Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Cope Family Ventures in Buxworth.


Over a three day weekend in June 1992 the “Friends of Buxworth / Bugsworth School inaugurated the first “Bygone Buxworth”. It was to be held in Buxworth School. The turnout was something to write home about. The school was packed to the gunnel's with past and present villagers jostling to see both the historical displays and to meet up with long lost friends. The outcome at a post mortem meeting was that with the numerous offerings of more historical material and the interest generated, that a further 10 day exhibition would be staged when the school was not operational during the summer. This occurred in the summer of 1994.


A taste of what was on offer in 1992 follows. The Navigation Inn staged a “Canal Themed Weekend” Richard Hall, the then Chinley milkman brought his shire horses to the Bugsworth Basin. Opposite Buxworth School a slide show and lecture entitled “The Peak Forest Canal and the Bugsworth Basin” was held in the former Primitive Methodist Tabernacle Chapel  A display of old photographs and documents was mounted in the main schoolroom. Morris Dancers, Clog Dancers, Live Theatre and a Jazz and Blues Band filled in the gaps. I produced a 28 page booklet plainly entitled “Bugsworth” for the occasion. An amalgam of local residents recounted businesses and ventures that I edited into an article entitled “Shop-keeping in Bugsworth over 60 years.” Other villagers contributed various Bugsworth / Buxworth related articles.  The booklet sold well and feedback came back fast and furious, mostly landing into my possession as the historical editor. One of the families mentioned was the Cope family who had over many years ran three separate businesses in Bugsworth / Buxworth, ending in 1944. Derek Cope their son, unsolicited, furnished me with a 20 page account of their business dealings, plus a chronological list denoting the names of previous landlords who had kept either the Bull's Head or the Navigation Inn. The list of landlords spanned the years 1842—1941.

Keith Holford. November 2016

Running a business in Buxworth 1932- 1944

Derek's edited article reads --- My parents first commercial venture was the chip shop, which stood at the foot of “ The Dungeon ” the footpath that runs from the former Post Office on New Road, diagonally to the Navigation Inn, adjacent to the Bugsworth Basin. It was a dark wooden shack with a steeply sloping roof and a brick chimney at the side facing the Black Brook. There was a serving counter on the left with the frying fittings behind, a long table with a bench seat faced the counter. At the back, steps led down to the dank and dismal storage area for the fish, potatoes, oil and mineral waters, with a small extension at the rear for the empties.

The village Chip Shop is pictured left of centre
Now this occupation was the before the latter days of the redoubtable “Maude Stiles ” -- Chip Shopper Keeper Extraordinaire. In fact my earliest memories in life are connected with the “fip fop”. The chip cutter was on the serving counter. A long handled lever with a heavy metal block below forced down the potatoes into a mesh of blades, the square chips then fell into a basin below. No bags of ready made chips, you made your own. The fish was delivered to the Buxworth Station in wooden tubs packed with ice. One memory is going with my mother to collect the tub on a cold winter-day, the ground being covered in snow. The fish tub was lowered onto a small porter's trolley and I can still hear the crackle of the frozen snow under the iron wheels of the trolley as we left the station. After a year or two with the chip shop, my parents moved into the realms of higher commerce and took on the Navigation Inn, always known as “The Navvy”. Life was broadening and memories are now more plentiful.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Sketches By Artist Paul Gent

Paul Gent is a prolific artist from New Mills. Whilst many of his sketches are of local scenes, his portfolio also includes work from many parts of the world.  Originally from St.Albans, Paul studied art at Loughborough University.

We are presenting a small selection of Paul's sketches from High Peak and the North West of England.  We are sure that these scenes will all be recognised.  To view a much wider collection, take a look at the album page of Paul's Facebook account: