Old Hyde

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

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Whittaker's Whim

About a hundred years ago in the old quarry below the Werneth Hotel on Stockport Road was found what was known as Frederick Whittaker's Whim.

I've been unable to find much out about this, but it is mentioned in an obscure, rambling spoof poem by James Leigh.
Just take a walk up o'er Werneth Low, and there you will behold
That grand and noble structure at the foot of yonder hill
An ever lasting monument of architectural skill.

We then besieged the palace of King Frederick the Great.
That tumble-down old building on the Back Bower Estate
But not a Godl(e)y soul we found in that ungodly place,
So we razed the building to the ground and left of it no trace

We then marched through the city of Gee Cross, but, strange to say,
The city's ancient glory has long since passed away;
The only ancients that we saw, beside old Freddie's whims
Was Robin and his brother Jam, the famous Gee Cross twins.

We halted on Mount Pleasant, and as we gazed around
We felt that we were standing upon historic ground,
For the foot of Treacle Hill stood gloomy, dark and grim,
The ruins of a temple, His Majesty's first Whim.

Each warrior bowed his crested head above Stone Pit wall,
And thus each one soliloquised upon the city's fall.

Oh, city of the ancients, we gaze upon you now,
Shorn of thy former glory how desolate art thou;
Thy Market Hall, without a roof, is crumbling to decay
Thy public park and pleasure grounds have long since passed away

But soon we noticed that the sun was sinking in the west,
And weather it was time or not, of course the sun knew best,
But we ourselves were very weary, though only half-past nine,
The heat is so oppressive in that Oriental clime.

We sought a refuge for the night at Doorbar's famous inn
Stone Pit is a reference to the reservoir now used for fishing and Doorbar's is a reference to the Grapes Hotel.

Now the old quarry is full of modern houses which you can see on Hyde Daily Photo and the quarry wall can be seen on Hyde DP Xtra.


  1. My understanding is that Whittaker's Whim was a 5 story building built against the wall with 3 stories below Stockport Road, and the top two stories fronting onto Stockport Road.

    Again, my understanding is that it was replaced by the original 2-story stone-built factory used by G B Moores for the dressing of chamois leather.

    Hence, in the days of G B Moores and his son G F Moores, the property (accessed from Stockport Road opposite Back Bower) was known as "Glen Chamois".

    Neville Richards

    1. G B Moores was my grandfather and the factory was run by my father John Travis and his brother Freddy. (George Frederick ) My father J T does'nt get much of a mention as he had go off to war in the navy. Freddy lived at the house overlooking the whim with his wife Lillian and son and daughter Lester and Joyce. In recent years Lester was landlord of a public house in G Cross. I always intended to visit but never got round to it. I am at {travism40@aol.com} I am Anthony John Moores son of John Travis Moores.

  2. I have just been typing up my great, great Uncle Alderman Henry Goodier Turner's obituary so it is easier to read and found reference to Whittaker's Whim and googled it to find on more
    "In another will case, that of Frederick Howard Whittaker of Whittaker’s Whim fame, Mr. Turner acted for years. Mr. Whittaker’s personal whims were notorious. One of his fads landed him in court, and incidentally caused the erected of “Whittaker’s Whim” at Gee Cross.
    Mr. Whittaker invariably refused to pay toll fees. He would ride past the toll gates wherever he went, and shake his whip at the toll-men. Frequently he was before the justice because of this default. When fined Mr. Whittaker became very sore, so he erected his “whim” in the stone quarry at Gee Cross. Mr. Whittaker was kidnapped and died at Heysham. Mr. Turner recollected having seen Mr. Whittaker leaving a Manchester solicitors office, and he found the will there. He and the late Mr. Harvey Smith proved it after a protracted trial" - From Father of Council Dead, North Cheshire Herald, October 1923


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