A little artistic licence has been employed for that alarming headline, as the events described here happened many years before the Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant came to occupy its present position on Stockport Road, opposite the entrance to Memorial Park. However, as it easily identifies the location in question for the majority of local people, I hope that readers will forgive the deliberately misleading start to this article.
A vintage photo of a Marple WWI Roll of Honour has been discovered that lists not only the fallen but all of Marple's "Old Boys" who answered the call at the time the photo was taken. Amongst the names are also men who survived the war and we know little or nothing about many of them. Do you have a relative on this list? Can you tell us more about what happened to the local men who survived?
Field Marshall Montgomery is not a name usually connected with Marple local history. But the Carver name most certainly is, and it is here where the connection lies. Oswald Carver was the eldest child of Thomas Carver who bought the Hollins Mill in 1859. At the age of 19 he entered into the mill management and eventually married, living in Marple with his wife and five children. In 1902 the family moved to Cranage Hall, near Holmes Chapel, and Oswald became more involved with the Manchester side of the business.
These two wonderful scrapbooks were complied by Flora Buck while she worked as a Red Cross Nurse at the Brabyns Auxiliary Military Hospital from October 1914 until May 1919. The content of the scapbooks will be fascinating to anyone interested in Marple's history during this period. The frequency and detail of the regular reports in local newspapers is quite amazing and it was clearly the social media platform of its time in a way that is not always appreciated today.
An imaginary journey through the Marple of yesteryear with Gordon Mills using old photographs (some over 100 years old), together with some more recent photographs (April 2003) for comparison.
Gordon was a prolific writer, photographer and local historian who produced several fascinating video interviews with local people, guided local history walks and this, the definitive photo history presentation of "Marple's Changing Face".
Alan Proctor was a well-known local character - once met never forgotten. He wrote the first draft of his recollections of Hawk Green in 2005 and I wanted to publish them at the time but they were (rightly) featured on the HGRA web site, so I linked to them instead. After the HGRA site went off-line in 2011, Alan asked for them to be reproduced on The Marple Website so that they can be shared with the wider community, as they should be.
Marple Hall is probably Marple's greatest historical loss. If it had survived a few more years it may have become a tourist attraction like Bramhall Hall but sadly that was not to be and all we can do today is speculate what might have been. However, at least you can at least take a Guided Tour of the hall through these pages and learn something about the incredible history that helped shape the community we live in today and discover a few relics that people managed to save.
Samuel Oldknow came to this district in 1787 and remained for over 40 years, until his death at the age of 72. During this time he changed the face of Marple beyond all recognition, being the chief architect and driving force in the development and industrialisation of the area. Along with his mill at Mellor he was responsible for the building of roads, bridges, coal mines and housing for his workers. He was also instrumental in the construction of the Peak Forest Canal. A monument to him, placed in the Church he built to replace the old Chapel that had become too small for the expanding community, gives a clear indication of his standing and influence.