STEP back in time and take a historical tour down Uppermill High Street thanks to an illuminating new book by the Saddleworth Local History Group.
The group was formed in 2014 by Michael Fox, under the auspices of Saddleworth Historial Society, to explore aspects of local history that haven’t been researched before.
Their latest project is a book entitled ‘William Pownall’s Uppermill’ which is based on the vivid account of a shoe and bootmaker who lived in the village from the 1880s.
William was asked to write the report in 1954 to record his memories of his childhood in the 1880s and onwards when his family came to Uppermill.
His report takes readers on a detailed tour from his father’s shop in the Square, down the High Street and back again, looking at the people, locations and businesses along the way.
Michael, a local historian, explained: “We came across this rather insignificant document but it soon became the subject of our research.
“It is a very lively and interesting account that forms the basis of the book.
“But as illuminating as it was, it was short and there were obvious gaps and things missing out, which we’ve filled in through research.
“But it is still a very good portrait of a period of Saddleworth history which seems to be neglected.”
The book is illustrated by maps and numerous contemporary photographs, and enriched by historical detail from census returns and commercial trade directories.
It also includes family photographs of the Pownalls and details of William’s community involvement, including as founder of the Saddleworth Handbell Ringers Society which won national awards.
Michael added: “If William were transported to the present day, I think he would recognise the high street as there are still a lot of similarities!”
The book was launched at a special event and talk, given by Michael Fox, at Saddleworth Museum in January.
It is now on sale for £9.95, available from Charles Baumann at 19 Ravenstones Drive, Diggle, Saddleworth, OL3 5JU.
Please send your name and full postal address with post code, phone number and email address. State whether you will collect from the Museum or if the book has to be posted to you (postage charge of £1.75 per copy to UK, or £7.60 per copy elsewhere).
Payment by cheques made out to the ‘Saddleworth Historical Society’, or cash by hand to Charles Baumann at address above.