A Case Of Sheep Rustling December 1850 and Richard Warren was committed to the sessions for stealing nine sheep from Samuel Taylor, a cattle dealer from Hulme. Warren had sold a sheep in Stockport, another in Hazel Grove and another in Whaley Bridge. Police caught up with him in a Whaley pub where he was found in possession of the remaining six sheep. It is not reported which pub this was but one wonders whether the animals were in the bar with him.
Whaley Bridge Newspaper Cuttings
Thunder and Lightning
August 1877 and Bingswood was struck by a severe storm. Mr Plant's farmhouse was struck while the family were in the sitting room and a young man was struck on the arm by the "electric fluid". Nearby at Bing's Cottages, lightning passed through a bedroom and into the kitchen. James Wilson ran into a pantry but could not escape and was "rendered insensible"
A band of 60 German gipsies found themselves unwelcome in Sheffield and on the Friday night were escorted by the police across the border into Derbyshire. Derbyshire police didn't like them either and drove them back into Sheffield. Tiring of their game the police eventually let them camp by the roadside but were ready for them on Saturday morning. Twenty policemen then escorted them through Hathersage, Hope, Castleton and Chapel until eventually they came to Whaley Bridge. Once across the Cheshire border on Macclesfield Road, the police mounted a blockade against their return. Tired from their travels, the gipsies made camp and the site "looked like a fair". Hundreds of visitors turned up to see them and a trade in cheap jewellery and other goods ensued. Others, feeling sorry for their treatment gave money. The gipsies liked the country so much that they said they would like to stay for two years. The Cheshire police soon heard of their presence however and mounting a force of 30 men, drove them through Macclesfield and Stockport to Heaton Mersey. The story ends here for although being met by 20 Lancashire police, they were allowed to camp overnight in a field at the county boundary.
A Lucky Escape
January 10th 1873 and two men, Jonanthan Jodrell and Matthew Wilson were working underground at Fernilee Pit. Hearing a noise from the roof, they headed towards the shaft which was about 100 yards away. They had not got far when an enormous rush of water engulfed them. The shaft was at an incline and the force of water propelled them to the surface. The adit was on a hillside and the water continued to pour out of the mine. The men were said to be much exhausted and the pit still flooded.
May 1946 and the vicar of Fernilee, George Firth was charged with public mischief. He had reported to the police that £28 had been stolen from the vestry safe at his old parish of Ault Hucknall. After the police had made a number of inquiries, he admitted having taken the money himself . Firth pleaded not guilty and was remanded on bail awaiting trial.
A Celebration 28th June 1875 and great celebrations accompanied the laying of the foundation stone of the new Mechanics Institute. The Guardian described, at length, the features and facilities of the new building which had been designed by architect S.Howard of Poynton in an italianate style. Mr Stafford of New Mills was the contractor and construction was expected to cost £1600. Mr Kirk of Bothomes Hall laid the stone and in his speech expressed the hope that the institute would be "the means of doing an immense amount of good intellectually and otherwise- for the inhabitants of Whaley Bridge". A procession paraded around the village comprising several bands, freemasons from many different lodges, oddfellows, shepherds, the rifle volunteers and the cricket club. The National Anthem was played to conclude the ceremony and the proceedings then adjourned to the Band Of Hope Hall where after the taking of tea, guests were entertained with a concert by the Tonic Sol-fa Association.
Disaster at Wedding November 1865 and a wedding at Taxal ended in disaster. Following the wedding ceremony, the guests boarded two carriages and an argument followed as to which vehicle should take the lead. A race ensued and on reaching the turn at Horwich End, one of the carriages then rode for some distance on only one wheel and then overturned. The bridegroom William Waine suffered a dislocated shoulder but his sister Eliza Waine was found "devoid of all animation" and "it was feared that life was extinct". Being attended to by Dr. Bennet of Chapel it was said that there were but faint hopes of recovery. By the following morning however, she managed for the first time to speak a few words. It was feared though, that her spine may be permanently damaged. The parish clerk, Isaac Lomas was also "taken up insensible" but "revived with stimulants". John Andrew also sustained injuries to head and body. The carriage was broken and the horse badly injured.
Miraculous escape of two men.
On Wednesday evening week, at about 7 o'clock a most singular occurrence took place at Fernilee near Whaley Bridge, to two men who were engaged in working in search of coals, at a shaft which had been opened by Mr Lehas Proctor. It was 14 yards deep and the working underneath extended to some 50 yards from the pit mouth, and whilst the men, one of whom was called John Jodrell, were busy, the water burst in with such force, as to sweep both of them right away, and forced them to the top of the shaft, where they were pulled out by J. Proctor, who was working at the top. Both had a most miraculous escape, as the shaft was filled with water
Knife Crime Fred Hulse was charged with unlawfully wounding George Bramwell. The stabbing with a penknife took place at Taxal Bleachworks where the two boys worked. Additional evidence was awaited and it was anticipated that the charge would be reduced to assault. The expected sentance would be a fine of 21 shillings or 21 days imprisonment.
The case was heard at Stockport County Sessions in November 1882.
The Guardian in July 1842 advertised the latest means of travel between Manchester and Whaley Bridge
Having very much enjoyed an excursion to Lyme Hall by the Ashton Packet, I would recommend it through the medium of your paper, to the attention of those who wish to take a pleasant trip at light expense. The packet leaves the Dukinfield Station, on the Sheffield Railway, every Wednesday morning, on the arrival of the first train from Manchester; passes through Hyde, Atherlow, Marple and Disley, and goes forward to Whaley Bridge.
It reaches Marple about eleven o'clock, and the hour occupied in getting it through the locks may be very agreeably spent in going to see the beautiful prospect from the church. Those who intend to visit the hall, leave the packet at Disley about noon, and meet it on it's return from Whaley Bridge at 4 ½ o'clock pm. The delay of the boat at Marple affording the opportunity of taking tea, everything is comfortably provided, at a very moderate charge, at an inn near the locks. The arrival at Ashton is in time for the last train at Manchester.
To parties of pleasure and lovers of nature, the pleasantness of the sail, and the delightfully picturesque scenery with which the neighbourhood of some of the above named villages abounds, render the trip exceedingly attractive. And even persons on business, who wish to visit Compstall, Ludworth, Mellor, New Mills, Hayfield, Chapel-En-Le-Frith and Buxton will find it a convenient and agreeable mode of conveyance.
A LOVER OF CHEAP PLEASURE
1869 and Peter Downes pleaded guilty to stealing £1. 17s . 6d, the property of Richard Johnson of Bugsworth. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty and the accused was discharged.
A canal tragedy March 1905.
The body of an elderly woman was recovered from The Peak Forest Canal at New Mills yesterday morning. It was identified as that of Mrs Sarah Rowley, widow of the late Mr Edward Rowley, of Bugsworth. It is supposed that she was returning home from New Mills on Saturday night by the towing path when she was blown into the canal. Five members of this family have been drowned in the canal at or near Bugsworth - Mrs Rowley, her brother, two grandchildren, and her brother - in - law. Another brother was killed in a stone quarry
In 1835 the Peak Forest Canal conveyed some unusual passengers to Bugsworth. This story is from The Sheffield Iris of December 1835. HUNTING EXTRAORDINARY
On Friday week a deer and a bear gave no little trouble to some of the inhabitants of Chapel-En-Le-Frith and Stoney Middleton. The deer had arrived at Bugsworth per Wheatcroft's boat and was to be forwarded by their waggon to the owner, Mr Butcher of Sheffield who intended it for the menagery now collecting in the Botanic Garden. He was duly deposited in that conveyance but at Stoney Middleton the waggoners must needs have a peep at him and raised the covering for that purpose; the animal, probably not liking so tedious a mode of travelling, instantly seized the opportunity, sprang out of the waggon and was out of sight in an instant. He was not seen again until Sunday, when he was discovered by a party of men who had been employed to search for him, in a wood close by Middleton. After many efforts they succeeded in enticing him into a sheep pen and rushing in after him, they fully expected to seize him, but with one bound the deer sprung over the heads of five or six of his escort and knocked down the remainder. The chase was however, commenced anew and with better success and the animal was at length secured and sent to the owner.
On the same day, and by the same conveyance, a bear was a part of the loading of Messrs. Wheatcroft's boat and which gave the luckless waggoners even more trouble than the deer. The efforts of four or five men were directed to the object of introducing Mr. Bruin into a hogshead, for the purpose of placing him in the waggon, but his violent resistance made it a difficult matter, and in the struggle his collar (to which the chain was attched) broke, and the bear finding himself at liberty, knocked down three of his persecutors, and departed at the top of his speed. He luckily ran into Hibberson's warehouse, where a grand hunt immediately commenced; the doors were closed, lights brought (for it was after dark), and dogs turned in. Bruin behaved very gallantly, and repeatedly put to the rout his human pursuers, to whom he was a formidable object, having no muzzle or chain on him; he was, however, secured at last, and forwarded to his destination at Sheffield, but not before he had severely scratched, bitten and torn the clothes of his assailants.