economic and industrial advances occurred in the region in the 18th
century, particularly in the area of communications. The coming of the
first turnpike (toll road) from Manchester to Ashton in 1732 saw an
immediate improvement in the local economy due to increased trade along
its route. Later,
as a result of the Canal Acts of 1792 and 1793, traffic unsuitable for
road haulage went by the new canal system which was in place by 1800.
The Peak Forest
Canal connected Ashton at Portland
Basin to the limestone quarries via the Bugsworth Basin near
Whaley Bridge; the Huddersfield Canal opened in 1811 linked Tameside
with Huddersfield through Stalybridge and Mossley. Canals
prospered until the coming of railways, which largely usurped their
function by the mid-1840s.The Sheffield, Ashton and Manchester Railway,
completed in 1845, crossed the Pennines and ran through Fairfield, Ashton,
Dukinfield, Newton, Hyde, Godley and Broadbottom, with a branch to Stalybridge.
Church, Ashton, Stalybridge Market Hall and Shopping in Ashton
year later the Manchester and Leeds Railway ran from Miles Platting
in Manchester to Charlestown (Ashton) and Stalybridge. Finally, in
one last push during the 1880s and 1890s other lines were put in lace
to connect Denton, Droylsden, Dukinfield, Stalybridge and Diggle to
the railway system.
in the 18th century, a series of ingenious mechanical inventions were
to transform Tameside's already thriving textile industry, and to
convert it from a handmade cottage industry to full factory production.
Tameside's first purpose-built cotton mill was built in 1776 at Rassbottom,
Stalybridge by Edward Hall, with another, Scout Mill at Mossley, following
close on its heels. These were initially run by water power from the
River Tame. But, in 1796, Hall introduced a six horsepower steam engine
into the mill. Its tall chimney was locally known as "Sootpoke".
By 1795, one writer reported about 100 mills on the River Tame and
its tributaries, all powered by water wheels. By the mid-1830s, a
second generation of mills appeared, by now all run by steam power,
fed by coal along the new canal systems. By 1850, all but a few of
Tameside mills had fully mechanised power looms in place. The Mayall
family dominated the late 19th century local textile industry. John
Mayall, through hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and dogged determination
owned the six biggest mills at Mossley, employing over 1,500 local
workers. On his death in 1878 Mayall was a virtual millionaire.
Textiles were to remain Tameside's staple industry until well into
the 20th century.
mining was an early industry in the borough. As early as 1674, Ashton
Parish Register recorded the death of one Elisha Knott who died in
a coal pit at Fairbottom. In 1839 Ashton recorded 20 coal shafts in
the parish, and in 1842 Dukinfield boasted seven. Most coal went into
powering local mills, and many were actually owned by mills. Tameside
pits produced enough coal to serve local needs and to create a surplus
- in 1836 some 8,000 imperial tons of coal were shipped to Manchester.
Most mines survived into the 20th century. As late as 1954 the Ashton
Moss Colliery employed 530 men and produced 147,000 tons of coal a
year. It was closed in September 1959.
a productive industry, Hatting played an important role in Tameside,
particularly in Denton where a thriving hatting trade had operated
since the 17th century. By 1825 Denton itself boasted 20 hatting firms
in the parish. As late as the 1920s hatting provided employment for
over half of Denton's population, with a workforce of about 3,700.
Few hatting firms survived the 1960s, when hats fell out of fashion,
and the industry went into decline.
Summers first established an iron forge in Stalybridge in the 1840s.
Later, he and his sons developed this into a major business, and employed
over 1,000 local men in their factory, the largest in the town. In
1929, with no room for expansion at Stalybridge, the sheet rolling
and galvanising plants were transferred to Shotton in North Wales,
having devastating effects on local employment; this new plant was
to become a major component in the British Steel Corporation.
is nowadays a thriving bustling Borough, with a great deal to offer
the tourist by way of attractions. It still holds its Annual Whit
Walks at Spring Bank Holiday, as well as Tulip Sunday, the annual
Running Tour of Tameside (a week long 52 mile race), Brass Band Competitions
and colourful Canal Festivals every July.
Tameside has a rich multicultural mix of ethnic and racial groups
including Afro-Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Chines, East African Asian,
Indian and Pakistani, as well as other European nationalities including
Irish, Italian, Polish and Ukrainian. Its three temples and five mosques
add to its profusion of various Christian churches and chapels. The
Moslem Festival of Eid-Ul-Fitr, and the Hindu celebration of Diwali,
add colourful events of dance and song to Tameside's own ancient historical
The Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council was formed in 1974 and administers
all nine towns which make up the borough. Its provisions include 83
primary schools, 17 high schools and 6 special schools for children
with special educational needs. Two Sixth Form Colleges and Tameside
College of Technology serve the needs of post-16 and further education.
With the completion of the last link in the M60 Manchester Orbital
Motorway which completely encircles Manchester, Tameside stands to
increase its connectivity to the rest of the Greater County as this
new motorway cuts right through the borough, and should actively encourage
new business and industry into the borough.
works with many different agencies who have a role in the development
of commerce and industry in the borough, including the Chamber of
Commerce, the Training & Enterprise Council, Trade Unions and the
voluntary sector of the community as a whole.
To this end Tameside has set up an Economic Development Plan has established
many new training schemes to increase both the quantity and quality
of skills within the borough. In its commitment to improving the local
environment it has established an Environmental Charter, aimed at
protecting the local environment and heritage of Tameside.
facilities for the health and well-being of its residents include
the Tameside Leisure Park at Hyde, a multi-million pound 80 metre
pool with its wave machine and flume, health suites, saunas, caf�
and licenced bar. The floodlit stadium is home to Hyde Spartans, the
American Football Team, and to Hyde United Football Club. Other recreational
centres have been opened at Longendale, Stalybridge and Droylsden
offering a wide range of sporting opportunities including five-a-side
football, martial arts, weight training, aerobics, badminton, squash
and many more. Swimming pools are located at Ashton, Denton, Droylsden,
Dukinfield and at the Copley Recreation Centre in Stalybridge. At
the Etherow Centre in Broadbottom there is the Tameside School of
Gymnastics. These and many more constitute the widest possible range
of sports and health facilities.
Tame serves as the focus for many outdoor pursuits, and the whole
Tame Valley, hitherto polluted by innumerable industries and mills,
has now been fully regenerated and restored to its former green valleys
and woodlands, a most pleasant place to walk and stroll, with access
from 7 of Tameside's 9 towns.
services can advise visitors on access and facilities.
Valley Warden Service
Tel: 0161-344 3306.
Vale Visitor Centre
Tel: 0161-477 5637.
Medlock Valley and Etherow Valley These offer extensive outdoor
and walking opportunities, as does Werneth Low Country Park, with
its stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Nook Country Park
Tel: 0161-308 3909.
Valley Wardens & Park Bridge Visitor Centre
Tel: 01161-330 9613.
Tel : 01457-765780.
Tel : 0161-427 6937.
Low Country Park
Tel : 0161-368 6667.
(Information kindly supplied by Roy Parkes, Blue Badge Tourist Guide,