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The children of Styal have many tales to tell in their old age © Quarry Bank Archive

The children of Styal have many tales to tell in their old age

Oral Histories

Quarry Bank Mill has an incredible archive of oral history recordings, dating back as far as a maid born in 1882. They reflect the monotony of work at the mill, which is hardly ever seen as worth mentioning by the workers, but also the close knit community found in the village of Styal. The interviewees share fascinating stories about village characters, workers’ relationships with the Greg family, and the ways that the villagers found to have fun.

'He rejoiced in having potato cakes'

Reg Worthington

Reg Worthington

Alec Greg was known to pop into villagers’ houses first thing in the morning, expecting breakfast...

'She did a nice hand in tripe'

Reg Worthington

Reg Worthington

Reg describes the industries his Aunt Hannah ran from the cellar of her cottage.

'Pulled by hand, not by horse'

Ronald Cooper

Ronald Cooper

Col. Alexander Greg left Styal to fight in the Boer War in 1900, and travelled in an unusual way.

Pansy Villa

Mary Wolstenholme

Mary Wolstenholme

Mary describes some of the personalised house names, based on the people that lived there.

Mushrooms and rats

Ellen Bradshaw

Ellen Bradshaw

Ellen was sent to work as a maid at the Greg home, Norcliffe Hall in 1899.

The flying shuttle

Alice Brown

Alice Brown

Alice remembers when a young piecer discovered what happens if you are ‘sweet’ on the wrong girl.

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