View of Bank Wood Mill from Hague Road c1908 (Gould Family)

Broadbottom Community Association

History Project

1900 -1914




Some new houses were built in the village in this period: the terraces at Lymefield, the row at the top of Moss Lane, West End and Olive Terrace, and individual houses on the main road. Only a few more houses were built after this period until the 1970s.


While Broad Mills was still a major employer, and workers also went across the valley to Kinder Lee in Charlesworth, other mills continued to decline:
Best Hill Mill was closed by 1910 but opened again as a munitions factory in the 1914-18 war. It was the used as a tape mill until the 1920s when it closed and was only occasionally used again.  
Hodge Dye works had closed by 1913. Costabadie sold it off in 1902 and after a period when it was used by a firm making Happy Brand soap powder it went out of use. When the Tollemache estate was sold off in 1919 it was not bought. By the 1930s the site was derelict.
West End mill closed as a cotton mill around 1914
Post war there was a brief boom in cotton production but this did not save many of the mills in Broadbottom, some of which must have been at the end of their useful life. Finding work could be hard.


The railway was a key mode of transport. Motorised transport was very limited, but a bus ran for some time from the station to Mottram and Hollingworth.
Photographs of the time show how central horse drawn transport still was.

 Social group at the station entrance (probably a 'sermon' or church parade)

Market Street with The Griffin pub at the right (now Harewood Arms) -     courtesy of Bernard Lyth.

Long Lane with New York cottages on the right

Bus from Broadbottom station to Mottram -

  (Courtesy of Joyce Powell)

Postcard of Market St c1900  (from Archive photographs of Longdendale: ed Bill Johnson


Station Master and Staff c1900 (courtesy Joyce Powell)

The rich.

Edward Chapman died in 1906. He was the inheritor of the great estate left by John Chapman who had been at the heart of the village, including the house built by his grandfather, George Sidebottom at Hill End. The photograph opposite of Edward's funeral shows his status in the village. It was the beginning of the end of an era. Such grand funerals declined as the new century went on.  Within 30 years Chapman's grand home, Hill End House, would be empty, and after the second world war, derelict.                  (photo courtesy of Joyce Powell)

Trail Hunt at Hill End c1914
 (from Archive photographs
 of Longdendale: ed Bill Johnson)

In other ways the life of the privileged upper middle class went on, as illustrated in the photographs opposite and below, which show a garden party at the Hague, where another of the Chapman family now lived, and a trail hunt at Hill End.

Working class families

Images of working class families show a relatively tough life, but also how many could dress up on special occasions, notably the Whitsuntide ‘Sermons’. The photographs on the right and below show groups outside New Street and Old Street in the early 1900s. Eleanor Lyne, still going strong at the age of 100 in 2007, was born in New Street, and the photograph opposite shows her in as a baby in arms outside number 34.
 Methodist 'sermon' on GorseyBrow, c 1910 - (Ida George)

Gathering wood    (courtesy of Nellie Lyne)

Bankfield School c 1912 -  (Eleanor Lyne)

 Group outside Old Street with the road running in front of the houses  (Courtesy of Bernard Lyth)

34 new St 1909
Nellie Lyne is the baby on the left

 Eleanor Lyne ('Nellie') as a young woman



Education became free in 1903. The school at Bankfield below the railway viaduct, which had 80 infant pupils on roll in 1903,  came to the end of its useful life. Conditions had improved a little but the site was essentially unsuitable.

Ruth Lomas (b1906) remembered her education thus:

I used to hate sewing because we had to make very old-fashioned clothes in white calico with frill sewn with red cotton.  We then had to make a hole in to learn how to make patches.
There were just two rooms in the school with two teachers.  It was a lovely school and I learnt such a lot.  We were taught reading, writing and arithmetic. When I was five years old I could read anything.  We could always spell anything. We used slate at first to write on but they were skwarking things an all. We sat at in two rows on long forms and long desks.


Nellie Lyne’s memories of this school in the early 1910s are also happy and her school photograph looks very cheerful. But there were hardships. Even when schooling was free, ill-health and poverty affected children’s education. There were outbreaks of illness. In 1914 children’s attendance was affected because they had no clogs, and in November, children were sent to the village clogger to have their clogs mended. Children who had not eaten breakfast were given free meal cards.
From 1913, the older children went to school in Mottram.



 Garden party at the Hague early 1900s  (courtesy of Joyce Powell)







                                                                                                                    back to history index          back to 1880         next page 1930