Last week saw us take on the latest WAN.DER. These are a series of curated walks led by the KIN.DER team. The idea was initiated by Claire Tymon, director of LOCAL, as a way to connect with our town through different perspectives and narratives.
Myself and Kate Raine, Director of Glossop Heritage Trust curated and delivered the third in the series of these walks, focusing on Glossop's mill town heritage and the influence Edmund Potter & his printworks' had on the town and it's inhabitants.
The walk started at the KIN.DER studio and up towards Dinting. This gave us a good view of the town and we could pin point some of the key landmarks and visualise where old sites would have been.
Wandering roughly along side the rail tracks we found our self at the old engine house.
In 1890's, built by Lord Howard this would have been part of the Glossop branch line. The railway rapidly increased trade in the town.
To help with the visualisation of the WAN.DER and the Dinting Vale Printworks' narrative we displayed a number of archive photographs along the route.
Doubling back on ourselves we headed past the allotments into the open fields, towards the base of Dinting arches where Kate, describes to us how the view has changed and how the introduction of the viaduct and the railway impacted the town.
As a momento for the WAN.DER and a small reference for along the way I had designed these small booklets which combined the archive photography with some of Potter's prints.
These were Riso printed at KIN.DER on recycled paper with soy-based inks.
As we ventured towards the viaduct, Kate told us about the history and changes the viaduct has had over the years. The viaduct actually started out as a wooden structure but in 1860 Iron girders were added for strength and then in the early 20th century the stone pillars were added.
For Edmund Potter the railway had an important impact on his business and he was also amongst the guests of the first official journey Dinting to Sheffield in 1845.
"...the railway became necessary, capital forced it, made it and removed us from the position of a wild moorland district to an adjunct of Manchester." - Edmund Potter
Travelling alongside Glossop Brook and the reservoirs we see Carpenters in the distance, somewhere around the land where Carpenters now stands would have been the location of Dinting Lodge, Where Edmund & his family resided for 18 -20 years from around 1842.
Click here to see on a map.
The brook and the reservoirs around here were important for business as they were used to power steam engines. Glossop's water is one of the reasons mill owners, Potter included would come here. Potter even constructed his own reservoirs, one dirty and one clean, some of these reservoirs remain today. in 1883 two million gallons of water were being used per day at DVP for uses including bleaching, dyeing and washing.
Dinting Lodge was probably built around 1837, it is likely that it was built by Edmund Potter and rented out to railway engineers before moving into it later on around 1842. It was supposedly big, grand and luxurious with a boat house on the reservoir. There's little information on the lodge and it's unlikely Beatrix came to the lodge given she was born in 1867 and Edmund & Jessie would have just moved into Camfield Place.
Rupert Potter, (Edmund's son & Beatrix Potters father) would have lived here for a short while as a student though. We also know that he did spend time at the Dinting Lodge because of his sketchbook, inscribed 1st September 1853 - Dinting Lodge. This is the sketchbook in the V&A collection that I mention in earlier blog posts
As we wander down the small footpath between the brook and Carpenters we come to a small foot bridge that crosses over the brook and out to the A57 Dinting Vale. One of the remaining buildings from the DVP is Dinting Vale House, this used to be the managers house and was later turned into offices and a canteen for the paintwork's. This is where you will find the Glossop Heritage Trust Blue plaque for Edmund Potter.
Amongst some of the lost buildings of the DVP site there were the library and the reading room - Potter believed that everyone deserved an education and provided the library and reading room for his staff.
" I believe there exists in almost every thinking class of society, an honest, benevolent wish, to try to better the world, to educate, civilise, refine and embellish. In fact, the object of us all ought to be, to leave the world better than we found it." - Edmund Potter, 1856
As we continued our walk along Dinting Vale Kate told us of mill workers memories and the history of Dinting and Glossop's mill town past.
Left: Nursery Toll Bar for Glossop - Marple Bridge Turnpike Road which opened around 1803
Right: Previously Plough Inn
As we pass under the viaduct we see Viaduct House across the road. This house was used by the DVP managers and cashiers. A sub manager at the Printworks lived here in 1871 and 1881 according to the census. Then followed by cashier, Charles Hadfield for a long time. This is now a private residence.
The fields before the school were also owned by the Printworks, they owned farms to feed the workers and later used for sports & recreation.
As we approach Dinting Lane this is where we would have found another building of the Printworks - Dinting Mill, later known as Logwood Mill. We think if you were to stand on the bridge and look down the brook towards Glossop it would have been facing you. It was somewhere on the land of what is now Plater Chemicals. Click Here to see on a map.
Originally built as a cotton mill by the Wagstaffes and later processed paper. Edmund Potter bought the mill after suing the owner for polluting the water. Once he had acquired the milll in 1840, he opened up a day school for young children and half timers on the first floor. The first school master was Thomas Bailey and the children were taught cleanliness, reading, writing, arithmetic and drawing. It provided the students with a wash room, soap and towels as well as brushes and blacking for clogs. It also became the meeting place for parties and presentations including Potters retirement and could hold ups o 1000 people.
The name Logwood Mill was given to the mill as on the ground floor was where the dye stuff, Logwood, was processed, this would have been used to produce a black dye however, logwood can produce a wide variation of colours with different mordants.
The mill closed in 1881 and was later demolished.
We ended the tour around the old Wren Nest Mill site before heading back to KIN.DER.
There was a great turnout and the weather held out pretty well which was super helpful!
I am very grateful to Kate, whose knowledge on this topic is fantastic and I urge anyone who is interested in glossop's heritage to get in touch with her and visit the Glossop Heritage Trust website.
A big thank you to any one who came along to the Walk and also the Talk that was held the previous week at Victoria Hall.
If you would like to walk the route yourself here is a rough outline - If you use OS maps you can also find the route on there, by clicking here.