Facts about Audenshaw
A comprehensive selection of historical photographs can be found at www.tameside.gov.uk/history.
- At the traffic lights of Manchester Road and Audenshaw Road stands a transformer which had three lamps to light the way for the trams. Only one of these survives today, at the Trough.
- St Stephen's Church at the corner of Audenshaw Road and Guide Lane, Audenshaw is a Grade II Listed Building. It was built in 1846 in the Early English style, with a spire, at a cost of £2,900 and could seat 750. The chancel was added in 1899 in memory of the Reverend Eager. The vicarage, built in 1889 further along Audenshaw Road, nearer to Stamford Road, is now a nursing home.
- Priory Cottages, Audenshaw Road, Audenshaw. The date stone above the doorway reads 1793. There were three cottages but two have been converted into one. Around 1900 each cottage had four rooms - two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. There was no gas or electricity but candles and oil lamps; water came from one cold tap over a stone sink in the kitchen. The 'privy' was outside in the yard.
- Shepley Hall Farm, Shepley Brow, Audenshaw. Shepley Hall was once an elegant mansion with extensive gardens and hothouses. The Shepley family lived there from the fifteenth century until, in the reign of Henry VI, the estate passed by marriage to the Asshetons. In 1821 John Owe bought the estate and it later passed to the Sidebotham family. The estate lay in both Audenshaw and Haughton. Finally a farm was built on the site, but most of the estate has been sold and is now the Shepley Industrial Park.
- Mono Pumps Ltd, Arnfield Works, off Guide Lane, Audenshaw. The works are still operating in the old Guide Bridge ironworks just below Guide Bridge station. Brothers Joseph and Edwin Arnfield moved their engineering works here in 1936. They produced cigarette making machinery for Gallaher until the 1950s. In 1935 Mono Pumps formed to make a new kind of pump. The Arnfields entered into an engineering agreement with Mono, who moved their office to Arnfield Works during the Second World War. Today Mono Pumps is a leader in PC pump manufacturing.
- The opening of Audenshaw Grammar School for Boys, off Stamford Road was 29th July 1932. Mr John Lord was the first headmaster with 300 boys as pupils. The school produced some good rugby players, one of whom, Eric Evans (1930s) captained England. In 1989 the school opted out of local Government control and now has extensions and a sixth form.
Two other local international players were the O'Driscoll brothers. Barry, who played for Ireland in the early 1970's and his younger brother John, who played for Ireland and toured with the British Lions in South Africa and New Zealand in the late 70's and early 80's. Both are doctors who practice in the area. Dr. John O'Driscoll is a British Lions selector for the 2001 Lions Tour.
Mick Hucknall, lead singer of Simply Red, is also a former pupil of Audenshaw School.
- Poplar Street School, Audenshaw was built in 1914 off Guide Lane. It provided secondary education, until, in 1964, the senior pupils were dispersed to local secondary modern schools and Poplar Street retained only the primary section.
- William Jones and his brother John of Jones' Sewing Machine Company LTD, Shepley Street, Audenshaw set up in 1859 producing domestic sewing machines and then heavy industrial ones for Burton's tailors. William originally owned an engineering firm producing very small steam engines for domestic use. In the Second World War they produced machines for making army uniforms and parachutes. In 1968 they merged with the Brother International Group and now also produce machines for knitting and office equipment.
- Audenshaw Lodge barn, Corn Hill Lane Audenshaw is a Grade II Listed Building (North Side). This barn is unique to the area and yet has stood in a dilapidated state for a while. It is on a sandstone plinth with handmade brick walls and a stone flagged roof. The large central door has another doorway opposite on its east side, which suggests its was a threshing barn. Inside are large, hand cut wooden beams supporting the ceiling and there are air vents in the brick walls, so that the corn would keep dry. Arable farming finished very early in this area and signs of ridge and furrow can be seen on parts of the adjacent golf course. As well as the air vents in the brickwork, there is an owl hole at the top. Owls helped to keep vermin away from the corn.
- Eric Evans (1921-91) - Captain of the England Rugby Union team from 1956 to 1958. He was born on Edge Lane in Droylsden and attended Audenshaw Grammar School. He first played for Old Aldwinians RUFC in the late 1930s and during the war joined Sale RUFC. After the was he qualified as a sports master at Loughborough College, later joining Openshaw Technical College in Manchester. Evans was awarded his first England cap in 1948, becoming best known as a hooker. In 1956 he was named England captain and in 1957 led his country to their first Grand Slam since 1928. At the end of the 1957-8 season be retired from international rugby, having been capped 30 times. Under his captaincy England won nine of their thirteen games. He retired from Sale RUFC in the 1962-3 season. He was chairman of Old Aldwinians RUFC from 1957 to 1959 and president from 1960 to 1966.
- Austin Hopkinson (1879-1962) - Local industrialist and inventor, was also a councillor for Audenshaw Urban District Council. Before the First World War he lived in Ryecroft Hall but during that conflict it was used as a hospital and in 1920 he presented this residence to Audenshaw UDC, who used it as the council headquarters. In 1908 Hopkinson invented a revolutionary coal-cutting machine and soon after established a successful company at the Delta Works in Audenshaw to produce these machines.
- Frank Hampson, the creator of famous cartoon character Dan Dare, was born in Audenshaw.
- Harry Norton Schofield was involved in dramatic action in the Boer War for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The blue plaque is located at the Ryecroft Hall in Audenshaw.
John Henry Code was born on 16th February 1869. His blue plaque is located at his former family home, 122 Droylsden Road, Audenshaw.
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