Goyt Valley miscellaneous

These posts don’t fit easily within the existing sections of the website – which is why I’ve called them miscellaneous. They’re a bit of a pick and mix collection – but interesting just the same. Simply click on the ‘Read more’ links to view any story. All contributions would be very gratefully received. To get in touch, simply use the site contact page.

Above: A rare photo of Mary and Genevieve Grimshawe pictured at the opening of Fernilee Village Hall.

‘Gruesome’ memorial

‘…it was not in keeping with the spirit of the times that so public a reminder of such a gruesome event should exist, and that it acted as a deterrent to persons of a timid nature going there.’

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Magic lantern slides

A couple of ‘magic-lantern’ slides taken in the valley around the 1920s. One of ladies crossing the stepping stones in Goyt’s Bridge. The other a group of children sharing a picnic.

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10. The execution

‘…he observed, with a smile upon his countenance, “This is an easy way to get to Heaven.” He was then led towards the drop, which he surveyed with undiminished firmness.’

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9. Judgement of death

When the concluding words of “the Lord have mercy on your soul” were pronounced, the prisoner looked fervently up to Heaven, and in a trembling voice said “Amen”.

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8. The verdict

The prisoner heard the awful decision without any apparent emotion; and shortly afterwards a glass of water or lemonade was brought, which he drank off at a draught.

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7. Macclesfield witnesses

The story of the brutal murder of William Wood on the road between Disley and Whaley Bridge now moves to Macclesfield, where Joseph Dale and his two co-accused fled on the following day.

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6. The trial begins

The trial of Joseph Dale for the murder of William Wood took place at Chester Castle. One of his co-accused had already hung himself. The other was still at large. Dale pleaded not guilty.

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5. Suspects lost & found

17-year-old murder suspect, Charles Taylor, is securely locked behind the grim walls of Manchester’s New Bailey Prison. He uses his stockings and gaiters to escape justice.

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Air crash remains

Two small wooden crosses standing over a collection of metal machinery, close to Shining Tor, commemorate a tragic air accident that occurred at this very spot in March 1944.

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4. The chase

“…a suspicion arose that these three fellows had been concerned in the deed, and upon examining their old cloathes, they were found much stained with blood.”

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3. The inquest

“On Saturday week, an Inquest was held at the Cock Inn, Whaley, on the body of this unfortunate man, who was found barbarously murdered on the old road from Disley to Whaley-Bridge…”

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2. Innocent or guilty?

Did 17-year-old Joseph Dale, described in court as “a very peaceable, quiet lad, always good tempered and kind to his family”, pay the ultimate price for a murder he did not commit?

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1. The Murder Stone

This small, stone memorial, on the back road between Whaley Bridge and Disley, commemorates William Wood who was murdered at this very spot nearly two centuries ago. It’s a gruesome tale!

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Goyt’s Bridge dreamer

A wonderful early photo of Goyt’s Bridge seems to tell an intriguing tale. Why is the young lady so wrapped up in her thoughts, as her men-folk look on, separated by the waters of the Goyt?

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Stonyway update

After much discussion on the Goyt Valley Facebook Group, we think we’ve finally nailed down where the first Stonyway Toll Booth once stood. But where it was moved to is still a mystery!

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“Lest we forget!!”

“Lest we forget!!” is handwritten on this 1918 postcard of the road from Derbyshire Bridge to Goytsclough. I’m hoping someone may be able to decipher the message on the reverse.

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Turnpike milestones

A recent talk in Buxton on milestones inspired me to go in search of any of these small roadside markers that lie close to the Goyt Valley, alongside the old turnpikes.

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Derbyshire Bridge

A signpost beside the Cat & Fiddle points towards Derbyshire Bridge at the southern end of the Goyt Valley. But this is Goyt’s Moss. And the bridge is further along the road towards the twin reservoirs.

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‘Accidental death’ verdict

I was with the deceased, Thomas Dunn, and when we arrived at my gate I asked if I should go forward with him as it was very dark. He said “Heaven bless thee, George, I shall manage.”

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Drunk in charge

He fell back upon some hay, also on to a child. Witness stopped him, and said he could not allow him to drive in a state like that. Defendant said “He had been a sight worse than this many a time.”

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