I am happy to contribute this foreword to the Poynton history, partly because of the association with the Extra-Mural Department of Manchester University, much more because of the contribution which it makes to our understanding and appreciation of the industrial and social changes, which transformed so much of north west England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The history is based firmly on a combination of field work with the study of a wide range of printed and documentary evidence and gives us a detailed picture of one community in the process of change - a community distinct and different from others, yet having many of the features of the general developments which were taking place.

The origins of the project are to be found in the activities of Poynton Local History Society and particularly perhaps in a lecture given to the Society on the Industrial Archaeology of the area, though it should be said that articles on aspects of the industrial history of the village were already appearing in the Society's Newsletter. The lecture was followed by a field walk to look at some of the surviving physical evidence of Poynton's past. Following a general course, a study group was formed in January 1980 with some twelve members and ran for two and a half years as an extra-mural class. During this period the members and the three tutors between them provided the material for and then put into historical form the book which is now published. The contributors to the History have spent many hours in transcribing, analysing and interpreting the evidence.

The Poynton Collieries, their history, the technological developments, the associated housing, the railways and tramroads form the central core of the book. The scope however is much wider, dealing not only with other industries and with the all- important changes in transport but also with many aspects of local working and social life. So what started as a field survey has become a general history of the community, combining the industrial archaeological approach with the human in the most effective way. Those who are already committed to an interest in Poynton's history will now have a 'standard work' from which to venture out into further fields. Those whose interest has not yet been aroused will find an enthralling story, which can hardly fail to interest them, and, if they put their boots on and follow the evidence on the ground, they will find the older colliery village surviving amidst the pleasant, residential suburb on the fringe of Greater Manchester. Historians with a wider interest in social and economic history will learn much from this vivid, detailed and well-based account of one industrial community.

Owen Ashmore
28 February 1983


The authors would first like to acknowledge the encouragement and experienced guiding hand of Professor Owen Ashmore, both with the Manchester University Extra Mural Department / WEA Classes which developed into a Working Party whose members helped with the basic research, and for his help in planning the book. Our work is based on the investigations and other help in which the following members of the Working Party were engaged during the period from January 1980 to July 1982:- Pauline Barnes (typing); Keith Bellamy (surveying and maps); Joy Crompton (research into textiles); Alan Hills (interviews and work on Poynton Co-op); Roy Hodkinson (surveys, maps, record cards and typing); Keith Jaggers (research into tramways, early railways and photography); Basil Jeuda (research into main line railways); Peter Kirk (surveying of pits); Nora Shercliff (research into census and parish register sources); Peter Spencer (research into industrial housing); and John Wild (research into Park Pits). Without their detailed and painstaking work with documents, maps and printed records, typing assistance and extensive investigation on the ground, our long reports and the condensed version now published would not have been possible.

We are most grateful also for the very considerable assistance given by H.D. Bowtell, Eric Brock, Peter Butler, Les Cawley, Gabriel Drew, Roy and Harry Dudley, Hazel Gordon, Shirley Kitching, David Reid, David Rogers, Bill Skillern, the late Arthur Walker, Gareth Williams, Arthur Wrench and E. Ridgway at the National Coal Board Mining Record Office, Lowton for access to plans and maps of the collieries.

Many Poyntonians readily and cheerfully agreed to be interviewed using a standard questionnaire, They vividly brought to light their work in the collieries and institutions here described. They were proud of their achievements and had enjoyed the close knit community and environment in which they lived. Copies of the interviews and tapes are deposited at Poynton Library and with the North West Sound Archive. The following made a substantial contribution:- Albert Bailey, George Bagnall, Arthur Booth, G. Cadman, William Cheetham, Joe Daniels, Wilfred Daniels, Arthur Fidler, Arthur Goodwin, William Green, Jack Hall, Norman Jones, Jack Mattocks, William Oldham, B. Potts, Allan Shatwell, Henry Shatwell, A. Tomkinson, Sidney Wade, Doug Wainwright, Les Warburton, Herbert Walton, and R. Whitney. Sadly some of these have since died,

We are greatly indebted to Ms. Felicity Roberts for producing the map of the railways and the base map on the centre pages.

This text taken from: Poynton A Coalmining Village; social history, transport and industry 1700 - 1939, by W.H.Shercliff, D.A.Kitching and J.M.Ryan, published by W.H.Shercliff, 1983. ISBN 0 9508761 0 0

Poynton A Coalmining Village Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

© W.H. Shercliff, D.A. Kitching & J.M. Ryan 2000

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