Audenshaw grew rapidly after the Manchester-Mottram turnpike opened in 1732, with local hatting, bleaching, jam-making and coal-mining industries becoming an important part of the town's economy.
The main industries of Denton were coal mining, hatting, wool and felt-making.
Droylsden dates back to the 7th Century, and like the other towns in the area, its population rose sharply during the industrial revolution: between 1831 and 1900 the number of inhabitants rose from 3000 to over 11000. By the mid-19th century the Droylsden cotton industry was well established with five mills. William Christy manufactured shirtings and towelling. Droylsden is also noteworthy for its historic Moravian settlement, as well as picturesque Daisy Nook.
It is thought that the name Dukinfield refers to the Viking name for 'raven' - Doken, or 'ducks in open land.' One version of the town's origins states that when the Saxons beat the Danes, they assumed the Danish standard (a raven), naming their town Dokensveldt, or "Raven's Field". In the 16th Century, prior to the Industrial Revolution, Dukinfield was a largely agricultural settlement and was the chief township to the east of Manchester (in what is now Tameside), and supplied Stockport and Manchester with much of their fruit and vegetables. During the Industrial Revolution, Dukinfield was radically and rapidly reshaped from this agricultural idyll to an urban wasteland in less than a century.
Cotton spinning began in Dukinfield in 1752, but it was the town's coal mining industry that was important in fuelling the local cotton mills' steam engines. Like the other Tameside towns, Dukinfield knew its share of strife and poverty. The town was beset by handloom weavers' riots in 1826, affected by the general strike of cotton workers in 1830, the Plug Riots of 1842, and riots in 1863 caused by the Cotton Famine.
The Dukinfield and Ashton-under-Lyne Poor Law Union was established to help alleviate working-class poverty. It is said that the working conditions in Dukinfield were amongst the very worst in the region, a point proven in 1874, when an explosion at the Astley Deep Mine (then the deepest coal mine in England at almost 700 yards) killed 54 miners. By that time, there were eighteen mills in the Tame Valley, and by the time the coal mines were exhausted in the early 20th Century, the cotton industry was also slowing down, with Queen Mill being the last cotton mill built in Dukinfield.
As the 20th century progressed, Dukinfield replaced its traditional coal and textile industry with light industry and engineering - for example local company Kenyon's manufactured the ropes for the 1953 Everest expedition. Dukinfield became part of Tameside MBC in 1974, and the last textile producing company in the area, Bowker and Ball, Tame Valley, closed in 1996.
Hyde's name is said to be derived from the Old English land measure, "Hide" - an ancient unit of measure which equates to an area of approximately 120 acres. Unlike Dukinfield, Hyde grew from a single row of houses known as Red Pump Street to become a town of over 3000 by 1801, a creation of the Industrial Revolution.
The town grew rapidly after the opening of the Peak Forest Canal in 1800, and became a hotbed of radicalism, becoming a central base for the Chartist movement and those involved in the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. The Sidebothams established both cotton mills and coal mines in Hyde, but the early champions of the cotton industry were the Ashton family. Perhaps the most notable of the Ashtons was Thomas Ashton Junior, who managed to keep his cotton mills running during the Lancashire Cotton Famine and therefore kept his workers in employment ,- something that earned him a hallowed place in the town's memory.
Mossley - the name meaning "Moss" (Bog) and "Ley / Lea / Leah" (Clearing) has a varied history, as befits a town that was once located in three counties - Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Cheshire. The boundaries between the three counties were marked by the town's three largest churches, St George's (Lancashire); St. John the Baptist (Yorkshire) and All Saint's (Cheshire).
According to Aikin's "Forty Miles around Manchester" (1795): "Mossley is a comfortable village, with upwards of 100 houses, many of them large and well built, chiefly of stone. It is about three miles from Ashton, in the high road to Huddersfield, with a large chapel in the gift of or under the rector of Ashton."
Mossley was primarily an agricultural and woollen cloth manufacturing hamlet prior to the Industrial Revolution. Like so many other places, cotton came to play an important part in the town's development. The first mill erected in Mossley was Andrew Mill in 1765, and many others follwed. The mills of the Mayall Brothers figured large in the town's economy. Once the cotton industry had peaked by 1913, Mossley suffered more than most, unemployment rising to over half of the town's workforce as the town's 1.5 million spindles and 600 looms began to dwindle.
Wool, however, remained an important aspect of Mossley's economy, with the Mossley Wool Combing and Spinning Company being established in 1932, and bucked the trend of the cotton industry's decline, remaining the town's biggest employer until the 1970s.
With the establishment of better communications (notably the tram link with Ashton), Mossley's isolation was eased, and today most Mosley residents work in nearby towns Ashton, Stalybridge and beyond.
Mottram's name is either taken from the Old English word "moot", meaning "meeting" and "council", or from "Treum", literally "Tree" "Rum" (meaning space.)
Mottram is situated in the Longdendale Valley district, an area which covered eight townships: Mottram, Godley, Hattersley, Newton, Hollingworth, Tintwistle, Matley and Staley. It is also close by the Dark Peak Derbyshire town of Glossop. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, this predominantly rural market town had a small population (probably of less than 100 people), but grew steadily through the Industrial Revolution, owing to both its strategic location - on the Manchester and Sheffield coach route - and its thriving market, shoemaking and tailoring trades.
Mottram also played an important role as a cultural centre, with the New Connexion Methodists being particularly active in the town, and traditional English customs such as Morris dancing, practised to this day.
Mottram also played a part in the cotton industry, its mills later becoming workshops for light industry. The town was incorporated into Tameside MBC in 1974.
"Staly" comes from the Old English "staeff", for staff, and "leah", a clearing in the wood. The "bridge" suffix literally derives from the town's importance as a crossing point over the River Tame. Stalybridge grew rapidly from a population of 150 in 1750 to over 20,000 by 1850 Edward "Neddy" Hall established a steam-driven mill here in 1796, "The Sootpoke", which had to be guarded from local luddites.
Stalybridge was an important town in the cotton district. Already by 1750, there were several textile mills located on the River Tame, and Neddy Hall's pioneering steam-driven mill gave rise to many others in the town.
Stalybridge was a hotbed of radicals - the local 'Blanketeers' (well-travelled protestors who carried sleeping blankets with them) were prominent at Peterloo, and riots were common in the town, leading to the establishment of the Stalybridge Police Force (1827) two years before the Metroplitan Police force was established by Sir Robert Peel.
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