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Marple residents urged to take part in project

Marple residents are being urged to take part in an ‘oral history’ project and have their reminiscences of three of the town’s most important historical sites recorded for posterity.

The ‘oral history’ scheme is part of the Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy Project - part of a £2.3 million project funded by the National Lottery which aims to step back in time and reveal the hidden past of Samuel Oldknow.

Entrepreneur Samuel Oldknow (1756-1828) brought prosperity to the Marple and Mellor area by the construction of Mellor Mill, the Peak Forest Canal and the Lime Kilns.

While the history of Samuel Oldknow is well documented, more recent memories are now being sought and local residents are being invited to be interviewed and share their own ‘living memories’ of the three sites.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, a team of trained volunteers are now in place to carry out the interviews and a ‘reminiscence morning’ where people can find out more about the project is to be held on Friday 7 April between 10.00 and 12.00pm at the Senior Citizen’s Association Centre, Memorial Park.

Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy Project, Volunteering Co-ordinator Vicky Entwistle said: “The life and success of Samuel Oldknow is well known, but what we are looking for is local people’s personal connections to these three sites.

“We want to bring the Samuel Oldknow story up to date with people’s ‘living’ memories. They may belong to organisations that are already connected with the sites, or just have their own personal memories that they are happy to share.

“For instance people might have been involved in the successful campaign to save Marple Aqueduct, have known what the lime kilns were like before they were partially demolished for safety reasons or have memories of the Mellor Mill site and nearby Roman Lakes before the archaeological excavation work took place.

“Whatever your memories we want to hear from you and with your help and memories we can bring these historic sites back to life.

“Everyone is invited to our reminiscence morning on Friday when people can come and join us for a cup of tea and a chat and learn more about what we are doing. If people are interested in taking part we will be able to arrange a longer one-to-one interviews at their convenience.”

Anyone interested in being interviewed for the oral history project should contact Vicky Entwistle on 07876 377977 or email her at 

Transcripts of the interviews will be available on the website and people are also invited to bring photographs to the reminiscence morning which can be added to the archive on the website.

Three sites are included in the Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy project:


  • Mellor Mill and Samuel Oldknow’s mansion - which will be excavated and opened up to the public.
  • Marple Aqueduct – which has been extensively renovated to reveal the stunning view along the River Goyt Valley which had been obscured by vegetation.
  • Marple Lime Kilns – will be investigated and the archaeological remains of the lime kilns landscaped.

The project has been supported by a National Lottery grant of £1.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and public donations to the Canal & River Trust and Mellor Archaeological Trust, who are overseeing the project.