeks, as they were in Hull in May, but it could have been later. Memories fade over time so the year and theatre could be wrong. I haven't managed to find any direct reference to the company performing repertory at the Theatre Royal in Hyde. The only mention I have found of Langley Howard repertory in Hyde in 1923 was in the Hull Daily Mail the following year when the company took repertory theatre to Hull, and only in passing. Apparently "The Silver Crucifix" was their most popular play. I see from the Manchester Guardian that the Langley Howard Players were performing repertory at the Little Theatre, Rusholme in 1926, but neither my grandparents nor Langley Howard are listed as being involved, so I think this is too late.

I would be very grateful if someone could tell me more about the photograph and if anyone knows of Langley Howard's company performing at the Theatre Royal, Hyde or could point me in the right direction. My grandparents performed under the stage names Godfrey Ward and Winifred James.
Please contact Sheila directly at metcalfe012@btinternet.com.

I am also posting this on the Facebrook Groups:
Friends of Theatre Royal Hyde;
Hyde Memories.

Thursday 18 December 2014

Hyde Library and Technical School

Hyde Library was originally Hyde Technical School and Free Library. It opened in 1897 replacing the former Mechanics Institute.

This Architects drawing was found in an old book at St George's Church.

"It is proposed to build, at a no-distant date, new TECHNICAL SCHOOLS near to the Public Baths in Union Street. The probable cost, including furnishing, will be £12,000. Towards this expenditure, subscriptions have been promised to the extent of £3,500, a grant has been offered by the County Council, while a further grant has been made by the Science and Art Department in London. The deficit, £5,000, is being raised by a Loan on Corporation Security, to be repaid out of a rate at one pebby in the pound. Plans of an elaborate building have been prepared. Above we give an illustration of the exterior of the Schools, from which it will be inferred that, to Hyde at any rate, the edifice will be a thing of beauty.

The need of these Schools has arisen through the impetus given to Technical Instruction by the Technical Institution Acts of 1889-91. At present there is an insufficiency of accommodation for the several classes held, while there is a demand for other classes that cannot be met. Classes, for example, meet in the Mechanics' Institute, the British Schools, and the Town Hall, in rooms by no means adapted for the purpose. When the new Schools are completed this defect will be remidied, and additional instruction given in Cookery, Laundry, Manual Instruction, &c."
Although the library as built was not quite as grand as the architect's drawing it wasn't far short.

The old public baths building has been long gone and now with library services been removed to the Town Hall the building is under threat from a council now based in Ashton which has a wide "programme to reduce the number and costs of Council-owned buildings. Tameside Council's priority is to save services over buildings in its challenge to meet £142m Government funding cuts to its budget." They have already done it in Denton, now they want to do it in Hyde.

Update: Hyde Library closed on Monday 12th January 2015. The library service in the Town Hall opens in February,

See also Hyde Daily Photo.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Listed buildings: Apethorn Farm

Apethorn Farm is a Grade II listed building.

Originally 15th century but with external walls and other features of the C17 to C19. Cruck-framed with brick and squared rubble walls and a graduated stone slate roof. Originally a 4-bay cruck-framed open-hall house (probably a long-house) but with a floor inserted in the C17 and other alterations during conversion to cottages.

The elevation consists of a small gabled wing in bay 1, and a second bay both of which are in stone. The other 3 bays are in brick and have 3 doors relating to their use as a shippon. One ridge chimney. The east elevation, again with 3 bays in brick and the remainder in stone has 3 dormer windows rising from the eaves, one of them gabled. The gable onto the road has one ground floor window and a sash window above.

It is an important example of an early house-type few of which remain in Greater Manchester.

This picture by Frank Bennett, taken in May 2008, and reproduced here with his permission, first appeared on the Images of England site.

In 1831 it was the scene of a murder. In 1928 it was divided into cottages and then in 1993 a fire reduced to it to just the original cruck frame. In recent years it has been wrapped in order to prevent/reduce further damage. It is privately owned and there appears to be little will for renovation/restoration.

Recent photographs of the farm can be found on Hyde DP Xtra.

A photograph of the barn can be found on Hyde Daily Photo.

A contribution to Rubbish Tuesday.

Saturday 1 November 2014

A brief history of Hyde Grammar School

The original Hyde Grammar School was founded in 1877 on the corner of Henry Street and Edna Street.

It is now a sheet-metal factory.

A new building on Clarendon Road costing £12,000 was opened as the "New County School" on September 17th 1912 by Sir George Dixon, chairman of the County Council. Large extensions to the building were made and opened in 1929 and at that time the name was changed to "Hyde Grammar School".

It closed its doors to 11 year olds in 1979. When the last intake had progressed to the Sixth Form, it became Hyde Sixth Form College. It later merged with Ashton Sixth Form college to form Tameside College after which it was known as Hyde Clarendon Sixth Form College.

Photographs of the current building can be found on Hyde Daily Photo and Hyde DP Xtra.

Videos on YouTube that feature Hyde Grammar School include:
Hyde Grammar School Football Team 1946 by George Wain.
Hyde Grammer School Sports Day 1946 by George Wain.
Hyde Grammar School, Nunc Amici, The School Song by Sefton Wallet.
Hyde Grammar School: Boys of '57 Reunion by Sefton Wallet.
Hyde Grammar School: More boys from '57 by Sefton Wallet.
Hyde Grammar School Photo July 1959 by Sefton Wallet.
Hyde Grammar School: The Staff of 1959 by Sefton Wallet.

Current plans for Tameside College are to transfer all services to a new centre in Ashton under Lyne and then sell the site to a developer for demolition. An e-petition has been launched - Save Hyde Clarendon College from demolition.
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