Friday, 9 June 2017

Unseen photographs of Hough End Hall and Mrs Annie Elizabeth Roberts

Now the story of Hough End Hall never quite leaves me and I have always been prepared for new pictures and new tales of the lives behind its doors.

Mrs Roberts in the garden, circa 1920s
About a year ago I was given an album of photographs of the last family to live in the hall and farm the surrounding land.

And then more reently I met Mr Stuart Bolton who kindly shared some pictures and newspaper clippings from his great grandmother who worked at the hall.

She was “Annie Elizabeth Roberts, nee Halfpenny; formerly Bateman. I believe she worked at Hough End Hall for about twenty years, from the 1910s to the 1930s.

I think the first one was taken in the 1920s and the second one was taken by the newspaper photographer in the early/mid 1960s.

I am also attaching the clipping from the newspaper which we think it was from the Manchester Evening News from the early/mid ‘60s, unfortunately it’s not dated.”

Mrs Roberts, by the Hall, in 1963
The pictures are just sheer magic and offer up more on the history of the Hall when it was still a working farmhouse.

Until recently there were few images of the building and the family from the early 20th century and these add to our knowledge.

There will be no one now who remembers the garden when it was in its pristine state and pretty soon the memories of the hall in its last sad stage during the 1960s will also fade.

And it is well to remember that from the early 1920s the fate of the Hall hung in the balance.

Newspaper story, possibly the MEN, 1963
There were plans to demolish it for the new road which was planned to run out of the city to and despite more than a few imaginative suggestions for its use during the inter war years it eventually became prey to vandals.

Nor were the developers kind to it.  In the words of one expert they “botched “the job of restoration and then proceeded to hide the hall behind those two ugly office complexes.

Its subsequent use as a restaurant, pub and offices met that all the internal features have long gone, leaving on the original Elizabethan staircase which now resides in Tatton Hall.

So Stuart’s pictures and the story that I know will emerge from them will advance our knowledge and in the process if he is happy I shall tell the story of his great-grandmother.

Location; Hough End Hall

Pictures; Annie Elizabeth Roberts and Hough End Hall from the collection of Stuart Bolton

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