December saw the publication of the first comprehensive history of Crumpsall. This book, over 30 years in the making, is the work of local historian Martin Gittins. It tells the stories of the people, the buildings and the events which have contributed to creating such a rich history in this north Manchester suburb – once referred to in an advertisement as ‘The breezy heights of Crumpsall.’
The book is the culmination of decades of research by the author and is based on his popular series of self-guided circular walks ‘From the Green’ which each direct the reader on a walk of discovery around a different part of the district.
Amongst the notable names mentioned are Humphrey Chetham who founded the Chetham School – now the school of music, Rev. C.W. Ethelston, the magistrate who, fatefully, read the riot act to a peaceful gathering before the massacre at Peterloo and James Rawson, one of England’s greatest archers who lies, in a forgotten plot, in St. Mark’s churchyard.
The whole book is illustrated throughout and includes extracts from old maps of the area which are a great source of information and add a further dimension to the narrative.
Not satisfied with creating the Crumpsall book Martin has made great use of the imposed lockdown and has gone on to pen ‘York Street – the History of Cheetham Hill Road’ another fascinating insight into who and what made north Manchester the most desirable place to live in times past. The book introduces the reader to inventors and scientists, authors and clergymen, adventurers and romantics who have all called Cheetham Hill Road ‘home’.
Find out who Charles Dickens’ Cheeryble Brothers really were, when the Cheetham Hill Wakes Fair was held, and which World Championships were held on Derby Street. Discover too, how the Bijou Cinema stood out from the crowd for entertainment and in which church Felix Mendelssohn played the organ.
Why do we have an area known as Temple? You can read for yourself the evidence to support a Roman connection. Originally York Street, the name of this northern arterial road was later changed to Cheetham Hill Road and runs from Long Millgate to the Half Way House, where the White Smithy and the tollhouse once stood, with a horse trough in the middle of the junction.
These and many more interesting facts can be found within the pages of these two new publications.
Martin Gittins is a retired Primary School Deputy Headteacher and local historian. He is the co-founder of the ‘Cheetham and Crumpsall Heritage Society’ and founder of the ‘Friends of St. Mark’s Cheetham’ Facebook group. He describes himself as a Heritage Activist and sometime musician.
Copies of all his books can be obtained from ‘The Corner Shop’ on his website
www.all-things-considered.org or by ringing 07760 430 577
CHEETHAM AND CRUMPSALL HERITAGE SOCIETY
The society was founded in 2015 and currently has around forty members. In normal times we meet at 7.30pm on the Second Monday of each month at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, 31 Smedley Lane, Cheetham. M8 8XB. There is no joining fee – we simply ask for a subscription of £2 whenever you attend a meeting. Visits are charged depending on the location and possible entrance fees etc.
We enjoy a range of activities including illustrated talks, guided walks, members’ sharing evenings and visits to places of interest in the Greater Manchester area. Details are posted on our Facebook Page and, during Covid restrictions we are trying to post regular snippets of news and interest for our members.
For further information post your question on the Facebook page ‘Cheetham and Crumpsall Heritage Society’ or phone 07760 430 577
FRIENDS OF ST. MARK’S CHEETHAM
We are a group of individuals who all want to preserve and protect the history of St. Mark’s churchyard. We are working alongside the City Council and other agencies to develop a plan to clear and improve the site, provide information signage and, eventually, create a place which is attractive and accessible to the public.
We also intend to document the information about the interments in the churchyard, some of which are important locally and nationally in historical terms.
For further information post your question on the Facebook page ‘Friends of St. Mark’s Cheetham’ or phone 07760 430 577