Broadbottom Community Association
The Boom Years
After the building of the new toll road to Mottram, the next great development which increased the status of Broadbottom was the arrival of the railway in 1842. John Chapman, now married to George Sidebottom’s daughter Ann, was closely involved in these developments and on the board of the Sheffield, Ashton under Lyne and Manchester railway.
This extraordinary feat of engineering linked Broadbottom not only with Manchester and Sheffield, through the Woodhead tunnel, but also southwards to London. The line through Broadbottom went on to Marylebone Station in London until the early 1960s. By 1846 22 trains a day passed through Broadbottom station. The first viaduct was made of wood and burnt down. It was replaced in
Of the new bridge the Glossop Chronicle in 1859 reported
‘This will now place all fear at an end and confidence will be restored.’
The drawing opposite also shows a quarry at the right of the road, one of many around the village.
The cutting through of the railway made another change in the village’s geography. Gorsey Brow, which had once run down to join what is now Ogden Street was diverted at the end of Hague Road to join the main road further up.
Contemporary engraving of looms in a mill (Joyce Powell)
The Mills continued to boom, using steam power and gas lighting. Mechanised weaving was established. The new railway made deliveries of coal to the mills much easier since local supplies were modest and raw materials and manufactured goods could be transported much more easily.
Photograph of loom (Joyce Powell)
Population in Mottram (including Broadbottom) had been growing rapidly as people moved in to work and the birth rate also rose.
The first census return of 1841 provides a glimpse into the village. Many of the adults were born outside the village, but most came from villages and towns in the region. A handful of Irish workers are mentioned, a small number living in Hill End Mill and a group of five men living in Hodge Fold, described as labourers, probably working as navvies on the railway.
Sizes of some households, with families and lodgers, indicate high levels of overcrowding for the workers. It is interesting to compare one family, mostly workers at Matley’s print works, who lived on Summerbottom with that at Hill End House
John and Deborah Hadfield at Summerbottom headed an overcrowded household of six young children, and with only two of them and the father working, would have had only modest wages coming in. The two lodgers must have contributed significantly to their income, but it is hard to imagine how they managed in a two up two down cottage.
At Hill End House, at the time of the 1841 census, there were 9 permanent residents ( 4 family, 5 servants ) and 3 guests, Mary Findhersen, who was John Chapman’s sister, and her family.
John Hadfield 41 labourer
Deborah Hadfield 37
Joe Hadfield 13 calico print works
Elizabeth Hadfield 11 calico print works
James Hadfield 8
Thomas Hadfield 2
Mary Hadfield 6
Ann Hadfield 1 month
Joseph Berry 25 calico printer
James Berry 29 cotton spinner
Hill End House 1841
George Sidebottom 66 Cotton manufacturer
John Chapman 30 Independent
Ann Chapman 30
Edward Chapman 1
Gustavus Findersen 39 Merchant
Mary Findersen 30
Johanna Findersen 15
Mary Ardon 20 Female Servant
Sarah Ardon 20 Female Servant
Harriott Fernaley 18 Female Servant
Ann Denton 18 Female Servant
Mary Bruiner 15 Female Servant
Homes for rich and poor.
New houses were built to accommodate the workforce:
Thornley Row (Spring St 1839)
Lower Market Street (1850 onwards)
New Street, St Ann St (1851)
Brick Row (demolished 1970s), Travis terrace, Bonton Terrace, Mount Pleasant and West End (the main road section) between 1847 and 1872)
Bank St, with Garden Street below it, two roomed cellar dwellings.
More homes were added for wealthier families:
The Hague and Hague Bank were built in 1858 by Samuel Marsland (of Best Hill Mill) for his family.
Ashlar House was built next to the Crescent.
Garden Street , below Bank Street, 2 room basement dwellings.
Hague Bank(Claire Hussell)
1859 by an iron and steel construction.
back to history index back to 1805 next page 1860
The village’s social structure now extended to chapels and some small opportunities for schooling. Anglicans went to Mottram to worship. Catholics in the village seem to have been supported by Mr Bostock of Broadbottom Hall who gave them a place in which to meet.
Ebenezer Place, the Primitive Methodist Chapel
Second Primitive Chapel and Sunday School, Gorsey Brow.
A figure in early education provision in the village is John Andrew, a self-improved mill worker. He is listed in the census of 1851 on Market Street as a school teacher, aged 40 with a wife and two children. His daughter Emma took over the school in 1860; John was still alive in 1881.
The following is an extract from an early account of the village (Reminiscences of a chief constable) written in the 1890s by William Chadwick, then chief constable of Stalybridge but himself a self -made man, born in the village in 1822.
'In his younger days he was an operative hand spinner at the Broadbottom mills at which place his father was employed as a book keeper. From the mill, however, Mr Andrew removed himself by indomitable energy and perseverance. There was no school within two miles of what was then the rising colony of Broadbottom and consequently the youths of the place were very much neglected in an educational point of view. Mr Andrew commenced a night school which succeeded so well that the labours of attending it became too great after a hard day’s work in the mill of nearly thirteen hours to the day. He left the mill in order to devote the whole of his time to the education of the youths of the neighbourhood, and he succeeded so well, by care, attention and natural abilities, that he built a very commodious school, which was and still is well attended.
He not only taught his pupils the usual rudiments of education, but promoted an elocutionary class among the young men of the village, in order to show the beauties of Shakspere and other standard authors to the people- a much more important thing in a place like Mottram than the dwellers in towns may think it is.’
Chadwick’s account may be rather romantic but perhaps he knew Andrews and gained some of his own hard-won education at the school. Other accounts of standards among Broadbottom children when the board school opened 1874 were not complimentary. Nonetheless, it illustrates what a struggle education was for mill workers. (for more on Chadwick, see Lives)
Welcome at Broadbottom Station for John Chapman on his election as High Sheriff of Cheshire.
Illustrated London News 1855 (courtesy Joyce Powell)