P. 7

Sample Chapter.
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What was once a quiet country village is being rapidly
transformed into a town... and it is desirable to place on record
its early characteristics, and gather up such traditions as should
reveal the condition of bygone times before the links
connecting those old days with the present should be broken”.1

     These were pretty much the final words our own local
historian wrote in concluding his History of Chorlton-cum-
Hardy. It had taken him 26 articles spread out over the winter
and spring of 1885-6 and drew on a variety of historical
records, traditions and a pool of memories which went back
beyond the loss of the American colonies to a time when we
were a small rural community.

     Those traditions included the “harvest home”, the rush
spreading ceremonies, and characters like Caleb Jodrell, who
was a ringleader in the ancient custom of Riding the Stang, and
Mary Crowther who was the last woman to do penance in front
of the altar of the parish church.2

     All have been documented in the more recent history of
Chorlton in the early 19th century, which described those rural
traditions and a way of life, which by the 1860s was already

     And now it is time to look at some of the more recent
traditions, and personalities of the last half century and a bit of
Chorlton’s history.

     It began with a discussion on what made Chorlton different,
and quickly moved away from the plethora of bars and
interesting places to eat, briefly fastening on our own theatre
company, and eventually settled on things you didn’t know
about Chorlton, and probably didn’t know whom to ask.

     Living in a town with a quirky name like Chorlton-cum-
Hardy, what else could we call the book except... The Quirks of
Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and while some things are indeed very

 1 Ellwood, Thomas, Chapter XXVI, The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, South Manchester
 Gazette, May 15, 1886
 2 The custom of Riding the Stang or Rough Music, was a practice which dates back to
 the Middle Ages and was common across Europe and involved the public humiliation of
 wrong doers.
 3 Simpson, Andrew, The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, 2012

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