Last Wednesday evening’s session at Hazel Grove Civic Centre with SWOG (Stockport Walking and Outdoors Group) was devoted to an inspirational presentation by Ian Littlechilds and Phil Page. ‘The Four Heatons’ was the subject of their presentation, but it was channelled more towards ‘how the book was put together’ than a detailed review of its contents.
Former schoolteachers Ian and Phil related how they had accumulated information for the book, including the purchase of numerous postcards, which before the days of the telephone were often used as a primary means of communication, thus revealing much about the life and times of the authors of such cards, which apparently sell for up to about £25.
[Author pauses to rummage through postcard collection – the oldest I can find is of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, in 1937, with a message ‘we are having a lovely time’. Conclusion: not a very valuable collection. But yours may be if you have some older cards. Note for Dot – “Look after those old cards!”]
The book appears to include many annotated comparisons between the old photos with new ones taken by the authors, who were surprised at how much foliage there is nowadays compared with Victorian times. Old images were obtained from various sources, including libraries, and the authors had spent some time familiarising themselves with the complexities of Copyright Duration. (Far too complex to go into here!)
They also explained how easy it was to persuade Amberley, the publisher, to publish a book that fitted into their ‘Through Time’ series. This really is something from which anyone with a few basic skills could gain a lot of satisfaction. So, if you are interested in picking up a book on the local history of a particular area, have a look at Amberley’s website, and if the book isn’t there… you have a possible project.
By way of example, here’s what the Amazon ‘preview’ says about the Four Heatons book:
“The Four Heatons (Heaton Moor, Heaton Mersey, Heaton Chapel and Heaton Norris) have a combined population of around 70,000 and each has its own history and character. Heaton Moor and Heaton Chapel grew as residential areas with the development of new road and rail links, Heaton Mersey developed as a community based on mining, bleaching and dyeing and Heaton Norris was a workers' community situated within touching distance of the industries of Stockport. Although there have been changes over the past one hundred years or so, much of the original architecture of the areas remains and links between the old and new photographs can clearly be established. This unique selection of old and new images and informative captions will be essential reading for anyone who knows and loves these suburbs of Greater Manchester.”
Thanks go to Pam for suggesting these excellent presenters.