Ammon Wrigley’s descendants make poignant trip to Uppermill for Yorkshire Day

THE LEGEND of one of Saddleworth’s most famous sons is being kept alive five generations on…

For on Yorkshire Day, five-month old Ammon Harrison and his family made a special trip from Sheffield to stand by the statue of their ancestor Ammon Wrigley in Uppermill.

The author, who died in 1946, is well-known locally and further afield for his poems capturing the landscapes and lifestyles of Saddleworth, as well as his history works.

The name has become a tradition in the family and the latest to bear it is his great-great-great-grandson, the first-born son of Chris Harrison and his wife Keziah.

THE HARRISON FAMILY: Tom, Keziah, Chris holding Ammon and Margaret near the statue of their ancestor Ammon Wrigley

Chris explained: “The name has always been in the family and we wanted something a bit different so decided to keep the tradition going.

“I have been looking into the family tree and doing research to find out more about Ammon Wrigley and the family so we decided to return to celebrate Yorkshire Day here.

“Ammon was someone who meant a lot then to the community and still does now – so hopefully it will inspire our Ammon to do great things!”

As she looked at great-grandfather’s statue outside Saddleworth Museum, Chris’s mother Margaret recalled how her own mother would tell her stories about their relative.

“My mum and her sister lived with Grandad Wrigley and his two daughters and I remember she would tell me stories about him when I was little,” she said.

“He worked during the day but always working at his writing in the evening, surrounded by reams of paper and books.”

Margaret, accompanied by her husband Richard and younger son Tom, added: “Chris has got the Wrigley look about him – it’s in the nose!”

The family were joined on the poignant day by more than 150 villagers gathering for the annual Yorkshire Day celebrations, which date back to 1975.

Delph Band played and poems celebrating Saddleworth were read, including ‘Yorkshire by a true white rose’ by Jenny Torr who died in February.

Then Bob Rodgers, who lives in Delph, read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity at 11.41am, ending ‘Yorkshire for ever, God save the Queen!’.

Saddleworth Parish Council chairman Cllr Pam Byrne placed a wreath of white roses around the neck of the statue of Ammon Wrigley.

Short speeches were given by Geoff Bayley, chair of the White Rose Society, and special guests the Mayor of Oldham Derek Heffernan, and Doreen Ainscough from Friends of Real Lancashire.

Then, with flags waving and band playing, there was a procession to King George V playing fields for an afternoon of fun, games and refreshments at the County Fair.

Taking a special place in the procession were the 14-feet tall Sheffield City Giants ‘War and Peace’, which are used in events around the world to promote the centuries old tradition of giants.


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