Compiled by the Mellor Bellringers
At only £3 the perfect Christmas stocking filler
The Parish Centre
firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 449 5935
£3 each or 4 for £10
Free delivery in Mellor, Marple Bridge and Marple
Sold in aid of good causes
We all think Mellor is a good place to live and so did the inhabitants of this area 4000 years ago. Or, to be more exact, they thought it was a good place to die and they proved it by being buried at Shaw Cairn.
Shaw Cairn is on Cobden Edge where a trig point marks the highest point in Stockport MBC at a height of 328 metres or 1,028 feet. However, the late Neolithic people had recognised its importance long before the Ordnance Survey arrived on the scene.
Mellor parish runs between two major rivers, the Goyt and the Etherow, which flow down from the moors before joining to form the Mersey. Between these two rivers two smaller tributaries have worn deep valleys, thus creating three spurs projecting westward towards the Cheshire Plain. The northern spur, Ludworth Moor, is crowned by Brownlow Barrow, the central spur where Mellor Church stands, is also the site of a hillfort and the southern spur is dominated by Cobden Edge and Shaw Cairn. All three present excellent defensive sites with clear views over the Cheshire Plain and all three have prehistoric artefacts showing that this area was inhabited by some quite sophisticated cultures.
Continuous human occupation of Britain began as the climate improved at the end of the last Ice Age from about 9500 BC. By about 6500 BC rising sea levels had cut Britain off from the rest of Europe. This age of hunters and gatherers lasted until about 4000 BC when the concept of farming began to take hold, introduced from Europe. At first, although the people grew pulses, barley and wheat, they still moved around within larger territories and used stone tools of gradually improving sophistication. There was a significant change when they began to settle down in one place. This was known as the Neolithic Revolution because the change in lifestyle gradually allowed specialist artisans to develop their skills. The three ages of the Stone Age are known as the Paleolithic (old stone age – hunters and gatherers), Mesolithic (middle stone age – nomadic farming) and Neolithic (new stone age – settled farming.) The earliest artefacts found on Mellor Moor date to the Mesolithic but most are from the Neolithic and, particularly, the Early Bronze Age.
It was first identified as an area of interest when a survey was carried out by local enthusiasts in 1975 and a trial excavation the following year confirmed that it was a cairn site. Limited excavations were conducted every year until 1988 with the help and advice of Manchester University. By this time two of the original team had died but interest was rekindled by the discovery of a hillfort at the Old Vicarage. The public interest in this discovery led to the formation of the Mellor Archaeological Trust and that in turn led to a review of the wider landscape. It became obvious that the Mellor hillfort and Shaw Cairn form part of a wider rich prehistoric landscape of considerable archaeological importance.
The early work on the cairn revealed a funerary cairn bordered by a circular stone course, approximately 15 metres in diameter. Between twelve and fifteen cremation burials lay within it. This is a distinct development for the period as most burials in the Neolithic period were communal whereas now they were more individual. Although excavated by enthusiastic amateurs, the work was not properly written up and the finds were stored in kilner jars. These included flints, vases and pottery vessels and two finely shaped flint knives. Several pot-boiler stones have been identified. Stones heated directly on a fire then placed in a liquid to heat it indirectly. The bones have been studied in detail and, although the process of cremation destroys a lot of evidence, it has still been possible to build up a picture of the individuals involved and something of their lifestyle. Radiocarbon dating placed the bodies between 2000 BC and 1700 BC.
After the original findings were catalogued and written up the site has been adopted by the Mellor Archaeological Trust and they have brought in professional archaeologists from the universities of Sheffield and Salford with the help of external funding whenever the opportunity arose. Over the years since 2000 specific trenches have been dug, both across the cairn and also outside the circular stone course in order to find out more about activity beyond its boundary. In the event these proved of little interest but trenches near the cairn produced a number of surprises. Unlike other cairns in the vicinity Shaw Cairn does not have a high profile. Instead it consists of layers of stones and appears to have been built in two stages. The first phase features a circular stone kerb about 12 metres in diameter and 60 centimetres deep. About a century later a new outer kerb was added, expanding the cairn to a monument measuring 14 metres by 16 metres.
In addition there have been two spectacular finds. A superb quality plano-convex flint knife was found in one of the cremation cists.
Even more important, the component parts of a bead necklace were unearthed over two seasons. It began with the discovery of one amber bead but further trowelling and sieving uncovered many more. In the end a fastener, two plates, 14 spindle-shaped beads and 73 disc beads have been identified and a reconstruction of the original necklace has been attempted. This is a very important find. It is one of only two necklaces of this period found in Britain and it reveals a lot, not just about the people living in the area but also about their trading relations and levels of skill.
The excavations at Shaw Cairn have added a lot to our knowledge of the people living in this district 4000 years ago. The defended settlement on the central spur, where St Thomas’ Church now stands, was the focus of the community but burials of selected individuals, some of whom would have been high-status, took place on the southern spur. These burials may have been associated with feasting as part of the ceremony and it is clear that grave goods were often buried with the deceased. There were trade links across northern England and probably to Wessex in the south. However, this merely shows that there were people in the vicinity, using the area for defence, for cultivation and for burial. Much more remains to be found out, particularly where and how these people lived. No trace of any dwellings of this period have yet been found. No doubt these will be discovered eventually but until then Shaw Cairn probably has more secrets to disclose.
National Bell Ringers Day
The village of Mellor has often punched above its weight having once had the world’s largest mill and another time England’s best lacrosse team. Now the Church bell ringers are launching a national day of celebration.
They discovered that there is no National Bell Ringers Day
Research revealed that a number of saints compete to be recognised as the Patron Saint of Bell ringers. St Agatha, who is one of the group, has her Feast Day on February 5th so this will be announced from the belfry of Mellor Church as National Bell Ringers Day.
As St Agatha is also the patron saint of breast cancer patients it seems appropriate to twin the celebrations with fund raising for the Pink Ribbon Foundation that supports a wide range of breast cancer charities.
Can you raise funds on the 5th when church bells will ring out ?
The Thomas Brierley Grave at St Thomas’ Church, Mellor
I read in the September issue of the Mellor Society News (issue 75 – A Masonic Mystery …solution) the article about the Thomas Brierley’s grave at Mellor Church written by Neil Mullineux and wanted to share with the editor’s sentiments that the unique feature of this grave is in a sad state of deterioration and in need of some TLC.
St Thomas’ Church Fabric Committee are a sub-committee of the St Thomas’ Parish Church Council and meet regularly to discuss and enact repairs and modifications to the fabric of St Thomas’ Church and Churchyard, reporting to the Parish Church Council. It might be of interest for your readers to know some years ago we noted the dilapidated state of the Thomas Brierley grave. We shored it up as it had become unstable, including chocking the railings and wrapping strong cord around one of the split stones. The Fabric Committee was aware of Churchyard Regulations 2007 and the code of practice issued by the National Association of Memorial Masons (the NAMM Code). As alluded to in the Mellor Society News article, the Thomas Brierley grave is of local historical interest. Our concerns were that the repair should be of the highest quality of workmanship and that only the NAMM standard of workmanship would be acceptable for the repair of a grave of such local repute and prominence next to the church entrance. We were aware at the time that some repairs in 1985 and in 2000 had been conducted with the help of the local Masonic Lodge but sadly these had not managed to prevent further deterioration of the monument. The reason the grave has been left in its present condition is that before approval can be sought and work commenced we need specific plans, as the repair is not a simple matter with additional construction likely to be necessary, and these have not been forthcoming.
The Fabric Committee’s proviso for the planned repair was that any stonemason employed needed to be a registered monumental mason. It was further assumed by the Committee that the placements and railings which encompass the grave, highly unusual in monuments of this period, were ‘historic’ and therefore any repair to them would require an overview by our Diocesan Advisory Committee. The churchyard regulations and NAMM code are there as an assured standard not only to repair and beautify but also to make sure lasting changes are in keeping with the local setting and environment.
St Thomas’ offers a commitment to work with the local or national Masonic Lodge to repair the Thomas Brierley grave. As the history of Mellor thus represented is unique it surely would be a shame to delay in providing a substantial and lasting repair. The recent article by the Mellor Society is to be applauded and certainly raises interest in this curious tomb. We at St Thomas and our Fabric Committee of volunteers stand ready to work alongside all parties to initiate a substantial repair along these lines. We care about this monument and its church setting and look forward to an improvement in the railings, stonework and general appearance for many to wonder at and appreciate in the future.
MMMC received a considerable boost shortly before Christmas, with the arrival of some much needed funding from Locality UK.
This will enable us to set up a web site, produce publicity material and hold meetings, so that we can explain the purpose of the Forum to a wider audience and obtain their views on the future development of our community.
A detailed opinion survey is planned for later in the year, but in the meantime, members and supporters of the Forum will be consulting a wide range of local groups and stakeholders, to explain how they can influence the development of our Neighbourhood Plan.
Whilst a lack of funding has undoubtedly restricted our ability to communicate effectively in recent months, that is now set to change in 2020.
Mellor Country House
Our biggest fundraising event of the year – the annual plant sale – will be held at the house on Saturday and Sunday May 23rd and 24th May from 10 am to 4pm each day. Visitors can buy bedding plants and hanging baskets, also choose from a large selection of outdoor plants, shrubs, and trees as well as enjoy our fabulous cream teas and bacon butties. Watch out on social media for more details on how to order and pay for our fabulous plants.
We are still looking for volunteers to help us in a few ways so if you have just a couple of hours or longer to spare, nothing too heavy, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch using any of the details below, we have various fundraising events held during the year where we always could use spare helping hands. We will be hosting a coffee afternoon for viewing the home on Wednesday 26th February at 2.30pm for individuals and businesses to see what we are doing and how we can be helped. Any help offered is hugely appreciated as we are a handful of dedicated volunteers trying our best to keep the charity open to those in desperate need. If you want to be part of our wonderful group please get in touch.
To contact Mellor County House, either
ring 0161 4271893
Thank you Margaret Powell
Mellor Parish Centre
“Crimes of Violence in Late Victorian and Edwardian England” – a talk by Dr Kevin Felstead
- Thursday 27th February’20
Dates for Bridge Drives:
- Saturday 1st March
- Saturday 18th July
- Saturday 17th October
The Friends of Mellor Parish Centre are supporting Mellor Open Gardens which will take place on Sunday 5th July 2020
For more information on any of the above please contact The Parish Centre Office 0161 484 5079
The Wharf Marple – Update
As you may be aware the Canal and River Trust – Church Street planning application, which includes our Wharf warehouse project, was refused at the Marple Area Committee meeting on Thursday evening11thDecember2019.
What this means for us
Unfortunately this means that the planned purchase of the Wharf will be delayed into this year. However, we remain very positive about our Wharf warehouse project and need to keep up our funding momentum.
We are confident that planning consent will be given in due course.
Good news: We did get Listed Building Consent for the warehouse building, which is a great step forward. We shall report further when we have more information.
Our community fund raising continues to gain momentum and we are delighted to report that we have now reached in excess of £110k of our £175 target. We are also pleased to note that some of our investors, as well as doubling their original investment, have been investing for family members as Christmas and birthday presents – What a great idea!
Forms can be downloaded via the link on our website www.thewharfmarple.co.uk
Don’t forget you can also take advantage of the tax relief and capital gains tax relief too.
Recent Wharf Events
Our two open days at the Wharf building have given local residents a good insight into the project and a chance to view the building close up. Also, our Wharf Team were on hand in the recent Winter Wonderland event in Marple Bridge. These events have resulted in lots of interest and many new investors.
Next Open Event
From talking to visitors at our open days we know that some of you have questions about the scheme and in particular our relationship with CRT/H2O and the adjacent development. We want to give everyone the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and therefore we shall be holding a Q&A session early in the New Year. We shall advise you all of this date soon after Christmas.
We would like to that the wider Marple community for their excellent support so far and look forward to an exciting 2020. Sue, Malcolm, Bob, Andy, and Chris. The Marple Wharf CIC Directors
The Mellor Society AGM and Quiz
CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS
The event will be now be held at a date when the emergency restrictions permit.
The agenda for the AGM includes the approval of the previous AGM minutes, reports from committee members, fix the subscription rate, receive certified accounts and election of officers. Also, the consideration of any business brought forward by the committee or membership will be dealt with.
Please note that any business brought forward from the membership needs to be in writing to the Hon Secretary (contact details on page 1) and in good time for the Hon Secretary to notify the membership if necessary prior to the meeting. If any member wishes to help delivering newsletters, collecting subscriptions or serve on the committee please contact The Chair and/or Hon Secretary before the date of the meeting. Importantly the position of Membership Secretary is still vacant and if the Mellor Society is to continue your committee needs your support. Refreshments will be available during the evening.
This year the AGM business will again be followed by the Great Mellor Quiz and team entry forms can be obtained from Tim Lowe at email@example.com or 0161 449 5935
There will be a modest team entry fee which will be donated to the Mellor March supporting cancer charities.
Mellor Open Gardens 2020
Yes, planning is underway for the next Mellor Open Gardens. With its own inimitable style, our much-loved community event will be taking place next summer in aid of Cancer Research UK and Mellor Parish Centre.
If you would like to add your garden to the fourteen already promised or to offer practical or financial support in any way please email MOG20mary@aol.com or phone 0161 427 7255 and you will be welcomed!
Occurring every four years, this will be MOG’s eighth appearance.
So don’t miss it – act now –
SAVE THE DATE – SUNDAY 5th JULY 2020.
Tail of the STORM
It had been raging across Europe for three years. Stretching from the sun basted eastern Mediterranean island of Crete and then heading west through Turkey, Italy, Portugal and finally to the North Western European Maritime Area of the United Kingdom. .
Now it was to finally come to an abrupt end on 9th July 2019 in Belgium.
Involving 20 European partners from seven countries chasing the STORM had been a fascinating journey. The STORM project had set out in 2016 to come up with innovative technical solutions to mitigate the effects of Climate Change on Cultural Heritage. We now had to face the EU Commissioners and present our solutions to this 100% funded €7.2M project.
We gathered in Brussels on the morning of the 8th July to have a ‘rehearsal’ day. Melding such a diverse group into a coherent presentation team is not an easy task. Not everyone has the same idea of what makes a ‘great presentation’! The task is made all the more difficult when only three of us are native English speakers and that is the language to be used throughout. However, after 9 hours of polishing the final presentation for the next day we all returned to our various hotels for a well earned dinner and sleep. .
9am on the 9th we all presented ourselves to Security at the Commission building. Once checked and scrutinised we were taken as a group to where our presentation was to take place. Settled in our seats we were joined by The EU Commissioner, EU Project Officer and two EU appointed ‘experts’. I’m delighted to say everyone gave a fantastic presentation with the last one at around 4pm. Then it was detailed questioning by the experts with all questions successfully answered. .
The grand finalé was the Commissioner’s response. It was a glowing verbal report. Clearly he was delighted. We had achieved our objectives, come in on budget and completed on time.
So, that was how we got to the TAIL OF THE STORM.
All partners agreed it had been a fantastic experience and one, given the opportunity, would repeat.
Mellor Archaeological Trust has been privileged to be the UK site in this prestigious project. The other sites across Europe all have World Heritage status!!
Mellor Country House Charity
The Charity is holding its “Christmas Delights” fundraising event at Mellor Country House at 7:00pm on 7th November’19. Tickets are £5 each and available from Sharon tel. 0161 427 1893
During the evening there will be a floral demonstration as well as stalls of gifts, jewellery and many more plus a glass of mulled wine.
The organisers will also be taking orders for Nordman Christmas Trees at exceptional prices to raise the much needed funds for the home. Pop over to the stand and take a look, you will not be disappointed”.- Margaret Powell
Mellor Memorial Garden
Volunteers have been beavering away on the garden as usual this year. To bring you up to date, we have had our trees checked out and one very large conifer bordering Parkside, which is at the end of its life, is to come down. This will let some much needed light into the garden and hopefully stop further damage to the path. The Cryptomeria japonica right next to the bottom gate was severely damaged by ‘The Beast from the East’ some while ago and part of this will be removed leaving the curiously twisted trunks.
We have had much appreciated help from the TLC gardeners who, when asked to clear ‘jungle-like’ areas and deeply buried roots from trees removed many years ago, have set to willingly. The grass is mown regularly and the border hedges cut as needed. The cenotaph area is rife with mare’s tails. The TLC gardeners were recently to be seen tackling them.
We hope you enjoy our ‘wild’ bed at the bottom end of the garden. It is cut down each year and, if we have them, donated seeds are sown in the spring. This means the bed changes every year.
We would like to thank all those who came to the coffee morning in July and helped us raise £178 towards both new plants and an information board. Photographs, old and new are still being sought. If you have anything relating to the garden area and are willing to share it please do get in touch with Mellor Society. – Mellor War Memorial Gardener
MMMC Neighbourhood Forum: Update
We are now finalising our submission for finance from the Government to allow us to do simple things like book meeting rooms and copy documents along with more complicated things like set up a web site and engage some expert help.
We have held the workshop we mentioned in the last newsletter. This was to explain better how topics group run within the context of a Neighbourhood Plan. Both Committee members and topic group volunteers attended the workshop and we will be repeating this soon, sometime in October. If you would like to help one of our topic groups but are unsure what this is all about or what the group would do, then please join us! This second date is to be arranged and will be publicised using this circulation. The same applies to our topic groups, some of which will now be arranging meetings to progress with discussing what should be in the plan. Each topic group will have at least one management committee member, either to lead it or to guide and support.
At present the Forum is focused on setting up Topic Groups to consider those issues which have arisen since we first became established. We`re holding workshops to discuss how these groups should operate and have currently identified the following topics:
Housing: What types are required, where should they be, what should they look like?
Transport and Infrastructure: How can the impact of road transport be reduced, how can routes for walking, cycling and riding be improved, how can the use of public transport be increased, is sufficient land available to sustain adequate public services within our area?
Greenspace: How can we preserve and enhance the quality of the diverse green infrastructure within our area? How can we ensure that it may be enjoyed by the widest possible section of our communities?
Heritage: How do we safeguard those elements of our built environment which explain the historic development of our communities?
Employment: Ensuring that facilities are available to support our existing local economy and accommodate future changes that are likely to occur within the workplace environment.
These groups will discuss what we want our area to be like over the next 20 years; starting with things like: what are we worried about, what we would like to stop or limit, what we want to change gradually, what are the opportunities. Again it’s worth emphasising; participants don’t need to be technical experts. You’re all experts on our area and all have local knowledge.
The initial work of the groups will enable us to prepare a large scale Neighbourhood Survey, that will test the extent to which the concerns listed above are shared within the whole community and will demonstrate whether there are other issues that we have not yet touched on.
If you have an interest in any of the current topics and would like to be involved in producing ideas that can be developed into a Neighbourhood Plan, we`d be delighted to hear from you. You don`t need to be an expert, as there`s loads of guidance available, so enthusiasm is the key ingredient.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Greg Pike at email@example.com or on 07778 494143.
We also have a Facebook page at MMMC Neighbourhood Plan.
You can also contact one of our Management Committee Members:
Phil Cooke, Kathryn Davies, Janet Graves, Hilda Heald, Mary Heijbroek, Ann Papageorgiou, Becky Senior, Ann Vernon-Haden, Malcolm Allan,
Lost and found
Do you recall a family called SPINK with a daughter SUZANNE living on Longhurst Lane just below the memorial garden in Mellor? They were there from 1937 to 1957. I’ve had an enquiry from a son of SUZANNE. Apparently the house was called CRAIGSTED but no such name appears on the houses now.
– Bob Humphrey-Taylor
Mill Brow War Memorial
A memorial to remember the four men from Mill Brow killed during World War 1 has been constructed opposite the Hare and Hounds. The funding came via donations from locals and a generous anonymous gift, with MPS builders of Marple Bridge kindly doing the construction.
Mellor March – Sunday 10th May 2020
The Mellor March takes place each year on the Sunday of the first May Bank Holiday weekend. Please note that the Bank Holiday this year has been moved to a Friday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE day.
Plans are already underway for the next Mellor Well Dressing that is unveiled at the Church Fete on the last Saturday of June. New well dressers are always welcome with enthusiasm rather than artistic prowess the main requirement. Anyone interested can contact Anthea Nichols via the Parish Centre.
Mellor Church Diary for Christmas
Sunday 1stDecember- 6:30pm
Advent Carol Service
Saturday 14th December – 7:30pm
“A Merry Little Christmas”. Concert with Tom and Jennifer Lowe and fiends and pianist Claire Dunham
Sunday 22ndDecember – 6:30pm
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Tuesday 24th December – 4:00pm and 5:30pm Crib Services
Tuesday 24th December -11:30pm
Wednesday 25th December – 10:00am
Christmas Day Service
Peter Cunningham Memorial Concerts
Given by members of The Hallé Orchestra and friends at the Mellor Parish Centre at 7:30pm.
Tickets £12:00 available from Key Holidays Romiley, Well Chemist Marple Bridge, Harmony Décor Marple.
Monday 11th November – Sergio Castello’Lopez
Monday 9th December –
The Halle Trombones “Sliding Into Christmas”
Monday 3rd February 2020 – Rossi Quartet
Monday 9th March 2020 – Arlington Quartet
Monday 6th April 2020 – Jazz Evening
Pity the poor builders of five hundred years ago. No steel, no concrete – the main materials they had were wood and stone but they still made some very impressive buildings that have lasted over the centuries. The obvious example is cathedrals, the huge medieval structures that dominate the fifty or so towns and cities where they are located. But on a smaller scale there are many vernacular buildings that have stood the test of time. Prominent amongst these are cruck structures – houses and barns – that estate agents wax lyrical about whenever they come onto the market. But what exactly is a “cruck building”?
The structure is a simple but elegant design comprised of ‘A’ frames that go from the apex of the building down to the ground. These frames are usually constructed of curved timbers – the cruck blades – using the natural shape of the tree. More often than not, the tree is sliced long-ways down the middle so that the two sides are symmetrical. The two timbers meet at the apex and are tied together with a collar or tie-beam. Similar ‘A’ frames can be added at intervals to make a building of any desired length.
This inverted ‘V’ shape has the advantage that the roof load is carried directly to the ground. Consequently the wall frames can be made using lighter construction materials and they are held in place by the cruck frame.
The design probably evolved in Anglo-Saxon times but the technique really came into its own in the medieval period. Large halls were built in towns using this concept and a large cruck barn became a sign of an individual farm’s prosperity. Many of the largest and most substantial cruck barns were tithe barns, erected by the churches and monasteries to store the annual tithe, which was usually paid in kind. The barns could be easily divided into sections or bays and threshing would have been carried out indoors.
The design might be old but a surprising number of these buildings still survive. There are over 3000 extant in England and Wales and there are some excellent examples near us. The closest, and probably the most well-known, is the barn at Pear Tree Farm in Mill Brow. Grade II listed, it was originally a seventeenth century farm house, complete with mullion windows and a stone roof. This makes it distinctive though not unique, but what really makes it stand out is the adjacent barn. As with the main house, this has been restored and modernised but it is not difficult to envisage its original function as a barn. Local legend has it that John Wesley preached there on one of his visits though the authentication is not as reliable as Bongs.
Slightly further away is Old Clough Barn in Windlehurst Road, Marple. Like Pear Tree Farm this is part of a private property but is Grade 2 listed. It comprises a range of former farm buildings, six bays in length. These are mainly stone-built but they include elements of two timber-framed buildings. The whole structure was built to different designs at different times, quite a contrast to some of the imposing tithe barns. Another, more public, example, is Newton Hall on Duckinfield Road, Hyde.
Newton Hall is cruck-framed with three pairs of crucks and timber-framed side walls built on a stone plinth. It is rendered at the rear with a thatched roof and the building dates from 1370. This was a medieval manor house and part of a larger complex of buildings. At some stage it was encased in a brick building with a slate roof and this explains how it has survived so long but it had deteriorated badly by the 1960s. It was renovated by Sir George Kenyon in 1970 and it is now owned by a heritage trust and is open to the public on an occasional basis. It is well worth a visit if you get the opportunity.
When the distribution of the 3000 cruck buildings is plotted on a map there is a marked westerly distribution. As well as our area in north west England, other areas where these buildings are well represented include Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Mid-Wales. It is likely that the dearth of these buildings in the east and south east is explained by the scarcity of suitable large trees, particularly oak. This in turn can be accounted for by the demands of the navy. As England grew in importance as a maritime power, much of the country was denuded of large timber, starting from the main dockyards at Chatham and Portsmouth then spreading west and north.
Instead these areas developed the concept of box frames for building and, over time, these designs spread to the west and the north. Box frames used just as much timber as cruck frames but the individual staves are smaller and lighter and therefore cheaper. Box frames were particularly popular for residential buildings because they allowed the building of a second or third floor. Also, because they were a square construction, they made more efficient use of town centre space. A further advantage of box frames was the ease with which extensions could be added.
Box frames consist of wall frames connected at intervals by cross tie beams. These form convenient bays. The roof is a separate element which bears onto the external walls – in effect a lid on a box. Box frames have rafter roofs with no purlins supporting the rafter at mid span. A variant on the box frame is the Post and Truss design and this is the most common surviving timber frame building form. The important difference is that principal rafters are jointed into the tie beam and this forms roof trusses to carry purlins which in turn support the rafters and roof covering.
Cruck frames may have given way to more efficient designs but there is a certain majesty and grandeur in these huge timbers, framing a living space. We are particularly fortunate in having so many near to us so let us do all we can to support the conservation and renovation of these iconic buildings. After all, how many of us live in a building that is likely to still be around in six or seven hundred years.- Neil Mullineux
August 2019 Newsletter
What’s the latest?
Since our last newsletter, we’ve held our first Topic Group Meetings. Each included and was lead by one or more of the Management Committee. These need more people involved to express more views and ideas. We also recognise that it won’t be clear to many people what these groups are for, what they are aiming to do and how they should be run in a practical sense. For that reason we’re going to arrange a full separate meeting which will be a kind of workshop to give people lost of guidance on this and set up a template for this work. This will be sometime in early September and may require just an hour or so of your time. We’re interested in what you all have to say!
Just a reminder of the topic groups we’ve identified to start us off:
Employment: This will cover jobs and businesses, where they should be, how planning can support and encourage our local economy
Transport and Infrastructure: This is getting about and how we do that with roads, footpaths, bridleways and all the systems that support this
Housing: This includes what type of housing we should have, where, how much, what style etc
Heritage: It will also cover our historic buildings, things we want to preserve and protect in the built environment and linkages to our past.
Green Space: anything to do with the environment, from parks and greenbelt to footpaths, topography and views
These groups will discuss what we want our area to be like over the next 20 years; where are we now and what sort of land use will get us to where we want to be? We can research aspects and gather data and evidence for our ideas and policies. Again it’s worth emphasising; participants don’t need to be technical experts. You’re all experts on our area and all have local knowledge.
How can you help and get in touch?
We have asked this before but please continue to chat to your friends and neighbours about what we’re doing. Let us know if you, or anyone you make contact with, is interested in working on the Plan, maybe in a specialist area or one of particular interest. Affiliated groups can help by circulating this to their members. All this is part of how we want and need to engage everyone in the local community.
You can contact us by mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also have a look at our facebook page at MMMC Neighbourhood Plan . You can also contact one of our Management Committee Members: Phil Cooke, Kathryn Davies, Janet Graves, Hilda Heald, Mary Heijbroek, Ann Papageorgiou, Greg Pike, Becky Senior, Ann Vernon-Haden, Malcolm Allan,
A Masonic Mystery
There is much in Mellor that is ‘special’ – the views, the church, Mellor Mill – but very little that is genuinely ‘unique’. One feature that is truly unique is the Masonic grave of Thomas Brierley, an eccentric printer from Brookbottom, near Strines. A very enthusiastic, though somewhat eccentric, mason, he arranged for a gravestone to be prepared for him in anticipation of his death. Parts of the inscription were written in cipher and other parts left blank because information of the date of his death were not known when the memorial was made.
He used a very old, yet simple, cipher known as the pigpen cipher. Used by mystics as early as the sixteenth century it was later used by the Freemasons but for purely cryptic purposes. Beginning in the early 18th century, they used it to keep records of their history and their rites private and for correspondence between lodge leaders. From there some masons decided to inscribe it on their tombstones.
Thomas Brierley’s tombstone is the only one known in the UK. The tomb can still be seen against the south wall of Mellor Church though it is sadly deteriorating. Some of the letters are now eroded but we have a drawing made in 1899 by Joel Wainwright which is clear enough.
So, what does it say? Although the cipher is quite simple, Thomas used several variations on the idea to make it rather more difficult. The first line of code immediately under the name “Thomas Brierley” can be read by using these substitutions.
The second line, underneath “July 16th 1785”, uses a different configuration of substitutions:
With the third line, underneath the word “Years” he uses yet another variation, a straightforward letter substitution. However, just in case you think it is too easy, he uses different substitutions for each of the three words:
Finally, the symbols inscribed around the coffin at the base of the memorial use the first substitution shown above.
So, have you worked it out by now? I hope so. It would be a tribute to an unusual and interesting person. He died in 1854 but sadly, after his death, no one was sufficiently interested to fill in the details. perhaps it is just as well. It is a nice touch that something can remain unsolved.
For those who don’t have the patience nor the time to work out the full text, you can find the answer below.
Neil Mullineux, Marple Local History Society
Mellor Society Annual General Meeting 28th March 2019
1. Bob Humphrey-Taylor welcomed everyone and delivered apologies including those of Local Councillors who were attending a Council Meeting.
2a. The minutes of the last AGM were accepted as correct by those members at the meeting.
2b. Report of the Committee
In undertaking its role to protect and conserve the
environment and amenities of our area the Mellor Society and its committee members have been involved in the following:
Supporting the efforts of the Mill Brow residents in continuing to upgrade their local childrens play area.We have also had meetings with our Local Councillors, Environmental Officer from SMBC and concerned residents regarding vegetation spreading over Church Road and Gibb Lane and further restricting the width of these already narrow lanes. We’ve discussed interpretation board signs in the Mellor Memorial Park and repairing the road surface of Parkside, Old Hall Lane and associated areas of unsurfaced lanes near the Memorial Park.
In Summer 2016 the Committee proposed the setting up of a local Neighbourhood Plan which would give residents and those working in our area a say in the development and conservation of our area for the next 20 years. We are pleased to report that the Mellor, Marple Bridge, Mill Brow and Compstall Neighbourhood Plan achieved registration in January this year and earlier this month held its inaugural AGM. We will continue to report on the Neighbourhood Plan process in newsletters and our website and encourage people to become involved.
The Society continues to support the Walklate Trust, Royal British Legion and is a member of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
We have continued to receive support from Annandale Solutions with regard to our website costs and administration, the Parish Centre for printing and meeting room facilities and Margaret Simpson representing the Society on Remembrance Sunday. Our Local Councillors regularly attend our committee meetings and promote our issues and concerns with SMBC. We thank all the above for their efforts.
Our newsletter deliverers deserve a special mention and thanks including Alan and Kitty Watt who have “retired” from this role after many years.
The Society can’t continue without your support and we need members to serve on the committee, deliver the newsletters and contribute to your website and newsletter.
If anyone would like further information on any of the above please contact any committee member.
For the last ten years or so, all our minutes have been stored electronically. We also have six large boxes of paper records going back to the Society being formed. These paper records have never been accessed by the committee during the last ten years and we have decided to re-locate them to the records of the local history society at the Parish Centre.
2c. The cost of the annual subscription is to be maintained at £1 per member.
2d. The Hon Treasurer, Adam Stevens presented and reviewed the Society accounts. The Society’s positive cash balance at the end of December 2018 was £2,588:03. The details of the accounts were passed to the membership and M. Williams and A. Papageorgiou proposed and seconded their acceptance. This was accepted by the membership. If any member requires further details of the accounts please contact Adam Stevens.
2e. The existing committee was voted in for a further year by the membership.
2f. There was no new business brought to the meeting by the committee.
2g. A Papageorgiou’s proposal detailed in the Spring 2019 Newsletter that the Mellor Society Committee, with help from the membership, organise a Public Meeting on the subject of road safety in Mellor and Mill Brow was seconded by J Graves and accepted by the membership. (Further information on the progress to-date is given later in this newsletter).
3. The AGM was closed by the Chair and refreshments were served prior to the commencement of the Great Mellor Quiz (proceeds from which were donated to the Mellor March Fund).
Mellor Country House Charity
Our last event was the Plant sale and we wanted to say a massive thank you for all that gave us their support over the weekend. We sold even more than last year, over £21,000, which is remarkable! The new card machine for contactless payments was very popular, at one time we had a queue around the garden of people waiting to pay. Sorry, next year we will improve this for you all.
We have been successful with a funding application to the Postcode Lottery Local Fund which is to extend the rear playground area and erect a much-needed bike shed for all the many bikes our visitors use during their stay. We now have a new campaign called “Buy us a Bike” as all the bikes donated over the years are now well past their sell by dates. We are asking the community and business to help with either new bikes or if you have a bike that is no longer needed but in good repair we would be very grateful if you would consider donating it to us. We will now have somewhere secure to store them and protect them from the winter. We have had one company pay for two brand new bikes and a very generous person went all around his family and serviced five bikes before sending them to us and we are thankful for his generosity. We need bikes for all ages and any colour as long as they are roadworthy and fit for purpose. We do not have the facility to repair any donated bikes. If you can help in any way you would be making a young person very happy this summer as they will enjoy riding the bikes or scooters up and down the driveway and around the gardens with their friends.
If you want to help by volunteering if you have a couple of hours to spare perhaps doing a bit of weeding in the garden, then please do not hesitate, get in touch by ringing 0161 427 193 or popping in to have a chat with Sharon. Thank you all again for your continued support, we cannot do what we do without you, have a great summer,
Margaret Powell, Chairperson.
Mellor Country House Charity Gets Royal Recognition
Mellor Country House charity that offers holidays for those most in need, has received a Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service, the equivalent of getting an MBE.
Mellor Country House close to Marple in Stockport hosts approximately 650 people a year and up to half are children. Anyone on low income and in desperate need of a break who would otherwise not be able to afford one, is welcome to book at the house which can accommodate up to 26 people in 12 bedrooms including a disabled suite with spa bath, at any one time. People can stay up to seven nights for as little as £12 per night for adults and £6.50 for children on a self-catering basis.
Chair of the charity, Margaret Powell and house manager, Sharon Adamson, were invited to Buckingham Place to a royal garden party to celebrate their organisation’s achievement. Completely self-funding and with only one paid member of staff, the charity is run by an army of more than 40 volunteers. On receiving the award Margaret Powell said: “We’re really proud to receive this award and it’s fantastic recognition for all the time our volunteers give us to ensure this house so welcoming for our guests.
As Lord Hallam Tennyson, eldest son of the renowned poet, said at the opening of the house in 1907, he hoped “a blessing would fall on this house of rest which would invigorate not only the flagging pulse but send the light of day into a darkened heart”.
Mellor Country House is a very special place and it’s our shared passion for it which drives us, as we can really make a huge difference to people’s lives. it is down to the hard work of our team of volunteers. Sharon Adamson, who has been Mellor Country House’s house manager for more than 20 years added: “In all this time the charity has not changed its ethos and, this wish still rings true today. There’s an increasing number of people in Greater Manchester who cannot afford to put food on the table let alone have a holiday. We provide a restful, relaxing and recreational retreat for some of the region’s most vulnerable people. The historic home offers a safe, secure and uplifting environment in a stunning location. The holidays promote health and well-being and can have a lasting impact on people’s lives. While children play, parents interact and share their experiences, knowledge and sometimes even their food. This helps them to solve problems, gives them respite from often a chaotic, unstable and stressful life at home and prepares them to cope better with any difficulties that lie ahead.”
The house was purpose-built in 1907 to provide relaxing and restful breaks in the beautiful countryside of Mellor for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get away anywhere. Funds were raised by mill owners’ wives and originally intended for mill workers. The holiday home has continuously offered accommodation for the poor and vulnerable in the wider community for more than 110 years.
A stay at Mellor Country House can make a real difference to people’s lives. It can help build confidence and engender a renewed sense of purpose. When the house was opened over 100 years ago, it was designed to be an unpretentious place for working people to rest and restore their health in beautiful surroundings. This has not changed. In addition to the bedrooms, the house also has a disabled suite on the ground floor, a well-equipped shared kitchen, dining room, lounges and children’s playroom. The grounds include a secure play area for toddlers, a paved patio with barbecue, and a private lawn area with benches and seating for quiet reflection. The house is open until the 31st October 2019 then reopens on 1 March 2020.
Anyone in serious need from Greater Manchester who would like to stay at heavily subsided rates (£12 per night for an adult and £6.50 for a child) should call 0161 427 1893 or email email@example.com to check availability and book.
For more information visit https://www.mellorcountryhouse.co.uk
On August 28th volunteers from Mellor Country House will collect an engraved, commemorative crystal trophy and a certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen at a special ceremony at Gorton Monastery. They will be presented by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Paul Griffiths DL.
Mellor Country House is one of 35 Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service to be handed out to Greater Manchester voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises, in a record year. Commenting on Mellor Country House, The Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, said: “This charity is a very worthy recipient. Mellor Country House flings its doors wide open for those most in need in our county. These include individuals and families who are financially and socially disadvantaged, as well as groups with learning difficulties, mental health problems and school children from the most deprived parts of Greater Manchester. They offer a homely retreat tucked away in a beautiful part of the region, right on the edge of the peak district. With the support of volunteers, I hope they continue to offer this valuable service for another hundred years.”
Margaret Powell, Chairperson.
Speed Limits – a Health and Safety Issue
Following the proposed action recorded at the AGM a small group met on the 8th May 2019 to discuss the way forward. It was agreed that we approach local experts with specialist knowledge about road safety and planning issues to secure their support at the proposed Public Meeting. It is hoped to hold the meeting at Mellor School in the Autumn of this year and further details will be given closer to that time.
Meanwhile Councillor Allan has obtained the results of the speed monitors placed on Longhurst Lane last year. Up-ward speeds were recorded between 30th August and 6th September with the average speed being 29mph. Forty six percent of the traffic was travelling between 30 and 40mph and one percent (93 vehicles that week) were over 40mph, the fastest being 50mph. The down-ward traffic was slightly slower averaging 28mph with sixty one percent travelling between 20 and 30mph, thirty four percent travelling between 30 and 40mph and point seven percent travelling faster. Between 1,053 and 1,414 vehicles travelled up-wards daily with slightly lower numbers at weekends. Mornings tend to have more down-wards traffic and afternoons tend to have more up-ward traffic. Moor End residents held a meeting at the Oddfellows pub on 20th March to discuss their particular traffic issues especially the ineffectiveness of the 30mph speed sign in its current location.
Other Society Members attended the inaugural meeting of the WalkRide Marple Group which met at the Navigation pub on 24th April. This group is part of a Greater Manchester initiative to make roads safer and more attractive for walkers and cyclists and to encourage people to get out of their cars for health and environmental benefits.
Three of our Local Councillors have discussed the designation of Gibb Lane as a “Quiet Lane” and a report is being prepared for approval by SMBC. “Quiet Lane” designation means that walkers, cyclists and horse riders have equal rights to the road as cars. There is more information about Quiet Lanes on the CPRE website. An existing Quiet Lane in our area is the Windlehurst end of Torkington Lane.
It will be helpful if Society members can send details of any near misses and other traffic/road safety issues to the Mellor Society website. Such data will help identify dangerous areas and situations and if available before the proposed Autumn Public Meeting could be addressed at that meeting. Any correspondence will be treated as confidential. Safer roads in our area can only be achieved with your help. If you have any ideas on how this objective can be achieved and can help in any way please contact the following or the Mellor Society website. Ann Papageorgiou (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Mellor Mystery …solution
Made his Ingress
July 16th 1785
His Progress Was
And his egress
Holiness to the Lord
Unfortunately this unique feature is deteriorating over time and needs some TLC. Do we have any stonemasons who could give help and advice? Are there any Freemasons who could interest their local lodge in restoring this grave? Would anyone volunteer to weed and look after this memorial on a regular basis? Please contact www. melsoc.org.uk
Mellor Society Annual General Meeting 2019
The event will be held at Mellor Primary School commencing at 7:00 pm on Thursday 28th March 2019 and refreshments will be available during the evening.
Any business brought forward by the committee or membership will be dealt with. Business brought forward from the membership needs to be in writing to the Hon Secretary (contact details above) and in good time for the Hon Secretary to notify the membership, if necessary, prior to the meeting. To-date we have received one such proposal: “That the Mellor Society Committee, with help from Society members, organise a public meeting to be held in Mellor on the subject of road safety in the whole Mellor and Mill Brow area”. (see page 3 for further information)
We are still seeking help on the committee and with newsletter deliveries and if the Mellor Society is to continue you need to give your support.
The AGM business will again be followed by the Great Mellor Quiz and team entry forms can be obtained from Tim Lowe at email@example.comThere will be a modest team entry fee which will be donated to the Mellor March supporting cancer charities.
The Mellor March, Sunday 5thMay 2019
The main registration point for the Mellor March this year will be at the Devonshire Arms, Longhurst Lane. Registration starting at 10.00am. Walkers will be able to go up Church Road to join the March at the church. For those wanting to start on the traditional route there will be registration at Mellor School.
The March has raised over £200,000 for cancer charities. It is a circular route so people do not have to complete the full ten miles but can head for home at any point to suit their walking ability. All are very welcome to support the March.
The Eye of the STORM
1-day cultural heritage and climate change seminar Mellor, UK
On 11 December 2018 Mellor Archaeological Trust and the University of Salford hosted an admission-free seminar at the Mellor Parish Centre, close to the Mellor pilot site. The seminar focussed on the issue of climate change effects on cultural heritage in the UK and beyond. The seminar was attended by over 50 delegates including STORM partners, other local and national Cultural Heritage projects and the general public.
Speakers from STORM, including Rosmarie De Wit, Filipa Neto, Mike Nevell, Bob Humphrey-Taylor and Robert Williamson who discussed the impact of climate change on the North-West England region, the Mellor pilot site and protection of Cultural Heritage across the UK and Europe from natural and anthropogenic hazards. This combination of talks highlighted the importance of the STORM project to the UK Cultural Heritage perspective.
After a short tea and cake break guests were introduced to other similar projects that are being undertaken across the UK and Ireland. Speakers from the CHERISH project, a Wales and Ireland climate change and coastal heritage project, Louise Barker and Sarah Davies began this section with two really interesting talks. This was followed by the CITiZAN project, where Stephanie Ostrich introduced their project and gave an update on how they are helping Cultural Heritage sites respond to dynamic threats of storms and coastal erosion. Next up was David Knight from Trent and Peak Archaeology who discussed a recent project looking into the effect of climate change and flooding in the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site in Derbyshire England.
Following on from the talks and lunch break were a set of excellent tours of the Mellor Pilot site. Running parallel to one another were tours of the Old Vicarage site, led by Kirsty Whittall of the University of Salford and a tour of Mellor Mill and its history led by Bob Humphrey-Taylor of Mellor Archaeological Trust.
Following on from the Tours guests returned to the Parish Centre, where Mike Nevell from University of Salford presented, on behalf of Historic England, an interesting presentation on climate change and heritage from a UK policy perspective to really highlight the linkage between all of the projects and the creation of new policies to prevent and mitigate climate change risks. Filipa Neto of Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage finished the talks and gave a presentation that led into a discussion slot in which all speakers were positioned in a panel for a questions, answers and discussion session to cap off a great seminar.
The event was recorded live and a video is currently in production. The video will be posted on the STORM blog, YouTube and Mellor Archaeological Trust website (MATrust.org.uk) once editing has been completed. We would like to thank all guests and speakers from across the STORM project and wider for their attendance and making the day a huge success.
MELLOR & TOWNSLIFFE GOLF CLUB CELEBRATES 125 YEARS
For the past 125 years members and visitors have played golf within sight of Mellor Church. In fact when playing shots on some parts of the course, members use the church as a landmark for lining up their shots.
Golf is believed to have been played at Mellor since the 1880’s. Mellor Golf Club was founded back in 1894 on land originally owned by the famous industrialist and entrepreneur Samuel Oldknow, which became part of the Arkwright estate (the family were descendants of Richard Arkwright who invented the water frame to produce a cotton yarn suitable for warp in the 18thcentury).
The Townscliffe Golf Club whose land was adjacent to Mellor Church, was founded in 1908 and dissolved in 1920. Many Townscliffe members joined Mellor Golf Club to form Mellor & Townscliffe Golf Club. In the early days the course was 9 holes which was extended to 18 holes in 1925 in accordance with a promise made to the members of Townscliffe Golf Club at the time of the amalgamation. Six holes were lost to the war effort (1939-45) and the course was not restored to 18 holes until 1965.
The members did their bit for the war effort in inviting wounded soldiers from Brabyns Hospital to tea and a concert on 4thAugust 1915 at the clubhouse. We know that the cost of £3.3s.3d was covered by donations from the members of M&TGC. The profit of 3s.6d on the sale of photographs of the soldiers outside the clubhouse went to Brabyns Hospital and as the event was so successful a second event was held in May 1916 which comprised of a fete and putting competition!
The farm above the 10thhole next to the cross on Cobden Edge is said to have taken its name after a remark by John Welsey on a visit in 1745 who described the view as “paradise.”
In 2019 the club will host several special events including a corporate competition, the Manchester Business Cup on June 28th. Members and visitors will be testing their skills in endeavouring to tame ‘The Mellor’ hole – a par 6 measuring over 700 yards – in various competitions.
This forward thinking club is also freezing its annual £850 membership fee for the next five years until 2023. The club has teamed up with Walksfromthedoor, providing leaflets outlining three different walks from the clubhouse.
There’s no better way to sum up what the club means to so many people then to quote Pat Ward-Thomas, the Guardian’s former golf correspondent: “As one turns from the main road to the clubhouse awareness and freshness and escape is born. It is good for the soul of man to rise occasionally above his normal surrounding and look down on the world about him – few courses in England give this impression of detachment as effectively as does Mellor.”
He concludes “The final charm of Mellor awaits one on the clubhouse balcony, libations will have been earned and eyes as well as limbs may be rested, for across the garden meadows, the wooded value of the Goyt winds peacefully towards the hills.
The Lady Captain
Speed Limits – a Health and Safety Issue
Thank you to all who responded to the piece about Speed Limits in the last Mellor Society Newsletter; responses came from all areas of Mellor. While there was a general agreement that many roads in Mellor are potentially dangerous for people walking and cycling, especially school-children, as well as horse-riders, there was no consensus about the solution. Most of the 13 written responses felt that a 20mph speed limited could be helpful, but there were several concerns about how people could be convinced to drive within the limits or how these limits would be enforced; if they couldn’t, then it was pointless as the current 30mph limit (20mph near Mellor School) is frequently exceeded. A couple of people mentioned speed humps, and others felt that parked cars, although tending to slow traffic down, could be especially dangerous when parked on pavements requiring people with push-chairs or mobility scooters to go into the road. Winter evenings in either poorly or non-lit roads were mentioned as especially dangerous for children. There were several thoughtful ideas and interesting suggestions made which, hopefully, can be taken forward.
The Mellor Society Committee has discussed this issue and invited me to attend their last meeting in December at which it was agreed that:
- a) information is needed on all ‘near misses’ and ‘potentially dangerous’ incidents. In theory these should be reported to the police, but in reality they aren’t. However an email to the Mellor Society website or to myself if easier. I’ve offered to collate these. If you’re not able to email then please contact one of the committee members (addresses on page 1).
- b) a proposal be put to the next Mellor Society AGM on 28th March’19 asking that the Committee organise a public meeting with experts in the field of road safety, including from SMBC, as well as local Councillors, with the aim of clarifying what steps can be taken to reduce risks on Mellor Roads and what has worked in similar rural areas. Of course this would require input from local people who know the area and especially those who have knowledge about road safety issues.
I’m sure that most reading this agree that safety on our local roads is an issue, but this can only be taken further if people are willing to help with organising the meeting and following up any decisions taken. A solution is likely to take time and persistence but must be done before someone is seriously injured.
Ann Papageorgiou, firstname.lastname@example.org
0777 560 5062
Proposal for Mellor Society AGM on 28th March 2019
Given the response to the article about safety on Mellor Roads in issue 73 of the Mellor Society newsletter I propose that the Mellor Society Committee, with help from Society members, organise a public meeting to be held in Mellor on the subjects of road safety in the whole Mellor, Mill Brow area. The aim of the meeting would be to:
- establish that there is a consensus that ‘something’ needs to be done to make the roads in Mellor safer for people, especially children, who are walking, cycling or horse-riding.
- hear about the type of safety problems experienced by those using the roads and pavements but not in vehicles
- agree what information is required for decisions to be made on how to make the roads in Mellor safe for all users
- establish what road safety measures have worked in similar area in the UK and abroad
- learn what options are available and which are recommended or ruled out
- set out the steps which will need to be taken next
- establish a small group of interested individuals who can take the suggestions forward
MELLOR COUNTRY HOUSE CHARITY
Visitors will return on the 1stMarch with a group of adults with mental health issues who love coming to us as it is safe, and they are now familiar with all of the rooms where they stay and love the countryside. We have 11 bedrooms, 24 beds and a beautiful disabled suite with a very popular spa bath for everyone to relax in. If you know of anyone who is in desperate need of getting away and nowhere else to go because of their circumstances, please recommend us and ask them to get in touch to see availability.
Our first fundraising event this year is our annual Plant sale which is on Saturday 18thand Sunday 19thMay 10am until 4pm each day. As usual wonderful plants and a great variety of beautiful shrubs all at very reasonable prices. You can also enjoy our now famous cream teas and bacon butties. You will be able to pick up an order form for the bedding plants and hanging baskets from several places, please watch out on Face Book and our website for more details. If we have your email address you should receive an email, probably towards the middle of April which will give us time to get the orders together.
Thank you, Margaret Powell Chairperson
February 2019 Newsletter
We are delighted to confirm we have been officially “designated” as a Neighbourhood Plan. This means we can now start working on our plan! It also means we can draw up a bid for some money from the Government Fund to help with getting information and consultancy help etc.
First things first though. We are required to have an AGM, appoint our Management Committee and from them, appoint our officers. We have set our AGM for
in St Paul’s Church Hall in Compstall
starting at 2.30, over at 4.30
The notice of the AGM and nomination forms for the management committee are available on our website below. We hope to keep in place the small team who have been steering things through so far, but we need more help and are keen for maximum involvement. We need local residents to participate as much as they can, but if you’re not feeling able to be on the committee we’d love you to join one of our working groups. The time we’d need you to spend will not be onerous and you can dedicate as much or as little as suits you. What’s most important is that we have local views and knowledge built into the plan we write.
We are now in contact with the other three plans which are being written in Stockport, one almost at the very final stage, and us just starting. The other two are somewhere in between. This is hugely valuable for us in particular, and we also know that the Council are learning as they go and so we stand to gain most!
Publicity and Engagement
We’d like to ask you to help us in a very simple way. Please do chat to your friends and neighbours about what we’re doing. Tell them about the AGM and the opportunity to work in writing the plan in areas of interest. Affiliated groups can help by circulating this to their members. All this is a huge help towards spreading the communication further in the area of the Plan.
Nomination forms, new member’s details and just simple enquiries can be sent to us at
Also have a look at our facebook page at MMMC Neighbourhood Plan
The Steering Committee for the Mellor, Marple Bridge, Mill Brow and Compstall Neighbourhood Plan.
December 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to our latest update on the progress with our Neighbourhood Plan.
Our application for “designation” has now got through the initial stage and should be in front of the local Area Committee for approval this month. Assuming it passes this, we then expect it to be at the Stockport Council meeting of 17thJanuary. We hope designation is, at that stage a formality.
So at that point we’ll need to arrange an AGM to formally elect our Management Committee (up to 16 of us!) and get us going. We’d also hope to get an application for grant funding sent in to the Government department responsible. This would allow us to pay for all the minor things like room hire, communications to residents, maybe a letterbox drop as well as setting up a proper web page and commissioning studies to help our plan.
We know from contact with other plans this is the start of quite a long process, but it should be enjoyable, interesting and ultimately a good thing for our communities.
The steering group is quite small, and the active members are just a few of us. We’ll need lots of help when we get started. There is room for those who can’t commit much time but maybe want to do things from home, or just help occasionally when time permits. There’s also scope for those with a keen enthusiasm in particular areas, whether that’s one of our Topic Groups who’ll write the plan, or on the Management Committee. Here we need skills in areas such as communications, IT, marketing, Town Planning, archives and record keeping, secretarial, legal and so on. All offers of help are welcome and nothing is too much or too little. The main requirement is to be committed to the idea of a Neighbourhood Plan and to want to help us achieve this.
Publicity and engagement
We think we’ve done quite a lot of this as a steering group with no funds! However, we are hearing from people who haven’t come across us until now. Please do chat to your friends and neighbours about what we’re doing. We can send our brochure electronically to anyone who asks. To those newly affiliated organisations (of which we have more than 20) please help us by circulating this newsletter to your members. That’s a huge help towards spreading the communication further in the area of the Plan.
For those in the Marple Bridge area, you should have seen us in the brochure for Winter Wonderland and one of our team was on hand at the event, talking to interested people.
Meanwhile if you need to get in touch you can contact us on
or look at our facebook page at MMMC Neighbourhood Plan
Order your Non Drop Nordman Christmas trees from Mellor Country House Charity before the 2nd December for delivery on the 8th December or collection from the home.
Our usual very good quality, unbeatable prices and free delivery within 5 mile radius.
Enjoy the start of the season with the fresh smell of a real tree, can’t beat it to get you into the spirit of Christmas.
See you there
Mellor Church Country Fete 30thJune 2018
Andy Sokill hoisted the large St George’s flag up our new Church flagpole in readiness for a happy sunny day with Lara Combey to be crowned as Rose Queen by retiring Rose Queen Ellie Wilson overseen by Revd. Ann Hyde.
The Queens and retinue were driven up from Brabyns on an immense Unimog driven by David Watson with Debbie; followed by John Hodgson’s Tractor pulling a trailer with the Jazz band and Revd. Ann with Churchwarden Andrew Sanders on straw bales. This was a first for Ann, as was blessing of the stunning Well Dressing commemorating the RAF. We were pleased to have Rachel Collier from the RAF to join us.
Rose Queen Ellie has spent the last year organising many entertaining community events to raise money for Young Minds Charity, with her retinue, Zoe, Honor, Molly Burrows, Hermione and Molly Scott.
Rose Queen Lara with her retinue, Amy and Abby Norbury, Beth Holton, Bethany Tadikonda, Daisy Henderson, Eve Brady, Ellie Britton, George and Harriet Maxwell. The young ladies looked gorgeous in dark blue dresses with pink ribbons and the little ones with white dresses with pink ribbons.
Most excitement came when a teddy with parachute landed in the top of a tree.
Sally Maltby’s grandaughter said “I want my teddy back” Chris Mann said “I want my parachute back”, whereupon Hero of the fête was dad – Matt, who after many unsuccessful attempts climbed the tree to get teddy down to much applause.
The Maypole this year was organised by Tom Lowe with Clare Jackson on violin, with the Rose Queen and pupils of Mellor School dancing around.
Punch and Judy under the watchful eye of Ian Dayes was operated by Sam Crowther and Tobin Rose.
Another highlight was the brand new Human Fruit Machine ordered by Helen Kennedy from Peter Williams.
We were glad to have Anthea Nicholls back this year on Teddy Tombola and Sue MacAllister in the WEF tent with jewellery etc. and Catherine Starling on Toy Tombola.
There was a corner with a wedding VW campervan together with an “e type” Jag and two Morgan cars.
Ray with his Dog Agility kept everyone entertained , as did Bubble Man.
Vivien Ayres donated a guess the weight cake – beautifully decorated with a maypole and won by worthy winner Janet Dixon.
Lynda and Cath had a record year on Bottle tombola. The bar sold 1000 pints. There were quality plants, beef burgers, refreshments, preserves, sweets, cakes, biscuits, for sale and games to play and drums to beat.
Otherwise, things were pretty much the same as last year.
A huge thank you to all who helped before, during and after the Fete; the sponsors , raffle prize givers and all those who attended and supported it in so many different ways.
Speed limits – a Health and Safety issue.
Over the years there has been concern about speed and safety on the roads of Mellor. I’m aware of at least two local petitions for a 20mph speed limit on specific roads, and of letters sent to the Council and MPs. Other than a section of Longhurst Lane near Mellor School, nothing has altered.
This situation needs to change before there is a serious accident – bolting horses and stable doors come to mind. Of particular concern is the section of Longhurst Lane from above Mellor Sports Club to Mellor Rec, with children walking and cycling to school and pedestrians almost impossible to see on winter evenings. Of equal concern is Gibb Lane with the large number of vans rushing to deliver goods to the Linnet Clough and the Golf Course competing with walkers, cyclists, horse riders, joggers and many groups of children on their way to the Scout Camp. Parts of Moor End Road are also worrying, as are Hollins Lane, Ley Lane and Mill Brow through to Hollywood, again with horses, walkers, pedestrians and cyclists alongside cars and agricultural traffic.
What do all these road have in common? First, they are old routes, starting off as narrow rural tracks. Second, they are residential areas, or lead to communities, and have considerably more traffic now than 50 years ago. Third, they lack any pavement in the narrower sections – presumably because they are narrow! Fourth, vehicles often have to slow down or stop to pass each other. Fifth, most of these roads are winding and have limited visibility. Sixth, all these roads have the standard 30mph speed limit.
The TfGM website states that, together with its ten constituent Councils, they are developing a Greater Manchester Cycling and Walking Strategy which will: ‘set out how we will make it easier and safer for people to cycle and walk in Greater Manchester’. In 2015 the Transport Safety Commission* recognised that some road users feel vulnerable, regardless of statistics, and recommended that making ‘active travel walking and cycling less risky and so more attractive would have major health and environmental benefits’.
There is much talk these days about pollution, well-being and keeping active by walking, cycling and jogging more and using the car less. The Council’s web site lists the benefits of children walking and cycling to school and encourages them to do so. However, if people are to be more active, they need to do so safely.
I’m therefore proposing that the Mellor Society supports a united approach for a 20mph speed limit on all Mellor roads withstreet lighting but withoutpavements. Think which roads, or sections of roads, this would involve near you. What do you think? This would exclude isolated roads such as Shiloh, Chatterton and Bogguard, but include the roads mentioned earlier.
A speed limit is proposed because other traffic calming methods, such as road humps, are generally not popular with local residents, besides being more expensive.
What next? If you are concerned about traffic speed and safety, or have campaigned about this in the past, then please make your views known to the Mellor Society via its website (melsoc.org.uk/committee). Likewise, if you have any comments or opinions on this topic we would be interested to hear them too.
Providing this proposal has sufficient support in principle, it could then be included in the Neighbourhood Plan for Mellor, Marple Bridge, MillBrow and Compstall area (email@example.com). Once agreed in a local referendum the Council has a legal obligation to follow a Neighbourhood Plan. Given the many official policy documents linking road safety and health I’m sure that, with sufficient support, we can make it happen this time. Ann Papageorgiou – June 2018
*UK Transport Safety – who is responsible? March 2015
Mellor Society Annual General Meeting 2018
- Apologies: M Williams, G Marsh, D Cole
2a. Approval of minutes of the previous AGM: proposed by B Lazenby and seconded by S Cunliffe and agreed by all attending.
2b. Report of the Committee 2018
The committee meets 6 times a year to maintain the fabric of the society and action their and members concerns about the environment and amenities in Mellor and Mill Brow. We are supported by our local SMBC Councillors Annette Finnie, Malcolm Allan and Geoff Abell who take turns as ex-officio members of the committee.
We report on our activities in the newsletter and on our website.
During the past year we have continued to make donations to Mellor School library, the Royal British Legion, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Adam Stevens will provide more details in his report
The committee’s main activity this year has been to continue to promote a Neighbourhood Plan for our area and this has now expanded to cover Marple Bridge and much of Compstall. It is now designated as the Mellor, Marple Bridge, Mill Brow and Compstall Neighbourhood Plan.
Not a Mellor Society Committee responsibility, the Neighbourhood Plan group has its own Steering Committee which is holding a Launch event this coming Saturday, 24 March’18 at Ludworth Womens Institute Hall, Lower Fold 2:00 till 4:30. The purpose is to present its objectives to the wider community, apply for registration with SMBC and then be able to obtain funding to develop the project. It is an opportunity for everyone in the community to register their interest and state what is important to them for the continued development of our area over the next 20 years. The eventual output from the community, utilising the Neighbourhood Plan process, will form part of our Boroughs planning legislation.
Several years ago we publicised a society member’s project to secure 20mph speed limits on some of our local roads. A Papageorgiou is currently seeking support/local interest on 20mph speed limits on local roads with no footpaths but having street lighting. If anyone wishes to support such a campaign please contact Ann or any Mellor Society Committee Member.
Ilona, our membership secretary has had to resign from the committee as she has recently moved out of the area. Margaret Simpson has again represented the membership at the wreath laying on Remembrance Sunday and Val Wallace continues to print our newsletters at the Parish Centre. Annandale Solutions is again sponsoring and hosting our website and the Friends of Mellor Parks turn out regularly to maintain the Memorial Garden and park in association with SMBC. I would like to express thanks on behalf of the committee and membership to all those mentioned and also to our newsletter deliverers and subscription collectors.
I am pleased to report that Maggie Williams, who cannot be here this evening, has volunteered to join the committee. If there are others who can help delivering newsletters, wish to serve on the committee or require further information about any of the evenings formal proceedings please contact me.
Also, if you have anything of local interest that you wish to be included in our newsletters and website please contact I Davies.
2c. The cost of annual subscription is to be maintained at £1 per member.
2d. Presentation of the Society Accounts and review by the Financial Secretary:
A Stevens presented the accounts in detail handing out copies of the details to members.
Total expenditure for 2017 was £740:15 with income from the membership of £1031:60 for the same period. The total positive cash balance as at 31 December’17 is £2,200:06.
If any member requires further details please contact A Stevens. B Lazenby and C Garlick proposed and seconded that the accounts be accepted and all present agreed.
2e. With the exception of the Membership Secretary who has moved out of our area all existing committee members plus M Williams offered themselves for election. This was accepted by all attending.
2f. There was no business brought to the meeting by the Committee.
2g. There was no business brought to the meeting by the Hon Secretary on behalf of the Membership.
- The AGM was closed by the Chair and refreshments were served prior to the commencement of the Great Mellor Quiz (proceeds from which were to be donated to the Mellor March Fund).
Friends of Mellor Parish Centre
Forthcoming events in September include a talk on Architecture of Marple or a Raw Silk Jazz Evening.
In October there will be a Fashion Show and a Jen and Tom Lowe Concert accompanied by Claire Durham on piano.
During December there will be a Christmas Quiz.
All the above events are still at the planning stage and further details will be published in the “Friends” newsletter when available.
We’ve promised to keep you up to date following your much appreciated interest in this initiative.
As you know, we have a steering committee in place to take us through the early stages. The committee meets monthly and is now focussed on achieving registration of the Forum along with the Plan area. This has to be done through Stockport Council and, as explained at our launch meeting, there is a formal application process we have to follow.
We’ve set up some very small sub groups to get next steps in place:
Two of the team are working on this and will aim to have it completed by mid-July. We’re told the processing of this will take around 3-4 months. It has to be formally approved by the Marple Area Committee and then by a full meeting of Stockport Council. These meetings take place only every 6 weeks or so.
Contact with Schools
We are very keen to engage parents and our younger citizens. If we’re successful in getting a plan adopted, then school pupils will be affected – the plan life could be 20 years!
Contacts with Businesses
Again, a couple of colleagues are working on ensuring we engage local employers, who also have a say in the Plan. Some will be local residents too, but many will not – even if they live close by in Marple or Romiley for example.
Contact with Community Groups
We now have a list of registered groups, and many have been contacted but we need to make sure we go as widely as we can. Groups who want to participate, contribute ideas or just stay in touch will be “affiliated” and be involved just like residents.
Brochure, Publicity and Engagement
We’ve drafted a short brochure which explains what we’re aiming to do and how and covers how people get in touch with us. This is attached! It will be on our stalls at events such as the wonderfully successful Compstall Royal Wedding Fete where we found it really useful to meet locals who haven’t yet heard about the MMMC or who already had some views on what should be in the Plan. We aim to do the same at Mellor Fete (30 June’18).
We’re still interested in anyone who feels they have skills to contribute or is ready to convert their interest to being active with the Committee. Skills we’ll need include planning, marketing, communication, archiving, finance, secretarial and much more.
Meanwhile if you need to get in touch you can contact us on
or look at our facebook page
The Steering Committee for The Mellor, Marple Bridge, Mill Brow and Compstall Neighbourhood Plan.
Friends of Mellor War Memorial Garden
This year has been a tough one for the gardeners. The ground is currently like iron and weeding is almost impossible. One effect of the unusual weather we have had so far this year, is that horsetails are growing in abundance. One bed, in particular, is full of it. We tried to control them by laying some weed suppressant. The result was that they just grew through the material. Now we are considering grassing over this bed so that regular mowing will exhaust the extensive root system of this weed.
A further problem, that we think is weather related, concerns the perennial convolvulus in the area where the war memorial is situated. Many of them have died so leaving large patches of earth and emerging horsetails!
There are, however, successes. The rose bed is coping admirably with this dry spell and the ‘wild’ bed behind the roses looks a picture.
The band of volunteer gardeners meet from 10.00 a.m. until 12.00 on the second Saturday of the month throughout the year and on Thursday afternoons in the summer months. If you have a few spare hours and would like to help please contact the Chair or Hon. Secretary of Mellor Society.