Autumn 2015

Mellor Open Gardens 2016
Mellor Open Gardens, to be held on 22nd May 2016, promises to be bigger and better than ever! Twenty-four gardens will be on display, including five in Mill Brow. Seven lovely gardens are totally new to the event, whilst two are returning after being absent in 2012. For the first time two gardens in Clement Road will be shown.

Preparations are now well under way, and details of the Organising Group will be found in due course on the event website

As always, the Organising Group greatly value the support of local residents, and Meg Barley (01614274370, would be glad to hear from anyone who can volunteer to assist for a couple of hours on the day.

The Organising Group welcome sponsorship to assist with meeting the expenses of the event.

Any resident involved in a local business who might wish to take advantage of a significant marketing opportunity is asked to contact Peter Oldham ( 0161 427 5939, )

William Wragg MP
London Mayor, Boris Johnson, officially opened the new office of our MP William Wragg. The office is on Stockport Road opposite the Regent Cinema and is open from Monday to Friday 9.30am to 6.00pm. The Office Manager is Ryan Stinger.
Pupils from the Mellor School Parliament attended the opening and Prime Minister, Isobel Hannaford, asked Boris the question on everyone’s lips “Do you want to be Prime Minister ?” The reply was very diplomatic saying that there was no vacancy at present.
(When the time comes – Isobel or Boris ? – Vote Isobel).

Mellor Community Choir
The Mellor Community Choir came together originally to sing in a Christmas charity event in Mellor Church. It now a well-established choir and 21 of its members are going to perform in the Royal Albert Hall.
The Director of Music of the choir is Mary Hoult who over many years has been an active supporter of cancer charities. She was approached by Cancer Research UK to ask if the choir would take part in the ‘Festival of Brass and Voices’ to be held at the Albert Hall in November. The concert brings together 1000 voices and the Grimethorpe and Cory bands, two of the best brass bands in the country. Regional rehearsals have been held in the surprisingly magnificent Huddersfield Town Hall. The concert programme is varied with a patriotic flavour.
On the Sunday after the concert there is a Singalong at The Scoop, an open-air venue on the Thames Embankment near Tower Bridge.
Back in Mellor there will be an opportunity to hear the choir when they perform at Mellor Church on Saturday 30th January in concert with Tom and Jennifer Lowe, brilliant professional singers both born in the village. Tom was a member of the pop group North and South before moving to perform in musicals in the West End and later on Broadway while sister, Jennifer is an opera singer in Berlin.

Marple Lime Kilns
Samuel Oldknow was in many ways the Founding Father of Marple. When he arrived in Mellor in 1787 to build his enormous Mellor Mill on the Derbyshire side of the River Goyt the population distribution in the area was very different to what we know today. Mellor had roughly three time the population of Marple where there were just a few farmsteads with the local industry focused in Mellor.
Mellor Mill employed up to 550. The majority of the mill workers were women and children and many were brought in from outside the area. So, with little work for the menfolk at the mill other solutions had to be found.
Samuel was also a keen agriculturalist and in particular a proponent of spreading lime in the fields to improve soil quality by breaking down the clays. As any local gardener will know, we do have plenty of clay lurking just below the surface of our gardens!
Samuel had quarries, coal pits, farms and forestry which went some way towards occupying the men. He decided to also get into the lime burning business. To facilitate that he promoted the canal being brought into Marple from Buxworth Basin. A tramway was built from Dove Holes, where the limestone was being quarried, down to Buxworth canal basin and from there the limestone carried on its journey to Marple by barge. On arrival in Marple, in the area of what we now call “Top Lock” the limestone was off loaded into a series of lime burning kilns. Once burnt the resulting lime powder was transported off to be used in both the agricultural and construction industries. And so as Samuel’s workforce grew so did Marple to provide the infrastructure to support them.
As part of the, HLF supported, Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy project there are ongoing exploratory works at the Lime Kilns to investigate the possibility of eventually presenting some or all of the remains for public viewing.

Friends of Mellor Parish Centre
Our final event of 2015 is:
Saturday 19th December
‘Figgy Pudding’ 7.30 pm Mellor Parish Centre. An evening of music and readings for Christmas, with mulled wine and mince pies. A new programme for 2015. Tickets £16.
Booking for Friends opens Mon 9th Nov Public booking Mon 16th Nov
Tickets from Angela Stead (0161 427 3571) or the Parish Centre office (0161 484 5079)
A date for your diary : Tom and Jennifer Lowe with Mellor Community Choir will once again be entertaining us in Mellor Church on Saturday January 30th 2016. Booking will open Monday Dec 7th for Friends.
To become a Friend of Mellor Parish Centre contact Christine Dutson on 0161 427 3775 or You will receive advance booking for all events and a regular newsletter. All subscriptions and profits from our events are used for the maintenance of our Parish Centre, widely used by many in the community.

Mellor Country House Charity
Orders are being taken fabulous Nordman non-drop Christmas Trees at great competitive prices with Free Delivery.
To pre-order phone Sharon on 0161 427 1893.
Thank you for your continued support.

Friends of Mellor Parks
Mellor War Memorial Garden
The well used park is kept tidy and colourful by volunteer work parties and workers from the Council. There have been plantings of Alliums, Convolvulus cneorum and Roses, as well as transplanting some irises and other plants from Nuala James’s garden. The Liquidamber’s autumn colours have been stunning this year – it was planted two years ago.
Over the last few months there has been a monthly working party every 2nd Saturday from 10 to 12. Attendance has varied from 1 to 7 people turning up with spade and secateurs or whatever weapon you choose to attack the plants with.
Last time we had children of 10, 6 and 4 years who were really helpful in cutting back perennials and squashing the green wheely bin contents down.
We like to have refreshments at 11 which has varied from proper coffee to Aldi decaff, with biscuits! Occasionally Italian biscotti or Libby’s almond croissant – but you have to be lucky to get one of those…..
The Council Officers have kept the lawn well mowed, the hedges cut and paths clear. They also take rubbish away when we ask and they prune the larger plants. We have asked them to cut the hedges down to five feet. Also the roadside hedge is kept trim, to allow vehicles to have good visibility of Longhurst Lane.
Over a year ago we asked the Mellor Society Committee to organise the replacement of the unsightly yellow bin on the railings and the noticeboard on the gate by the War Memorial. As these have not yet been moved a further request will be made to SMBC by the committee.
The Rose bed planted in memory of Caroline Bell has proved challenging. It was lovingly watered when necessary by Anthea Mason, our unsung heroine. However, the soil is very poor in nutrients so we tried chicken pellets. We are now taking up Ruth Watson’s kind offer of horse muck. We will be arranging transport soon – any volunteers to help too?
Around the War Memorial the large round Alliums flowered well but oddly at different heights. The silvery underplanting Convolvulus cneorum is very effective and the Lavender continues to look good. The topiary has been clipped – well done Hilary Humphrey-Taylor!
In the main park we have two empty beds. Diana Cole has a plan to plant a ‘stumpery’ (ferns and tree stumps!) for the top one, which we hope to install over the winter.
In August and September two large patches of mushrooms appeared. They could be “cultivated mushroom”- Agaricus bisporus”. However, it is best to leave them unpicked. We were also interested to find out which Liverworts we had. Tony Smith from New Mills Nature Society assessed them and says we have two types, though nothing special. We have got 20 different mosses in the gardens though!!! He advised letting them grow on the path stone edges and tree stumps. Please ask Maggie Williams if you would like to see a copy of the report.
The park is well used by all ages and we have had positive comments, which is pleasing.
It would be great if we had more help, of any age or ability, on the second Saturday of the month for an hour or so between 10 and 12. No gardening knowledge is necessary as there are always varieties of tasks to do. We are always open to ideas if you have any!

Best wishes for Christmas
and the New Year from
The Mellor Society Committee