Autumn 2014

Mellor School
Work is now underway for the extension to Mellor School that will include a new classroom and will enlarge the Hall. This was made possible by a £530,000 grant from the central education fund. The school has launched an appeal to find the additional £25,000 required. The school is obviously an essential part of our community and any offers of support by donation or fund raising will be greatly appreciated.

For further information contact the school on 0161 427 1052 or

Snapshots of Mellor through the Seasons
The last few copies of this book of local photographs that capture the spirit of Mellor are available. Sold in aid of the Mellor Church Rose Queen Charity. An ideal present to post to family and friends no longer in the village.
Order on line

The Friends of Mill Brow
This is an active group linked to the Mellor Society. A village sign and notice board are recent additions to the Mill Brow street scene. Successful campaigning has resulted in work to alleviate flooding problems on the road through Mill Brow.

A History Group is being established and the membership is looking for interested parties, contributions etc. Planning for a 70th Anniversary of VE Day is underway.
Please visit the Friends of Mill Brow website.

Christmas in Mellor 2014
This is a list of some of the events happening in the village over the Festive period.

Mellor Church
The Advent Carol Service is on Sunday 30th November.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is on Sunday 21st December.
The Crib Services are on Wednesday 24th December at 4pm and 5.30pm.

Mellor School
Christmas Fair – Friday 28th November 5.30pm

Oddfellows Arms
Christmas menu available all of December 2014
2 courses £15.95
3 courses £18.95
Gala dinner New Year’s Eve with The Imposters playing all for £49

Hare and Hounds
The new winter menu will include some festive delights
Monday 22nd December – Carols in the Hare
Christmas Eve – Twas’ the Night Before Christmas.
Traditional reading of this famous poem by actor Guy Nicholls

The Devonshire Arms
Christmas menu available to pre-book throughout December
Saturday 13th December – Jazz at the Devy 3.00-6.00pm
Saturday 20th December – Hawk Green Band from 8.00pm
Boxing Day – Stomp and Chomp 12.00 onwards
New Year’s Eve – Pyjama Party Buffet

The Royal Oak
Mellor March Lantern Walk (to be confirmed)
A warm Oak welcome throughout the festive period.

Friends of Mellor Parish Centre
– raising funds for the upkeep of our valuable community centre.
Our forthcoming events:

Saturday 15th November 7.30pm
A Latin-American Evening.
A 3-course dinner and entertainment. The committee have been sourcing genuine South American recipes and enjoying tasting some of them. We hope you’ll agree they are delicious. And we have two of Manchester’s best South-American dancers for your entertainment after the meal. Priority booking for Friends opened on Monday October 6th, public booking on Monday October 13th.
Tickets are £17.50 from Angela Stead (427 3571) or the Parish Centre ( 484 5079)

Thursday 4th December 7.30pm
‘The Hysterical Historical Show’ presented by the theatre group Lip Service. Booking is open. Tickets are £10 from Meg Barley ( 427 4370), Kath Threlfall ( 427 1035) or the Parish Centre ( 484 5079)

Saturday 20th December 7.30pm
‘Figgy Pudding’ .
An evening of music and readings for Christmas. This is an event which has previously been held for several years at Bramhall Hall. The Friends were fortunate to be able to snap this up while the Hall is temporarily closed. Priority booking opens Monday November 10th, public booking Monday November 17th. Tickets are £15.50 from Angela Stead ( 427 3571) or the Parish Centre ( 484 5079)

As a ‘Friend’ you receive priority booking for our events, a regular newsletter and the satisfaction of helping a very worthwhile community cause.
To become a Friend contact our membership secretary Chris Walters on 0161 430 6714 or Your support will be very much appreciated.

Friends of Brabyns Park
This local group has produced a questionnaire which can be accessed on their website. “The reasons for this survey is to obtain opinions of Brabyns Park, how it could be improved, how everyone in the community could be involved in park activities and to look at levels of interest in volunteering activities. The survey will be anonymous and data will be treated confidentially.”

Friends of Mellor Parks
This small group of Mellor Society members is still meeting throughout the year to work in partnership with SMBC to maintain and improve the Mellor Memorial Park. The results of their hard work will be to the forefront at the Remembrance Day Service and our thanks are expressed on behalf of the society membership. Volunteers are always needed so if you feel that you can lend a hand please contact any committee member for details.

“60 Second Security”
Last year over 200 people died in fires in the home. You’re at least 4 times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there’s no working smoke alarm.
When you test your smoke alarms you could help test the smoke alarm of an older family member, neighbour or friend too. It takes no time at all and gives your family and others a much better chance of surviving a fire.
Our local neighbourhood police team details can be found on
To report suspicious behaviour or non-urgent crime call 101, always dial 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, information can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Moorfield Arms Pub
Mellor Society Committee members recently attended a meeting arranged by the pub owners to announce the impending closure of the Moorfield Arms and explain the reasons and future intentions.

The pub has suffered a dramatic loss of trade over several years and is incurring substantial losses. Due to its relatively remote location and changing social trends its continuation as a pub is not viable. The owners have therefore been considering its future. They believe that the only likely viable use is for residential purposes. The pub has not been marketed as the local evidence strongly suggests there is unlikely to be any realistic interest.

The buildings could be put to a variety of uses such as retail and offices without planning permission, but these are also not considered to be viable.
Initial informal enquiries with the Council about conversion to residential use, which is considered by the owners to be the only viable use, have been cautiously encouraged. A team has now been assembled to put together all the information to make a planning application.

A variety of survey work is being/has been undertaken including site topography, building structure, landscape character, environmental/contamination, and history. The building is not listed, but has significant history, which is being researched and any information about its past would be welcomed.

The next stage is to generate development options to consider the optimum form of conversion. The extent of alterations and additions will be constrained by the green belt location, although there is an opportunity to improve the appearance of the building by removing some of the less appropriate additions and by reducing the large tar macadam car park and providing landscaping. This may allow some flexibility to create replacement buildings to complement the historic structure.

The proposal will raise various planning considerations including greenbelt policy, which will require very special circumstances to be demonstrated, as well as show that there is unlikely to be any impact on openness. In addition, the site is in an area of special landscape value.

Other issues to be addressed include accessibility, viability, sustainability, historic value and site access.

It was pointed out that although the Council has a housing land shortage, the greenbelt designation prevents the site being considered appropriate for housing development. An assurance was given that there is no intention to apply for a small housing estate and the development will be related to the existing buildings.

Mellor Community Choir
The Mellor Community Choir is now up to it’s full complement and is registered to participate in “The Festival of Brass and Voices” at the Royal Albert Hall. This event, to be held on 14th November 2015, is to raise money for Cancer Research UK and will involve over 50 choirs and two of the UK’s best brass bands. Rehersals are underway and the choir will be performing in support of the Mellor Parish Centre during the forthcoming months.

Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy: Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal at Marple
A joint Heritage Lottery Funded Project being delivered in partnership by Canal and River Trust and Mellor Archaeological Trust

Whilst the visible excavation work at Mellor Mill has carried on over the summer there has been a flurry of activity behind the scenes. July 28th saw the Heritage Lottery Fund finally give us the official “Permission to Start”. That means that from that date the project can begin to draw funding down from the grant awarded in September 2013.

During the last couple of months the steering group for the project have made a number of key appointments. Fiona Turpin was appointed as the Project Officer and has been busy setting up systems to ensure the next three years of the project run smoothly. Pamela Pearson has been appointed as Learning and Interpretation Officer.

Pamela will be looking at how the project can be taken out to a much wider audience through a variety of ways and be responsible for the recruitment of volunteers across the project. On the ground, TAMAS has been appointed as contractors to provide the part time roles of Mill Site Director and the Archaeology Officer.

Bob Humphrey-Taylor and Rachel Miller will be providing the hands on management of the excavations and creation of a Small Country Park in an Industrial Heritage setting at the Mellor Mill site.

To oversee archaeological matters, across the project, CfAA (The Centre for Applied Archaeology) from Salford University have been appointed as the archaeological contractors. They will be responsible for running a number of community digs at the Mellor Mill and Lime Kiln sites, providing archaeological advice and training, processing archaeological information and writing academic reports.

Paul Hartley, Professional Support and Conservation Manager at Stockport Council Planning Services, has recently accepted the role of Chair to the Project Steering Group.

An important element of the project is the work that will be carried out by The Canal and River Trust at the Marple Aquaduct and other parts of the canal in Marple. Planning for these important works is now at an advanced stage.The contractors will be offering an opportunity for the public to view the proposed works at a date to be notified.

On the 16th November Mellor Archaeological Trust are pleased to announce there is to be a Samuel Oldknow Concert of music from his time.

The concert is to be at the Mellor Parish Centre. Tickets are available from Ann Hearle Tel: 0161 427 1149 or from the Parish Centre. The evening will be presented by two talented musicians Rosa Hartley, violin, from Royal College College of Music in London and Hayley Parkes, piano, from Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

On 30th November there will be a Canal Open Day based around Lock Number 2. At the Open Day there will be information and updates about the Oldknow Legacy project, an opportunity to explore inside a lock (it will be emptied of water!) along with other fact and fun activities. We understand that, weather permitting, “Samuel Oldknow” will also be attending the event.

Bob Humphrey-Taylor
Mill Site Director

The Mellor Society Committee wishes everyone a
Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year

Summer 2014

The Minutes of The Mellor Society Annual General Meeting on 27th March 2014 at Mellor Primary School.

Mr & Mrs Edleston, I Heaps, D Cole, Mr & Mrs Hearle, Mr & Mrs Watt.

Bob Humphrey-Taylor (Chair.) welcomed those present to the meeting and after covering Health and Safety issues explained the revised format of the evening. In order to boost attendance at this years AGM the committee had decided that rather than have a guest speaker we should incorporate a “Great Mellor Quiz”. The formal business of the Society is to be dealt with first and after some refreshments the remainder of the evening will to be devoted to the quiz. Bob reminded those present that only Society members could vote on any issues and copies of the accounts were available in the room from A Stevens (Hon Treasurer). Voting will be on a show of hands either for, against or recording objections.

2a. Minutes of Previous AGM
These had been published in Summer 2013 Newsletter 59, were proposed and seconded as correct by I Morgan and A Lee and accepted by those members present.

2b. Report of the Committee:
I Davies (Hon Secretary) delivered the following report.
The purpose of the Society is to protect and conserve the amenity of our village and it’s business is administered by an elected committee supported by a team of news letter deliverers and subscription collectors. The activities of the committee and items of local interest have been reported in our thrice yearly newsletter and website and if anyone wishes to submit items for publication please contact any committee member. Our Society is its membership who can contact their committee via their published addresses, our website or the AGM.
Also, if anyone has any comments or questions regarding the business of the Society and it’s committee please speak to us during the evening.
Committee member A Lee has now resigned and Ted Stockton has relinquished his role hosting our website. M Davies has taken on the website hosting and is currently refreshing our website. We express our thanks to the above for their support.

2c. Rate of Annual Subscription
It was stated that the subscriptions are to remain at £1 per adult. Our membership of 1185 includes most of the adult residents in the villages of Mellor and Mill Brow.

2d. Present Certified Accounts
A Stevens (Hon Treasurer) had distributed copies of the accounts at the meeting and was available to answer any questions related to such for recording in the minutes. Though these accounts were qualified T Lowe and P Forbes proposed and seconded that they be accepted and this was agreed by those members present.

2e. Elect Officers and Members of the Committee
Bob Humphrey-Taylor confirmed that the standing committee comprising himself (Chair.), Ian Davies (Hon Secretary), James Edleston (Membership Secretary), Adam Stevens (Hon Treasurer), Cynthia Garlick, Ian Heaps, Janet Jackson, Guy Marsh, Ilona Morgan, and Tim Lowe offered to continue in their current roles. There had been no offers of others wishing to serve on the committee.
P Forbes and A Davies proposed and seconded that the standing committee be accepted for a further term and this was agreed by those present.

2f. Transact Any Business Brought Forward by the Committee
No business had been brought forward by the committee.

2g. Transact Any Other Business Notified to the Hon Secretary
No other business had been notified to the Hon Secretary.

Bob Humphrey-Taylor then closed the formal section of the AGM inviting attendees to refreshments and introducing Tim Lowe who would conduct the Great Mellor Quiz.

The Great Mellor Quiz.
This inaugural event attracted over fifty people competing in ten teams testing their knowledge about Mellor and the surrounding area. Quiz Master Tim Lowe had devised some 50 questions including pictures of local celebrities past and present into an interesting and enjoyable addition to our AGM evening. The wining team of “Mellor Marchers” comprising William Wragg, Annette Finnie, Anne and Andrew McClelland were presented with a bottle of wine and other goodies. They were also presented with The Great Mellor Quiz Trophy to hold in their safe custody until next years quiz. The trophy is itself a piece of Mellor history crafted from a salvaged brick from Mellor (Oldknow’s) Mill suitably mounted and inscribed. Quiz team entry fees were collected on the night and donated to the Mellor March Fund in support of local cancer charities.

Mill Brow History
The “Friends of Mill Brow” are keen to collect as much information as possible relating to the history and past social landscape of Mill Brow. If anyone has any old photos or other documents it would be much appreciated if they could share them with the Mill Brow group. Until such time as a champion for this Mill Brow history initiative is up and running please forward any information to Ian Heaps at Pear Tree Farm Mill Brow.

Friends of Mellor Parish Centre
We’d like to remind all in Mellor that the Parish Centre, located in stunning surroundings at the top of Church Road ( turn left by the Devonshire Pub), is there not only for Church members, but for everyone in the community. It is used extensively on a regular basis by classes in yoga, exercise and karate, by Guides and Brownies, by art and textile groups, toddler group, twins club, and by the WI, as well as for a great variety of evening events, such as talks, demonstrations and concerts. It is available to hire for conferences, exhibitions and weddings. The building is modern, light and well equipped, and the beautiful surroundings and views are a wonderful bonus for any event. Have a look at the Parish Centre website for more information and photos, or phone the PC office on 0161 484 5079.
The upkeep of the Centre is of course expensive. The Friends of Mellor Parish Centre group exists to raise money for just this purpose. Every penny that we make from subscriptions and our events goes towards maintaining the Centre to its present high standard for the enjoyment of all who use it. During the past year or so we have put on talks on Garden Birds, and on Antiques; a song recital, a concert of chamber music, an opera evening; an Italian evening complete with home-cooked Italian food; the annual Christmas concert with local artists Tom and Jennifer Lowe and the Community Choir; the 4th Textile Journeys day; a wine-tasting; a quiz and hotpot evening, and several Bridge Drives. At many of our events delicious home-baked food is served by an army of volunteers. Among the events you can expect from the Autumn onwards are a Brass Band Concert in the Fields, a presentation by Bob Humphrey-Taylor as Samuel Oldknow, ‘Figgy Pudding’…a Christmas evening of music and readings, Bridge Drives ,an evening of poetry and cartoons by Ian McMillan and Tony Husband, and the Great Mellor Bake-Off. All details later. We hope to see you at one or more of these events.

The subscription is at present, as it has been for the past 11 years, just £5. From January 2015 we are making a much-needed increase to £10 for the year, a small enough amount to contribute to the upkeep of an invaluable community facility. You can also join us by contacting Chris Walters on 0161 430 6714 or at, or picking up a form online or from the Parish Centre itself. Friends receive priority booking for all our events, a regular newsletter and perhaps most important, the satisfaction of giving essential support to our wonderful community venue.

“60 Second Security”
It is distressing to advise you that several of our members/residents have during the past few months become the victims of burglaries. Police support officers have visited neighbours offering advice on how to minimise the risk of opportunist crime.
Additionally we have been made aware of Greater Manchester Police dedicated web page “60 second security”. GMP have produced a series of short videos giving simple security advice on how to make your property that little bit safer. Topics covered include holidays, social media, vehicle crime, bike security, safes, mobile phones, courier fraud, bogus callers, door chimes, personal attack alarms, light timers, window shock alarms, property marking, and purse bells. The web page address is
If you don’t have access to a computer but would like further information on any of the above please contact any committee member. Alternatively, if you have any comments, queries or suggestions for new videos please contact PC Chris Hayden on 0161 865 5814 or email
Our local neighbourhood police team details can be found on
To report suspicious behaviour or non-urgent crime call 101, always dial 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, information can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Hedges and Footpaths
Despite increasing cuts in services SMBC has responded during the past 12 months to our requests for actions regarding maintaining our green spaces, roads and drainage etc. However, some resident’s hedges and trees are obstructing footpaths. If this situation relates to your property we have been asked to request that you trim your hedges and improve access for road users.

Mellor Community Choir

Mellor Community Choir is planning an exciting venture for which it is seeking to expand its membership. The choir is for ladies only and although the ability to read music is desirable it is not essential.

Are you a competent soprano or alto ? If so, you may be interested in our trip to London to sing in the Royal Albert Hall. The event is the Festival of Brass and Voices on 14th November 2015.
This massed choral event takes place every three years to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Rehearsals will be in short bursts starting in September but commitment to the project is needed asap.

or ring Mary Hoult on 0161 427 7255

So Many Firsts For Mellor Mill
The experience of working down at Mellor Mill continues to amaze me. We have now worked out that not only was the mill the first of the large scale cotton spinning mills, not only had the largest high breast shot water wheel, not only had the first horizontal steam engines but also an anti-ballooning ring for the ring spinning machine was invented by the mill manager and his spinning master, Edwin Furniss and Mr Young. There may be more to follow as the mill gives up some of its secrets.
Edwin Furniss, after the disastrous fire at the mill in November 1892, found himself out of work but came up with the ‘Romantic’ notion of turning the southernmost mill pond into a leisure destination. Re-naming the lake Roman Lakes and the packhorse bridge beyond to Roman Bridge he created a Victorian Leisure Park. The railway had now arrived in Marple and the good folk from Stockport and Manchester came to the Roman Lakes in their hundreds to enjoy the country air, take picnics, row on the Lake (mill pond), play the penny arcade (examples of which are still on display at the tea rooms), listen to brass bands and promenade. The visitors would also trip the light fantastic at the regular tea dances which have recently been re-introduced on the last Saturday of each month.
Now, with the help of an HLF grant, we are further enhancing this ‘little gem on our doorstep’ by revealing the remains of Mellor Mill and presenting it for public enjoyment and education as a small country park with an industrial heritage theme.
Did you know that Mellor in 1790 had three times the population of Marple? With the building of Mellor Mill Marple grew to support the large workforce and other local industries as they developed.

Bob Humphrey-Taylor
Mill Site Director

Spring 2014

The Mellor Society Annual General Meeting & The Great Mellor Quiz
This year the Society is promoting The Great Mellor Quiz to be held in conjunction with the AGM. The business of the Society comprising approval of previous minutes, reports, subscription rate, accounts and election of officers, together with the consideration of any business brought forward by the committee or membership will be dealt with followed by the quiz.

If any member wishes to bring forward any business please contact The Chair or Hon Secretary before the end of February.

Refreshments will be available during the evening.

The event will be held at Mellor Primary School commencing at 7:00 pm on Thursday 27th March 2014.

We hope that this programme will provide a more interesting and enjoyable evening to those attending as well as increasing knowledge of our village and local area. Some teams, based on church groups and some local pubs, have already signed up to the event. So please get together with your friends and neighbours and enter a team (of up to 6 people).

Each team is charged £5 to enter with all the proceeds going to the Mellor March supporting cancer charities.
Entry forms are available from Tim Lowe, 0161 499 5935.

Shed Security – What you can do?
From Safer Stockport Community Messaging.

Your home may be very secure, but what about your shed? Think about the expensive equipment you keep in your sheds and garages. Why make it easy for the thief? Burglary of garden sheds is on the increase, particularly in the Heaton’s. Any valuable electrical items should be kept in the home. However, there are some practical steps you can take to secure your shed and its contents.

Fences And Gates
Good rear garden fence or hedges coupled with a lockable side gate will help protect your shed. Prevent thieves hopping from garden to garden by planting prickly plants next to the fence.

Don’t forget the benefit of exterior lighting. This can be a simple switch system operated from your house to illuminate your garden area. Passive infra-red lighting is now a popular and inexpensive option to consider. These lights come on automatically when someone is detected by the sensor. Thieves don’t like to be seen!

Shed Security
A good quality hasp and staple with a padlock is essential. Remember to choose a hasp and staple that is bolted to the door and frame for extra strength. Use special screw heads that secure the hinges to your shed doors, or smear glue on the screw heads. This will prevent them being unscrewed.

Having secured your doors don’t forget the windows, perhaps the best way of securing the windows is to fit internal grilles or bars.

How To Mark Your Property
To make your property identifiable and less attractive to the thief use an ultra violet pen to mark items with your postcode followed by your house number. Ultra Violet pens can be bought from good DIY stores. Alternatively you can use paint to mark your lawn mower, garden tools etc. A thief will not be able to sell your property if it’s easily identifiable.

What’s The Benefit Of Property Marking?
If the Police recover your property we know who to return it to. It also helps to secure a conviction if we arrest someone in possession of marked items.

Always lock cycles to something fixed or bulky whilst in the shed or garage (ladders or workbench). Have them security marked and registered.

Garden Tools
Don’t leave any tools outside in the garden which may assist a burglar in breaking into your home. Ladders should always be secured.

There are now simple and inexpensive alarms available for use in sheds and garages. By using such an alarm you will be alerted if anyone enters your shed so will your neighbours.

“Your garden is for you to enjoy, not the thief. Let’s keep it that way”!

Two books with local interest:
‘Snapshots, Mellor through the Seasons’
A collection of photographs taken around Mellor capturing the beauty and spirit of a wonderful village.  Let the images take you on an emotional journey through the year.
Sold in aid of The Children’s Society, the charity being supported by Rebecca, the Mellor Rose Queen for 2013-14 her special year.

‘Thomas Walklate and Mellor School’
By David Ackroyd
This updated edition of a book first published in 1998 tells of a yeoman farmer who had the foresight to endow a village school. It follows the work of the Walklate Educational Foundation established in 1639 when the first Mellor School was built through to the present day. During this time the school has twice moved to a new location and been under the control of two educational authorities before becoming an academy in 2011. All profits support the Walklate Educational Foundation
Both available from the Parish Centre or via

The Mellor March
This year sees the 20th anniversary of the Mellor March which has now donated over £150,000 to cancer charities. The aim this year is to try to raise £20,000 to celebrate the anniversary. The March takes place on Sunday 4th May and if you have never yet joined the March do make a special effort this year. It is a circular ten mile walk with stunning scenery with people able to turn for home at many points if the ten miles is too long. It raises money by sponsorship and donations as well as corporate backing.
Many other events are linked to the March – marathon runs and walks, birthday parties etc. This year the first Mellor March Lantern Walk was held just before Christmas. Torch carrying walkers were sent off from the Royal Oak by a brass band, enjoyed carols sung by Mellor School Choir in the churchyard and more carols sung by the Hare and Hounds choir. Slightly wet underfoot but a lovely occasion.
The Mellor March somehow captures the spirit of Mellor.  

Anniversary of the start of the First World War
As we move towards a time of commemoration of the Great War Mellor Primary school is keen to develop a special project to remember the men who fell in WW1.
Mr. Nicholson has already met with members of the Friends of the Memorial Garden and some ideas were presented and discussed. Since that meeting further ideas have developed.

1.     The children will develop a book to publish about the men who fought and died from the Mellor area.

2.       A named plaque for each man lost in the Great War to be designed and place at their relevant Mellor home (with permission of the present owners of course). We will need a ceramics expert to undertake the work.

3.    The children will research the men on the memorial using census material and information provided by Anne Hearle and develop a walk trail/map of where the men came from.

4.     A special poppy design in the garden is to be developed alongside the Friends of the Memorial Garden.

5.     A special piece of art/sculpture to be designed and presented to the memorial garden by the children of Mellor Primary school.

6.     In 1920 a special service was held to open the memorial garden – we could repeat the service with songs, prayers and tributes.

Mr. Nicholson is presently gathering information to put together a funding bid to English Heritage to enable the work above to be undertaken. Any suggestions and offers of help in aspects of the ideas would be welcomed.

Jim Nicholson, Headteacher

Mill Brow
A determined attempt to solve the problem of the road flooding by the Hare and Hounds was made in the month before Christmas. The road was closed while new drains were installed that will hopefully take the water away from the road and eventually into Mill Brook.

Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy –
Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal in Marple
The Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.5M has been awarded to joint grantees, Mellor Archaeological Trust and the Canal and Rivers Trust (formerly British Waterways) to carry out the Industrial Heritage project Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy, Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal in Marple.  There are now a number of issues to resolve before funds can be drawn down for the project.  Mellor Archaeological Trust has to establish a 25 year lease from Roman Lakes Leisure Parks Ltd for the Mellor Mill site, the ancillary building by the River Goyt and the site of Mellor Lodge (Samuel Oldknow’s 7 bedroomed mansion).  We also have to put in post a full time Project Officer, a part time Archaeological Officer, an Education Officer and a Mill Site Director.  Finally there are contractors who we  will have to go out to tender for.  All this should be in place over the next few weeks so that by Easter the 3 year project will be in full swing.

In the meantime volunteers are down at the Mellor Mill Site each weekend both excavating and acting as guides for visitors.  If you would like to arrange a guided tour for a group you represent or wish to volunteer to help then please contact Bob Humphrey-Taylor either mobile 07710 964046 or email

Friends of Mellor Parish Centre –  Forthcoming Events

Thursday March 6th 
Wine Tasting Evening with Paul and Matthew Dutson 7.30pm Parish Centre
This event will be limited to 30 people. Booking open for Friends January 27th, public booking from February 3rd. Tickets £12.50 from Angela Stead  0161 427 3571.

Saturday April 5th
Textile Journeys 4 This all-day event is given by 3 eminent textilers, and features a talk by Elizabeth Wall entitled ‘Ecclesiastical Expectations,’ and workshops given by Elizabeth on ‘Jewelled Fish’ (suitable for beginners), Hannah Leighton Boyce on ‘Mark Making, Writing and Text’, and Alice Hutchinson on ‘Fold, Gather and Stitch’. Tickets are £35, which includes the keynote talk, choice of one workshop and a delicious, homemade buffet lunch. Early booking is essential.
Further information and booking forms from Kitty Watt 0161 427 4370 or Rosemary Hawkesley 0161 427 8808.

Saturday April 26th
Rubber Bridge Drive 1.30 pm Parish Centre  Tickets at £5 per person or £18 per table from Val Wallace 0161 427 4900. Booking opens on March 17th.

For Marple Civic Society Speaker Meeting Programme 2014 please follow this link

Typical activities of the society

Planning Applications

The Society keeps an eye on current planning applications to ensure that they meet both the legal requirements and aesthetic considerations, remembering that much of Mellor lies within the Green Belt. However, when the Parish Field was sold for building purposes, the plot lay outside the Green Belt, and no objection could be raised on that score. The Society felt that five houses – which the original scheme proposed – were too many, and the number was reduced to four.

A recent major concern has been the application to build 21 apartments in three blocks on the site of the disused Cataract Bridge Mill. Accessibility for traffic, potential numbers of cars, height of the buildings and the possibility of overlooking nearby properties are matters which have exercised local residents. The Local Area Committee of SMBC considered the application on 27 October 2004, when both the applicant and one resident were allowed to present their respective cases. We now know that the application has been approved, but the roofline of the apartment blocks has been lowered, and more parking spaces have been provided. However, no development is evident at present.

Another matter for concern has been the proposed erection of mobile phone masts in various locations around the village. One application for a mast on Cobden Edge was withdrawn by the landowner, but permission has now been granted for a mast on Low Lea Road. The Society notified residents likely to be affected by the mast, and they were able to attend the planning meeting. Despite their objections, the application was granted. The Society continues to monitor the planning register, and will notify residents of any further such proposals.

The War Memorial and Park

The setting of the Memorial had become rather shabby, and the Park behind the cross was very neglected. In 2002, the Society suggested alterations in the general layout, and held site meetings with SMBC officials. Work has now started on these improvements to the Park. In addition to the efforts of the local authority, the Society has organised several working parties of Mellor residents to assist in the re-planting of the flower beds. The Society funded the purchase of plants and seeds for this task, and now the park has taken on an entirely new look. It is well worth a visit! Now the Society has been awarded a grant to fund the purchase of two benches (which have been installed), and there are hopes that a further grant for the purchase of more plants may be in the offing.

These activities have led to the formation of a sub-group of the Mellor Society: Friends of Mellor Parks, which will keep a watch on the management of both the Memorial Park and the Recreation Ground. A questionnaire is to be circulated asking residents what play equipment they would like to see on the Rec, especially for older children.


There are many problems associated with the roads in Mellor – potholes, parking, speeding, flooding, lighting . . . the list goes on and on! The Society is active in drawing the attention of Stockport MBC to these matters, and has had some recent successes. A current concern is the speed of a few drivers on Longhurst Lane, and a temporary speed warning camera was set up and the data recorded.

Public Toilets

Some years ago, an economy drive forced the closure of several public toilets in our area, including the ones adjoining the Recreation Ground. Bearing in mind the great number of walkers who frequent the local footpaths, and the need for such a facility near to a children’s play area, the closure caused the Society great concern. Continual pressure was placed on the Council to reinstate the toilets, and the toilets were officially opened on Thursday 5 December 2002. Two planters have now been purchased by the Society, and these have been installed near the toilets.

Other Matters

To celebrate the Millennium, three oak saplings and thousands of daffodils were planted on the Recreation Ground. Two of the oaks did not survive, but have now been replaced, and the daffodils appear in greater numbers every spring.

The public notice board on the Recreation Ground was badly sited, and the Society has been successful in having it moved to a position where it can be read more easily.

Autumn 2013

Mellor Calendar 2014
Place your orders with Mike Benford-Miller for the Mellor Calendar 2014 in support of St Thomas’ Church and Rose Queen Rebecca’s charity “The Children’s Society”. There are order forms in the Parish Centre or telephone Mike on 0161 427 4311. The calendar will be available for sale in a few days and has 12 of the paintings of Mellor that Mike exhibited earlier this year.
All Steamed Up at Mellor Mill…
We are in that pregnant pause between the submission of our bid to The Heritage Lottery Fund and the panel’s decision.
The project has been running, on limited resources, for two years and we have built up a ‘head of steam’ that we don’t want to lose. Our volunteers have been stoical in their toils to identify all the buildings and features at the Mellor Mill site in order for a definitive survey to be carried out as part of the HLF Stage 2 submission. The survey completed and our bid safely deposited with HLF we were determined that we would carry on with the excavations as if the HLF award had been made.


At the end of July we found ourselves starting to excavate at the northern extremity of the main Mill complex. This is the boiler house and the steam engine house. A building, constructed in 1860, which is detached from the main Mill, housed the Lancashire Boiler and two horizontal steam engines, manufactured by Goodfellows of Hyde. We started to investigate the depression where the building once stood but now was only showing the top few inches of the long engine holding down bolts above the debris and dense undergrowth.
Early on we uncovered what, at first, was thought to be the boiler flue but this seemed to be in the wrong location. The latest interpretation is that it is an economiser providing pre-heated water to the boilers to save on fuel.

In 1877 we find the original steam engines put up for sale and the following is the sale notice from the Manchester Guardian.

Manchester Guardian1877 Dec 18 p7


The Sale Notice says:
One Pair of Compound Horizontal Steam Engines by Goodfellow, of Hyde; high-pressure cylinder 14in. diameter, 4ft stroke. 2½in piston rod, cast iron slides, 9ft. connecting rod and strong cast-iron bed complete; low pressure cylinder 27in. diameter, 2ft.6in. stroke, 3½in. piston rod and connecting rod; horizontal air pump in front of low-pressure cylinder and on same piston rod, cylinder and air pump on cast-iron bed, complete; crank shaft, 6in. necks and 7ft centres of engines; spur wheel, 60 cogs, 3in. pitch, 8¼in. wide; flywheel, 12ft.3in. diameter; rim, 8in. wide by 9in. deep.
Can be seen at Bottoms Mill, Mellor, Marple.

From measurements taken from the holding down bolts, protruding through the ashlar engine mounting blocks, it has been calculated that the original pair of engines were replaced with a much more powerful pair in 1877. Possibly capable of producing 120 hp which is equivalent in power to the three mill water wheels. Was this a last ditch attempt to keep up with the steam powered mills in Stockport, Manchester and beyond? The new engines were powered by not one but two Lancashire Boilers with the second one housed in an extension to the north of the boiler house with extensive alterations to the coal cellars taking place at the same time.
During the excavations there have been a number of significant finds.
We have recovered several pieces of ‘fire bar’ from the boiler house and from the engine fly wheel pit a tapered key which was possibly to join a connecting rod to a piston.
A group of Scouts from Warrington, working towards their Heritage Badge, and later ‘A’ level Archaeology students from Aquinas College, in Stockport, have uncovered a substantial section of the flue which ran up the hillside from the boiler house.


Section of the brick arched flue.


A view across the engine house to the right and the boiler house to the left. The vertical section of brick wall separates one from the other. The flywheel pit can be clearly seen
in the engine house with the holding down bolts for the engines to either side.

We are sure that there has to be a drainage system from the boiler house to allow for the boilers being drained down for maintenance. To date we have failed to find its exact location and so during inclement weather we suffer from a build up of water at the bottom of the dig.
The building has been difficult, at times, to interpret due to the major alterations and extensions which took place when the engines and boilers were upgraded and we will need to give careful consideration to which features to present for public viewing. Of major concern is the conservation of the exposed masonry and its protection from the elements in the future. The English Heritage, Heritage at Risk team, will be advising us on the best way forward to ensure this important piece of our Industrial Heritage is presented and protected for all to enjoy into the future.
Weather permitting, work will carry on through the winter. Visitors and Volunteers are always welcome. We have tour guides available both for the casual visitor and, by arrangement, for organized groups.

Further information is available from Mellor Archaeological Trust both on the website or by email to
Bob Humphrey-Taylor
Mellor Mill
Site Director

Mellor Mill Heritage Day – 8th September
The long wait was over for those working behind the scenes to create the Mellor Mill Heritage Day, at the Roman Lakes. Weather forecasts had been watched as the day drew near, early in the week  Sunday was predicted to be wet and windy, clouds of despair began to grow, but lifted as the day approached, and fine weather was forecast. Volunteers scanned their print-offs, when would they be needed and where? Various jobs had to be done, pop-up museum, face painting, finds washing, beer tent, bricks and nails stall and more. Gazebos erected, fingers fiddled with fittings, tables filled, chairs found and sat upon. At last the sun shone through the clouds and the show was off to a fine start. Down either of the two hills, which descend from Marple and Marple Bridge, the visitors came, to encounter, first, the Booking Office. Under the green awning tickets, for entry to the site by programme, were available for the extensive tours of the Mill site. Nine tours in all, in three sets of three, these starting at 11.30am, 1.30pm, and 3.30pm. Then from the mill site, a walk, to the hub of operations for the day, Roman Lakes or Mill Pond 1(pre 1892), which became a hive of activity during the day. Though business started at a trickle, by noon the stream of visitors was in full flow. By which time Samuel Oldknow himself was guiding one of the tours round the site of his former mill. Fortunately the ground was not too wet; the penalty of muddy shoes was not too severe. Many questions, during the tours, interest in the project grew as the parties were led round. This serves as an indication of the invaluable work that has been carried out by the team in opening up the area to reveal some of our local history. Mellor Mill Heritage Day, a splendid, memorable occasion when the memory of Samuel Oldknow, his groundbreaking mill, and the mill hands was celebrated.

Networks – A Garden for Cancer Research UK at Tatton Flower Show
The final accounting for Mary Hoult’s Gold Medal winning garden is nearly complete and a cheque for £8000 plus will soon be presented to Cancer Research UK. The money was raised through a daily raffle, collections and plant sales. The garden was well received by all the Tatton visitors with many people saying how much they liked the calm and reflective nature of the Networks Garden.
The Charity was delighted to have a presence at Tatton and used the garden for award ceremonies. Also local groups of fundraisers were invited into the garden for special guided tours by Mary as a thank you for all their efforts.
Thank you to all volunteers – the planters, raffle tickets sellers and those that stood in the blazing sun for many hours explaining the garden design and planting scheme. Thank you also to all who took part in the plant sale outside the Devonshire Arms and to Darren and Louise for the use of the pub garden.
Alison Davies

The Festive Season in the Village
This a list of some of the events and entertainments happening in Mellor during Christmas and New Year. In case of late changes it would be worth checking the web sites of the various organisations.

Mellor Church
Sunday 1st December Advent Carol Service 6.30pm
Saturday 21st December Friends of Mellor Concert featuring Tom and Jennifer Lowe 7.30pm
Sunday 22nd December Service of Nine Lessons and Nine Carols 6.30pm
Tuesday 24th December Crib Services 4.00pm and 5.30pm

Mellor School
Friday 29th November Christmas Fayre at 5.00pm
Thursday 19th December School Carol Service at Mellor Church 7.00pm

Devonshire Arms
Christmas menu available throughout December
Saturday 21st December Marple Brass Band Christmas Carols 8.00pm
Tuesday 24th Special Christmas Eve menu
Thursday 26th Boxing Day Stomp and Chomp 12.00 start Treasure Hunt with free Hotpot
Tuesday 31st James Bond theme evening – come as your favourite Bond character – buffet available

Oddfellows Arms
Tuesday 31st December New Year seven course meal followed by fireworks at midnight.

Moorfield Arms
Special Christmas menu 3rd December to 24th December

Hare and Hounds
Festive menu throughout December
Prestige Festive Tester also available through December
Sunday 22nd December Carols in the Hare at 8.30pm
Tuesday 24th Reading of ‘twas The Night Before Christmas’ by actor Guy Nicholls at 9.00pm

Royal Oak
Friday 20th December Christmas Party at 4.00pm with the arrival of Father Christmas at 5.00pm

Mellor March Lantern Walk
Tuesday 17th December The Mellor March Lantern Walk in aid of cancer charities.
Leaving from the Royal Oak at 6.30pm. Circular route via the school, the church and the Hare and Hounds with carols sung at various points. Dress waterproofs with good footwear and lanterns (torches) to be carried. All welcome

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