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Chadderton Historical Society
 

 Chadderton Historical Society

Thirty-Sixth Annual General Meeting Thursday 5th May 2011

SECRETARY'S REPORT
for the Year June 2010 - May 2011


Programme during the Past Year
The programme for 2010-2011, as presented to the Thirty-fifth AGM, was subject to a few changes. Inclement
weather in December 2010 caused the cancellation of the meeting at which the talk, by Society Members Mark
Johnson and Michael Lawson, 'Notable Lords of the Manor of Chadderton and Foxdenton - Part 2' should have
been presented. This was transferred to April, and the talk on 'Versatile Valley' scheduled for that month, has
been carried over to the new season. All other monthly meetings were completed as planned. Talks by visiting
speakers covered the following topics: 'Coal Mining in Chadderton' by Roger Ivens; 'Dunham Massey Hall and
its Families' by Peter Braun; 'Manchester' by Margaret Curry; and 'Family Life in Chadderton in the Mid-18th
Century' by Peter Briggs.
Visits were made to: Castleshaw Roman Fort, Saddleworth; Deane Church, Bolton; and the Staircase House
Museum, Stockport. Our local history ramble was around 'Cowhill, Historic Community'.
Our annual party, carried over from January 2010 because of poor weather on that occasion, had the theme of
'Wartime Forties' and was most successful. The Oldham Chronicle carried a two-page, centre spread on the event.

Membership and Attendance

Since May 2010, 9 new members have joined the Society, the same number as in the previous year. Current paid-
up membership is 53, a decrease of 3 on last year, but I more than the previous year.
Attendance at talks given by visiting speakers during the past twelve months averaged 35 members and friends,
being down by 3 on last year, but up by 1 on the previous year. Them were no significant variations in
attendances at the five talks. Average attendance on visits to places of interest was 27, which was a decrease of 6
on last year, but an increase of 3 on the previous year. The visit to Castleshaw Roman Fort in June also attracted a
further 1.0 members from Saddleworth Historical Society. The local history walk 'Cowhill, Historic Community',
attracted 26 members and guests, down 2 on last year's walk, but still in line with the average for the previous
five year's walks/rambles (which includes the very high turnout of 43 at Chadderton Cemetery in 2007!). The
annual themed party attracted 33 members and 3 guests.
At the 35th AGM in May 2010, 41 members were present compared with 36, 27 and 36 in the previous three years,
respectively.

Honorary Membership
During the year, Honorary Membership was offered to John Johnson. husband of member Enid Johnson. Together
they both do marvellous work with our website pages.

In Memoriam
During the year the Society suffered the loss of members Vera Marsh, Bernard Edge (honorary member), and
Patrick Windebank. The sympathies of members were extended to their respective families by means of Cards of
Condolence, and all three have been commemorated on our memorial lectern.

Executive Committee Meetings

During the past twelve months 4 meetings of the Executive Committee have been held: 14th July 2010; 3rd
November 2010; 10th March 2011; 3rd May 2011.

Talks to External Bodies
During the past year, illustrated talks have been given to various groups by Society members.
(1) Adult Groups:
St. Herbert's Church Catholic Women's League; Failsworth Historical Society; 'Memorial History of Chadderton
Pt. 2 Foxdenton Hall'. Denton Local History Society; Failsworth Historical Society: Chadderton's Claims to
Fame.
(2) Schools:
In the Summer Term of 2010, the talk: 'A Short History of Chadderton for Children' was given to three local
primary schools: St. Luke's, Corpus Christi, and Stanley Road.
All the above talks were given using our computer presentation equipment.
(3) Mayoral Group
On Tuesday 5th March the Secretary gave a short illustrated presentation at Foxdenton Hall, on the history of the
Hall and the Radclyffe family, to a group of civic heads from the Greater Manchester region. .
request of Councillor David Jones, Mayor of Oldham MB, and councillor for Chadderton South, who was
showing his colleagues various aspects of our borough. The guests were the Lord Mayor of Manchester, and the
Mayors of Bury, Rochdale, Salford, St. Helens, Tameside, Trafford, and Wigan. Each authority was then given a
copy of the Society's booklet on Foxdenton, a Chadderton postcard depicting the hall, and a copy of our
Newsletter. The talk was well-received by the guests who were particularly interested in the number of occasions
when Chadderton's history became interspersed with that of their own constituent townships. The Secretary later
received a letter of thanks from the Mayor of Oldham MB, thanking stating that the Mayor's were very
appreciative of the informative talk.

Projects
In February the Society was asked by Dawn Fox of South Chadderton Youth Club, to be involved in a community
project to provide urban artwork for the wall of the canal bridge that carries Hollinwood Avenue over the
Rochdale Canal. Two meetings were attended and several photographs of various aspects of Chadderton's history
were provided in order that a mural could be created. The result by these young people is well worth viewing.

Enquiries made to the Society (several via email)
Mrs Russell, Winchester, Hampshire: Requesting a selection of our publications;
Geoff Crowther (email) information on Parkside House which occupied the site of the present Packwood Chase
development.
Lois Rogers-Watson, Florida USA: information on the Chadderton family (she is formerly a Chatterton).
Matgaret Payne, Blackpool: Information on great uncle, Thomas Leach who drowned in the Rochdale Canal in
1887.
Enquiry concerning information on Logwood Mill.
Councillor Steven Bashforth (Royton): Contact details for obtaining Royton Badges, similar to Chadderton ones.
Chris Hepburn (email) query on anyone called Hugo who lived at Foxdenton Hall and was murdered in 1838; this
followed a 'ghost' evening there one Saturday evening.
Mr Diggle, Chadderton: Requesting Chadderton Badges
Amy Senogles, Salford Museum & Art Gallery: requesting CHS booklets on the Radclyffes
Mrs S. Standish, Tyldesley: photos and information on Butler Green before its redevelopment.
Margaret Payne, Blackpool: query on obtaining coroner's report on ancestor drowned in the Rochdale Canal in
July 1887.
Peter Fagg, Whittle-le-woods: Information on Laurence Chadderton co-translator of the Authorised Version (400th
anniversary of publication is this year).
Michael Greenwood (email) requesting picture of former Duke of Bridgewater pub
Irene Flynn, Chadderton, requesting information on war memorial in former Chadderton Grammar School.
Lauren Parker: Query about a 'ghost child' seen at a desk by painters whilst decorating North Chadderton school
on Broadway.
Gillian Hindle, North Chadderton School, Chadderton Hall Road: Query about possible animal remains in school
grounds (reply mentioned the menagerie at Chadderton Hall in late 19th century).
Request, Chadderton: Picture of former Chadderton Hospital, Racefield.
Les Garner: Requests for a Publication on local Church Organs: photograph of organ in former Busk Methodist
Church; Information on organ in Cowhill Methodist Church.
Matthew Greenhalgh, email: Permission to use our website information about Sir Philip Sidney Stott.
Gubir Singh, Rochdale: Contact Number for Harry Holmes, formerly of British Aerospace, Chadderton.
Pam Scholes, Chadderton: Information on former herbalist shop on Middleton Road.
Bridget Gent, Registrar's office, Chadderton Town Hall: Information on heraldic glass in TH for new brochure.

Enquiries made by the Society, and Comments and Information offered
(i) During the year, the Society was instrumental in locating Chadderton's Civic Regalia - the Chains of Office,
formerly worn by the Chairman of the Chadderton U.D. Council, and the Chairman's Lady. These had been
missing from the display cabinet in the Civic Centre in Oldham for some time. Thanks to Councillor Eileen
Hulme, and the Mayor's Secretary, Nichola Windle, both were located and have now been put back on display.
(ii) Information sought on Edmund Chad(d)erton, Rector of Calverton, Bucks. in 1483. He was probably the same
man who was Vicar of Kirkby Lonsdale from 1470 to 1483.
Press Articles
Throughout the year, the 'Oldham Chronicle', via Karen Doherty, and the 'Advertiser', are kept fully informed of
the Society's activities, and each receives copies of the Annual Programme and all Newsletters. The Society is
often consulted on historical and topical matters concerning Chadderton, and quoted in reports. Articles involving
the Society, which appear in these newspapers, are filed in our archives.

Archive Material Received
Thanks to the following for Archive material:
Society Member, Trevor Ashworth, for the donation of a brick given to him by Harry Mayall, inscribed with the
words "Chadderton Brick Company" in the frog. The brickworks referred to was situated on land now occupied
by Cypress Avenue, on the Baretrecs Estate.
Society Member Alan Clegg for the Lancashire County Council Air Raid Precaution Services member's card
(authorised by Chadderton Council), and the member's card, and badge, for Lancashire County Council Civil
Nursing Reserve (1940);
Society Member Mary Ashworth for photographs of St. Herbert's RC Church decorated internally and externally
for the visit to England of Pope John Paul II in 1982.

Society Newsletter 'The Griffin'
'The Griffin', continues to be published quarterly in February, May, August and November. An increased number
of copies are now being printed and distributed to a wider cross-section of the community. This is in addition to
those routinely sent to Chadderton councillors, co-opted members of the Chadderton District Partnership, certain
other councillors and council officers, and regional and national bodies concerned with local history. The
Newsletter is one of the chief means of making our existence and work known to the general public, and very
favourable comments on its style and content are often received. Copies are also submitted to the British
Association for Local History in the hope of achieving one of their awards for Society Newsletters. Members of
the Society arc asked to consider writing suitable articles for the Newsletter. Thanks once again to Enid Johnson
who prepares the final version for publication.

Society Web Site
Thanks continue to be extended to Enid Johnson and her husband, John, for the Society's excellent Website which
can be found at www.chadderton-hs.freeuk.com . It continues to grow in popularity and detail, and recently a new
page on School Local History Projects and Educational Visits was added to advertise what the Society has to offer
to local schools. The Website was chosen in 2005, by the British Library "to represent aspects of UK
documentary heritage". The archived copy of our website now forms part of the British Library's permanent
collection, a great honour for us and for Chadderton! Their website is www.webarchive.org.uk (Arts &
Humanities/History).
The Society also has a second Website (www.chaddcrton2002.freeuk.com) especially for 'Visitors to Chadderton'.

Society Patron
The Society keeps our Patron, Lady Maureen Black, the daughter of the last Lord of the Manor, Major Radclyffe,
fully informed on all matters concerning the Society. Newsletters, and our Annual Reports, are sent to her,
together with Greetings Cards at Christmas and Easter. She remains a generous benefactor to the Society each
year, and for this we thank her most sincerely.

President and Vice- President
Retired Councillor Jim Greenwood continues in the role as President, whilst Councillor Colin McLaren is Vice-
President. In this role he is very supportive of the Society and its aims and projects, and also works unceasingly
for Chadderton's overall welfare. For all this work we continue to thank him.

Society Publications
No new booklets have been published during the past year, but several were reprinted. A leaflet, which included a
map of the area in 1900, was produced for the local history ramble, in August 2010, around Cowhill.

Society Merchandise
Thanks to Trevor Ashworth, our Merchandise Officer, for his work during the year. Income from the sales at
various events continues to supplement the Society's finances. Items currently on sale are fridge magnets,
bookmarks, coasters, Thirtieth Anniversary commemorative mugs, ties, scarves, and key rings. These all portray
the Chadderton coat-of-arms. There is also a mug portraying Foxdenton Hall. In addition, two versions of the
circular Chadderton badge, each bearing a red griffin, are available.

Unspent Grants from Councillors
The Society still has two unspent grants at its disposal from a previous financial year. These arc given by our local
councillors from their allowances. John Hudson (Chadderton Central) has given £500, which was designated
towards a new archiving system, and Colin McLaren (Chadderton Central) has given £250 which was to have
gone towards a photocopier. Because of the situation with regard to the Heritage Centre, the Society has been
unable to spend this money at the present time the Society, which appear in these newspapers, are filed in our archives.

Heritage Centre
The scheme for a Heritage Centre in Chadderton makes slow progress at the present time. The Society continues
to show an interest in the offices at the side of the Town Hall if these can be adapted for use within the financial
constraints of the Society, but this does not look very optimistic at the present time. The Society is also
considering the use of the upstairs rooms of Foxdenton Hall as a Heritage Centre, but details have yet to be
finalised with the relevant Council department.

Local History Displays at Chadderton Events
On 22nd May 2010, the Society again organised its stall of Society publications in a marquee at Chadderton Hall
Park. This was held as part of the Whitsuntide Fun Day organised by Chadderton Churches and was, once more,
very successful. On Monday 24th January 2011, the Society set up its display and stall at the Chadderton Well-
Being Centre, the occasion being the launch of the Council's new information point for local use. However, lack
of publicity, etc. meant that it was poorly attended.

Chadderton Day
The Society once more took an active part in 'Chadderton Day' — the celebration of our town, its people and
achievements, which took place on Saturday 26th June, at Foxdenton Park. Our Society ran several sideshows with
a historical theme, and also had displays of material, and publications for sale. Support by members was, once
more, very good.

Chadderton Walks for Heroes
The Society was represented at this event which took place on Sunday 6th June 2010. The Town Crier and
Retinue (Society Members) announced the walk which started from Coalshaw Green Park, and went via
Foxdenton Park, to Chadderton Hall Park. Unfortunately, the event was not as well attended as anticipated due to
rainy weather.

Lancashire Day Celebration
Our celebration of being proud and loyal Lancastrians took place on Saturday 27th November, the Town Crier,
accompanied by his Retinue (all members of the Society), making the Lancashire Proclamation on the steps of the
Town Hall at noon. This was followed by proclamations throughout the town centre, and in the Asda superstore.

Christmas Lights
For the ninth successive year a very impressive display of Christmas lights was to be seen in Chadderton Town
Centre, more units being placed on the lamp standards. The Society once more played a key part in the
proceedings, which took place on Friday 26th November 2010, including the Christmas Market and Fireworks
Display. For the first time the lights were switched by the Chadderton Prince and Chadderton Princess. The Town
Crier and Chadderton Standard Bearer, together with other Society members, also took part in the Switch-on of
the Firwood Park Christmas Tree on 29th November. The Standard Bearer was in attendance to invite the Mayor
of the Metropolitan Borough, Councillor David Jones, to switch on the lights on the new Silver Birch tree at
Butler Green, on Friday 10 December.

Identity Issues
The Society actively pursues a policy of promoting and enhancing the identity of Chadderton whenever this is felt
to be necessary.
(1) Coat-of-arms in Well-Being Centre
The scheme to have the Chadderton coat-of-arms placed in a prominent position within the new Well-Being
Centre is nearing completion. The Arms, which are carved in wood, are now completed, and a description and
explanation for the benefit of visitors, especially children, has been prepared by the Society. The Heritage
Committee of the Chadderton District Partnership is presently finalising the unveiling arrangements.
(2) Precinct Litter Bins
As part of the regeneration of Chadderton Town Centre, new flower beds and street furniture have been
introduced in the shopping precinct, and in the town hall gardens. The four planters outside the town hall look
very pleasing with their portrayal of the Chadderton coat-of-arms. However, the litter bins only bear the
borough's new logo when it was believed that they would also show the Chadderton Arms.

(3) Town Hall Signage
During the year, the previous plans for the new sign outside the town hall were modified. The words 'Chadderton
Town Hall', together with a representation of the Chadderton ARMS will now be placed around the top of the
portico at the entrance to the building. An artist, Noah Rose, was commissioned to carry out the design work and
the Society has worked closely with him in preparing an authentic version of the Arms.

Local History Forum I News from Other Local History Societies

Meetings have been held in recent months with the aim of setting up a Forum for the local history societies within
Oldham Metropolitan Borough. The first was held on 9th February, and a further one on 23rd March, both at the
Local Studies Centre, Oldham. The meetings were run fairly informally, but at the second it was agreed
unanimously to set up an organisation to be known as '7 Townships Heritage Forum'. The Forum would have as
its objective "Promoting the Heritage and History of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham". It had already been
agreed to avoid the use of the exclusive word 'Oldham' in the title, and not to adopt the owl or polo mint as a
logo. All members felt that the Forum must promote the true concept of our metropolitan borough as seven,
distinct, historic townships, and not one town called Oldham. Society member Christine Dennis is Deputy Co-
ordinator and members of our Society were delegated to release a press statement on the formation of the new
organisation. The next meeting will be on 11th May

Inspector David Willcocks

Inspector Willcocks retired as head of Chadderton Police during the year. A card thanking him for his work in our
town was sent to him.

Member of Parliament of Parliament for 40 Years

During the year Michael Meacher celebrated 40 years as MP for our constituency, being elected in the general
election of 1970. Chadderton has been at the core of his constituency throughout this long period, with only the
Westwood ward of Oldham also sharing this distinction, the boundaries changing frequently during this time. The
Society sent his a congratulatory card listing all the Members of Parliament - 28 of them, who have previously
represented Chadderton since the Great Reform Act of 1832. In his reply, Mr Meacher thanked the Society for the
gesture, stating that he appreciated all the work that had gone into the card and would treasure it for the future.

Naming of Streets, Schools, etc

Developers of one of the new estates on Hunt Lane notified the Society that the spelling of theirs had included an
`e' in the name i.e. Broome's Park. instead of the originally suggested Broom's Park, and did we object. We
replied that they should keep the name which caused least disruption.

Remembrance Sunday Wreath-Laying Ceremony

On Remembrance Sunday, November 141 2010, Arthur Chorley laid the official poppy wreath at Chadderton War
Memorial on behalf of all members. As is the custom, the wreath featured the Chadderton coat-of-anns, and was
laid in honour of all Chaddertonians who had died throughout the ages in the cause of truth, justice and freedom.

New Councillors, Council Officers, etc.

The Society makes it policy to work alongside all Chadderton's councillors, irrespective of party, and it is through
them that the Society also co-operates with the various Council Officers. Following last May's local elections, we
thanked Phil Rogers (Chadderton North) for all he has done for our town over many years, and also welcomed
Barbara Brownridge who won the same seat.

Chadderton District Partnership & Sub-Groups

During the past year, Society member Christine Dennis has continued as a co-opted member of the Chadderton
District Partnership (formerly Area Committee and Community Council). Other members of the Society are also
serving as members on two sub-groups: (1) The Events Sub-Committee, which organises Chadderton Day and the
Christmas Lights Switch-On; (2) The Heritage and Culture Sub-Committee, a new group concerned with
conserving and promoting Chadderton's heritage and identity. This group has been organising the alteration of the
wording on Chadderton War Memorial to include 'And in all Subsequent Conflicts'. This sentence would then
acknowledge all those who have died in conflicts throughout the world since the end of the second World War.
In addition to the District Partnership, the three wards of Chadderton have joint PACT meetings (Partners and
Community Together) which meet at regular intervals in one of the three wards. The Society keeps abreast of all
developments by attending meetings and distributing copies of our Newsletter.

Bringing Chadderton Together'

This initiative, officially launched on 12th May 2008, is being promoted by Councillor Colin McLaren, the
Society's Vice-president, and is concerned with bringing together all the various organisations in our town

for their mutual benefit, and the common good. Christine Dennis is the official co-optee on the body, whilst other
members of the Society have also attended meetings during the year to fmd out more about accessing the grants
system.
New Mayor of Oldham MB
David Jones, a councillor for South Chadderton, has been the Mayor of Oldham Metropolitan Borough during the
past twelve months. A card congratulating him on assuming this office was sent on behalf of the Society.
Donation to Saddleworth White Rose Society
The Society has given £25 to the Saddleworth White Rose Society towards their erection of the new boundary
signs. These serve to reinforce the fact that our metropolitan borough is divided between historic Lancashire and
historic Yorkshire.

Conservation and Regeneration Issues
1) Town Centre Buildings
During the year the Society requested English Heritage to officially list the three buildings presently standing
empty in Chadderton Town Centre i.e. Baths, Library, Police Station. The Society has also been involved with the
community in trying to find new uses for them, fronting the three meetings held to date: 17th August 2010 at
Chadderton Reform Club and 3rd November 2010 at Radclyffe High School, and 19th April at the Well-Being
Centre.
To date, the Society has been notified that the former swimming baths will not be listed by English Heritage as
they consider that the Art Deco building, whilst of local interest, is not of national importance. Proposals to
demolish the baths and adjacent sports centre have been put forward by the Borough Planning Dept and the
Society has formally submitted its objections to this move.
In the early morning of Wednesday 5th January 2011, the Secretary was asked by Greater Manchester Radio to
take part in an outside broadcast from outside Chadderton Library, regarding the listing of the above three
buildings. The broadcast also contained comments by Councillor John McCann, Cabinet Member for
Regeneration.
2) Conservation Survey
This survey of non-Council buildings which have historic or architectural merit is ongoing, but because of other
commitments no further work has been done during the past year.

Summary
As may be seen, the year 2010-2011, has been another very fill and successful one for the Chadderton Historical
Society. We not only had a very full monthly programme for Members, but were also involved in many local
events and projects which promote the Society and Chadderton. These can sometimes be very demanding on our
time, but this community involvement is often commented upon favourably by others.
Chadderton Historical Society continues to go from strength to strength, as its involvement with a wider number
of other organisations, both voluntary and official, grows. It is well established locally, and regionally, and is a
highly regarded organisation, mentioned with respect in the Council Chamber, and consulted regularly. May we
all move forward together, building on our success and reputation.

Trusting that there are no major errors, discrepancies, or omissions,) hereby conclude my Report for the year
2010-2011, and present it to all Members of the Chadderton Historical Society.

Signed Dated
Michael Lawson [Secretary )

Dated 28/06/2011

=========================================================================================

 

Thirty-Fifth Annual General Meeting Thursday 6th May 2010
SECRETARY'S REPORT

for the Year June 2009 - May 2010
Programme during the Past Year
The programme for 2009-2010, as presented to the Thirty-fourth AGM, was completed in its entirety apart from the three changes referred to herein. Talks by visiting speakers covered the following topics: 'The Manchester Region's Revolution' by Pauline Saxon; 'Christmas and New Year Traditions' by Margaret Clay; 'The Ramblings of a Luney to Lancaster' by Margaret Curry; and 'De Traffords of Trafford Park - Final Years' by Carole O'Reilly. This latter talk was re-scheduled for Wednesday 7th April because the speaker had overlooked a previous engagement on Thursday 8th. Society members Michael Lawson and Mark Johnson gave talks on 'Notable Lords of Our Manor' and 'St. Luke's Parish 1816 to 2008. In preparing the former talk it was realised that too much information was available for just a single talk and so it was presented as 'Part One', with the second part to follow at a future date.

Visits were made to: the Victoria Baths, Manchester, where members saw the restoration work being carried out on this magnificent building; Middleton Old Grammar School and Prestwich Parish Church.

Our local history walk was 'Railway Ramble', which recounted the history of the Manchester to Leeds Railway, which celebrated its 170th anniversary in 2009.

Unfortunately, our annual party, which was to have had the theme of 'Wartime Forties', had to be cancelled because of the appalling wintry weather at the time.

Membership and Attendance
Since May 2009, nine new members have joined the Society. Current paid-up membership is 56, an increase of 4 on 2009.

Attendance at talks given by visiting speakers during the past twelve months averaged 38 members and friends, being up by 4 on last year, and by 9 on the previous year. The talk on St. Luke's Parish attracted 51, an all-time high, whilst that on the De Traffords was down to 19, presumably because of the confusion over the change of day, and being within Easter week. Average attendance on visits to places of interest was 33, which was an increase of 3 on last year, and of 9 on the previous year. The local history walk 'Railway Ramble', around Mills Hill and Middleton Junction, attracted 28 members and guests, up 5 on last year's walk, and in line with the average for the previous five year's walks/rambles (which includes the very high turnout of 43 at Chadderton Cemetery in 2007!).

At the 34th AGM in May 2009, 36 members were present compared with 27 the previous year, and 36 and 32 in the previous two years, respectively.

Honorary Membership
During the year, Honorary Membership was offered to Pam and Phil Ingham, former members who retired to Cleveleys a few years ago. Both were delighted and accepted the honour.
In Memoriam
During the year the Society suffered the loss of members Roy McKissack and Bertha Trimble, the sympathies of all members being extended to their respective families. Cards of condolence were sent, and commemorative plaques placed on our memorial lectern.
Executive Committee Meetings
During the past twelve months seven meetings of the Executive Committee have been held: 11th June 2009; 2nd July 2009; 3rd September 2009; 1st October 2009; 13th November 2009; 23rd November 2009; and 20th April 2010. The two meetings in November were styled 'extraordinary' as they were called solely to deal with the abortive plans for the Heritage Centre.
Talks to External Bodies
During the past year, illustrated talks, etc. have been given to various groups by Society members:
(1) Adult Groups:
Audenshaw Local History Society; Newton Heath Local History Society; Failsworth Townswomen's Guild; and St. Herbert's Church Catholic Women's League: 'Manorial History Pt. 1 Chadderton Hall'. This talk should also have been given to Failsworth Historical Society but the bad weather in January led to its postponement until September next.

Crompton Local History Society: 'Manorial History Pt. 2 Foxdenton Hall' [now on our computer presentation system].

Chadderton Homewatch: 'A Short History of Chadderton' [on computer system];

Royton Library History Group: 'Notable Lords of the Manor Pt. 1.c1250 - 1650' [on computer system].

(2) Schools:
Involvement with Yew Tree Primary School was made on three occasions: 1. Talk: General Introduction to Chadderton's History - 9th June 2009; 2. Visit to Foxdenton Hall - 17th June 2009; 3. Talk: The Development of Chadderton's Cotton Industry - 30th June 2009;

Bare Trees Primary School: 1. Talk: Local Aspects of the Second World War -12th October 2009; 2. Information on 'Invaders and Settlers' for topic.

Mills Hill Primary School: Talk: General History of Chadderton; Victorian Writing - 20th April 2010.

Firwood Manor Preparatory School: 1. Visit to Foxdenton Hall - 10th March 2010; 2. Local Aspects of the Second World War - 21st April 2010.

Radclyffe High School: Talk: The Work of the Chadderton Historical Society - 23rd June 2009.

Involvement with two other local schools, Corpus Christi RC Primary, and Stanley Road Primary, is planned for later this term.

New Presentation Equipment
The computer presentation equipment, purchased during the previous year from council grants, has now become part of the Society's modern approach to giving talks. Existing and new talks are gradually being transferred and presently we have seven programmes on disc: (1) Seats of Learning; (2) Notable occupants of the Manor of Chadderton and Foxdenton Pt. 1; (3) The Parish of St. Luke's 1816 to 2008; (4) A Short History of Chadderton; (5) The Manorial History of Chadderton Pt. 2 - Foxdenton Hall; (6) History of Foxdenton Hall for Children; (7) A Short History of Chadderton for Children.
Local History Displays at Events
On 30th May 2009, the Society again organised its stall of Society publications in a marquee at Chadderton Hall Park. This was held as part of the Whitsuntide Fun Day organised by Chadderton Churches and was, once more, very successful. A similar display, with our sideshows, was put up in Chadderton Fold as part of the sports afternoon organised by Chadderton Park Football Club. The Society also attended the Bowling Competition at Coalshaw Green Park on Sunday 1st August 2009. However, poor weather did not make for a very successful day at this latter event. On 22nd August the Society took part in the first Funday organised by the 'Friends of Chadderton Hall Park', held at the park.

More members to supervise the stalls on these occasions are still needed. This would give volunteers a break during the sessions.

Chadderton Day
The Society once more took an active part in 'Chadderton Day' - the celebration of our town, its people and achievements, which took place on Saturday 13th June, at Foxdenton Park. Our Society ran several sideshows with a historical theme, and also had displays of material, and publications for sale. Support by members was, once more, very good. This year the celebration is on a later date of Saturday 26th June from noon to 4.00 p.m.

Enquiries made to the Society (several via email), and Information given to Society.

1. Mrs Standish, Tyldesley: information on publication of Chadderton books.

2. Graham Morgan, any known family connection with Terry Hall (Lenny the Lion), comments, etc.

3. Catherine ? (email) comments about family inclusion on photo of Chadd Fold c1901

4. Neil Anthony (email): Information on St. Mark's Primary School c1970. [information not yet available]

5. Helen Howard, Cleethorpes, NE Lincolnshire: Book on Chadderton required for her elderly mother-in-law, a

former resident, to stimulate her memory.

6. Query about the Bower Hotel's History (outstanding)

7. Unity Partnership, and the Highways Record Office of Oldham Council, informed us that Countryside

Properties, who had developed the new housing on Hunt Lane, had mistakenly spelt the name of the

development 'Broome's Park' instead of 'Broom's Park', as suggested by the Society. They wished to know

which was the correct version and were informed that it was the second spelling.

8. Dr. Andrew Robinson, Manchester University: Whether a plaque to computer co-inventor Geoff Tootill (born

in Birchenlea Street, Chadderton) had ever been financed by the Council. He was informed that this matter was

ongoing, but that no money had been set aside at present, although the scheme had been discussed in the past.

9. Peter Hughes (email) query about ancestors who kept the Church Inn, Chadderton Fold, a century ago.

10. South Chadderton School: information about the school for their 50th anniversary.

11. Alan Fitton (email) details about former councillor James Fitton.

12. Su Goldthorpe: Information about future of etched glass in old baths.

13. Information on the booklet 'Final Days of Chadderton Hall' written by Jake Tomlinson.

14. Information required on past member of Chadderton Swimming club.

15. Information provided by Andrew Spence on his ancestor Antony Spence, who kept the Horton Arms,

Streetbridge, in mid-19th century.

16. Alan Pergusy (artist): query answered, and information given about new etched glass in Well-Being Centre.

17. Frank Elswood, Foxdenton Hall Farm, requesting copy of old photograph showing the pond outside the

farmhouse.

18. Karen Heverin, Conservation Officer for Oldham Borough: Requiring comments on existing mills in

Chadderton, especially if their status had been changed.

19. Paul Fish, son of former Chairman of CUDC William Fish, (via Cllr. McLaren): whereabouts of List of

Chairmen of Chadderton Council which used to be on wall of Chadderton Central library.

Enquiries made by the Society, and Comments and Information offered.

Whenever appropriate, 'Letters to the Editor' have been sent to the 'Oldham Chronicle', and the 'Advertiser',

commenting on a variety of issues connected with Chadderton.

Archive Material received by the Society

1. Jim Exley, (member in Kent): Chadderton Grammar Schools Speech Day Programmes;

2. Officials of St. Luke's Church, Chadderton: wide selection of parish documents, photographs, etc.

3. Trevor Ashworth, (member): family birth, death and marriage certificates.

4. Gillian ?, Talybont, Wales: Two St. Matthews Church Sunday School medals (1925), Farewell sermon of Rev.

S. Weeks, Vicar of St. Matthew's (1911), photograph of fire at St. Luke's Church (1954).

5. Geoff Bentham, Cumberland: a cast plaque of Chadderton's coat-of-arms, as surmounted our boundary signs

pre-1974 re-organisation.

6. Andrew Spence, Royton: antique plates, one showing interior of St. Mark's Church, the other from St.

Matthew's Church, Farewell bookmark from Chadderton Grammar School.

7. Alan Sargeant, Banbury, Oxfordshire: 30th Anniversary Booklet of Chadderton Amateur Swimming

Club (1924); Postcard of Ladies Winning Team of Chadderton Swimming Club's Ladies (c1920);

photograph of mill workers in the mule spinning room of a mill (unknown).

8. Mary Ashworth (member) booklet on Rochdale Canal; photograph of class at Mills Hill School

c1961; photograph of Chadderton Fold c1983; Clothing Ration Book for 1946-47; Book on the Georgian

Period.

9. Mavis Finchett (member) a genuine Lancashire shawl.

10. Dave Flannery, Saddleworth. - cloth badge bearing the Chadderton coat-of-arms surrounded by the

title Chadderton Rifle and Pistol Club.

11. Anonymous - series of six A3 photographs of Chadderton Hall, Foxdenton Hall, etc.; Chadderton

Band - cloth badges, record books, uniforms, etc.

12. Jean Colclough, Grimsby, Lincs.: Photographs and other material on Garforth Street Methodist

Church; Healds Green Methodist Church; Wartime Identity Card.

13. Jennifer Barker, Shaw: Extensive material on Chadderton Grammar School - photographs; School

Magazines; Exercise Books; Official Correspondence, etc.

14. Neville Denson (member in Cumberland): material on Henry Taylor, Olympic swimmer.

15. From Ebay: (i) Comic postcard sent from Chadderton; (ii) Chadderton FC Programme (early edition); (iii)

Multiview postcard of Chadderton; (iv) Postcard of Foxdenton Park [1st view]; (v) Postcard of Foxdenton Park

[2nd view]; (vi) Postcard of Foxdenton Park (1931) [3rd view]; (vii) Two Chadderton Coronation Cups (1937); (viii) Chadderton Royal Silver Jubilee Cup (1935); (ix) Chadderton Council Guide Book (c1950's); (x) .

         Postcard of St Matthew's Church; (xi) Two 1673 original indentures relating to Chadderton; (xii) Middleton

         Tramways Book for future library; (xiii) Full size 'Chadderton' archives book; (xiv) Five copies of pocket

         edition of 'Chadderton' book; (xv) Alex Parsons ointment tin bearing name Chadderton.

Archive Material forwarded to Other Societies
The Society's policy is not to file material it receives that is on areas other than Chadderton. Accordingly, a Certificate of School Attendance, for St. Paul's, Royton, dated 1905, and a St. Anne's Church, Royton, Central School Badge, have been given to the Royton Local History Society.
Society Patron
The Society keeps our Patron, Lady Maureen Black (direct descendant of the Radclyffes of Foxdenton), fully informed on all matters concerning the Society. Newsletters, and our Annual Reports, are sent to her, together with Greetings Cards at Christmas and Easter. She remains a generous benefactor to the Society each year, and for this we thank her most sincerely.
President and Vice- President
Retired Councillor Jim Greenwood continues in the role as President, whilst Councillor Colin McLaren is Vice-President. In this role he is very supportive of the Society and its aims and projects, and also works diligently for many aspects of Chadderton's overall welfare. A 'Thank You' card was sent to him following last year's AGM.
Society Newsletter 'The Griffin'
The Society's Newsletter, 'The Griffin', continues to be published quarterly in February, May, August and November. Chadderton councillors, co-opted members of the Chadderton District Partnership, and certain other councillors and council officers receive copies, and an increased number of copies are being printed and distributed to a wider cross-section of the community. The Newsletter is one of the chief means of making our existence and work known to the general public, and of helping to promote the community spirit in Chadderton. Very favourable comments on its style and content are often received. Examples of our Newsletter were submitted to the British Association for Local History as part of their award scheme but to date the outcome is not known, although winners should be notified by June.

Members of the Society are asked to consider writing suitable articles for the Newsletter. Thanks once again to Enid Johnson who prepares the final version for publication.

Society Web Site
Thanks continue to be extended to Enid Johnson and her husband, John, for the Society's excellent Website which can be found at www.chadderton-hs.freeuk.com . It continues to grow in popularity and detail, and recently a new page on School Local History Projects and Educational Visits was added to advertise what the Society has to offer to local schools. The Website was chosen in 2005, by the British Library "to represent aspects of UK documentary heritage". The archived copy of our website now forms part of the British Library's permanent collection, a great honour for us and for Chadderton! Their website is www.webarchive.org.uk (Arts & Humanities/History).

The Society also has a second Website (www.chadderton2002.freeuk.com) especially for 'Visitors to Chadderton'.

Society Publications
During the year one publication was reprinted. This was 'A Brief History of Chadderton'. For the Railway Ramble in July 2009, a leaflet with maps and facts was produced for members who attended. It is hoped to enlarge this at some future date, using details of the construction of the line as described on the ramble.

The Society has now published approx. 12 booklets, 4 maps, 6 prints, a large collection of children's worksheets, and 6 miscellaneous items. There is also a short history of the Society, written for new members.

Because of pressure of work in other areas, no further progress has been made in publishing commercially the two proposed new postcards: (1) Town Crier and Standard Bearer; (2) Scenes around Chadderton. The proposed commercial publication of 'Chadderton's Claims to Fame' is also in abeyance because of other commitments. Our assets in printed materials currently total £321.55.

Chadderton Book - Past and Present
The Society has been approached during the year, by commercial publishers, to see if it were interested in producing a new book on Chadderton. This would take the form of photographs from the past arrayed at the side of contemporary ones of the same location. It was agreed in principle to pursue this project, but not until a number of other matters had been concluded.
Chadderton Badge
During the year, the Society commissioned a new badge in the shape of the Chadderton coat-of-arms. It is in full heraldic colour and retails at 2.50.
Society Merchandise
Items currently on sale are fridge magnets, bookmarks, coasters, Thirtieth Anniversary commemorative mugs, ties, scarves, and key rings. These all portray the Chadderton coat-of-arms. There is also a mug portraying Foxdenton Hall. In addition, two versions of the circular Chadderton badge, each bearing a red griffin, are available.

Many thanks are extended to our marketing manager, Trevor Ashworth, for all his dedicated work in this area.

Society Affiliations
The Society continues to be a member of several regional and national bodies: British Association for Local History; The Chetham Society; Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society; Lancashire Local History Federation; and 'Friends of Real Lancashire. During the year the Society also joined the National Federation of Community Organisations, which may prove useful when applying for grants. The Society also subscribes to the 'Lancashire Magazine', and copies are available for members to read.
Heritage Centre
The scheme for a Heritage Centre in Chadderton came to an abrupt halt in November after almost two years of enthusiastic planning and anticipation. The Society was informed, quite unexpectedly, that the Council were no longer disposed to letting it have use of the library once the new Well-Being Centre on Wellington Street had opened. Business plans had been drawn up in conjunction with council officers, and these had been through several stages of redrafting. Several meetings had also taken place at the Business Centre in Oldham, and the home of Trustee Christine Dennis, to finalise the scheme for a Heritage Centre. It was because of the amount of effort put into the scheme that the Society felt so totally devastated by the announcement. The Council now propose to put on the open market the library building, the old baths building, and the adjacent obsolete police station, viewing them as a unit capable of new use. All three are in a conservation area.

The Society has shown an interest in the offices at the side of the Town Hall if these can be adapted for use within the financial constraints of the Society, but this does not look optimistic. At the same time, Councillor Mike Buckley, from Saddleworth, and the borough's official heritage champion, has indicated his desire to work with the Society to ensure the future preservation of the former library building, maybe as a Heritage Centre. He has all the business plans and documents produced to date. The Society has also been offered the use of the upstairs rooms of Foxdenton Hall as a Heritage Centre, this matter to be considered more fully by the Executive Committee in the near future.

Change of Venue, and Relocation of the Society and its Effects.
The Society received no official notice to vacate the library building, but heard unofficially that this had to be done before the end of March 2010. The Executive Committee, therefore, made the decision to relocate well before this date. Thanks to Trevor Ashworth, Trustee and Executive Committee Member, the Society was offered the use of the lounge at Chadderton Football Club on Wellington Street, as a venue for monthly meetings, and this was accepted with gratitude. The first meeting was held there in December 2009, and it was agreed that proceeds of each monthly raffle would be donated to the Club.

All the Society's archives and artefacts were removed from the library during November and are temporarily housed in the following locations: (1) Archive material: homes of the Secretary and Chairperson; (2) Larger artefacts: garage of Executive Member Jim Travis; (3) Chairs and tables: barn of Executive Member Tony Tomlinson.

Items of Historic Value in Former Baths and Library.
The Society has been involved in visiting the former baths to see what artefacts, mainly etched glass, could be preserved should the building ever be demolished. Note has been made by Steve Corbley, librarian at Chadderton, of several windows worth keeping. Several items from the former library are presently in temporary safe keeping at Oldham Local Studies Library. These are: (1) Framed List of former Chairmen of Chadderton Council (presented by the Society); (2) Framed glass panel from Manor Mill, showing etched image of Chadderton Hall; (3) Framed Grant of Coat-of-Arms to Chadderton Urban District Council.
Unspent Grants from Councillors
The Society still has two unspent grants at its disposal from the last financial year. These are from our local councillors from their allowances. John Hudson (Chadderton Central) has given £500, which was designated towards a new archiving system, and Colin McLaren (Chadderton Central) has given £250 which was to have gone towards a photocopier. Because of the situation with regard to the Heritage Centre, the Society has been unable to spend this money, and it may now be lost. A further £250 had also been promised during the current year from Councillor McLaren towards a project as yet unspecified.
Identity Issues
The Society actively pursues a policy of promoting and enhancing the identity of Chadderton whenever this is felt to be necessary.
(1) Boundary Signs
After consultation with the various local history societies, and following many months of preparation, the Council's new boundary signs, around the external and internal boundaries of the borough, were phased in from February onwards. The Society was very disappointed with the end product. Much of the information is far too small to be read easily, and this is particularly true of the coat-of-arms and accompanying words: 'The historic Township of Chadderton' which appear on a white border at the top of each sign. These are so small and insignificant as to neutralise the purpose of their inclusion in the first place. The proposal of the CHS was for the coat-of-arm to be of sufficient size and position as to be clearly visible, and so promote pride in Chadderton and its heritage.
(2) Visit to Heywood Town Centre
In autumn 2009, the Society invited all Chadderton's councillors, and certain council officers, to visit Heywood Town Centre. This was to let them see, at first hand, how Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council addresses the issue of local identity in its constituent townships, a most positive manner. The Heywood coat-of-arms is to be seen on litter bins, seats, public buildings, and even on a flag.
(3) Coat-of-arms in Well-Being Centre
Largely as a result of the above visit, consensus was reached between the Society, councillors, and council officers to have the Chadderton coat-of-arms placed in a prominent position within the new Well-Being Centre. It will be carved in wood and be in full heraldic colours. A description and explanation will also be on show nearby for the benefit of visitors, especially children.
(4) Election Leaflets
Candidates from the three main political parties were contacted in the run-up to the general election, to ask if they would ensure that Chadderton's individual identity would be promoted in their literature. Some leaflets had already gone to press by this time, and the overall results left much to be desired. However, it was pleasing to see

Chadderton's long-serving MP, Michael Meacher, use the coat-of-arms of each of the three towns that form his constituency i.e. Chadderton, Royton, and Oldham.

(5) Precinct Litter Bins
As part of the regeneration of Chadderton Town Centre, new flower beds and street furniture are to be introduced in the shopping precinct, and in the town hall gardens. It is intended that litter bins will bear the Chadderton coat-of-arms as well as the borough's new logo.
(6) Town Hall Signage
The awful sign erected outside Chadderton Town Hall, proclaiming to passers-by that the building is in fact 'Chadderton Town Hall', was removed during the year. The Society is now involved with the Heritage and Culture Sub-Committee of Chadderton District Partnership in the design of a new one. This will take the form of a metal archway across two of the pillars at the central entrance to the town hall gardens, and will incorporate the Chadderton coat-of-arms.
(7) Chadderton 'Logo' on Councillor's Headed Notepaper
The Society continues to support the request of Councillor David Hibbert, to be allowed to use the Chadderton coat-of-arms, or a griffin symbol, on his personal notepaper. So far the Council has refused the request.
(8) Signage to Town Centre
The Society has asked the Council's Highways Department to consider new signs, indicating 'Chadderton Town Centre', from the roundabout at the A627(M) exit.
(9) Correct Address of Falcon Centre, Victoria Street
Certain businesses in the Centre were contacted to request that they use 'Chadderton' as part of their correct address, after previous omissions.
(10) Correct Address of Westwood Primary School
Lauren Roden of Groundwork was informed that Westwood School was not in Chadderton, and that 'Chadderton' should not form part of its address.
(11) Oldham in Bloom
Stacey Ogden of Oldham Council informed about the use of the term 'town' instead of the correct term 'borough' in an article about Oldham in Bloom. This floral project was concerned with the town of Oldham, rather than the wider borough of Oldham.
(12) Correct Addresses of Society Officers
Council Officers, connected with the various PACT meetings, were asked to use the name 'Chadderton' in their addresses to Society officials, and not just 'Oldham', which was considered incorrect.
Press Articles
Throughout the year, the 'Oldham Chronicle', via Karen Doherty, and the 'Advertiser', are kept fully informed of the Society's activities, and each receives copies of the Annual Programme and all Newsletters. The Society is often consulted on historical and topical matters concerning Chadderton, and quoted in reports. Articles involving the Society, which appear in these newspapers, are filed in our archives.
Commemorative Blue Plaque to Terry Hall
The Blue Plaque to Terry Hall, ventriloquist, who was born at 635 Middleton Road, Chadderton, in 1926, was officially unveiled by his widow, Dee, on Friday 11th September. Family members from far and near, civic dignitaries, councillors, members and friends, led by the Town Crier and Retinue, took part in the impressive ceremony. The plaque is in a prominent position on Middleton Road, near its junction with Broadway, and only metres from the site of Terry's birthplace. His wife was most appreciative of the occasion, with its photographic display on his life and career, and kindly donated to the Society a framed photograph of Terry with his most famous 'creation' Lenny the Lion. Afterwards, an excellent buffet lunch, prepared by member Christine Dennis, was served to all guests. The plaque, which contains the Chadderton coat-of-arms, portrays Lenny in his characteristic pose. A most wonderful occasion for everyone involved.

The plan to erect a Blue Plaque to Geoff Tootil, one of the three co-inventors of the world's first, wholly electronic, programmable computer, who was also born in Chadderton, has been put in abeyance for the time being. The erection of a 'Red' Plaque to the local man killed at the Peterloo Massacre in 1819, to mark the 190th anniversary of the event, was not proceeded with because of delays involving the Blue Plaque to Terry Hall

Remembrance Sunday Wreath-Laying Ceremony
On Remembrance Sunday, November 8th 2009, Arthur Chorley and Trevor Ashworth, laid the official poppy wreath at Chadderton War Memorial on behalf of all members. As is the custom, the wreath featured the Chadderton coat-of-arms, and was laid in honour of all Chaddertonians who had died throughout the ages in the cause of truth, justice and freedom.
New Councillors, Council Officers, etc.
The Society makes it policy to work alongside all Chadderton's councillors, irrespective of party, and it is through them that the Society also works with the various Council Officers. At Chadderton Day, 13th June 2009, the Township Manager for Chadderton, Simon Shuttleworth was presented with a framed map of Chadderton, as it was in 1817, in appreciation of all he had done for the town since taking over the position in early 2008. He has now been transferred to East Oldham. We welcomed in his place Angela Longsden who has been assured of the Society's support in all that she does for Chadderton.

A 'Thank You' card was sent to Ruth Billingham, Principal Regeneration Officer for the Borough, who left the authority during the year. She has worked well alongside the Society on various issues of Chadderton's regeneration.

Chadderton's Conservation Areas
Sue Meadwell, the Borough's Conservation Officer, contacted the Society during the year to ask if we would comment on the draft report into Chadderton's two conservation areas. These are the Town Centre Conservation Area, consisting of the town hall, Rushbank Cottages, and the former police station, library, and baths; and the Victorian Street Conservation Area i.e. the Manor Mill and nearby houses. This was followed by a similar request from David Masey, who wanted comment on the descriptions that had been written up on each area. The report was basically correct in its details, and the Society made one or two adjustments to the text of the descriptions.
Chadderton Cemetery
Karen Heverin, from the Borough's Conservation Department, informed the Society that the entry on Chadderton Cemetery, in the (National) Register of Parks and Cemeteries of Special Interest in England, had been amended.
Chadderton District Partnership & Sub-Groups
During the past year, Society member Christine Dennis has continued as a co-opted member of the Chadderton District Partnership (formerly Area Committee and Community Council). Other members of the Society are also serving as co-opted members on two sub-groups: (1) The Events Sub-Committee, which organises Chadderton Day and the Christmas Lights Switch-On; (2) The Heritage and Culture Sub-Committee, a new group concerned with conserving and promoting Chadderton's heritage and identity.

In addition to the District Partnership, the three wards of Chadderton each has its own PACT (Partners and Community Together) meetings at regular intervals, an arrangement that is unique in the borough. The Society keeps abreast of all developments by attending meetings and distributing copies of our Newsletter.

'Bringing Chadderton Together'
This initiative, officially launched on 12th May 2008, is being promoted by Councillor Colin McLaren, the Society's Vice-president, and is concerned with bringing together all the various organisations in our town for their mutual benefit, and the common good. Christine Dennis is the official co-optee on the body, whilst other members of the Society have also been in attendance at some meetings.
Chadderton Walks for Heroes
The Society was represented at meetings to organise this event which takes place on Sunday 6th June 2010. The Town Crier and Retinue will announce the walk which starts at Coalshaw Green Park, and goes via Foxdenton Park, to Chadderton Hall Park.
BBC Documentary
The Society was invited to join in a project on the background history to the Crossley Estate which is presently being redeveloped. The topic was launched by the 'GreatPlaces' venture, and the Secretary spoke on camera as part of the research. This should form part of a later programme on the BBC.
Town Centre Regeneration
The Society is involved in the regeneration of Chadderton Town Centre. Many of the results of the consultation exercise still have to be finalised, but work has commenced on the renovation of the town hall gardens and the precinct.
Well-being Centre Involvement
Chadderton's new 'Well-Being' Centre, incorporating a swimming pool, library, community facilities, police post, etc. opened in Autumn 2009. A visit to the building when almost complete was made by representatives from the Society on 9th July 2009.
Chadderton Cup
The Society presented a trophy, the 'Chadderton Cup', to Chadderton Park FC, to be competed for by members at their tournament in Chadderton Fold.
Broadway Library
Sadly, this building, erected to commemorate the coronation of the present queen in 1953, was demolished during the year. The Society does have a photographic record of it, and the official plaque from the opening is with Oldham Local Studies Archives.
Eustace Street School Artefacts
Unfortunately, because of neglect and vandalism, this fine Victorian building was demolished during the year as it had become unsafe. The Society requested certain items in terra cotta from the demolition firm, but this matter has yet to be concluded.
Lancashire Day Celebration - 27th November
Last November, our celebration of being proud and loyal Lancastrians, coincided with the Switch-on of the Christmas Lights. The Town Crier, accompanied by his Retinue (all members of the Society), made the Lancashire Proclamation on the steps of the Town Hall at noon, and this was followed by proclamations throughout the town centre, and in the Asda superstore.
Christmas Lights
For the eighth successive year a very impressive display of Christmas lights was to be seen in Chadderton Town Centre, extra units being placed on the lamp standards. The Society once more played a key part in the proceedings, including the Christmas Market, which took place on Friday 27th November 2008. For the first time the lights were switched by the Chadderton Prince and Chadderton Princess. The Town Crier and Chadderton Standard Bearer, together with other Society members, also took part in the Switch-on of the Firwood Park Christmas Tree on 30th November.
Summary
The year 2009-2010, as detailed above, has been another very full and successful one for the Chadderton Historical Society. We not only had a very full monthly programme for Members, but were also involved in many local events and projects which promote the Society and Chadderton. These can sometimes be very demanding on our time, but this community involvement is often commented upon favourably by others.

Chadderton Historical Society continues to increase its membership, as its involvement with a wider number of other organisations, both voluntary and official, grows. It is well established locally, and regionally, and is a highly regarded organisation, mentioned with respect in the Council Chamber, and consulted regularly by a variety of bodies. It is our intention to build on this reputation as we all move forward together.

Trusting that there are no major errors, discrepancies, or omissions, I hereby conclude my Report for the year 2009-2010, and present it to all Members of the Chadderton Historical Society.

 

Signed ………………………..……………………….. Dated …………………………….

 

Michael Lawson [Secretary]

 


 

SECRETARY'S REPORT

for the Year June 2008 - May 2009    

Programme during the Past Year
2008-2009 
The programme for 2008-2009, as presented to the Thirty-Third AGM, was completed in its entirety. Talks by visiting speakers covered the following topics: 'Chadderton UDC - the Twilight Years' by Fred Yates, a former Chadderton councillor; 'Riversvale Hall, Failsworth' by Richard Unwin; 'When the Saints Came Marching In (Pt. 2) by Margaret Curry; 'Medicine and Magic Alternative Remedies from the Past' by Peter Watson; and 'Moveable and Pop-Up Books' by Sheila Sturrock. Society members Michael Lawson and Mark Johnson gave a talk on 'Seats of Learning', the development of education in Chadderton.

Our local history walk 'Stock Brook Ramble' ended at St. Luke's Church, where members were served refreshments whilst they perused the parish's archive material.

Our annual party took as its theme: 'The Roaring Twenties', being based on the official opening of Broadway in 1925. A number of members came in 1920's costume to add to the theme of the evening.

The venue was changed to Foxdenton Hall, and the date from Thursday 6th January to Saturday 8thJanuary. The Society's Vice-President Councillor Colin McLaren, and his wife, joined the regular 'party-goers'. Once again, thanks to Christine Dennis for arranging the excellent sit-down meal, which was based on the actual menu from 1925.

Visits were made to the Manchester Jewish Museum, Park Bridge Heritage Centre, and Gorton Monastery, where members saw the restoration work being carried out on this magnificent Pugin church.

Attendance and Membership

Since June 2008, 3 new members have joined the Society. Current paid-up membership is 52, a decrease of 2 on 2008.

Attendance at talks given by visiting speakers during the past twelve months averaged 34 members and friends,being up 5 on last year. Average attendance on visits to places of interest was 30, which was an increase of 6 on the previous year. The local history ramble around Stock Brook, with a visit to St. Luke's Church, attracted 23 members and guests, down from the high of 40 who visited Chadderton Cemetery in 2007, but only slightly down on the average for the previous three years.

The annual party held in January, at Foxdenton Hall, was attended by 39 members and friends, and also by our vice-president and his Wife. This compared with 36 at the previous year's party. At the 33rd AGM in May 2008, 27 members were present compared with 36 the previous year, and 32 and 31 in the previous two years, respectively.

Talks to External.Bodies

During the past year illustrated talks have been given to various groups by Society members:

Tameside Rangers (Stalybridge Civic Hall); and Failsworth Historical Society: Manorial History Pt. 1 Chadderton Hall.

St. Matthew's Mothers' Union: Manorial History Pt. 2 'Foxdenton Hall' Mills Hill Baptist Church: Early Days of Chadderton Council.

Royton Local History Society, and St. Herbert's Church Catholic Women's League: 'Chadderton's Claims to Fame'.

In the coming months four further talks to outside bodies have been arranged. Involvement with local schools:Year 4 of St. Herbert's R.C. Primary School visited Foxdenton Hall on 10th March and were given a general history of the building, and of the Radclyffe family. They saw the datestone of the original Hall (1620), and sketched various features, including some of the portraits. A follow-up visit was made on 7th April to Years 2 and 3, when a selection of slides of Old Chadderton were shown to these very appreciative children.

Copies of maps from our archives have been given to Corpus Christi R.C. Primary School, to help them with their project on their local area of Chadderton.

During the second half of the Summer Term, the Society will be involved with Yew Tree School on a local history topic.

 Local History Displays and Events

On 10th May 2008, the Society again organised its stall of Society publications in a marquee at ChaddertonHall Park. This was held as part of the Whitsuntide Fun Day organised by Chadderton Churches and was, once more, very successful. A similar display, with our sideshows, was put up in Chadderton Fold as part of the sports afternoon organised by Chadderton Park Football Club. The Society also visited Crossley Estate for their annual Fun Day, and for the first time attended the Bowling Competition at Coalshaw Green Park on Sunday 10th August 2008. However, poor weather and apathy did not make for very successful days.

On the weekend of 13th and 14th September the Society took part in the annual Heritage Days, an event organised throughout the country. On the Saturday, two walks were made in Chadderton Cemetery, allowing members of the public to find out something about the history of the place, and about some of the influential and more interesting people buried there. On the Sunday the Society set up its display at Foxdenton Hall, and also gave a slide show on the hall's history.

More members to supervise the stalls on these occasions are still needed. This would give volunteers a break during the sessions.

Display Material at Nimble Nook Club

During the year the Society was asked by Nimble Nook Working Men's Club to supply a selection of photographs of that locality for display within the Club. Sample proofs were forwarded but the project has never been firialised by the club.

Enquiries made to the Society (several via email)

1) Information about a former Chaddertonian working at Willowbank Mill

2) Mr. Butterworth, Chadderton: information on ward boundaries at Busk.

3) Mr Savage (Shaw): enquiry about a J. H. White (b. 1869) who was Bandmaster of Chadderton Band.

4) John Crompton, Failsworth Historical Society: information on joining 'Friends of Real Lancashire'.

5) June Hayers, Thatch Leach, Chadderton: information on ownership of Radclyffe School playing fields (Broadway).

6) Michael Finnegan (Altrincham): information/photos on demolition of power station in 1986.

7) Rob Brettle, Harpurhey: information about Chadderton Salvation Army Corps.

8) Leon McLead, (author of book on Thornham): query about origins of 'Fee of Tottington' map used in 'Looking Back at Chadderton' book.

9) Alex Bidolak, Chaddertom: copy of Chadderton coat-of-arms in colour.

10) Mr. Glyn Collin, Wakefield: information on any Collinsons in the Chadderton Assessment of 164 1, etc.

11) John Mather, Manchester area: information on Chadderton Baths and Henry Taylor, Olympic swimmer.

12) Harry Wood, Chadderton: Query about possible memorial in Spring Vale pub to 'Khartoum' soldiers.

13) Michael Hill Gloucestershire: Radclyffe family and former home at Hyde House, Dorset.

14) Rev Dennis Nadin: comments and information on Joseph Nadin, deputy constable of Manchester at the time of 'Peterloo'.

15) Susie Barrett: Information on Lydia Becker, resident at Foxdenton Hall in 19th century.

16) Alan Newton: Information on the former Busk Mill, Chadderton.

17) Graharn Hollands, France: Comments and information on the Chadderton Hall lithograph of 1794.

18) Bob Dobson: Information on Laurence Chadderton, First Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

19) Claire Hunt: Comments and information on the Radclyffes of Foxdenton Hall for her project.

20) Steve Sager: Comments and information on mill owners in Chadderton.

21) Doreen Ainscough, Yorkshire: Information on the Lancaster bomber.

In line with its policy the Society is very selective in answering the queries made to us, especially if these concern family history. Such queries can be very demanding on our time and are frequently not even acknowledged by the enquirer.

Enquiries made by the Society, and Comments and Information offered.

1) Mr. Michael Meacher, Chadderton's MP, was asked about the validity, or otherwise, of the Council dropping 'Metropolitan Borough Council' from its official description, in the light of the recent re-branding exercise. We were informed that this could not be done as the title is legally binding.

2) Throughout the course of the year several 'Letters to the Editor' have been sent to the 'Oldham Chronicle', and the 'Advertiser', commenting on a variety of issues connected with Chadderton.

Archive Material received by the Society

Our Archives continue to grow, and during the year the following material has been gratefully received:

1) Lady Maureen Black, Patron of the Society: the commemorative key which was presented by the Ivy Leaf Club to her late father, Major C.R.E Radclyffe, after he had officially opened the building in 1921.

2) Trevor and Mary Ashworth (members): books on Lancashire themes and the cotton industry; Identity Cards with Wallet; Ration Book; Kodak Brownie Camera; class photo of St. Luke's School c1918; old and new Chadderton coats-of-arms on wood; Oldham arms on wood.; pair of bellows; shuttle; pre-decimal coins, and booklet from Melbourne Street Congregational Church (an organisation about which we know nothing!).

3) Jim Begley, Chadderton: a wide selection of old wood-working tools.

4) Jack Sanderson, Nelson: carpet shuttle;

5) Joyce Higgins, Chadderton: books of old postcards - several local, and celebration cards from early 20 century, selection of handicraft tools; Anonymous donor, Chadderton: Comprehensive collection of old newspapers, copies of maps and census forms, prints of local scenes, and Chadderton photographs.

6) Edna Ashley (member): photographs of her family as members of Chadderton Swimming Club.

7) Allan Cheetham, (member) Upminster Essex: photographs of Chadderton people and scenes, Chadderton Teachers' Association Programme for Annual Dinner in 193 5;

8) Anonymous, Chadderton: Collins Gentleman's Diary for 1921;

9) Keith Sutcliffe (member), Saffron Walden, Essex: photographs of boys' soccer and cricket teams at Chadderton Grammar 1947/8 also prefects photograph, and general and family material re Chadderton.

10) Colin Cheetham, Grange over Sands, Lancs.: Book on the Development of St. Luke's Parish; Chadderton UDC Coronation Cup for 1937; Chadderton UDC Programme for the Coronation of 1953.

11) Erie Tongue, Greenfield, Saddleworth: Photographs, etc. of his late father, Arthur Tongue, three times Chairman of Chadderton UDC between 1940 and 1961;

12) Peggy Cook, Chadderton: 'Ready Reckoner' (every farthing to 10 shillings);

13) Jim Lever, Chadderton: Commemorative Coronation Medal for 1902, with chain, issued by Chadderton Urban District Council.

14) Anonymous: ten photographs of the Great Flood of July 1927, which caused so mush damage in the Chadderton Fold, Streetbridge and Mills Hill areas of Chadderton. Several of the views are new to us and together they form a welcome addition to our archives.

15) Mrs Booth, Chadderton: set of slides of Foxdenton hall before its restoration in 1965.

16) Kathryn Crabtree, Garstang: Two photographs of Cragg cottages after the flood of 1927.

17) Ebay: Postcards of Chadderton Cemetery, and St. Matthews Church. Copies of Chadderton books.

Archive Material forwarded to Other Societies

The Society's policy is not to file material on areas other than Chadderton. Accordingly, several postcards of Delph, Saddleworth, which we had been given during the year, were given to Saddleworth Historical Society.

Society Web Site

Thanks are extended to Enid Johnson and her husband, John, for our excellent Website which can be found at www.chadderton-hs.freeuk.com . It continues to grow in popularity and detail. The Website was chosen in 2005, by the British Library "to represent aspects of UK documentary heritage". The archived copy of our website now forms part of the British Library's permanent collection, a great honour for us and for Chadderton! Their website is www.webarchive.org.uk (Arts & Humanities/History).

The Society also has a second Website (www.chadderton2002.freeuk.com) especially for 'Visitors to Chadderton'.

Society Patron

The Society keeps our Patron, Lady Maureen Black [Radclyffe of Foxdenton], fully up to date on all matters concerning the Society. All Newsletters, and our Annual Reports, are sent to her, together with Greetings Cards at Christmas and Easter. In May of last year she celebrated her 80th birthday and the Society sent her a birthday card and a floral arrangement. These were much appreciated by Lady Black who was puzzled as to how we found out about the occasion. (This was by accident when looking through peerage books!).

President and Vice- President

Retired Councillor Jim Greenwood continues in the role as President, whilst Councillor Colin McLaren is VicePresident. In this role he is very supportive of the Society, and also works diligently for many aspects of Chadderton's overall welfare. Because of political changes at last year's local elections he is no longer 'Community Champion', this role being taken on by Councillor Philip Rogers.

Chaplain to the Society

During the year, Fr. Alan Cooke, Vicar of St. Mark's Church, Chadderton, was asked to become Chaplain to the Society, a position which he graciously accepted. At the October meeting he blessed and dedicated the Memorial Lectern.

Condolences

During the year, the sympathies of all members were extended to member Jean Stokes on the death of her husband, Alan, also a member of the Society. Condolences were also offered to member Diana Lawton on the death of her husband, Alan, also a longstanding member. Society representation was made at both funerals, and plaques to both of these true 'gentlemen' have been placed on our memorial lectern..

Executive Committee Meetings

During the past twelve months six meetings of the Executive Committee have been held: 31st July 2008; 2nd October 2008; 6th November 2008; 26th February 2009; 26"` March 2009; and 30th April 2009. The agendas were wide and varied, and all matters discussed have been referred to in this report. An Extra-ordinary Meeting was held on 2nd April, mainly concerned with the St. George's Social Event.

Society Newsletter - 'The Griffin'

"The Griffin", the Society's Newsletter, continues to be published quarterly in February, May, August and November. All Chadderton councillors, and co-opted members of the Chadderton Area Committee, receive copies, and an increased number of copies are being printed and distributed to a wider cross-section of the community. The Newsletter is one of the chief means of making our existence and work known to the general public, and of helping to promote the community spirit in Chadderton. We often hear very favourable comments on its style and content.

Members of the Society are asked to consider writing suitable articles for the Newsletter. Thanks once again to Enid Johnson who prepares the final version for publication.

Society Publications

Four of our booklets were reprinted during the course of the year: A Brief History; Lord of Chadderton Knighted; Chadderton Hall in its Final Days; Construction of Broadway. The leaflet 'Pride in Chadderton', with its 'Notable Dates', was also revised. The only new publication was a short history of the Society, written as a useful introduction to the Society for new members.

The Society has now published about 13 booklets, 4 maps, 6 prints, a large collection of children's worksheets, and 6 miscellaneous items.

Because of pressure of work in other areas, no progress has been made in publishing commercially the two proposed new postcards: (1) Town Crier and Standard Bearer; (2) Scenes around Chadderton. Assets in printed materials currently total £351.80. The proposed commercial publication of 'Cliadderton's Claims to Fame' is also in abeyance because of other commitments.

Chadderton Badges

During the year, the Society commissioned two badges, each bearing the red griffin of Chadderton, and the date AD 1255 (the period when Geoffrey de Trafford founded the Chadderton family). The larger one retails at 20p, and is referred to as the promotional one, whilst the die-cast version costs £2.50. Both have sold well, and are in striking contrast to the 'polo mint' brand of the metropolitan borough!

Society Merchandise

Items currently on sale are fridge magnets, bookmarks, coasters, Foxdenton Hall mugs, Thirtieth Anniversary commemorative mugs, ties and scarves, and key rings. These all portray the Chadderton coat-of-arms. In addition, samples of items displaying the Chadderton Griffm, including a bottle opener, have been obtained. Thanks are extended to our marketing manager, Trevor Ashworth, for all his dedicated work in this area.

New Presentation Equipment

During the year the Society purchased new state-of-the-art presentation equipment which will be ideal for giving talks to our own members, and elsewhere. Many thanks to our President and former councillor, Jim Green" ood, for his kind grant from community funds which has enabled us to take advantage of this modem technology. It was used for the first time at April's meeting on 'Seats of Learning'.

Grants from Councillors

In recent weeks the Society has received further grants from two of our local councillors from their allowances. John Hudson (Chadderton Central) has given £500, which will go towards a new archiving system. This project could be ongoing and possibly cost around £2500. A further £250 has been granted by Colin McLaren (Chadderton Central) from his allowance. It has been agreed to use it to purchase a photocopier, which would save the Society from paying for this facility.

Society Affiliations

The Society continues to be a member of several regional and national bodies: British Association for Local History; The Chetham Society; Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society; Lancashire Local History Federation; and 'Friends of Real Lancashire. The Society also subscribes to the 'Lancashire Magazine', and copies are available for members to read.

Heritage Centre

The scheme for a Heritage Centre in Chadderton continues to make steady progress. The present library building will become vacant once the new 'Well-being Centre' (Swimming Pool complex) is opened later this year, and the Society has indicated an interest in using the ground floor of the building for a Heritage Centre. Several meetings have taken place with Councillor Colin McLaren to discuss various aspects of this project. Among these has been the drafting of a new constitution for the Society. This will be presented to members for approval at the AGM in May 2009.

Identity Issues

The Society actively pursues a policy of promoting and enhancing the identity of Chadderton whenever this is felt to be necessary.

(1) Supermarket Address

Tesco on Featherstall Road, at our request, have now amended the location of their store to 'Oldham-Westwood.', instead of the confusing and inaccurate 'Oldham-Chadderton'. Morrisons, Chadderton, still promotes itself as 'Oldham' in its newspaper adverts.

(2) Bank Address

The Head Office of Nat West, and the Westwood local manager, were notified that the Society considered the use of the name 'Chadderton' for the branch at Westwood, Oldham, to be inappropriate and misleading. This followed an article in the 'Chronicle' in which the branch claimed to have been at the heart of Chadderton for the past 125 years. The bank conveniently choose not to mention that its real Chadderton branch, opposite the town hall, was closed down in 1970, and clients told to go to Westwood in future.

(3) Boundary Signs

Meetings have taken place on 1st Sep 2008, and 9th April 2009, with Councillor Howard Sykes, Leader of the Council, to consider the new boundary signs to be erected following last year's re-branding exercise. The meetings were very productive, and the Society was asked for its comments on the proposed new signs that are to be erected around the external boundaries of the borough. Hopefully, the ones at the boundaries with Middleton and Manchester will show the Chadderton coat-of-arms, and appropriate wording.

(3) Constituency Name

Our MP, Michael Meacher, has indicated that he is prepared to sign his letters "Member of Parliament for Oldharn West and Royton (including Chadderton)", and this has now been observed in correspondence from him. However, he still fails to give correct and sufficient recognition to Chadderton as an important, and individual, town within his constituency, using the term 'Oldham' without any clarification as to whether he means the town itself or the wider borough with that arbitrary name.

(4) Newspaper's Support for Individual Townships

In contrast, an editorial in the 'Oldham Chronicle' alluded to the proposals for a heritage centre in Chadderton. It praised our Society for its 'splendid idea' which would showcase 'the town's history'. To emphasise the point the article declared quite unequivocally: "The various towns in the borough are keen to maintain their own identity and quite rightly so, too - and providing a heritage centre for Chadderton would be an excellent way for its citizens to achieve that goal." In a later article, it argued that the people of the outer townships are hardly likely to turn their backs on their places of birth, and that each is proud of his or her individual township, and of the "heritage and sense of history its name evokes". It emphasised that claims for allegiance from the Council, which ran contrary to such deeply-held loyalties, had little chance of succeeding.

(5) Chadderton 'Town' Centre

Progress has been made in getting official bodies to use the term Chadderton 'Town' Centre, rather that District Centre. After all this is the title on official direction signs.

(6) Lib Dem Recognition

Councillor Mark Alcock, who represents Shaw Ward on the Metropolitan Borough Council, is also the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for our Constituency. He has headed his official website: "Mark Alcock representing Oldham West & Royton including Chadderton". This is a further step in according Chadderton its rightful recognition as an important town in its own right.

Overall the Society is making steady progress with issues of identity, although there are still the occasional lapses by official organisations.

Local History Society for Lees

In November, Bruce Lander and his wife, June, attended our monthly meeting to pick up ideas and tips about metropolitan borough now have such a body to promote their individual identities, and our own Society looks forward to further co-operation with each of them.

Delving into South Chadderton's Past

Arthur Chorley, Christine Dennis, and the Secretary attended this session at Broadway Library on 16th October 2008. Led by Roger Ivens, Archivist at Oldham Local Studies Centre, it traced the subsequent development of a particular piece of land in South Chadderton from a map dating from the 17 th century.

Press Articles

Throughout the year, the 'Oldharn Chronicle', via Karen Doherty, and the 'Advertiser', via Lee Sykes, are kept

fully informed of the Society's activities, and each reporter receives copies of the Annual Programme and all Newsletters. The Society is often consulted on historical and topical matters concerning Chadderton, and quoted in reports. Articles involving the Society, which appear in these newspapers, are filed in our archives.

Broomes Park and North Dean Park

The two new housing developments, on the former railway sidings at Hunt Lane, have been given historic names, after our suggestions were accepted by the Council. These are Broome's Park, named after a 19th century farmer in the area, and North Dean Park, derived from Norden a name for this particular area of Chadderton.

Peterloo Anniversary

This August is the 190th anniversary of 'Peterloo'. Dave McGeally, of Oldham Community Radio, spoke at one of our recent Executive Committee meetings to see if we were interested in a proposed commemorative re-enacted walk to Manchester. We gave our general support but left all details to him.

Stock Brook Children's Centre

This new children's centre, which is based at St. Luke's School, has revived another old Chadderton locality name, after asking our Society for advice. It wanted a different title to the school, so as to avoid confusion, and is delighted with our suggestion of Stock Brook.

Unveiling of Mosaic

This project to turn a prominent but untidy piece of land, at the junction of Broadway and Middleton Road, into an attractive feature, was carried out by the children of South Chadderton High School, and St. Herbert's RC Primary School. The former designed the mosaic showing the Chadderlon Griffin, and associated emblems, whilst the younger children planted an evergreen tree and daffodils on the site. The Society was very pleased to be involved in the overall scheme, and also with the unveiling ceremony on 25th March 2009.

Commemorative Plaques to Local People

Arrangements for the erection of the Blue Plaque to honour Terry Hall (of 'Lenny the Lion' fame), who was born at 635 Middleton Road in 1926, are well advanced. The details are now with the foundry in Buxton, and it is hoped to officially unveil the plaque early in summer. Thanks are extended to the Chadderton Area Committee for the grant of £400 towards the cost.

The arrangements to erect a Blue Plaque to Geoff Tootil, one of the three co-inventors of the world's first, wholly electronic, programmable computer, who was also born in Chadderton, has been put in abeyance until the autumn. The Society 's also considering the erection of a 'Red' Plaque to the one/two local men killed at the Peterloo Massacre in 1819, the 190th anniversary of which is commemorated this August.

Radclyffe Portraits in Foxdenton Hall

During the year, the Society was pleased to be involved with the 'Friends of Foxdenton', in their commissioning of nine portraits of members of the Radclyffe family. These now adorn the walls of Foxdenton Hall. The portraits were taken from slides in the Society's archives.

Rochdale Canal Signage

In recent months, the Society has been involved with the council in providing the historical background for three (with the possibility of a fourth) lectern style information boards, to be placed along the Chadderton section of the Rochdale Canal. These are to be placed near Th' Iron Donger railway bridge, the River Irk aqueduct, and Foxdenton Lane, and also give visitors information on the local flora and fauna, and local facilities. It was a real pleasure to work with Eleanor Sykes and Simon Patrill, of OMBC, and Lucy Rogers of the Waterways Trust, on this project.

Wreath-Laying Ceremony

On Remembrance Sunday, November 9th 2008, Trevor Ashworth, and a group of Society members, laid the official poppy wreath at Chadderton War Memorial on behalf of all members. As is the custom, the wreath featured the Chadderton coat-of-arms, and was laid in honour of all Chaddertonians who had died throughout the ages in the cause of truth, justice and freedom.

Town Hall Registry Office

During the year Chadderton's impressive Town Hall became the Registry Office for the whole of our metropolitan borough. The former council chamber, the 'Oak Room', has become a most elegant ceremonial room for the solemnisation of marriages, and a smaller adjacent room performs a similar function. We thanked Councillor David Hibbert, Chadderton South, for having this room officially named the 'Alderman Sid Jacobs Ceremonial Room' as a memorial to a former great Chadderton councillor, and past President of the CHS. The Society was consulted by the Council on the history of the building, and we are pleased and honoured that the official brochure contains so much of our material.

New Mayor and Chief Executive

Cards of congratulations were sent during the year to Councillor Shoab Aklitar, on his becoming Mayor of the Oldham. Metropolitan Borough, and to Charlie Parker on his appointment as Chief Executive of the Local Authority. Both emphasised the true constitution of our metropolitan borough.

New Councillors, etc.

The Society makes it policy to work alongside all Chadderton's councillors, irrespective of party. During the past year we welcomed two new representatives on the Metropolitan Borough Council: John Hudson (Chadderton Central), and Jack Hulme (Chadderton North).

We also congratulated Jim McMahon on becoming the new leader of the Labour Party. Jim is a friend of the Society, and was once instrumental in re-forming the Failsworth Historical Society.

The Society also expressed its congratulations to Simon Shuttleworth, Township Manager for Chadderton, on being chosen by OMBC to receive an award for his services to the community. We also thanked him for all he does for the town of Chadderton.

'Bringing Chadderton Together'

This initiative, officially launched on 12th May 2008, is being promoted by Councillor Colin McLaren, the Society's Vicepresident and is concerned with bringing together all the various organisations in our town for their mutual benefit, and the common good.. Society Members have been in attendance at meetings, whilst Christine Dennis is an official co-optee on the body.

Chadderton Area Committee & Sub-Groups

During the past year, Society member Christine Dennis has continued as a co-opted member of the Chadderton Area Committee (formerly Community Council). Other members of the Society have also served as co-opted members on various sub-groups of the Area Committee, such as the Christmas Lights, and Chadderton Day. In addition to the Area Committee, the three wards of Chadderton also have their own sub-committee meetings at regular intervals, an arrangement that is unique in the borough. The Society keeps abreast of all developments.

The Society requested that the Area Committee set up in Chadderton, should be renamed Township Assembly, this being a more suitable title. This term was adopted at an Area Committee meeting by the councillors, Co-optees and public in attendance. However, it was not ratified by the Council.

Town Centre Regeneration Issues

Chadderton Town Hall is now the Registrar's Office for the whole of our metropolitan borough, and also the official wedding venue, the former council chamber looking magnificent in its role as ceremonial room. The Society was involved in providing details on the history of the building, for use in the official Council brochure. The consultation exercise with residents and local groups, to plan the regeneration of Chadderton Town Centre as a whole, has yet to be finalised by Council departments.

Well-being Centre Involvement

Chadderton's new 'Well-Being' Centre, incorporating a swimming pool, library, community facilities, police post, etc. is presently being constructed on the former council depot site at Wellington Street. It should open to the public in autumn of this year. Members of the Society's executive committee were shown the plans by assistant site manager Charles Ames, and his colleague Vernon Hailwood, at a visit made on 9th October 2008. The Society also provided archive material on the present library and baths for Dave Pugh and his students at Oldham College. This was to assist them in their project of producing appropriate murals for display on the hoardings around the site.

Town Hall Signage

In autumn, a dreadful sign was erected outside Chadderton Town Hall proclaiming to passers-by that the building is in fact 'Chadderton Town Hall'. If such a sign was considered necessary, its size and suitability should have been considered more closely, and interested parties consulted, especially the Chadderton Area Committee. The Society objected officially, together with local councillors, and attended meetings on the subject. The sign should be replaced shortly with something more in keeping with such an historic and impressive building.

Broadway Library

This facility is presently threatened with closure, the building then being demolished. The Society has avoided being implicated in any political wrangling over the closure decision, but is keen to record the building should it become confined to the history books.

Chadderton Day

 The Society once more took an active part in 'Chadderton Day' - the celebration of our town, its people and achievements, which took place on Saturday 14th June, at Foxdenton Park. Our Society ran several sideshows, with an historical theme, including a new one 'Cotton Mill Dividends', and also had displays of material, and publications for sale. Support by members was, once more, very good. This year the celebration is on Saturday 13th June from noon to 4.00 p.m.

 Chadderton Anthem

 This song, composed by Samuel Collins in 1832, to commemorate Chadderton first being represented in Parliament, and set to music by the Society, was performed in public for the first time on Chadderton Day, 14th June 2008. Thanks are extended to David Lawson for arranging the anthem for brass band, and to Chadderton Band for a fine performance.

 'Chadderton Celebrates St. George'

 The Society has not been involved in organising a social event to honour our national patron for three years, and it was decided to rectify this situation in 2009. Everything had been booked for a great patriotic evening in the Town Hall, but unfortunately a general lack of support meant that the Executive Committee reluctantly decided to cancel the event.

 Lancashire Day Celebration

 Because of commitments by the Town Crier on Lancashire Day (27th November), the occasion was celebrated in Chadderton on the previous day. The Lancashire flag - the newly registered one showing the red rose on a gold background - flew outside the Town Hall, and at 1.00 p.m. the Lancashire Proclamation was read from the Town Hall steps, and subsequently at several other places within the Town Centre. Maps of the 'Real' Lancashire were given out to shoppers, whilst children received sweets to remind them of their 'historic and cultural identity'. Attendance by Society members, each proudly wearing a red rose, showed a significant increase on previous years. Our official retinue looked as impressive as ever with Town Crier, Standard Bearer, and Flag Bearers.

 Christmas Lights

 For the seventh successive year a very impressive display of Christmas lights was to be seen in Chadderton Town Centre. The Society once more played a key part in the proceedings, including the Christmas Market, which took place on Friday 28th November 2008. The Town Crier and Chadderton Standard Bearer, together with other Society members, also took part in the switch-on of the Firwood Park Christmas Tree on Ist December. This was a new event in Chadderton's social calendar.

 Project Workshops for New 'Well-Being' Centre.

 About eight members attended the workshop held on Thursday 29th May, at the Central Library, to 'reminisce' on times spent at both the old Chadderton Baths, and Chadderton Library. The session was led by a professional author who was very impressed with the information and anecdotes generated by the Society. On 19th June a group of members were shown around the old Baths (closed since August 2006), and made a very comprehensive photographic record of the building.

 Local History Forum

 Our congratulations were offered to Councillor Mike Buckley, of Saddleworth Historical Society, on becoming the borough's 'Historic Environment Champion'. It is intended to set up a Local History Forum to co-ordinate the work of the various local societies

 Summary

 As may be seen, the year 2008-2009, has been another very full and successful one for the Chadderton Historical Society. We not only had a very full monthly programme for Members, but were also involved in many local events and projects which promote the Society and Chadderton. These can sometimes be very demanding on our time, but this community involvement is often commented upon favourably by others. 

Chadderton Historical Society continues to go from strength to strength, as its involvement with a wider number of other organisations, both voluntary and official, grows. It is well established locally, and regionally, and is a highly regarded organisation, mentioned with respect in the Council Chamber, and consulted regularly. May we all move forward together, building on this reputation. 

Trusting that there are no major errors, discrepancies, or omissions, I hereby conclude my Annual Report for the year 2008-2009, and present it to all Members of the Chadderton Historical Society.

 

Signed......................................................................................................................... Dated.......................

 

Michael Lawson [Secretary]

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SECRETARY'S REPORT

 for the Year June 2007 - May 2008

Thirty-Third Annual General Meeting
Thursday 1st May 2008

Programme during the Past Year

The programme for 2007-2008, as presented to the Thirty-Second AGM, was completed in its entirety. Talks by visiting speakers covered the following topics: 'Failsworth Pole' by John Crompton; 'The Four Meres of Saddleworth' by Mike Buckley; 'When the Saints Came Marching In (Pt. 1) by Margaret Curry; 'Ferney Farnworth' by Ken Beevers; and 'Chadderton's Claims to Fame' by members Mark Johnson and Michael Lawson.

A local history ramble, entitled 'From Greatness to Glory', took place in Chadderton cemetery to mark its 150th anniversary, and our annual party, held the past year in December, took as its theme: 'Imperial Echoes', and was based on aspects of the British Empire. Once again an excellent repast was provided by member Christine Dennis.

Visits were made to Royton Town Centre, to see some of its fascinating history; to Ashton-under-Lyne Parish Church, notable for its 15th century stained glass windows; and to Lark Hill Place, Salford, where a reconstructed street scene took members back in their imaginations to late Victorian times.

Talks to External Bodies

During the past year illustrated talks have been given to various groups by Society Members:

Royton Local History Society, Thornham Men's Society, and Middleton Probus Club on the Manorial History of Chadderton Pt. Two - 'Foxdenton Hall'.

Two special talks were given during the year. One was to the Local History Forum at Saddleworth Museum - Aspects of the Work of Chadderton Historical Society. This was later repeated for the Tameside Local History Forum at Dukinfield Town Hall.

The other special talk was to St. Matthew's Church, Chadderton, as part of the parish's 150th celebration of the church building - the Development of Christianity in the Region.

Members of the Royton Local History Society were shown around Foxdenton Hall as a follow-up to a talk on the building given earlier in the previous week.

 A talk was given to one local school: Radclyffe High School - How the school received its name, and the background history from its days as Chadderton Grammar School. This was as part of the 'Good to Talk' week, and was given to two classes of Year 8 children.

Material from our archives, and one of our primary school work packs, was loaned to St. Herbert's Primary School for their local history project.

Displays of Local History Material

As part of the talk at Saddleworth Museum, the Society's display boards were set up for visitors to peruse.

On 26th June 2007, the Society again organised its stall of Society publications in a marquee at Chadderton Hall Park. This was held as part of the Whitsuntide Fun Day organised by Chadderton Churches and was, once more, very successful. On the same day a fun day was organised by Crossley Estate Tenants' Association, and the Society was also able to have a stall at that venue.

Because of other commitments, the Society did not take part in the annual Heritage Weekend or Family History Day during 2007.

The Society still needs more members to supervise the stalls when displays are being undertaken. This would give volunteers a break during the sessions.

Enquiries made to the Society (most via email)

1) Gentleman enquiring about life of Henry Taylor. Gave brief information and passed him on to Bernard Edge.

2) Susan Butterworth (journalist): enquiring about local cotton industry, its demise, unemployment, should mills be kept, attitude to this, our pragmatism, etc. Information to be published sometime in future. Will let us know, and quote Secretary.

3) Paul Jellis, via Royton LHS - Information on Foxdenton Hall. Would like to investigate further the 1620 basement. [1]

4) Rob Shepherd, Sunderland: any information on the former Chadderton Salvation Army Citadel.

5) Information on 'Belton Place' the group of four houses which stood on the site now occupied by the

Town Hall. Leslie Ward, via the Inghams in Cleveleys, stated that his relatives lived there and

enclosed a photograph of what is believed to be a view of part of the group.

6) Ryan Chadderton, Miami, Florida, USA: Information on family name.

7) Frances Jones, Australia: information on a Broadway Motorcycle Club, and Chadderton Swimming Club c1924-1934.

8) Sharon Wolstencroft: information on the family who were local mill builders.

9) Glyn Collins: information on ancestor, Samuel Collins, the 'Bard of Hale Moss'.

10) Rod Scholes: information on Chadderton Road Safety Committee and cycle competition in early 1950's; also an accident at Clogger Pond in 1940's.

11) Sarah James, Oldham and Rochdale Groundwork Trust: details about the Society for inclusion in report on community work in Oldham Borough.

12) Winston Brocklehurst, Australia: requesting photograph of Boat and Horse public house.

13) Lancashire County Council: requesting update on information on our Society for their database.

14) Barry Collins, Philadelphia, USA: information about baptismal registers at Christ Church, Chadderton.

15) E. Collins (Mrs), Timperley, Cheshire: requesting information on staircase in former Chadderton hall.

In line with its new policy the Society is very selective in answering the queries made to us, especially if concerning family history. These queries can be very demanding on our time and are frequently not even acknowledged by the enquirer.

Enquiries made by the Society, and Comments and Information offered.

1) Enquiries were made to locate a possible boundary stone around the former 'Chadderton Detached' at Green Lane, Garden Suburb, Oldham, but the residents of the premises in question had never found one.

2) Research from the Internet revealed that Sir Watts Horton, Lord of the Manor, stayed at 12 Upper Brook Street, London, when he and his family made their frequent visits to the capital.

3) Throughout the course of the year several 'Letters to the Editor' have been sent to the 'Oldham Chronicle', and the 'Advertiser', commenting on a variety of issues connected with Chadderton.

Archive Material received by the Society

During the year the following material for our archives was been gratefully received, and contributes further to our growing collection:

(1) George Wrigley, formerly of Shaw, now Cleveleys: Photographs and items on the Wrigley family, one-time Chadderton residents with a member on the CUDC, and formerly resident at the now-demolished Albion House, Middleton Road; Also views of Middleton Road premises before demolition in 1970's.

(2) Brenda Lewis, Canterbury: Chadderton UDC Commemorative mugs for King George V's Silver Jubilee in 1935; and George VI's Coronation in 1937; photographs of Chadderton Grammar School c1950; items on her father, Rev. John Wynn, who was vicar of St. Luke's in the 1930's; photographs of Foxdenton Park in late 1930's; etc.

(3) Society Member Mavis Finchett: Rug making needle; Commemorative booklet for Conferment of Honorary Freedom of the MB of Oldham on Dame Eva Turner DBE, Mus.D. (1982); Book by Lancashire County Council: 'Lancashire - the Red Rose county (1973); Sample of unfinished velvet cloth woven at the former Falcon Mill, Chadderton.

(4) Alice Hadfield, Society Member, - material on her relative, William O'Neill, long-time manager of the Sun Mill.

(5) E. Collins, Timperley, - material on her relatives, the Livseys, who operated the preserves factory at Chadderton Hall, and local photographs.

(6) Arthur Fletcher, Chadderton, photographs of the mug issued by Chadderton UDC in 1911, to commemorate the coronation of King George V;

(7) John and Margery Tomlinson, Chadderton, apportionment document for the making up of Chadderton Park Road in 1957.

(8) Sheila Danhieux, France: Two commemorative Chadderton Council mugs, George V 1935 Silver Jubilee; George VI Coronation 1937.

(9) Bill and Bertha Brough, Chadderton: Chadderton Swimming Baths towel, woven with date 1911.

(10) Radclyffe School, Chadderton (former Chadderton Grammar School): war memorial plaque, library clock, school bell (engraved ARP), shield and cups; printing blocks; class photographs, etc.

(11) Society Member Arthur Wilson: photograph of Chadderton Grammar School Football team c1940's

(12) Albert Sanderson, Nelson: shuttle from a carpet loom.

(13) Steven Williamson, Chadderton: Map of Oldham area in 1919.

(14 Anonymous Donor: Miscellaneous documents.

(14) Obtained from Ebay: photographs of Foxdenton Park and Hall c1935

Cataloguing Archive Material

New archive storage boxes have been purchased during the year and a start has been made on re-organising our substantial collection of material.

Society Web Site

Thanks are extended to Enid Johnson and her husband, John, for our excellent Website which can be found at www.chadderton-hs.freeuk.com . It continues to grow in popularity and detail. The Website was chosen in 2005, by the British Library "to represent aspects of UK documentary heritage". The archived copy of our website now forms part of the British Library's permanent collection, a great honour for us and for Chadderton! Their website is www.webarchive.org.uk (Arts & Humanities/History).

The Society also has a second Website (www.chadderton2002.freeuk.com) especially for 'Visitors to Chadderton'.

 Society Patron

The Society keeps our Patron, Lady Maureen Black [Radclyffe of Foxdenton], fully up to date on all matters concerning the Society. All Newsletters, and the Annual Reports, are sent to her, together with Greetings Cards at Christmas and Easter. On 9th May Lady Black will celebrate her 80th Birthday and the Society will be sending her a birthday card and a floral arrangement. We thank Lady Black for her continuous generosity to the Society,

 Death of Society President

It was with great sadness, and a sincere sense of loss, that we learned of the death, on 30th January, of the President of the Chadderton Historical Society, Honorary Alderman Sid Jacobs, J.P. President since 1998, he was, without doubt, one of a rare breed of public servants - a man of great personal conviction and integrity, of loyalty and dedication, and with a unique, somewhat mischievous, sense of humour! Members of the Society formed a Guard of Honour at his funeral service which was held at Christ Church on 8th February.

 New President and Vice- President

Following the death of Sid Jacobs, it was unanimously agreed by the Executive Committee that the Presidency of the Society be offered to Councillor Jim Greenwood, who has been our Vice-President since 1994. He retires this month as a councillor for Chadderton Central Ward, a position he has held since 1986. In accepting the position, Councillor Greenwood said that he was "honoured to be asked … [but] will never be able to fill Uncle Sid's shoes".

The Executive Committee also agreed to ask Councillor Colin McLaren, who has represented Central Ward since 2006, to take over from Jim as Vice-President. He has the interests of Chadderton very much at heart as shown by his role as 'Champion' of the Community Council, his interest in the proposed Chadderton Heritage Centre, and his commitment to the 'Bringing Chadderton Together' project, all of which augurs well for the future of our town.

 80th Birthdays

The Society wishes to congratulate our Treasurer, Denis Barrott, who celebrated his eightieth birthday in March, and also Alan Clegg, Executive Committee Member, who is eighty in June. Many thanks for all you do for the Society.

 Condolences

During the year, the sympathies of all members were extended to member Margaret Scott on the death of her husband, George, also a member of the Society. Plaques to both George and Sid Jacobs have been placed on our memorial lectern..

Wreath-Laying Ceremony

On Remembrance Sunday, November 11th 2007, a group of Society members laid the official poppy wreath at Chadderton War Memorial on behalf of all members. As is the custom, the wreath featured the Chadderton coat-of-arms.

 Mayor-Making Ceremony & Installation of Honorary Alderman

As representative of the Society, I was invited to last May's Mayor-Making Ceremony at the Civic Centre, Oldham. The occasion was also used to induct our late President, Sid Jacobs, as an Honorary Alderman of the Metropolitan Borough.

 Executive Committee Meetings

During the past twelve months four meetings of the Executive Committee have been held: 5th June 2007; 4th September 2007; 21st February 2008; and 23rd April 2008. The agendas were wide and varied, and all matters discussed have been referred to in this report.

 Society Newsletter - 'The Griffin'

The Society's Newsletter, "The Griffin", continues to be published quarterly in February, May, August and November. As in previous years, an increased number of copies is being printed and distributed to a wider cross-section of the community, including all Chadderton councillors and co-opted members of the Chadderton Community Council. The Newsletter is one of the chief means of making our existence known to the general public, and of helping to promote the community spirit in Chadderton

Members of the Society are asked to consider writing suitable articles for the Newsletter. Thanks once again to Enid Johnson who prepares the final version for publication.

 Society Publications

A new information sheet in A5 size, giving 61 'Notable Dates in Chadderton's History', was published last year for free distribution. The front of the sheet contains 'Facts' to encourage people to have 'Pride in Chadderton'. For the talk at Radclyffe High School a worksheet on the history of the school, and its predecessor the grammar school, was compiled.

The Society has now published 13 booklets, 4 maps, 6 prints, a large collection of children's worksheets, and 5 miscellaneous items.

 'Claims to Fame' Booklet

The Society has made tentative enquiries about the cost of printing a booklet on 'Chadderton's Claims to Fame'. Two local firms can do the work at a similar cost of around £1080 for 1000 copies.

 'Images of England - Chadderton'

This commercially produced book on Chadderton was first published in 1997. A new pocket edition came out during the year and has proved very popular.

 Contributions to other Periodicals

During the year, a private publication 'Chadderton Life' was published. The Society has links with the firm producing it, and has contributed articles on aspects of Chadderton's history.

The Society also has an entry in 'The Family and Local History Handbook 11', to be published in May 2008.

 Ornate Flags

Thanks are extended to Member Lilian Johnson for embellishing the Society's English and Lancashire flag with gold braid. The results of her work were seen for the first time at the Military Re-enactment in Chadderton Hall Park. It was Lilian who was also responsible for the impressive uniform worn by our standard bearer or 'signifer'.

 Society Merchandise

Items now on sale are fridge magnets, bookmarks, coasters, Foxdenton Hall mugs, Thirtieth Anniversary commemorative mugs, ties and scarves, and key rings. Thanks are extended to our marketing manager, Trevor Ashworth, for all his dedicated work in this area.

 Photographic Displays

During the year the Society was asked by local funeral directors, James Taylor, to make copies of a selection of views of old Middleton Road. These are now on the walls of their waiting room.

A proof selection of local views has also been given to Mike Miski, the proprietor of the Pavilion Café, in Chadderton Hall Park. He is going to select a few, and then obtain copies from us to display in the premises.

Chadderton Postcard

During the year a reprint of 1000 copies of the Chadderton postcard was sanctioned. The card portrays four aspects of Chadderton's history: civic, manorial, religious, and industrial. Because of pressure of work in other areas, no progress has been made in publishing the two proposed new postcards: (1) Town Crier and Standard Bearer; (2) Scenes around Chadderton.

 'Powerpoint' Presentation Equipment

Councillor Jim Greenwood has kindly offered a grant of £1000 to the Society from his budget as a member of the Community Council. The Executive Committee has decided that this will go towards funding the new presentation equipment which is to be purchased in the coming weeks.

 New Refreshment Facilities

In recent weeks the catering facilities for our monthly meetings have been reorganised. A new water heater has been purchased and this will alleviate the need (and danger) of bringing cups of tea up the three flights of steps at the library. Society Member Christine Dennis has donated a cupboard, in which all the Society's refreshment items can be stored on the first floor, instead of being kept in the library staffroom on the ground floor.

 Document Storage Cupboard

It had been agreed to purchase a storage cabinet, in which to file our more valuable documents, etc. However, in view of the imminent changes with regard to a venue in which to meet, it was decided to put the matter in abeyance.

 Provision of Memorial Lectern

During the year, a free-standing lectern, intended as a memorial to deceased members of the Society, was designed and constructed by Society member, Brian Kennedy. The Chadderton coat-of-arms is prominently displayed, whilst below it are individual plaques, each bearing the name of a deceased member of the Society. It was agreed at the recent Executive Committee meeting that Fr. Alan Cooke of St. Mark's Church be invited to bless and dedicate the lectern.

 Press Articles

Throughout the year the 'Oldham Chronicle', via Karen Doherty, and the 'Advertiser', via Lee Sykes, are kept fully informed of the Society's activities, and each reporter receives copies of all Newsletters. The Society is often consulted on historical and topical matters concerning Chadderton, and quoted in reports. An excellent article on the former Chadderton Grammar School featured members of the Society and memorabilia possessed by us. The historical ramble through the Chadderton Cemetery, to commemorate its 150th anniversary, resulted in a two page article in the 'Oldham Chronicle'.

Both the 'Oldham Chronicle' and the 'Oldham Advertiser' featured items on the Chadderton Anthem, which made its debut during the year.

 Society Affiliations

The Society continues to be a member of several regional and national bodies. Recently we became members of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, and the Chetham's Society, both of which have excellent libraries for research purposes. The subscription to the Historical Association was cancelled as it was not felt that we were receiving many benefits from being members. The Society has also started subscribing to the Lancashire Magazine, and copies are available to members to read.

 Identity Issues

The Society actively pursues a policy of promoting and enhancing the identity of Chadderton whenever this is felt to be necessary.

(1) Supermarket Addresses

Correspondence is presently ongoing with two supermarkets concerning unsatisfactory addresses. Tesco on Featherstall Road classes itself as 'Tesco Oldham Chadderton', and we are trying to find out why they consider themselves as being in Chadderton.

Morrisons on Hollinwood Avenue, while classing itself on notepaper as being in Chadderton, has had newspaper advertisements which give the store as the 'Oldham' store, whilst their store in Failsworth is correctly classed as the 'Failsworth Store'.

(2) Boundary Signs

The re-erection of the Chadderton boundary sign at the end of Hollinwood Avenue, near the Northern Counties new office block, has still not been carried out, but in the light of the proposal to erect new signs, as result of the re-branding of the borough, the Society is no longer pursuing this matter.

(3) Constituency Name

Our MP, Michael Meacher, has indicated that he is prepared to sign his letters as "Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton (including Chadderton)". To date, however, we have not seen any evidence of this policy.

(4) Council Publications

Complaints were made to the relevant Council Department about the booklet 'Think You Know Oldham', about the inconsistencies with regard to referring to Oldham - the town, and Oldham the borough.

Criticism was also made about the address of Chadderton Town Hall being given as 'Middleton Road, Oldham' with no mention of Chadderton, in a Council advertisement in the 'Chronicle'. Apologies were received from both the Council and the business editor of the newspaper.

(5) Local Addresses

'Meadowbank' on Tweedale Way, Chadderton, had its address given as 'Hollinwood', Chadderton being entirely omitted. The management have agreed to rectify the address in the future.

 On a positive note, the local Labour Party were congratulated on an issue of 'Chadderton Red Rose', in which phrases like 'Chadderton Town Centre' were used in a correct and meaningful manner.

 Heritage Centre

The scheme for a Heritage Centre in Chadderton took a decisive step forward during the year. The present library building will become vacant once the new 'Well-being Centre' (Swimming Pool complex) is opened next year, and the Society has indicated an interest in using the ground floor of the building. Meetings have taken place with Councillor Colin McLaren to draw up a business plan which can be used to obtain funding.

 Foxdenton Hall - Shadow Trustees

No progress has been made during the year in this matter. The 'Friends of Foxdenton' are working hard on internal decoration, but no scheme for structural repairs has yet been prepared. Society Members Mark Johnson and Reg Lord have put forward their names as possible Trustees.

 New Developments- Names of Streets

The Society was requested to submit possible names for the streets on the new housing development being built on Hunt Lane. After some research into the Tithe Map of c1840, a number of suggestions were put forward. We have since learned that it is proposed to use 'North Dene Close' for the road on 'The Cottons', development nearest to the former railway bridge, and 'Broom's Lane', on the 'Millwood Grange' section, nearest to Broadway. The area is being developed by two separate firms.

The Society has also been asked to submit an alternative name for Zebra Way off Greenside Way, Greengate.

 'Bringing Chadderton Together'

This initiative is being promoted by Councillor Colin McLaren, and a series of meetings and workshops have been held in recent months. Society members have been in attendance, whenever possible, and the scheme is concerned with bringing together all the various organisations in our town to obtain substantial funding for community projects. The Society is hoping that our intentions for a Heritage Centre in the former library can be developed along with this larger grouping of local organisations. The BCT should be officially launched in the near future.

 Chadderton Area Committee and Community Council

During the past year, Society member Christine Dennis has continued as a co-opted member of the Chadderton Area Committee, and its successor, the Chadderton Community Council. Other members of the Society also served as co-opted members on various sub-groups of the Community Committee, such as the Christmas Lights, and Chadderton Day.

Thanks were extended to the Chadderton Area Manager, Mark Simmons, for his great interest in Chadderton and its community, and for promoting so much goodwill in the town. He has now been transferred to work with the Community Councils of East Oldham, but has overall supervision of all the community councils. Simon Shuttleworth is now the Acting Area Manager for Chadderton and is a worthy successor to Mark.

Under the new Council the three wards of Chadderton are to remain as one unit, but each ward also has its own sub-meetings, a unique arrangement in the borough.

The Society has already requested that the Community Councils set up in the former urban districts, be renamed Township Assemblies as being more suitable titles. This is especially true in Chadderton where the ward meetings are sometimes styled community councils adding to the confusion. This matter will be reviewed later in the year.

 Town Centre Regeneration Issues

Chadderton Town Hall is now the Registrar's Office for the whole of our metropolitan borough, and also the official wedding venue. The Society was involved in providing details on the history of the building for use in a Council brochure.

Chadderton Swimming Baths has now been closed since August 2006, but a new 'Well-Being' Centre, incorporating a swimming pool, library, community facilities, police post, etc. is presently being constructed on the former council depot site at Wellington Street.

The consultation exercise with residents, carried out in Spring 2007, to plan the regeneration of Chadderton Town Centre as a whole, has not yet been finalised.

 Chadderton Feasibility Brief

Two Meetings, on 6th March and on 17th April, have been held with council officers, councillors, and the firm of consultants, Lambert Smith Hampton, on the future of three Town Centre buildings, once they become redundant. These are the baths, library, and police station. Both the police station and the library can be offered for other purposes, but it is believed that the baths will have to be demolished. The Society is pushing for the façade to be retained in any future scheme. Several suggestions were put forward in the redevelopment scheme which would safeguard, to different degrees, the historical significance of these buildings.

 Re-branding the Borough

Consultants 'Hemisphere', employed by OMBC, have been considering how best to raise the profile and image of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham. The borough has a very negative perception in general, whilst within its boundaries there is a substantial degree of resentment among the residents of the six outer townships over issues of identity.

The Society places identity concerns high on its agenda, in accordance with its Mission Statement, and with other local history societies has been involved in the process of consultation with 'Hemisphere's' leader Sue Vanden. The decision to retain the name 'Oldham' and the proposed new logo, were not welcomed, especially as the latter is not a very inclusive symbol. There is also the proposal that the term 'metropolitan borough' be downgraded and 'Oldham Council' emphasised. In this there is the inherent danger that the distinction between the town of Oldham, and the borough of Oldham will be blurred, if not lost altogether, and this is something we will resist as contrary to the true spirit of re-organisation in 1974.

The outcome contains some aspects that could be beneficial to Chadderton. New boundary signs will welcome the visitors to our town, and the Society intends to request the inclusion of Chadderton's official coat-of-arms on these signs. Of great significance is the statement from 'Hemisphere' "This does not mean that we are suggesting that everyone becomes Oldhamers - far from it - we would encourage people to describe themselves as Chaddertonians, etc. as it celebrates the diversity of the place as a whole."

Councillor David Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, had considered the use of the title 'Greater Oldham' for the metropolitan borough, but nothing seems to have come from this idea.

 Broadway Library

This building is threatened with closure and the Society is keen that, should it be demolished, a full record be made of it, and any appropriate artefacts preserved for posterity.

Restoration of Healds Green School

The work of restoring this historic building, in which our Society was founded in 1975, was completed in December 2007. Originally erected in 1789, it certainly looks very impressive and is a credit to the people of the area who spent so much time on its renovation.

 Blue Plaques to Local Worthies

As reported last year, the arrangements to erect a Blue Plaque to Geoff Tootil, one of the three co-inventors of the world's first, wholly electronic, programmable computer, who was born in Chadderton, has been left with the Area Committee (now Community Council). However, no progress has been made during the past twelve months and we intend to follow up this matter.

We have also begun preliminary arrangements for the erection of a Blue Plaque to honour Terry Hall (of Lenny the Lion fame) who was born at 635 Middleton Road in 1926. Both his sister, Kathleen, who lives in Chadderton, and his wife Denise, in Coventry, are delighted with the idea.

Chadderton Anthem

During the year, this song, composed by Samuel Collins, was set to its own music and performed for the first time. Written in 1832, to commemorate the first parliamentary election in which Chaddertonians had a vote, it is a stirring piece both in music and lyrics. With organ accompaniment, it was sung by members at the beginning of the November meeting, and an arrangement for brass band is now being finalised. Hopefully, it will be performed on Chadderton Day.

 Chadderton Mosaic and Sculpture

The Society has been involved with pupils and staff from South Chadderton School, in creating a piece of artwork in mosaic, and also a modern piece of sculpture representing the community and heritage of Chadderton. The mosaic has recently been completed and the small waste site at the north-east corner of Middleton road and Broadway has been landscaped and prepared for the installation of the mosaic. It is intended that there will be an official unveiling led by the Town Crier and retinue sometime in the near future. The work on the larger sculpture has not yet commenced.

 Chadderton Day

The Society once more took an active part in 'Chadderton Day' - the celebration of our town, its people and achievements, which took place on Saturday 16th June, at Foxdenton Park. Our Society ran several sideshows, with an historical theme, and also had displays of material, and publications for sale. Support by members was, once more, very good. This year the celebration is on Saturday 14th June from noon to 4.00 p.m.

 'Chadderton Celebrates St. George'

The Society has not been involved in organising a social event to honour our national patron for two years, and the Executive Committee decided recently to rectify this situation. Accordingly, the Town Hall has been booked for Saturday 25th April 2009, and it is our intention to involve as many local organisations as possible, primarily the Community Council, in this celebration. Please put the date in your diaries.

 'Chadderton 1861 Memorial Day' - Military Re-enactment

The Town Crier with Retinue, along with several other members of the Society, took part in this Military Event, held in Chadderton Hall Park on Sunday 6th April. Organised by 'Life for a 'Life', and the Oldham Liaison of Ex-Services Associations, it was to commemorate a presentation of flags to the 31st Lancashire Rifle Volunteers, made in Chadderton Park (i.e the manorial estate) on 6th April 1861.

 Lancashire Day Celebration

For the Sixth year in succession Lancashire Day (27th November) was celebrated in style in Chadderton. The Lancashire flag flew outside the Town Hall, and at noon the Lancashire Proclamation was read from the Town Hall steps, and subsequently at several other places within the Town Centre. Maps of the 'Real' Lancashire were given out to shoppers, whilst children received sweets to remind them of their 'historic and cultural identity'.

 Christmas Lights in the Town Centre

For the sixth successive year a very impressive display of Christmas lights was to be seen in Chadderton Town Centre. The Society once more played a key part in the proceedings which took place on Friday 16th  November 2007. This year, for the first time, a wonderful Christmas market was held in the precinct throughout the day, and this was greatly appreciated by all who attended. It augurs well for a future weekly market in the precinct. The actual switch-on took place in the precinct instead of outside the Town Hall.

 Library Project - Members' Reminiscences

The Society has been asked recently, if members who have personal experiences of the library and baths buildings from their childhood, would be willing to take part in a project. A half day session has been allocated to us, and under the guidance of a professional writer, members will be encouraged to produce written work suitable for incorporation in the hoardings to be placed around the new 'Well-being' Centre. I am sure many members would like to be involved.

 Attendance and Membership

Since June 2007, 3 new members have joined the Society. Current paid-up membership is 54, an increase of 11 on 2007.Attendance at talks given by visiting speakers during the past twelve months averaged 29 members and friends, being down 2 on last year. Average attendance on visits to places of interest was 24, which was a decrease of 1 on the previous year.

The local history ramble in Chadderton Cemetery, to commemorate its 150th anniversary, attracted 40 members (ghoulish lot!) and 3 visitors, compared to 24 who took part in last year's ramble. The annual party held this past year in December, instead of January, was attended by 36 members compared with 27 the previous year. Some members came in costume and a photograph appeared in the Oldham Chronicle. At the 32nd AGM in May 2007, 36 members were present compared with 32 the previous year, and 31 and 28 in the previous two years, respectively.

 Summary

As may be seen from the above report, the year 2007-2008, has been another momentous and successful one for the Chadderton Historical Society. We not only had a very full monthly programme, but were also involved in many local events and projects which promote the Society and Chadderton. These can sometimes be very demanding on our time, but this community involvement is often commented upon favourably by visiting speakers.

Chadderton Historical Society continues to go from strength to strength, as its involvement with a wider number of other organisations, both voluntary and official, grows. It is well established locally, and regionally, and is a highly regarded organisation, mentioned with respect in the Council chamber, and consulted on a regular basis. Let us move forward together, building on this reputation.

Trusting that there are no major errors, discrepancies, or omissions, I hereby conclude my Annual Report for the year 2007-2008, and present it to all Members of the Chadderton Historical Society.

 

Signed ………………………..……………………….. Michael Lawson [Secretary]

 Dated …………………………………………………..

 

 Last Modified: 12/06/2011 Copyright Chadderton Historical Society 1999-2011

 

 

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