logo
Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

5 Pages123>»
Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#1 Posted : 25 August 2010 09:55:23(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/03/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,494

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)

 

I did promise to start new topics on the Powder Mills of the Goyt Valley so here we go:
 
Firstly for those that were unaware of the fact that a gunpowder mill existed in Fernilee it was there for many years but as with lots of businesses it eventually folded due to lots of circumstances the main one being that it would be beneath 900 feet of water in the shape of the Fernilee Reservoir.
 
Below is the famous Inkerman photo of ‘work in progress’ at the Powder Mill and following that is the start of the construction works at Fernilee by the contractors.
You can see the ruins of the works that are just behind the dam wall.
 
With the eventual construction of Errwood Reservoir and the way in which the water supply is accessed it is very doubtful if the ruins will ever appear again.
 
This topic I will confine to the explosions at the mill (always worth a read a good explosion I think) and on another similar thread I will post just bits and bobs about the mill.
 
All will be done in my usual format of press cuttings, letters etc in blue and my own contributions in black.
 
It’s a bit grim at times but I hope you get some enjoyment from it.
 
R. S-S

 

 

R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#2 Posted : 25 August 2010 17:28:35(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/03/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,494

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)

 

Well here’s part 1 reporting the explosions in the Goyt Valley at the Powder Mills; it’s not for the faint hearted so read it but beware of nightmares.
Well I have told you now so don’t blame me. This refers mainly to you, Fedup of course.
 
Stockport Advertiser
 
27 May 1836
 
dreadful occurrence.
 
We are sorry to state that an explosion took place at the Powder Mills, at Fernilee, this morning, about seven o’clock, in the stoving house, by which two unfortunate creatures were in one moment deprived of their existence.
 
 
 
Macclesfield Courier
 
Saturday 4 June 1836
 
 
dreadful accident.    
 
On Thursday week, about six o’clock in the morning, one of the most dreadful accidents which we have ever had to record, occurred at Shallcross, in the County of Derby, about eight miles from Macclesfield.   
The powder mills of Messrs Williamson, which contained at the time a ton and a half of gunpowder, blew up with a tremendous explosion.   
George Heaps, a married man, with a wife and four children, who was in the mill at the time, was blown a distance of six hundred yards, to his master’s farm at Taxal, in this county, Shallcross being on the border of Cheshire and Derbyshire.   
He was, of course, quite dead when found.
   
Mr Hollins, the coroner for Cheshire, held an inquest on his body the very day that the poor man’s youngest child was baptized.
 
The persons who went in search of him when very near him observed something, which had not the most resemblance to a human body; but on going up they discovered that it was the miserable object of which they were in search.   
The clothes and the hair of his head were completely burnt off him, and the body almost reduced to a cinder.    One of his legs had been torn off and has not at present been found.
John Heaps, a single man, and the brother of George, was found in the ruins of the mill, with his clothes and hair burnt off, but still alive.   
He died, however, the day following in the greatest agony.
 
Now I know that we are back in 1836 and quite possibly (well certainly really) a workman’s life didn’t mean too much but did the Stocky Ad and Macc Courier really need to use those phrases?
 
I mean: “two unfortunate creatures”, “the miserable object”; they were men out to do a day’s work for goodness sake. And just imagine being a miserable object and being blown 600 yards to your Master’s farm at Taxal.
 
Incidentally I went for a walk around Fernilee Reservoir earlier today and I can report that the water level is well down and was as still as a mirror.
There are some magnificent specimens of toadstools in the wood but I didn’t come across George’s, or anyone else’s for that matter, missing leg.
But I may have another look tomorrow; work commitments permitting, of course.
 
R. S-S
 
shallcross  
#3 Posted : 26 August 2010 13:18:45(UTC)
shallcross
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 01/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 335
Location: uk

Hello All

Back from a wet South West, sorry to see all this bickering again on the forum realy puts me off contributing but will add this

The original Inkerman photograph hangs as we speak on a wall close to the Shady Oak and is one of very few that show any of the buildings, you can see that this is where the road crossed the valley coming down from Shaw Stile  and heading left up to Errwood and right up to Oldfield  toward Taxal,

This Photo another taken by Mortimers for Stockport Water Board  as Fernilee Reservoir was been constructed shows the white stock fencing  as you approached   the  Powder Mill entrance you still see much of this around Cheshire

Shallcross

Edited by user 26 August 2010 13:22:31(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

shallcross attached the following image(s):
tn_Entrance Powder Mill.JPG
Shallcross
shallcross  
#4 Posted : 26 August 2010 13:23:32(UTC)
shallcross
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 01/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 335
Location: uk

shallcross attached the following image(s):
Entrance Powder Mill.JPG
Shallcross
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#5 Posted : 26 August 2010 17:36:47(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/03/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,494

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)

 

A very good afternoon, Shallcross,
 
That is a fine photograph and certainly one that I have not seen before.
 
Your input to this forum, short though it has been, is invaluable. You obviously have many things of historical interest and I for one am desperate that you keep posting.
 
The bickering you refer to is down to one individual if you read the threads and I agree it has to stop. I would urge members not to respond in any way to his contributions.
 
Perhaps we could work together on the Construction of The Fernilee Reservoir. You have referred to a series of photos taken by Mortimers for Stockport Water Board.
 
I may have copies of these photos myself but I had never heard of Mortimers before you mentioned them. Are these photos still available to the general public?
And were they commissioned by Stockport Water Board or Stockport Corporation?
 
I have been promising to start a topic on Fernilee Reservoir for weeks now but keep putting it off for various reasons: it is such a large topic, could I get it in the right chronological order and would it be hi-jacked by a certain individual.
 
The subtopics alone are immense; look at the Powder Mills for an example.
Even the suspension bridge could keep me going for a few days and there is water piped from high up in the Goyt Valley to Buxton Old Road as part of the venture.
 
All good stuff and anything you know please pass on to us. A lot more people than you think will be grateful to you.
 
R. S-S
 
PS: Shallcross, I increase the size of my text as one regular reader has a little trouble coping with the normal size. So if you would like to help I’m sure the gentleman, and he is a perfect gentleman, would be most obliged.
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#6 Posted : 26 August 2010 17:45:36(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/03/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,494

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)

 

Taxal, Cheshire parish register.
 
Burials
 
1836 May 30       George Heaps 29 of Kettleshulme.
          May 30       John Heaps 24 of Kettleshulme.
 
Baptisms
 
1828 Feb 10       Joseph son George & Mary Heaps weaver of Taxal.
1831 Apr 17        Mary Ann dau George & Mary Heaps weaver of Taxal.
1834 Mar 2         Edward son George & Mary Heaps weaver of Kettleshulme b. Feb 1.
1836 May 30       Betty dau George & Mary Heaps weaver of Kettleshulme.
 
Now how sad is that?
 
R. S-S
Norm  
#7 Posted : 26 August 2010 18:04:45(UTC)
Norm
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 821
Man

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)

R. Stephenson-Smythe wrote:

  

The bickering you refer to is down to one individual if you read the threads and I agree it has to stop. I would urge members not to respond in any way to his contributions.
 

That was my fault, and I apologise. I will not mention him again and that way I doubt if we will hear from him since he requested to be removed from the forum and I am sure he is a man of his word. Sorry again.

I will soon be updating the album with pictures of trains and train lines. Buggyite is certainly into trains and has supplied interesting information. I, for one, did not realise the number of lines that were in and around Whaley Bridge. But then there is a lot I don't know of the history round here. So Shallcross please keep posting as R-S.S has asked.

Also, forgot to say. Since this is such a large subject, R.S-S, it may be best to have one link from the Website's Home Page and then brokenup into other sub-pages on different parts of the subject. When you, and hopefully Shallcross, have put more on the forum it will give me an idea how big the subject is, and how to break it up.  

Edited by user 26 August 2010 18:11:04(UTC)  | Reason: Forgot last paragraph

shallcross  
#8 Posted : 26 August 2010 19:38:39(UTC)
shallcross
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 01/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 335
Location: uk

Ok RSS, Norm

I dont mind sharing but wouldnt like the idea of somebody just using images for personal gain that have taken me 30 years to aquire

Mortimers were a Buxton Photographers based on Torr Street they didnt produce as many commercial Postcards as Ledsham, Stewarts, Hunters or later Boards, but there are a few mainly Buxton but he was the official photographer for the construction of Fernilee Reservoir some images do have his name on, many don't but i think that the majority of images that are around today will be part of what he took and thankfully left us with  images that we could never reproduce today, are they still available? I dont think so, although I do know who has the official album

I am still struggling to reduce the size of the image for posting I fear they will be to big for the site to cope with Guidence please

 

This is the Hollows

Shallcross

File Attachment(s):
B Fernilee - The Hollows 00.jpg (287kb) downloaded 76 time(s).
Shallcross
Norm  
#9 Posted : 26 August 2010 19:56:58(UTC)
Norm
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 821
Man

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)

Hi Shallcross

Good to hear from you but I am a bit perplexed about you statement about personal gain. Do you mean that if you put photos on the forum then someone may copy them and sell them on in some way. If that is the case then there is not a lot we can do about it, maybe limit the number you show. I know R.S-S is not really that bothered about showing his photos, he likes to share his interest with anyone who has a passion for it.

Cheers

Norm

Photo from post #8 added

Edited by user 27 August 2010 16:56:48(UTC)  | Reason: Photo from post #8 added

Norm attached the following image(s):
hollows.JPG
shallcross  
#10 Posted : 26 August 2010 20:15:40(UTC)
shallcross
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 01/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 335
Location: uk

OK Norm

I will limit what I post

Here's one more showing The Hollows during Construction

 

Shallcross

File Attachment(s):
Contruction Fernilee reservoir.jpg (588kb) downloaded 97 time(s).
Shallcross
Horwich Ender  
#11 Posted : 26 August 2010 20:49:15(UTC)
Horwich Ender
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 16/06/2009(UTC)
Posts: 559

Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)

Brilliant photo's R. S-S and Shallcross which I have never seen before.

Many thanks for sharing them with us.

Edited by user 26 August 2010 20:58:08(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

umtali  
#12 Posted : 27 August 2010 08:57:23(UTC)
Guest
Rank: *Banned*

Groups: Guest
Joined: 22/02/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,461

shallcross wrote:

I am still struggling to reduce the size of the image for posting I fear they will be to big for the site to cope with Guidence please

 Shallcross

Go to  http://www.removed/size.htm

Your pictures are re-sized for Forum use

umtali

 

R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#13 Posted : 27 August 2010 12:58:15(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/03/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,494

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)

 

Hello Shallcross,
 
I’ve had a bit more time this morning and have checked my photos of the construction of Fernilee Reservoir.
 
I indeed do have a copy of the photo you put on the forum yesterday and some of the photos are marked with the logo “Mortimer’s of Buxton”.
 
Most of these seem to be the ones involving close-up shots such as: ‘the 230 feet deep trench’, ‘the pipe trench’, ‘the discharge tunnel’, and ‘the valve shaft widening’.
 
I was going to use these in the Fernilee Reservoir topic that I am still keen to do on here.
 
I think I must have a fairly comprehensive collection of Mortimer’s phots that I did not know about until this morning.
 
By the way a friend of mine showed me some additional old photos of Whaley the other day and quite a few of them I have not seen including some of the Reservoir. In particular one that took my eye was the suspension bridge still in position whilst the main works were well under way.
 
Below is a photo similar to the one you posted yesterday and I assume this is a Mortimer’s as well.
 
R. S-S
 

shallcross  
#14 Posted : 27 August 2010 15:25:29(UTC)
shallcross
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 01/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 335
Location: uk

RSS

Remembered the larger print this time.

As i said i think that 95% of Fernilee construction Photographs will be Mortimers, there were one or two postards issued by seperate publishers but not many quite rare those, except for Plants repros in the seventies but they were repros of the ones you have, if you wish to start the Construction thread I will Post images while you write I may have some Images you dont and vice versa, the Image you have added today does show again ''The Hollows'' I think they left it standing till the end maybe used it as a brew house.

With reference to the Suspension Bridge I do have a number of Images of that including when work started on Errwood, but dont forget it was up and functioning when Fernilee was completed, to me it always used to feel like it was moving when you walked across and looked through the iron grid at the Water below.

Or do you want to continue with the Powder Mill I have a few relating to that as well

or both, up to you!

dont peak to soon

Shallcross

 

Shallcross
shallcross  
#15 Posted : 27 August 2010 15:52:39(UTC)
shallcross
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 01/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 335
Location: uk

This is the ill fated George Raven not the best of Photos but history is about people as much as buildings

Shallcross

File Attachment(s):
George Raven.jpg (1,244kb) downloaded 66 time(s).
Shallcross
Norm  
#16 Posted : 27 August 2010 16:04:18(UTC)
Norm
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 821
Man

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)

Photo from #15 and Fernilee construction from #10

Have you any photo software Shallcross? The large version could be useful if it goes on the website though, so maybe a good idea to post the large version as well.

Or you can email them to me at wblocalhistory@gmail.com This is the email address from the website, and I will return them smaller.

Norm

Edited by user 27 August 2010 17:00:26(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Norm attached the following image(s):
GRaven.JPG
construction.JPG
Norm  
#17 Posted : 27 August 2010 17:07:55(UTC)
Norm
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 821
Man

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)

Now R.S-S's photos are often the wrong way round.

We have a difference here between Shallcross's #10 and R.S-S's #13.

So I have flipped R.S-S's here, now I have done that I bet both are wrong

Norm

Norm attached the following image(s):
RssFernilee.JPG
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#18 Posted : 27 August 2010 17:10:00(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/03/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,494

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)

 

My word, Shallcross,
 
That is a wonderful photo of George Raven. I have definitely never seen that before.
The topic will eventually get to the explosion that killed poor George and it isn’t particularly very nice but then history sometimes isn’t. Just ask Anne Boleyn.
 
I don’t want to fly through the explosion topic as it tends to over face people so I will just add a bit every other day as I did with the Murder Stone.
 
But once again thank you for the photo of George.
 
R. S-S
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#19 Posted : 27 August 2010 22:31:50(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/03/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,494

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)

shallcross wrote:

RSS

Remembered the larger print this time.

As i said i think that 95% of Fernilee construction Photographs will be Mortimers, there were one or two postards issued by seperate publishers but not many quite rare those, except for Plants repros in the seventies but they were repros of the ones you have, if you wish to start the Construction thread I will Post images while you write I may have some Images you dont and vice versa, the Image you have added today does show again ''The Hollows'' I think they left it standing till the end maybe used it as a brew house.

With reference to the Suspension Bridge I do have a number of Images of that including when work started on Errwood, but dont forget it was up and functioning when Fernilee was completed, to me it always used to feel like it was moving when you walked across and looked through the iron grid at the Water below.

Or do you want to continue with the Powder Mill I have a few relating to that as well

or both, up to you!

dont peak to soon

Shallcross

 

 

Hello Shallcross,
 
I too have had the same experience with that suspension bridge; if you ran very quickly over the open mesh floor you had the impression of running across the water far below and if your mates got the bridge swinging well say no more.
 
I am wondering if we ever went there together; I think it is a strong possibility bearing in mind the name you use on here.
 
As regards forum subjects I would like to finish the 2 threads that are currently under way before the epic that will become Fernilee Reservoir.
 
But I would very much welcome your input into both Powder Mill threads as I proceed.
 
It is really nice to see you contributing on here and sharing your knowledge with us all.
 
Thank you,
 
R. S-S
R. Stephenson-Smythe  
#20 Posted : 28 August 2010 12:58:30(UTC)
R. Stephenson-Smythe
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Member
Joined: 19/03/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,494

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)

 

Yet another sad affair: James Sayer burnt to a crosil.
 
A crosil? Yes sadly a crosil.
 
 
High Peak News
 
26 November 1892
 
the late james sayer.
 
On May 4th 1848, a workman names James Sayer was burned to death at the Fernilee Powder Works, and Mr W. Srigley, who now resides at Burbage, Buxton, and is an employee of the Buxton Lime Firms (Limited,) wrote an account of the accident and composed some lines on the subject.    We quote the following from the pamphlet, which, by the way, was printed by J. Taylor. Chapel-en-le-Frith, and sold at 1d. The profits to go to the widow.    Mr Srigley says: “The reason of me publishing this little treatise, is because I feel much concerned on the sudden removal of that pious and devoted man, James Sayer; not that I wish to add to his virtues, for his past life portrays that he was a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost, instant in season and out of season, doing all that lay in his power.
 
                             To save poor souls out of the fire
                             And snatch them from the verge of hell.
 
But now he is no more, for on the morning of the 4th day of this month, when busy making powder, the mill took fire and burned him almost to a crosil.    But when the men in the other mills saw what was done, they ran to his assistance, but on entering the place they could not proceed for the sulphur and smoke which was so thick and strong: but after pausing a little they attempted again, and found him in a corner with his hands lifted up crying, in a feeble tone, ‘Help! Help!’    But on laying hold of his hands to rescue him, his flesh and finger ends came off, while all his clothes were burned save the waist of his trousers; but as soon as he was brought out of the place, he exclaimed, ‘Thank God for having the fullness.’    Previous to this, some narrow-minded people would say that he was insincere in his worship, while others would call him an enthusiast, but now his religion is brought to the test: his soul is on the verge of eternity, and his body is tortured with pain, but yet he is a happy man.    He was a champion in the cause of God before, and now carries it to his latest moments.    He could talk of death as being his friend, or but a passage to the skies, and now he meets it with a smile.    Nor had he lost that Holy zeal which he carried through the world, of telling lost sinners of a dying Saviour, for when his friends were carrying him home he called aloud to the unconverted, ‘Give your hearts to God,’ and then he broke forth into singing these beautiful lines:-
 
                             Would Jesus have a sinner die?
                             Why hangs He then on yonder tree?
                              What means that strange expiring cry?
                             Sinners: He prays for you and me;
                             Forgive them father, Oh forgive,
                             They know not that by Me they live.
 
He was taken home and attended by a doctor, but it was with great ado that his friends could keep him still for the great weight of glory that awaited him so animated his soul that he cried aloud in praise and thanksgiving to God, for says an eye-witness ‘If we had not restrained him I believe he would have made the very house to have rung with prayer and praise.’    But as he was sensible that the time of his departure was at hand, he entreated his wife very tenderly to give him up, as he shortly must bid her a final adieu.    He survived until 9 o’clock in the evening, and then his happy spirit took its flight to flourish in perpetual bloom.    Appended to the account are lines entitled ‘The Dying Peace’ and ‘His Ascension to Glory.’”
 
 
Taxal parish registers
 
Burial
 
1848 May 7         James Sayer of Fernilee 29 years.
 
Users browsing this topic
5 Pages123>»
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.