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Local History

Local History

We often write articles covering the local history of our area; Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside as well as its surrounding area. In the past, we've written blogs covering the Mary-Ann Britland case, the black knight and much more. You will find our new series of blogs; Ashton is Stranger Than Fiction here as we write them.

These blogs might not have anything to do with pipe fittings or tube but we still enjoy writing them and hope you find them interesting.

It's a wet Friday in June and my goal today was to find a subject for our blogs that did not appear on the surface as one of our standard community posts. Lots of our blog post are product based but here on ValvesTubesFittings.com, our products are listed over and over again and so likely to appear on the Google horizon. So, thinking outside the box here is a community blog, to point out all the Facebook selfie opportunities available in Ashton-under-Lyne. One of our recent blogs o..
It's been some time since we did a piece in the Ashton is stranger than fiction series, and the reason behind that is the fact it was hard to find the right subject matter. This blog has been inspired by a customer Nick Hargreaves, who recently mentioned to me a piece of history concerning Henry Ford. He apparently visited Ashton-under-Lyne to buy a piece of local history. This was the Newcomen Atmospheric Engine from Fairbottom Bobs in Ashton-under-Lyne. For those of you that have..
Thirty years ago, this week, the company behind ValvesTubesFittings.com opened for business; Besseges (Valves, Tubes & Fittings) Ltd became an independent limited company on the 1st of October 1988. Under the current managing director, the business started life as a small merchant in James Howe Mill, Ashton under Lyne and quickly grew into a busy local valve and pipeline supplier. Before the end of the first year, we had expanded the staff and put a representative on the road to..
The Battle of Manchester Hill is a lesser known part of The First World War and came up as part of our last blog about the people of Ashton under Lyne and the Great War. The 16th Battalion of The Manchester Regiment held the hill above St Quentin in France. The hill is above the French Village of Francilly Selency and gave the 16th Battalion an excellent view of the German Positions in St Quentin. The position gave British and French Battalions what seemed to be an advantage; but ..
For people of a certain age, the Donkey stone remains a memory of mills and their rows of terrace houses. For those that don’t know what a Donkey stone was this should be a fascinating read and an insight into working-class pride in their homes. Before their decline, Donkey stones were used for cleaning the greasy steps in textile mills, the mixture applied a non-slip coating making them safer. Due to there wide use in the mills and the fact they were often used by female workers..
Why would a tobacconist from Old Street, Ashton under Lyne be worthy of the paragraphs in our blogs under Ashton is stranger than fiction series? The reason is simple, the gentleman happened to be the first mixed race professional footballer to play English league football and in fact world football. The man was Arthur Wharton born 28th October 1865 at Jamestown South Africa. In the following paragraphs, we follow the history of a fascinating individual who began his life in what ..
This is the third in our series of Ashton is stranger than fiction and what could be stranger than the origin of the town’s name. As you are probably aware there are many towns named Ashton; Ashton under Lyne our home then Ashton in Makerfield, Ashton under Hill, Ashton-on-Ribble, Ashton upon Mersey and Ashton Keynes to name but a few. Then add to this all the just plain Ashton’s in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset and you realise why so many places added to their origina..
The Black Knight, Sir Ralph De Assheton was by all accounts a man feared across the lands of Ashton under Lyne and England; but history may have also been somewhat unkind to someone who was also a brave commander and loyal to his King. A loyalty that ultimately may have cost him his life. If the records available are correct Sir Ralph was born in 1422 at Ashton Old Hall, his father was Sir John De Assheton and his mother Sir John’s second wife Margaret Byron. Sir Ralph had a half-bro..
Welcome to the first of our blogs under the title of Ashton is stranger than fiction, we hope you enjoy the strange history of this once king of the industrial revolution. If you are aware of stranger subjects to cover in these Blogs on Ashton’s past, please let us know and we will try to cover it in a future piece. The present town centre is the modern face of the town, previously the focus for businesses was Stamford Street and if you look closely at your surroundings you will s..
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