The photo id for this photograph is 1122, in the Whaley Bridge T-Z album.

Whaley Bridge

Photograph added 1st April 2015


Comment 1

Left by G. Jackson on the 1st April 2015

The small shed in the foreground is where Ernie Crabtree kept his daughters Shetland Pony. He had the shop which is now Leatham's solicitors and the laundrette downstairs.

Comment 2

Left by Marjorie Mourne nee Hartle on the 2nd April 2015

Before Ernest Crabtree, Harold Roome the Fishmonger had his hens running about in this field - he also sold the eggs in his fish shop.

Comment 3

Left by R. S-S on the 3rd April 2015

A young woman's body was found in the wooden shed. She was 'in service' at Whaley Hall but lived in the servants quarters at Brookfield House just across the road from the hen house as it was known.
At the time the inquest turned out to be quite sensational. I've told the tale many times but if anyone wants it repeated I will gladly put it on here for you.

Comment 4

Left by R. S-S on the 6th April 2015

A couple of people have phoned me about the incident in the hen house and have asked me to put it on here; so here you are:

A young lady (name not known) was in service at Brookfield House, on Reservoir Road, Whaley Bridge in 1930. Brookfield House was, in those days, the servants' quarters for Whaley Hall.

She was somehow 'involved' with a local police officer, Police Constable Gage from Bridgemont. She told other servants that she and Gage used to meet on Reservoir Road and go to the hen house for a drink.
One Saturday night she got off the Buxton train at Whaley Bridge and started to walk up Reservoir Road to Brookfield House where she was 'in service'. She was followed by PC Gage from Bridgemont as witnessed by Frank Collier who was employed at Botany Bleach Works. PC Gage did not see Frank Collier.
The next day the young lady was found dead in William Eyre's hen run and, not intended as a pun, foul play was immediately suspected. The hen run was in the field opposite Brookfield House. The field is now owned by Grant Ford and the hen house is still there after all these years.

A post mortem revealed that the girl had been poisoned with a very rare poison.
The police made enquiries at all the local chemists and the only person who had acquired this type of poison was Police Constable Gage.
Gage was suspected of murdering the girl and was summoned as a witness to the inquest held at the Mechanics Institute on Market Street in Whaley Bridge.
The number of people who wanted to attend the inquest was far too many than the building could cater for so seats were fixed on the pavement outside and loudspeakers were erected so that those people could at least hear the proceedings.

Gage was very evasive with his answers to the Coroner.

When asked why he had bought the very same poison that killed the girl he said he knew nothing about it and he had simply bought the poison to end his dog's life as it was suffering from a medical condition.
The Coroner asked Gage where he had buried the dog so that checks could be made on its body.
Gage said he had thrown it in the fire-box at Blandola Riddle Works in Bridgemont close to where he lived.
Asked where he had kept the remains of the poison so that could be also checked he said he had also thrown that in the fire-box.

The jury was ordered to return an open verdict and Gage was free to go.

He was transferred the next day to take up duties in Northwich and nobody was ever charged with the poor girl's murder.

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