GLOSSOP CENTENARY HANDBOOK 1866 - 1966
Foreword by The Mayor of Glossop (Councillor Mrs. A. Williams) May, 1966—May, 1967
One hundred years ago the inhabitants of the Borough of Glossop were incorporated by means of a Charter. We look back on 100 years of Local Government, 100 years of progress, planning, achievements, failures, booms and slumps. But more than all, 100 years in the life of the people.
We have every reason to be proud of our Borough for it has played an important part in the industrial history of our country. I hope that all who read these pages will find them an effective means of maintaining and stimulating pride in the story of the town’s development.
The Centenary Celebrations will be especially important as a means of impressing upon the children a deeper sense of their heritage, and of their debt to past generations as well as of their responsibilities as citizens.
What of the future? While aiming at expansion of industry and improvement of services, we must build a sufficiency of good houses which are the homes of the people and the background of their future life.
We must remember to care for the aged, who have borne the brunt of the struggle and ensure that the last years of their lives are spent comfortably and happily.
In addition, our educational facilities must be developed and extended to give our young people every opportunity for advancement. All cultural agencies must be greatly encouraged and improved.
I would also commend the need for the growth of friendship and understanding between ourselves and the people of our twin town Millau.
This is our Borough. We, the people who live in it, have the power in our hands to make it a pleasant place to live and work in.
May 1966 prove to be a year of progress and a worthy milestone in our history.
Ada Williams, Mayor 1966-67
Burial urn of the Bronze Age and bone fragments found at Shire Hill by Alderman Hurst
History of Glossop by the W.E.A. Local History Class
The Glossop community is well over 1,000 years old. It has survived such great changes as the Norman Conquest, the Industrial Revolution and the collapse of the Cotton Industry. The century whose end we are now celebrating has seen first the triumph of Glossop as an industrial town and then the bitterness of industrial failure. But it is clear that the last quarter of this century has been a period of recovery and adaptation, and the prospects for the future are good.
At a time of expansion, with new Glossopians more numerous than they have been since at least the 1880’s, it is vital for a town that is to retain its individuality to know its own history.
Although men have undoubtedly lived in this part of the Peak District for at least 50,000 years, the history of Glossop really begins in the sixth or seventh century A.D. The men who in the Middle Stone Age hunted in the open woodlands which then covered our hills, the men of the Bronze Age who buried a child on the slopes of Shire Hill, the Romans who built their road and their fort which we call Melandra, all these and other early inhabitants of our region have left few living traces on the Glossop of today. No doubt we carry in our features some distant echo of theirs, just as in a few names like Etherow we echo the Celtic language of Roman times, but the starting point of our continuous history must be the arrival of Anglian settlers about the end of the sixth century.
They found the valleys filled everywhere up to 600 or 700 feet above sea level with a dense and not very profitable forest. The hilltops were covered with the same inhospitable peat as today. So they settled in clearings on the edge of the forest where by mixed farming and hunting they could eke out a precarious living. In 1086 when William the Conqueror carried out his “Domesday” survey of England we find their settlements, Padfield, Hadfield, Dinting, Glossop, Whitfield, Chunal, Charlesworth and Chisworth—each with a few acres of arable land, perhaps with a total population of 100 or so, the whole area bringing in 40/- a year in good times, but in 1086 “wasteland” of no value at all.
It was probably William himself who laid waste the region as part of a successful policy of deliberate terror. On the positive side the Normans gave Glossop a new unity when the area was granted first to William Peveril of Castleton, and later to the Abbots of Basingwerke in Flintshire. These lords of the manor did not live in the region, but they owned market rights, held a “court leet”, and as the gradual process continued of clearing the forest and expanding the cultivated area, the lord was able to draw increasing profits from his lands. Part of this profit was used to build a church, which was in existence by the time the Abbots became Lords in 1157. Since the church was in Glossop, this hamlet became the natural centre of the region, and what in the Domesday Book had been Longdendale came to be known as “Glossopdale”.
John Wood's Mills about 1850, from Bank Street
From the eleventh century to the eighteenth century, history on the whole passed Glossop by. There were changes of Lord when the monasteries were dissolved and the land went to the Talbot family in 1536, or when a Talbot heiress took Glossop with her to the Howards, but these merely changed one absentee landlord for another. The changes of religion of the same troubled period produced one Catholic martyr, Nicholas Garlick of Dinting, and one notable Puritan, William Bagshaw, the Apostle of the Peak, who was ejected from the vicarage in 1662 as a non-conformist. But these excitements were exceptional. More typical was the report of William Newson, constable of Glossop in 1689 “I have no popish recusants nor greyhounds nor Quakers nor guns to ye best of my knowledge.” Glossop wanted to be left alone and on the whole it was.
But there was one slow and important change at work. The later Middle Ages and notably the sixteenth century saw a great expansion of the English trade, first in wool and then in cloth, and Glossop as a result began in a small way to anticipate its future as a textile town. The domestic spinning wheel and hand loom were increasingly used, the population rose to perhaps a thousand by 1700, and the consequent demand for food led to the extension of the cultivated area, with more scattered farms on what had been waste ground, farming their separate fields and paying a rent to the Lord. In 1658 the Lord’s gross income from Glossop was as much as £683. Another effect of this rising prosperity was the rebuilding of the seventeenth century, especially of the larger farm houses like Hadfield Old Hall. It may be that the first Glossop Hall was built on the Royle in this century, but our first certain evidence is of the eighteenth century.
The most important change in Glossop since the coming of the Anglian settlers took place in the fifty years after 1780. Amply supplied with fast running streams, conveniently near the growing commercial centre of Manchester, readily accessible to the new techniques being developed nearby by men like Arkwright at Cromford or Crompton at Bolton, already possessing a small wool textile industry, Glossop was ideally placed to become one of the centres of the new cotton industry. The Howards, especially Bernard Edward, who became twelfth Duke of Norfolk in 1816, and his indefatigable agent Matthew Ellison, could see the advantage of industrial growth, and were ready to lease land for mills and cottages, to lease the mineral rights of the Charlesworth and Simmondley coal, and to encourage and help to finance the new roads and railways which were necessary parts of this Industrial Revolution. The period of really rapid expansion began in 1785, and by 1831 there were 30 mills spaced all along the streams which provided power. They were mostly small concerns for spinning only, and this was a period of great prosperity for the handloom weavers whose looms were to be heard in every cottage. Most of the mill owners were local men, yeomen like the Hadfields, clothiers like John Bennett of Turnlee, or craftsmen like the Thornleys of Hadfield. Three of the most important, John Wood from Yorkshire (1815), Edmund Potter from Lancashire (1825) and Francis Sumner from Warwickshire (1822), were outsiders attracted to this growing area. They brought with them wider contacts and ideas and in Sumner’s case a capital investment of £10,000.
At the same time the development of power weaving and of the steam engine (first installed by Wood in 1825) led to a growth in the size of individual mills, and the consequent failure of many smaller enterprises, so that by the mid-nineteenth century Glossop was a town of a few enormous mills.
The effect of all these changes was to create the town of Glossop as we know it. The population grew by over six times in half a century. The new turnpike roads crossing each other in the middle of the valley near an isolated farm provided a convenient centre for industrial and housing development, which for long was known as Howardtown. So it was natural that when the enterprising Lord of the Manor decided to build a Town Hall in 1837, a Market Hall in 1844 and a Railway Station in 1847, these handsome new buildings should be grouped round the new centre.
“The Glossop estate differs from any other portion of Your Grace's family property”, wrote Ellison to the Duke in 1843, “In that from a state of comparative obscurity and inconsiderable rental it has during the last 40 years attained an exalted and influential position.” There could be no doubt that Glossop had arrived.
Town hall original design. The dome on the right was never built. The present clock tower was added in 1897.
GLOSSOP 100 YEARS AGO
On the 23rd October, 1866 “a mysterious parcel arrived at the Glossop railway terminus, looking not unlike a banjo”, and containing the Royal Charter creating the Borough of Glossop. What sort of place was the Glossop of 1866?
Many of the 4,000 or so houses of the 1860’s still stand today. From Sheffield Road, just beyond the Commercial Inn the town stretched almost continuously to Woolley Bridge; Hadfield, Padfield and Whitfield were more clearly separate villages and the whole of the area round Princess Street and Pikes Lane was still green fields. Most of the houses and other buildings had been built in the last 30 years, the older ones roofed with thick stone slates from Glossop Low quarry, those built since the arrival of that modern marvel, the railway, in 1845, with roofs of Welsh slate, but all with walls solidly built of local gritstone. Lord Howard’s splendid new Glossop Hall, built in 1851, was of course in a class by itself. The typical house was of two storeys with a single room upstairs and no bathroom. Many were owner occupied or owned by men not much richer than the mill-workers who lived in them. A large number belonged to the big millowners and were leased to their workers at rents of about 2/6d. a week, though a single room could be had for as little as 6d. There were a few cellar dwellings, but on the whole Glossop had none of the slums which disfigured the great cities of the 1860's.
Perhaps a quarter of the houses had a piped water supply, provided since 1854 by Lord Howard for 1½d. a week (2d. for the fortunate few who had pipes taken into their houses, but most used a standpipe in the yard). The Gas Company had been at work since 1845, but gas was so expensive that most people still cooked on a coal fire and lit their houses with candles. There were no sewers and no organised system of emptying the earth closets that were to be found in every yard.
The minor streets were mostly unpaved. The Editor of the “Glossop Record” in 1859 recommended nobody to visit Glossop after dark “without a good lantern and a strong pair of stilts”. His article was part of a campaign for street lighting which was introduced on the main roads in 1860, despite bitter opposition. These main roads were under the care of the Turnpike Trustees, who surfaced them with rolled stone.
Nearly all the people of Glossop, about six out of every seven, were millworkers or their dependants. The women worked in the mills as well as the men and most children over nine worked “half-time”, a five-hour day. There were a few hundred shopkeepers, 106 innkeepers and a small “upper class” of perhaps 100 families of clergy, millowners, and lawyers. At the other end of the social spectrum were 400 unfortunate people described by a contemporary as “paupers, idle, vicious and suspected characters”.
A man in good employment might earn 17/6d. a week or a little more, so a total family wage might be over £2 in good times. But times were often bad. In the cotton famine of the early 60’s they had been very bad—in March 1863, 8,728 people, virtually the entire working population, were being given various types of unemployment relief amounting to an average of about 2/- per head per week.
Glossop was of course a cotton town. There were 14 cotton mills in 1862 but Sumners, Woods and Sidebottoms dominated the town, though Potter’s printworks at Dinting Vale was also important. Expansion had been phenomenal in the years between the coming of the railway and the cotton famine, and though the trade was a hazardous one for the small firms, the large “vertical” mills, that is mills which combined spinning and weaving, could be extremely profitable. These mills were still family concerns, and their owners lived in Glossop and provided it with leadership—“a happy strength of capitalists” as Edmund Potter, one of their number, described them in 1856. Without doubt these men had made Glossop what it was, and it was their organising ability that had enabled the town to lift itself by its own bootstraps to a position of high prosperity. They were men of dominating energy and influence, leading figures in the local churches, Justices of the Peace, occasionally Members of Parliament, and inevitably dominant on the Borough Council after 1866. As the “Record” says of the first election “King Cotton was Triumphant”. In general, since they lived among
their workpeople and were not yet separated from them by any great barrier of speech or education, they were admired and respected, and even during the dark days of the Cotton Famine there had been little social tension. Glossop was on the whole a peaceful and self-confident town in which all classes were reasonably contented and adhered in general to a well established set of values.
The guardians of these values were the local churches, of which there were a great many, most of them new. Even the ancient Parish Church had just been rebuilt. The Nonconformists were more numerous in proportion than they are today. Altogether there was Church accommodation for 11,600 adults and 7,500 Sunday School Children, though less than half of these actually attended. The Churches were active centres of social life. Most of them ran day schools and probably nearly all the children of 1866 had some sort of formal education, though a fair proportion of adults were illiterate. The very rich sent their children away to Public Schools like Rugby and the very poor parked their babies during working hours in “schools” like that run by Elizabeth Drabble, Milliner, in Charles Street. There were 27 libraries, mostly connected with Churches, or with the Mechanics Institutes like that at Littlemoor, where in the 1850’s 566 people attended evening classes. The success of this education is shown by the fact that Glossop had in the 60’s two weekly papers claiming a combined circulation of 7,000.
A ten-hour working day and only a few days holiday a year did not leave much leisure time. There was Saturday afternoon, however, and cricket and football of a sort were played. There were traditional ceremonies, like the annual “rush bearing” at the Parish Church and Glossop had its own Morris Dance. Travelling theatres visited the town. Revivalist religious meetings were frequent and fervent. But, especially for those who were not active members of the Church communities, there was really very little organised leisure activity, and during the limited hours of leisure the 106 public houses drove a roaring trade—a fact fully attested by the police court reports in every local paper.
Such was the Glossop of a 100 years ago, a self-contained community, proud of its achievement and confident in its future. It controlled virtually all its own affairs. There was as yet no County Council and the Government in far-away London intervened only occasionally to collect taxes or to lay down Factory Acts and send Inspectors, and in 1866 to grant a Borough Charter when Glossop, after mature deliberation, had decided that it wanted one.
Street Plan of Glossop in 1866
THE FOUNDATION OF THE BOROUGH
On the 26th November, 1859 the Editor of the “Glossop Record” wrote “In everything but extent and population, Glossop is now a mere village or hamlet, having none of the requisites of town government and no apparatus for the regulation as a town of its affairs. It is growing without any system of regulation except such as may be enforced by the proprietor of the land.” He was obviously right. Such government as there was was done partly by Lord Howard who, as Lord of the Manor, ran the markets, and owned the Town Hall and the Waterworks, partly by the elected Poor Law Guardians, who ran the workhouse and aided the poor, partly by the Vestry at Old Glossop, which appointed constables and inspectors of nuisances, partly by the County Magistrates who were responsible for law and order. But in such a muddled and confused system a great deal was not done at all. And as the democratic idea that people should control their own affairs was gradually being accepted, there was plenty of reason why as Edmund Potter put it, “Glossop should govern itself and have a Parliament of its own”.
It is not surprising that these suggestions were not very welcome to those who ran the existing systems—in the main the millowners. Local elections might weaken their authority and with some exceptions they were at first, to quote the “Record” again, “anxious to prevent the management of the town’s affairs falling into the hands of a few tradesmen”. As a correspondent in another issue of the “Record” put it:
“Stand ye still ye Glossop natives,
For to meddle is to mar,
Change is rash and ever was so,
We are happy as we are.”
Lord Howard appears, like Potter, to have taken a more sympathetic attitude, but the opposition of leading millowners was sufficient to shelve the whole idea in 1859. All that came of the agitation was some street lamps (in 1860) run by yet another special committee.
It was the Cotton Famine of 1862-1864 which reopened the problem as a matter of pressing urgency. Although for the first dreadful year of this catastrophe the people of Glossop were able to survive on savings and voluntary contributions (a total of £60,225 was distributed by the Relief Committee during the famine) in 1864 a programme of public works was begun to provide useful work, mainly road building and an extension of the reservoir. This caused two serious problems. Lord Howard found himself responsible for a large water undertaking with a considerable debt and no certain prospects of profit to himself for running what he considered “a public duty for a public body”. The millowners on the other hand were worried that the enlarged reservoir would deprive them of water essential to their business. Francis Sumner in the summer of 1864 threatened an action at law against Howard questioning the legality of the whole water undertaking. It was this which brought on the crisis. Lord Howard announced that he would stop supplying water as from 19th September, 1864.
The obvious suggestion was put forward that a proper local authority should be set up which should take on the waterworks. This appealed to democratic and radical opinion, led by Rev. Atkin, Minister at Littlemoor Chapel, and John France, a Whitfield butcher, into whose mouth his enemies put words like “We intend to set all great men at defiance”. Their idea was not to apply for a Borough Charter, but to set up a more humble “Local Government Board” for the area of one mile radius from the Town Hall which was already the Glossop Market area.
Sumner and his fellow millowners opposed the whole idea. A local board could take charge of a great many things as well as water supply—it could run public baths, it could control smoky chimneys and lay down housing bye-laws— the list was formidable and likely to be expensive. A borough could by special resolution adopt the same powers, but it had no need to do anything but maintain law and order. The millowners were, of course, very large ratepayers—it was said that one of them paid a third of the entire Poor Rate. Although they would probably have gained control in elections to a Local
Government Board in the same way as they did in the Borough elections after 1866, they evidently were not anxious to sit on a Local Government Board and were worried about the activities of men like France who would otherwise control it.
A Borough, however, was different. It was believed that it would be cheaper. Poor Rates in 1864 were at the unprecedented level of 3/- in the pound, and cheapness was important. Further, the honour of sitting as Councillors and Aldermen was one which the millowners would readily seek. To be Mayor was a greater honour still, and a Borough carried with it an independent Commission of the Peace with five J.P.’s. There was even talk of a Borough Member of Parliament.
So Sumner, having opposed local government until it now seemed inevitable, with Lord Howard in its favour, and the water crisis making a decision urgent, decided to press for a Borough Charter. It was during a meeting in the Town Hall on 21st November, 1864 that he made this plain. The Rev. Atkin asked if he was serious. The Editor of the “Record” wrote “We are struck with amazement”. Sumner’s change of front was decisive although some opposition still continued. The powerful Wood family “appeared to be neutral” and their relatives the Sidebottoms of Waterside, together with most of the other large Hadfield and Padfield Ratepayers were bitterly opposed. As Edward Platt put it with sturdy Hadfield patriotism “If we get connected with Glossop we should have nothing but trouble”, or William Sidebottom “The general opinion of the inhabitants is that they
would be very sorry to be connected with Glossop”. But despite this opposition it was agreed to petition the Queen for the grant of a Borough Charter and agreed later that Hadfield and Padfield should be included in the Borough.
And so, after a long delay the Charter was issued on 19th October, 1866. Glossop had its “own Parliament” at last. It was disappointing perhaps that there was for the present to be no Glossop M.P. but no doubt that would come in time. Meanwhile, in December 1866, after an election that was an inevitable triumph for the millowners, the Council elected its first Aldermen and its first Mayor, Alderman Sumner, J.P., and set about its first century of business.
Annual Remembrance Service, Norfolk Square Gardens
A HUNDRED YEARS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
After the lengthy arguments for and against acquiring Borough status and the excitement of elections and new Civic dignities, the ordinary work of the first Council must have seemed very trivial. The main concern was the levying and collection of rates to pay for existing services—sanitary inspection, policing and lighting—controlled by the Watch, Finance, General Purposes and Sanitary Committees. The first Borough rate was 4½d in the £.
Mr. Thomas Michael Ellison was appointed Town Clerk at £30 per annum and Samuel Wood became Borough Treasurer. Committee and Council meetings were held in the Town Hall, leased from Lord Howard at £25 per year. A Common Seal for the Council was approved—the lion,
used by the Guardians of Glossop Union, with the words “Virtus, Veritas, Libertas”, as an inscription—the crest of the town until the present Borough Arms were granted in 1919.
At the time of incorporation Glossop was “policed” by the County Force, under the control of the Standing Joint Committee, appointed by the Justices at Quarter Sessions. The force was considered inefficient to maintain law and order in the Borough, especially among the rougher elements of the town and the Council decided that they must have their own force. A Chief Constable and six policemen were selected and equipped—later in the year we read that cutlasses were purchased, a comment on prevailing conditions. This force was repeatedly declared inadequate by Inspectors of Constabulary, but the reports were ignored by the Council. As most of the councillors were large ratepayers it was in their own interests to keep costs down. The Chief Constable subsequently became Sanitary Inspector, Inspector of Common Lodging Houses and of Street Lamplighters.
There were few areas lighted at this time, but very slowly other parts were included, with frequent clashes on costs between Council and Gas Company.
In 1867 the Lord Chancellor issued a separate Commission of the Peace for Glossop, and Borough magistrates administered justice in the town. The businessmen on the Council were obviously behind a request from the Town Clerk seeking telegraphic communication and better postal services for Glossop, which were slow to materialise.
In 1868 Glossop adopted the Local Government Act, after heated discussion in Council. This would enable, but not compel them to do a great many other things besides maintaining law and order. The naming and numbering of streets was one of these, an explosive topic, first raised in 1867 but it was 1877 and many arguments later before it was finally agreed that the cost involved was justified.
The streets and highways were hardly considered, although in deplorable state, until 1869 when the Council resolved to take steps to keep the highways in repair. One expense led to another, for in 1874 ratepayers were petitioning for watering of the streets to control dust. A watering cart was purchased in 1876, but at first operated only in the central area around the Town Hall.
Drainage of streets began in 1878, followed by paving and flagging, and by 1883 a steam roller was in commission. That year the first Borough Surveyor was appointed and gradually street improvement schemes developed.
When the Turnpike Trusts expired, between 1875 and 1882, the main roads became the joint responsibility of town and county, and much correspondence passed between Glossop and the County Justices in Derby before a satisfactory monetary settlement for repairs was made.
Religious bodies had provided and maintained schools in the town and although the matter was raised in Council, Glossop never had a School Board, but in 1877 a School Attendance Officer was appointed, as well as a Committee for administration.
Water, which had been vital to the making of the Borough, had surprisingly been left in the control of Lord Howard. Complaints were frequent until in December, 1878, it was decided to purchase the waterworks. In 1879 assent was given to the payment of £21,000 to Lord Howard for Swineshaw Reservoir, water mains and rights; Hadfield Water Undertaking was not Council-owned until 1929.
Consideration was given to the formation of a Fire Brigade and in May, 1885, eight men, based on Glossop Police Station were appointed. This was for Glossop only, later extended to Hadfield.
Local Government responsibility was greatly increased by the Public Health Act of 1875, the Municipal Corporations Act and Local Government Acts of 1888 and 1894.
A Medical Officer of Health was appointed, jointly with Hayfield and Chapel- en-le-Frith Unions; a Sanitary Inspector appointed; bye-laws made; regulations on food inspection, workshops, weights and measures, slaughterhouses were added to the Council’s work. No house building was planned, but in 1886 property owners were asking the Council to petition Lord Howard for greater facilities for villa building.
In 1885 the financial position was causing concern and in reply to a Local Government Board enquiry the Council stated “during a great portion of the time in which the adverse balance in their accounts accumulated the trade was in a bad state and mills and factories were working short time. Now higher rates will be levied and finances put in a satisfactory condition.”
Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1887 brought many gifts to the town from local benefactors. Wood’s Hospital was built and endowed by the Wood family, who also gave the Baths and laid out Howard Park, on land given by Lord Howard. Edward Partington and Herbert Rhodes gave the Victoria Hall, as a Library and Public Hall, on the site given by Lord Howard. The adoption of the Free Library Act was rejected by the Council in 1878, but now that a building was provided, the Act was adopted, though not without opposition, and the library started on a 1d. rate and gifts from well-wishers. In the same year an Isolation Hospital was built at Gamesley.
Sewage disposal had long been a problem in Glossop. In 1870 a memorial from ratepayers complained of the state of the main drains in the Market Street/ Shepley Mill area. These complaints occurred regularly, with increasing volume, and combined with County Council and River Board threats on river pollution from sewers and factories, at length caused the Council to take action. In 1894 the estimate for the Sewage Works was accepted and a £40,000 loan negotiated.
Demand for water was still in excess of supply and in 1893 Partington’s Shelf Valley scheme was considered and rejected.
Lectures and classes in technical education had been in progress since 1893 when a Technical Instruction Committee was formed and in 1898 Lord Howard offered to build a Technical School, which was opened in 1901. An Education Committee to operate the new Education Act became Council responsibility in 1903.
Properties belonging to the Corporation increased in 1902, when George Ollerenshaw presented Whitfield Library and Recreation ground. Hadfield benefitted from the gift of Hadfield Library and Public Hall in 1906, by Edward Platt. In the same year Edward Partington offered to build and endow the Partington Nurses’ and Convalescent Home, opened in 1908, and amended to include maternity cases in 1920. In November 1918 Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Jackson offered the gift of the purchase money of the Town Hall, Offices, Market and Market rights, which the Corporation were about to buy from Lord Howard, after over
20 years of negotiations. These were formally handed over on 19th July, 1919 and the Council became the authority for Weights and Measures and Market Authority. In 1921 they obtained repeal of the Glossop Market Act and reorganised and enlarged the stall accommodation. The new Municipal Buildings were completed in 1923.
So the work of the Council grew, council housing having been started in 1919. In the 1920’s two new parks were opened—Bankswood and Manor Park, on the sale of Lord Howard’s house and grounds. This was a time of severe unemployment which caused much distress, drains on social services and lack of money for the Council to maintain adequately the existing services. A Development Committee was set up in 1931 to try to attract new industries with some success. Water supply was even more inadequate but although schemes were considered nothing was done. The Sewage works had been extended in 1921, but a defect in the sewer system was found, lack of money precluded repairs and the defects became steadily worse.
The 1939-45 war ended unemployment and Glossop found itself in a better position economically. New Government regulations reduced the services to be governed locally. Subsequent to 1944 Elementary Education, Police, Fire Service, Maternity and Child Welfare, Youth Employment and Town and Country Planning have become County controlled. In 1948 the Regional Hospital Board took over the hospitals and later Manchester Corporation the water supply. Realising that sewage must be tackled the Council planned and opened the new Sewage works in 1964.
This may seem an unexciting record. The Glossop Borough has been small in size and struggling for nearly half of its century of existence with financial difficulties. But the total effect of the things it has done has been enormous. The steady pressure of successive Medical Officers and Sanitary Inspectors has abolished diseases like typhoid—there were 85 cases in 1898, only five in 1909 and none today. Successive Borough Engineers have transformed the lighting and paving. Bye-laws and council building have made at any rate some impact on the housing problem. A century of municipal government, powerfully aided by the gifts of wealthy citizens in the years of prosperity, have given the town amenities—Parks, Baths, Libraries, which compare well with those of other small towns.
Centre of Glossop in 1906 (Norfolk Square)
Between 1866 and 1900 was a busy time for the builders. The gentler slopes of the town to the North and South were developed from fields to houses. The area between Victoria Street and Queen Street in Glossop and between Station Road and Newshaw Lane in Hadfield were quickly built up. The development of the branch railway to Glossop in 1845 had allowed for the delivery of first-class materials required in the building trade for roofing, carpentry and joinery. Good Welsh slates and excellent pine timber from America and Canada became available. Steam power had by now been developed and allowed stone and timber to be sawn by machine rather than worked by hand. This is evidenced by the smooth stone cills and heads to the windows and stone jambs to door-ways. An army of craftsmen in timber and stone enhanced the houses with opening sash windows which replace fixed windows with small panes of glass. Panelled pine doors, deep skirting boards and architraves are evidence to this day of good workmanship and materials. The absence of a damp course in houses, however, proved to be unfortunate as many of the houses suffered from wall dampness. They had stone paved floors in the downstairs rooms, built-in stone sink with a single cold tap, and were fitted with gas in the course of construction. The traditional “set pot” for the usual Monday washing day was still a feature in these houses. Little improvement, however, had taken place in the sanitary arrangements; the privy midden was still a feature and the luxury of the pail closet had not yet arrived. The houses were an improvement on the earlier ones, having well ventilated rooms, more spacious back yards with nine feet right of way, and the front gardens, gates and rails anticipated future traffic hazards. Many of the houses of this period were built by the better-off tradesmen of the town, with the help of the local building societies; pleasant terraced houses, often with a somewhat larger house at the end of the terrace for the owner himself.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century imports of good timber allowed for the use of wood floors in place of stone paving, and the pail lavatory quickly replaced the old privy. The feature of a nine feet right of way around the back of the houses facilitated the collection of the night soil, and the rumbling of the cart is remembered by many to this day.
Between 1900 and 1914 house building in Glossop was at a low ebb. Quarry men and builders had a lean time, the only activity in housing being for a few detached and semi-detached houses built for private occupation. This was due to the slow decline in population.
After the Great War the demand for better housing conditions grew. The slogan was “Homes fit for heroes to live in” and the pressure upon Local Authorities in Glossop and all over the country became very great. In 1920 Glossop Corporation built 48 stone houses, sixteen each at Sheffield Road, Simmondley Lane and Newshaw Lane. These houses had baths and hot water system and the W.C. was built within the confines of the house. There was a great deal of criticism about the cost of these houses at £1,100 each.
In the 1920’s the mass conversion of the pail closet, which had long been a nuisance in Glossop, was taking place under a grant in aid scheme from the Local Council and each pail closet was converted on to the water carriage system.
Early in the 1930’s, houses were built for sale by Mr. Frank Lord in North Road, Hall Meadow Road and Newshaw Lane, at a cost of between £375 and £405. Traditional stone for houses was now replaced by local bricks because stone was too expensive. Later in the 1930’s houses were built for sale by the Glossop Co-operative Society in North Road, Sheffield Road and Spire Hollin for between £400 and £450. Glossop at this time was suffering great depression in the cotton trade and even at that price the houses were not easy to sell and some houses had to be let for
lack of buyers. The depression also had its effect on Local Authority building. With over 500 empty properties in Glossop there was little encouragement for large housing schemes. Between 1934 and 1935, 26 houses were built in Wood Street, Gladstone Street and Beech Avenue for about £350 each with net rents of 4/2d. to 4/8d. In 1938 houses of three and four bedrooms, containing over 1,150 ft. of living accommodation were built in Lyne Avenue at a cost of £500 and rents of 8/7d. to 9/3d. per week. It is extraordinary to note here the great difficulty the local Council experienced in letting these houses because of the high rents. They were in fact left untenanted in some cases for a whole winter and suffered consequent damage from frozen pipes and bursts.
Since the last war the rate of house building has increased. In 1948 the Borough erected 50 “pre-fabs” on the “Acre” site, and in 1949 built 74 houses at Hadfield and Woodcock Grove. Between 1954 and 1957 150 houses were built mainly in Queen’s Drive, and a large housing scheme at Whitfield of over 200 houses has just been completed which brings the total number of houses owned by Glossop Corporation in 1965 to 845. At the beginning of the century they owned none except their own service houses.
Between 1945 and 1954 only 42 privately built houses were completed, but the late 50’s and early 60’s have seen a considerable increase of private building, most notably, perhaps, the replacement of Lord Howard’s former mansion, Glossop Hall, by an estate of modern bungalows. There are probably more new houses in Glossop today than at any period since 1900.
About half the houses in the Borough were built before 1875. Although more solidly built than those of today their planning and amenities are infinitely worse. Nearly two-thirds of them have no fixed bath or inside lavatory. A formidable problem remains into the second century of Glossop’s municipal history.
Combined populations of the townships of Glossop, Whitfield, Chunal, Simmondley, Padfield, Hadfield and Dinting 1801-1861 from census returns
Population of Glossop Municipal Borough 1861-1961 from census returns
POPULATION AND INDUSTRIAL CHANGE
The population “explosion” which transformed early nineteenth-century Glossop has already been referred to. In 1801 the first census shows 2,400 people living in the seven townships which were in 1866 to become the borough of Glossop. This was more than double the population of a century earlier, and had been brought about by natural increase, movement of population having little effect.
The next decade demonstrates a similar rate of increase, with the total population rising to approximately 2,670 persons in the seven townships in 1811.
The next four censuses, however, provide evidence of the massive immigration into the area demanded by the establishment of large-scale cotton spinning and manufacturing companies. By 1851 the population had risen to 15,740, six times greater than 40 years earlier. This rate of increase then slowed down to give a population of 17,561 in 1861, just prior to the formation of the Borough.
The overall trend over the 50 years 1811-1861, however, was not common to all townships. Chunal hamlet suffered the loss of one-third of its inhabitants during the 1820’s due to a movement towards the industrial centre of “New Glossop”, and for the next 40 years maintained a steady population of 100 plus. The township of Padfield diminished in population by 430 persons during the decade 1851-1861 due to the completion of building the main part of the reservoirs on the River Etherow, and in the same period Simmondley lost 110 persons when the coal mines were abandoned. But these little
counter trends do nothing to spoil the picture of the development over 70 years of new communities like the 5,000 people at Howard-town and New Glossop, and of 7,500 at Whitfield, 2,000 extra persons in Hadfield, 1,200 in Padfield, and Dinting shifting its centre into the valley bottom and gaining 700 persons.
In1861 the average age of the whole community was 26, with one eighth part of the population under five years of age, one third under 15 years, and almost half under 20 years. This young community was housed to a density of five persons per dwelling.
The dominant position of the cotton mills in 1866 has already been described. Prosperity had just returned to the industry after the “Cotton Famine” which had shown the danger of over-specialisation for the first time. Until the First World War the local mills concentrated on the manufacture of cheap prints and shirtings for export to the Far East. The large vertically integrated mills depended for profit on large orders giving long production runs.
During the years 1862-1864 the Cotton Famine forced several thousands of the population to seek employment in other areas, but on the resumption of cotton manufacturing many returned to Glossop, and the census of 1871, the first in the lifetime of the new Borough, records a population of 17,323, a drop of only 238 from the previous figure. The pattern over the next 20 years was one of sustained increase in population, with further immigration dominating a slightly falling birth rate, so that by 1891 the population had reached its highest figure of 22,416.
By 1884, when definite figures became available, there were 13 cotton firms in the Borough. Six were spinners only, whilst the seven large mills had 80 per cent of the spindles and all the looms. There were bleach mills at Hollingworth (John Dalton) and at Charlestown where John Walton had established a family concern in 1869. A second industry had been started nearby, also dependent on Glossop's heavy rainfall and soft water. This paper mill, set up by Edward Partington at Turnlee in 1874, produced high grade paper from softwood by the sulphite process. After he gained sole control, Partington made a great fortune, employed a large labour force, and, in association with Dr. Kelner, controlled several other factories in Britain, in addition to foreign mills and forests.
Other Victorian industries included Greenwood's Quarry, producing grindstone at Mouselow, whilst in 1884, Isaac Jackson started a small works producing belt fasteners. Since 1833, the firm of Levi Jackson have produced twines and today, at the Hobroyd, they still continue to manufacture cordage. A cotton recession in the 1890’s reduced the spinning mills to three, whilst Waterside Mill, after some years of difficulty was taken over by Gartside and Company in 1899 in an almost derelict condition, and came under the control of the Calico Printers Association.
This moderate depression in cotton again reduced the population to 21,526 in 1901, and unlike the 1860’s there was to be no recovery afterwards.
The community of 1901 was still a young one of average age 29, but the falling birth rate together with a tendency to greater age at death was steadily raising the average age. Overcrowding had been reduced in 40 years by nearly one person per dwelling, but was still a serious problem for many. Cotton textile manufacturers still claimed half of the working population, whilst paper making employed a fifth part of the male labour force.
By 1914 the bulk of the insured population was employed by eight firms, Oliver and Partington’s paper works, Dinting Vale Printworks, since 1899 incorporated in the C.P.A., and six vertical cotton combines.
Two cotton firms, Brookfield Mill and Platts, closed down during the First World War, and, despite an illusory post-war boom, the industry collapsed. The new over capitalised companies owned mills which concentrated on low priced goods for the Far Eastern markets where they were undercut in price by Japanese and locally produced cloth. The large Glossop mills could not run economically on small orders, nor were they able to produce the branded lines of high quality cloth which still sold well. It has been suggested that the position of Glossop at the edge of the cotton manufacturing area may have made
things worse. Wood’s mill company was the first to fail in 1924, but it was kept open by its creditors. Shepley Mill was later closed, despite a comparatively small deficit and great efforts to save it by the workers and local Co-operative Society. This illustrated the increasing lack of confidence in the industry shown in financial circles.
Great unemployment resulted since 80 per cent of the workers were in all sections of the textile trade. By 1931, Glossop had an unemployment figure of 57 per cent, Hadfield 67 per cent, as compared with a national figure of 19 per cent. Even these figures do not show the true facts, since many of the unemployed workers were on “short time”.
It is not surprising that the population fell as a result. In the ten years 1911-1921 the drop was almost 1,200, a figure partly due to the falling birthrate and to the deaths in the war. By 1931 the population was down to 19,509 and the trend continued throughout the thirties.
The decline of the local cotton industry has continued ever since, except perhaps in the years 1945-1951. It has been less marked in the finishing sections of the trade due to a large use of foreign cloth and improved methods of production at Dinting since 1938.
The Glossop Glove Company began to make dress gloves in 1919 at George Street and remained there until 1965. Though interesting as an example of the type of industry to become so important after the Second World War, it was not followed by other new industries for some years. By 1931, however, a great effort was made to attract new industries to the depressed area. The Glossop and District Residential and Development Committee was formed by the local authority, and affiliated to the Lancashire Industrial Development Committee. As a result of its efforts Mersey Mill was saved from demolition and used to attract and then house new industry. Vol Crepe, who produced crepe rubber by a process discovered by their chemist, started there, before taking over the eastern end of Wood’s Mill, where they continue to manufacture sponge rubber cushions and floor coverings. In 1934, Ferro Alloys began to produce metals and alloys used in high speed steel production at the old ironworks premises in Surrey Street, possibly owing to the proximity of steelworks at Sheffield and Manchester. In 1936 a brickworks was erected at Mouselow.
Government direction by negative control in addition to protection resulted in several industries which did not outlast the immediate post war period, but one firm which still remains is the Lancashire Chemical Company, started by two Jewish exiles in 1938 to produce tanning compounds partly for the leather industry. The position of Glossop in relation to the footwear producing areas of the Midlands, Rossendale and Leeds was an important factor in their choice. As a result of the war, the Barlow Commission recommended in 1940 definite action in the location of industry. Ferro Statics set up at Mersey Mill by Mr. Markus from Hungary, later removed to High Street West. It now produces tools, jigs, gauges, dies and moulds at its new premises in Shaw Lane. Several other firms and depots, set up during the war, have since removed. Bombed out firms came to the area, the largest being Maconochies who came to Waterside in 1940. Now controlled by the Whiteside Trust, they produce a large variety of tinned, bottled and packed food products. Mr. Cohen started Flexy Brushes in Brook Mill, where he pioneered the production of rubber backed brushes amongst many other types.
After 1945, the industry of Glossop, though more widely based than ever before, might have been even more diversified. Unfortunately, the Barlow Report was used by the Government to discourage new industries in the cotton districts in order to maintain cotton exports. The most important new industries since this time have been the garment manufacturing works. These include, Ritz, Lux-Lux and the Mentor Pyjama and Shirt Company. Since the closure of Sumner’s Mill in 1956, firms making clothing, air sea rescue equipment and foam rubber have used the premises. Pickerings started a food plant in the old weaving shed now owned by Fison’s, whilst a refrigerator firm has part of the premises. The Union Carbide Company has works at Old Glossop, whilst empty mills at Padfield have been taken by a glass fibre firm and a waste firm. The Victorian firm of Isaac Jackson, who removed to Hawkshead before the First World War, have produced since 1932, belts, screws and rivets in addition to belt fasteners.
This diversification of industry has destroyed the traditional pattern of Glossop’s employment, and ended the decline of its population. There have been other factors. During the Second World War, for example, with the influx of evacuees and Government Departments the population rose to an artificial 23,500 estimated in 1943. By 1951 the figure was down to 18,004, for Glossop had lost not only its wartime guests but several hundred native Glossopians who had found better opportunities elsewhere. The labour force of the textile industry had been halved in 20 years partly as a result of work study methods, partly as a result of the contraction of the industry. But in 1951 it was still the largest employer of labour. Most of the new industries employed comparatively small numbers.
The 1950’s completed the process of change. Woods and Sumners, two of the corner stones of which industrial Glossop had been built, were forced to shut their doors. General suspicion of an industry which had given only a precarious and intermittent living caused parents to dissuade their children from taking up work in textiles. Better educational standards also tended to halt recruitment, and the consequent labour shortage, although tempered by organised recruitment of foreign employees, added another economic disadvantage to the overseas competition which Glossop mills had to face. By 1961 there were less than 500 people employed in actual textile manufacturing, in one large and two small factories. Waterside Mill produces rayon, terylene and continuous filament cloths. Hadfield Silks and Station Mill, Hadfield, make silk noils, the latter having been owned by Wilman & Company since 1931. The total population in 1961 at 17,500 though the lowest since 1871, was better than might have been expected in view of the virtual collapse of cotton.
Since 1961, although a further blow has fallen with the closing of the Turnlee Paper Mill employing over 500 workers, the population trend has been reversed. Overspill development schemes and private house building have been the main influences. There is a shortage especially of female labour in the town, and an increasing number of commuters travel daily from Glossop to work in the greater Manchester area. In view of the pressing shortage of building land and the continued increase in the population of Britain it seems likely that Glossop stands now on the threshold of its second period of expansion, and it is likely that the census of 1971 will record a population exceeding 20,000. The 1965 estimate stands at 19,080.
Most of Glossop’s churches and chapels date from the nineteenth century when they were built to accommodate the increasing population and the spread of the Non-conformists Sects. These latter, following the 1761 visit of John Wesley and other evangelical preachers, were very active. They began with meetings in the homes of members, then moved to a small Chapel which later, as membership rose, would be replaced by a larger and more elaborate building; for example the first Padfield Methodist Chapel, with only 12 pews, was built in 1828 for £265 and was replaced in 1881 at a cost of £1,691 by the present building containing 250 seats. The same expansion can be found in the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.
Money for the new buildings and furnishings came from fund-raising and the patronage of the wealthy families of the area. The Woods and the Sidebottoms were associated with the Anglican church. The Howards and Sumners with the Roman Catholic, and Edmund Potter, the Rhodes and Platts with the Nonconformists.
Up to 1914 the impression of church activity in Glossop is one of great life and vigour. There appear to have been far more fervently held beliefs which were openly expressed; for example J. B. Radcliffe speaking at the opening of a Wesleyan Bazaar in 1883 described the Roman Catholic funeral of Lord Edward Howard as a “regular pantomime ... a mummery!” According to the reporter this was received with cheers by the audience. There was, at that period, little tolerance between various churches, but within each church there was help for any member in need. During the Cotton Famine most Churches had clothing funds for children attending Sunday School.
In the social life of the town the Churches had a prominent position, and the range of activities associated with them was tremendous. St. James had a String Band, an Amateur Dramatic Society, Recreational Club and a football and cricket team. There were also the annual social events like the January tea party and Christmas Day Dance and Whist Drive organised by Glossop Parish Church which were occasions eagerly awaited by the church members. The Sunday Schools were very active and well attended; at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897, some 6,500 children took part in the Sunday School Parade.
Since 1914 there has been a diminishing of church activities following a decline in membership. It is difficult to date the start of this; as early as 1875 a report in the “Glossop and Hyde Record” had spoken of a decrease in membership of Littlemoor Congregational Chapel because it was “losing its hold on the young.” There was, however, not a general decline until the First World War when many activities had to be suspended because of the absence of the young men. In the inter-war years some societies were restarted but in many cases these failed because of lack of support. Better
communications, the cinemas (in High Street, George Street and Bank Street, Hadfield) and the radio, all contributed to this. In addition the welfare and educational activities of the church were being superseded by those of the state and of voluntary bodies like the W.V.S., a process that has gained momentum up to the present time. Increasing entertainment in the home through radio and television, greater mobility, wider education and the development of social activities by factories and mills all contribute to the declining influence of the churches. In “Small Town Politics”, published in 1959, Birch estimated that 35 per cent of the people of Glossop attended church at least once a month.
The Methodists have been the only denomination to meet these changes by a degree of reorganisation, closing down a group of outlying churches and beginning to build a new central church, the first new church building to be erected in Glossop since 1914.
EDUCATION IN GLOSSOP SINCE 1866
When the Borough Charter was granted in 1866, there were in existence two endowed schools which were self-supporting. These were the Duke of Norfolk’s School, built in 1850, and the Joseph Hague School at Whitfield built in 1779. There were also the Whitfield National School built in 1847, St. Andrew’s School at Hadfield, built in 1855, and two Catholic Schools, a Girls’ school built in 1844 under the Sisters of Charity and a school in St. Mary’s Road, providing education for Catholic boys.
In the Logwood Mill at Dinting a factory school occupied the upper storey from 1840-1884, and Non-conformist Schools in the Borough included Old Glossop Wesley, built in 1824, Green Vale Methodist built in 1835 and Brookfield School. At Hadfield the Wesleyan Day School was built in 1862, whilst the Wesleyans also built Howard Town Wesleyan School sometime prior to 1874.
In 1870, four years after the founding of the Borough the Forster Education Act was passed authorising the setting up of School Boards, to provide, run and organise schools in each district. It is interesting to note that this was never necessary in Glossop as there were sufficient voluntary schools already provided by the various denominations.
By 1876 education had become compulsory, but children could be excused attendance from schools if their parents needed the money they could earn. In 1881 education was made completely compulsory and this was the day of the “half- timer” when children worked half a day in the factory and attended school for half a day, a system which lasted well into the twentieth century. An insight into one disadvantage of this arrangement is provided by a quotation from the log book of Hadfield Wesleyan School, whose headmaster wrote “Great many late this afternoon; half timers who do not leave the mill until 1 o’clock and having their dinners to get, can hardly be at school by 1.30 p.m.”<
BR>New schools built in the Borough towards the end of the nineteenth century include Dinting in 1875, St. Luke’s in 1880, Zion Methodist in 1883, Littlemoor in 1886, Padfield Methodists in 1887, and Waterside Infants in 1872. The Duke of Norfolk’s was enlarged in 1887.
In the I880’s people began to realise our backwardness as a nation in the field of Technical Education. At one of a series of lectures held in the Victoria Hall, Lord Howard announced his intention of building a Technical School on land adjoining the Victoria Hall. This building was commenced in 1899 and opened in 1901 with about 30 pupils. By 1904 numbers had increased to 58 and to 200 by 1919. This school later became known as Glossop Grammar School.
The 1902 Balfour Education Act transferred the control of elementary education to County and Town Councils and made the local rates available for voluntary schools. By 1906 the Wesleyans in Hadfield had decided to discontinue their school and the Education Committee decided to build a new Council School on the site. This was completed in 1908 and is the building now known as Castle School. In 1913 an all-age school, the Glossop Council School was opened on Chadwick Street, and Littlemoor School was closed. In the same year Whitfield Infants’ School, later to become Whitfield Day Nursery, was
No new State Schools were opened in the Borough in the period between the two wars but Glossop Preparatory School in Ellison Street was opened in 1924 and Kingsmoor School, an Independent Secondary School was opened in 1927 in Glossop Hall which had been the home of the late Lord Howard. This school continued in Glossop until 1956. In 1939 Hadfield Nursery School was opened by Lady Astor. This school was the work of the Hadfield League of Social Service, which had been founded in 1934 and was a self-governing body consisting mainly of unemployed men and women who felt that the best gift they could make to the social advancement of the Borough was a Nursery School. It was entirely erected by voluntary labour and was financed by money raised by various charities, including a radio appeal. The school was taken over by Glossop Education Committee in 1941.
In 1926 the Hadow Report on Education advocated Secondary Education for all. Glossop was one of the earliest authorities to re-organise under this and in 1930, West End School, Glossop and Castle School, Hadfield, provided the Secondary education for all children over the age of 11 who did not attend the Grammar School or the Roman Catholic Schools.
At this time two-thirds of the Grammar School children were fee-paying, the remaining third being educated by scholarships donated by the County, the Borough and private benefactors, including the Joseph Hague and Isaac Jackson Trusts and Glossop and District Co-operative Society.
In 1944 the Butler Education Act stated that a child should be educated according to his age, aptitude and ability and the wishes of his parents and also raised the school leaving age to 15. This Act meant the abolition of fees in State Schools and placed the control of education in the hands of the County Council. The system of awarding scholarships was abolished and was replaced by the eleven-plus examination.
As the children born after the 1939-45 war reached school age, most schools found themselves short of accommodation and were forced to take classes in various buildings throughout the Borough. In 1959 the new premises for the Grammar School were completed and the school moved from Talbot Street to Talbot Road. The vacated premises were then used as an annex to West End. Two years after the building of the Grammar School the Roman Catholics opened their new Secondary School, the Blessed Philip Howard School.
Before long, new plans were afoot for the extension of the Glossop Grammar School into a Comprehensive School for the education of all children in the Borough over the age of 11, and phase one of this building is now complete. The vacating of West End and Castle Schools took place in July 1965 and the premises are now occupied by Whitfield Primary School and St. Andrew’s School, respectively. The only new Primary School built in the Borough in recent years has been Chapel Lane Infants’ School, Hadfield, but extensions and modifications have been made to several other Primary Schools.
New ventures in education in the Borough since the war have been the opening of Talbot House School for Spastic Children and the St. Christopher Trust for Mentally Handicapped children at Redcourt.
Alongside this education of the children of our Borough, there has for many years been provision for voluntary education of adults. Evening classes have been held in various premises in the town under the control of the Evening Institute Committee. The interest in this aspect of education can be realised from the fact that at present, 668 students, are attending 35 different classes. Nor must we overlook the part played by the local branch of the Workers Educational Association. This was founded in Glossop 58 years ago, only four years after the founding of the National W.E.A. and after a lapse of some years was restarted in 1930. Since this date the branch has flourished and this year has entered a new phase with the opening of the Glossop Centre for Educational and Recreational Activities.
The Howard Lion at the Station
TRANSPORT IN GLOSSOP
The valley containing Glossop is somewhat isolated from the main lines of communication of the area. The Romans certainly used roads leading from Melandra, though it is probable that the origins of some roads in this area pre-date the Roman occupation. Doctor's Gate, though usually attributed to the Romans, might indeed represent the alignment of some earlier iron age route. This could have been adapted by the Romans for their cross-Pennine connection between Melandra and the fortress, similar to that at Glossop, situated at Brough.
Glossop was not well served by roads until the coming of the turnpike system brought three trusts to the town. The Glossop to Marple Bridge Trust road constructed early in the nineteenth century gave Glossop a connection with the recently opened Peak Forest Canal at Marple. The crossroads where this road met the one from Chapel-en-le-Frith to Enterclough Bridge became the centre for development of modern Glossop. The last turnpike road to be built was the Glossop to Sheffield road over the “Snake”, which received its Act in 1818. This caused the horse track over Doctor’s Gate to be
abandoned, and it was not until 1911 that an enthusiasm for fell-walking inspired 56 members of the Sheffield Clarion and Manchester Rambling Clubs forcibly to reassert their rights of passage over this historic highway.
The turnpikes made the manufacturers of the town pay dearly for the privilege of using their roads. In 1851, when it was possible to buy six hens and a cock for ten shillings at Glossop Market, it cost Lomas, carter, a total of 2/-. in tolls to take his cart to Chisworth and return to Woods Mill with a load of coal. If Glossop had had to rely on road transport the prosperity generated in the first decades of the nineteenth century would have rapidly declined in competition with other less isolated towns. In the early 1840’s conditions became critical and mills in the town had to be closed; the future for the town looked unpromising. The situation was saved and prosperity restored by the arrival of the railway. The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway, incorporated 5th May, 1837, reached Glossop from Manchester on Christmas Eve, 1842. The first Glossop Station was at Gamesley, now Old Dinting Goods Depot. The fare to Manchester was then 1/3d. (third class) and the journey to Manchester took 40 minutes by stopping train and 28 minutes by express.
When Dinting “arches” were completed (the first viaduct was composed of wooden arches), the main line continued up the Longdendale valley to Sheffield. The line as a whole was opened with the completion of the Woodhead Tunnel on 22nd December, 1845. As far as Glossop was concerned it was the access to the markets of Manchester and Port of Liverpool, and the facilities for transport of cheap coal to the town which led to the great revival of industry in the years prior to the incorporation of the Borough. The full benefit of the railway was only felt with the construction of the branch line, built privately and at his own expense, by the thirteenth Duke of Norfolk. This railway, at first single track, ran from the east end of Dinting arches to a station in Norfolk Street. It was opened on the 9th June, 1845, with a suitable lunch for which the Duke paid Mrs. Wagstaffe of the Norfolk Arms the sum of £16 10s. 3d. The railway not only encouraged industrial development in the town but led to a commuter traffic, Glossop being at a convenient distance of 13 miles by rail for those wishing to work in Manchester. Increasing demands for rail facilities led to the construction of the Waterside branch, authorised on 16th July, 1874, as a result of requests from millowners in Woolley Bridge and Lower Hadfield.
In 1903 the electric trams came to Glossop, though it was one of the smallest systems in the country and never connected to the larger integrated systems of nearby towns. With only seven cars the route, 8,030 yards in length, was single track throughout and ran from Station Road, Hadfield, via Woolley Bridge and Dinting Vale to the Queen's Hotel in Hall Street (now Manor Park Road), with a short branch up Victoria Street to Whitfield. The system was owned by the Urban Electric Supply Company which also supplied electricity for town lighting. Although the trams became a valuable element in local transport the Company was not a financial success and ceased operation on Christmas Eve, 1927. The Town Council were not disposed to accept the undertaking, even on give-away terms, and the North Western Road Car Company stepped into the breach and extended their services, so maintaining an association with the town which has expanded and improved continuously to the present day.
In 1966 the roads out of the town still reveal their origin by the toll houses to be seen, at the Plough, Woodcock Road and Smithy Bar. The trams have gone almost without trace, though the generator station, buildings and tramsheds still stand though now used as a chemical factory. By the side of one of the iron bridges leading from the main road to the tram sheds stands in mute testimony the last remaining trampole in Glossop. The railway was electrified in 1954, though the improved half-hourly service did not produce the anticipated increase in traffic.
The Waterside branch was closed from 2nd March, 1964, because of declining traffic. The closure of Glossop Station was proposed in the Beeching Report but was strongly opposed in the town. At present the lion, which cost the Duke of Norfolk £37 10s., still stands proudly over the station he built, in spite of various attempts over the years by runaway trains to dislodge it. The oldest route in Glossop is probably used as much now as it ever was. While the motorists are attracted by the grandeur of the “Snake” road, the walker, protected from the noise and fumes of modern civilisation by miles of wild moorland can still tread in the steps of ancient Briton and Roman legionaries along the paved wilderness of Doctor’s Gate.
SOME LEADING GLOSSOPIANS
Joseph Dempsey Doyle, 1882-1964
Joseph Dempsey Doyle was born in 1882 and became a true benefactor to the people of Glossop.
In 1898 he heard Lord Howard offer to present a Technical School to Glossop. This later became Glossop Grammar School and Alderman Doyle held the office of Chairman of the Governors from 1927 until 1955.
He served in turn as Councillor, Mayor and Alderman. He was elected the first Chairman of the North West Derbyshire Divisional Executive for Education, and also became a County Councillor.
Local history, another of his interests, found expression in the articles he wrote weekly in the “Glossop Chronicle” as “Watchman” and also in “Wheatsheaf ” the Co-operative Society’s Magazine.
In appreciation of his services he was declared a Freeman of the Borough in 1957. He died in April, 1964.
Matthew Ellison, born 1751, became agent for the Howard’s Derbyshire estates in 1797 and so began a line of Ellison connections with Glossop, extending well over a century.
He lived at Glossop Hall, and under his supervision the Duke’s property greatly increased in value, Glossop changing over the years from a little village to a well populated and flourishing district.
The first lease of Wren Nest Mills was granted to him in 1815 and this was managed by one of his two sons.
Barbara, one of his seven daughters, became stepmother and later guardian to Glossop’s first Mayor, John Francis Sumner.
For 30 years Matthew Ellison was Clerk to the Trustees of the Turnpike roads from Glossop to Marple Bridge.
He died in 1834.
His grandson Thomas Michael was the first Town Clerk (1866-1896). Theodore son of Thomas was in his turn Town Clerk (1910-1919).
The Howard Family
The Howard family was associated with Glossop for nearly 500 years. They were kinsmen of the Duke of Norfolk and in 1869 the brother of the fourteenth Duke was created Baron Howard of Glossop.
Their influence was very widespread as evidenced by many place names in Glossop.
Before the Incorporation of the Borough they had done much both for industry and the people of the town.
The obituary of the first Baron describes him as having been the “pioneer and champion of deliverance” during the Cotton Famine.
Later the family assisted many improvements to the amenities of Glossop. They gave the land for Woods Hospital, Library, Baths, and Howard Park and showed interest in education, building the technical school.
The estate in Glossop was sold in 1925 and the present Lord Howard lives in Yorkshire.
Isaac Jackson came to Glossop and established a business in the latter part of the nineteenth century as a saddler and a harness maker. Later he took out patents on machine belt fasteners and about the year 1890 commenced to manufacture them. As the business prospered he moved to Hawkshead Mills.
During the First World War he was successfully concerned with the improvement of shell fuse hammers, which had been a source of trouble up to that date.
In his lifetime he was a great benefactor to the town. He purchased the Town Hall and Markets Rights from the Howard Estate and presented them to the town in memory of the local boys who died in the war.
He was made a Freeman of the Borough in December 1920. At his death in 1921 he left a trust known as the Isaac and Harriet Jackson Trust to be administered chiefly for the benefit of Glossop and district.
Edward Partington First Baron Doverdale 1836-1925
Edward Partington came to Glossop from Bury at the age of 27. He took over Turn Lee and Dover Mills, and by the use of new inventions in paper making they became very prosperous, his company eventually owning paper mills and lumber forests all over the world. He attended regularly at his mill until the day of his death.
A staunch Liberal, he was very active in local politics, became an Alderman and J.P. both for the Borough and County. He was also the first Freeman of the Borough, to which he was a generous benefactor, giving £30,000 for a Convalescent and Nurses’ Home as a thank offering for recovery from a serious operation. He gave £2,000 towards the cost of the Victoria Hall and gave a new Pavilion to the Glossop Cricket Club.
His daughter-in-law, Mrs. Herbert Partington, played an active part in the life of the town, was its first woman Mayor, a Freeman of Glossop and a generous benefactor.
Edward Platt of Mersey Bank
Edward Platt was one of the large cotton mill owners around the turn of the century, having inherited mills in Hadfield and Padfield from his father and uncle, who were two of the first Councillors for Hadfield Ward.
Most of his interest centred upon his business activities, for he declined the Mayoralty, although he was a Councillor serving from 1881-1884 and from 1902- 1907.
He erected Hadfield Library and Public Hall as a memorial to his father and presented it to the Corporation in 1906. He purchased Mersey Bank after the death of W. S. Rhodes, living there until his death in 1915.
Edmund Potter, 1802-1883
Edmund Potter founded the Dinting Vale Printworks in 1825.
From a humble beginning, the firm, under his expert management prospered until, in 1866, it was claimed to be the largest calico printing firm in the world.
He lived in Glossop for 18 years. He took a keen interest in local educational activities, providing a school in the mill for the use of half-timers, also a library and reading room. He encouraged an appreciation of music resulting in the founding of the Dinting Vale Choral Society.
During the Cotton Famine capital investments were used to build an extension to the mill, finding employment for the otherwise redundant workers.
An obituary in the “Manchester Guardian” said of him “he was a steady friend of education and progress and had a well directed scientific and commercial ability”.
The Rhodes Family
Thomas Rhodes, from Tintwistle, completed Mersey Mills by 1859 and Hadfield Mill in 1873, which employed 1,000 workers in 1897.
He built Mersey Bank House in 1862, and became one of the first Councillors of the Hadfield Ward. After his death in 1883, one son George Wood Rhodes controlled the Mersey Mill Company, whilst his two other sons, William Shepley Rhodes and Herbert Rhodes, controlled the Padfield Mill.
Both the latter became Aldermen and Mayors of the Borough.
Herbert Rhodes, who had contributed £2,000 towards the Victoria Hall and had been the first Hadfield County Councillor, died in 1897 during his Mayoralty.
The Sidebottom Family
The Sidebottom family of Ashton-under-Lyne and Hollingworth played a large part in the industrial development of Glossop, being responsible for the building of the Hollingworth Spinning Company, and later Waterside and Bridge Mills in Hadfield. The latter two in the 1890’s represented the biggest single cotton spinning and manufacturing concern in the country.
Best known to the Glossop community was Mr. James Sidebottom (1834- 1895) who, after election to the Glossop Town Council in 1871, became an Alderman within a year and was Mayor eight times between 1879 and 1888, including the Jubilee Year when apart from laying several foundation stones, he presented the Mayoral Chain.
His spare time interest in meteorology caused him to install £2,000 worth of equipment at Millbrook House, and he wrote monthly weather reports for the press.
Francis J. Sumner
Francis Sumner, our first Mayor, was born at Foleshill, Coventry, in 1807. In October 1822, he moved to Glossop to join his stepmother’s family, the Ellisons, in business in the old part of Wren Nest Mills, which then belonged to the Ellisons.
When the proceedings regarding his father’s estate were concluded he inherited £10,000. The business flourished and new mills were erected on the Wren Nest site.
Mr. Sumner was Mayor in 1866 and 1867. He lived at Primrose House until 1857 when he purchased “East View” later renamed “Easton”. In 1881 he became High Sheriff of Derbyshire. On his death in 1884 he owned mills which employed 1,400 people and estates valued at over £100,000, the estate passing to his first cousin, John Sumner.
The Wood Family
For over 100 years the Woods lived and worked in Glossop, playing a major role in its political, religious and industrial life. John Wood started the business at Water Mill in 1815, later removing to Howard Town Mill. Assisted by his sons John, Daniel and Samuel, he successfully developed it into the largest cotton mill in the district.
They built and endowed the Hospital and the Baths, laid out Howard Park, and erected or added to several of our Anglican Churches.
The leadership of this family at one period fell to the widow of Samuel, Mrs. Ann Kershaw Wood, described as a woman of strong character and great energy, who became the town’s first Lady Freeman. Her son, Samuel, at one time M.P. for the High Peak, and his cousin, John, both achieved baronetcies.
Glossop in 1966
Situated in the extreme north-west of Derbyshire, Glossop adjoins the Peak District National Park yet is within convenient reach of the Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire industrial centres. The Borough of Glossop is itself a thriving industrial town as well as an
increasingly favoured residential area. Comprising not only the town of Glossop but also Old Glossop, Hadfield, Padfield and Dinting this Borough has all modern services and amenities, and a progressive administration.
Glossop is 13 miles south-east of Manchester, 24 miles north-west of Sheffield and 10 miles east of Stockport. London is 174 miles distant.
The Borough is served by Dinting and Hadfield stations on the London Midland Region electrified line between Manchester (Piccadilly) and Sheffield (Victoria), and a regular commuter service also operates between Manchester (Piccadilly) and Glossop Central, serving Hadfield and Dinting Stations. Both these links provide a frequent and convenient service between Glossop and the towns and cities to the west and east of the Borough. Manchester, which is on the main lines from London (Euston and St. Pancras) and Sheffield (Victoria and Midland), provide junctions for all parts of the country.
Regular bus services link Glossop with Manchester and other nearby towns with connections for express coaches to London and many provincial towns. Summer coach services are run to the Lancashire, Yorkshire and North Wales coastal resorts.
Glossop is very accessible by road, being on the A57 trunk road from Manchester to Sheffield and Lincoln which intersects the Great North Road (Al) and links up through Manchester with the A6 (London to Carlisle), M6 and M62 motorways, the Liverpool and East Lancashire trunk road (A580) and other main roads.
The nearest civil airport is Manchester Airport at Ringway on that city’s southern edge.
Glossop was granted its charter of incorporation as a Borough in 1866. The Council consists of six Aldermen and 18 Councillors including the Mayor. The Council Offices are at the Municipal Buildings, Glossop. Telephones: Town Clerk 2058, Treasurer and Housing 2049, Surveyor 2971/2, Health Department 2118.
The local education authority is the Derbyshire County Council. The Borough comes within the North West Divisional Education Executive area, the offices of which are at 6, The Quadrant, Buxton. Telephone: 1668 (Buxton).
Glossop has two nursery and ten primary (infant and junior) schools and one comprehensive school.
In 1965, the Glossop Centre for Educational and Recreational leisure was opened in the former Grammar School Buildings and provides facilities for the Workers’ Education Association and for classes previously organised by the local Evening Institutes.
Technical training is available in the larger surrounding towns.
HEALTH AND WELFARE
These services are administered under three sections: public (or environmental) health, which is dealt with by the local authority; personal health and welfare, which is the responsibility of the county council although to a great extent undertaken by the local authority with delegated powers: and hospitalisation, which is on a national basis by regions.
Public Health deals with the inspection and supervision of food and milk supplies, control of infectious diseases, public hygiene, water analysis, housing conditions, public sewers, street cleansing, rodent control, smoke abatement and collection and disposal of domestic and trade refuse.
Personal Health and Welfare services include the provision and maintenance of an ambulance service; of maternity and other local clinics and child welfare centres; provision of district nurses and midwives, health visitors and home helps; care of the aged and physically handicapped and mental health services. A new Clinic is to be erected at Wesley Street, Hadfield, to serve the western part of the Borough. The present clinic is in George Street. Telephone: 3532.
The ambulance station is at Talbot Road, Telephone: Glossop 3101 (7 a.m. to midnight) and Stalybridge 2650 (midnight to 7 a.m.). A new Ambulance Station is shortly to be erected on the Shepley Mill site, which is within the town centre.
Hospitalisation is administered by the Ashton, Hyde and Glossop Management Committe of the Manchester Regional Hospital Board, hospitals in the Glossop Sub-Group being Woods Continuation Hospital (Tel. 2036) which has 39 beds mainly for pre-convalescent patients; Partington Maternity Home (Tel. 2053) having 11 beds for maternity cases and Shire Hill Hospital (Tel. 2029) with 86 beds for chronic cases.
Glossop Borough Council maintains a progressive housing programme. To date it has provided 900 houses, maisonettes, bungalows and flats including special accommodation for old people and physically handicapped persons. Most of this municipal housing is on neatly laid out pre-war and post-war estates in various parts of the Borough.
Houses and bungalows are also being built by private enterprise as this is a much favoured residential district.
Originally a cotton town with paper making as an additional industry, Glossop has more recently had its industrial life both transformed and stabilised by the establishment here of over a score of both traditional and contemporary industrial undertakings.
Whereas formerly some 75 per cent of employment was in the textile trade, this proportion has decreased to just below 50 per cent; and the textile trade which used to be characterised by so many boom periods and recessions, has now been so thoroughly modernised in its production and marketing methods that it has become a very sound basic industry.
Glossop is well situated for industrial undertakings, with good rail and road communications and excellent public services. In consequence, more industrialists seeking new sites for works and factories are being attracted here, and the Council offers them every encouragement to take sites in the Borough.
The Central Library at Victoria Hall (Tel. 2616) has a well stocked lending library with a children’s section and a reference library and reading room. Times of opening are Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays: 10 a.m. to 7.30 p.m., Tuesdays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Hadfield Branch (Tel. Glossop 2589) is open on Mondays and Wednesdays: 4.45 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., Fridays: 1.45 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. The Whitfield Branch is open Thursdays: 2 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
SPORTS AND OUTDOOR RECREATIONS
Public open spaces include four parks and five recreation grounds. In Manor Park, which extends to 60 acres, are tennis courts, a six-rink bowling green, putting green, and well equipped children’s playground. Boating is also available here. Bankswood Park has woodlands and greensward. In addition to its seasonal floral displays, Howard Park possesses an ornamental lake and a stream running through natural woodland.
The Public Baths, situated in Howard Park, comprise a plunge bath (open Mondays to Fridays: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.) and slipper baths.
There are keenly supported local clubs for cricket, football, bowls, tennis, hockey, swimming, cycling and angling. In addition to the nine-hole course of the Glossop Golf Club, other courses are within easy reach.
The Borough adjoins the Peak District with its unrivalled opportunities for hiking, pony trekking, climbing and caving.
INDOOR RECREATIONS AND CLUBS
Dances, whist drives, socials, musical and dramatic performances and club meetings are held in the local halls, some of which also offer opportunities for billiards, badminton, table tennis, darts, chess and other indoor recreational activities.
There are clubs for photography, chess, gardening, hobbies, musical societies and dramatics. Church groups are numerous and there are branches of the British Legion, Townswomen’s Guild, Rotary and Inner Wheel, Women’s Institute and St. John Ambulance Brigade. Elderly people are catered for by the Old People's Welfare Committee, Old Age Pensioners’ Association and the Blind People’s Welfare Association.
Youth activities include Scouts, Guides, Cadets and local branches of other national youth movements, the Glossop Youth Club and youth groups of the various churches.
"Partington Players rehearsing one of their 50 successful productions
GENERAL LOCAL INFORMATION
Area of Borough: 3,324 acres, or over 5 square miles.
Banks: Barclays Bank, District Bank, Lloyds Bank, Midland Bank, Co-operative Bank, Glossop Trustee Savings Bank.
Citizens' Advice Bureau: Community House, Market Street.
Early Closing: Tuesdays.
Electricity: Supplied by the N.W. Electricity Board. Service centre: 5, High Street West, Glossop. Tel.2034.
Fire Station: Ellison Street. Tel. 2223.
Gas: Supplied by the N.W. Gas Board. Showrooms at High Street West, Glossop. Tel. 2598.
Market Days: Friday and Saturday.
Ministry of Labour: Employment Exchange, Howard Street. Tel. 3224.
Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance Victoria Street. Tel. 2733.
National Assistance Board: Area Office, Co-operative Cafe, High Street West. Tel. 2625.
Newspaper: Glossop Chronicle and Advertiser (weekly).
Parliamentary Constituency: High Peak.
Parking Places: Market Ground, Norfolk Street, Norfolk Square, Hadfield Cross and Drovers Arms (all free), Glossop and Hadfield Railway Stations (fees charged).
Police Station: Ellison Street. Tel. 3141.
Population: 19,080 (1965 estimate).
Post Offices: Head Office, Victoria Street. Sub-offices at Manor Park Road, Old Glossop; Victoria Street, Whitfield; Station Road, Hadfield; High Street West, Dinting.
Rateable Value: £487,880. A penny rate produces £1,705. General rate for the year ending 31st March, 1967, 12/9d. in the £.
Registrar of Births and Deaths: Mrs. M. M. Wright, Market Street. Times: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 12 noon; Wednesdays 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays 10 a.m. to 12 noon,; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Superintendent Registrar (Marriages etc.): D. E. Smith, Municipal Buildings, Glossop.
Water: A piped supply of pure water is provided in Glossop by the Manchester Water Board.
Youth Employment Bureau: High Street East, Glossop. Tel. 2478.
Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this information the statements contained herein are believed to be correct, the Publishers and the Promoters of this publication will not hold themselves responsible for any inaccuracies.
Glossop in the future
It is difficult to forecast the future development of Glossop with great accuracy. To assist, a Town Map has been prepared by the Derbyshire County Council and this is based on an extensive survey of the present structure, industry, population, housing, public services and communications. It proposes a planned expansion in the years up to 1981 to a population of approximately double that of 1961. This will be achieved by development of land in the west and south west of the borough and in the east, south of Sheffield Road. It anticipates that this development will be partly private and partly overspill from Manchester Corporation. This planned expansion has already commenced. In 1961 22 new dwellings were built in the borough, and in the four years up to 1965 the numbers built have been 205, 335, 176 and 157. Future developments which have already received outline or full approval should produce a further 2,900 dwellings by 1970. To keep pace with this increase in population it will be necessary to provide additional schools, roads and extensions to water, gas, electricity and sewerage systems and it will also be necessary to extend the recently completed sewage disposal works. It is proposed to provide primary schools in the centre of all development areas, together with a small community centre and a few shops for local needs.
Attempts are now being made to provide some measure of pedestrian segregation on these new estates. A detailed survey has not yet been prepared of the town centre, but there is a possibility that the main shopping street will be made traffic free with the provision of rear access loading to all shops fronting on to it and a by-pass round the centre for main through traffic. It is hoped that Glossop will be linked eventually with a new motorway connecting Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield with the Midlands and the East Coast.
The re-development of the town centre will also require the provision of more car parks and will include an ambulance station and possibly a new public hall, police and fire stations and public library. The proposals for the social services envisage a new comprehensive school on Shaw Fields to cater for the additional population in the west of the Borough and for a new clinic at Hadfield. Transport developments are a little uncertain. The Town Map suggests a new link road from Glossop to Hadfield and a new route may be provided for A57. The future of the railway passenger services is still not known because the Minister of Transport has not yet made a decision. Adequate sites are ear-marked for new industry, there is a likelihood of future expansion of existing industrial units at Shaw Lane and Old Glossop, and with the continued clearance of existing factory areas we can anticipate the re-development of these latter sites with modern buildings for new industries. Much additional open space in the form of playing fields will be required, together with a sports centre which could accommodate all forms of field and track events.
Glossop Town Map Future Pattern (1981)
Municipal Services in 1966
The work of Municipal administration in the borough in 1966 is radically different from that which commenced in 1866, when all Local Government functions were concentrated in the hands of the actual constituted Municipal Borough. Many functions formerly exercised by the Borough Council have been transferred in recent years, as can be seen from the historical section of this book. These now come under the control of the Derbyshire County Administration at Matlock, with Divisional Offices for Education, Police, Civil Defence, Children’s Department, Weights and Measures and Fire Service at Buxton; a Town and Country Planning Sub-Office at Bakewell, and an Area Welfare Services Office at Glossop. Reference has already been made to the transfer of hospital services to the State, and to the transfer of the local reservoirs and water supply system to Manchester Corporation.
The Borough Council therefore exercise the residue of powers left over after the transfers of the above-mentioned functions. These include responsibility for local highways including street-lighting, slum clearance, housing, public health, sewage disposal, refuse collection and disposal, parks and pleasure grounds, cemetery, baths, public halls and libraries.
THE TOWN CLERK’S DEPARTMENT
The work of the Town Clerk’s Department is principally concerned with co-ordinating the work carried out in the various departments of the Corporation.
The Council operates through Committees and the Town Clerk and his staff are responsible for the submission to the Committees of all matters including correspondence and reports which require a policy decision. In some instances, the action of the Committee is subject to approval by the Council, while in other matters the Council have given full power to the Committees to arrive at a decision and to act upon it. It is the duty of the Town Clerk to ensure that decisions whether of Committee or of Council are implemented and where implementation occurs that co-ordination between departments exists to ensure that
the action approved of is carried out.
From the legal aspect a direct responsibility falls upon the Town Clerk and his staff to acquire slum clearance and other property required by the Council and to act in the sale of land whether to other local authorities or bodies or to private individuals. Such work involves the department in the acquisition of land for normal Council house building and considerable legal work is involved in dealing with applications for advances for acquisition of properties through financial assistance from the Council. The raising of loans to finance land acquisition and building programmes to provide public buildings and Council properties is the direct responsibility of the Town Clerk and his department who form a link between the Council and Government departments. These Government departments require considerable information before they can deal with applications for consent to borrow the necessary money.
This department in conjunction with other departments anticipates future trends and developments within the Borough and amongst pressing problems of the moment is the need to retain existing industries within the Borough and to do whatever possible to enhance their prospects of expansion. Considerable private house building is now taking place alongside municipal housing development and the Manchester overspill pilot scheme at Hadfield has led to the acquisition of a large site at Gamesley. It is anticipated that the incoming population through these various schemes will provide a bigger labour force for the various industries, and will help them to solve their problem of shortage of labour. In all these schemes and in providing the services to accompany them, the Town Clerk’s department is closely involved.
BOROUGH TREASURER’S DEPARTMENT
The financial control of Local Government in Glossop is delegated to the Finance Committee and financial administration is the responsibility of the Borough Treasurer's Department and includes, amongst many other duties, the levy and collection of rates and all other monies due to the Corporation, the raising of loans, the payment of accounts, the preparation of published accounts and the statutory Government financial returns.
The first treasurer to be appointed was Mr. Samuel Wood who took up his post on 9th January, 1867. In 1870 Mr. Wood retired and Mr. Frederick Gee was appointed in his place. Mr. Gee was the Manager of the then Manchester and Liverpool District Banking Company (now the District Bank Ltd.) and, as was the fairly common practice in those days, succeeding Bank Managers were also Treasurers of the Borough until 1919 when Mr. H. H. Broadhurst retired after occupying both posts for 17 years. He was succeeded by Mr. Fletcher (who had been Borough Accountant since 1909) who was appointed the first full-time Borough Treasurer. Since that date Borough Treasurers have been Mr. S. Fletcher (1919-1932); Mr. E. M. Boardman (1932-1960) and Mr. B. Lees (1960 to date). Of these, Mr. Boardman died in office.
At the time of the Borough’s incorporation, precepts were levied on the Overseers who collected the money along with the Poor Rates. Later there was also a General District Rate but the 1925 Rating and Valuation Act made radical changes and the County Borough Council became the rating authority and only one General Rate was levied. The present rateable value is £487,880 made up of some 8,300 rateable hereditaments that vary in value from £4 to £13,275. This represents a rateable value of £25 11s. 0d. per head of population.
The Corporation owns a large amount of property, some of which has been given by generous benefactors in the past but the greater part of which has been purchased out of loans borrowed. The first loan raised appears to have been in 1879 when £200 was raised at 3½ per cent. The present loan debt of the Corporation is in the region of the £1,800,000, the three largest items being for housing £1,100,000); sewage new works (£500,000) and home purchase and improvement grants (£125,000). This total loan debt averages about £94 per head of the population—compared with the average loan debt of English non-county boroughs of £128.
The very considerable increase in the duties of the department over the last century has led to alterations in office methods and procedure and the beautiful copper-plate script of the old records has been replaced by typewriters and other mechanical means. This lost art of writing is to be regretted but it could not cope with present-day pressure. Today the department operates addressing, calculating, adding and accounting machines all of which ease the running of the department. Rate demand notes are prepared for over 8,000 properties, wages records are prepared and the administration of almost 1,000 houses together with the necessary subsidiary accounts is undertaken.
PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The function of the health department is to study all matters affecting or likely to affect the public health of the district and to be prepared to advise the Local Authority on any such matters. These environmental health services include control of infectious diseases, drainage and sanitation, investigation and prevention of food poisoning, meat and other food inspection, abatement of nuisances, rodent control, enforcement of certain provisions of the Public Health, Housing Factories, Offices and Shops, Food and Drugs, Diseases of Animals and Prevention of Damage by Pests Acts. The health department has responsibility for ensuring safe milk and food supplies, pure water and clean air, and is concerned with a considerable additional number of Acts and Statutory Instruments which place duties on it.
As a result of the advances in environmental sanitation and medicine, and the improvements in social and economic conditions during the last century, there has been a complete change in the pattern of health and disease. Life expectancy has increased, there has been a dramatic reduction in infant mortality, certain infections and diseases show a marked fall both in incidence and severity, while others have been virtually eradicated.
E.C.Allen, Borough Surveyor
THE BOROUGH SURVEYOR’S DEPARTMENT
The work of this department touches on many different aspects of the life of the town.
Recent years have brought changing conditions with a greater emphasis on expansion and improved services. The department is evolving a new structure to deal with these new conditions which dictate advanced planning of new works, the introduction of modern and improved systems with increased mechanisation and the establishment of a new section to deal with building control. The responsibilities of the department can be grouped into the five following categories
1. Essential Services
(a) Refuse collection and disposal—it is planned to provide a weekly collection throughout 1966.
(b) Sewerage and sewage disposal—the new sewage disposal works are dealing satisfactorily with the town's sewage. The council’s consultants are carrying out preliminary investigations to ensure that the works cater for the growing population. A complete investigation of the town’s sewers (which are some 60-80 years old) will begin in 1966.
(c) Street lighting—this is now almost 100 per cent electric. Plans are being prepared to provide new lighting to the latest standard on A57. New street lighting is provided on new housing estates as development progresses.
(d) Street sweeping and cleansing—sweeping and gully emptying is now largely mechanical.
(a) New estates—some schemes are dealt with by the department—others now in progress or planned are the responsibility of consultant architects.
(b) Other buildings recently constructed include conveniences, greenhouses and shelters.
(c) Maintenance of houses and public buildings is carried out by a small direct labour department.
(d) Public buildings—improvements have been recently planned and carried out at Woods Baths, Victoria Hall library and the Municipal Buildings.
(e) Private housing development—this necessitates careful and continuous inspection of roads and sewerage works because these are taken over by the Council when works are complete. The successful completion involves many meetings with the developers and the County Planning department to ensure an agreed layout and a suitable design for the engineering works.
(a) New works—these include the design and construction of roads on new estates.
(b) Improvements—improvement works have been completed recently on Cliffe Road—others are planned for commencement in 1966-7 at Hadfield Cross, Spire Hollin and Platt Street. Minor improvements to improve safety and ease of traffic movement at junctions are carried out from time to time.
(c) Maintenance—most footpath works are carried out by direct labour. Surface dressing and road surfacing are dealt with by public works contractors.
4. Town Planning, Building control and Improvement Grants—this represents a large portion of the work of the department and involves liaison with the Derbyshire County planning department, many consultations with would be developers together with inspection of new building work as it proceeds. The new Building Regulations which came into operation on the 1st February, 1966, have added increased work onto the building inspectors. The inspection and administration of Standard grants is linked with building control and dealt with in the department.
A greenhouse in Howard Park
PARKS AND CEMETERY DEPARTMENT
Howard, Manor and Bankswood Parks, together with Norfolk Square and Philip Howard Road in the town centre, are the “jewels” at the heart of Glossop’s aesthetic charm. Priceless but unchanging these parks reveal new beauties each year.
The working Department of Superintendent and staff are responsible to the Baths, Parks and Cemetery Committee for the provision of technical and horticultural establishments and for the maintenance of parks, playing fields and housing development layout in all parts of the town. Modern mechanisation methods are reducing manual labour as much as possible in grass cutting and maintenance, soil sterilisation, plant propagation and the general maintenance of the acres (now over 100) under the department’s control.
The greenhouses at Howard Park annually raise over 100,000 plants for display in flower beds and public buildings. The houses, too, are becoming increasingly popular as a visiting place for people who love plants and flowers.
Manor Park, in the centre of Glossop, provides a superb recreational area and has facilities for bowls, tennis and putting and a children’s play area that includes a boating lake. A scented garden for the blind and an aviary are also much appreciated features. The annual Drumhead Service of the British Legion in their Memorial Rose Garden set in a “tree bowl” is a feature unique to Glossop.
The trees and flowers of Philip Howard Road are forerunners of the town centre open spaces and are the envy of nearby towns. Corner gardens, street trees and housing site layouts are all bringing the works of the Parks Department more intimately into the town and are adding to the Department's responsibilities.
Glossop Cemetery, 800 feet above sea level, has been in the Department's care for over a century. With the increase of cremation, however, earth burials have reduced in numbers and a greater degree of maintenance is being achieved. The cemetery has provided the resting place of 25,000 citizens. The unity of the churches has now made it possible for one chapel to be used for services at the cemetery for all denominations.
For the Centenary Year Tree Planting Scheme it is hoped to fulfil the Chinese proverb “He who plants trees plants happiness”. Under 17 years consecutive chairmanship of Alderman H. Cooper (a unique record) the Baths, Parks and Cemetery Committee are conscious of changing fashions and the needs of a growing town for more recreational facilities and within their financial limits are determined to provide these.
A colourful corner in Manor Park
Libraries have long been considered important to the life of Glossop. In 1856, in a lecture to the Littlemoor and Howardtown Mechanics Institute, Edmund Potter said, “We have no less than 27 libraries, owning 9,618 volumes, most of which are kept in active circulation”. Today the stock of the three Public Libraries in the borough is over 32,000 volumes. Time has brought many changes but the fundamental aims of the library service remain unchanged—to make available books and other material to further the cultural, educational and recreational life of the community.
Books may be borrowed from the Lending departments at the Victoria Hall or from the branches at Hadfield and Whitfield. The period of loan is 14 days, fines are charged for those detained beyond this period unless renewed. Music books and scores are provided and examples of special needs catered for are the Large Print Books for readers with failing eye-sight and the collection of Initial Teaching Alphabet books for children learning to read by this method. Books not in the stock of the Glossop libraries may be borrowed from other libraries with which Glossop is linked by Regional and National co-operative schemes. Readers’ suggestions for additions to stock are welcomed.
The Children’s Library at the Victoria Hall provides home reading and reference books for children of school age. Special sections for children are also maintained at both branches.
After the alterations of 1964 a small reference room was opened and this contains books, bibliographies, directories and other quick reference material and working space is provided. This room also houses the Local History Collection of books, manuscripts, maps, newspaper cuttings and photographs of the town and its surroundings. Gifts of material of historical interest for this collection are always welcomed and will be preserved here for future researchers to use. Files of the local papers—The Glossop Chronicle and The Glossop Advertiser, from 1894 to date, some in bound volumes but mostly on micro-film are preserved here and a micro-film reader is available.
Copies of daily newspapers and a selection of magazines are provided in all three libraries.
The library we have today owes much to vision and hard work of many people. What of the future? The new Public Libraries Act, which came into force in April 1965, puts the Public Library Service under the direct superintendence of the Secretary of State for Education and great developments are envisaged. Small authorities of under 40,000 population are considered too small for a really comprehensive service, so that in the near future Glossop may well be part of a larger unit with, we hope, the resources to expand and consolidate the present inheritance.
Notable Glossop Associations
Mention has already briefly been made to the rich abundance of clubs and associations in Glossop. A number of these have had a history as long as—or nearly as long as—the borough itself. A few of them are deserving of mention in the pages of this handbook for their work has, over the years, become very much a part of the Glossop story.
GLOSSOP FOOTBALL CLUB
It is not easy to trace the actual beginning of the Glossop A.F.C. although it is popularly believed that it had its origin in 1898 when it applied for and gained admission to the Second Division of the Football League. Records, however, show that the club played in the 1880’s when they were known as Glossop North End. They played in the North Cheshire league (one of their opponents then being Dinting Albion) and then in the Midland Counties league.
In 1898 the club dropped “North End” from its title and when vacancies occurred in the Football League’s Second Division they applied for entry. Mainly through the influence of Mr. Samuel Hill Wood (Young Sam to all who knew him) they were admitted to these higher ranks of football. Success was immediate and at the end of their first season in the Second Division they were runners-up to Manchester City and thus gained promotion to the First Division—a very rare achievement indeed in one season and for a town so small as Glossop. Unhappily membership of the top division lasted only for a season and following relegation to Division Two in 1900, Glossop played in that league right up to the start of the First World War. In those halcyon days the Glossop ground was host to some of the finest clubs in the land including Burnley, Middlesbrough, Woolwich Arsenal, Bolton, Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester City. In the 1908-9 season, Glossop reached the semi-finals of the F.A. Cup competition playing Bristol City in a snowstorm. The match was drawn but Bristol, who won the replay by one goal to nil, lost the final to Manchester United. During those great years of league football, the Glossop team produced many famous players but space precludes mention of them—to name only one or two out of so many would be an invidious task.
Glossop said farewell to league football after the First World War. For a short period it played in the Lancashire Combination and then joined the Manchester league in which it has played ever since. (Except for the 1951-52 season when it did not play in any league at all).
Back Row, left to right — M. Ashton; A. Broadbent; R. Woolley; R. Browne; J. Godson; R. Harvey and E. Parkin (Trainer).
Front Row, left to right — N. Lumb; J. Hadfield; R. Chappell (Capt.); R. Howorth; and R. Walker.
Front — Michael Czochan (Mascot).
Glossop’s fortunes during these latter years have been varied indeed. In the 1920’s the bogey of finance had to be fought but determination kept the club and the game alive in the town. The glory of league football had now been replaced by local rivalries and battles. In 1920-21 the club won the Manchester F.A. Junior Cup for the first time beating Coniston Athletic in the final and the same year saw Glossop runners-up to Hyde United in the Manchester league. A record, probably unique and certainly so in the Manchester league, was set up when the club finished as runners-up for five consecutive seasons, 1932-37—yet only once, in 1927-28, did they win the championship. The “Gilgryst” Cup, associated with the league, has been won four times—1922-23, 1929-30, 1934-35 and 1948-49. Another proud record was set up in the 1946-47 season when the club won every one of their first 14 matches in the Manchester league, a run ending on 4th January, 1947 when they were beaten by Buxton.
No mention of the Glossop A.F.C. would be complete without reference to its Supporters' Club which dates back to the early 1920’s. It has done yeomen work throughout 40 years and the terraces it had erected at the North Road ground in these early days are still in use. In the financial crisis at the start of the Second World War the Supporters’ Club virtually put the parent club back on its feet and its fund raising schemes continue to provide financial resources even today.
GLOSSOP CRICKET CLUB
This club came into existence in 1833 and has since won many honours in the Central Lancashire and Lancashire and Cheshire leagues. The club has also provided several county players for Derbyshire. The North Road ground is one of the best over a wide area and several famous players have appeared there, the most recent being Fred Truman, Yorkshire and England star.
Cadman, Dearnaley, Bowden, Oliver, Hunter, Bagshaw, Berwick and Foster are just a few of the names long remembered in Glossop for their cricketing feats and today the club is still thriving in the Lancashire and Cheshire league.
The Glossop and District league with over 60 years history has a prominent place in sporting circles and the clashes between local village teams provoke keen rivalry. The league has lost none of its attraction for young cricketers and in recent years a junior section has been formed.
Archie Cadman leads a group of players. He is one of Glossop's finest-ever all rounders whose career began in pre-war days. He is still taking wickets regularly and typifies the cricketing spirit of Glossop.
Glossop Cricket Club take the field
GLOSSOP BOWLING CLUB
The first bowling green at North Road was laid in 1881, being situated between the tennis courts and the present bowling green. The Bowling Pavilion was then part of the old Cricket Pavilion which was situated at the opposite end of the Cricket Ground. The Pavilion of today was opened on Monday, 22nd August, 1898, and the present bowling green was opened by Sir Edward Partington on 3rd June, 1911.
This green was laid by the old County Cricketer Harry Bagshaw and the first game was a foursome, each player counting his own score separately. Sir Edward was the winner and the scores were: Sir Edward Partington 9; Mr. T. P. Hunter 8; Mr. I. Jackson 5; Mr. J. Thorpe 2.
In the past years Glossop Bowling Club has had many lean periods, and there have only been a handful of players to take part in the Annual Handicap. There are, however, now over 70 actual bowling members. Credit for this must go mostly to the late Secretary, Mr. John Hockenhull, the present Chairman, Mr. A. Eyre, and also to the hard working Glossop Bowling Club Committee. In 1959 the Club won the Longdendale Bowling League and in 1965 they won the Hurst Bowling Championship.
In the near future the Club hope to purchase a cup (to be competed for each year) to be called the Hockenhull Cup. This gives some idea how much the bowling club members appreciate the work done by their late secretary.
Back Row, left to right — A. Kinder, W. O. Brien, M. Waterhouse, J. Higgins, J. McKenny, V. Chipchase, E. Dewsnap, P. Wilson
Front Row, left to right — S. Bennett, H. B. Lomas, R. Berny, A. Eyre, H. Waterhouse, J. C. Platt, D. L. Smith, G. Brindley.
GLOSSOP AND DISTRICT GOLF CLUB
The club was founded in 1894 due mainly to the efforts of Samuel Hill Wood, Oswald Partington and C. H. Ward. After viewing various plots of land they chose the present site adjacent to the Glossop-Sheffield road with fine views of the moors and Snake Pass. The first holes were constructed in the spring of 1895 by Berwick, the local cricket professional under the direction of Lowe, the golf professional of Buxton. The course, of six holes, was opened in May 1895 and a year later was enlarged by a further three holes.
The club’s first officers consisted of Lord Howard as president, Colonel Side- bottom, M.P. as vice-president, Oswald Partington as captain and treasurer, and Mr. C. Ellison as secretary. The first major competition was held in October 1895 for a silver medal presented by the captain, and it was won by Dr. R. B. Sidebottom with a score of 91.
Until 1902 the club house consisted of two rooms at the Royal Oak Hotel, but in that year it was moved to Woodcock Farm. In 1904 a pavilion was built which survived for sixty years, being replaced in 1964-65 by the present Club House which includes a professional’s shop, steward’s residence, and extensive car park.
During the 1914-19 war the club grew potatoes and in the 1939-45 conflict allowed sheep to graze on the course. In 1925 Woodcock Farm and land was purchased—a good move but one which imperilled the club’s finances for nearly thirty years. In 1937 George Duncan planned a reconstruction of the course and much of the work was carried out by Walter Fitton the professional who served the club from 1928 to 1958.
Today, with the new club house available, social activities have greatly increased and many cups and trophies are annually played for. Several club members play for the County teams. In 1938 Glossop won the Derbyshire Foursomes 2nd Division Championship and in 1956 won the 1st Division Championship. J. M. Booth, a club player, was Derbyshire Champion in 1963; A. T. Booth was runner-up in the 1953 Boys’ Championship, and Miss M. Nuttall won the Scottish Girls’ Stroke Play Championship in 1964. C. Pitchford, the present professional, and D. C. Taylor won golfing blues at Cambridge in 1956-57.
Throughout its history the club has owed its success to voluntary work undertaken by officers and committees. It is now one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the country and provides an invaluable sporting asset for the Borough.
Its present chief officers are E. R. Taylor (President), H. N. Bowden (Captain), A. T. Booth (Hon. Treasurer), A. G. Middleton (Hon. Secretary) and Mrs. D. McDonald (Ladies’ Captain).
Group of players from the Glossop Golf Club
GLOSSOP CONCERT ORCHESTRA
This orchestra was formed in 1958 as a result of the efforts of Mr. Marcus P. Cutts who did much to find the players, and Mr. Eric Davis who welded them into an orchestra and acted as its first Musical Director.
During its early years the orchestra gave a number of public concerts, two of which were to help the Mayor of Glossop’s charity fund. One of these was a notable Viennese Concert given in the Victoria Hall when the programme was devoted to the works of Johann Strauss, Mozart, Lehar and Fritz Kreisler.
Since 1961 the orchestra has virtually concentrated all its efforts on giving concerts to help charitable organisations and in taking part in church services. All these activities have taken place in or around Glossop although three concerts have been given in Strangeway’s Prison, Manchester. In 1964, at the Macclesfield Festival, the orchestra gained a second prize. A more recent venture was the cooperation with Glossop School in three performances of Handel’s “Messiah”.
Throughout its history the club has owed its success to voluntary work undertaken by officers and committees. It is now one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the country and provides an invaluable sporting asset for the Borough.
Its present chief officers are E. R. Taylor (President), H. N. Bowden (Captain), A. T. Booth (Hon. Treasurer), A. G. Middleton (Hon. Secretary) and Mrs. D. McDonald (Ladies’ Captain).
Glossop Concert Orchestra
GLOSSOP AND DISTRICT CHORAL SOCIETY
This society was founded in March 1949 as the result of an announcement convening a meeting in Dinting Church schoolrooms at which 20 people attended including several members of the now defunct Youth choir. The Rev. J. O. M. Dawson-Bowling was the chairman, an office he still holds. Miss M. Hallas the conductor, Mr. N. Shimmels the accompanist, Miss J. Hallows the secretary and the first President was Councillor E. Higton, J.P. (he retained this position until 1964 when he retired and left the District). Also at this time Miss Joan Cooper became the Honorary Treasurer, a post she still holds.
Glossop and District Choral Society, Samson, December 4 1962
From 1949 until 1957 the society had no less than two conductors, five accompanists, four honorary secretaries and carried out little more than concert party work and appearances at County Music Festivals. In 1957, however, the Rev. J. E. F. Styles, M.A., Vicar of Hadfield church became a member of the society and a resurgence of interest took place. The choir grew in numbers and two major works were presented each season. During this period, the choir presented the “Creation”, “Rebel Maid”, “Elijah”, “Carmen”, “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast”, “Merrie England”, “Crucifixion” and Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” and the principal parts were played by professionals specially engaged. In 1960, however, the Rev. Styles left to take up a post in Edinburgh and for a period the choir was without a conductor. In 1961 Mr. Peel, the present conductor, joined the choir and, with another resurgence of interest, the strength jumped to 80 singers.
Under Mr. Peel's guidance the choir have presented “Christmas Oratorio”, “Tom Jones”, “Hymn of Praise”, “Christmas Cantata”, “Salome”, “Canterbury Pilgrims”, “Messe Solennelle”, “St. Matthew
Passion” and several Gilbert and Sullivan operas. The greatest work of all, however, was Verdi’s “Requiem” which was given in Whitfield parish church in April 1965 with a professional orchestra. The choir, which receives an Arts Council grant, is now a member of the National Federation of Music Societies.
In the Centenary Year the choir are to repeat the “St. Matthew Passion” by Bach with a professional orchestra and four well-known soloists. “The Dream of Gerontius” is also to be presented with a 44-piece professional orchestra and three guest soloists. The society consists not only of Glossop people but members who travel from Tintwistle, Hollingworth, Mottram, Stalybridge and Hyde. The society has indeed come far from those early days in 1949—who then would have envisaged spending £850 on two concerts in 1966?
Glossop and District Choral Society at rehearsal, Dinting schoolroom
CHARTER DAY 1966
Glossop's Charter Day will occur on Wednesday, 19th October, 1966. To commemorate the occasion a United Religious Service will be held in the parish church at Old Glossop when County and other civic representatives from Derbyshire will be present as well as representatives of the town’s organisations and various churches of all denominations within the borough. The Rt. Rev. the Bishop of Derby has been invited and is expected to preach the sermon.
The parish church at Old Glossop was founded almost 1,000 years ago although only a few medieval fragments now remain in the present church which was built or rebuilt in 1853, 1914-15 and 1923. The church has a special place in the centenary celebrations for here the Parish Vestry was centred for many years. The Vestry carried out local government functions prior to the borough’s being given its Charter of Incorporation in 1866. It is thus very appropriate that the celebrations will be taking place in this building.
On Mayor’s Sunday, 22nd May, 1966, the 5th/8th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters are giving an afternoon concert in the town and, in the evening, carry out the Beating the Retreat ceremony before the Mayoral party and spectators.
A full calendar of events may be obtained from the Town Clerk, Glossop or from any of the three libraries within the Borough.
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Last updated: 3 February 2021