Rare photos help uncover town’s past
RARE and previously unseen images feature in a new book about Macclesfield by a celebrated local historian.
Past Times of Macclesfield, volume four, has been written by history expert Dorothy Bentley Smith.
It consists of articles that were wholly or partially published when she was a columnist for the Macclesfield Express from 2010 to 2012.
In these articles, Dorothy covers a wide variety of topics from Victorian baths, railway outings and celebrations, to scandal, storms, and tragedy.
Each of the articles is accompanied by a selection of fascinating images – 100 in total – some of which are very rare and previously unseen.
These include one of Napoleon in the chapter about the town’s involvement in the Napoleonic Wars and one of the Chinese-style tiles at Park Green House.
There are chapters on ‘Barnaby’, ‘fairs, markets and carnivals’, ‘Jenny Lind’, ‘Pickford Hall’; ‘Silk Button and Twist Warehouse’; ‘the Dr Sainter scandal’; ‘the public clocks controversy’; ‘ the railway’ and vices’.
Dorothy said: “There was a tremendous response to some of the articles I contributed to the Express so it made sense to pull them together into a book.
“Some of the biggest response I got was to the early history of the Lyme Green Settlement.
“There are also chapters on the South Park bandstand and two terrible floods that hit the town during the Victoria era.”
Other chapters are ‘postal ser- devoted to poetry, astronomy, Victorian baths, Macclesfield watchmakers and mining in Mottram St Andrew.
Dorothy is already planning her next books and is currently researching the Brocklehurst family and the town’s involvement in the Crimean War, among other things.
Dorothy said she never tires of local history.
She said: “It’s important that we appreciate what people in the past have done.
“Reading about history has helped me understand older people and what they went through and how that has shaped their lives and the town.
“I love doing it. It’s incredibly interesting. And if I can give people a little bit of enjoyment with what I write then that is just a huge bonus.”
The 128-page book is published by Amberley and is also available in Kindle, Kobo and iBook formats.
It will be available from February 15, priced £12.99.
Dorothy Bentley Smith and her latest book on the history of Macclesfield
Her exhibit at the Barbican