Memories of Styperson
Gilbert Beeley lived at Springbank Farm by br.20. The area to the
east of the canal between bridges 19 and 22 is known as Styperson
and contains a disused quarry which was operated by Whettons. The
hill is natural, now tree covered; the pool is man-made and surprisingly
shallow. These memories were noted in conversation with him in 1999.
I met him twice and these memories were noted when I met him one
morning walking on Styperson embankment.
He remembered the cable
fence along Styperson embankment. It was in good condition with
the cables pulled tight through the holes in the stone posts in the
I remember the rusted remains hanging out of several of the post
holes in the late 1970s. By the 2000s all evidence was gone. The
cables were redundant mine lift cables, heavily greased.
The west bank of Styperson embankment was used as a dredge dump
and, once green again, the triangle of land was let to his grandfather
for a rent of 1 shilling per year (5p). One year he forgot to pay
and was threatened with being sued for his shilling!
He recalled travelling on
his uncle’s boat from the wharf at br.19 round to New
Mills on the Upper Peak Forest canal to collect a load of clinker
from the sandpaper factory. This was on the uphill side of
the canal at the bridge in New Mills. They started out at 8.00am
and returned about 6.00pm.
the wharf at br.20 - named Ryles Wood wharf (right), he remembered
the timber wharf crane.
The wharf at br.21, Dangerous Corner - has
disappeared under the garden of the modern house. He remembered
there being stone saws and Lancashire boiler(s) here. He remembered
them bringing 'Styperson
Blue' stone down from the quarry to be sawn and polished.
This was not one of Whettons sites.
He noted that the canal company was responsible for the
road surface over the bridges. The council surfaced the
road to a set distance from the crown of the bridges
marked by short metal posts in the verge.
The picture above of Ryles Wood wharf appears to have been taken
in the early part of the 20thC. It shows a party out for the day
on the canal in three boats. The means of propulsion is not at all
clear. One man is leaning on a boat hook. As for the wharf, it was
already heavily overgrown but still in use with some small stacks
of stone perhaps awaiting despatch.