12.30 on Sunday 2nd December 2018 at Roman Lakes Tea Rooms
‘Their Christmas starts here’ to paraphrase the clarion call of ‘Ready –Steady Go’, ‘The weekend starts here'. That Friday evening programme that must have been essential viewing for many of the day’s diners, when they were nowt but lads and lasses, the sallow youths of many a year ago.
But as well as play this weekend, work had to done. Work in ‘manning’ the MAT stall at Saturday’s Winter Wonderland in Marple Bridge, led by Bob & Hilary Humphrey – Taylor. The Trust’s Gazebo sat midst Morris Men, the Manchester rock Choir and a host of entertainers both those young and those not so young.
Once again, for the Trust’s Christmas meal, the Sewart family, along with their staff at the Roman Lakes came up trumps, on Sunday 3rd December. They enabled the 75 or so of Trust Friends, with their partners and friends, to luxuriate in an afternoon of fine food and the warmth of very special hospitality.
(Left: Ann, Anne and a raffle)
Trooping in, being ticked off the list of 'covers’, buying raffle tickets, we sat at the seasonally decorated tables. But before that, a chance to enjoy mood setting mulled wine, served on arrival, to view the raffle table groaning under the weight of prizes, and the warmth of the wood burning stove. Eventually sitting, before us lay the forks, knives, glasses and crackers ready for use. The hubbub of conversation grew, plans for Christmas extolled, the advantage of forward planning discussed, and the consequences of that unexpected Christmas Eve phone call remembered.
Brimming after two sumptuous courses, the party settled back in their chairs. The time had arrived for the afternoon’s entertainment in the capable hand of the Barleys. First Meg Barley gave us a solo unaccompanied rendition of 'A Little Old Schoolhose Down a Counrty Lane', made famous by Randolph Sutton. Follow that! And Mike did, in spades. Regaling us with the humorous side of Christmas celebrations at primary schools, a distant, very distant memory for those listening, but warm stories to finish the afternoon.
Sincere thanks to Meg and Mike, and again to both the Sewart family and their staff at the Roman Lakes, a December Sunday afternoon to cherish in memory.
Photos: Arthur Procter
Text: Martin Cruickshank, January 2018
Hydropower or water power is power derived from the energy of falling water or running water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower from many kinds of watermills has been used as a renewable energy source for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as gristmills, sawmills, textile mills, trip hammers, dock cranes, domestic lifts, and ore mills.
So, how do you choose how to occupy your time on that last Thursday evening in April? Discount the temptation of the Leaders Question Time or the continuing saga of the World Championship Snooker? And take yourself to the Mellor Centre for an evening 'Water Power: Then & Now ' ? But of course, yes.
Unveiling the 1805 Painting of Mellor Mill
On Saturday, March 14, an oil painting of Samuel Oldknow’s Mellor Mill, was unveiled, which hangs high above the reception desk. A few years ago, Mark Whittaker, (left) who has done so much for the community by establishing the Marple Website, heard about this picture. Engravings had long been known, indeed one hangs in the library, but this was the original oil painting by the Manchester artist, Joseph Parry. In late 2013, Mark was told that the owner, Sean White, wanted to sell it for £3,500 and would be happy for it to come to Marple. As he wanted to sell quickly, the Mellor Archaeological Trust launched an appeal to raise funds to acquire it for the benefit of the community. The Cooperative Community Fund started the ball rolling by paying half the cost of the painting. The SMBC Area Flexibility Fund provided £500 and as did the Mellor Society. Other support came from four local organisations and from over 20 individual donors. This not only covered the cost of the picture but paid for conservation and insurance.
At the unveiling, Professor John Hearle, Chairman of the Trust, told the story of the acquisition of the painting. This complements the excavation of the remains of the mill, which was burnt out in 1892, as part of the HLF-supported project “Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy: Mellor Mill and the Peak Forest Canal in Marple”, being run jointly with Canal and River Trust. The Mayor of Stockport, Councillor Kevin Hogg, welcomed the display of the picture of the largest cotton mill in Stockport, indeed in the world, when it was built in 1790-92, so that it can be seen by the local community. He then asked Mark Whittaker to pull the cord and open a view of the picture and its accompanying plaque.
Cleaned Parry Picture
Christmas was approaching fast, but cars took their time approaching Roman Lakes tiptoeing along the bridleway that leads to the venue for the third annual Christmas ‘Do’ of the Trust, the Roman Lakes Café. The coaxing done by email and a website reminder had produced the more than three dozen diners. Pushing open the door to the warmth of the cafe, after being ticked off on the list of atendees, many headed to the wood burning stove, to warm themselves to the core.