Thursday, 28 July 2016

A peacock, a plough and a very old picture ............. the photograph album from Hough End Hall

One of the peacocks, date unknown
Now I am back with a unique collection of photograpghs from a family picture album which I had thought lost.

It belonged to the Lomax family who had lived and farmed at Hough End Hall from the late 1840s till the death of Mrs Lomax in1940.

I say lost but to be strictly accurate I had no idea of its existence until recently and I wish I had come across it earlier when I was writing a book on the hall’s history.*

At the time I thought that there must be some family images of the Lomax family but all that had come down to us was one of the children dated at the turn of the last century and taken from some distance.

But now I have that album of pictures and as you would expect it is a mix of snaps, a few of the hall and gardens and a rare couple of the farm.

And what first caught my eye was the peacock which for a while at least was how the farm was known.

Ploughing on the farm, date unknown
There are still people who speak fondly of the peacocks but with the passage of time some have confused its location despite at least one painting carrying the name Peacock Farm.

I have to admit I never gave it much thought preferring instead to concentrate on the working side of the farm and the people who ran it.

And the album has offered up a wonderful image of the land being ploughed.  I don’t have a date but guess it will be from the early 20th century.

Mrs Lomax circa 1930s
By then the farm had shrunk from about 220 acres and by its end was just a little over three, but it was still a working business and in the 1930s Mrs Lomax was still advertising for farm hands.

She had been born in 1864 married Samuel Lomax in the March of 1888 and took up residence in the hall sometime in the early 20th century on the death of Mr Lomax’s uncle who had run the farm since the late 1840s.

And here is Mrs Lomax.

The picture dates from sometime after the late 1920s and was taken looking south.  Directly behind her is the recently cut Mauldeth Road West and the Corporation houses.

It is a picture I like very much for not only do we have a photograph of Mrs Lomax but also an indication of  just how much the farm has changed in a couple of decades.

As late as the 1890s looking south there were clear views across open land south to the Workhouse while a little to the west was Nell Farm, a nursery and the edge of the newly opened Southern Cemetery.

And that is what makes the family album so unique because the first pictures date from the last decade of the 19th century and span the years almost into the middle of the next century offering up a major contribution to the story of hall.**

The wonder is that they have survived and points up that simple observation that there is more out there than we ever suspect.







Pictures; the Lomax family album now in the collection of Andrew Simpson

*Hough End Hall The Story, Andrew Simpson & Peter Topping, 2015, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/A%20new%20book%20on%20Hough%20End%20Hall

**Hough End Hall, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Hough%20End%20Hall

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