Jun 21 2017

Tarporley Clockmaker(conclusion)

There is an early record of Tarporley  tradesmen in 1789 but it contains no record of watch and clockmakers. Nevertheless there are clocks inscribed Tarporley as place of origin in existence at about the time by William Rubottam(Liverpool 1790-6)and Thomas Read (Manchester 1790-18oo).One example by Rubottam indicates in its dial a moving ship-a possible connection with a port confirming its Liverpool influence. Another example by Thomas Read bears the inscription;

” Lo I stand, All in thy sight

to tell the hours of Day and night

Do thou a warning take from me

And serve thy God as I serve thee ”

Clocks were very likely made by local craftsmen -the early ones fairly plain in oak and later ones were more ornately veneered in mahogany and veneered in mahogany and adorned with brass mounts and spires

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Jun 18 2017

Tarporley Clockmaker

Watch and clockmakers trading in Tarporley have a long and fairly continuous history. It was, however the system in many places for the clocks to be ” bought in ” either complete, or in parts, for assembly and the name of the local trader added on the dial prior to its sale. As a result it was difficult to determine whether or not certain clocks were actually manufactured in the township. Tarporley stood in an area where clockmaking was a very important industry. Its close proximity to Manchester, Liverpool and Chester would indicate that clocks of good ” provincial ” quality were readily available, examples of which are still in existence bearing the name  Tarporley as town of origin

Mr.Peter N Pritchard is the present watchmaker and is a ” local ” boy, having served his apprenticeship and learned his craft with the former owners of the shop in the high Street, Messrs Dudfield and Gaynan. In the memory of many local inhabitants, we have Mr. J. Hall,  Mr Taylor(not a trained watchmaker ) and Mr. Joseph Rowley. In 1860 there were three traders, Messrs. Eyre, Humphreys and Maddox together with a Mr.Pickering in 1850.  In 1828 we had Richardson Halford

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Jun 16 2017


i walked along one summer’s evening
not caring where i went
thru’ parks and lanes and yellow fields
all my money spent.
i heard the bees, i saw them weaving
from flower to flower scent
their nectar and their pollen yields
all to honey went
i heard a bird, i saw it leaving
a tree , where it had sent
a joyful song. and it revealed
all that summer meant.
i heard a song of summer’s meaning
and smiled with new content
as shadows grew and softly sealed
all that wonderment.
and so i strolled back slowly, feeling
my spirits on ascent.
my heart soared as night concealed
all that wonderment.
for now i knew, and, understanding
that all that came and went
was in motion and free-wheeled
from, or to, present.
and now i live my life expanding.
from day to day i wend
my life. who cares if fate is sealed,
i’ll get there in the end.
for you see, that day last summer
showed me what a day could mean:
each day living is a feast to enjoy,
not the days to come, nor those that have been.
for days to come are feasts in store
and days gone by you’ll taste no more.
and all this wisdom from what i saw
one summer’s evening.

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Jun 12 2017

Lawrence Earnshaw, An Exrtaordinary Cheshire Man (Conclusion)

As previously stated, it was intended to erect a marble Slab  in Mottram Church, but it was found to be surrounded by so man difficulties that it was abandoned. The Mottram Burial Board, having offered the Committee the choice of a plot of ground in the Cemetery, it was agreed to erect a monument in the centre and an order was at once given to Mr.Eaton of Ashton, to execute one from a design selected by the Committee, which he completed by the end of March 1868. The Monument is of Huddersfield Stone and is 18 feet 6 inches high and consists of a base with steps with appropriate emblems. On the four faces of the base are the following inscriptions;

” Lawrence Earnshaw , Mottram,  died May 12th 1767 and was interred in the adjoining Churchyard. A century after his decease the admirers of his Genius erected this monument A. D. 1868 “

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Jun 09 2017

Lawrence Earnshaw an Extraordinary Cheshire Man (Part Eight)

This letter, concerning Earnshaw, was followed by several others, one of which intimated that the people were under a moral obligation to carry out such an idea, or the very bones of the old genius would some day cry out against them. Local poets had more than once sung his praises and expressed their grief at the tardiness of the residents in and around Mottram. Attention at having been once directed to the subject, a meeting was held in the School Room attached to the Independent Chapel, on may 13th.1867,which was the day following the centenary of his death and a committee was formed to work the matter out.

the committee went to work with a hearty zeal, having fully determined to bring the matter to a successful conclusion. Subscriptions were freely  and generously tendered by  many friends in Mottram, Stalybridge, Hadfield, Ashton, Dukinfield,  Stayley, Rochdale, etc.

The Reporter rendered valuable aid to the movement, by reporting proceedings of the Committee and assisting them in obtaining donations, by keeping the matter before its readers.

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Jun 03 2017

Lawrence Earnshaw An Extraordinary Cheshire Man (Part Seven)

Lawrence Earnshaw died poor  on May 12, 1767 and was buried in what is termed as a common grave, thus sharing the fate of many who have faithfully served their country by the faculty of invention.

Poor Lawrence had a powerful and a practical turn of mind and a generous sympathy for the people and was altogether too mindful of what he believed to be the interests of his own order to become rich. His self denial, mistaken though it may have been, is worthy of admiration. It is recorded to the honour of his family, that they repaid Mr. Hadfield the greatest part of the money  he lent to perfect the wonderful clock. Poets and historians have dwelt upon Earnshaw’s talent and genius and Mr.T.Barlow of Longdendale says he ” Laboured and studied with a zealous mind and for the poor a kindly interest felt, though fickle and fortune was to him unkind “.

The old people in the town have always felt a delight in relating to the younger portion of the community incidents in connexion with the life of Earnshaw  and several times the question of raising a monument to perpetuate his memory in a tangible form had been mooted  but it was not until the appearance of a series of papers in the Ashton and Stalybridge Reporter in  1867 entitled ” “Reminiscences of Mottram by a Native,” that anything of a practical character was done. One of those papers was devoted to a sketch to the life of Earnshaw, which was followed by a letter in the next issue suggesting a Committee should be formed for the purpose  of obtaining funds for the erection of a marble slab in the parish church so that the memory of the great Genius might be kept up.

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May 30 2017

The Need by Alec Trivass

i yearn for fortune
to reach for the stars
to do something big
to do something grand
like fly to the moon
or colonise mars.
when everyone knows me
when i’m a great name
when i’ve got what i want
i’ll give all that i’ve got
to people who need it,
and live on my fame.
i need recognition
i need to be known.
when i reach that height
i’ll stay where i am.
at last i will have it:
a life of my own.
for life to have meaning
you must make your mark
so everyone sees it
and they know you have been.
for life must have meaning
or you’ve lived in the dark.
i may be a poet
or write a great song
or paint a great picture
or tell a great story,
but when i have done it
i’ll let life roll along.

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May 23 2017

The Vicissutudes of a Cheshire Clock

Chester, from time immemorial, has been a great centre for the making of clocks. To possess one, of what are now called Grandfather Clocks, was the highest aim of many a thrifty couple about to begin the battle of life. In every village and hamlet of rural Cheshire, these clocks are to be found and are mostly prized heirlooms that have descended for father to son. There is a sterling nobility  and genuine worth in an old Cheshire clock. One such clock is ” Gabl Smith of Chester ” This clock has stood out of its native county and out of its rural elements, for thirty years yet is still reflecting honour on Gabriel Smith. For forty years this old clock stood in an old house, the woodwork of which was mainly old ship timber, by the bridge in Great Neston. The clock’s traditional history before that is that is was bought in Neston at the sale of one William Mathews.

While this old clock stood in Neston, it was more than ordinarily useful. The Denwall collieries of the Stanley’s were then in full operation and by the wayfarers and the traffic managers that passed to and fro, many an anxious glance, either through the window or the open door, was cast on this old grandfather clock


May 19 2017

Lawrence Earnshaw an Exrtraordinary Cheshire Man (part 6)

All of the complicated calculations,  as well as the execution of this great work, were performed by Earnshaw himself, and it appears to have been his last great project, and upon which he declared to Mr. Samuel Hadfield of Manchester, his thoughts had been intensely employed for seven years and from which he had never wandered or ceased to ruminate except during the hours of sleep. He said he could not accomplish his object for want of money and Mr. Hadfield, who had been brought up near Mottram, asked him how much he needed. When his reply was two guineas, they were immediately given. Afterwards three guineas more were advanced and a Mr. Miles Dixon, a literary gentleman, made a journey for the sole purpose of seeing the clock and having some conversation with Earnshaw, he assisted him with a little more money and a few other friends did the same. It is humiliating to think , however,  that for seven years of intense study and labour, the greatest genius the  county of Chester ever produced, was only rewarded with £150.00 for the skill, time,  labour and money devoted to the perfecting of an astronomical clock, which still commands the admiration of men of science. Previous to his death, Earnshaw  became lame and for many years was under the necessity of using crutches, but his mind continued to the last, vigorous and strong.


May 04 2017

Lawrence Earnshaw An Extraordinary Cheshire Man(Part Five)

Several of the clocks made by Earnshaw  are still to be found in Stalybridge, Mossley, and the Mottram district. The works are of brass and are very heavy, the dials are of the same metal, and are elaborately chased with brass fretwork at the corners. In Those at Stalybridge, the wheels and other parts are very strong and the planetary system seems to be represented , the minutes, hours,  days and months  and very curiously contrived , while the sun, moon and stars  are well brought to view according to their proper times and seasons. The clocks have generally half-circular brass plates in the middle of the dials and in one at Stalybridge the following letters are well engraved ” Lorence Earnshaw, Mottram ” but others are spelt in accordance with the more modern rules of orthography. He carried his theory and practice in that direction so far as to become the inventor of a very curious   astronomical and  geographical clock containing both the celestial and terrestrial globe to which the different movements were given representing  the annual and diurnal motions of the earth, the position of the moon and stars, the sun’s place in the ecliptic etc. with the greatest exactness. It is said that he made four of these remarkable machines and one of them, unusually  ornamental, was sold to the Earl of Bute for £150.00 and afterwards became the property of Lord Lonsdale.

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