Theo Walter Ellison's Glossop Dale Reminiscences.

Theodore Walter Ellison was born in 1865, the son of Thomas Michael Ellison, legal adviser to the first and second Barons Howard of Glossop who became Glossop's first Town Clerk in 1866 and served for about thirty years. T M Ellison was a member of the third generation of his family to have served the Howards after his grandfather, Matthew, became agent in 1797. Theo Walter Ellison followed in his father's footsteps, also becoming a solicitor, and serving as Town Clerk of Glossop from 1901 to 1919. It fell to Theo Walter Ellison, as a 19-year-old clerk articled to his father, to sort out the beneficiaries of Francis James Sumner (whose stepmother was Barbara Ellison, daughter of Matthew) when he died intestate. Theo Walter Ellison would later live at Sumner's house, Easton, having purchased it during the sale of the Glossop Estate.

Further information on the Ellison family can be found in the article
Ellisons of Glossop Hall.

During 1934-35 Theo Walter Ellison wrote a series of local history articles (many of them first hand accounts from his own experience) for the Glossop Advertiser. This page contains transcripts of those articles. Clicking on the links below will jump straight to the subject named.
Where appropriate I have included links to other of my articles containing further information.

The Ownership and Development of the Glossop Dale Estates by the Dukes of Norfolk; Glossop Dale Estates Under the ‘Howards – Expansion & Prosperity of Industries; Local Government and The Municipal Corporation; Francis James Sumner – The First Mayor; The Wood Family; The Sidebottom Family; William Shepley; The Rhodes Family; The Platt Family; Edward Partington, First Lord Doverdale; Francis Edward Lord Howard (Baron Howard) of Glossop; George Ollerenshaw; Isaac Jackson and Harriet Jackson; The Potters of Dinting; Other Municipal Notabilities; Municipal Work Accomplished 1866-1919; Glossop Corporation Golden Jubilee and the Centenary of Local Government, A suggestion; Water Supplies; Travel by Road and Rail, Past and Present; Members of the Professions; Principal Tradesmen in Past Days; County Councillors; The Administration of Justice; Conclusion.

The Ownership and Development of the Glossop Dale Estates by the Dukes of Norfolk.

During the greater part, if not all, of the first half of the last century, the Dukes of Norfolk were the owners of the Glossop Dale Estates (including the Manor of Glossop) and during that period the Estates were considerably developed.

Although the two ducal owners at that period were members of the Howard family, they ceased to be styled ‘Howard’ on succeeding to the Dukedom, and took the titles of the premier Duke and premier Earl of England, who ranks in precedence immediately after the Princes of the Blood Royal, and is Earl Marshal and hereditary Marshal of England. The title Deeds and Acts of Parliament relative to the Estates supply the most reliable information, but the Deeds are private property. The principal Deeds relating to the Freehold Estates and the manorial rights were in the possession of the Noble Dukes. It was the custom to grant leases for 99 years only, and before or after these leases expired, to grant new leases for 999 years, and the old leases and deeds are retained by them. The Acts of Parliament are referred to later.

Then we have the papers and correspondence of the agents and surveyors of the Dukes. The agents for the Glossop and Sheffield Estates were: Matthew Ellison, who came here in 1797 and lived at Glossop Hall (a less pretentious house then and the property of the Duke) and died in 1834, a hundred years ago; and his two sons, Michael Ellison (the eldest), who died in 1861, and Thomas Ellison (the youngest), my grandfather, who died in 1859; and Michael Joseph Ellison (son of Michael Ellison), who succeeded his father for the Sheffield estates and died in 1898. Thomas Michael Ellison, my father, who was born at Glossop Hall in 1823, was the solicitor for the first and second Lord Howard of Glossop for over 30 years to his death in 1896.

In 1815 the first lease of part of Wren Nest Mills was granted by ‘Bernard Howard’ to Matthew Ellison. From 1829 to 1839 the leases were granted to Francis Sumner by ‘Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England’ and in 1847-1851 by ‘Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk’. Being myself one of the executors of the will of Mr F(rancis) J(ohn) Sumner (died 1907), whose father was heir-in-law and administrator of the estate of Francis James Sumner 1807-84 (the Francis Sumner named in the leases), I have these particulars at hand.

Amongst the title deeds in my possession at ‘Easton’ (formerly known as ‘East View) is a lease for 99 years of the original house and site in 1829 by Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk, also a licence (sic) (to assign the lease) given in 1839 by Thomas Ellison, agent to Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk; in 1842 an assignment with the privity, approbation and consent of Michael Ellison of Sheffield as the Agent duly authorised of the said Duke of Norfolk; and again in 1845; whilst later in 1855 Michael Ellison joins in an assignment as agent to Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk. Then there was a lease in 1857 of the stables and coachhouse by the Rt. Hon. Edward George Fitzalan Howard to Francis Sumner. I may add that Francis Sumner lived at East View (now Easton) from 1857 until his death in 1884. First having rebuilt the house. Then Edward Partington (afterwards Lord Doverdale) purchased the property and changed the name to ‘Easton’, and the leases were surrendered by his son, the present Lord Doverdale, to Mr. Todd, and the freehold property purchased by me at the sale by auction of the Glossop Dale Estates in 1925.

The title deeds which I have mentioned show that the Glossop Dale estates were held by the Dukes of Norfolk with the Sheffield estates, and managed by the same agents during the periods I have mentioned.

The Glossop Reservoirs Act was obtained in 1837 to enable millowners to construct reservoirs on the three streams, the Glossop Brook, the Hurst Brook and the Chunal Brook, to supply water for the motive power at the mills, only one, namely the Hurst Reservoir, being constructed. Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk is stated to be Lord of the Manor and he conveyed the land at the Hurst to the Glossop Reservoir Commissioners.

The Glossop Market Act of 1844 recited that the inhabitants of the Town of Glossop were greatly inconvenienced by the want of a Market for the sale of provisions, agricultural produce and other articles and things, and that The Most Noble Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk was the Lord of the Manor of Glossop, and that he had erected at his own expense a commodious building adapted for the purpose of a ‘Town Hall’ with a Market House’. And the Act provided for the carrying on of the Market; conferred powers as to weights and measures and the holding of fairs; and prescribed the tolls and charges. The Glossop Corporation are now the owners of this property and the rights under that Act.

The Glossop Water Act of 1865 states that Edward George Fitzalan Howard, commonly called Lord Edward Howard was the tenant for life. The Glossop Dale Estates were ‘settled’ in March 1841, by a Deed to which Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk, Henry Charles Howard (who afterwards became Duke), Edward George Howard (who afterwards became Lord Howard of Glossop), the Rt. Hon. John Charles Howard and Philip Henry Howard were parties; and in accordance with the prevailing practice a re-settlement was made in 1851 by a deed to which Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk, Lord Edward George Fitzalan Howard and several others were parties.

Edward George Fitzalan Howard was created Lord Howard of Glossop in 1843 and Baron Howard in 1869. He died on 1st December 1883, and was succeeded by his son, Francis Edward Lord Howard, Baron Howard of Glossop, who died in 1924, and was succeeded by the present Lord Howard of Glossop, by whom the entire estates were sold to Mr. John Todd and others in 1925.

The first Lord Howard of Glossop resided at Glossop Hall, which was enlarged and improved for the purpose, and Mr Thomas Ellison removed. Lord Howard’s son continued in residence there until his death. Their agents were the late Mr Francis Hawke and Mr C.A. Abraham.

The foregoing information may be usefully supplemented by extracts from papers and correspondence of the agents and surveyors in the employ of the Dukes of Norfolk on the Glossop and Sheffield estates, both at one time developed simultaneously. These have been supplied to me whilst I have been compiling the pedigree of the family from Mr Matthew Ellison to the present generation, extending over 200 years (1797-1920) – a work completed this year, which has involved much voluntary labour, time, and some expense, several ladies and gentlemen having assisted. I must here make my acknowledgements to: Mr Alfred J Ellison, barrister-at-law, London, the late Mr P.K. Wake solicitor, Sheffield, the late Mrs E.M. Couban, Rose Bank, Hollingworth, Mr Francis Reynolds, his sister Mrs Lynch, the trustees of the estates of Mr F.J. Sumner (deceased), and Mr Charles M.E. Hadfield, surveyor, Sheffield and Glossop.

The following was supplied by Mr Hadfield: ‘Henry Howard of Glossop died at Heath Hall Wakefield on 11th November 1787, and was presumptive heir to the Duke of Norfolk, and he was buried in the vault of Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury in Sheffield Parish church, the chief mourners being his two sons. The Duke of Norfolk and others were bearers. This Duke was the celebrated Duke Charles, the associate of George IV when Prince of Wales, Henry Howard was succeeded by his son Bernard Edward, described as ‘now of Glossop’ who was born at Darnall Hall Sheffield, where his father lived’.

The following is an extract from a biography of Matthew Ellison, supplied by Mr A.J. Ellison, who has traced the ancestors of Matthew back to 1613, a family in Durham County, other members of which were land agents for various estates. In the Parish Register of Bishop Middleham is the entry ‘1751 Sept 21, notice of ye birth of Mattw. Son of Michl, and Hannah Ellison’. In 1797 he became agent for the Duke of Norfolk’s Derbyshire estates, having for some years previously acted in the same capacity at Breewood in Staffordshire, on behalf of Thomas Gifford. He took up his residence at Glossop Hall, near Manchester, and under his superintendence the property greatly increased in value and the condition of the tenantry considerably improved. ‘When he succeeded to the management of the estate, Glossop was a little village situated in one of the remotest valleys in the County, when he died it was largely as a result of his efforts, a well-populated and flourishing district’. (From Sheffield newspapers in 1834).

In 1815 Matthew Ellison gave an interesting description of his life to his cousin, William Ellison of Sizergh, from which the following is extracted: ‘You must probably know that I am resident agent at Glossop, about fifteen miles east of Manchester, where I have been stationary for the last eighteen years of my life and most completely happy, for my employer, Mr Howard is a most amiable man and treats me more as a friend than a servant… In my own family, Mrs Ellison, seven daughters and two sons are all living, the youngest, a son of nearly twenty two years of age, two daughters are married to respectable men of good property, one of them, Mary Hadfield, lives about a mile from us and has at present two sons and five daughters all fine children. My other married daughter, Barbara Sumner, lives about two miles from Coventry, and has not yet any family. My eldest son, Michael, is about twenty eight, has been upwards of a year agent of the Honble Edward Petre at Stapleton Park, near Ferrybridge, Yorks. He has been married about three months to a very amiable woman and there is every prospect of their being happy and comfortable, as he promises to be a clever man in the employments he has engaged in ... I have lately built a factory on Mr Howard’s estate upon a lease of 99 years, and my sons have taken it for five years and have begun trade as cotton-spinners, my eldest as a sleeping partner, my youngest (who has been brought up in the business) managing the concern, he is at present a bachelor and resides with me. I think you have a son of your brother Luke’s with you, let me know of him: Luke was my school fellow at Trimdon'’.

Matthew Ellison was also clerk to the trustees of the Turnpike Roads from Glossop to Marple Bridge, and from Chapel-en-le-Frith to Enterclough Bridge, in the County of Derby. Two notices appear in the first issue of the Manchester Guardian on 5th May 1821 (of which I have a facsimile produced in 1921) which were signed by Matthew Ellison, clerk to the said trustees, Glossop Hall, 16th April 1821, that the letting by auction of the tolls from the Toll Gates or Bars for one year would be at the house of Mr John Wagstaffe in Glossop. The tolls amounted (to) from £90 to £260 from each of ten toll bars. Michael Ellison, and afterwards Michael Joseph Ellison succeeded as clerk to the trustees until the abolition of the Turnpikes in 1881-2.

When the Earl of Surrey succeeded to the Sheffield estates in 1855, Mr Michael Ellison in a letter to the Earl, mentions that the Earl’s father and grandfather seldom visited the estates, and he supplied a very full and most interesting report of the development of the estates, including the construction of the road from Sheffield to Glossop, and the railway from Sheffield to Manchester, from which I may give some extracts of public interest.

The report in 1855 of Michael Ellison of the succession of the Earl of Arundel and Surrey to the Dukedom contains a comprehensive survey of the development of the Sheffield Estates. The Glossop Dale Estates are not specially mentioned in the report, being then the property of the first Lord Howard of Glossop, a brother of Duke Bernard Edward, but they had been developed on similar lines during the previous half century with the Sheffield Estates, and had derived great benefit from the new road and especially the new railway from Sheffield.

Preceding the report was the following letter which merits reproduction: ‘My Lord. The Sheffield Estate, by which title it has long been distinguished, forms, as it is well known, a prominent feature in the possessions of your Lordship’s family. Its importance, always considerable, has however increased so rapidly during the last twenty years, as to render it difficult for any one excepting those, who on the spot have watched from year to year the growth of those influences which produced it, to estimate the effect of this remarkable change, or to acquire an accurate knowledge of the improved conditions and future prospects of this property. Your Lordship, from one cause or another, has had but few opportunities to become acquainted with this valuable portion of your family inheritance. It is therefore with a view to supply, before you shall enter into possession of this estate, some data upon which to ground a knowledge of its improved and improving circumstances that the following report has been prepared.

Having taken an active part in the management of this estate for upwards of 35 years, and having during that period participated in the carrying out of various public measures, which have exercised a powerful influence in promoting and accomplishing its improved position, I may perhaps without fearing to encounter an imputation of self complacency deem myself, so far at least as a knowledge of details is involved, competent to the duty of drawing up such a report as will put your Lordship in possession of the circumstances to which I have referred. It will not, perhaps, be regarded by your Lordship either as irrelevant or impertinent if I venture to observe, that the responsible situation which I have filled, has been marked by peculiarities which in ordinary instances do not attach to the person or affect the duties of a local agent. In my case these duties have neither been simply administrative nor exclusively executive of the instructions or designs of those whom I have served and over whose interests I have presided. Your Lordship’s father and grandfather have seldom visited this estate, and when they have, the time dedicated to that object has been too limited for a minute examination of its advantages, its wants or its capabilities. Suggestions or propositions in details for the guidance of the Agent could not, for this reason, be looked for at head quarters. A general principle or policy was all that could be calculated upon and this was laid down with as little reserve or restriction as possible. The creating and perfecting of a system to be pursued in the management of this Estate, based on such general principle, has necessarily developed on the Agent. It has endeavoured to be so framed that it should inspire confidence and induce enterprise, leading to the outlay of additional capital upon the ducal estate without injuring the rights or property of an existing tenantry. How far these objects have been obtained and this policy been successful does not rest with me for decision. The fact will perhaps on slight investigation establish itself. A comparison of the actual position at this moment of the Sheffield Estate as to tenantry rental and prospects with what it was at the time it passed into the possession of your Lordship’s family upon the demise of Charles Duke of Norfolk, may possibly afford the clearest and most satisfactory illustration of the policy that has guided the management of it. In aid of such comparison it is hoped that the succeeding report may furnish ample material to conduct your Lordship upon that point to a safe and correct conclusion. I have the honour to remain, My Lord, Yours most faithfully, Michl. Ellison

In the report Mr Ellison the character and extent of the estates, criticises severely the policy of development previously adopted ‘during the reign of Duke Charles’, who died in 1787, and emphasises the prominent advantage of the immediate neighbourhood of an extensive coal field, and the difficulties of communication for the conveyance of goods, which was then only by water to Hull and London. As Liverpool was the great port for the shipment of the manufactures of Sheffield, this water communication was of small benefit. To reach the latter port goods were obliged to be sent by land to Manchester or conveyed thither partly by land and partly by the Peak Forest Canal and thence to Liverpool by water. The difficulties in the development of the collieries are explained and the report continues :- ‘In 1821 a new road was opened between Sheffield and Glossop, which considerably reduced the distance between the former place and Manchester, and to some extent facilitated the communication therewith and consequently with Liverpool. The road, however, was imprudently undertaken and the promoters of it became involved in an enormous unforeseen expenditure, which had chiefly to be borne by the Dukes of Norfolk and Devonshire, through whose estates it passed for the distance of 15 or 16 miles, or about two thirds of the whole length. Although the road traversed a mountainous district abounding in stone, the latter, unfortunately, was not of such quality to form good material for the construction of roads. The result was that this road soon got out of repair and so far as the carriage of goods for Liverpool was concerned became, after a few years wholly disused. A remedy, however, for the defective communication with this was some years later furnished by the introduction of the Railway system’.

Then follows an account of several costly improvements made by the Dukes in Sheffield at the Corn Exchange, Market, Hospital, and the Bridge over the Don, and especially the ‘Norfolk Park’ of which he remarks: ‘The operative classes for whom it was more particularly designed resorted to it at their leisure hours for general relaxation as well as for practice in crisis etc etc. It is delightful to be able to record that the privilege of such enjoyment is not abused, the people availing themselves of it having observed great propriety of conduct and refrained from the committal of damage to the plantations, fences, and other properties of the Park’.

Upon the all important question of the railway system it is narrated that the railways opened in 1838-9 and consolidated into the Midland Railway did not produce the benefit calculated upon, as they did not materially improve the connection with Liverpool, and in 1837 an Act was obtained for the railway from Sheffield to Manchester, between which latter place and Liverpool the means of transit by water and rail were perfect. This railway was commenced in 1838 and completed in 1844, and of this he remarks: ‘In the course of its construction it was beset by every means of adverse circumstances and every species of difficulty physical and pecuniary. All these impediments, though of a magnitude most appalling and at times apparently insurmountable were in the end, however, overcome and a measure accomplished which, though ruinous to the shareholders, has been productive of an amount of benefit to Sheffield and to the Ducal estate that cannot be too highly appreciated. The completion of this railway led to a further extension eastwards and ultimately placed Sheffield on a direct line from Liverpool to Grimsby, opening to its manufactures the great port of the Atlantic on the one side and those of the German Ocean on the other, and what was perhaps more remarkable than creditable the accomplishment of these undertakings having been effected not only without the cordial co-operation of the majority of its inhabitants, but in the face of a most determined and defiant opposition, although difficult of belief, yet such was the fact, and when various schemes of railway were before the public, the one not only least encouraged but most violently and recklessly opposed was that which placed Sheffield on a direct line from the western to the eastern ocean. The railway system of Sheffield may now be regarded as perfected, and the results were mainly through the influence of the present Duke and his predecessor, for without the vigorous and unqualified support given by them to the undertaking just described there is no doubt the opposition would have prevailed and Sheffield been left worse provided with railway accommodation than any town on a parity with it in commercial importance, and this through folly or cupidity of a section of its inhabitants. In the above mentioned beneficial results the ducal property has largely participated from the circumstances of situation. A tribute is paid to those who had assisted in the development of the Estates, including an able and experienced Architect, Mr M.E. Hadfield in the erection of the new Market Hall etc.

Passing from this report, I may here observe that Glossop Dale fortunately commanded, as also did Sheffield, abundant sources of supply of water, most excellent in quality, suitable alike for man and beast and for manufacturing purposes. Reservoirs were constructed and water wheels, which provided the motive power for driving the machinery in the mills. The proprietors were able to obtain supplies of coal direct from South Yorkshire and to supersede the water wheels by steam engines.

The cloth manufactured at the cotton mills was exported by shipment from Liverpool to other countries and the facilities of transport by rail helped to expand the trade, the Dale flourished remarkably until the sad setback in the years of the 'Cotton Panic'. I shall attempt later a description of the ownership of the principal mills and works and offer some observations upon the ‘decline and fall’ of the staple industry. Mention may here be made that the construction of the branch railway from Glossop to Dinting was attributed to the influence and financial support of the Duke of Norfolk at that time.

Michael Joseph Ellison, the last of the ‘Ellison’ agents, highly esteemed in Sheffield held many important positions, and was an active and liberal supporter of the County Cricket team. He resided for many years at the Duke’s agent’s house, Beech Hill, Sheffield, where the Duchess of York recently stayed one night as the guest of the Duke of Norfolk, on the occasion of a civil function. His funeral in 1898 was attended by the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Rutland, Lord Hawke and Lord Effingham, in person, as well as by representatives of the principal institutions and public bodies. It would be remiss not to also mention Thomas Ellison (a son of Michael Ellison), who was appointed by the Duke of Norfolk as Judge of the County Courts of Sheffield, Rotherham and Glossop, which positions he held from 1863 to 1896. He lived at Barbot Hall, Rotherham, and married Miss Ann Dalton, of Hollingworth. Mr William Wake, Solicitor, of Sheffield, who married Miss Eliza Ellison, was associated with the Glossop Gas Company, as also was his son, Mr P.K. Wake who died recently (1853-1933).

Matthew Ellison Hadfield, the before mentioned architect, was the son of Joseph Hadfield of Lees Hall, who married Miss Mary Ellison (a daughter of Matthew Ellison). He was at one time in the Duke’s Estate office at Sheffield and kept a diary in 1830 from which by way of illustration of the mode of life and travel in those days I append accounts of an election outing and a trip on the ‘Duke of Wellington’, the first train from Manchester to Liverpool.

1 August 6th 1830. Set out with the coach full of freemen to East Retford to Vote for Vernon, took the old people from the hospitals, went off in capital Style with flying colours and arrived in Worksop in time to set out with the Earl of Surrey, who exerted himself wonderfully. We set out after voting, to Worksop about ½ past four, and arrived there by 6, got refreshment at the Crown and set out for Sheffield all as merry as could be, arrived at Sheffield about ½ past nine in the evening, had travelled about 60 miles. Two of our party so overcome by Mr Vernon’s good cheer that they were near falling off the coach, they lost their hats, which was no wonder since their heads were rather heavy.

2 31st December 1830. Set out with W Frith on a party excursion to Liverpool, took place on Wellington coach, having on board a part of the ‘corps dramatique’ who were emigrating to Manchester for the season. All went well until we got to Whaley Bridge when owing to the weight of our theatrical companions’ wardrobe, the coach broke down and delayed us two hours. After passing through Bullock Smithy and Stockport we found ourselves in the vicinity of Manchester. About four o’clock we were set down in Market Street. I had scarcely set foot on ‘terra firma’ when a cad very politely took up my trunk and told me if I wished to reach Liverpool by train I had no time to lose, set off full gallop bearing my trunk in triumph. I, not liking the rapid pace it was travelling at, ran after it and overtook him. However, all was right and after about an hour employed in looking with astonishment at the arrangement of everything connected with the railway, we stepped into the ‘Duke of Wellington’ and off we went as fast as fire and smoke to carry us, arriving in Liverpool in less than two hours after leaving Manchester. Put up at the Castle Inn, got tea, went to the theatre and got to bed about 12 o’clock. Slept soundly, took a walk by the docks before breakfast next morning, went to Copperas Hill Chapel, and finally all night at Manchester. Heard High Mass for Pius 8th at Mulberry Street. Returned to Glossop on Wednesday per Umpire Coach and remained at home until Monday, when I once more arrived in Sheffield much pleased with my fortnight’s fun, and set to work as usual.

All Saints’ R.C. Chapel Old Glossop, was erected by Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk in 1834-6, Messrs Weightman and Hadfield, of Sheffield being the architects, the school adjacent was built by Miss Kate Ellison, and superseded the house of the ‘Wagstaffes’ in Church Street, Old Glossop, which had a long time before been the residence of the Bailies or Steward, and had been converted by Canon Fauvel into a school. – (See his life by G.C. Daniel)

The following anecdote is narrated as coming from Canon Fauvel: ‘He was once travelling by train from Manchester and had for a fellow passenger an elderly gentleman with whom he entered into conversation, amongst other subjects, upon the topic of melons, of which the Canon was very fond. In the warmth of his friendliness the Canon mentioned that a beautiful melon had been on the table at dinner at the Hall where he had been dining with the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk on the preceding two or three evenings, but the fruit had not been cut. On alighting at Dinting Station his fellow passenger also alighted, and to the Canon’s dismay was met by the carriage from the Hall. The Canon remarked to the agent, Thomas Ellison, ‘Tom we shall hear something at dinner tonight about that melon’, and told him what had occurred. True enough, his fellow passenger was there, and proved to be no other than the Duke of Rutland. When the melon appeared at dessert, Her Grace the Duchess of Norfolk, smiling, said ‘Now Canon if you please, we will cut the melon tonight’. Whereupon the Canon rose and jocosely admonished the Duke of Rutland for telling stories of him, the episode caused such mirth’.

Bird’s eye views of the Glossop Dale Estates are readily obtainable from surrounding hills. The area covered the most northerly corner of Derbyshire, adjoining Yorkshire and Cheshire, bounded by the Pennine Range and the River Etherow, extending from Crowden alongside the moor and farm lands flanking the Longdendale Reservoirs on the Derbyshire side, through the hamlet and townships of Padfield and Hadfield, thence by the Hague to Broadbottom, Simmondley, Dinting, Chunal and Whitfield to Glossop. The dividing line on the summit of the moors is indicated by posts or stakes, and dykes. These hamlets and townships with Hayfield and New Mills and Chapel-en-le-Frith constituted the Parish of Glossop until the passing of the Local Government act of 1888 – when new Parishes were created. Intermixed with the estates were parcels of freehold moors and farm lands which had either been sold or originally granted to other owners.

There was a family named Hadfield, themselves owners of property, some of whom were architects and surveyors, and who came into prominence with the estates.

The name 'Hadfield' appears with much frequency in this district, several important families bearing that name. Old title deeds speak of a Captain Hadfield de Hadfield, and of Samuel Hadfield and Moses Hadfield, at one time the owners of the Old Hall, Mottram-in-Longdendale, adjacent to these estates. The architects and surveyors hailed from Glossop and Mellor, traced by C.M. Hadfield to be descendants of John Hadfield, a schoolmaster in Glossop, registered at Brazenose College Oxford, afterwards ordained, and curate of Mellor Parish Church from 1736 to 1781. He married Elizabeth Garside, their son, the Reverend Joseph Hadfield, B.A. Oxon being Vicar of Knutsford from 1771 to 1785, who died in the Old Vicarage there described in Mrs Gaskell’s ‘Cranford’. Another son Charles Hadfield, of Charlesworth and Lees Hall was the father of Joseph Hadfield, also of Lees Hall, who owned mills in Glossop, and married Mary Ellison (a daughter of Matthew Ellison), by whom he had 13 children, including Matthew Ellison Hadfield, F.R.I.B.A., surveyor at Sheffield, and Charles John Hadfield, Lord Howard’s surveyor at Glossop. Important buildings were designed by these surveyors, who also constructed roads and bridges and surveyed lands, mills and houses for leasing.

Incidentally, the Ogden Trust, under which Glossop receives charitable benefits, was founded by descendants of this family, Mary Simpson (formerly Hadfield) having married Samuel Ogden, of Charlesworth, the ancestors of the ‘Ogden’ family at Wellgate Cottage, Charlesworth.

Reference has already been made to the Town Hall and Market Hall and the Glossop Market Act of 1844.

In the development of the estates, an important feature was the regulation and application of the streams of water to motive power. In 1837 fifty gentlemen interested as proprietors of mills and other buildings obtained an Act of Parliament appointing them as Commissioners of the Glossop Reservoir, and empowering them to construct three reservoirs, one each on the Shelf Brook, the Hurst Brook and the Chunal Brook, for impounding the water in times of flood and rainy seasons and delivering the same out in regular diurnal supply for the use of the mills and works. The names of Ellison, Hadfield, Kershaw, Marsland, Potter, Robinson, Shepley, Sumner, Sidebottom and Wood will still be familiar to many.

Owing to insufficiency of funds only one reservoir – the Hurst – was provided, costing over £6,000 raised by subscription and loans on mortgages. Rates have since been, and are today, levied under this Act on the occupiers of the mills as far as Stockport to meet the cost of maintaining the reservoir and the interest on the loans, which have not yet been repaid.

In 1844 the building of the two reservoirs on the Shelf and Chunal streams was under consideration, but finally abandoned. From a statement then prepared, the names of the owners and occupiers of the mills is obtainable, and a list for those in Glossop is appended to this article. The three streams merge into one called the Glossop Brook, which flows into the Etherow at Brookfield. The Etherow and mills in Hadfield and Padfield were not affected by this act.

Names of MillsOwnersOccupiers
SHELF BROOKThe New MillRobert Bennett’s ExecUnoccupied
The Old MillThomas Ward, EsqUnoccupied
Knott’s MillRobert Bennett’s ExecWilliam Bramhall
The Warth MillRobert ShepleyRob & James Shepley
The Corn MillThe Duke of NorfolkJonathan Brooks
Mill Town MillJohn Wood and Rob
Bennett’s Exec
Samuel Wood
Shepley MillThe Duke of NorfolkAbraham Jackson
Wren Nest MillFrancis SumnerFrancis Sumner
Dinting MillJohn VaudreyTh Cornes & Co
Brookfield MillSamuel ShepleyJh & Wm Shepley
HURST BROOKHurst MillJohn KershawJohn Kershaw
Cow-Brook MillJohn HadfieldJohn Hadfield
The Silk MillRobert ShepleyWilliam Walker
Hadfield’s MillJohn RusbyIsaac Linney
CHUNAL BROOKBurymewick MillSamuel KershawSam Kershaw & Co
Charlestown MillJoseph HadfieldGeorge Fox
Whitfield MillGeorge R KershawSam Kershaw & Co.
Turn Lee MillSamuel Kershaw & Co.Sam Kershaw & Co.
Bridgefield MillG Wardlow and
W Whittaker’s Exors
Joseph Howard
Primrose MillJoseph HadfieldJoseph Howard

NOTE – Mills in Hadfield and Padfield are not included in this list for the reasons mentioned above.

Mention was made in the first article of this series of the Glossop Water Act of 1865. The water supply for domestic and manufacturing purposes had been previously supplied from the streams and from reservoirs constructed from time to time. The Glossop Waterworks undertaking and the powers under the Act were purchased by the Corporation in 1880 and will receive consideration with the other Municipal properties. Hadfield and Padfield continued to be supplied by the owners of the estates until the Corporation recently (so I learn) acquired the water rights for that part of the Borough.

Another important step in the programme of development was the provision of lighting both for the town and the mills and houses. Forty-four of the principal inhabitants were incorporated as the Glossop Gas Company by the Glossop Gas Act, 1845, including Edward George Fitzalan Howard, and well-known names of Buckley, Booth, Dalton, Michael, Richard and Michael Joseph Ellison, Reverend Theodore Fauvel, Greaves, John and Joseph Hadfield, Hampson, Kershaw, Oates, Platt, Robinson, Sykes, Shepley, Tomlinson, T.P. Wreakes, Williamson and Wake.

The preamble recites that the Town and Township of Glossop were places of considerable trade, had of late greatly increased and were increasing in population, and it would be a source of great advantage to the inhabitants and to the public at large if a good supply of gas were provided for lighting the town and township, and the streets, roads, lanes and public passages and places, and the mills, shops, inns, taverns, private houses, warehouses and other buildings. It was, however, years before the streets were efficiently lighted.

The immense improvement and transformation of Glossop Dale thus gradually effected is an entrancing topic to those interested in the industrial development. To give detailed descriptions and to do full justice to these undertakings, the foundation and extension of the mills and works, the notable personages by whom achieved, the success and failures, destruction by fires, discontinuance or expiration of leases, strikes and stoppages, conditions for the operatives and kindred matters, might well fill many pages, but these reminiscences must be confined to reasonable limits. Citizens who rendered yeoman service in public affairs and local government will, if possible, receive more particular attention later.

One reliable source of information as to ownership of property may be here mentioned. When special Acts of Parliament were obtained for the construction of Turnpike Roads, the Railway, the Water and similar undertakings, the promoters deposited with the Clerks of the Peace of the Counties in which all property to be affected was situated, a map or plan of the lands, called the ‘Deposited Plan’, and a ‘Book Of Reference’ describing the properties, and stating the names of the owners and occupiers. Quite recently, in order to settle a dispute as to a small piece of land which adjoined a Turnpike Road more than a hundred years ago, I inspected the deposited plan and book, and from the information obtained was able to effect a settlement of the dispute.

Genealogical and historical researches have a peculiar fascination. Lingering in old world churches and burial grounds, copying quaint inscriptions on tombstones, entries in ancient registers in Parish Churches, Doctors Commons, Somerset House, and similar depositories, revelling in musty, ancient parchments and reconstructing the lives and properties of families of bygone days, occasionally has unearthed a curious will or a treasured letter, as for example the following amusing comments in a letter written in 1785 by the Reverend Joseph Hadfield, Vicar of Knutsford, to his brother Charles at Lees Hall, referring to his brother clergyman :- ‘He is so nervous, tho’ Gigantic, yt he cannot get a glass of ale to his mouth without spilling some part of it, tho’ better in health than he was in ye winter. I wish for ye sake of his numerous and increasing family yt he might attain to ye age of three score years and ten, but much doubt it: his Plan is against him. Liquor is pernicious to him but he cannot refrain from it, tho’ he has enough of ye old Parson in him to deny ye charge however greatly he is guilty of it. Trust in a Person (Parson) yt is fond of liquor is a rare virtue. I hope you took a hint last year from me concerning ye Rum bottle, it is full of nothing but deadly poison, if it be fled to as a remedy, and will infallibly curtail life of yt man yt drinks it as a Cordial; like a false friend it smiles you in ye face, and stabs to ye heart, trust to no such enemy. But trust to my sincerity when I assure you yt I am at all times your affectionate and well wishing, &c., Jos. Hadfield’.

The pleasure on discovery of such gems may be compared to the keen appreciation of sound and mellow wine from forgotten dust covered bottles on the demise of a beloved ancestor or of and old and valued friend.

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Glossop Dale Estates Under the ‘Howards – Expansion & Prosperity of Industries.

The development of the Estates during the ownership of the Dukes of Norfolk was continued for three quarters of a century under Edward George (the first Lord Howard of Glossop created 1843, and made a Baron in 1869 in Mr Gladstone’s premiership) and his son, Francis Edward Lord Howard.

Factories grew apace, the principal mills owned by the Wood Brothers, Sumner, Potter and others were considerably extended, and with a few exceptions, all the mills were in the heyday of prosperity.

Men with capital of varying amount had leases of land and water rights, built mills, and established various businesses. Cotton, bleaching, dyeing, printing, rope band, and paper mill occupied, with their reservoirs and goyts, almost every available site on the River Etherow and its tributary streams.

The products were of first class quality. Cloth, especially, attained a far famed reputation, and was exported to India, China, Turkey and South America. The procuring of efficient labour from a rural district, sparsely populated, presented a problem. Proximity to neighbouring towns in which similar conditions obtained did not help to provide the needs of employers in the particular, hence operatives were imported from other parts, particularly from Ireland, attracted by the wages which offered to them a substantial advance. These imported ‘hands’ were inexperienced, and not quite up to the standard of civilisation which Glossopians had attained. In time, training, a cheerful readiness to learn the intricacies of spinning, weaving and kindred operations, and residence in the Dale achieved such good results that eventually Glossop Dale could boast a class of work people above the average compared with those in other districts.

Conditions of labour were not so smooth as nowadays. Long hours, tramping to and from work over roads and footpaths, such as they then were, on dark mornings and evenings, and in winter through snow, ice and ‘slush’ required a good constitution and a stout heart, and was trying to the young and old. Clogs and shawls were suitable to the conditions and afforded a necessary protection and safeguard from colds and other ailments. The attraction of an extra one or two shillings a week induced some good weavers to walk daily from Glossop to Hadfield and back. The houses in which the operatives lived were well built of stone, generally presented a neat appearance internally, and received a thorough cleaning and painting at the annual ‘Wakes’ holiday. The employers in the old days, themselves set an example in industry, some keeping the regular mill hours. Good feeling endured between master and servant, and it was not infrequent for operatives to proclaim with evident pride their long association through three or four generations with the mills in which they had spent much of their lives.

But not all the ventures were successful. There were failures from various causes. An operative once, in reply to an enquiry why the mill at which he worked had come to grief, said ‘well, sir, a mill won’t run itself when the master stays at home reading novels’, and so failure perhaps resulted from lack of that personal and individual capacity, knowledge and active participation which good workmen appreciate in their employers. Efficiency in manufacture and the organisation of agencies for selling and distributing the products, coupled with shrewdness, caution and courage were required for success.

Fortunes of hundreds of thousands of pounds were made by a number of those who risked their capital and devoted their lives to the carrying on of these industries, and hundreds of thousands of pounds were paid in wages, and for the purchase of raw materials, engines, machinery and commodities.

Simultaneously with this industrial expansion, houses, shops, stores, churches, chapels, schools, inns and licensed houses were built, the population increased and the Dale flourished, though hard times had to be faced when no cotton was obtainable, or demand for cloth was slack, or trade disputes occurred. The old leases for 99 years were in many cases renewed for 999 years, and in a few instances the freehold was purchased from Lord Howard.

About the year 1900 there were at the Howard Town Mills of John Wood and Bros. Ltd. (in round figures) 200,000 spindles and 3,400 looms; at Wren Nest Mills of Francis Sumner and Co, Ltd. 125,000 spindles and 2,600 looms, Hurst Mills of James Rowbottom and Co. Ltd. 22,000 spindles, Shepley Mill 43,000 spindles, Brookfield Mills of J & W Shepley Ltd. 2,400 spindles and 470 looms, Padfield, Hadfield and Broadbottom Mills of Edward Platt Ltd. 83,000 spindles and 1,400 looms. The figures for Hadfield Mills of Thomas Rhodes and Son Ltd, and the Waterside Mills of T.H. Sidebottom and Co. Ltd., are not at hand.

The paper mills at Turn Lee and Dover, formerly owned by T.H. Ibbotson, and the progress of which was checked in the ‘sixties’, became a most important industry when acquired by Edward Partington, who also acquired paper mills at Broughton Bridge, Salford, and Barrow-in-Furness, and was part-founder of the famous Kellner Partington Wood Pulp Company, with works in Austria and Norway, and also, for a few years, a pulp mill and extensive timber forest in Canada. Captain Edward Partington received the honour of knighthood and afterwards became Baron Doverdale.

Another successful trade was the manufacture of belting and belt fasteners in which the late Isaac Jackson engaged with works in Ellison Street Glossop, and afterwards at Hawkshead Mill.

The lot of the workers was by degrees much improved and ameliorated by the operating influences of the Factory Acts, the Education Act of 1870, the combination of operatives by trade unions, and the local governing bodies, but neither employers nor operatives were too responsive and a driving force was needed in some cases to remedy objectionable conditions which obviously should have been superseded earlier. In all such affairs progress is slow. Even at this time, notwithstanding the vast sums expended on local government and the liberal provision of governing bodies, there still exist conditions in houses and other property in the larger industrial towns and cities in England which are not very creditable.

The decline for the cotton industry is attributed by some thoughtful people to a variety of causes, such as the formation of Joint Stock Companies, the individual employer having sunk into a corporate existence ‘with no bodies to kick and no soul to damn’; over-production, competition, and the supplying of engines and machinery to foreign competitors and sending our skilled men to teach them. Many years ago some Japanese, I remember, spent a few months in Glossop, daily taking particulars and copying designs of machines in a mill in this district, for the privilege of which the owner received a payment of a few hundred pounds, it was thought this would not be of value to the Japanese competitors, but in view of present day competition, that may be doubtful.

Some mills were abandoned, the lease holder and the ground landlord failing to come to term of renewal when the leases expired. A few were destroyed by fire and not rebuilt. The site of a hive of industry being consumed by flames, the firemen struggling with crude engines and appliances, the employer woefully regarding the destruction of his property, the sad eyed work people anxious for the future means of livelihood, and the grim ruins, is a heart-stirring but pitiful spectacle. In the ‘eighties’ I witnessed the burning of a mill in Old Glossop known as ‘Sykes Mill’, and in later years a similar disaster at Waterside Mills. The complete failure of some old fashioned fire engines to render much needed assistance let to better provision, both public and private. Fortunately, the risk of these disasters is less than formerly, thanks to the exercise of greater care, the provision of ‘sprinklers’ and other appliances for the prompt extinguishment of fire.

Upon one point all seem agreed, that the present world wide depression, the aftermath of the Great War, has dealt a blow from the effects of which neither employers nor operatives, nor their representative bodies, have been so far able to revivify the trade.

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Local Government and The Municipal Corporation.

Systems of local government were formerly of spasmodic growth resulting in overlapping and complication which has been described as chaotic. The Justices nominated by the Lord Lieutenant gradually acquired the management of the affairs of the County, having superseded the Shire-moot, which consisted of landowners, presided over by the Sheriff.

Glossop was a Petty Sessional Division including Charlesworth, Ludworth, Mellor and Marple Bridge. Mellor was subsequently transferred to New Mills, and the Justices held their courts at the Glossop Town Hall. Originally, the ‘lock ups’ were at Old Glossop, as also was the ‘Pound’ or ‘Pinfold’, opposite the Queen’s Arms, and I well remember my father sending some sheep there which had trespassed upon his fields. Readers of Dickens will remember how Pickwick of immortal fame, was wheeled in a wheelbarrow and deposited in a ‘pound’ at Eatanswill, to the delight of the villagers.

Parish meetings were held in the Parish Church or the Vestry, presided over by the Parson or Vicar. The land owner had no power over the Parish meetings, but had his Manorial Court presided over by his steward or agent, and a ‘Court Leet’ was held at Glossop until the Glossop Dale Estates were sold. This court determined questions concerning the estates, of the tenancies, and matters appertaining thereto.

At the Parish meetings, which were often of a lively character, the Parish business was performed. Surveyors of Highways and Overseers of the poor (now abolished) were nominated and submitted to the Justices for appointment, and rates were assessed to be allowed by the Justices.

Unions were established in 1834 and Boards of Guardians elected, and the workhouse provided for the relief of the poor, with accommodations for casual paupers, and a Relieving Officer appointed.

A Burial Board was appointed under the Burial Act, 1852, which provided the burial ground at Allman’s Heath, known as the Glossop Cemetery, which in 1894 was transferred to a Joint Committee appointed by the Town Council of Glossop and the Rural District of Charlesworth. The County Police were under the control of the Standing Joint Committee appointed by the Justices at Quarter Sessions, and Glossop was, for many years, ‘policed’ by the County Police, until it possessed its own Police Force.

The Public Health Act, 1875, the Municipal Corporations Acts, and the Local Government Acts of 1888 and 1894 effected radical alterations and improvements in Local government. The powers and duties of the Vestry, Surveyors of Highways, and Overseers of the Poor were transferred to Parish Councils, Rural and Urban District Councils, Town Councils and County Councils. Recent legislation has partially consolidated these, and we are promised other measures to effect retrenchment and centralise the work of the smaller governing bodies, whose achievements fail to retain the confidence of the inhabitants or the approval of the Central Government.

All credit must be given to those individuals – employers and operatives who have given of their best in the public service – and to those who by their generous benefactions have enriched the municipal possessions, upon whose work and generosity I shall presently comment. Many of these I have known personally, and the recollections of my associations as I write these lines on this, my 70th birthday, afford me much pleasure.

Before narrating the incorporation of the Borough of Glossop, a brief review of the conditions then existing is desirable. The advent of a resident ground landlord in the person of Lord Edward Howard, in or about 1851, followed soon afterwards by the appointment of an Agent exclusively for the Glossop Dale Estates, opened a new era of development. Mr Francis Hawke, who was already in the estate office, succeeded Mr Michael Ellison, who resigned the agency for the Glossop Estates about 1860.

For the next fifteen years the policy of leasing land for mills, the opening of roads and the provision of a water supply was continued.

The abnormal situation created by the closing or partial stoppage of the cotton mills during the ‘cotton panic’ called for special efforts. Liberal financial assistance was forthcoming from Lord Howard and the mill owners, and useful employment in the works of construction supplemented the reduced earnings and ameliorated the prevailing distress.

Relief to a considerable extent was also given by the authorities from the rates. An exodus of 64 of the inhabitants to America occurred in 1864. The grievous blow created by the Cotton Panic to the chief mainstay of the inhabitants was fortunately of a limited duration. A good recovery followed.

Meanwhile, improvements had been proceeded with. The public streets of Glossop were lighted with gas in 1861, an event which (it is recorded) was celebrated by a dinner at the Norfolk Arms Hotel.

By 1864 the Swineshaw Reservoir had been completed and Lord Howard had commenced the construction of three small reservoirs at Barbour Clough, between Spire Hollin and Windy Harbour. The Glossop Waterworks Act, 1865, mentions the construction of the reservoirs in connection with Blackshaw and Blackshaw Clough streams which for some time past had supplied the town of Glossop or part of it with water and that there was no Local Authority constituted, and it was expedient that the Authority should be empowered to become the purchasers of the undertaking and to raise money by borrowing. The impounding of the water of the Blackshaw stream and one half of Blackshaw Clough was authorised, the other half to be for supply of the mills as compensation, and gauges were to be provided for dividing equally the waters, and the mill owners were given power to inspect to see that they had their due supply

These arrangements have been altered in later years by agreement between the Corporation and the millowners. The Glossop Waterworks undertaking was not, however, sold to the Corporation until fifteen years later in 1880.

In 1860, the Clerk to the Peace had purchased land for lock-ups. Amongst its amenities the town included the Glossop Cricket Club formed in 1833, with Thomas Ellison, chairman, and Francis J. Sumner as vice-chairman, and also celebrated by a dinner at the Norfolk Arms, and in 1861 a Gentlemen’s Club was established in Ellison Street, but this apparently did not last long, for the premises were sold to Mr T. M. Ellison in September 1869, and used by him for offices, but have again reverted to their former use and are now the premises of the Social Club. Amongst the magistrates were Edmond Potter (1853), and John Hill Wood and Francis J. Sumner (1857).

The principal mills had been considerably extended. The population in 1865 was about 14,000 but had fluctuated owing to the disastrous effects of the cotton famine in the districts. The requirements of the now populous and progressive town merited, in the opinion of the principal inhabitants, no less an authority than a Municipal Corporation, and this very important object was achieved by the combined efforts of the Noble Landlord and the property owners and the Grant of a Royal Charter, in 1866.

The Charter is an interesting document under the Seal of the Privy Council, dated the 19th day of October ‘in the 30th year of our’ reign and commences ‘Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith To all to whom shall come greeting’. Then follow a number of recitals referring to the Municipal Corporations Act, 1835, and the power to grant a Charter on a petition, and that the Town of Glossop for the purposes of the Glossop Market Act, 1844 shall, by that Act, comprehend so much of the Parish of Glossop as was comprised in a circle to two miles diameter, of which circle the Town Hall of Glossop should be the centre, and that a petition by the inhabitant householders of the Hamlets of Glossop, Whitfield, Simmondley, Dinting, Hadfield, Padfield and Chunal including the Town of Glossop, to grant a Charter of Incorporation, was presented, and on the 14th March 1865, ‘Our Privy Council did proceed to consider the petition and having since resumed consideration thereof’ and advised the Grant of a Charter of Incorporation for the district thereinafter described situate within the said Hamlets and comprising parts thereof. Then follows (as was then the mode) a meticulous verbose description, which is a good illustration of how to describe by words a circuitous, indefinite and varied boundary without referring to a plan. It may be that this mode of description led to the custom in some Boroughs of ‘beating the boundaries’ every year, the members of the Council perambulating the confines of the Borough, having in company small boys who were beaten or 'bumped', at a number of points, so as to forcibly impress the particular situation, and produce facility to recall them for many a long year.

Briefly, the Borough is comprised in a circle, with a projection on one side, and is shown on the Ordnance and other maps, the boundary extending from a point at Lanehead, Glossop, to the Hayfield Road, thence to Gamesley, Woolley Bridge, Hadfield and Padfield, returning to Lanehead. The area is not mentioned in the Charter, but is generally stated as 3,062 acres.

The inhabitants of the Town of Glossop and Districts before described were ever thereafter after declared one Body politic and corporate in deed, fact and name to be called the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Glossop, with perpetual succession, and all the powers, authorities and privileges held and enjoyed by the Boroughs named in the Act of 1836 as if this Borough had been included under the Charter. The Council consists of a Mayor, six Aldermen and 18 Councillors, and the Borough is divided into three Wards ‘All Saints’, St James and Hadfield, the areas of which are also described without reference to a plan, and each Ward is to return six Councillors. The district of each ward may be gathered from the Electors lists and is well known to those who take part in the elections.

Then ‘Our trusty and well beloved Thomas Michael Ellison Gentleman, was to make out and publish the Burgess list’, and ‘Our trusty and well beloved Francis Sumner Esquire and John Wood Esquire Justices of the Peace for the said County of Derby or either of them’ were appointed to revise the Lists; the first elections were fixed for the Councillors on 21st December 1866, and for the Aldermen on the 26th December. And on the same day the Mayor to be elected from the Aldermen and Councillors. ‘Our trusty and well beloved Francis Hawke Esquire’ was appointed to act as Returning Officer at the election of Councillors, or failing him ‘ our trusty etc. William Wardlow Howard Esquire’ and provision was made also for election of Auditors and Assessors. The Charter concludes: ‘In witness whereof we have caused these letters to be made patent: Witness our self at the Palace of Westminster in the 30th year of our reign By writ of Privy Seal – Cardew

The following is a list of those elected in December 1866:

MAYOR Francis Sumner

ALDERMEN All Saints Ward Francis Sumner, Daniel Wood; St. James Ward Joseph Stafford, Joseph Woodcock; Hadfield Ward William Shepley James Sidebottom.

All Saints Ward Frederick Buckley, John Hadfield, James Shepley, Samuel Robinson, James Rhodes, Joseph Mellor.
St. James’ Ward John France, George Woffenden, Levi Jackson, John Ashton, Thomas Peacock Wreakes, Charles Collier.
Hadfield Ward Edward Platt, Thomas Platt, Thomas Rhodes, Robert John Lees, George Eastham, Timothy Holroyd.

AUDITORS John Hampson and William Bramhall

REVISING ASSESSORS John Wood and Thomas Bennett

All Saints’ Ward Thomas Hamer Ibbotson and William Bramhall
St James’ Ward John Hampson and William Smith
Hadfield Ward William Platt and Samuel Wood


All Saints’ Ward Richard Hole and John Wood Bowden
St James’ Ward William Smith, Shoe Dealer and John Handford
Hadfield Ward John Barber and William Bradbury

Town Clerk Thomas Michael Ellison
Treasurer Samuel Wood
Chief Constable Samuel Kershaw

The votes recorded for the Councillors were from 75 to 201, the highest number being obtained by Frederick Buckley.

There were five Committees then appointed: General Purposes, Finance, Sanitary, Watch and Lighting.

The operations of this Municipal Corporation, representative of the Aristocracy, Cottonocracy and Bureaucracy, in conjunction with the County and Borough Justices of the Peace, the Board of Guardians, Overseers of the Poor, the Glossop Reservoirs Commissioners and the Burial Board, and their respective officers, supplemented and supported by a number of Societies and Associations, and acting in harmony with the noble estate owners, present a record of a volume of work performed, for the most part voluntarily, regulating the affairs of the Borough for a period of 68 years from 1866 to 1934.

For the first fifteen years of that period down to 1882 my reminiscences depend upon youthful impressions and traditions handed down, but during a period of 40 years to 1922, my association with the Council, Justices, and other bodies, and some of the commercial undertakings, enables me to speak with a more confident recollection.

Entering the office of my father, Mr. T.M. Ellison, in April 1881, I have seen and conversed with almost all of those to whom I shall have occasion to make reference.

Of the first Lord Howard of Glossop my personal knowledge is necessarily very limited, as he died in 1883. As our family pew was at All Saints’ Catholic Chapel in the gallery, I often saw him there, but only conversed with him when attending with my father at the Hall to attest his execution of an important document. He was regarded by all as a most thorough gentleman, upright and conscientious. Of his son, Francis Edward Lord Howard, with whom I had a more intimate business relationship, I shall speak later.

Francis James Sumner, our first Mayor, merits particular note. He also attended the same Chapel, having a pew close to my father’s, as had also the Daltons and the Hadfields (of Holly Mount). Mr Sumner was rather nervous and fidgety, of good appearance, though he wore cotton gloves, which, the ladies uncharitably said, were ‘darned’; and he wore side whiskers the colour of which the ladies thought too youthful for his age. A more substantial and agreeable source of my recollection was, what every schoolboy values so highly, his gifts of half-crowns drawn from a money bag which he habitually carried, when we were fortunate enough to meet him as we were returning on ‘Black Monday’ after the holidays. I also waited upon Mr Sumner many times to have documents signed, both at his house and at Wren Nest Mills, and as his history is even today of much interest to many inhabitants, I will give a short account.

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Francis James Sumner – The First Mayor.

Francis James Sumner, our first Mayor was born in 1807 at Foleshill, Coventry; his mother died when he was but three years of age, and his father, Robert Sumner, married in 1812 at Glossop, for his second wife, Barbara Ellison, a daughter of Matthew Ellison, of Glossop Hall then the agent for the Glossop Estates, and died five years later, having just purchased an estate at Foleshill from Lord Clifford for £11,200, to which Francis James succeeded as heir-at-law, his father not having made a Will. The purchase not having been completed and difficulties arising, proceedings in Chancery were necessary. His stepmother Barbara, who had no children, was appointed his Guardian, and devoted herself to his education and advancement. Her two brothers, Michael and Thomas Ellison, were appointed Receivers, and Matthew Ellison and Joseph Hadfield their sureties.

Mr Sumner was educated at a school of good standing at Baddeley, near Birmingham, and was expected by his relatives to become a farmer, but his stepmother and her brothers saw better prospects for him in a business career in the cotton trade, and, on the 17th August 1822, his stepmother wrote to him: ‘You know I wish to procure for you the advantage of being in your uncle Tom’s office that you might improve in accounts writing and obtaining general knowledge of that kind of business which will be of use to you whatever you afterwards engage in. Should you still feel inclined to be a farmer, it will enable you to manage any affairs of the Parish where you may be placed and give weight and respectability to your character. As my brother has consented to my wishes I have planned for you with him about the middle of October’.

And so the young man who was to become our first Mayor, came to Glossop and was established in the original part of the Wren Nest Mills of the Ellisons.

The protracted Chancery proceedings were eventually ended, his father’s estates sold by auction at Coventry, and Francis James became possessed of over £10,000 in cash. In response to a payment made in recognition of the management and realisation of his estate Mr. Michael Ellison wrote to him from Sheffield, on June 17th 1831: ‘My dear Sir, I have the pleasure to receive your letter of yesterday with its handsome enclosure to me. When I undertook, on the death of your father, the management of your affairs, it was at the request of, and with a view to relieve my sister of a very responsible and harassing duty. It was not my intention, therefore, to charge anything more than the amount of what I had expended in travelling to and from Foleshill during a period of 14 years; these journeys have been numerous and, of course, expensive, but your remittance will amply cover the sum I have disbursed on account of this. It is gratifying for me to know that my services are regarded by yourself as valuable, and that you are perfectly satisfied with the result of the disposal of your property in Warwickshire. The sum you realised from it and which you have now embarked in trade will I hope to be productive of a return equal to what your attention to and industry in business entitle you to expect. I shall at all times be glad to see you at my house, and hope you will ride over as often as your business will allow you time for the journey. Very truly yours, Mich. Ellison’.

Business transactions with Gibsons, the well established Merchants in Manchester, led to the marriage of George Gibson with another daughter of Matthew Ellison in 1820, and from that union sprang the Reynolds family and the well known firm of cotton brokers in Liverpool, ‘Reynolds and Gibson’, who have long been, and are today, associated with the Wren Nest Mills. Valuable advice and assistance was ever to hand, of which Mr Sumner was not slow to avail himself, and so the business flourished, the fine range of mills were erected, and phenomenal prosperity followed.

Mr Sumner held the office of Mayor for two years, 1866-7, but on the expiration of his term of office as Alderman he did not seek re-election, and thenceforth confined his part in public affairs to the Magistracy. He was also treasurer of the Glossop Reservoir Commissioners. He resided at Primrose House until 1857, when he purchased and rebuilt ‘East View’, now ‘Easton’, and resided there until his death. In 1869, he invested part of the profits of his trade in the purchase of Park Hall, Hayfield, and the extensive grouse moors and farms known as the Park Hall Estate, which had been the property of Captain White, and, from time to time added other estates, including the Beard Hall and Ollerset Hall Estates in New Mills, all of which he possessed at his death.

The position he thus attained qualified him for nomination as High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1881, an event he celebrated by giving a breakfast in a marquee in the grounds of Park Hall, to which many of his friends and his tenants were invited.

Mr Sumner regulated his life for many years to meet his business requirements. A week’s holiday in Blackpool – not the Blackpool of today – a week in London, when a visit was paid to the Royal Academy and to Ascot Races, and relaxation and sport during the shooting season at Park Hall when he entertained his friends – these were his usual holidays.

He appreciated and kept horses of good quality, and in his early days enjoyed, like most good sportsmen, a little wager on the Derby with friends of sporting proclivities. Dogs also, both for coursing and shooting, interested him, and a silver snuff box, which was held by my father, bore the inscription ‘Presented to the Glossop Coursing Club by Francis James Sumner, Esq., and won by Mr T.M. Ellison’s ‘Echo’, 1854.

It was on the occasion of his annual visit to London in company with Mr. Francis Hawke, Lord Howard’s agent, that Mr Sumner succumbed to a heart attack and died in the night at St. Pancras Hotel, on the 12th June 1884. He was a bachelor, and strange to relate, although in his 77th year, and owner of important mills with 1,400 employees, and of estates valued over £100,000, and with full knowledge of the consequences of his father’s omission to make a Will, he himself delayed too long the testamentary disposition, which judging from correspondence with some of this relations he had intended, and died intestate. The whole of his freehold estates passed (according to the law then existing, but since altered in 1925) to his heir at law, John Sumner, a first cousin and then in advanced years, who immediately transferred the estate to his son, Francis John Sumner, under whose Will they have been sold during recent years. The Mills, being leasehold, passed with his personal estate to his next of kin, nine first cousins, who on 1885 formed Francis Sumner and Company Limited, of which members of the Sumner family and others, including my father, were Directors, and Mr. W.H. Thorpe the General Manager, and myself the Secretary, and thus a difficult situation was overcome and a continuance of the Mills permanently secured. Mr Thorpe died in 1918, and was followed by Mr. T.C. Fielding as Manager, and after thirty years I resigned the Secretaryship and was succeeded by Mr. F.H. Cooke, and later I became a Director. Then, in 1920, a syndicate acquired all the shares and themselves formed the present Company, of which Mr. W. Hilton is the Manager.

The St Mary’s Catholic Church with Presbytery at Glossop was erected and endowed by the next of kin as a memorial, but it was unfortunate that his sudden death prevented Mr Sumner, had he so minded, providing some lasting permanent memorial in the Borough, of benefit to the general community, having regard to the positions he had held and his successful and prosperous career in his adopted County.

The late Mr. Francis Hawke, who was a constant visitor at East View, was presented with a picture to be selected by him from the valuable collection left by Mr. Sumner, and his choice fell upon a picture bearing the appropriate title ‘L’homme propose, et Le Dieu dispose’ (Man proposes, God disposes).

My expatiation upon the subject of this sketch is induced by a long association covering a period of 120 years between the Ellisons and the Sumner families, myself being one of the Trustees of the Will of Francis John Sumner, who died in 1907, and Solicitor for members of the family. Members of the two families are shareholders in the Company now owning the Wren Nest Mills. Many inhabitants ‘of the old school’ are, I know, interested in the biographies of their townsmen of today and of by-gone days.

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The Wood Family.

To present in a brief space such a record as will do full justice to the meritorious work associated with the commercial, civil, religious and social life in Glossop Dale by members of the twin families of Wood and Sidebottom is well nigh an impossible task.

John Wood, the founder of the Howardtown Mills, came to Glossop about the beginning of the last century, and died 8th November 1854, aged 69, leaving three sons, John, Daniel and Samuel, who successfully developed the business and by extensions, made those mills the largest cotton mills in Glossop, and eventually formed the Company ‘John Wood and Bros. Ltd,’, by whom the business was carried on until the shares were sold and a new Company formed in 1920. Daniel, whose full name was Daniel Haigh Wood, was a bachelor, and was one of our first Aldermen, but is not enrolled amongst the Mayors of Glossop. He built Moorfield in 1861, and resided there until his death on 7th February 1888. I well remember seeing him on occasions as he was driven to and from All Saints’ Parish Church in his own smart hansom cab, and he used to ride down from Moorfield to the mills on a steel grey cob, which could oft be seen tethered in front of the mills awaiting the time to take its owner back to Moorfield. He founded the ‘Woods Hospital’ during the Mayoralty of his brother in law, Jack Sidebottom, in 1887, and this formed part of the splendid gifts to the Municipality in commemoration of H.M. Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and which will receive a special notice in my reminiscences of James Sidebottom’s Mayoralty.

Samuel Wood was the Mayor for two years 1874-76. He married Anne Kershaw Sidebottom (sister of William and James Sidebottom) and resided at Talbot House, Glossop, held under lease from Lord Howard. I remember seeing him at the Council meetings, for a year or two, when he was in advanced years. After the death of Daniel Wood, Mrs A.K. Wood took up her residence at Moorfield.

Sir Samuel Hill-Wood, Bart., the only son of Samuel and Anne Kershaw Wood, born at Talbot House, was a member of the Council and Mayor for four years – 1898-1902. He was also Deputy Lieutenant for Derbyshire, Justice of the Peace for the County and Borough, Lt. Col. of the 6th Cheshire Regiment, the Member of Parliament for the High Peak Division from 1910 to May 1929, when he resigned. A baronetcy was conferred on him in 1921. He obtained a great reputation in the world of sport, winning important horse races, his best animal being the great Irish jumper ‘The Duffery’. Twice won the Waterloo Cup with his famous dogs, ‘Heavy Weapon’ and ‘Hung Well’, and was a generous and ardent supporter of the Glossop and Derbyshire County Cricket Clubs, being captain of both the County and Glossop sides. He was also the mainstay of the Glossop Association Football Club on the demise of the old Rugby Football Club, and is at present chairman of the famous Arsenal F.C.

Mrs Anne Kershaw Wood occupied a prominent position in political, religious and social activities, and was associated with the munificent gifts (to be mentioned later) in the 1887 jubilee year, She was made Honorary Freeman of the Borough in October 1910, on which occasion the members of the Council were entertained to a memorable banquet at Moorfield, the kindness and courtesy of the hostess and her son, Sir Samuel, and her brother, the late Col. William Sidebottom, adding to the enjoyment of the festivity. Her life, full of useful activities, was ended by her death, amid universal regret in March 1914. The interment was attended by members of the Council and Corporation officials, and representatives of numerous bodies.

Sir John Wood, Bart., though not seeking election to the Council, was a County Justice (1897), a Director of John Woods and Bros. Ltd., took an active and practical interest in the Volunteers and Territorials, and was Member of Parliament for Stalybridge,1910-15. He now resides at Hengrave Hall, Bury St. Edmunds. He was given a baronetcy in 1918.

Sir Samuel Hill-Wood married the Honble. Decima Batman, and during his Mayoralty they entertained the members and officials of the Council and many ladies and gentlemen to a dance at the Victoria Hall, Glossop.

For a few years they were tenants of Park Hall, Hayfield, and the Grouse Moors, the property of F.J. Sumner’s Trustees.

Before proceeding to the Sidebottom family, it will be appropriate to give the following summary of the munificent gifts by the Wood family to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of H.M. Queen Victoria in 1887.

£ £
Daniel H Wood For building 6000
For endowment 25000
John Wood To meet deficiency, building      1000
Mrs A.K. Wood Cost of furnishing 600
Samuel Wood J.P. and Mrs A.K. Wood      Cost of building (stated at) 15000
Samuel Wood J.P. Cost of laying out (stated at) 6000

The money for the Wood’s hospital was an immediate gift to the Corporation. The baths and park were vested in private Trustees until 1894, when they were transferred to the Corporation, but are not endowed. The land for these institutions was given by Lord Howard of Glossop.

Mention may also be made of previous gifts in 1881-2 of the two fountains in Victoria Street and High Street West, presented by Mrs Wood, of Whitfield House, and the fountain in High Street East by John Wood of Whitfield House.

For many years Sir John Wood has contributed £100 a year and Sir Samuel Hill-Wood £50 a year towards the maintenance of the hospital.

The gifts by Herbert Rhodes and Captain Partington in the Jubilee year will be mentioned presently.

Further information on the Wood family can be found in the article Wood and Hill-Wood families.

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The Sidebottom Family.

James Sidebottom and William Sidebottom, whose names and services are recorded in the Municipal records of this Borough, and their brother Tom Harrop Sidebottom, were members of a family, the owners of Waterside Mills, Hadfield, and the adjacent Bridge Mills, Tintwistle. They were three of the children of William Sidebottom and Agnes (nee Harrop), of Etherow House, Hollingworth. James Sidebottom was born 16th July 1834, at Copster Hill, near Ashton, where his parents then resided, and was educated at Bury Grammar School and at Seaforth. In association with his brother, Tom Harrop, he carried on the Bridge Mills, built in 1854, for some 20 years and then retired. He resided at Arrowscroft House for about 18 years and afterwards at Millbrook, Hollingworth.

Elected a member of the Town Council for Hadfield ward in 1871, he held the office of Alderman for 22 years from 1872-1893, and of Mayor for six consecutive years, 1879-1885, and for two years 1886-1888.

Appointed a Justice of the Peace for Cheshire in 1873, and for Derbyshire and the Borough of Glossop in 1883, he exercised judicial functions, frequently presiding at the Courts at Glossop and Hyde. For several years he was an Alderman of the Derbyshire County Council.

Assiduous, dignified, and conscientious in the fulfilment of his administrative and judicial duties, generous in expenditure in many directions, he merited and enjoyed a full measure of gratitude and esteem in the Borough of Hollingworth and Tintwistle. The better to appreciate professional advice, he acquired some slight knowledge of Municipal Laws, and obtained and utilised serviceable information and knowledge in all matters of importance, and brought to bear a sound judgement in his decisions. Recognising the absence of the distinctive badge of office he generously presented to the Corporation a handsome, ornate and massive gold Mayoral Chain and a Mayoral Robe. On the links of the chain have been inscribed the names and years of office of successive Mayors.

James Sidebottom may be said to have set a fashion in entertaining members and officials of the Council which only those possessed of considerable wealth could be expected to follow and which are out of the question nowadays.

My attendance at the meetings of the Council and Committees commenced in 1882, when I was a youth of 17, and James Sidebottom kindly included me in the invitations to his banquet in 1884, and thence forward I enjoyed Mayoral hospitality on such occasions for many years.

A connoisseur in the delicacies of the table, he provided generously, and displayed a geniality which dispelled or softened the acerbity of acrimonious debate, and soothed the prevailing political animosity. During his Mayoralty important questions arose in connection with Water Supply, Roads and Streets. I propose to embody some recollections in a special article on these topics, which at times evoked a lively interest in the Borough, especially regarding the water supply.

Establishing at Millbrook expensive scientific apparatus, he evinced a practical interest in meteorological subjects, and regularly sent to the press for publication reliable records of rainfall and similar statistics.

A great lover of music, he for years gave liberal financial support to the Glossop Philharmonic Society.

As guide, philosopher, and friend, to his uncle Daniel Wood, his brothers William and Tom Harrop, and his sister Mrs. A.K. Wood, it was to him they delegated much responsible work in the construction and establishment of the institutions which represented the munificent gifts in the Jubilee year 1887.

Regarding Wood’s Hospital, in a speech at a sumptuous banquet given by him to Members of Wood’s Hospital Committee some years later at the Victoria Hall, at which I had the pleasure of being present, in responding to the toast of the Chairman and Members of Wood’s Hospital Committee, proposed by T.H. Sidebottom (who paid a well deserved tribute to his brother for his unstinted services), James Sidebottom narrated how Daniel Wood during his illness had sent for him and his sister, Mrs. A.K. Wood, and intimated his intention to spend £25000 on a hospital for the benefit of the poor and sick inhabitants – those within the Borough of Glossop – and that it was to be called ‘Wood’s Hospital’, and Mr Murgatroyd was to be the Architect. How it had been proposed to expend £5000 on the building and provide an endowment of £20000, but when the estimates were presented the cost was much in excess, and that he and Alderman Stafford went to see Mr Daniel Wood, who decided that if £6000 were required for the building the endowment must be reduced to £19000, which was done, but the expenditure exceeded that estimate, and his nephew, John Wood, had generously come forward and given £1000 to clear off the deficiency, and his sister Mrs. A.K. Wood, had also spent £600 in the furnishing of the Hospital. The circumstances he narrated I personally well remember, being present at the Committee Meeting in the Town Hall when the estimates for the building were considered.

Proceeding now to the events of the ‘Jubilee Day’, Saturday the 30th July 1887, according to the programme there was a ‘grand demonstration and procession on the occasion of laying the foundation stones of ‘Wood’s Hospital’ and the ‘Baths’, ‘the planting of two new trees in the park’, and the laying of ‘The Foundation Stones of the Public Hall and Library’, the gift of Herbert Rhodes and Edward Partington.

The procession formed in Norfolk Square in the following order :-
4th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers (Glossop Det.)
Volunteer Band
Chief Constable Hodgson (mounted)
Mayor and Mayoress, Vicar and Town Clerk
(1st Carriage)
Members of Parliament and Ladies
(2nd Carriage)
County and Borough Justices
Members of the Glossop Town Council
And Officials
Guardians of the Poor and Officials
Private Carriages
Grand United Order of Oddfellows
Ancient Order of Shepherds
Sons of Temperance
Independent Order of Oddfellows (M.U.)
Local Orange Society
Ancient Order of Foresters
Carriages were provided at the expense of the Mayor for Members of the Council, officials, and those officiating – except the Freemasons, who walked according to custom and ritual.

Proceeding by way of Norfolk Street, Talbot Road to the North Road entrance of the Park, those in carriages dismounting there and walking to the site of the Hospital, the following ceremonies were performed :-

James Sidebottom Esq. The Mayor, laid the Foundation Stone of Wood’s Hospital, the gift of and endowed by Daniel Wood, Esq., of Moorfield House, Whitfield.

Lord Edmund Talbot and Master Samuel Wood each planted a tree in the park, the expense of the laying out of which had been borne by Samuel Wood, J.P., and Mrs Wood, of Talbot House.

Mrs Wood of Talbot House, laid the Foundation Stone of the Baths, also the gift of Samuel Wood and Mrs Wood.

The procession then reformed, the Freemasons leading, and proceeded by North Road and Spire Hollin to the site of the Public Hall and Library, now known as the Victoria Hall and Free Library, and here Bro. Herbert Rhodes, of Thorncliffe Hall, Hollingworth, and Bro. Edward Partington, of Easton, Glossop, in conjunction with the Provincial Lodge of Derbyshire, laid the Foundation Stones.

The assemblage of the Masonic Fraternity included officers of High Standing, and the Foundation Stones were laid with full ceremonial, in which those assembled were much interested.

The procession reformed and dispersed in Norfolk Square.

As Thackeray wrote, ‘A dinner is the happy end of the Britons’ day’, and a fitting and welcome conclusion to the joyous ceremonies on this bright and warm summer day was a splendid banquet, provided with commendable consideration by the Mayor and Mayoress in the Town Hall, when the Members and Officials of the Council and a number of leading townsmen and their ladies celebrated in happy conviviality these princely gifts to the Borough by the generous donors.

The menu displayed a feast and offered a choice to please the palate of the fastidious, the catering being entrusted to a former member of the Council, Joseph Collier, of the Norfolk Arms Hotel, in conjunction with Mr. Mael, of the Queen’s Hotel, Manchester, whence came the turtle soup, wines and cigars, and the luscious fruits were supplied by Masons, of Victoria Street, Manchester. The toast list gave liberal opportunity for enjoyment of after dinner speeches, there being 15 toasts and over 30 speeches.

Many honest faces, civic and ecclesiastical, shone gaily that evening, and the guests full of joyous contentment retired to placid slumber amid pleasing visions of the happy events, long to be remembered, of that golden Jubilee Day, and if perchance a ‘Bachelor Gay’ did ruffle his new silk hat, could any mortal be found to upbraid him? In the words of a song of today, ‘No! No! a thousand times No!’

The Volunteers were also entertained to dinner in the drill hall, by James Sidebottom.

The Baths and Park were opened in 1888, and 150 workmen employed in connection with the Hospital, Baths and Park were also entertained by him.

Some difference unfortunately arose regarding the name of the park, Lord Howard, who had given the land for the three institutions, desiring it to be called ‘Howard Park’, and it is so named in the Deed of Gift of the land by His Lordship, but it was opened as ‘The Park’, and is generally known as such,

Both these institutions were at first managed by a Committee appointed under the Trust Deeds, of which James Sidebottom was chairman for seven years, and they were transferred to the Corporation in 1894. They are not endowed.

The Wood’s Hospital was opened with simple formality in 1889, and was under the control of the Wood’s Hospital Committee of the Council.

William Sidebottom (Col., J.P., V.D.), was a member of Glossop Town Council for 12 years, 1873-1885, and Mayor in the year 1873-74, and was a Justice of the Peace for the Counties of Derbyshire and Cheshire, and for the Borough, 1883. Member of Parliament for the High Peak Division of North Derbyshire from 1885-1900.

He was born on the 14th November 1841, and was a son of William and Agnes Sidebottom. Having derived a fortune from his father and uncles, who founded the Waterside Mills, he took an active part in carrying on those mills for eight years with his brothers, Tom Harrop and James. But having severed connections with those mills, he became a Director of John Wood and Bros., Ltd., of the Howard Town Mills, Glossop, particulars of which have already been given.

I was present and assisted in reporting for one of our local newspapers the speech of the Colonel at the Duke of Norfolk’s School, Old Glossop, and the speeches of his opponents at the Log Wood Mill Dinting.

1885 High Peak Division of Derbyshire :-
(Capt.) William Sidebottom (C.) 4199
J.F. Cheetham (L.) 4190
Majority 9

This was after the Redistribution of Seats act 1883, which altered the boundaries and created a Single Member’s Division.

I was present at the reporters’ table at a meeting at the Drill Hall, Glossop, when the platform gave way and the occupants were precipitated below. The one person injured was a man, John Downs, whose leg was broken, but for the moment there was a feeling of alarm and shock and the meeting terminated.

1886 (Major) Wm. Sidebottom (C.) 4162
J.F. Cheetham (L.) 4001
Majority 161

1892 (Lt. Col.) Wm. Sidebottom (C.) 4609
J.F. Cheetham (L.) 4243
Majority 366

1895 High Peak Division of Derbyshire :-
(Lt. Col.) Wm. Sidebottom (C.) 4671
A.C. Symonds (L.) 4164
Majority 507

1900 Lt. Col. Sidebottomdid not seek Re-election

From 1876 he was Captain of the Glossop Detachment of the 4th Cheshire Regiment of the Volunteers, and later became Colonel. He resided at Harwood Lodge, Broadbottom, was a bachelor, and died in January 1933, at the ripe age of 91.

Tom Harrop Sidebottom was M.P. for Stalybridge for twenty years and was made Hon. Freeman of that Borough on 9th October 1897. He was not a member of the Glossop Town Council and held no official position in this Borough, but his connection with Waterside and Bridge Mills covered a long period of years, but misfortune overtook the concern and the mills were closed. During the Great War the manufacture of munitions was carried on, and part of the mills are now occupied by firms in other businesses.

There was another member of this family, Mr A.K. Sidebottom, better known in the Mottram District, who was a guest at several of Mr. James Sidebottom’s banquets and enlivened the speeches with humorous interjections, characteristic of the man!

Further information on the Sidebottom family can be found in the article Sidebottoms of Hollingworth.

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William Shepley.

There were two families of Shepley engaged in the cotton industry and who were members of the Glossop Town Council – James Shepley, of Old Glossop, and William Shepley, of Brookfield, who were cousins. The former was one of the first Councillors for All Saints’ Ward and held office for six years. He owned a cotton mill known as Wharf or Shepley Mill, and resided with his sister, Miss Jane Shepley, at the house known as Mossy Lea House, where I remember calling upon them in reference to Burial Board and Glossop Reservoir affairs in which they were interested. He left Glossop, transferring his business to a mill at Hawk Green, Marple, the terms asked by Lord Howard for a renewal of the lease of the mill not being agreed upon.

William Shepley, of Brookfield, born in 1814, was one of the first Aldermen for Hadfield Ward and Mayor of the Borough for two years, 1868-70 (following F.J. Sumner), and one of the first Justices for the Borough (1867) and a Justice for Derbyshire. He was also a member of the Board of Guardians as his father, Samuel Shepley, had been also, and was presented by his friends with a gold watch in appreciation of his services.

His father built the Brookfield Mill in 1818, which he was compelled to defend in 1842, when attacked by rioters owing to a dispute as to ‘plug drawers’, a disturbance which led to the presence of military forces to quell.

William assisted his father in the business until his father’s death in 1858, and afterwards, with his brother John, formed the Company of J. and W. Shepley Ltd, in 1888.

Religious and educational institutions at Brookfield received financial support and active encouragement from members of the family. As a Justice for the County, William Shepley frequently attended the Quarter Sessions at Derby, and interested himself in investigating and supporting the claim of the Glossop Council for an adequate payment towards the cost of maintenance of the main roads when disturnpiked, a question which was the source of acute and unpleasant contention between the Council and County Justices, and later with the County Council.

A man of notable physical appearance, bluff, hale and hearty, something approaching the Shakespearian description of the Justice in ‘As you Like it’, he attracted considerable attention, created distinctive impressions, and was the subject of amusing anecdotes. The unwise defendant who once dubbed him ‘five bob and costs’ as he was riding his Shetland pony to the Town Hall, met with a merited rebuke when to his surprise he was fined ten shillings and costs, his imprudent remark having been heard and the culprit detected.

Political questions interested him, and the Liberal Party received his substantial support. In 1884 he was a conspicuous County Magistrate at the important and representative Liberal demonstration in Chatsworth Park, and wearing his presentation watch, of which he was justly proud, a light fingered gentry, who found the occasion profitable, relieved him of his treasure to his great dismay and regret of his supporters.

The late T.A. Pettit, the proprietor and editor of the Glossop Advertiser, passing to me the tickets he had received, one for a luncheon in Chatsworth House, and the other for a seat in the enclosure in front of the platform reserved for the Press, I travelled by the M.S. and the special train, which arrived late, necessitating missing the lunch, with regret, as though hunger almost compelled, duty and interest in the demonstration prevailed, and I much enjoyed the inclusion in the Representatives of the London and Provincial Dailies, and hearing the speeches of the great men of the day, including Mr. Mundella and the Marquis of Hartington.

In 1866 William Shepley was the recipient of a silver salver from the Liberal Electors as appreciation of his Chairmanship of the Liberal Association. He died in May 1889, leaving both a son and a daughter.

Charles Woffenden Shepley, his son, was a Justice for the Borough from 1894, but was not a member of the Town Council.

The Brookfield Mill carried on by the Company, of which he was a director, until the expiration of the lease, which was not renewed, and the mills then reverted to Lord Howard, and after being let for various purposes, have been recently sold and demolished.

Further information on William Shepley's family can be found in the article The Shepley family of Old Glossop and Brookfield.

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The Rhodes Family.

Thomas Rhodes, of Mersey Bank, Hadfield, was the son of one of three brothers, Thomas, Herbert and William, who were in partnership as woollen manufactures at Tintwistle, the business having been founded by their father more than a century ago. He married Mary Shepley, sister of William Shepley, of Brookfield, at whose mill he was first engaged, and then occupied the Arrowscroft Mill, Hollingworth, until he built and completed in 1859 the Mersey Mills to which he then removed. In 1862 he built the grandiose mansion ‘Mersey Bank’ at Hadfield, and in 1874 the Hadfield Mills.

He was one of the first Councillors for the Hadfield Ward, but did not attain the office of Mayor. He was a Justice for Derbyshire (1870) and for the Borough (1883). I remember him quite well, having on occasions to ride over to Mersey Bank, and also to the counting house at the Mill, and also heard his speech at a political demonstration in the Turn Lee Mills of Olive and Partington on the eve of the Parliamentary Election in 1885.

Part of Mersey Mills now in Derbyshire was formerly in Cheshire, the boundary having been changed when the course of the river was diverted after a cloudburst. Thomas Rhodes died in April 1883, and the mills were then carried on by his son, George Wood Rhodes, and the Hadfield Mills by his sons, Wm. Shepley Rhodes and Herbert Rhodes.

William Shepley Rhodes was the son of Thomas Rhodes by his first wife Mary, sister of William Shepley. His association with the Municipality was of importance. A Councillor for the Hadfield Ward in 1874-1893 (except one year, 1883-4) and Alderman 1883-4; he filled the office of Mayor for two years, 1891-3, and was Justice of the Borough (1883). The corporation reservoirs were the subject of his particular care and attention.

His Mayoralty was enhanced by an exquisite ball in the Victoria Hall, given to the members and officials of the Council, the Justices and many invited guests, his sister, Miss Amy Rhodes, graciously officiating as Mayoress.

Originally associated with his father at the Mersey Mills, he carried on with his brother Herbert the Hadfield Mills, as ‘Thomas Rhodes and Son’, which after his death were transferred to ‘Thomas Rhodes and Son (Hadfield) Ltd.’, who continued the business from 1895 to 1932 when they were taken over by the present Company, ‘Thomas Rhodes and Son (Hadfield, 1932) Limited’.

In his early days a strong athlete, W.S. Rhodes enjoyed a game of cricket and later was President of the Glossop Cricket Club and Chairman of the Executive Committee. A good sportsman, he spent many Saturday afternoons walking the moors, and took part in the seasonal grouse shooting with keen relish. When the Snake Pass was blocked by the severity of a snowstorm, William Shepley Rhodes was the first to brave the elements and surmount the drifts of snow, before the way had been cleared.

His commercial qualifications found scope for useful employment in other directions, and led to his appointment as Chairman of important colliery companies. He resided at Mersey Bank, was a bachelor, and died in 1894.

Herbert Rhodes was the fourth son of Thomas Rhodes and was born in 1863. High spirited inquisitive yet courageous, and a kind hearted man, he embarked with ardour upon a commercial, municipal and parliamentary career, too soon to be cut short.

Sharing with his brother, W.S. Rhodes, the responsibility and management of the Hadfield Mills, he was a Councillor for the Hadfield Ward in 1885, and Alderman and Mayor 1895 to February 1897, when he died during his Mayoralty; a Justice for Derbyshire and for the Borough (1886); County Councillor for Hadfield Ward 1887-90; and he contested the High Peak Division, which he lost by nine votes. As previously mentioned, he contributed £2,000 to the cost of the Victoria Hall and Free Library in 1887.

A Banquet at the Queens Hotel, Manchester, and a Ball at the Victoria Hall, Glossop, given by Mr. and Mrs. H. Rhodes, the Mayoress (formerly Miss Constance Whalley) provided the customary entertainment to the delight and gratification of their numerous guests.

When my father, T.M. Ellison, died (November 1896) and the late Charles Davis, who was a member of the Council, was an applicant for and appointed to the position of Town Clerk, having first resigned his office as Councillor, a course which was then permissible in law, the decision did not meet with the approval of Herbert Rhodes, who expressed his displeasure.

A Similar situation has been foreshadowed today, on the pending vacancy of the Town Clerkship. The Local Government Act 1933 contains a provision forced upon Parliament by public opinion, which disqualifies members of the Council for the office of the Town Clerk unless they have ceased to be such members for a least twelve months.

Herbert Rhodes resided at the Woodlands, Stalybridge, and left two sons – Wm. Herbert Rhodes, Chairman of Directors of Thomas Rhodes and Son (Hadfield) Ltd., and Thomas Stanley Rhodes, who married Miss Mabel Russell and died in 1911 as the result of an accident.

Sir George Wood Rhodes, Bart., though neither a member of the Council, nor a Justice for Derbyshire or the Borough of Glossop, was as Chairman and Managing Director of Thomas Rhodes Limited, for many years associated with the Mersey Mills; contested the Hyde Division in Parliament in 1895, and received a baronetcy in 1919; resided in London, having a small business residence at Mottram; married Miss M.C. Phillips, of Liverpool, and died in 1923, aged 63 years.

His elder son. Colonel J.P. Rhodes, D.S.O. and Croix de Guerre, was M.P. for Stalybridge and Hyde, and his daughter married the Rt. Hon. Ian MacPherson, K.C.

Further information on the Rhodes family can be found in the article The Rhodes family of Tintwistle and Mersey Bank.

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The Platt Family.

Edward Platt, of Mersey Bank, Hadfield, was a grandson of George Platt, of Shaw, and his father, Edward Platt, Senr., with his two brothers William and Thomas, were the owners of the White Mill, Padfield (formerly the property of Thomas Thornley) and the Bank Bottom Mill. The new mill in Station Road, Hadfield, was built in 1855.

Thomas Platt occupied Padfield Brook Mill from 1866 to 1875 (formerly belonging to Samuel Lees and built in 1807), which eventually came to Edward Platt in 1878, who subsequently formed a private limited company, Edward Platt Ltd., to carry on the business of all three cotton mills.

His operatives signified their esteem when his daughter, Miss Evelyn Georgina Platt, came of age by making her a presentation which he reciprocated by entertaining them at Belle Vue.

The Company also for some years owned a mill at Broadbottom, and the Clough Mill, Hayfield.

Several members of the family were members of the Board of Guardians and of the Town Council, and also Justices. Thomas and Edward Platt, Senr., were two of the first Councillors for Hadfield Ward, and the latter was an Alderman in 1869. Edward Platt Jnr., was a Councillor for Hadfield Ward, 1881-1884, and also for five years 1902-1907. He declined to allow himself to be nominated for the office of Mayor, but was a Justice for Derbyshire and a Commissioner for Income Tax. The handsome Free Library and Public Reading Room near Hadfield Station were erected at his expense and presented to the Corporation as a memorial to his father. At the opening on 26th October 1906, he entertained the members of the Council and officials to a dinner at Mersey Bank, and was there presented by the Mayor, on behalf of the Corporation, with a casket and address. His long and sincere friendship with Captain Partington induced him to include on the same occasion the presentation by the Mayor of a casket with the Roll of Honorary Freeman to Captain Edward Partington, who had previously in the day, at a meeting of the Council in the Town Hall, been made the first Honorary Freeman of the Borough.

In his early days Edward Platt resided at Padfield Brook, and afterwards at Talbot House, Glossop, until he purchased Mersey Bank following the death of W.S. Rhodes.

On the Bench his pronounced desire for equitable treatment as between the Government Authorities and individual members of the community characterised his judicial administration.

An intimate and extensive knowledge in commercial life and of ‘local folk’ and topography, a well read man, with an acute mind and excellent memory, he would converse frequently and vigorously on diverse topics, to the enjoyment and advantage of his listeners, and having spent many hours in his company discussing all manor of subjects I can testify to his real worth.

Mrs Platt, before her marriage Miss Emma Ashton, of Chisworth, was esteemed as a charming hostess, and she left Hadfield with the sincere regret of a considerable section of the inhabitants, who had benefited from her many kind deeds and who cherish for her a lasting affection.

Edward Platt died in 1915 and was survived by his widow, and his daughter, who was his only child and the wife of Col. George Basil Heywood, who removed to Caradoc Court, near Ross-on-Wye. Mrs Platt died in 1923.

Further information on the Platt family can be found in the article The Platt family of Glossop.

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Edward Partington, First Lord Doverdale.

Paper mills existed in Glossop Dale before 1800 but were overshadowed by the numerous woollen and cotton mills, until there came from Bury the man of phenomenal energy, exceptional powers of perception and judgement, whose exertions and perseverance placed the paper trade, and especially the manufacture of paper from wood pulp, in the foremost rank of commercial undertakings.

Edward Partington – successively styled Captain Partington, Sir Edward Partington, and finally the Rt. Hon. Edward Baron Doverdale – was born in 1836; became partner in Olive Bros. at Woolfold Paper Mill, Bury in 1863; came to Glossop in 1873: and purchased from Cassell, Potter and Galpin the Turn Lee Mill, which had belonged for some twenty years to Thomas Hamer Ibbotson and previously to John and Joseph Bennett, and had been used partly as cotton mill and partly as paper mill. Later he acquired from Ibbotson the Dover Mill, formerly known as Bury-me-Wick Mill, which also had been similarly used for cotton spinning and paper making.

Ibbotson’s trading had proved unfortunate, but under the new ownership a paper making business alone was carried on and became well established; new inventions resulted in remarkable improvements in the manufacture of wood pulp paper; the mills were extended and the trade flourished immensely. In 1886 he acquired the share of the late William Olive and thus became sole proprietor.

The Broughton Bridge Mill, Salford, had also been acquired and rebuilt and in connection with Dr. Kellner of Vienna, the Kellner Partington Paper and Wood Pulp Co. Ltd., was founded, in which many Glossopians and others made profitable investments.

There were also mills at Barrow-in- Furness, Norway, Sweden and Austria, and pulp works and an extensive timber forest at St. John’s, New Brunswick, Canada, over the destinies of which he presided.

In 1898, to celebrate his Jubilee as a mill owner, he entertained 900 of his employees at the Victoria Hall, and received from them a silver model of a wood pulp machine, in appreciation of his services.

The Company of Olive and Partington Limited was formed in 1901 to which the Turn Lee Mills, Dover Mills, and Broughton Bridge Mills were transferred. The Late E.W. Allen was Managing Director, and Joseph Walton secretary – positions now held by C. Snelling and R.J. Sutherland.

The present Lord Doverdale, who retired from the Directorship, is still a shareholder, and Lord Howard of Glossop is a director of the company, the company being now one of a group controlled by the Inveresk Paper Company.

The District Bank Limited, appreciating the advantage to be derived from his extensive financial interests, his controlling power in these undertakings, and the confidence he inspired, added him to the Board of Directors.

The magnitude of the operations and engagements, industrial and financial, the expanding, consolidating and placing on a sound basis the mills he owned or controlled, were far more than sufficient to occupy the time and provide physical and mental employment for any one man, unless possessed of exceptional powers; nevertheless, during a period of nearly fifty years the management of public affairs also received the constant close attention and active participation of the late Lord Doverdale.

Entering the Council in 1874 as Councillor for All Saints’ Ward he continued a member (with the exception of two years, 1880-81 and 1884-5) until his death in 1925; was Alderman from 1907; Mayor for two years 1903-4; Justice for the Borough 1887; and for Derbyshire County Council; and created the first Honorary Freeman of the Borough in 1906.

His municipal activity was comprehensive, but it was in extensive and costly schemes he excelled. As chairman of the Waterworks and Sewage Committees, the all important questions of water supply and sewerage and sewerage purification works, were ably and successfully piloted by him through debate, and the work of construction and expenditure constantly scrutinised. Conscientious devotion, sound and equitable decisions distinguished his magisterial work. Together with members of a committee inspecting reservoirs, roads, Corporation properties, with the Justices inspecting licensed houses, he viewed and investigated with an untiring energy at which his colleagues and the officials marvelled.

The scope and number of his benefactions to institutions and deserving objects were so extensive as to preclude detailed enumeration.

Reference may be made to the establishment of the Partington Convalescent and Nurses’ Home. Viewed with a splendid constitution and usually free from ailments he had occasion in advanced years to undergo an eminently successful operation, and full of thankfulness for his recovery showed his solicitude for the welfare of others in less fortunate circumstances, he gave a sum of £30,000 to provide and endow a residence for poor inhabitants of the Borough requiring rest and care during convalescence, and suitable accommodation for district nurses to be employed nursing patients in their own homes. In order to establish this on the best lines he nominated and defrayed the expenses of a deputation composed of Alderman White, Councillor Tom Braddock, Major R.B. Sidebottom and myself, who visited and obtained particulars of schemes of engagement of similar institutions at Northampton, Windsor and elsewhere. The building and furnishing cost £8000, leaving £22,000 for endowment, and the Home was opened in June 1908.

During the Great War it served for the reception and occupation of wounded Belgian Soldiers.

The contribution of £2000 towards the Victoria Hall and Free Library has been mentioned in the gifts in the 1887 Jubilee year.

Appointed Captain of the 3rd Derbyshire (Volunteers) Rifle Corps in 1874 he gave active and financial support in that direction.

His diffuse hospitality in public life included a Mayoral Banquet at the Victoria Hall; the entertaining of the Friendly Societies in celebration of the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902; a banquet to the Grand United Order Of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity) at the Albion Hotel, Manchester, in 1903; and the entertainment of the Burgesses of the Borough at the Coronation festivities for King George V in 1911.

The new Pavilion on the Glossop ground in 1898 was erected at his expense. His native town of Bury highly esteemed his handsome donation of £4000 towards the cost of their War Memorial.

The well merited honour of Knighthood was conferred upon him in 1912, and the high dignity title of Baron Doverdale in 1916. The title Doverdale was taken from a place bearing that name on the Westwood Park estate purchased by him in 1900, which with additions comprised 300 acres.

He was decorated with the Austrian Cross of St. Joseph by the late Emperor Franz Joseph, an honour of which he was justly proud.

The Liberal Party received his uncompromising support and about 1900 the Executive Committee of the High Peak Division unanimously decided that he or a member of his family should be selected as the candidate for the next Parliamentary Election of the High Peak Division, and I was entrusted with the delicate commission. At a private interview with him in Manchester he expressed appreciation and in a quiet and unassuming way intimated his definite decision that giving regard to the weighty responsibilities of his business commitments and the large sums of money invested, especially by his own friends and townsmen, he felt it his duty to give his time and attention to the carrying on of his business, and must therefore decline to undertake the candidature. Then he cordially acquiesced in the alternative suggestion and nominated his wish that his son Oswald should be selected in his stead, as he required the assistance of his eldest son, Herbert, in the management of his business, and he expressed the care that his son would study and qualify himself for the position and receive the support of the committee and electorate. His decision being conveyed to the committee, the announcement gave the liveliest satisfaction to the Liberal Party.

The relaxation and holidays enjoyed by him were much limited. Extensive travels in connection with the far distant undertakings he had founded, a day now and again with his friends on the Grouse Moors, and occasional week ends on his Baronial estate, were the chief sources of pleasure and recuperation.

Impersonal continuous association of over forty years with the late Lord Doverdale on matters municipal, Magisterial, commercial, professional, political and otherwise have left me with vivid impressions of his remarkable powers. A distinguishing characteristic was his aptitude to listen patiently to, and glean useful information from those with whom he conversed, to lift the grain from the chaff, and to assimilate and utilise to the best advantage all that was useful.

The smoothness of his domestic life was unfortunately marred by three bereavements sustained by the deaths, first of his daughter, Beatrice, the wife of C.E. Knowles, in 1897; then of his first son Herbert, in 1916; and lastly of his wife, Lady Doverdale, in 1917.

For some years his residence was in Hollincross Lane until 1884, when he purchased East View (now Easton) from the representative of the late F.L. Sumner, but during the latter years of his life he stayed at Red Court, the residence of Major and the Honble. Mrs Sidebottom, continuing his attendance at Turn Lee Mills to the day of his death in January 1925, in his 89th year. He was survived by his son Oswald, the present Lord Doverdale, and two daughters, the Honble. Mrs Sidebottom and the Honble. Mrs Bruce Ward.

Oswald, Baron Doverdale, was not associated with this Municipal work beyond being a Justice for Derbyshire. He fulfilled the expectations and hopes of his Liberal supporters when he attained the honour of representing the High Peak Division in Parliament. He became a Junior Lord of the Treasury.

The results of his contest are here given :-

1900 Oswald Partington (Lib.) 4591
S Roberts (Cons.) 4432
Lib. Majority 159

1906 Oswald Partington (Lib.) 5450
A Profumo (Cons.) 4662
Lib. Majority 788

By Election O. Partington appointed
a Junior Lord of the Treasury
Oswald Partington (Lib.) 5619
A Profumo (Cons.) 5272
Lib. Majority 347

1910 January
Oswald Partington (Lib.) 5912
S. Hill-Wood (Cons.) 5806
Lib. Majority 106

1910 December
S. Hill-Wood (Cons.) 5813
Oswald Partington (Lib.) 5629
Cons. Majority 184

He resided at Westwood Park and has a Town House in Ennismore Gardens.

Herbert Partington, the eldest son of the late Lord Doverdale, was born in 1869, educated at Rossall, and at an early age was initiated in the art of paper making, literally having to ‘go through the mill’ as his father had done, and so acquire a thorough, sound, practical knowledge of the industry, and which when completed fitted him for the position of Director of Olive and Partington Ltd., and of the Kellner Partington Paper Pulp Co. Ltd., and allied companies.

Like the pious Aeneas following with unequal steps in the footsteps of his father, he also embarked upon a Municipal career and placed his business acumen and experience at the service of the Corporation. Elected a Councillor for St James’ Ward in 1896, he was Mayor in 1907-8 and again from 1914-May 1916; appointed Justice of the Peace for Derbyshire in 1902. As Chairman of the Partington Home Committee he exhibited a deep interest in that institution. During his Chairmanship of the Highways Committee considerable improvements were effected on the roads and streets.

His powers of organisation and supervision were remarkable, of which he gave ample proof as Chairman of a three days’ Bazaar in the Victoria Hall in aid of certain local institutions and in the Indian Cotton Famine Fête in the Park.

A strong constitution developed by the bracing sea air and invigorating scholastic sports at Rossall, he proved an alert and tough opponent in Rugby football matches; enthusiastically supported the old Rugby Club; and on the Grouse Moors displayed proficiency with the gun second to none and equalled by few.

Impelled by a generous nature, his hospitality was in accord with the best traditions, and whether in the shape of Banquets, Dances, or minor entertainments, was ever accompanied by a personal interest in the comfort and enjoyment of his guests.

A cruel fate destined the second year of his Mayoralty to be the memorable year in which the Great War commenced, and the community experienced a shock and consternation on the 4th August 1914, when the trumpets of war sounded and the military and naval forces, including the Territorials (successors to the old Volunteers) were mobilised. Nevertheless, the response of the nation was immediate, and an immeasurable amount of help was forthcoming. It is no part of these reminiscences to comment on the incidents relating to or the conduct or consequences of the terrible conflict and slaughter which ensued. Many were led to indulge in the fanciful prophecy, chiefly emanating from business men, that it would be over in six months.

Gradually it was burned in the minds of all that the War might last several years. So we got to work. For a few days the Banks were closed, and difficulties experienced in providing payment of wages and accounts, but these were overcome. Then came important instructions from London, and a confusion of suggestions from self constituted interfering voluntary associations formed in London. The grim and unpleasant work of deciding who should ‘serve’ and who should be exempt was eventually delegated to a Local Tribunal, appointed by the Council, and who performed their services voluntarily. Then a National Register comprising every individual of the nation with the age, status, nationality and occupation, was called for, and this also was entrusted to the Council, who were aided by a body of officials and a number of school teachers, all of whom rendered their services voluntarily and without payment. How well and quickly they did their work was shown by the fact that the Register was completed by the prescribed date, whilst in other Boroughs they were quibbling as to who should do the work, and what payment should be made for it. The work which had been done here gratuitously was in other Boroughs who pressed for payment, remunerated by a grant from Government, but no payment was received or asked for in the Borough. A list of those who assisted in compiling the Register was published in the local newspapers in August 1914, and they received the thanks of the Local Government Board and of the Council. A number of other special committees were appointed either by the Council or voluntarily for various objects, such us: The Mayor’s Christmas treat to children of Soldiers and Sailors, the British Red Cross, the Prevention of Relief and Distress, Comforts for the Forces, Wounded Soldiers, Belgium Relief Fund, Prisoners of War, Christmas parcels, etc. etc.

In the very midst of this came the sad and startling news on the 5th May 1916, that the Mayor, after a short illness, had succumbed to a heart attack. He had undoubtedly intended after the termination of Hostilities to devote much of his time and labours as well as his wealth to local public affairs, and his death was a great blow to the Borough and created a void difficult now to fill.

He left his widow the Mayoress and two infant daughters to mourn his loss.

Outside our official and business relationship we had enjoyed for over twenty years good companionship and trusting friendship. He was the last of a circle with whom I had long been associated.

Mary Alice Partington, who was the daughter of the late Mr. Abel Harrison, had assisted her husband most assiduously in his Mayoralties and especially undertaken a considerable share of work on the special Wartime Committees. She was the one person to whom the Council could best look to continue the good work and combine to positions of Mayor and Mayoress for the remainder of the municipal year. Her election as Mayor would be a graceful and sincere tribute to their mutual service The request having been preferred and an intimation of her acceptance obtained, she was elected at a special meeting of the Council and thereupon courageously undertook and performed in a most satisfactory manner the responsible and onerous duties. So much so, that she was twice re-elected, in 1917 and 1918, thus holding the office for three and a half years. It was generally conceded that she presided with dignity, firmness and tact at the meetings of the council and as Chairman of the General Purposes, Partington Home and War Charities Committees and in the continuance of her activities with the many Burgesses. A total sum of nearly £30,000 was raised by collections and donations towards the various funds established, a list of which was published by her in 1919.

The War ended with an Armistice on 11th November 1918, and the Peace Treaty was signed in the following July. On the signing of the Treaty a Public Holiday was observed, and the festivities held on Saturday July 19th 1919 to celebrate the termination of the War, included the Presentation of Colours by Lord Howard at Glossop Hall to Boy Scouts and Girl Guides; the planting of a tree in the Park by the Mayor; a United Choir Festival in Norfolk Square, and the bands playing in Norfolk Square and at Hadfield Cross. On that day also a Special Meeting of the Council was held at the Town Hall ‘to meet Mr and Mrs Isaac Jackson, the donors of the purchase money for the Town Hall and Market to commemorate the conclusion of the Great War and in memory of the men from the Borough who gave their lives for the country’.

On the 23rd the Inmates of the Workhouse were entertained by the Mayor; on the 26th tea and entertainments were provided for old people over 60, in Glossop by Major Sir Samuel and the Honble. Lady Hill-Wood, and at Hadfield by Colonel and Mrs Heywood and Mrs Platt. On 2nd August, Medals were presented by Lord Doverdale to day and Sunday school scholars in the Borough and scholars entertained in the Schools. On Sunday, 3rd August, a United Thanksgiving Service was held in Norfolk Square, and a United Service for Fallen Soldiers on the football ground, and in September Discharged Soldiers and Sailors were entertained by the Corporation.

In recognition of her services, Mrs Partington received the honour of O.B.E. in 1919, and concluded a much appreciated period of service by entertaining the Members of the Council, Justices and Officials at Talbot House on her retirement as Mayor in 1919. Subsequently she was enrolled amongst the Honorary Freemen of the Borough.

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Francis Edward Lord Howard (Baron Howard) of Glossop.

Succeeding his father Edward George Lord Howard in 1883 as previously related, Francis Edward Lord Howard (Baron Howard) of Glossop was the Lord of the Manor of Glossop until his death in 1924; a Justice of the Peace for Derbyshire in 1885; and an Alderman of the Derbyshire County Council, 1891. With rooted objection to figuring personally in contested elections, distasteful to one so reserved and sensitive, he steadfastly declined all invitations for nomination as a candidate unless assured of an unopposed election.

Wavering between a desire to occupy the position of First Citizen of the Borough and a probably misconceived apprehension of the inability to satisfactorily fulfil the duties, he deferred until an hour before the Council meeting on the 9th November in 1908 his decision not to accept the invitation. The Council inferred from this that his acceptance was assured, and when the decision was received the alternative selection, Henry Hadfield, who was employed at the Howard Town Mills, had not prepared to attend the meeting, and was obliged to hurriedly attire himself suitably for his election as Mayor.

Several valuable and much appreciated gifts to the Corporation emphasised His Lordship’s interest in the welfare of the inhabitants. In addition to his gifts of lands in the Jubilee year of 1887 for the Hospital, Baths, Park and Library, he presented 500 volumes and subscribed a hundred guineas to the Free Library in 1888, and erected and presented the handsome building at Fauvel Road for a Technical School, now the Glossop Grammar School. The Coronation Festivities in 1902 and 1911 received his support, as also did the exploration for and preservation of Roman antiquities at Melandra Castle; the description and value of which benefited considerably by the keen and intelligent interest and assistance by the late Robert Hamnett.

The history of the acquisition of the Glossop Town Hall, Market and Market rights comprises incidents of more than ordinary interest. These buildings were, as I have related, built by Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk, the foundation stone of the Town Hall being laid in 1836. A lack of much needed accommodation for the officials had led to Lord Howard improving the site of offices adjacent to the public entrance to the Town Hall, and with the growth of the municipal undertakings and consequent increased work, the demand for suitable accommodation became acute and irresistible. There was also room for improvements in the Market and as capital money had to be raised by sale or mortgage for improvements on the Glossop Dale estates of which Lord Howard was tenant for life, he offered the Town Hall, Market and rights to the Corporation in 1896 for £10,000 which, after strenuous debate, the Council rejected.

A further incentive was given regarding the appointment of Inspector of Weights and Measures. Lord Howard had power to make an appointment as regards the Town of Glossop by virtue of his Manorial and Market Rights, and the Corporation had also power to appoint for the whole of the Borough under the Weights and Measures Act. A dual appointment would obviously conflict, and the difficulty had been overcome by allowing the Chief Constable to combine the duties on behalf of both Lord Howard and the Corporation. It was considered expedient that the Corporation should have exclusive rights of appointing the Inspector vested in them, which would ensue if they purchased the Market and Manorial rights. Lord Howard had meanwhile appointed Mr Walter Oliver as his Inspector of Weights and Measures.

The Council and Committee rooms at the Town Hall were also both insufficient and unsuitable and led to an unpleasant dispute with His Honour Judge Waddy, who appointed the sittings of the County Court on a Monday on which the Justices held their Courts as they had done for a generation, and much inconvenience was occasioned to Counsel, Advocates and Suitors, which was remedied by His Honour changing the days for his Courts. So in view of these various considerations the question of purchasing the Town Hall and Market and Manorial rights came once again to the front.

A deputation of two or three members of the Council and myself waited upon Lord Howard at Glossop Hall to ascertain whether he would be willing to reopen negotiations. The matter was agreeably discussed and quite frankly he stated he had definitely decided not to sell any more of his estates during his lifetime; he did not know what those who came after him would do; they might wish to sell the entire estates and leave Glossop.

There had been in the intervening time several schemes under consideration for providing office accommodation either by purchasing existing property and converting it or building on vacant land for which plans were prepared, but all these had been rejected by the Council for one reason or another. Then it was learned that the owners of the Norfolk Arms Hotel would consider an offer to purchase the hotel including Norfolk Chambers, and it was considered that the Hotel or part of it could be conveniently adapted and supply the accommodation required. Negotiations were commenced and an offer to sell made. No sooner did His Lordship learn of this than he promptly called on me at Norfolk Chambers and expressed his strong disapprobation and with deep concern, remarked that his father and my father would turn in their graves if the Council Chamber and Court room were moved from the Town Hall. Again he offered to sell the Town Hall and Market Hall and rights and franchises to the Corporation, but not to any private individual, and the negotiations for acquiring the Norfolk Hotel were abandoned. Eventually the Corporation agreed the price of the Town Hall, Market etc., and Mr and Mrs Isaac Jackson, imbued with the best ideas of good citizenship, very generously and patriotically made a gift to the Corporation of £12,000 – the amount of the purchase money in 1919, as presently recorded. A very considerable expenditure was subsequently incurred in alterations, additions and improvements to the Market Hall, and the provision of a new Council Room and Municipal Offices, now known as the ‘Municipal Buildings’.

The coming of age in 1906 of Bernard Edward, the present Lord Howard, was celebrated by a Ball given by Lord and Lady Howard at Glossop Hall, the guests who were received by His Lordship and his sister Mrs Middleton including the Mayor and Members of the Council, Justices of the Peace, and a representative assembly of the principal inhabitants; an historical local event, the remembrance of which recalls the courtesy extended by the noble Host and Hostess to one and all.

Lord Howard having lost his second son Philip, who was killed on active service with His Majesty’s Forces in the Great War, gave to the Corporation a tract of land at Sandhole to be formed into a road and ornamental grounds as a memorial and to be named ‘The Philip Howard Road’. His own death followed in 1924, when he was succeeded by his son Bernard Edward, and prophetic intimation was fulfilled: the Glossop Estates were sold en bloc and Glossop Hall ceased to be the residence of the Howard family.

The Hall and Grounds were purchased by the Glossop Corporation and are now the Kingsmoor School and the Manor Park.

Bernard Edward Lord Howard (Baron Howard) of Glossop married the Baroness Beaumont and they reside at Carlton Towers, Yorkshire, and in Pont Street, London. His Lordship is a shareholder and Director of Olive and Partington Limited.

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George Ollerenshaw.

A successful man of business, George Ollerenshaw, in association with others, promoted and Directed ‘Hunters the Teamen Ltd’. He was a member of the Council for All Saints’ Ward for three years; and a Justice for Derbyshire (1908).

He presented to the Corporation the Whitfield Branch Library and Recreation Ground, valued in the Corporation Accounts at £3,000, which was opened on the 10th January, 1903, by the then Mayor, the late Lord Doverdale, who entertained the Council to Luncheon at the Town Hall, and the Address from the Corporation was presented to the Donor.

At the expiration of his term of office Councillor Ollerenshaw was not re-elected and subsequently left Glossop to reside at Mere Hall, Knutsford, afterwards returning to Highfield House, Glossop, where he died.

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Isaac Jackson and Harriet Jackson.

For a period of years Isaac Jackson carried on business as a saddler in High Street West, Glossop (somewhere near where Mr Albert Sidebottom’s music warehouse is now situate) and later, in Victoria Street. Over his door, here, a very big artificial head and neck of a grey horse indicated his trade, and this was the envy and admiration of every lad in those days. Immersed in mechanical contrivances he launched many inventions in belt fastening and belt fasteners, established an important and lucrative business and erected works for the manufacturing of the fasteners in Ellison Street, adjacent to Holly Mount, where he resided, and formed the company of Isaac Jackson Limited. The expansion of the business requiring more commodious premises, the Hawkshead Mills in Old Glossop were acquired and extended at which the company now carry on.

He frequently expressed his indebtedness to the late Lord Doverdale for the opportunities afforded to him to experiment and develop his patents by actual use at Turn Lee and other places.

Glossop was indebted for a much needed improvement in its appearance in the centre of the town by the building and erection of the shops and premises to which he gave the name of ‘Jackson’s Buildings’.

An unbounded confidence in the late Lord Doverdale’s undertakings prompted him to make extensive investments in the Kellner Partington Paper Co. Ltd.

He presented the Corporation with an ambulance at a cost of £300.

The donation from himself and his wife of £12,000, the purchase money for the Town Hall, Market Hall and appurtenant rights and franchises having been made, the Deed of Conveyance was handed over by them at a special meeting of the Council in July 1919, the event being part of the Peace Celebrations narrated in the article which appeared last week. The Council admitted him to the Roll of Honorary Freemen of the Borough on 26th May 1921, and his wife, Harriet Jackson, who had been his helpmate in all his work, was likewise enrolled on 19th February 1930.

According to Whitaker's Almanack for the year 1932, from the estate of which he died possessed amounting to the gross value of £237,656, the very substantial sum of £150,000 was left by his will to be administered by the Devonshire Lodge of Freemasons for the benefit of Glossop.

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The Potters of Dinting.

We are dealing with the Municipal Corporation which included the Burgess and is not restricted to the Council; hence the principal employers of labour, donors of gifts, Justices of the Peace and others who have assisted in the development of Glossop Borough enter into my narrative. My knowledge of the Potter family and of the establishment and development of what are reputed to be the largest Printworks in the country, the Dinting Vale Print Works, is dependent entirely upon some particulars by the late Robert Hamnett. I have no personal knowledge of the history of these works; John Wood of Arden, Bredbury, and of Mottram Old Hall, was at one time financially interested in the concern; the late Wm. Pilkington, John Barr, and one or two others as H.E. Dowson, Hodgkinson (of Cricket fame), who met his death regrettably in the 1897 Jubilee year, and that humorous, carefree, convivial Gordon McConnell, who married Miss Ella Louise Knowles, one of the daughters of the Vicar of Glossop, were associated with the works. (Is not the Gordon McConnell who produces for the B.B.C. a descendant?)

The particulars referred to are briefly that there was a Cotton Mill at Dinting in 1823, of which Moses Hadfield of Simmondley Hall, was the proprietor, and Charles and Edmund Potter from Ardwick, and a brother in law, Samuel Roberts, the occupiers; Charles Potter resided at a house near the entrance gates built by Moses Hadfield in 1827; there were difficulties in 1831 and Wm. Sidebottom, of Etherow House, supervised the carrying on of the business; in 1837 Edmund Potter’s creditors presented him with silver plate valued at £300; day schools, reading room and library and the Dinting Vale Glee Club were established by him at Dinting. He was a Justice for Derbyshire (1853), Deputy Lieutenant (1855); and President of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce (1850); and that he assisted his work people during several periods of depression. In 1859 he opposed and carried an amendment against forming of a Volunteer Corps and found a supporter in Thomas Ellison, the result of which opposition was said to retard the Volunteer movement in Glossop for sixteen years; but he gave £50 to the patriotic fund; was a friend of Cobden and Bright, built the first Unitarian Chapel in Fitzalan Street, Glossop, opened in 1875; was presented with an address by the workpeople on his retirement in 1875 and died 1895, having previously formed the Company of Edmund Potter and Co. Ltd.; and that Charles Potter died in October, 1885, at Campfield Herefordshire, possessed of a considerable fortune.

I have no means at hand of verifying this account. The Printworks are now the property of the Calico Printers Association Ltd.

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Other Municipal Notabilities.

Having described with some particular detail the principal families to which the Municipality has been indebted by reason either of their contributions to the general upbuilding, development, and welfare of the Borough and its inhabitants, or their munificent gifts. It is now appropriate I should record the names of others who have given of their best by way of service for the benefit of the community, and review with brevity a few of our prominent Townsmen who have joined in the good work.

FREDERICK BUCKLEY, of the Hurst Mills, Glossop, was one of the first Councillors for All Saints’ Ward; a man of pleasant manners, a Justice of the Peace for the Borough, who now and again cleverly sketched a witness during a long examination; the Goddess of Commerce was not kind to him, and the mills passed in 1887 to James Rowbottom, of Charlesworth, and are now owned by James Rowbottom Ltd.

JAMES ROWBOTTOM and GEORGE ROWBOTTOM were both Justices for Derbyshire and attended the Glossop Courts; also Members of the Glossop Board of Guardians and Rural District Council; as also James Henry Rowbottom, the present Managing Director.

SAMUEL ROWBOTTOM, owner of the Meadow Mills, Old Glossop, and the Silk Mill (now demolished) was a member of the Town Council for many years; Mayor for three years, 1876-1879; Chairman of the Highways Committee, and a Justice for the Borough; a very outspoken man, thoroughly earnest and enthusiastic in Municipal work and an ardent economist. Economy was much practised in those days!!

JOSEPH MIDDLETON STAFFORD was one of the first Aldermen for St. James’ Ward; Mayor for three years, 1870-73, came from Mellor, was a Cotton Waste Dealer at Arundel Mills, Edward Street, Glossop; a Cotton Spinner at Charlesworth; Manager of Botany Mills, Broadbottom, and interested in other works; and a Justice for the Borough.

WM. DAWSON, Painter and Decorator, of Hadfield, a member of the Council for the Hadfield Ward, became Alderman, thrice Mayor 1885-86 and 1889-91; and a Justice for the Borough.

The following were the other Mayors down to the date of my ceasing to be the Town Clerk :-
John Hadfield 1888-89
Edward Woolley (a well known Butcher of High St. West) 1893-95
John Barnes (from March) 1897-98
William Holdgate 1904-05
Thomas Braddock 1905-06
(whose ancestors, John and James Braddock were the lessees of Braddocks, Mills in 1818)
Alfred Garside 1906-07
Henry Hadfield 1908-09
Brook Furniss 1909-10
James Malkin 1910-11
Francis Gordon Knowles 1911-12
William White 1912-13

These reminiscences are not intended so far as they relate to Municipal matters to extend beyond 1919, but I may as well add the names of the Mayors since that year.
Sam Bamforth 1919-23
William Newton 1923-25
William Jackson 1925-26
Joseph Edwin Buckley 1926-27
Richard Sellers 1927-28
Joseph Dempsey Doyle 1928-29
Arthur Mellor 1929-30
Herbert Lee Roebuck 1930-31
George Platt 1931-32
Robert John Boak 1932-33
William Dennis 1933-34
Thomas Farnsworth 1934-35

The present two senior Aldermen of the Council, George Wharmby and John Platt, have been members of the Council for thirty-one years respectively. Alderman John Platt has now the distinction by reason of the longest service of being named ‘the Father of the Council’, and both have been content to continue their Aldermanic labours for the benefit of the inhabitants, and modestly declined the proffered palm for the supreme position of first citizenship of the Borough.

Amongst those who have not passed the Chair may be recalled Cyrus Garside, the founder of the Timber Works in Surrey Street, and father of Alfred Garside, who became Mayor, was conspicuous in many controversies in the Council Chamber. Councillor James Sargentson and Wm. Sargentson, owners of the works in Hadfield and Padfield, Councillors Greaves and Martin, and Alderman Whelan (whose forceful prominence in many debates lapsed into quiescence when appointed Chairman of an important Committee). Thomas Hampson, of Highfield House (an expert in paving roads), T.P. Hunter, Alfred Leech, Tom Swire, T.S. Bowden, Tom Eastham (whose ancestor, George Eastham was a first Councillor, and who is now K.C. and Recorder of Oldham) and Major R.B. Sidebottom (son in law of the late Lord Doverdale, and a Justice for Derbyshire) and Alderman W.H. Bowden.

On the borders of the Borough, in Cheshire, were the Printworks in 1866 founded and carried on by the Daltons, eventually sold to J.A Gartside, who transformed them into the River Etherow Bleachworks, not the property of the Bleachers Association Ltd, and which provide employment for many operatives in the Borough.

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Municipal Work Accomplished 1866-1919.

Before describing the gradual growth of Municipal duties and powers and the steady progress made during the period from the incorporation of the Borough to the conclusion of the War, I am yielding to the temptation to reproduce a remarkable passage in the eloquent and well deserved tribute paid by the Mayor (Councillor George Platt) two years ago on the retirement of Mr Fletcher as Borough Treasurer, and which was reported in our local newspapers.

His Worship said :-
“I speak without disrespect to the previous holders of the Office when I say that, prior to the War, affairs of local government ambled along in leisurely fashion, and Borough officials as the poet Gray said, ‘pursued the even tenor of their way’. The principal testing time for the Treasurer occurred during the first post war decade. It was then that affairs of local government surged forward, bursting the bonds of all restraint, and local authorities in the country brought within their purview matters with had hitherto been left alone. The whole face of civic conscientiousness and civic responsibility was altered. The outlook not only of Councils but of the general body of ratepayers wandered to a further horizon. It is possible that historians will point to the phenomenal activity of local authorities during the ten years I have referred to as a golden age which has relatively achieved miracles in the cause of public health”.

I imagine those who read the report of this speech, if not those who heard it, would be puzzled to know how or when affairs of local government ‘ambled along in leisurely fashion’ or what officials ‘pursued the even tenor of their way’. Not my father, the first Town Clerk, whose reputation was rather for ‘galloping’, at least on horseback. Nor myself, for I positively aver that my long and active period of service gave me little time to amble. My readers will not, I think, attribute the pleasantry to the general body of pre-war officials, but at least they may have been misled into accepting it at face value, the account of the work accomplished, which I am about to present, should effectually dispel any misapprehension. I have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with Councillor George Platt, but I think he will not be offended if I say that a careful perusal of his speech gave me the impression, reversing an old scriptural episode which caused mirth to most schoolboys, that though the voice was the voice of Jacob the hand was the hand of Esau, and I will leave my readers guessing.

However, I am quite sure that Councillor George Platt will join with me and all of us in recognising the value of the services rendered by that army of municipal workers whether voluntary or paid and whether they leisurely ambled or galloped for half a century prior to the war.

As to the ‘golden age’ – No! not in this Borough – we grieve to think. The ‘phenomenal activities’ and phenomenal trade depression have increased the indebtedness and the burdens of the ratepayers, which coupled with depressed trade, diminishing population and reduced rateable values, mar the enjoyment of the benefits conferred. Councillor Platt was wise in sounding a note of warning in subsequent parts of his speech.

Now let us first consider the powers and duties entrusted to the Town Council by parliament. The Statutes are multitudinous, largely outside the ordinary class of work undertaken by solicitors, and call for special study and training. They may be divided into three classes: first, the Municipal Corporation Acts and kindred Acts relating to Municipal work, strictly speaking; secondly, the Public Health Acts and Statutes incorporated with or ancillary thereto, by virtue of which the Council acts as Urban Sanitary Authority for the Urban Sanitary district, which is identical with the Borough, and in this category are comprised a mass of subjects relating to Public Health; thirdly, the Education Acts relating to Elementary and Higher Education. The carrying out of these duties and exercise of these powers are ‘the public affairs’ to which may be added the Administration of Justice.

In the early days the corporation possessed very limited powers. During the first dozen years after the incorporation in 1866, several Acts were passed conferring additional powers, e.g.: Poor Rate Assessment, Factory and Workshop, Ballot Act, Borough Funds Act, Electric Lighting, Loans, Sale of Foods and Drugs, Rivers Pollution and Prevention, Parliamentary and Municipal Registration, Contagious Diseases (animals), Weights and Measures. Then came the Municipal Corporation Act, 1882, which contained in effect an improved code for the election and constitution of the Council and its officers, and the management of municipal affairs (as distinguished from Public Health matters). This, with some amendments, has served very well until recent Local Government Acts of 1929 and 1933 came into force.

County Councils were brought into existence by the Local Government Act, 1888, and a material change with regard to the cost and maintenance of main roads was thereby effected. This was followed by several Acts amending or ancillary to the Public Health Acts, and the Technical Instruction Act, 1892, empowered the Council to provide technical instruction. The Local Government Act 1894, at one bold stroke divided existing Parishes, established Parish Councils and Parish Meetings, transferred to the Council the granting of Game Licences and Pawnbrokers’ Certificates, and provided for Joint Committees such as the Burial Board Joint Committee. It was a historic transformation when the old Parish of Glossop of venerable antiquity, which in addition to the area of Glossop Borough, included Charlesworth, Ludworth, Mellor, Marple Bridge, Hayfield, New Mills and Chapel-en-le-Frith was reduced to a fraction of its former area and made co-extensive with the area of the Borough, the other Districts being constituted separate Parishes. The more recent transference of the Glossop Dale Rural District to the Chapel-en-le-Frith Rural District, which is now causing some heart burning and regrets, has effected an even more extensive change in Local Government in this Dale. This enumeration will give but a faint idea of the nature of the work involved in the performance of the statutory duties.

The following concise description of this work will assist in appraising its nature and value. In 1880 the Corporation purchased the Glossop Waterworks from Lord Howard for £30,000 and effected loans to defray the purchase money. I just remember this, my association with municipal work commencing as an articled clerk in my father’s office in 1881. The following year the Turnpikes were discontinued and the old turnpike roads became main roads repairable by the Council, the cost being repaid by the County Justices, and for a number of years several miles of main roads were repaired and scavenged by the Borough Surveyor with the Corporation workmen. Frequent disputes occurred between the Town Council and the Justices and also with the County Council as to the amounts to be paid to the Town Council for the cost of maintenance and repair.

In 1887-89 the Hospital, Public Library and Victoria Hall were vested in the Council and appropriate Committees appointed to manage. Then the Public Health Amendment Act, 1890, containing new and important provisions was adopted, and two years afterwards the Infectious Diseases and Notification Act, 1889, and Prevention Act, 1890.

In 1892 the Council made a series of By-laws, duly confirmed, relating to New Streets, Buildings, Nuisances, Sanitary Conveniences, Common Lodging Houses, Slaughter Houses, Whirligigs and Swings, Telegraph and Telephone Wires, and Hackney Carriages; and from 1893-1907, further By-laws relating to Omnibuses, Pleasure Grounds, Public Baths, School Attendance, Dairies, Cowsheds and Milkshops, Offensive Trades; Good Rule and Government, Prevention of Nuisances, and Tramways. When ‘rabies’ were prevalent, muzzling orders were made, dogs in contact destroyed, and compensation assessed. When swine fever or cattle disease occurred, orders were promptly made and the usual steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

In 1895 the Power of appointing Overseers and Assistant Overseers of the Poor were conferred upon the Town Council; and in the same year the Woods Baths and Howard Park were transferred to and future management undertaken by the Council.

During the Town Clerkship of Mr Charles Davis the Electric Lighting and Tramway Provisional Orders were obtained in 1900-01 – (a resume of which was published by me in the Glossop Press as Town Clerk in 1901). The powers under these orders were transferred by the Council to the Urban Electric Supply Co. Ltd., with the option to the Corporation to purchase the undertakings at stated periods; the tramways (now abolished) and the Electric Light undertakings, of which Mr C.E. Knowles was the manager, were provided and carried on by that Company.

The Education Act, 1902, came into force in 1903 and a scheme for the appointment of an Education Committee was prepared and approved, consisting of members of the Council and a number of co-opted members. For various reasons I declined to accept the secretarial work of that Committee and Mr J. Walkden was appointed the Secretary. The cost of Elementary and Higher Education forms a very considerable part of the municipal expenditure.

In 1894 the powers of the Vestry under the Poor Rate Act, 1869, were transferred to the Council, and the provisions of the Local Government Acts, 1894, relating to repair of Public Footpaths were conferred on the Council. The making of Orders under the Shop Hours Acts received consideration, and in 1913 the Notification of Births Act, 1905, came into operation.

During all the years down to the commencement of the War in 1914 steady progress was made in improving roads, streets, water supply, construction of sewers and sewage outfall works (cost £40,000), paving and sewering of private streets, abatement of nuisances and other works.

Many private streets and parts of streets were paved and sewered at the cost of owners of adjoining property and dedicated to the use of the public now repairable by the Council.

Lord Howard of Glossop himself constructed and dedicated (in Glossop) Arundel Street, Railway Street, Surrey Street, Henry Street, Edward Street, Bernard Street, Howard Street, Chapel Street, Market Street, George Street, Cross Street, Talbot Street, Fauvel Street, Hall Meadow Road, Talbot Road or Dinting Road, North Road, Shaw, Bridgefield Road, Collier Street, Union Street, St Mary’s Road; (in Hadfield) Railway Street and Bank Street. The Council called upon the property owners and on their default paved and sewered and dedicated the following (in Glossop): Derby Street, King Street, Oak Street, Duke Street, Hadfield Street, Cooper Street, Kershaw Street, Edward Street, Mill Street, John Street, Ebenezer Street, Silk Street, Hadfield Place, Pikes Lane, Queen Street, Princess Street, Mount Street, Sumner Street, Shaw Street, Shrewsbury Street, Surrey Street, Fitzalan Street, Talbot Street, Wood Street, Slatelands Avenue, Hampson Street,Todd Street; (in Hadfield) Church Street, Jones Street, Albert Street, Cross Street, Salisbury Street, Wesley Street, Stanyforth Street, Gladstone Street, John Dalton Street, Green Lane, The Avenue, Walker Street and South Marlow Street.

Recognising the desirability of a periodical official inspection of the properties of the Corporation, I recommended the appointment of an Estates Committee. The Council adopted the recommendation and an inspection was made annually, the state and condition of the properties noted and instructions given for remedying defects, a procedure which was attended by beneficial results and has been since continued.

A scheme for the collection of funds for the Woods Hospital and for the Manchester Infirmary and other institutions to which patients were sent from the Borough was inaugurated. It has been customary for the principal employers and private individuals to subscribe direct to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and to be provided with ‘recommends’, some of which were never used or applied for. This did not work satisfactorily, and the Council were urged to secure increased financial support. A scheme was thereupon established by the Council which produced substantial increase in the contributions and an improved method of granting recommends for admission to not only the Manchester Royal Infirmary but the Woods Hospital and several institutions in Manchester and elsewhere.

The celebration of H.M. Queen Victoria’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees in 1887 and 1897; the Coronation of King Edward VII of 1902, and H.M. King George V, 1911, and the Peace Celebrations in 1919 were carried out under the control and supervision of the Council, with the ready financial and personal assistance of some of our illustrious citizens, to whom the Burgesses were greatly indebted. Particulars of the Jubilees and Peace Celebrations have already been given and those of the Coronation festivities may be recalled when needed for similar events.

The question of Railway facilities received frequent consideration and many representations were made to the Railway Company. The late Herbert Partington and myself twice had interviews in London with Sir Sam Fay, the General Manager of the G.C. Railway, and endeavours were continually made by the Council to secure additional and improved facilities. The potentialities in Glossop as a residential district were brought within the orbit of discussion.

With the growth of the Municipal institutions and the exercising of the gradually increased powers, additional committees and officials were from time to time appointed, until in 1919 there were eighteen standing committees (exclusive of the special War Time committees), namely: General Purposes, Finance, Highways, Sewage, Sanitary, Waterworks, Housing, Watch, Woods Hospital, Partington Home, Maternity, Library, Baths and Park, Gamesley Hospital, Education, Burial Board (Joint) Committee, Local Pensions, and also ten permanent sub-committees. There were also seven special War Time Committees, irrespective of the voluntary service committees outside the Council. The work of all these committees and sub-committees (except the Education and Pensions) passed through the Town Clerk’s Department.

The properties of the Corporation at the conclusion of the War included the Glossop Waterworks, Victoria Hall, Library, Whitfield Library, Hadfield Library, Woods Hospital and Endowment, Woods Baths, Howard Park, Technical School (now Grammar School), Police Stations, Fire Stations and Engines, Motor Ambulance, Sewage Outfall Works, Hague Farm, Town Yards, Cottages at Hadfield, Infectious Hospital, Partington Home, the Town Hall and Market, Blackshaw Quarry, five schools (Padfield Council, Hadfield Wesleyan, Hadfield Council, Glossop New Council and Whitfield New Infants), Hadfield open space, together with Material, Stores and Stocks in the Highways, Lighting and Health Departments and several endowment funds. The values of the properties and endowments then amounted to about £200,000.

Turning now to the method of financing the undertakings. Ordinary current expenditure is defrayed out of revenue derived from rates, water rates and income derived from profitable undertakings; and from grants in aid from Government and County Authorities.

The moneys raised by rates were formerly levied by separate rates, namely the Borough, Watch, Library and Education rates (collected by the Overseers of the Poor, with the Poor rate); and by the General District Rates, and Water rents (collected by the Corporation Collectors). These are now all (except the water charges) embodied in one General Rate. The demand notes give the specific proportion of the rate levied for particular purposes and the rate is payable by two half yearly instalments. Every individual occupier was rated until owing to so much difficulty being experienced in collecting the rates for the small tenements and after much contention in the Council the owners of those tenements were rated instead of the occupiers and they receive a discount for punctual payment, whether the property is tenanted or not.

Capital expenditure on works of a permanent nature is met by Loans usually raised by Mortgage of the rates and revenues of the Corporation for which sanction has to be obtained from the appropriate authority, and for which purpose frequently a Public Enquiry is held by an Inspector at which anyone desirous of opposing may be heard. So little interest is now evinced by the general body of ratepayers that these enquires occasionally pass unnoticed, especially when not advertised in the newspapers and by posters as in former days.

It is common knowledge that the salaries were formerly quite inadequate and that these have been considerably increased since 1919, and a superannuation fund has been established. I am not desirous of criticising these. The staff and organisation in existence at the commencement of the War though partially depleted was the staff which stood the test and carried on though the War the normal and a good deal of abnormal work.

The foregoing account of the administration of municipal affairs will, I trust, satisfy my readers that affairs of local government before the War did travel more quickly than supposed, and that the council and their officials were kept pretty busy though they preserved an even tenor.

The properties added or capital outlay made by the Council during the last fifteen years are represented by the following principal additions: Spire Hollin House, Chief Constable’s House, Police Fireman’s Home, Public Mortuary, Weights and Measures, Refuse Tips, Ladies’ Lavatories, Housing, Small Dwellings, Small Holdings, Road Improvements (Newshaw Lane and Hadfield Street), Sewage Works Extension, Sewering Filtration Plant (Baths), Re-roofing Baths, Hadfield Baths, Howard Park Lavatories, Glossop Hall and Manor Park, Bankswood developments and improvements, Recreation Grounds, Bowling Greens, Pavilion, Hare Hill improvements, Gentlemen’s lavatory (Market) and Hadfield Waterworks.

The total value or cost of property (including gifts), Schools, Houses, permanent works, endowments and cash at 31st March 1934, amounts to £444,317 according to the aggregate balance which £355,381 had then been borrowed, and £9,722 remained to be borrowed. The amount of loans redeemed was £143,378, leaving the amount outstanding £209,452.

The Corporation properties so far as professionally valued were valued in 1905, I believe by the late Edwin Collier. Apparently some properties, I suppose, will be revised and depreciation allowed.

With regard to the Revenue and Expenditure in the various departments in salaries, wages, establishment charges, maintenance, and repair of all these undertakings of necessity, there is a considerable increase. £52,000 is a very large sum for the ratepayers to find in a year, and it is no secret that some members of the Council and their advisers, as well as thoughtful townspeople are wondering whether the Borough can stand the strain even of meeting the existing annual charges without embarking into further improvements, and whether a halt should be called.

It is now opportune to mention some at least of the officials of the Corporation, though it is impracticable to give a complete list. Those interested in Glossop Municipal work will know that during the period of 53 years, from 1866 to 1919, there were but three Town Clerks: my father, T.M. Ellison for 30 years, 1896; Charles Davis for nearly five years, 1896 to 1901, and myself for 18 years, from 1901 to 1919. My father and myself were also continuously clerks to the Borough Justices for fifty-four years, 1866 to 1920, and also Clerk to the Justices for the Division of Glossop for a still longer period, and my grandfather, Thomas Ellison, was clerk to the Glossop Association for Prosecution of Felons as far back as 1836 or earlier.

The first Treasurer was Samuel Wood. The practice for many years was to appoint individuals as Treasurers, but after the Manchester and Liverpool District Banking Co. Ltd. had been established, which opened daily in 1867, it became custom to appoint the Manager of the Bank to be Borough Treasurer, though he received no remuneration from the Corporation, the Bank being remunerated by having the custom of the Corporation. So W.H. Hollinbery became Borough Treasurer, and on his retirement in 1896 was succeeded by T.T. Kenyon, who was followed by H. Broadhurst. In June 1909. T.S. Bowden who had been the Assistant Borough Treasurer, was appointed Borough Accountant, and on his retirement in 1909 Samuel Fletcher was appointed Borough Treasurer, which office he held until his resignation in 1932, being followed by E. Boardman.

Former Chief Constables were: Kershaw, W.H. Hodgson, J.G. Hodgson and W.R. Wilkie. The Borough Surveyors, Jepson and T. Haynes; Inspector of Nuisances and Lighting, Inspector, S. Dane; Medical Officers of Health, Dr James Rhodes (a member of the Rhodes family of Tintwistle, who used to go his rounds on horseback and was recognised as a skilled and fearless surgeon), and succeeded by our esteemed old friend Dr D.J. Mackenzie; Waterworks Inspector, John Garner, Assistant, J. Byrom; Park-keeper, Peter Rowbottom; Baths Superintendents, Lamb and Whitehead.

Population – Census: 1901, 21,526; 1911, 21,688; 1921, 20,531; 1931, 19,510. Burgesses – 1914: 4,533. Municipal Electors - 1919, 8,682; 1933 10,168.

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Glossop Corporation Golden Jubilee and the Centenary of Local Government, A suggestion.

The Golden Jubilee of the Glossop Corporation matured in October, 1916, in the midst of the Great War and could not, therefore, be then appropriately celebrated. The Peace Celebrations in 1919 were a more welcome substitute.

This year is the Centenary of Municipal Local Government – the first Municipal Corporations Act being passed in 1835, and an intention to celebrate the event has been announced. Some official intimation on the subject may be given by the Association of Municipal Corporations.

We have Burgess Rolls and Registers of Electors, a Roll of Honorary Freemen, and a Roll of Men who served in His Majesty’s Forces, but we have no complete Roll of those who have served in Municipal Government. Such a Roll might be readily compiled by the officials from the minute Books, Muniments and Records of the Corporation and of the Borough Justices and suitably bound and entitled a ‘Roll of Civic Service’. With this might be associated a complete List, duly verified, of the Corporation Properties, whether acquired by purchase or gift, with a brief description of each, the cost amount and endowments, and the present values. If so thought fit, a list of the mills and principal places of Employment, and Churches and Chapels, which have never failed to respond to appeals by the Council for assistance in charitable and other matters could be usefully recorded. I make this suggestion.

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Water Supplies.

Following in the train of the exceptional periods of drought during the past two years, the inhabitants of extensive areas of England’s fair Counties, the City of London and some of the Provincial Towns, have been affected with nervous apprehension of the dread consequences of a vanishing supply of water. Endowed by natural situation, with abundant sources of supply, always with certainty replenished before vital deficiency of the quantity in storage occurs, we in Glossop Dale have been saved the unpleasant experience of carrying water for miles, and buying it by the pail or bucketful, and yet the value of our possessions is not fully appreciated by our townspeople. Let us consider the matter in its full and broadest aspect. The natural abundant supplies afforded by situation and the environment of the surrounding hills and moorlands rising to a height of 2,000 feet above sea level, either flow on the surface, forming defined watercourses, streams and rivulets, or into brooks and rivers, uniting and eventually discharging into the sea; or, are absorbed in and percolate through the ground by defined or undefined channels emerging in the form of springs, or being tapped by wells. The owners of land adjoining the streams have certain rights to use the water for domestic purposes, watering cattle, motive power, and industrial and other purposes, but not to abstract the water to such an extent as to sensibly diminish the flow, unless such a right has been acquired as an easement; but neither they nor their tenants may pollute the streams or obstruct the flow of the waters, unless a right has been acquired by prescription or otherwise. The Rivers Pollution Prevention Act, 1870, restricted the right to discharge effluents or offensive matter into rivers or streams. Legal questions of momentous import concerning water rights have been the subject of actions in the Courts too numerous and varied to receive consideration here.

The construction of Reservoirs is our more immediate concern, and these are mainly for two purposes; first, in order to preserve for dry seasons a supply of water for domestic and other purposes which would otherwise have passed on, and secondly to provide motive power for mills and works, as indicated in an earlier article – not only woollen, cotton and paper mills, but also bone mills, saw mills, corn grinding mills, and so on. The supply for domestic purposes and chiefly for human consumption is of prime importance and in times of great shortage the supply must be restricted.

It is absolutely essential that the supply for human consumption shall be protected from pollution to prevent disease arising from contamination. So, the water which is impounded in the reservoirs for domestic supply is obtained as near the source as possible – on the high lands. And should it happen that the reservoirs have to be constructed in or below lands upon which farmhouses or other buildings are erected or which are manured or used for cattle grazing, then such lands are required for what is termed ‘gathering grounds’ and all risk of pollution removed, or the water passing through such lands is impounded only in the reservoir containing the supply for owners of mills and works, which is usually called compensation water, because it is a compensation supply for the water taken from the streams for domestic supply. It follows that if a large body of water is taken from the streams, impounded in reservoirs, and consumed in domestic supply, the water is not returned to the streams until it has been consumed, passed through the sewers and purified at the Sewage Outfall Works. Hence, Statutory powers are required for public water works, and the rights of mill owners and all landowners on the streams affected have to be considered. Surface water from the roads finds its way through drains into streams. As already narrated, the Glossop Waterworks were constructed under the Glossop Water Act, 1845, and purchased from Lord Howard of Glossop by the Glossop Corporation in 1880. Improvements to the reservoir and extensions and renewals of water mains have since been made, and the revenue increased.

I notice from the Corporation Abstract of Accounts that there is an item for ‘chemicals’ in connection with the Waterworks. Probably owing to the transit through peat and bog on the moors some addition of this kind is thought necessary, but it is of the utmost importance that nothing deleterious should be introduced, and no doubt the Council will have had expert advice on the subject. Perhaps the Chairman of the Waterworks Committee will enlighten the consumers and tell us the nature of the chemicals we are drinking with our Swineshaw water. Our tastes vary.

The Hadfield Waterworks were also constructed by Lord Howard, but not under any Statutory power. The Corporation having acquiesced in the supply for Hadfield district being undertaken by his Lordship for so many years could not equitably establish any waterworks for supplying that part of the Borough without purchasing the reservoirs and mains there or compensating his Lordship or whoever might be the owners of the Estates. I gather from the Accounts the ‘Hadfield Waterworks’ and gathering grounds at Glossop and the Mossy Lea Reservoir have been acquired by purchase, but exactly what works or what rights have been acquired I do not know.

According to the Abstract of Accounts the Glossop Waterworks capital account at 31st March stood at £38,281 and the Hadfield Waterworks and Glossop Gathering Grounds at £30,058, which includes £1,950 paid for the purchase of Mossy Lea Reservoir.

The ratepayers of the Hadfield Ward had the doubtful pleasure for some years, until the Glossop Waterworks became a profitable undertaking, of assisting to repay the loans raised by Mortgages for the purchase and for the cost of extensions and renewals of water mains, and they did not fail to complain loudly; but as the Loans were gradually reduced and the profits increased, there came a time when the surplus income was a most appreciable nest egg for the ratepayers. Then Hadfieldians ceased their complaints, though they had other grievances. Now the boot was on the other leg, and Glossop ratepayers may declaim and ask why they should pay for water for Hadfield as well as for their own supply? History will probably repeat itself in good time, and end the mutual congratulations upon ownership of the whole of the undertakings for supply of water in the Borough.

In 1892-3 there waxed a battle royal over the scarcity of water and the mode of increasing the supply. The deficiency was felt acutely at some of our mills and the question was whether another reservoir capable of holding as much or more then Swineshaw should be constructed. Lord Doverdale, on his own motion, consulted an Engineer, Mr Muir, to inspect and report on the advisability of constructing a reservoir in the Shelf Valley and the probable cost, but did not at first submit the report to the Committee, which raised some unpleasantness. A scene also was narrowly averted at a meeting of the Waterworks Committee owing to an unguarded remark made by a certain member, now deceased, which might have led to unpleasant consequences had it not been for the timely intervention of my father. Feelings ran high. Mr Muir’s report was eventually laid before the Council in November. I believe the estimated cost of a reservoir across the Shelf Valley was given as £8,000. Later, Mr Hill of Manchester was called in, who advised against the suitability of the Valley for the construction of a reservoir across the stream. In July of 1893, when Alderman W.S. Rhodes was the Mayor, a meeting of ratepayers was held and a resolution passed urging the Council to take immediate steps for an additional supply of water, and on the 30th August the Water Inspector reported that there was only three weeks’ supply in the reservoir.

Alderman James Sidebottom, who then resided at Millbrook, Hollingworth, was in communication with well known experts in Manchester and London on the question of rainfall and drought, and as I was at that time his tenant, and residing at ‘Springfield’ Hollingworth, not far from Millbrook, he sent for me and explained, whilst taking his breakfast, the statistics he had obtained, and asked me to publish the result, his point being that a period of thirty years had elapsed since there had been an equivalent drought, and that statistics showed that this was only occasional and did not justify any such special outlay as was being urged. The council, after much debate, accepted this view, and the matter ended for the time being.

In 1902 the question was reopened, and it was felt that the cost of providing an additional reservoir was more than Glossop could reasonably be expected to incur, a joint scheme with Hyde was suggested, the reservoir to be constructed, I think above the Mossy Lea Bridge, and not as originally suggested, and in October of that year members of both Councils met at Mossy Lea. The estimated cost was, I believe, £170,000, and the Hyde Council, after careful consideration of the cost, especially of laying pipes to Hyde, and the benefit to be derived, and the disadvantage of a joint scheme, decided it was not expedient to proceed with the scheme.

Still, an additional supply of water appeared necessary, for the population and the consumption of water for domestic purposes had increased, and the millowners were unwilling to give up their right to the one half of Blackshaw stream or their rights to compensation supply for the other half of that stream which the Corporation had the right to impound. Then came a happy solution of the problem. Let me briefly explain. Mossy Lea reservoir was reputed to ‘leak’, and certain wiseacres and wire pullers, who were opposing the purchase of that reservoir and urging the construction of another reservoir, sedulously spread that report. The late Lord Doverdale had his suspicions and doubted whether the supposed leakage affected the holding capacity of the reservoir. He propounded a scheme for taking a lease of the reservoir from Lord Howard for a term of years at an annual rent and to store the flood water only in rainy seasons, and to send this down the stream in time of drought in lieu of the compensation water from Blackshaw, which would then be available for domestic supply. Lord Howard was willing and only the consent of the millowners who would be affected was necessary. The scheme met with opposition in the Council and there was acrimonious debate. A Daniel came to judgement in the person of Councillor S.H. Wood, who met Lord Doverdale and myself and John Garner at the reservoir, when the scheme was intelligently explained to him in all its bearings, and his acquiescence gained. It really required only this cool businesslike consideration to appreciate the advantages. Returning across the field we paused by the side of the tail race, where I suggested sampling the quality of the water, producing a flask of something more delectable than chemicals, and it was pronounced good. The opposition to the scheme was overcome. The millowners all agreed, save one, who commenced an action against the Corporation on a mistaken idea as to his rights, which he withdrew when enlightened on the subject. So ended the great water ‘battle’.

The demolition or sinking of old mills and works, homesteads and even ancestral halls, the construction of capacious reservoirs to conserve for the utilitarian needs of an increasing community in populous centres a good and sufficient supply of pure water, its carriage and distribution through or past intervening municipal, urban and rural districts, culminating in expansive engineering works in Longdendale and Thirlmere (for Manchester), Derwent Valley (for four Counties), Kinder Valley (Stockport) and a host of others, some entailing prodigious expenditure, and occasionally costly preliminary failures, illustrate and emphasise the magnitude and importance of the work entrusted by Parliament to Local Authorities singly or combined, and invite serious consideration as to the qualifications to be possessed by men to initiate, guide and control such vast undertakings and as to the share, interest and responsibility of the ratepayers.

It is strange that there are still some who urge that because water flows freely in rainy and stormy seasons and passes along our streams past our Borough, reservoirs should be built to store the water, forgetful of the needs of others on the stream regardless of the question of adaptability of site or cost of construction, and other material considerations. Such extreme drought as lately experienced may to a certain extent be met by keeping existing reservoirs from silting and preserving their storage capacity. Look around and see! Another and not insignificant matter is that notwithstanding the elementary knowledge that water should be kept free from contamination there are still in these days thoughtless or careless people who persist in depositing pots, pans, bottles, garbage and filth in pure water streams, although the removal of all refuse is undertaken free by the Corporation and the cost included in the rates.

Time was when rod and line and skilled angling yielded a catch worthy of the disciples of that renowned piscator, Izaak Walton, who esteemed water in importance before air or earth. But all were not so skilled. My father loved in the summer, when hunters were resting, to angle with float, fly or sea line, and gave encouragement to his boys to do likewise by providing them with rod and lines for ‘bottom fishing’, thus securing indirectly willing, if not enthusiastic, hands to unearth the best worms and carry the bait can – and so we hied on occasions to the Longdendale Reservoirs, especially the Rhodes Wood, but when the results were negligent, sport was dull. I remember deciding upon a frontal vigorous attack and fished every day for a fortnight early morning and late at night in reservoir and streams, but without avail; they did say the poachers had cleared the streams. However, fortune did not altogether fail us; a shoal of perch at the Rhodes Wood Reservoir came round on one rainy afternoon, and a fine catch so completely put in the shade the paternal efforts, that he had difficulty in believing our success to be genuine, though he enjoyed sharing the repast.

Mossy Lea also recalls memories of an afternoon with a pleasant companion and good angler, Clarence Thorp, son of Water Thorp, J.P., fishing for trout in the Shelf stream. My enthusiasm, however waned and the exigencies of a professional career put an end to my piscatorial pleasures which were only once revived when the late Edwin Collier a year later invited me to fish with him. I marvelled how, with consummate ease, he passed the fly and hooked half a dozen or more trout, a brace of which I was to enjoy. Was it not due to him that Mossy Lea Reservoir was stocked and a Fishing Club established?

Mossy Lea, nestling picturesquely amid green meadows, purple and yellow clothed moorland; the soothing ripple of the ever flowing waters of Shelf and Yellow Slack; the calls and songs of birds, beloved by scholar, poet and artist; scenes of moonlight skating, romantic rendezvous, fond embraces and troths pledged, yet traversed in the days of old by Caesar’s brave legions, from Rome, and now by Britain's sons and maidens fair. Naturalists, Ramblers and Hikers tracking by Doctor’s Gate to the enchanting moorlands of the Peak of Derbyshire. It is pleasant to know that the reservoir is now the property of the Corporation.

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Travel by Road and Rail, Past and Present.

My narration of the existence of Turnpike Roads more than a century ago and their abolition upwards of fifty years ago and the construction of the railway will be fresh in the minds of my readers.

In 1793 Bernard Howard of Fornham, near Bury St Edmunds, who was then Lord of the Manor of Glossop, is stated to have sold land to the Trustees of the Chapel-en-le-Frith and Enterclough Turnpike Road, and in 1821 the road from Sheffield to Glossop was opened and used as a Mail Coach road, and the Snake Inn opened, of which John Longden was tenant.

On the 2nd August, John White J.P., and George William Newton, J.P., viewed the portion of the Sheffield and Glossop Turnpike road and certified it was fit and commodious for the passage of carriages and travellers thereon. We have seen, however, what Michael Ellison had to say about the unsatisfactory construction of this road and the enormous expense entailed.

What stupendous change in modes of transport we have to contemplate. We need not trouble ourselves unduly about the old Roman roads, but be satisfied with a resume and contemplation of the character and import of the British Roads and Railways and their facilities for travel and transport.

There can only be a very limited number of inhabitants of today who travelled by coach in the old days – though there will be many who remember the toll bars and toll gates. My personal recollections may interest. I was less than seven years of age when I was packed off from Ryecroft House to a preparatory school at Hathersage, where I spent three years in the rudiments of education in company with a score of boys, including a brother of the late Bishop Casartelli and one of the Wakes. The journey was sometimes made by road via the Snake Inn, Ashopton and Bamford, and occasionally by rail in a special reserved saloon to Sheffield, thence ten miles by road past the old Fox House Inn and the ‘Surprise View’. Never have I forgotten the coach ride on one occasion. The driver was apparently over refreshed, and though he could drive his horses without fear to himself, it was not so to his passengers. There was a violent thunderstorm which exhilarated both the driver and his team, and the vehicle rolled and rocked. A young governess from the school was in charge of the boys and, poor soul, was more terrified than her pupils, whom she enjoined to pray. I have ever since thought highly of that coachman.

How often since have I walked, ridden on horseback and driven over those roads. In an hour and a half we easily compassed on foot the seven miles from Glossop to the Snake Inn, and one horse standing 17-3, could, with my light weight, trot comfortably in half an hour – that I may recall was the rate at which horses usually went from Glossop to Manchester, fourteen miles under the hour, in the days before paved roads and tramways. By comparison the walks from the Norfolk Arms Hotel, Glossop, up to the Norfolk Arms, Marple Bridge, by two of my brothers in 1 hour 4 minutes and 1 hour 3 minutes 39 seconds, respectively, were good performances.

About 1878, two of us, aged fifteen and thirteen, walked from Glossop to Hathersage one day, slept at the Ordnance Arms the night, and walked back the next day through continual rain and thunderstorms both days. Again, two of us walked to Buxton and back one hot day in July, and as we were doing the last lap, down Chunal, when I was mightily tired, two rough looking tramps endeavoured to waylay us. My brother Frank promptly ‘butted’ his head into the chest of one and then we ran down the hill – where I found that last ounce of strength from I do not know, but it was our only escape from perhaps an ugly assault.

At the risk of being tedious, may I revert to the Snake Road and recount an exciting experience with a kicking, bolting Irish mare, which we were breaking in for driving. She had hitherto only been used for hunting and hacking, but my father thought she would be useful in harness. After he had experimented one afternoon without success, it was decided my elder brother, who had little fear, myself and the coachman, Dick Laight, should harness her in the two wheeled dog cart and proceed up the road towards the Snake before breakfast next morning. She jibbed, but with coaxing and gentle tapping under the forelegs with knotted handkerchiefs instead of whips, she was at last induced to move, gallantly trotting up the hill for over a mile past the Royal Oak with the three passengers, my brother driving, I by his side, and Dick Laight behind. Then we turned round – fatal mistake – trusting to her apparent sweet docility. In a flash, on feeling the weight behind her. She ‘let go the painter’ and bolted, two of us holding the reins hard and feeling the blows of her heels hammering fast on the footboard. Soon, catching one hind leg on the splintering bar or shaft, down she came a cropper. Luckily, the road was wide, and we were not too near the stone wall on the left. I shot out and my brother right over me, and Dick either jumped or was thrown behind. No one was hurt beyond a slight graze and all scrambling up, ran to the animal, sat on her head in orthodox fashion, removed the harness, and to our relief she got up, the only damage sustained being bruises and abrasions, and one broken shaft. The experiment was not repeated.

These personal reminiscences may include the mention of yet another which I heard my father relate, though the scene was far distant. He was driving his four wheeled dog cart, his second wife and his young children from Blackpool on the main road to Preston when his horse bolted, owing to a loose strap, which had not been properly fastened by the ostler at the stables, hitting against the horse’s flanks. Half a mile ahead was the railway and the gates were shut for a train to pass. Imagine the awful situation. Many a man would have quailed with fear at the fate awaiting them if the horse crashed at the gates. It was the famous black horse ‘Rugby’, and he certainly would have leapt the gate, as he had done many a five barred gate in the hunting field. Calmly and courageously my father drew the horse to the hedge, intending that if there was to be a crash it should be into the adjoining field, but he failed to see a stump of a thorn tree, with which the dog cart collided and overturned. Fortune favours the brave! Here, again, no injury was sustained beyond the damage to the vehicle.

Reverting to Turnpike Roads, I have heard my father relate how, coming home on horseback late one night down ‘Mottram Brow’, the Toll-keeper failed to answer his call to open the gate, whereupon he set his horse and together they cleared the obstruction and away.

The Turnpikes were maintained by tolls levied at toll houses erected at such distances and situations as would prevent travellers using roads without paying tolls, and gates were erected across the road controlled by the toll-keepers, who collected the tolls and gave receipts which exempted payment for perhaps two or three other toll gates. Tolls, like tithes and income tax, were not regarded with favour, and evasion of payment was no uncommon event. The expenses of turnpike roads and toll houses were met in the first instance by raising money on mortgages of the tolls, but I doubt whether these mortgages were of much value. Be that as it may, the Turnpike roads in Glossop Dale were in a sorry condition when the Trustees handed them over to the local Authorities in or about 1882.

It is but a little more than a hundred years since the railway from Stockton to Darlington was opened, when the locomotive driven by Stephenson himself, drawing 38 carriages, covered the 9 miles in 65 minutes – yet in that year, 1825, he was considered as wanting in mentality. James Watt had built the first practical steam engine in 1769, having discovered a now apparently simple factor concerning steam. Then the line from Manchester to Liverpool was constructed but not until Dukes, Lords, and plebeians had opposed the scheme in all manner of ways, and Parliament had been urged to restrict the speed to 8 or 9 miles an hour. ‘Supposing a cow were to stray upon the line’ asked a Parliamentary committee man, ‘would not that be a very awkward circumstance?’ to which Stephenson gave the reply, ‘Yes, very awkward indeed for the cow’. It was alleged that the value of land in Manchester would be greatly deteriorated, and the scheme was described by Counsel as the most absurd scheme that ever entered the head of man to conceive. A meeting of clergymen of all denominations held in Manchester declared that the locomotive was ‘in direct opposition both to the law of God and to the most enduring interests of Society’. The most fantastic results were conjured and put forward by way of objection. I quote in effect from ‘Pegasus’.

In 1830 the ‘Rocket’ accomplished 35 miles in an hour. Then in 1842 Queen Victoria travelled by rail for the first time from Windsor to London, and thenceforth public opinion veered round with true British snobbishness, and in 1847, Stephenson, who, twenty-five years previously had been dubbed mad, was at the opening of the Trent Valley Railway acclaimed by Sir Robert Peel to be ‘the chief of our practical philosophers’. Then followed a perfect furore of railway undertakings.

The Railway from Manchester to Sheffield was constructed in sections and opened about 1844, and was known as the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway, when the branch line from Glossop to Dinting was made by the Duke of Norfolk and sold to the Railway Company at cost price about 1845 to avoid the necessity and expense of obtaining another special Act of Parliament. Those of advanced years remember the old engine and coaches of the branch train and the driver, Sam Wragg, and the bell outside the station which was rung to announce the departure and arrival, and how in our more nimble days having missed the train at Glossop we ran along the railways to Dinting and caught (though not always) the main line train.

Later in the eighties came the ‘Iron Devil’, under Benton and Woodiwiss, contractors, who performed wonders in removing the embankment and making way for the two curved double sets of rails so that through trains might run between Glossop and Manchester and Glossop and Hadfield and Sheffield, and now waiting rooms and station accommodation were provided. George Benton was in his early days a stone mason at Old Glossop, and entered the service of a railway contractor on the construction of railway at Guide Bridge, who was unable to carry out the contract, an event which gave George Benton his opportunity. He afterwards went into partnership with Sir Abraham Woodiwiss of Derby as Railway Contractors and died a very wealthy man. On several occasions I rode on horseback with my father to see him at Cyne House, Stretford. His two daughters, when young, were at school at Primrose House. One married Charles Johnson, Solicitor, of Stockport. The youngest son, Charles, who was a Lancashire County cricketer, died under tragic circumstances at Knutsford during the war.

There were several railway accidents on the main line at Dinting, Hyde Junction and elsewhere, but none so disastrous as that at Bullhouse Colliery, near Penistone, when the 12.30 mid-day London express from Manchester to King’s Cross came to grief, a crank axle breaking owing to a hidden flaw, and several coaches were flung off the rails into the road and fields below killing 23 passengers. I drove to the scene of the accident the same afternoon in company with F.C.J. Hadfield and saw the wreckage.

The old M.S. and L. Railway had no through line to London, but had arrangement with the Great Northern Railway Co., and an excellent joint service of trains was run at high speed via Stretford, Peterborough and Grantham. Business and occasional pleasure trips took me to London frequently by those trains and I remember the interest excited when a new type of locomotive with large driving wheels drew very fast trains from Sheffield to Manchester (L.R.) without a stop in 1 hour 3 minutes and performed the journey between London and Manchester in 4½ hours. The mid-day train from London was stopped when required at Hadfield or Dinting about 5 o’clock in the afternoon to and from London and some trains stopped at Godley.

Then came the extension of the M.S. and L. Railway to Marylebone, the change of name to the Great Central, and the termination of the agreement with the Great Northern. The opposition to the extension was so intense that the line was driven to a circuitous route here and there until the total distance was over 200 miles and after experimenting with newspaper trains at high speed in the night resulting in hot axles all prospect of a fast service to London by G.C. was abandoned.

The amalgamation since the War of the leading railway companies has effected some improvements in local service, but not on our main line trains. An outstanding defect is that not one single through train from Manchester to London is due to stop at Dinting, the reason being the difficult gradient and curve and proximity to the Dinting Viaduct, though two through trains from London stop by signal.

Railway facilities have an important bearing upon the establishment of business and the development of a residential district, and are the subject of particular enquiry by business men who are considering the suitability of this district for such purposes.

An improvement which was much appreciated was the stopping at Dinting of the 9.25 morning express train from Liverpool and Manchester Central to Hull, which provided a much needed express train at a convenient time for travellers to Glossop from Manchester and beyond; and also for passengers from Glossop to Sheffield with connections to the South. This was secured as the result of a personal letter from myself to Sir Sam Fay some twenty years ago, fully explaining the needs and advantages; after due consideration he decided the alteration should be given a trial, with the result that it was made a permanent arrangement. He was always willing to give courteous consideration to any representation.

Traffic was in the past years for a long time congested on the M.S and L. and the G.C and much vexatious delay occurred in the local service, due largely to the bottle neck approach to London Road Station being crossed and recrossed by the L. and N.W. goods trains, one of the principal officials with whom I occasionally discussed these. On one occasion gave expression to the extraordinary view that they did not care much about passenger traffic, as they had so much mineral and goods traffic.

For one feat, however, I must not omit to give the G.C.R and their staff every credit, namely the expeditious provision and running of a special train at a moment’s notice. It happened thus: My old friend Herbert Partington and myself had driven to London Road Station to catch the 5.20 afternoon train to Glossop with but a few minutes to spare; he went ahead and boarded the train, the signal was given, the train departed, and he stood at the carriage window waving his hand and laughing with great glee seeing me walking up the platform and left behind. Now, Inspector Peter Robinson was a great friend to both of us, and would have held the train if he had spied my approach. Quickly recovering from my disappointment the following brief dialogue ensued: T.W.E.: “Can I have a special train?” Peter: “You can”. T.W.E.: “What will it cost?” Peter: “The first class fare and 5s a mile”. T.W.E.: “How soon can I have it?” Peter: “In a few minutes”. T.W.E.: “All right! I’ll have one. Just come to the refreshment room and let me know when you are ready”.

Within five minutes Peter brought me a receipted bill and escorted me up the platform, where an empty train had just drawn in ready to take passengers to Hyde. “Stand back” was shouted to the waiting passengers, and in less time than it takes to relate the incident, the engine and three coaches were uncoupled and I was on my way to Glossop, passing en route a train evidently diverted on to another track to permit my special to pass. When I arrived at Glossop I was received in great state and sauntered to the trysting place. In a little while my jubilant companion arrived, and was astounded to find me already there. It was not until I produced my receipted bill that it dawned upon him the 5.20 train had been held up to let me pass and then – Well! ‘He laughs best who laughs last’.

Railways had always for me a special interest. Conversations and exchange of ideas with not too obtrusive fellow passengers, the reading of book and papers, the solution of business problems and the quiet contemplation of scenery make railway travel enjoyable and instructive. One form of travel which, however, I never really enjoyed was the journey by sleeping car. I tried several times on the L.M.S. to Euston, but my sleep was always disturbed by the rumbling of the wheels and dreams of thunderstorms, making one feel jaded on arrival, and not refreshed as after a peaceful night’s slumber.

Regarding high speeds the present impetus in this direction reminds me of the prophecy of a railway magnate (Sir Wm Watkins Wynn, I think) a good many years since, who held it was possible if the track was suitably constructed, the load of due proportions, and the locomotive of sufficient power to travel with safety at a speed of 120 miles and hour, and now 100 miles an hour is proved to be attainable with safety. I have travelled in very fast trains on all the principal lines, but not on the flyers of recent times.

Divergent opinions are held on the desirability of high speed travelling. For those of sound heart and nerves and without fear, yes; but for those with weak hearts or poor nerves, no. A railway inspector of many years’ service on the old Midland, with whom I was discussing railway matters at St. Pancras, was much opposed to fast speeds, thinking it did not matter to any one whether the journey took half an hour or more longer or not. Considering how many business men there are, whose engagements in London or other important cities involve frequent visits, and to whom time is of great importance, such an opinion is retrograde. Hundreds of travellers go, for example, from Birmingham to London and back and transact several hours’ business in one day, there being excellent services on two railways, taking only two hours each way. So Manchester men wish to be brought within 3 hours of London and to be able to leave Manchester, say at 8 o’clock, breakfast on the train, arrive at 11 o’clock and return by an evening train, dining en route, thus effecting a great saving of time and expense to themselves and their clients or customers. In these days of fierce competition, every facility for the rapid despatch of business and the obtaining of orders is almost a necessity.

Glossop, being on the G.C. Railway, cannot hope for such a convenience facility, but improvements are within the bounds of possibility, and if businesses and residents are to be attracted it is essential that the railway services should offer adequate facilities. The railway companies, nevertheless, expect evidence of the existence of a demand.

The evolution effected by motor traffic on the roads is marvellous in results, its reaction on railways, the complete revolution in horse traffic, the diminution in the horse breeding industry, the manufacture of motor cars and vehicles, the reconstruction of road surfaces, and vast road constructional works, the effect upon industries and employment, and the opportunities afforded to all classes of people to adopt some form or other of motor transit from the luxurious Rolls Royce to the humble motor bicycle at prices adapted to millionaires or artisans, including the superseding of tramways by motor buses.

These revolutionary changes have not been effected without loss of life, and it is not a matter for surprise that letting loose upon our roads the equivalent of express trains, often in the hands of inexperienced drivers, has been responsible for numerous fatalities and serious injuries, which, happily are now being reduced by the adoption of precautions and regulations for motorists and pedestrians and the infliction of penalties.

A dissertation upon these important topics would be incomplete without a reference to yet another phase in the mode of travel and transport. Years ago I had the good fortune to witness for a couple of hours on a bright afternoon from the Grand Stand at Doncaster Racecourse, an exhibition of ‘flying’ in monoplanes and biplanes by several well known aviators. I was deeply impressed and completely convinced that aviation had come to stay, and its development offered immense possibilities. Some weeks later, when proposing the ‘Town and Trade of Glossop’ at a Mayoral luncheon, I deplored the lack of first class facilities of transport, and suggested a solution might eventually be found in the carriage by air of cotton and cloth direct to and from this district. Though received with scepticism and regarded as not quite seriously intended, I have always considered it feasible, and I certainly see no reason now why it should not become an accomplished fact. The Doncaster Town Council are celebrating the opening of the first air liner services from the Doncaster Corporation Aerodrome and the first aeroplane is christened ‘Spirit of Doncaster’.

Oil and electricity as motive powers are as yet in their infancy, but here also lie potent factors in association with the subject of transport.

Rudyard Kipling said: ‘When a nation is lost, the underlying cause of the collapse is always that she cannot handle her transport’. There are surely now in view, by road, by rail, by water, and by air, such available means of rapidly and safely transporting the world’s commodities and travellers as will prevent any such calamity, and may yet revivify international trade. The last hundred years has produced wonders, what the next century will evolve is beyond imagination.

A great shock was inflicted upon the travelling public by the general railway strike on Saturday, 27th September 1919, and much inconvenience and expense experienced by those who were returning from holidays or business at the week-end. I was staying at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, and due to return by train to Glossop for the reception I was giving in the afternoon at the Town Hall to the members of the Council and principal officials of the Corporation. No trains were running and the stations were closed; every motor vehicle and taxicab had already been chartered, some for journeys as far as Edinburgh and London. Fortune favoured me on calling at a well known motor works, by the arrival of the manager, to whom I explained my predicament and the importance of my presence in Glossop. Remarking that it would be like playing ‘Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark’, he courteously entered into the spirit of the occasion and gave me the choice of a chassis with an orange box for a seat, or a motor lorry, for which I expressed my grateful thanks and accepted the motor lorry, upon which, with my trunks, I journeyed to Glossop via Warrington and Stockport without delay or mishap, beyond a burst tyre, speedily replaced, and so was in time for one of the most enjoyable events of my life – although it did not mark my retirement as Town Clerk.

Descending from more imposing to less pretentious though exceedingly useful modes of travel on wheels, the bicycle and tricycle have quite an army of devotees. I remember the ‘bone shaker’ in the seventies, with its two wooden wheels of equal diameter, like two miniature cart wheels, also the ‘penny farthing’ bicycle, with one large wheel with double web like spokes and hard india rubber tyres. The tricycles in vogue in the eighties were in the shape of a large wheel on one side, and two small wheels of equal size for and aft, on the other side, and there were also tandem of sociable (side by side) machines, and some were convertible. F.C.J. Hadfield, the surveyor, possessed a tandem, which I rode several times with him, and afterwards he induced me to purchase a machine converted into a single, and I rode it laboriously over rough and uneven roads to Marple, Gee Cross, and even to Manchester, but was glad to dispose of it.

Gradual and steady improvements in their construction produced an increased demand, especially for bicycles. At Coventry I have seen scores of employees rushing to and from their work in the dinner hour, and at Oxford the midday rush of undergraduates and students. Motor vehicles have, however, seriously affected the use of cycles, and many employees live in the country a few miles away from the town in which they work and travel by small cars or motor cycles.

Following my serious illness in 1920, which necessitated a long convalescence, I conceived the idea of again riding a tricycle. An excellent machine was specially made for me by a Birmingham firm, which was a delight to ride on the Cheshire roads, but the uneven state of the roads caused two mishaps, and so far sustaining a fractured collar bone, several bruises and a severe internal injury, I reluctantly relinquished cycling – which in view of the fast traffic on the roads was neither safe nor agreeable.

Yet one other and attractive mode of travel seldom seen in these days of mild winters, sleighing. The sweet tinkle tinkle of the bells, the pretty picture of the sleigh drawn by a couple of horses often driven in tandem, gliding gracefully over the snow. Dr Pomfret, Dr Harold Wylde and I think Herbert Rhodes indulged in this delightful mode of conveyance when conditions permitted. My one and only experience ended in not quite dignified fashion, as on returning from Woodhead, on the Derbyshire side, having lingered somewhat and the snow having partly disappeared by thaw, we met frequent patches of bare surface which brought the horses up sharply and necessitated dismounting and assisting the horses to the next snow covered stretch.

Now, motor vehicles reign supreme, and horsemen, coachmen, cyclist and pedestrians most exercise vigilance.

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Members of the Professions.

The Parish Church being in Old Glossop, and the Parish being formerly a comprehensive area, many weddings were solemnised there, and so ample accommodation was necessary for the travellers and their equipages. Hence the number of licensed houses in proximity to provide the needful.

The Vicars I remember are the Rev J.D. Knowles and the Rev A.P. Hamilton Wilson. The Rev Christopher Howe, who died in 1849, had preceded them, and I remember Roland Howe and his two sisters, who lived at Ryefield House. Canon – afterwards Monsignor – Chas W. Tasker, who followed Canon Fauvel, was priest at All Saints’ R.C., and was transferred to St. Mary’s. The Rev C.B. Ward, father of eleven sons, was Vicar of Whitfield; Canon Hawkins and Canon Winder, St. Mary’s; Canon Baigent; Rev H. Lawrence, Dinting; Sadler, Littlemoor; Father Hickey and Canon (Monsignor) Sabela, priests at St Charles’ Hadfield; the Rev Joseph Hadfield, Vicar of St Andrew’s Hadfield.

The legal profession had very few representatives in Glossop in the old days, and legal affairs were attended to by lawyers in other districts, which involved travelling for some distance for business of that nature. Those were the days when my father was a well known advocate at Hyde and other courts, to which we went on horseback with his saddle bag, often full of briefs, and occasionally seized the opportunity for a run with the Ashton Harriers on returning. Other solicitors in former times were Edward Thompson and – Reddish, followed in later years by Chas. Davis, W.H. Phillips, J.W. Tweedale, J Marsden, F.W. Moran, F.G. Knowles, P.E. Ireland, C.J. Davis and G.H. Wilson.

The medical gentlemen were also not very numerous in my early days. In Glossop: Dr Howard, of Norfolk Street; Dr W. Hunt, of Cowbrook: Dr James Rhodes and his son, J.D. Rhodes; Dr W.H. Hunt, Norfolk Street; Dr D.J. Mackenzie; Dr Andrew. At Hadfield: Dr White and Dr Whelan. At Hollingworth: Dr Pomfret, Dr H. Wylde, and his son ‘Reggie’. There have been many additions and changes in the last quarter of a century.

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Principal Tradesmen in Past Days.

Amongst the principal tradesmen, dealing first with Old Glossop: Wm. Thorpe, in Church Street, whose shop is still in existence, supplied groceries and other provisions. In High Street East: Hadfield, shoemaker; Brian Helm, corn dealer; Smith, cabinet maker; Band, grocer; J. Merry, ironmonger; Ward, newsagent and pinfold keeper; Wagstaffe (afterwards Warrington), butcher; Manasseh Turner, greengrocer; S. Robinson, grocer; Mellor, grocer; Whittingham, brush dealer; Bottomley, grocer; Shaw, music warehouse; T McKnight, ironmonger. In High Street West on the North side (including Henry Street): George Whittaker, Norfolk Arms Hotel, followed by Joseph Collier; Walter Thorp, coal merchant; Abel Harrison, Station Inn and coal merchant; Manchester and Liverpool District Bank; Percival, followed by Stagg, wine merchant, J. Hardman, dentist; Swire, clogger; Crannage, jeweller; Harrison (now T. Smith), grocer; Cuthbert, tobacconist; (on the south side) Rosson, followed by Bradbury, chemist; Charles Collier, grocer; W. Swire, draper; T.P. Wreakes, followed by R. Proctor, (now McKinlay), chemists; T.P. Hunter, draper; Melia’s, grocers; Joseph Buckley, pawnbroker: J.S. Higginbottom, draper; Manchester and County Bank (now Boots, chemist); John Hall, tailor, followed by F.W. Hall; Wood, grocers (now Dearnley); T. Hadfield, draper; T. Cook, Hatter; W. Smith, shoemaker; T. Woolley, grocer; J Barnes, draper; Edward Woolley, butcher; W.H. Irlam, printer and stationer; Dearnley, ironmonger; H. Kinder, chemist (now W. Oliver and Sons, ironmongers). At Whitfield: Charles Bradbury, butcher; George Ashton (now G.W. Ashton), grocer; Brook Furniss, Whitfield Laundry. At Brookfield: Tweedale, grocer. At Woolley Bridge: Swire, clogger. At Hadfield: W. Dawson, painter; Geo. Eastham, grocer; Tom Braddock, grocer; W. Greaves, grocer; W.M. Martin, draper; Levi Lee, grocer.

The Glossop Dale New Industrial Co-operative Society was established in 1866, and has grown into an important institution with several branches, and there is a similar Society at Hadfield.

The Glossop Funeral Society was established in 1830 and several building societies existed, of which some of the principal mill owners were originally trustees.

The provision of wagonettes, landaus and hackney carriages, funeral hearses and coaches, was for some years in the hands of Crompton and Elliott, Bagshaw and Fielding, and the Glossop Carriage Company Ltd. I will not attempt to recall the many anecdotes which emerged from pleasant and exciting jaunts, but will mention one, characteristic of the men, which never failed to win a smile: Dr W.H. Hunt, who was a good sportsman, conscious he would not long survive an incurable disease, and the genial Stagg, who was in advanced years, used to hobnob in friendly fashion and jocosely chaff each other as to which would be the first to quit this Earth. On one occasion, having ordered a landau and pair to take them for a drive in the neighbourhood, the equipage arrived with a couple of black horses, on seeing which Stagg drily remarked to the coachman: “What the deuce do you mean by bringing us a couple of black horses? Do you think you are taking us for a preliminary canter?”

The licensed houses in the Borough were numerous and changes were somewhat frequent. A Register is kept at the office of the Clerk to the Justices which may be inspected on payment of a small fee, and the names of the houses and the licensees to whom they were granted every year may be thus ascertained by those interested.

The chief licensed house, the Norfolk Arms Hotel, was the resort of members of the Council, Justices, Freemasons, Trustees of various societies, Oddfellows, Foresters, Funeral Societies, Building Societies, and many of the principal inhabitants and business men. Jolly conversations and frequently, serious discussions occurred in the smoke room, where the ‘sages’ smoked their ‘churchwardens’ in the wooden armchairs and discussed the national or local affairs, or engaged in conversations on interesting topics.


During the long period covered by these reminiscences the inhabitants have been supplied with reliable news and report concerning municipal, religious, political, social and sporting affairs, as well as births, marriages and deaths, and generally concerning the life and progress of the district and its industries, by means of the Local Press and their Editors, reporting staff and contributors. The ‘Glossop Advertiser’ and the ‘Glossop Dale Chronicle’ have existed for upwards of 70 years and my personal acquaintance with former Editors included T.A. Pettit and E.W. Pettit of the ‘Advertiser’ and J. Butterworth and W. Sheppard of the ‘Chronicle’; the two papers being now amalgamated and under the editorship of S.T. Ashton, with S. Sidebottom chief sub-editor. In earlier years the ‘Glossop Record’ flourished for a considerable period, eventually giving up publication on the advent of the ‘Advertiser’.

Further information on the newpapers of Glossop can be found in the article Glossop's Early Local Newspapers.

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County Councillors.

With the good offices of Mr J. Walkden, C.A., I have obtained and here give a complete list of representatives on the Derbyshire County Council for the three electoral Divisions in Glossop Borough which correspond to the three wards. (First Elections in January, 1889, subsequent Elections annually in March).

1889: Edward Partington, Herbert Rhodes (resigned July 1890); James Sidebottom (elected Alderman 1892, died 1895)

1892: John Barnes. 1895: James Sargentson, Chas. W. Shepley

1898: W.H. Bowden, Jos Walkden, T.W. Ellison

1901: T.S. Bowden. 1904: Jos. Walkden. 1907: W.H. Bowden

1910: T.S. Bowden. 1913: R.B. Sidebottom, J Walkden

1915 (By-election): The Hon. Bernard Fitzalan Howard, R.B. Sidebottom, J. Walkden (elected Alderman 1922)

1922 S. Fletcher, J Malkin, T.P. Hunter

1925 S. Fletcher, T.P. Hunter, J Malkin

1928 S. Fletcher, T.P. Hunter, G.E. Russell

1931 (and re-elected 1934) S. Fletcher, T.P. Hunter and G.E. Russell

The late Lord Howard of Glossop was elected an Alderman on the 8th July 1890, but was not re-elected in 1892.

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The Administration of Justice.


This is a topic of absorbing interest to those associated with the Courts, and there are many aspects from which the administration of justice may be viewed, comprehending the Judiciary, the administrative staffs, suitors, prosecutors and accused, civil and criminal, according to the particular Court in which the business is transacted. A brief survey of the various Courts will suffice.

The business of the Courts is primarily of two kinds, civil for recovery of debts, damages and the like; and criminal for prosecution and punishment of offenders. The Courts at Glossop are held in the Town Hall.

There is also the Coroner’s Court for inquests. My father was the Deputy Coroner in 1853. Later Charles Davis, R.C. Knowles and G.H. Wilson have been Deputy Coroners. The Coroner, Mr S. Taylor is at Buxton.

The Civil Court is the County Court, over which the County Court Judge presides. There was a hundred years ago a Court of Request in Glossop, and a Court for speedy recovery of small debts for the Town and Manor of Glossop, established under a special Act of Parliament, but these were superseded by the County Court.

His Honour Judge Thomas Ellison was the first Judge of the Glossop County Court, whom I remember. He resided at Barbot Hall, Masborough, Rotherham, his circuit comprising Sheffield, Rotherham and Glossop. He married Anne Dalton, sister of the late John Dalton, and used often to spend his week-end at Rose Bank, Hollingworth. By general acceptance he was a sound lawyer, and his decisions equitable and just.

Judge Ellison held office for thirty-three years and died in 1896, and since his death there have been seven Judges. His Honour Judge Waddy, K.C. who was in advanced years and became very enfeebled; followed by Judge Mansel Jones, also in advanced years; then Judge Benson Elliott, Judge Lias (who was transferred to Cornwall); Judge Green, who not enjoying good health resigned, and has since died; and now His Honour Judge Frankland.

Mr John Hibbert, of Hyde, was the Registrar for many years, and was succeeded by my father in 1893; on his death by Chas. Davis in 1896; then by F.W. Moran in 1901; and on the appointment of the latter as High Bailiff at Sheffield, P.E. Ireland, the present Registrar.

The Criminal Court, known as the Magistrates or Police Court, is the Court in which the Justices of the Peace, more commonly called Magistrates, hear and decide prosecutions of offenders and deal out punishment, or in the case of more serious offences, commit the accused for trial at the County Quarter Sessions, of the Assizes, according to the gravity of the offence charged, and in accordance with provisions contained in a multitude of Acts of Parliament.

Justices are appointed by the Lord Chancellor, their names being placed on the ‘Commission of the Peace’. Separate Commissions are kept for every County, and also for every Borough which has its own Justices. Names are submitted from various quarters political and otherwise, or from the Justices themselves, or by the Town Council; enquiries are made, and an Advisory Committee considers the recommendations, and submits the results of the enquiries to the Lord Chancellor, who, after consideration, makes such appointments as he thinks proper. Every Justice when appointed, has to take an Oath of Allegiance, and a Judicial Oath of service to the King, and that he will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of the Realm, without fear or favour, affection, or ill will. A knowledge of the world and freedom from bias or extreme opinions, is a desirable qualification.

In this Court the Police are coadjutors, that is to say, they are the servants of the Justices, whose legal orders they must obey, but they are also the prosecutors for the majority of offences. There are also private prosecutions, for assaults, threats, malicious injury to property, and other matters; also Affiliation orders; also a very important class of case, married women’s complaints and order for maintenance following desertion or persistent cruelty. Special Courts are held for juvenile offenders. The Justices also have cognisance of some civil matters, as for example claims between Master and Servant and Landlord and Tenant, recovery of rates in arrear, and so on; in addition, the Justices are the Licensing authority for licensing houses for sale of intoxicating liquors, and music and singing and dancing licences.

There was a century ago in Glossop an Association for prosecution of felons, and it is recorded that Thomas Ellison, the Clerk to the Court, offered £5.5s reward for apprehension of the thief who stole fat sheep from a field at Cowbrook.

The Magistrates in the old days were now and again called upon to quell riots and seek the aid of the military forces when necessary, and we learn that in 1831 silver plate was presented to John White,Esq., J.P., John William Newton and Thomas Ellison, by the Gentry of the District for their services in connection with ‘the suppression of the 4/2 or the Swing turn out’, whatever that might be.

A long and continuous experience of thirty years in two Courts, fourteen as Assistant, and twenty-six as Clerk to the Justices, and as Advocate in several other Courts, enables me to say unhesitatingly, that the general body of Justices perform the diverse duties and exercise the powers entrusted to them, with satisfaction to the community, and without remuneration of any kind – hence the appellation ‘the great unpaid’. They have the assistance of trained legal advisers known as Clerk to the Justices.

During a very long period, so far as I remember, there has been only one decision of Glossop Borough and Glossop County Justices reversed, and that related to the appointment of an Assistant Overseer David Massey, which on a case stated went to the High Court. The late Mr Asquith appeared for the Justices concerned, but the Judges took a different view on a legal point to that taken by the Justices. My father was the Clerk to the Borough and County Justices and was succeeded by myself on his death in 1896, and the present Clerk, P.E. Ireland, appointed on my retirement in 1918 and 1920.

Sometimes it happens that when Justices do not perform their duties to the satisfaction of the parties, a mandamus is applied for to compel them. It has not been found necessary in Glossop to resort to that procedure, which is distasteful to Justices, but it became necessary in reference to the Derbyshire Quarter Sessions concerning the diversion of the footpath through the fields at the southerly end of the Wren Nest Mills, which was required for an extension and improvements there. The Justices at Quarter Sessions, on a technical legal point, as advised, declined jurisdiction to make the order applied for. So on behalf of the Glossop Corporation, at the request and expense of Francis Sumner and Co. Ltd, I obtained through Counsel, a Writ of Mandamus, which was heard by three Judges, who directed the Justices of Derbyshire at Quarter Sessions, to hear the application for the order – which they did, and then made the order required. The case is reported in the legal Reports.

Our Borough Courts were always held in the afternoon at 2.30p.m., and in the days of the Ashton Harriers, if my father could snatch the morning for a few hours with the hounds and be back in time for the Court, he could not resist the temptation. On one occasion a London Solicitor who was appearing for the Actors Association, was astonished to see the Justices’ Clerk enter in hunting costume, splashed with mud, and proceed with the examination of witnesses, meanwhile munching on a hard biscuit and cheese for his lunch. After the Court the Solicitor remarked to some company at the Hotel, that when he told his friends in London, they would scarcely believe him. He was assured that no one thought anything of it, my father’s hunting proclivities being so well known.

Here is a good after dinner story :- After I had resigned my position as Clerk to the Justices, I had occasion to be in the Borough Court, anent a famous smoky chimney, and the late Sir William Cobbett, who was engaged in some application to the Court, sat by my side at the solicitors’ table. He had not recognised me, and I remarked “It is a long time since we saw you in this Court Sir William”. “Yes”, he said, “It is a very long time – the last time I was here old Ellison sat there”, pointing to the Clerk’s seat. I said “you mean my father”. He turned to look at me and quickly replied “Of course, you used to sit there too”. Then making amends for the pardonable oversight, he said I know your father well – we often were against each other in Court, and we hunted together with the Cheshire. Your father once told me a story that he was up early one summer morning looking through his bedroom window at Ryecroft House, when he saw a local night wanderer gathering strawberries in his garden and not only gathering them, but plucking the best if you like. Your father knocked at the window and the man, seeing his face, ran like a hare.

My father had been dead thirty years when Sir William re-called this story, which he repeated with much relish.

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These reminiscences have been regarded by readers as a History of Glossop, but clearly such is not the intention. They are published at the request of the Editor as a gratuitous contribution for general information, and possibly to induce a deeper interest in public affairs and local government, for which there is ample scope, and, for those who seek them, adequate rewards, pecuniary or Honorary, though often more kicks than halfpence!

Readers have been good enough to express their enjoyment derived from reading these Reminiscences, and enquired whether they will be reproduced in book form. That has not been decided, but if reproduced, they will first be revised and possibly supplemented. If not they will, at least, I hope, have served some good purpose.

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Last updated: 24 June 2023