History – even recent hstory – is not as detailed as people like to think.
For instance, this poster, which has just been donated to the Cheadle History Centre, raises more questions than answers…
The old Draycott Colliery was to be found on our side of the hill, at Draycott Cross – roughly, just before where the Huntley Wood Outdoor Centre is now sited. On the opposite side of the hill, the Cheadle side, was New Haden Colliery.
Draycott Colliery was a stop on the former railway track from Cresswell to Cheadle, but, despite that advantage, it wasn’t very successful, and closed not long after opening, in 1906 – though, later, there was some thought given to creating an additional siding on the same land to make a storage area for railway wagons. It was owned by the same company that owned the railway line, which is why this procession route goes from Draycott and then down into Cheadle town centre.
The site may also have been the site of outcroppings (illegal coal-scavenging) during the 1920s General Strikes.
So… in fact, this poster presents a bit of a mystery. It clearly claims that coal from the Dilhorne seam had been found at the mine.
Now, many local historians believe that Draycott closed because the owners found no coal there. However, clearly, this poster (dated 1904) indicates the opposite…
…or does it? Was this procession perhaps a ‘stunt’ – some massive confidence trick – to persuade investors to put money in.? Who knows?
Draycott Colliery was not quite finished however – as the site was later taken over by the Water Board, with a proposal to build a reservoir. The shafts sunk for the colliery were the basis for the Water Board’s bore holes established in the 1940s.
You can still see, from the side of Cheadle Road, a water pumping station that is still in use.
This poster will be featured in an exhibition at Cheadle History Centre, due to take place in autumn this year, which will be all about local industry during the early twentieth century and especially during the Great War time.
And this is where you can help. Do you have letters, documentation, photos or artefacts (relating to mills, mines and factories) that date back to that time? Cheadle Centre would dearly love to hear from you.
Just contact Cheadle History Centre – or email us, and we’ll email you back all the details you need to know.
If you want also to write something about the village’s history for this website, just email us
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