Macclesfield, Endland


I lived here for eighteen months while working for Holland and Hannen & Cubitts on the ICI chemical plant at Hurdsfield. The town is quite ancient predating the Norman invasion and has had a turbulent history. The last incident being its occupation by Bonnie Prince Charlie In 1745.

For two hundred years, Macclesfield was world famous for its manufacture of silk but this died out about the time I arrived. I don’t think there was any connection.

Beside the history there was also a beautiful scenery, however, I was more interested in the local pubs. I remember once driving around at 3 o’clock in the morning in a mini van with a bucket of beer in the back. The boys had the back doors of the van open and waved to the cops as we passed them. Macclesfield was a tolerant place.

Probably the best pudding and chips in the world came from a small cafe called Brindleys. You could eat in the back room for which privilege you paid an extra 2d for the plate. These pudding looked like a steak pie but the crust was of suet instead pastry. They were cooked in a steamer. Delicious!

My accommodation was unusual. There were, I think, eight of us living in a wooden shack on the construction site. We each had a room 9’ x 7’ which the company furnished and provided with maid service.

The construction site was next to the Macclesfield canal. The canal was practically deserted at this period. One late night/early morning five of us organized a boating trip . We lashed four empty 45gal drums together and paddled up and down the canal. I was in the middle like Florence Nightingale holding a Tilly lamp and the others were paddling. I seem to remember ice forming on the raft. We only did it once.