Friday, 24 March 2017

The old church on the green in 1933

This is one of my favourite pictures of the old parish church.

It was taken by F. Blyth and appeared in A Short History of Chorlton-cum-Hardy written by J. D. Blyth in 1933.

Now at present I don’t know whether J.D. Blyth was the father or brother of the photographer, and both remain shadowy figures.

The text is drawn from the work of the late 19th century historian Thomas Ellwood and pretty much repeats the earlier work word by word.

Not that there is anything wrong in that.

Mr Ellwood’s work had been published as a series of newspaper articles between 1885 and 86 and while some of them reappeared in church magazines during the early 20th century I rather think that that by 1933 they were less well known.

That said it is the three photographs that draw you into the short history, and this is partly because we do not have many floating around from the 1930s.

This one of the church was taken from the south and it shows off some of the detail which is often missing from other pictures.  The side aisles were added in 1837 around the time that two Arnot stoves were installed for heating and the flue and chimney of one of them is just visible behind the spire.

The church had just another seven years of working life because it was closed in 1940 and demolished in 1949.

The grave stones remained in place until the area was landscaped in the early 1980s and many of the headstones taken away.

Picture; the parish church from the south, 1933, by F. Blyth, from A Short history of Chorlton-cum-Hardy by J.D. Blyth, 1933

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