Saturday, 1 July 2017

Looking towards Oswald road ......another scene of lost Martledge from 1880

I have been visiting Martledge which has passed out of common knowledge, but was that part of Chorlton roughly from the four banks up to the Library.

Until the 1880s it was like most of the rest of our township a collection of cottages, farm buildings and open land.
 And in the summer and winter of 1882, Aaron Booth who lived at Sedge Lynn took a series of photographs of the area around his house.  This was Sedge Lynn and stood on the corner of Manchester Road and Nicholas Road.

He was a comfortably off business man who owned a packing business employing 7 men, and sometime after 1881 the family moved from Ardwick to Chorlton.  Only four of his photographs have survived but they are a rare insight into what Martledge was like.

Today I have chosen a picture he took from an upstairs backroom window looking out across what was called the Isles and is now the land stretching out along Oswald and Longford Roads to Stretford. In 1882 it was what it had always been, an open expanse of land dominated by ponds which had been dug out for marl for the fields and clay for house bricks.   The ponds were fed by little streams long since vanished.  Away to our left had been a row of cottages but the rest was just open land.

I rather think for any child it must have been a pretty wonderful place to roam, particularly on a warm summer’s day with little in the way of noise save the odd buzzing insects.  As a parent I might feel less happy.

There were I remember 17 ponds around what was Oswald Field where the cottages were and some were quite large and quiet deep.

Picture; from the Lloyd collection

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