Spring 2020

Shaw Cairn

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. 

Much more detail of our local cultural heritage and the work done in rediscovering Mellor Mill can be found on the website of the Mellor Archaeological trust:       https://www.mellorheritage.org.uk

Neil Mullineux

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.

William Heijbroek


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.

Greg Pike

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

email: mellorcountryhou@btconnect.com

website www.mellorcountryhouse.co.uk

Thank you Margaret Powell


Mellor Parish Centre

Forthcoming events:

“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.

Fund Raising

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.

Big Thanks.

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


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  lowe_tim@sky.com or 0161 449 5935

There will be a modest team entry fee which will be donated to the Mellor March supporting cancer charities.



Autumn 2019

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 –

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!!

Bob Humphrey-Taylor

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 mmmcplan@gmail.com or contact Greg Pike at gregpike29@gmail.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.

Well Dressing
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
Midnight Mass
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

Cruck Structures
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

Summer 2019

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 mellorcountryhou@btconnect.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 (lakispap@hotmail.com)

A Mellor Mystery …solution
Thomas Brierley
Made his Ingress
July 16th 1785
His Progress Was
(blank) Years
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

Spring 2019

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 lowe_tim@sky.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.

Neil Mullineux



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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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, lakispap@hotmail.com

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

Ann Papageorgiou



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

Saturday 9thMarch,

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.


Summer 2018

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.

Maggie Williams.


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 (mmmcplan@gmail.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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Hilary Humphrey-Taylor

Spring 2018

Mellor Society Annual General Meeting 2018
The Constitution of the Mellor Society requires that we hold an Annual General Meeting to discuss the business of the Society directly with the membership. The business 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 above) 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 currently vacant and if the Mellor Society is to continue your committee needs your support.
Refreshments will be available during the evening. The event will be held at Mellor Primary School commencing at 7:00 pm on Thursday 22nd March 2018.
This year the AGM business will be followed by the return of the Great Mellor Quiz and team entry forms can be obtained from Tim Lowe at lowe_tim@sky.com or 0161 449 5935
There will be a modest team entry fee which will be donated to the Mellor March supporting cancer charities.

The Mellor March
The annual walk that supports cancer charities takes place this year on Sunday 6th May – the first May Bank Holiday weekend. It is a ten mile walk but on a circular route so people can head for home at any stage. It basically follows the Mellor boundary taking moorland and wooded valleys with a stop at the Cow Shed Café approximately half way round. The March has raised almost £200,000 and as well as supporting cancer causes it promotes an appreciation of the wonderful scenery around Mellor.

War Memorial Park
Next WORK PARTY as usual, second Saturday of the month, MARCH11th, APRIL 8th,
Time 10-12. Coffee at 11. Yummy cake keeps appearing too!
Mark the Park ( Solutions SK Ltd) has completed an excellent job of pruning the scrubs, including making the 2 acuba bushes into a cat!
The volunteers are looking forward to seeing all the bulbs flower that were planted from Wayne at Greenspace.
The carpet of snowdrops and cyclamen under the yew are lovely at present.

A plea from a local councillor for all car drivers to park with consideration for others. If a pavement is blocked by cars someone pushing a pram or children have to step out onto the road with obvious danger. Parking cars on the brow of hill obstructs vision for other drivers.
Please show common sense when parking.

Mellor Well Dressing
The Mellor Well Dressing team will be meeting in the near future to plan the dressing for 2018 which will be mounted on the day of Mellor Church Fete in June. Anyone interested in being involved in the dressing or even the more muscular work of moving the boards please contact the Parish Centre.

Walklate Educational Foundation
The Walklate Educational Foundation dates back to 1639 and now supports developments at Mellor School and makes grants to students from the parish going into higher education or vocational training. The Foundation is going to support the refurbishment of the school library and would be keen to hear from anyone who might like to give financial support to this project. Details via the school website.

Mellor Country House
We are opening our wonderful charity again on 1st March to welcome our visitors for 2018 so they can enjoy a real break in the country side.
We had a good year last year including a great success on our first Ladies Super at the home. Everyone had a really fun evening and we hope to repeat the event this year. Christmas Delights at the home also went well as did the Winter Wonderland in the Bridge. We again sold fabulous non-drop Nordman Christmas trees which are becoming increasingly popular. Both these events raise much needed funds for the home to help pay the bills and subsidise the breaks for our visitors.
Our community has been very generous to us last year donating clothes, food, toiletries, and single bedding which has made a huge difference to us so thank you to you all. We are still in need of volunteers to help us with gardening and small handyman jobs around the house. Volunteers are also needed to be part of a team to manage a kiosk at the Etihad Stadium at the home football games of Manchester City Football Club. We need more helpers with our Plant Sale event as it has grown so much over the past couple of years. Extra people are needed not only on the days of the sales but in the week leading up to it. This year our Plant Sale is to be held on Saturday 19th May and Sunday 20th May 10am until 4pm. If you can spare a couple of hours to help (no heavy lifting) please do not hesitate to get in touch on 0161 427 1893. Even if you cannot be hands on but have good ideas about funding or administration please contact us as we would love to hear from you. Your help whether it is financially or giving time is always gratefully received. We achieve so much it is uplifting and heart-warming, giving us the encouragement to carry on. A big THANK YOU from myself and all at the home and let us make 2018 an even better year for Mellor Country House.
Margaret Powell
Chairperson and Fundraiser

Friends of Mellor Parish Centre
The Friends of Mellor Parish Centre have had a change of committee members at their recent Annual General Meeting. Four sitting committee members have been joined by five new members and our thanks go to all committee members for their efforts to maintain our valuble village resource. The committee has been responsible for arranging the many fundraising events over the years providing a wealth of varied, entertaining and informative functions. The Parish Centre is also host to various social groups and available for private functions.

Forthcoming Events
March 3rd at 7:30pm – Jennifer Lowe and Claire Dunham present: Dream a Little Dream.
An evening of Ella Fitzgerald songs from composers including George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Rogers & Hart.Tickets £10 available from The Parish Centre 01614845079 or Margaret Lowe 01614276589 mob 07765704077
Bar and nibbles available. There will also be a raffle.

March 17th Bridge Drive. Margaret Oldham is organising this event. Tickets are already for sale. Margaret Oldham’s phone number is; 427 5939 mob; 07544377419
End of April/May
Local art historian Michael Howard will give a talk on LS Lowry. This will most likely be on a Thursday evening. Details of cost, date, time and exact content will be available soon from the Parish Centre.

June 18th George Hoult’s cello recital accompanied by John Wilson on piano. Details yet to be confirmed, but put the date in your diaries. It is not to be missed!

You Don’t Have To Be a Master Chef
Marple Luncheon Club has been going for over 50 years, serving hot, homemade meals to the elderly residents of Marple. The food is prepared by volunteers and is run by the Royal Voluntary Service. It takes place in the Senior Citizen’s Hall every Tuesday and Thursday at 12pm and a 3 course meal costs only £4. Recently there has been a drop in numbers of both volunteers and diners. Sally Connor, who has just taken over the running of the Club said, “We are short of help and desperate to keep the service going. Volunteers are in a rota and cook just once a month and it is very rewarding to see how much our Senior Citizens enjoy a hot meal and companionship. We would also love to see more elderly people joining us for lunch.”
For details on volunteering or joining the lunch club, please contact Sally Connor on: 07904206071.

A Local Neighbourhood Plan
The Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity to set out a vision for our area for the next 20 years, giving voice to the views and feelings of local people. Our objective is to consult with residents and together use local knowledge and a sense of what needs to be held on to as well as what needs to change, in order to really make a difference. We aim to have sustainable local policies for our area covering housing, employment, transport, leisure, health and wellbeing, community facilities and the countryside.
We have already started a “Forum” with people from Compstall, Marple Bridge, Mill Brow and Mellor already involved. Anyone who lives in the Plan area can join this – there’s no membership fee or any commitment to do anything other than give your views and support the idea of a Plan. However, if you’d like to be more involved, this would be welcome.
At our next public event we’ll explain what the proposed area is, ask for people’s views and start to gather ideas and thoughts about what you’d like to see in the plan. See the back page of this newsletter.

Autumn 2017

Message from Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Lead for Planning and Housing, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett:
Last year the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, along with your local Council carried out a consultation on the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) – the plan to provide land for jobs and new homes, which we believe will help make Greater Manchester be one of the best places in the world.

You, along with 27,000 other people across Greater Manchester responded to that consultation – and we thank you for taking the time to respond. We have now published those responses on our website.

These can now be viewed at www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/gmsf

Leaders from across Greater Manchester want to do justice to these responses and have subsequently agreed to a new timetable for the next draft of the framework. Through an open and transparent process, the second draft will take into account concerns raised previously. Work will continue on this in the coming months, and the new plan will be published in June 2018. This will be followed by a 12-week public consultation period.

The redrafted spatial framework will aim to make the most of Greater Manchester’s brownfield sites and reduce the impact on greenbelt – as that was the major concern raised through the consultation from local residents.

The amended plan will ensure we have the right mix of homes across the city region, including truly affordable housing to allow young people to find a home in communities where they want to live. This is really important as the framework is a huge part of securing the future success of Greater Manchester.

We will continue to listen to and engage with the public as the new draft of the plan is developed, as well as keeping people updated on progress. We want to communicate with you in a clear and consistent way – so to do this, we will primarily be using online methods to send regular updates to people about the development of the plan.

If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so by visiting www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/gmsf

We want people to feel engaged, involved and able to participate in the process, we hope that you will continue on this journey with us.
The spatial framework is a strategic plan for all of Greater Manchester, and is a key part of making the Greater Manchester strategy work, as well as helping our economy grow. Districts are also producing individual local plans alongside the spatial framework. To ensure that you are informed and engaged we will share your contact details with the local planning authority who will add you to their consultation database. If you don’t want your details to be shared please let us know at: gmsfconsultation@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk
Thank you again for your involvement so far, and we hope you continue to remain engaged with this process.

Andy Burnham and Paul Dennett

The Marple Area Committee
The Marple Area Committee meets every six weeks in the Senior Citizens Hall in the Memorial Park. The six Marple councillors attend and all local residents are welcome.
The Committee is very keen to encourage greater community involvement and is changing the format of the meetings to allow for more interaction. A new stand-alone website has been developed at http://www.stockportgov.uk/mac . The meetings will also be broadcast live on webcam and can be accessed through the same site.

Anyone wishing to get updates on local issues can register with stephen.fox@stockport.gov.uk

This is a very encouraging campaign by our Councillors to make sure that local democracy supports our community.

Keeping Our Villages Tidy
SMBC have engaged Keep Britain Tidy to work with them on a general litter and recycling campaign. SMBC Public Realm Officer has visited our area and been made aware of various issues (including dog fouling) and Knowle Road and Longhurst Lane will be one of the first targets for the campaign.

A Local Neighbourhood Plan
In recent issues of our newsletter we have made residents aware of the Neighbourhood Plan process for giving residents a say in the development of their village(s) and surrounding area over the next twenty years.
A public meeting was held at the time of our AGM and reported on in our Summer Newsletter. There is currently a group of interested residents, fifty in number, some of whom have formed a steering committee. This comprises Mellor Society members, residents and representatives from Marple Bridge and Compstall Associations and local Councillors to kick-start the Neighbourhood Plan Process.
The name of the Neighbourhood Plan is to be Mellor, Mill Brow, Marple Bridge and Compstall Neighbourhood Plan and a map is currently being drafted to cover the area including Mill Brow, Ludworth and part of Strines. The Mellor Society is currently publicising the activities of the group through our newsletter while Marple Bridge and Comstall Associations will be contacting their residents directly until a dedicated website/social media platform can be established.
As a starting point the steering group has been considering what is important to us in the above area using guidelines in established documents. The list currently includes, in no particular order, the following Policy Themes:
Employment, Town Centres and Retail, Housing, Urban Design, Historic Environments, Transport, Natural Environment, Health, Sustainability, Social Care, Cultural, Development, Education.

Not all these themes may be relevant to every Neighbourhood Plan and there may be other relevant issues not included above.
These could include:
Leisure and Recreation and Civil Society ( NGO`s, Faith Groups, Clubs and Societies etc.)

The Marple Neighbourhood Forum operate with the following Working Groups:
Town Centre and Retail, Pride in Marple, Getting Around, Community Space, Housing and Development, Heritage and Tourism, Employment and Education.

Please let us know what is important to you regarding the above, and/or if you wish to help on the steering committee, via the Contact the Committee facility on the Committee page of the Mellor Society website www.melsoc.org.uk or via any Mellor Society Committee Member.

We will pass any comments onto the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee.

Breakfasts for Bellringers
They gave you a Bit of Old Rope and Ring Me Sunshine, now the entrepreneurial campanologists of Mellor Church are publishing a book of breakfast recipes. After ringing the bell ‘Old Paddy’ on a Sunday morning they enjoy a hearty breakfast and the book, due to be released at the end of November, includes their favourite nosh.
Available from the Parish centre or online after December 7th from www.sycamoremp.co.uk

Friends of Mill Brow
In September the Friends of Mill Brow organised a work party to tidy up the verges in the village. People of all ages turned up and worked hard to cut back overgrown verges, clear balsam, nettles and brambles and make the place more in keeping with the lovely country village it is. Later in the Autumn the team will be planting bulbs, donated by the Council, in the verges which will give a colourful show next Spring.

War Memorial Park
Do you have any spare London Pride saxifrage plant or spare used compost from tomato growbags or compost from hanging baskets that can be put in the middle of the sedum bed? Last week volunteers put down some textile to wage war on the mares tails and now have partially covered it with compost and London Pride. But they need more.
If you are able to help, you can scatter the compost thinly on the textile or leave it nearby. The London Pride could be left on the textile too.
Glad to say SMBC men have done a great job keeping lawns mown, paths swept and volunteer gardener’s rubbish taken away. Last week they scraped moss off the paths and pruned the lavender.
The roses still look good. Probably because over the summer every week on a Tuesday at 4.30 one or two or maybe even six people have come and dead headed and weeded.
SMBC have given us 100 red tulip bulbs to put around the War Memorial . Also 100 crocus, 100 snowdrop and 100 tete a tete daffodil bulbs which are going to be scattered and plant in the stumpery bed.
The red wings have just arrived from Scandinavia in the last week of October and can be seen in the yew trees. They are like a thrush with eye liner and go zeep zeep and of course red underwing.
The monthly work party and cake eating is as usual on the second Saturday of the month between 10am and midday. Anyone is welcome to help as a volunteer and it is not essential to have a knowledge of gardening.


Summer 2017

‘Thirty somethings’
In days gone by when a computer was the size of a small car and the telephone an immovable object in the hall, Mellor was fortunate to have a large number of clubs, societies and community events with no shortage of volunteers to run them. Today there are still a large number of clubs, societies and community events but generally it is the same people still running them no longer thinking their children might enjoy the activities but now grandchildren or even great grandchildren.
Where are the ‘thirty somethings’  willing to take over these volunteer roles.
Starting with the Mellor Society there is a need for new young blood and most local committees would offer the same plea.
To paraphrase JFK – ask not what Mellor can do for you, what can you do for Mellor ?

Mellor Well Dressing
The annual Mellor Well Dressing this year took inspiration from the local canals. The process involves covering the boards with clay, pricking out an outline of the design and them decorating with natural materials. The whole process takes exactly one week. Local artist Louise Bradshaw produced the outline picture and a team of volunteers worked throughout the week proceeding Mellor Church Fete. The Vicar of Mellor, Rev’d Alex Sanders blessed the well as part of the Fete activities. Volunteers to join the well dressing team are always welcome.

One Voice Concert
Children from Mellor Primary School joined over 1000 school children taking part in the One Voice Concert in the Bridgewater Hall two weeks after the Manchester bomb. One Voice brings together people of all faiths to speak the message of tolerance and peace. The new Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham introduced the concert and thanked children, parents and teachers for still taking part in the concert saying that their presence gave the message that the terrorists will never win. Mellor Primary School was a driving force behind the concert. The fight against terror has to start with education.

The Mellor March 2017
The Mellor March was once again a great success with nearly £10,000 shared between The Christie, St Ann’s Hospice, The Little Princess Trust, Stockport Palliative Care and the Beechwood Cancer Care Centre. A date for your diary next year – the Sunday of the second May Bank Holiday.

Mellor Archaeological Trust News
Mellor Archaeological Trust continues to be busy as they move into the last six months of “Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy”, a Heritage Lottery Funded, project. The next important stages are the landscaping at Mellor Mill and the conservation and consolidation of the remains. This will be followed by the erection of interpretation boards and displays. Access to the digital information is via the project website: http://oldknows.com/ where it is possible to book onto events and download the “Oldknows Audio Tour and Quest” App from the App Store and Google Play. The App includes some impressive augmented reality images, virtual reality images and audio clips from experts.

The Trust is also just entering Year 2 of the European Funded STORM (Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Technical and Organisational Resources Management) project. The UK project team has started to collect historical and current weather data that will help forecast weather patterns. The major risks, through climate change, to the cultural heritage on the Mellor sites of Mellor Hill Top, Shaw Cairn and Mellor Mill have been identified and work on mitigation strategies has commenced. There is strong collaboration with the other European sites of Ephesus in Turkey, Rethymnon in Crete, Troia in Portugal and Diocletian Baths in Italy.
B Humphrey-Taylor

Fact and Fun Day September 3rd at Roman Lakes
As well as having a great family day out you will be able to learn more about the Trusts projects at the Annual Fact and Fun Day, held in partnership with Friends of our Valley, at Roman Lakes Leisure Centre, Lakes Road, Marple SK6 7HB. This year’s event will be on Sunday 3rd September. Watch out for details on posters, flyers and Outlook the Mellor Parish Magazine and on website: http://MATrust.org.uk/

Mellor Church Country Fete 24th June 2017
Despite a gloomy forecast the weather held for the fete this year and the crowning of Rose Queen Ellie Wilson by retiring Rose Queen Rosie Easton took place on the Fete field keenly watched by the many people who attended the fete. Ellie then had her teddy catapulted over to the Maypole where the Rose Queen retinues were holding the ribbons ready to dance to the accordion music played by vicar Alex and under the watchful eye of dance teacher Margaret Leng. Through Margaret’s good works the Church now owns a Maypole that can be hired out, thanks to Glossop Caravans.
Rose Queen Ellie looking beautiful in a fuchsia pink dress and a long, blue velvet robe finished off with a pair of smart yellow wellies set off for the Well Dressing in Ann Hearle’s field. This procession was led by the Jazz band who have been attending the fete for 20 years now, including the trumpet player who can play while walking with a stick. How cool is that! Also following were Ellie’s rosebuds looking gorgeous in dark blue lace dresses and yellow wellies and Alex the vicar to bless the stunning well dressing of a canal barge with horse. Cards featuring the Well Dressing will be available to buy, please contact Alison Dowdswell.
Fete Chairman Guy Nicholls produced an excellent Punch and Judy show, a great hit with children and their parents. This was Guy’s favourite activity on the day surpassed only by visits to the bar where lovely locals bought him pints!
The Bubble man did a superb job of entrancing children and babies with enormous bubbles which picturesquely floated over the fete field. The entertainment continued when the Dogs and Ducks came into the area. After a careful display with the dogs and ducks performing well children were invited in to the area to take part in the display. Mayhem followed – the ducks went AWOL! Peter Williams found a new skill- catching ducks from around the bouncy slide.
The children from Mellor School entertained the crowd with Maypole dancing in pretty costumes and novice adults who managed a pretty pattern on the pole.
There was much on offer at the fete to buy – home-made cakes, biscuits and jams, jewellery for your Mum and Granny. There was a choice of a burger from Jane and Glynn or Hog Roast from Paddy and Richard or afternoon tea in the Parish Centre masterminded by Margaret Lowe assisted by a vast rota of helpers.
There were plenty of games to keep all amused, the “Human Fruit Machine” overseen by Helen Kennedy was something else! Not to mention Messy Church Tent, Bric a Brac, Teddy tombola, Bottle tombola, Toy tombola. Coconuts, Hook a Duck and The Great Mellor TriGolf Challenge with Alison Davies and helpers from Mellor and Townscliffe Golf Club.
Then there were 28 raffle prizes to draw, races run and tug of war tugged (won by girls).
Folk on the Hill started at seven with the drummers who had a workshop earlier with Ian Mellor and Steve Abbott. Then the Heyes Sisters sang and eleven Open Micers entertained the crowd, all sustained by the Beer Tent organised by Tom Howing.
A huge thank you to all who helped before, during and after the Fete; the sponsors and all those who attended and supported it in so many ways.
M Williams.

Friends of Mellor Parish Centre
Did you know we have a wonderful resource for everyone in our community which is used by many local groups and can be hired for corporate and family events?
The Centre costs £30,000 a year to maintain and we organise a variety of enjoyable events (bridge drives, quiz nights, talks and concerts) to raise money towards running costs.  For just £10 a year you can become a Friend, receive newsletters, advance notice and priority booking for our events.  New members joining after June 15th enjoy a 2017 discounted rate.
For further information, please contact Margaret Lowe on 0161 427 6589 or email memsecfompc@gmail.com
We look forward to welcoming you to our next event.

Mellor War Memorial Park 27 June 2017
Yesterday a passing visitor to the area said how much she liked the colour combination around the War Memorial – blue lavender with purple aliums, blue cat mint, white and magenta lychnis with ground cover of grey convolvulous.
If you have time, do walk up to the War Memorial and read the boards. They have information and photographs of local soldiers who died 100 years ago. Private Joseph Wild died on the 9th June 1917 aged 27; Private Albert Bradley died 11th July 2017 aged 27 and Private Thomas Marsland died 19th August 1917 aged 24.
In the garden below the memorial the “Friends” got very excited when men appeared on 21st June and tarmacked patches of path where there had been damage because of tree roots. The offending trees had been removed on 27th April 2017. I think we originally asked the council to remove the trees November 2015. It became apparent that the council tree men work their way around the Stockport Borough in a strict order which they will not be diverted from. It takes 3 years for them to get around everywhere. So, we probably won’t see them again until 2020.
The rose bed is splendid thanks to the manure that was put on. The climbers are even trying to ascend the posts.
The random seed bed is a riot of tall daisies with red poppies, blue cornflower, vipers bugloss, purple everlasting wallflower, mallows and a resplendent white companula that is definitely worth a special trip to see.
The astilbe bed looks great too. So all is well.
The council cut the grass and sweep the paths weekly. We do have trouble with the horse manure being full of little balls which the Blackbirds peck away at and then they roll onto the paths. We need less spherical manure in future.
The flower beds are maintained by anyone who wishes to volunteer on Tuesdays at 4.30 for an hour.
Also monthly on Saturdays from 10 until 12 on July 8th, August 12th and September 9th. (Second Saturday of the month).
We would ask anyone walking through to pull up a weed if they feel like it – especially the Mare’s Tail and put it in the bin.
M Williams.

​The Mellor Society Annual General Meeting, 30 March 2016
1 Apologies: none of our local councilors can attend due to a full SMBC Council Meeting tonight
2.a H Humphrey-Taylor and A Hearle proposed and seconded the approval of the minutes from the previous AGM and this was accepted by all present.
2.b Report of the Committee:
The purpose of the Society, which is the membership, is to protect and conserve the environment and amenities of our village/area and its business is administered by an elected committee supported by a team of newsletter deliverers and subscription collectors. During the past year the committee has been active on behalf of the membership working with local councillors and SMBC Officers on issues reported in our newsletters and website.
The Mill Brow recreation area reported on last year is now completed thanks to local volunteers (Save Our Rec), benefactors and SMBC.
We have continued to notify SMBC either directly or via our local councillors of road and street lighting problems. The proposed highway improvements/re-surfacing reported last year are now almost complete.
The high speed broadband network is being expanded in our area and is now available along Longhurst Lane as far as the Devonshire Arms.
The book prizes previously awarded to “good citizens at Mellor Primary School have now been replaced with an annual donation to the school library.
We have continued the Society’s membership of The Campaign to Protect Rural England.
We continue to make a donation to the Royal British Legion at the time of Remembrance Sunday when Margaret Simpson has again represented the Membership at the wreath laying ceremony in Mellor Memorial Park.
Friends of Mellor Parks continue to work in all weathers maintaining the Memorial Park and garden. This year the Society financed the information boards adjacent to the memorial from funds donated by the public for specific Memorial Park projects.
Last years donation to Mellor Open gardens 2016 to help provide free bus transport around the gardens successfully reduced traffic congestion on the day.
Local Councillors continue to attend our committee meeting in rotation and we thank them for their continuing support.
The Society continues to be supported by our newsletter deliverers/subscription collectors, Val Wallace at the Parish Centre who prints the newsletter and Annandale Solutions Ltd financing and hosting our website. The website is a very under-used resource and we welcome any features relating to or of interest to Mellor residents.
We thank all the above and others for their efforts and support.
Also, if anyone wishes to be a newsletter deliverer, serve on our committee or requires further information please contact I Davies, Hon. Secretary.
2c There is to be no increase in the annual subscription of £1/member
2d Copies of the certified accounts and membership report where available at the meeting and commented on in detail by the Hon Treasurer. I Morgan and A Papageorgiou proposed and seconded the approval of the accounts and this was accepted by all present.
2e There were no new volunteers to serve on the committee and I Dayz and N Cloughley proposed and seconded that the current committee remain in office. This was accepted by those present.
2f The business brought forward by the committee involved presenting the opportunity for a Mellor and Millbrow Neighbourhood Plan to the membership. This would be actioned at the Public Meeting to be held later this evening.
2g There was no business brought forward by the membership.
3. The formal section of the meeting was closed by B Humphrey-Taylor and attendees invited to enjoy the refreshments.

Public Meeting: A Neighbourhood Plan For Mellor And Mill Brow
David Ackroyd – Chair of Marple Neighbourhood Forum and resident of Mellor led the public meeting to discuss the opportunity for a neighbourhood plan for Mellor and surrounding area. David briefly reviewed the Neighbourhood Plan process and residents’ involvement in determining the continued development and wellbeing of our community.
Andrew Stunell, our former MP, supported David in his presentation stating that the process started in 2012 from 2011 legislation that he had been involved in drafting. Under the traditional route a developer would propose a scheme which can then be commented on by the existing residents. The Local Authority planners would then decide on whether the scheme would go ahead. Under the Neighbourhood Plan the residents decide the development options for their area and Local Authority planners consider the developers proposals within the plan. It was stated that currently there in new legislation being progressed to make the process simpler including defining communities’ involvement with future amendments.

SMBC is pro-Neighbourhood Plan and the national budget for such is being increased.

From commencement, the Neighbourhood Plan must comply with a timescale and achieve key milestones to qualify for continued financial assistance. Once accepted the Plan is in place for 20 years.

The approved Neighbourhood Plan has the same statutory power as the SMBC Plan as they are both statutory planning documents.

The following local areas are among those who are already well advanced in producing a Neighbourhood Plan: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Woodford, Brereton, Poynton and Marple. David Ackroyd referred to the Our Marple website for more information on our nearest proposed Neighbourhood Plan development.

A number of comments were voiced by those attending the meeting.
These included:
“no one will take more interest in our area than us”
“all Local Authorities seem to be concentrating on strategic issues”
“a Neighbourhood Plan helps bring local people together”
“the Plan is evidence based taking account of local heritage and needs determined by residents”

At the end of the meeting attendees registered their interest and/or desire to be involved in the process.
The proposal for a Neighbourhood Plan is currently being facilitated by the Mellor Society Committee who will eventually hand over the administration to the Neighbourhood Plan Committee and Forum who will be supported by a grant from Groundwork UK acting on behalf on Localities UK.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in participating in this exciting opportunity to influence the future of our area please contact the Mellor Society Hon Secretary.

Spring 2017

Mellor Society Annual General Meeting
The Constitution of the Mellor Society requires that we hold an Annual General Meeting to discuss the business of the Society directly with the membership. The business 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 above) 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.

Refreshments will be available during the evening.  The event will be held at Mellor Primary School commencing at 7:00 pm on Thursday 30th  March 2017.

This year the AGM business will be followed by a public meeting concerning the need for a Neighbourhood Plan for Mellor and Mill Brow, a topic featured in our Summer 2016 Newsletter Issue 68.

A Neighbourhood Plan For Mellor and Mill Brow
Do you think that the people of Mellor (including surrounding areas) should have a say about developments in the area over the next 20 years?

The Government has changed National Planning Guidance.
Greater Manchester is developing the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.
Stockport Council is working on its planning proposals.

What might all this mean locally and can we do anything to influence what happens about housing, transport, roads, tourism, businesses, heritage, greenbelt, wildlife conservation and so on?

If the area covered by the Mellor Society had a Neighbourhood Plan in place then we could influence all these important matters.  Once in place the Plan would have a life of up to 20 years so is important to our children too.

To produce a Neighbourhood Plan we would first have to set up a Neighbourhood Forum.  The Forum would need to have a minimum of 21 people who live or work in the area.  It would also need a Management or Steering Committee.

Marple Neighbourhood Forum is already in existence and is working towards what it might want to put in its Plan.  I will talk at the AGM about our experience so far.  Working towards a Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity too important to miss.  Please come to hear about how we might grasp this chance to influence the future.

David Ackroyd
Chair of Marple Neighbourhood Forum and resident of Mellor

10,000 Years of History in Mellor
Did you know that Mellor Archaeological Trust (MAT), through its research and activities, has traced and recorded 10,000 years of history in Mellor.

The excavations, conducted over 12 years, at The Old Vicarage revealed evidence of human occupation of the hilltop stretching from the Mesolithic age (8,500BC) through to Modern times. Our excavations at Shaw Cairn excitingly gave us  more understanding of this Bronze Age (2,500BC) burial mound when a rare example of an amber necklace was discovered.  Excavations, over the past 6 years, at Mellor Mill in the Goyt Valley have given us a more detailed insight into life around the local area during the Industrial Revolution (C18).

You can view the detail of this history by visiting the MAT website at www.MATrust.org.uk and by going to look at the Stockport Story exhibition at Staircase House in The Market Place in Stockport.

Mellor Archaeological Trust encourages groups and individuals to contact them to arrange guided site visits and illustrated talks. Please use the contact option on our website to get further information.

Through the activities of the Trust some £4M+ of funding, both from UK sources and the EU, has been brought into the local economy. However, grants must be spent on their approved purposes and cannot be used to build up funds for “a rainy day”. The Trust must constantly fundraise to continue its work.  One way we fundraise is to invite you to become a Friend of the Trust.  You can become A Friend by visiting the website www.MATrust.org.uk home page and clicking on the “Become a Friend” link. Print off the form and return to the address at the bottom with your subscription.

Bob Humphrey-Taylor
Chair, Mellor Archaeological Trust

Friends of Mellor Parish Centre
Proceeds from all our events go towards maintaining  this valuable and much loved community resource which is available to hire for meetings,  parties,  conferences and weddings.

Membership of the Friends of Mellor Parish Centre costs just £10 per year and offers regular updates and  advance booking  for our popular events.   Subscription enquiries should be addressed to Margaret Lowe on 01614276589 or  margaretlowe3a@gmail.com

Saturday 25th March
Rubber Bridge Drive
1.30 – 5pm

Contact Val Wallace on 0161 427 4900

Saturday 25th March
Ceilidh and buffet supper
7.30 pm

Traditional Hoe Down with music by Ad Hoc; no previous experience required, welcoming atmosphere will guarantee fun for all the family.  £10 per adult (accompanied children under 14 free)

Tickets from Mellor Parish Centre ( 0161 484 5079) or Angela Stead (0161 427 1035)

Mellor Country House Charity
Mellor Country House is a UK charity housed in a building built in 1907, located in the attractive village of Mellor, Stockport. The charity is dedicated to providing self­ catering respite breaks for groups, families, carers and individuals primarily from the nearby deprived urban areas of Greater Manchester, Salford and Stockport because they know that many would not, or could not otherwise, have a break at all.

The Charity’s aim is to provide a safe, secure, relaxing, and uplifting environment for the financially and socially disadvantaged.

Accommodation for up to 26 guests is provided in 11 bedrooms in beautifully decorated facilities with a warm and friendly atmosphere.  There is a well-equipped kitchen, dining room, restful lounges and children’s playroom.

We believe passionately that for many of the people who stay at the house, this break from the hardships of their day-to-day existence can, literally, be a life­saver.

The grounds include a secure play area for toddlers, a patio with barbecue, a private lawn area with benches and seating for quiet reflection. This year there will be a large garden project to develop the grounds in several areas to make the most of the three acres we have so all the garden will be utilised. This garden project may be of interest to local business’ as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility – business practices involving initiatives that benefit society) as there will be several great opportunities to get involved, either with sponsorship or team building days.

Mellor Country House is holding its annual Plant Sale fundraiser on 20th and 21st May 2017, 10pm until 4pm each day. A very popular event with great quality plants at bargain prices. Orders are taken in advance for beautiful hanging baskets and bedding plants please watch out for notices nearer the time. Supporters are always welcome to come along and enjoy a cream scone or bacon butty on the dates above. It would be good to see everyone again this year.

An order form can always be requested by ‘phoning the house on 0161 427 1893
or emailing on mellorcountryhou@btconnect.com
to place your order so you don’t miss out. The local community, which this charity relies on heavily, has become very involved over the years, supporting its very worthwhile cause. All contributions are very much appreciated and gratefully received and the staff and volunteers could not run the charity without the support of its neighbours and friends in the community.

Margaret Powell, Chairperson
Mellor Country House

For more information call ­ 0161 427 1893 or Email:mellorcountryhou@btconnect.com

Mellor Country House
299 Longhurst Lane,
Mellor, Stockport.SK6 5PP

Mellor and Townscliffe Golf Club www.mellorgolf.co.uk

Spring will soon be here and the start of the golfing season at Mellor & Townscliffe Golf Club.  If you are considering joining a golf club or giving it a try contact the professional Carl Cross on 0161 427 5759 for more information on offers available.  Membership is free for under 16s.

On the social side there is a lot on offer at the Club beginning with the Open Season Party on the 25th March and an AC/DC tribute night on the 31st March. Tickets £5.00. On the weekend of 18th/19th March the club is hosting a Wedding Fayre on the Saturday and an Open Day on the Sunday.  The Open Day is a chance for people to visit the club, have something to eat, have a look around the facilities, talk about membership and the opportunity to book a 10 minute session in the golf studio with Carl. For information on this and other social and dinning options please contact Zoe on 0161 427 2208.

‘Hot Topic’ or ‘Wet Topic’?
Now you can look at what is actually happening, in real time, to the weather in Mellor.  Through the miracle of our digital age and European Funding, Mellor Archaeological Trust are delighted to announce they have installed three professional weather stations in our area.  The stations show what is happening now at three very different locations and elevations around our village.

It is amazing how different conditions can be when you climb up just a few hundred feet. Should you leave the washing on the line whilst you go shopping?

You can access the weather stations from the comfort of your home sat at your desktop or, when ‘out and about’, from a smartphone or tablet.

Here is how:

Download the Wunderground App to your desktop, tablet or smartphone.  Allow the App access to your location and it will show you where registered weather stations are located in your area.

A really fun thing is that there are in excess of 180,000 registered weather stations, located worldwide, that you can access.  So if, for instance, you have a friend on Easter Island then you can access the live weather conditions there.  As I write it is 72 degrees F, part cloudy with a 4mph WNW wind. Very comfortable.

In addition, there is a 7-day forecast and the opportunity to access up to the last 800 days of data. For the interested there is information on pressure, sunrise/sunset, rain accumulation, humidity, dew point and visibility.

Some weather stations have a webcam attached – our nearest is in New Mills.

If you are interested in this ‘hot/wet topic’ then this is definitely something for you.

Further information is available by contacting me:chair@MATrust.org.uk

Mill Brow Recreation Area
We are delighted to announce that the second phase of work on Mill Brow rec is to be completed shortly and the park will re-open by the end of February. The new play equipment includes a wooden trim trail, with climbing frames, slide and basket swings.

The Friends of Mill Brow group have been busy over the last few years, working hard to secure and improve this play area. They have been overwhelmed by the support they have received, including substantial support from Marple Bridge Association,  from the Greenspaces group at Stockport council and very generous contributions from local residents. Their chairperson, Jacqui Terry said ” None of the recent developments would have been possible without the support, generosity and tenacity of so many people in the local community…we are extremely grateful to everyone who has played a part in securing this fabulous play space for the local families.”

Ongoing fundraising events will continue in order to raise money for further developments, including improved fencing and picnic tables. The next event is a quiz night at the Hare and Hounds on Monday 20th March. Teams of 4 can register with Guy at the Hare.

Hedges and Verges
We have been asked to remind residents not to let their hedges overhang pavements to the extent that they obstruct pedestrian access. Nor to obstruct vehicle/driver sight-lines at road junctions and driveway entrances.

Car Crime
We are aware of a number of burglaries and car related crime in our area over recent months.

For guidelines, help and advice on keeping yourself, home and belongings safe and secure we refer you to the Greater Manchester Police web site home security section relating to security for your home and vehicle

Summer 2016

A Neighbourhood Plan for Mellor ?
Neighbourhood planning was introduced in 2011 through the Localism Act. Neighbourhood planning allows local residents and businesses to have their own planning policies in a Neighbourhood Plan that reflect their priorities, deliver tangible local benefits and have real weight in planning decisions. Local people can also grant permission for development through ‘neighbourhood development orders’ and ‘community right to build orders’.

The process is community led and the plan may deal with a wide range of social and economic issues or focus on the perceived specific needs of the area.
A Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the statutory development plan for the area. Across England many different communities have embraced neighbourhood planning.

In very simple terms, a Neighbourhood Plan is:

  • a document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area. (Planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications)
  • written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, rather than the Local Planning Authority.
  • a powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.

A Neighbourhood Plan is an important document with real legal force, therefore there are certain formal procedures that it must go through which are summarised as follows:

  • define the boundary of the Neighbourhood Plan
  • preparing the Plan
  • submitting the Plan to an independent examiner for consideration of any representations and check that it conforms to national and local policy and advising if any changes need to be made
  • once satisfied the local council will organise a referendum at which the majority of local people voting must support the plan if is to be adopted by the local planning authority
  • the local planning authority will bring the plan into force making it part of the formal development plan for the area

The local parish or town council may lead on neighbourhood planning in their areas. Where one does not exist then a community group known as a Neighbourhood Forum needs to be established to lead the process and this is what is proposed for Mellor and the surrounding area by The Mellor Society Committee. The SMBC Local Plan covers the whole district. The Neighbourhood Plan would be focused on local needs allowing the local community to specify in detail what their expectations are.
The Mellor Society Committee will not lead on a Neighbourhood Plan but will:

  • endeavor to establish if it is the wish of the residents in Mellor and Mill Brow (note that Marple Bridge, Ludworth and Compstall may be included if the area is the Parish of Mellor boundary) to develop a neighbourhood plan
  • recruit individuals to form the Neighbourhood Forum

The Neighbourhood Forum must comprise at least 21 people and will lead and co-ordinate the plan making process.
Under legal requirements the Neighbourhood Forum must have:

  • the express purpose of promoting or improving the environmental wellbeing of an area that consists of or includes the neighbourhood area concerned
  • a purpose that reflects the character of the area in general terms
  • a membership open to people living and working in the area and elected members for the area
  • a minimum of 21 members from the above groups

Neighbourhood Plans are being developed for a small area around the centre of Marple and other localities in our region and across the country.
Funding is available to finance technical/expert services and the process is supported, but not financed by Local Authorities.

If you are interested in working together as a community to conserve and develop our local area please give consideration to the following:

Do you support a Neighbourhood Plan for Mellor (and possibly the immediate surrounding area as defined by the Mellor Parish Boundary)?
What would you like to see included in a Neighbourhood Plan for Mellor and surrounding area?
Are you interested in becoming involved?
Have you any special skills that would benefit the process?
Do you wish to be kept informed?
If you have any views regarding the above please submit them via the ”let us have your views/Contact Us” section of the Mellor Society website or in writing to any Mellor Society Committee Member.

Mellor Primary School
Classroom Extension – Stimulating new spaces based on the ‘forest school’ ethos. Project Architect of the Year Award – Eleanor Brough, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects London.
Mellor Primary School extension provides a series of stimulating new spaces based on the school’s ‘forest school’ ethos. The low energy building aims to harmonise with its natural setting, using locally sourced natural materials while featuring a striking habitat wall which was designed and built in partnership with the school’s pupils.
From the outside, the remaining school building is typical of 20-year-old examples found across the country and is functional yet uninspiring. The architect has turned to the back of the site to provide an extension and remodelling, an area that may not have been first choice for some given its steep fall away from the building. Rather than eat up valuable play space however, this site presented the challenge and opportunity for the team to design a modest extension that nonetheless transforms the classroom experience. With a limited budget the architect has achieved what many education schemes on much grander scales fail to do; provide a series of indoor and outdoor spaces that will inspire and facilitate learning. The dedication of the project architect to achieving the best for the client was evident with a commitment that extended to real hands-on engagement and support beyond what could be normally expected.

STORM Project
STORM (Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Technical and Organisational Resources Management)
Mellor Archaeological Trust is proud to announce it is part of a European wide environmental and conservation research project and has been awarded an EU grant of €400k to carry out its Work Packages. Starting from previous research STORM proposes a set of novel predictive models and improved non-invasive and non-destructive methods of survey and diagnosis for effective prediction of environmental changes and for revealing threats and conditions that could damage cultural heritage sites. STORM will also determine how different vulnerable materials, structures and buildings are affected by different extreme weather events together with risks associated to climatic conditions or natural hazards. An important output of STORM will be the safeguarding and management of environmental and other risks. Results will be tested in relevant case studies in five different countries: Italy, Greece, UK, Portugal and Turkey. The sites and consortium have been carefully selected so as to adequately represent the rich European Cultural Heritage. Associate partners that can assist with liaisons and links to other stakeholders and European sites are also included. The Project will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team providing all competences needed to assure the implementation of an effective solution to support all the stakeholders involved in the management and preservation of Cultural Heritage Sites.

Forthcoming events at the Mellor Parish Centre:
Saturday 10th September – Rainforest Roadshow
Interactive presentation begins at 2pm. An informative and entertaining view of rainforest life with particular emphasis on the lives of indigenous people and their role in the rainforest eco system.
Touch, taste, smell and hear the rainforest in this fun inter-active afternoon. Keen naturalists and amateur anthropologists, Dave and Sue Shaw have travelled widely in South and Central America, Malaysia, Borneo, Irian Java and Madagascar and will give us a unique insight into life in the rainforest. This event will appeal to and is suitable for children and adults of all ages. Useful for National Curriculum studies. Tickets: £10 per adult which includes free entry for up to 2 children. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Tickets are available from Angela Stead ( 0161 427 3571) or the Parish Centre (0161 484 5079). Membership forms are available from the Parish Office or c.dutson@btinternet.com

Mellor Open Gardens – 22nd May
Once again, Mellor residents demonstrated their enthusiasm for this cherished community event, which was the most successful since it started in 1992. Their generosity and willingness to volunteer to bake cakes, serve refreshments and manage car parking areas was invaluable and much appreciated by more than 1200 visitors. In the days leading up to Open Gardens Day, ‘Mogpotpeople’ accompanied by flags kindly provided by Julian Wadden, Estate Agents, appeared in front gardens and at Mellor Primary School, and helped to focus attention upon the Big Day.
A warm, sunny morning brought visitors from all over Stockport, and unexpectedly from further afield including Lincoln, Wakefield and Northampton – such is the influence of the internet! In addition to the 20 colourful and varied gardens on display, duck races in Mill Brow, a ‘Find the Well’ competition in one garden and Tony Husband’s famous cartoons added to the attractions. Four minibuses running constantly between Marple Bridge, Mill Brow, Moor End and the Parish Centre helped to keep visitors moving between all the gardens.
As a result, Cancer Research UK and Friends of Mellor Parish Centre will share the profit of just over £16,000 – the wonderful result of all the hard work by garden owners and volunteers.
Peter Oldham Chairman, Mellor Open Gardens 2016 Organising Group

Mellor Church Bell rings out for The Queen’s Birthday
A letter from Buckingham Palace now hangs in the belfry at Mellor Church thanking the people of Mellor for ringing “Old Paddy” the great bell for 90 minutes to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. The Mellor belfry is, we think, unique in hosting events with a large number of ringers and 90 people in 90 minutes must be a record. The money raised from the event supports the Church Fund and The Mellor March for Cancer Charities. As fame for the Mellor ringers spreads local MP William Wragg has invited them to view Big Ben before it is moth-balled for repairs. Perhaps “Old Paddy” will introduce The 10 o’clock News for a few months?

Mellor Country House
This local charity held its plant sale again this year breaking previous sales records. Approximately £19,000 worth of plants and hanging baskets were sold during the two-day event. The management committee would like to thank Lex Auto Lease Stockport, the army of helpers and all the customers and local community for supporting this fundraising event.

Healthwatch Stockport
The Mellor Society is a Group Member of Healthwatch Stockport, the company set up by Government to encourage lay people to have some involvement in the planning, delivery and monitoring of local health and social care services.
At its last Annual General Meeting in November of last year Healthwatch Stockport agreed significant changes to its organisation, claiming justification by the need to cut costs. This followed the cut in funding from Stockport MBC. The main change was in its leadership, discontinuing its wider elected group, called The Core, in favour of closer direction from the Directors, the Office and a small group of Leads. These Leads being members who head – up groups of members interested and prepared to be involved with social care, primary care, hospital care etc. All members are encouraged to consider being part of a group which is of special interest to them.
It is a very challenging time for health and social care in Stockport. Government funding leaves a shortfall. However, the Government has recognised the need for healthcare and social care to be more closely integrated and has set up the organisation to do this for all Greater Manchester. The draft plan for Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Devolution was published in December 2015.
Each of the local authorities making up Greater Manchester is publishing its own Locality Plan and Stockport’s Locality Plan is dated November 2015, and again there is a short period for consultation.
There are numerous initiatives that are now embraced within these plans or arising from these plans so we are going to be inundated with new names for these and for the unfamiliar organisations to drive things forward. Locally the Healthier Together initiative already has Stepping Hill FT as one of the four Specialist Hospitals in Greater Manchester and the Stockport Together initiative is the banner for changes locally.
In essence the present dependence on hospitals is deemed too expensive to be sustainable so the intention is to strengthen community services and meet people’s needs closer to home.
The shortfalls in funding are already apparent and are forecast to increase considerably so doing nothing is not considered an option.
The Healthwatch organisation attends some significant board meetings and so is in a key position to monitor progress, but Healthwatch Stockport has not, so far as I am aware, made clear how it will do so and report to its membership.
This is my understanding but remains a personal view.
Alan Watt – Ordinary member of Stockport Healthwatch, Feb 2016.

The Mellor Society Annual General Meeting
24 March 2016
1 Apologies: B&H Humphrey-Taylor, I Morgan
2.a T Lowe and A Davies proposed and seconded the approval of the minutes from the previous meeting and this was accepted by all present.
2.b Report of the Committee:
The work to protect and conserve the environment and amenities of our village/area and it’s business is administered by an elected committee supported by a team of newsletter deliverers and subscription collectors. The committee has been active on behalf of the membership working with local councillors and SMBC Officers on the following issues:
We are happy to report that after years of making representation improvements to the main drainage and highway maintenance in Mill Brow were undertaken last year and were severely tested during November. Mill Brow didn’t become flooded as has been the norm in previous periods of excessive rain. Last year we reported that SMBC funding had been secured to improve play equipment on Mill Brow rec. To-date there has been no improvement to play equipment and the site has further deteriorated. Your committee continues to enlist the support of local councillors to remedy this situation. Additionally Mill Brow residents have set up a “Save Our Rec” action group.
We have continued to notify SMBC either directly or via our local councillors of road and street lighting problems. We reported in our last newsletter that this year it is our areas turn for road improvements. This work has commenced. Residents in Mellor on Longhurst Lane have been notified that at last high speed broad band will be available later this year. The Mellor Society continues to provided two book token prizes to Mellor Primary School for their student “Good Citizen Award”. Last year we reported the Society’s donation to the school building fund which is now completed and some of us were fortunate to attend the official opening. The ceremony, in the presence of Prof Brian Cox, was fantastic and the students were a credit to their school and village.
We have continued the Society’s membership of The Campaign to Protect Rural England.
We continue to make a donation to the Royal British Legion at the time of Remembrance Sunday when Margaret Simpson has again represented the Membership at the wreath laying ceremony in Mellor Memorial Park.
Friends of Mellor Parks work very hard with SMBC to maintain the Memorial Park throughout the year. They are very dedicated but few in number and would welcome the help of volunteers. Please contact any committee member for details.
Four years ago the committee authorised a donation from Society funds to Mellor Open Gardens 2012. The donation was spent on helping provide free bus transport around the open gardens thereby reducing the risk of congestion which was of benefit to visitors and residents on the day. We have made a similar donation on behalf of the membership to support the free buses for Mellor Open Gardens 2016.
At last years AGM meeting Alan Watt volunteered to represent the membership on the Healthwatch Stockport Group. Our Society is a Group Member of this company set up by the Government to encourage lay people to have some involvement in the planning, delivery and monitoring of local health and social care services. Alan has provided a report on his involvement to-date which will feature in our next newsletter.
Mellor Society Committee Members Tim Lowe and Cynthia Garlick attended the recent Marple Area Committee Meeting where there was an Open Forum Debate with members of Marple Civic Society making a presentation in respect to the prospects for a Neighbourhood Plan for Marple.
We hope to feature more information on this issue in future newsletters.
We are fortunate to have the attendance of local councillors at our committee meetings and the committee wishes to thank a previous councillor Andrew Bispham for his many years service as ex-officio committee member.
The Society continues to be supported by our newsletter deliverers, the Parish Centre printing the newsletter and Annandale Solutions Ltd hosting our website.
We thank all the above and others for their efforts and continuing support.
If you have any issues that you need reporting in your newsletter or website please contact any committee member.
Also, if anyone wishes to be a newsletter deliverer or serve on our committee please contact I Davies, Hon. Secretary.
2c There is to be no increase in the annual subscription of £1/member
2d Copies of the certified accounts and membership report where available at the meeting and commented on in detail by the Hon Treasurer. G Abbell and E Jones proposed and seconded the approval of the accounts and this was accepted by all present.
2e There were no new volunteers to serve on the committee and those present accepted that the existing committee remain in office for a further year.
2f There was no business brought forward by the committee.
2g There was no business brought forward by the membership.
3. The formal section of the meeting was closed by T Lowe Acting Chair
Refreshments and the Great Mellor Quiz followed and a collection from participants raised £30 for The Mellor March.