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Cheadle Civic Society launch photograph archive

by Iain Roberts on 15 October, 2014

From Cheadle Civic Society:

See the Civic Society’s new photograph archive here.

Photographic history of Cheadle
The Cheadle Civic Society has digitised its entire collection of approximately 800 ar­chive photographs and has now uploaded these online to provide a revealing insight into Cheadle history.

The rare photographs cover 130 years, dating back to the 1860s and include every­thing from early pictures of Abney Hall, Cheadle High Street and the historic St Mary’s parish church. There is also an excellent selection of late 19th Century photographs of the horse-drawn bus services which used to operate between the White Hart Hotel and the centre of Manchester and revealing colour photographs of the old Buckley Chapel, which stood in the grounds of Abney Hall until it was demolished in the 1960s.

Other highlights include many old school group photographs, street scenes, special occasions, as well as photographs of former prime ministers Winston Churchill and Edward Heath when they visited Cheadle during different 20th Century general elec­tion campaigns.

The full collection of photographs were taken by both amateur and professional pho­tographers and donated to the Society over many years. Significantly, many of those which have deteriorated through age have now also been digitally improved.

Zoom feature
To enhance the experience of viewing the photographs, the Civic Society web site has a special full-screen and zoom feature which gives users the opportunity to view each photograph in great detail. There is also an online comments page to enable anyone to add personal stories relating to any of the pictures.

Phillip Gould-Bourn, chairman of the Cheadle Civic Society, says the photographs should be of great interest to the community at large, not just to the people of Cheadle. “They provide a rich snapshot of local life spanning several generations and will be an invaluable resource to all social historians,” he says.

   6 Comments

6 Responses

  1. Phillip Gould-Bourn says:

    Credit must be given to Alan Jabez, who undertook this enormous task.His work has taken Cheadle Civic Society to another level.Please take time to study it.

  2. Stuart Thompson says:

    What a magnificent collection! I moved to Cheadle (Cringle Drive) in late November 1969 and relocated to Charlotte Street in December 1995. I can therefore modestly claim that I have walked over much of the territory covered by these photographs.

    I have just spent about half an hour trying to locate photographs that show some sites 200 – 400 yards outside the centre. However I searched in vain using the terms “Charlotte”, “Depleach” and “Warren”. I suspect that many others will not be represented.

    May I suggest that Cheadle Civic Society has an annual competition to fill some of these gaps. If the Society were to place a map of the area on their website with the approximate points from which photographs in their existing collection were taken, it would become apparent where photographs are currently lacking.

    The committee could suggest ways of filling the gaps. For example, their might be photographs in the planning and building control sections of Stockport Town Hall. Custodians of local newspaper archives or libraries might also be able to help. Local Estate Agents might benefit from producing photographs showing that they had been associated with selling properties in prestigious locations. The ogres of “copyright” “commercial confidentiality” and “data protection” rear their ugly heads here, but surely commonsense could prevail if, several years after a property changed hands, present owners gave permission for photographs to be released in the public interest. It is surely not beyond the skills of local lawyers to devise a draft form of permission that would be adequate for most situations.

    I could start the ball rolling by releasing photographs that I have taken of my present and previous properties. Some were taken in anticipation of a sale, others for personal satisfaction or to send to friends in other parts of the world. If even 10% of Civic Society Members took similar action, the shortage of data would be solved. However with every year that passes, the amount of older data will be lost or destroyed so we need to start now.

    I suspect that it would save a lot of work for those curating the collection if they produced a simple form to be submitted alongside the photographs giving basic information about the items donated, e.g. street and houhease number, “view from a towards b”, approximate date, name of photographer, name of owner of property at the time, names of persons included in the photographs (that would have been very useful for the photographs that I have just seen in the collection).

    I hope that at least some of my suggestions find favour with Cheadle Civic Society and will result in appropriate announcements in the Society’s periodic publication and on their website.

    • Phillip Gould-Bourn says:

      Thank you Stuart for your ideas-CCS Committee will discuss at the next meeting.We have always been aware that there will be many photos out there waiting to be found.One of the problems is that the owners just do not think that their photos are interest to anyone else because they depict their house or street.When photos such as these do surface they are of great interest.I will also ensure that our editor reads your comments.

  3. Harry Bull says:

    What a fantastic archive – hats off to everyone connected with it – it must represent loads of work and effort.
    I was born and raised in Cheadle Heath and had close connections with Cheadle through Aunts, Uncles and cousins so I find the whole archive very interesting.
    How do I go about becoming a member of the Society – Iain – please pass any messages to my email if possible.
    Once again – WELL DONE

  4. Phillip Gould-Bourn says:

    Thanks Harry Bull for your comments.Please see our web site.www.cheadlecivicsociety.org for details of membership.

  5. John Hartley says:

    Some gaps may be plugged by the Council’s local image archive – also online – http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/leisureculture/libraries/libraryonline/stockportimagearchive/sia/

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