HAWK GREEN READING ROOM - A copy of an article found in the records

Dated 13th October 2006


For many years there was a 'Reading Room' at Hawk Green near Marple, in which met the old Local Board for a long time after its formation, until the offices in Marple proper were acquired. When the Co-operative Society obtained the shop and cottages at Hawk Green, the old reading room was closed, and the young men and others using it were deprived of their meeting place. Of late efforts were made to obtain fresh premises, and these have culminated in the acquisition of land etc., and a good start was made for the proposed building. On Saturday afternoon, amid great rejoicing, the foundation stones of the new building were laid in the presence of a large crowd of spectators. Mr Wm Bradbury, J.P., Chairman of the Urban District Council, presided. In the course of an address, Mr Bradbury alluded to the old reading room behind the shop at Hawk Green, which was also used for meetings of the Local Board. When the Co-operative Society altered the premises, the young men were deprived of their room and had nowhere to go. He looked on the proceedings that day as a commencement of a new era for the place, and thought there was a bright prospect before them. Man was made a social being, and yearned to meet with his fellow men, where he might have "intercourse" and exchange ideas. was glad to find that the working of that club was to be on very broad principles. No politics or sectarianism were to be allowed. They might be Liberals or Conservatives, Socialists, Labour men, Churchmen, Nonconformists, or even Roman Catholics, but they would have to keep their opinions to themselves there. Any young person of 14 years of age could join. He was informed that the club would be conducted on     temperance tines. There was an amount of shyness on the part of some young men who could not Say "No thank you' • when they should, and in that club there would not be the temptation they might meet with in other places. He saw by the circular that the estimated cost of the building, exclusive of furnishing, was €322. There was a room set aside for a billiard table, and that with the rest of the furnishing etc., would bring up the total to little short of £500 in round figures.Mr Shepley, J.P. had generously given the ground for a site, and Mr Frank Barlow, J.P., C.C., had given a subscription of £l00). He trusted that when the premises were ready for opening they would be out of debt (Applause)

Mr Bradbury read a letter he had received from Mrs Frank Barlow, regretting that she was unable to attend and enclosing a donation of five guineas. She expressed her warm sympathy with the young men and their object, and hoped that the new building would find them means of healthful recreation, and of helping them on their way in life. Mr Bradbury then laid a Stone on behalf of Mrs Barlow, and said that he should have pleasure in handing her the trowel, which was presented by Mr E.N. Davenport of  Disley. Mr W .A. Wood, of Hawk Green, presented a trowel to Mrs Samuel Dixon, of Dolefield, Marple, who laid a stone.  Major Wainwright, J.P.,   presented a trowel to Mrs McLaine who laid a third stone. Mr Charles F. Johnson, of Buxton, (a native of Marple) was the recipient of a trowel from Mr A.M. Creswell,on laying the fourth stone. Mr Johnson made a lively and vigorous speech, and generously handed over the title deeds conveying the land to the trustees, as a free gift. Dr Burton presented a trowel to Mr Councillor Walter B. Hodgkinson, who laid the fifth stone, and Mr Councillor H.N. Bickerton presented another trowel to Mr Mountcastle who laid the sixth stone, which concluded the ceremony. The Marple Reed Band took part in the proceedings. Tea was subsequently provided in the United Methodist Free Church School. After tea a concert was organised, Mr Councillor George Pott presiding„

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