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School children produce historic storybook

Children from two Stockport schools have taken a step back in history and produced a storybook tracing the life of local entrepreneur Samuel Oldknow who lived in the 1700’s.

The children from All Saints’ Primary School, Marple and Thorn Grove Primary School, Cheadle Hulme, both helped write the book in rhyming couplets and drew the colourful illustrations.

The book, which is aimed at younger primary age children, will be launched at a special event at Marple Library on Monday 6 November when the children will be presented with copies of the book.

Copies of the book will be available at all the libraries in the Stockport area and will also be used as a learning resource to bring the story of Samuel Oldknow to a younger audience.

The book has been produced as part of the National Lottery funded Revealing Oldknow’s Legacy Project – a £2.3 million project which aims to reveal the hidden past of Samuel Oldknow, who brought prosperity to the Marple and Mellor area by the construction of Mellor Mill, the Peak Forest Canal and the Lime Kilns. The project was awarded a National Lottery grant of £1.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Author Elizabeth Newbery and illustrator Sophie Foster went into the schools to teach the children about being an author and an illustrator and then worked with the children to produce the book.

Pamela Pearson, Learning and Interpretation Officer for the Revealing Oldknow Legacy Project, said: “The children have been brilliant and worked very hard in producing this lively and entertaining book which brings to life the story of Samuel Oldknow who brought prosperity to the Marple and Mellor area in the 1700’s.

“The children were engrossed by the story as can be seen by the colourful and lively illustrations they have produced. We hope this imaginative approach will act as a means of getting the story of Samuel Oldknow to a new, younger audience.

“As Samuel Oldknow left his mark on the industrial landscape of Marple, so will this book which I am sure will be enjoyed by many children in years to come as they delve into the local history of the area.”

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