Glossop Heritage Trust

Theo Walter Ellison's Glossop Dale Reminiscences.


The Sidebottom Family (published 1 February 1935).

James Sidebottom and William Sidebottom, whose names and services are recorded in the Municipal records of this Borough, and their brother Tom Harrop Sidebottom, were members of a family, the owners of Waterside Mills, Hadfield, and the adjacent Bridge Mills, Tintwistle. They were three of the children of William Sidebottom and Agnes (nee Harrop), of Etherow House, Hollingworth. James Sidebottom was born 16th July 1834, at Copster Hill, near Ashton, where his parents then resided, and was educated at Bury Grammar School and at Seaforth. In association with his brother, Tom Harrop, he carried on the Bridge Mills, built in 1854, for some 20 years and then retired. He resided at Arrowscroft House for about 18 years and afterwards at Millbrook, Hollingworth.

Elected a member of the Town Council for Hadfield ward in 1871, he held the office of Alderman for 22 years from 1872-1893, and of Mayor for six consecutive years, 1879-1885, and for two years 1886-1888.

Appointed a Justice of the Peace for Cheshire in 1873, and for Derbyshire and the Borough of Glossop in 1883, he exercised judicial functions, frequently presiding at the Courts at Glossop and Hyde. For several years he was an Alderman of the Derbyshire County Council.

Assiduous, dignified, and conscientious in the fulfilment of his administrative and judicial duties, generous in expenditure in many directions, he merited and enjoyed a full measure of gratitude and esteem in the Borough of Hollingworth and Tintwistle. The better to appreciate professional advice, he acquired some slight knowledge of Municipal Laws, and obtained and utilised serviceable information and knowledge in all matters of importance, and brought to bear a sound judgement in his decisions. Recognising the absence of the distinctive badge of office he generously presented to the Corporation a handsome, ornate and massive gold Mayoral Chain and a Mayoral Robe. On the links of the chain have been inscribed the names and years of office of successive Mayors.

James Sidebottom may be said to have set a fashion in entertaining members and officials of the Council which only those possessed of considerable wealth could be expected to follow and which are out of the question nowadays.

My attendance at the meetings of the Council and Committees commenced in 1882, when I was a youth of 17, and James Sidebottom kindly included me in the invitations to his banquet in 1884, and thence forward I enjoyed Mayoral hospitality on such occasions for many years.

A connoisseur in the delicacies of the table, he provided generously, and displayed a geniality which dispelled or softened the acerbity of acrimonious debate, and soothed the prevailing political animosity. During his Mayoralty important questions arose in connection with Water Supply, Roads and Streets. I propose to embody some recollections in a special article on these topics, which at times evoked a lively interest in the Borough, especially regarding the water supply.

Establishing at Millbrook expensive scientific apparatus, he evinced a practical interest in meteorological subjects, and regularly sent to the press for publication reliable records of rainfall and similar statistics.

A great lover of music, he for years gave liberal financial support to the Glossop Philharmonic Society.

As guide, philosopher, and friend, to his uncle Daniel Wood, his brothers William and Tom Harrop, and his sister Mrs. A.K. Wood, it was to him they delegated much responsible work in the construction and establishment of the institutions which represented the munificent gifts in the Jubilee year 1887.

Regarding Wood’s Hospital, in a speech at a sumptuous banquet given by him to Members of Wood’s Hospital Committee some years later at the Victoria Hall, at which I had the pleasure of being present, in responding to the toast of the Chairman and Members of Wood’s Hospital Committee, proposed by T.H. Sidebottom (who paid a well deserved tribute to his brother for his unstinted services), James Sidebottom narrated how Daniel Wood during his illness had sent for him and his sister, Mrs. A.K. Wood, and intimated his intention to spend £25000 on a hospital for the benefit of the poor and sick inhabitants – those within the Borough of Glossop – and that it was to be called ‘Wood’s Hospital’, and Mr Murgatroyd was to be the Architect. How it had been proposed to expend £5000 on the building and provide an endowment of £20000, but when the estimates were presented the cost was much in excess, and that he and Alderman Stafford went to see Mr Daniel Wood, who decided that if £6000 were required for the building the endowment must be reduced to £19000, which was done, but the expenditure exceeded that estimate, and his nephew, John Wood, had generously come forward and given £1000 to clear off the deficiency, and his sister Mrs. A.K. Wood, had also spent £600 in the furnishing of the Hospital. The circumstances he narrated I personally well remember, being present at the Committee Meeting in the Town Hall when the estimates for the building were considered.

Proceeding now to the events of the ‘Jubilee Day’, Saturday the 30th July 1887, according to the programme there was a ‘grand demonstration and procession on the occasion of laying the foundation stones of ‘Wood’s Hospital’ and the ‘Baths’, ‘the planting of two new trees in the park’, and the laying of ‘The Foundation Stones of the Public Hall and Library’, the gift of Herbert Rhodes and Edward Partington.

The procession formed in Norfolk Square in the following order :-
4th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers (Glossop Det.)
Volunteer Band
Chief Constable Hodgson (mounted)
Mayor and Mayoress, Vicar and Town Clerk
(1st Carriage)
Members of Parliament and Ladies
(2nd Carriage)
County and Borough Justices
Members of the Glossop Town Council
And Officials
Guardians of the Poor and Officials
Private Carriages
Grand United Order of Oddfellows
Ancient Order of Shepherds
Sons of Temperance
Independent Order of Oddfellows (M.U.)
Local Orange Society
Ancient Order of Foresters
Freemasons
Carriages were provided at the expense of the Mayor for Members of the Council, officials, and those officiating – except the Freemasons, who walked according to custom and ritual.

Proceeding by way of Norfolk Street, Talbot Road to the North Road entrance of the Park, those in carriages dismounting there and walking to the site of the Hospital, the following ceremonies were performed :-

James Sidebottom Esq. The Mayor, laid the Foundation Stone of Wood’s Hospital, the gift of and endowed by Daniel Wood, Esq., of Moorfield House, Whitfield.

Lord Edmund Talbot and Master Samuel Wood each planted a tree in the park, the expense of the laying out of which had been borne by Samuel Wood, J.P., and Mrs Wood, of Talbot House.

Mrs Wood of Talbot House, laid the Foundation Stone of the Baths, also the gift of Samuel Wood and Mrs Wood.

The procession then reformed, the Freemasons leading, and proceeded by North Road and Spire Hollin to the site of the Public Hall and Library, now known as the Victoria Hall and Free Library, and here Bro. Herbert Rhodes, of Thorncliffe Hall, Hollingworth, and Bro. Edward Partington, of Easton, Glossop, in conjunction with the Provincial Lodge of Derbyshire, laid the Foundation Stones.

The assemblage of the Masonic Fraternity included officers of High Standing, and the Foundation Stones were laid with full ceremonial, in which those assembled were much interested.

The procession reformed and dispersed in Norfolk Square.

As Thackeray wrote, ‘A dinner is the happy end of the Britons’ day’, and a fitting and welcome conclusion to the joyous ceremonies on this bright and warm summer day was a splendid banquet, provided with commendable consideration by the Mayor and Mayoress in the Town Hall, when the Members and Officials of the Council and a number of leading townsmen and their ladies celebrated in happy conviviality these princely gifts to the Borough by the generous donors.

The menu displayed a feast and offered a choice to please the palate of the fastidious, the catering being entrusted to a former member of the Council, Joseph Collier, of the Norfolk Arms Hotel, in conjunction with Mr. Mael, of the Queen’s Hotel, Manchester, whence came the turtle soup, wines and cigars, and the luscious fruits were supplied by Masons, of Victoria Street, Manchester. The toast list gave liberal opportunity for enjoyment of after dinner speeches, there being 15 toasts and over 30 speeches.

Many honest faces, civic and ecclesiastical, shone gaily that evening, and the guests full of joyous contentment retired to placid slumber amid pleasing visions of the happy events, long to be remembered, of that golden Jubilee Day, and if perchance a ‘Bachelor Gay’ did ruffle his new silk hat, could any mortal be found to upbraid him? In the words of a song of today, ‘No! No! a thousand times No!’

The Volunteers were also entertained to dinner in the drill hall, by James Sidebottom.

The Baths and Park were opened in 1888, and 150 workmen employed in connection with the Hospital, Baths and Park were also entertained by him.

Some difference unfortunately arose regarding the name of the park, Lord Howard, who had given the land for the three institutions, desiring it to be called ‘Howard Park’, and it is so named in the Deed of Gift of the land by His Lordship, but it was opened as ‘The Park’, and is generally known as such,

Both these institutions were at first managed by a Committee appointed under the Trust Deeds, of which James Sidebottom was chairman for seven years, and they were transferred to the Corporation in 1894. They are not endowed.

The Wood’s Hospital was opened with simple formality in 1889, and was under the control of the Wood’s Hospital Committee of the Council.

William Sidebottom (Col., J.P., V.D.), was a member of Glossop Town Council for 12 years, 1873-1885, and Mayor in the year 1873-74, and was a Justice of the Peace for the Counties of Derbyshire and Cheshire, and for the Borough, 1883. Member of Parliament for the High Peak Division of North Derbyshire from 1885-1900.

He was born on the 14th November 1841, and was a son of William and Agnes Sidebottom. Having derived a fortune from his father and uncles, who founded the Waterside Mills, he took an active part in carrying on those mills for eight years with his brothers, Tom Harrop and James. But having severed connections with those mills, he became a Director of John Wood and Bros., Ltd., of the Howard Town Mills, Glossop, particulars of which have already been given.

I was present and assisted in reporting for one of our local newspapers the speech of the Colonel at the Duke of Norfolk’s School, Old Glossop, and the speeches of his opponents at the Log Wood Mill Dinting.

1885 High Peak Division of Derbyshire :-
(Capt.) William Sidebottom (C.) 4199
J.F. Cheetham (L.) 4190
Majority 9

This was after the Redistribution of Seats act 1883, which altered the boundaries and created a Single Member’s Division.

I was present at the reporters’ table at a meeting at the Drill Hall, Glossop, when the platform gave way and the occupants were precipitated below. The one person injured was a man, John Downs, whose leg was broken, but for the moment there was a feeling of alarm and shock and the meeting terminated.

1886 (Major) Wm. Sidebottom (C.) 4162
J.F. Cheetham (L.) 4001
Majority 161

1892 (Lt. Col.) Wm. Sidebottom (C.) 4609
J.F. Cheetham (L.) 4243
Majority 366

1895 High Peak Division of Derbyshire :-
(Lt. Col.) Wm. Sidebottom (C.) 4671
A.C. Symonds (L.) 4164
Majority 507

1900 Lt. Col. Sidebottomdid not seek Re-election

From 1876 he was Captain of the Glossop Detachment of the 4th Cheshire Regiment of the Volunteers, and later became Colonel. He resided at Harwood Lodge, Broadbottom, was a bachelor, and died in January 1933, at the ripe age of 91.

Tom Harrop Sidebottom was M.P. for Stalybridge for twenty years and was made Hon. Freeman of that Borough on 9th October 1897. He was not a member of the Glossop Town Council and held no official position in this Borough, but his connection with Waterside and Bridge Mills covered a long period of years, but misfortune overtook the concern and the mills were closed. During the Great War the manufacture of munitions was carried on, and part of the mills are now occupied by firms in other businesses.

There was another member of this family, Mr A.K. Sidebottom, better known in the Mottram District, who was a guest at several of Mr. James Sidebottom’s banquets and enlivened the speeches with humorous interjections, characteristic of the man!

TO FOLLOW: Shepley, Rhodes, Partington and other.


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Page last updated: 9 May 2017.