William Kenyon and Son was a company established in Dukinfield in 1866 to take advantage of the cotton driving rope which distributed power from a single steam engine across several floors of a cotton mill through a series of pulleys.
Launched just after the end of the cotton famine caused by the American Civil War, the product was sold around the world, enabling mills to be built on a larger scale and with improved production rates.
The company still exists today and the Kenyon family has prospered and became pillars of local life over the years. But perhaps their greatest claim to fame is that they provided the ropes used to climb Mount Everest in 1953, hence the photograph above which shows Edmund Hillary during a visit to Dukinfield in 1960.
Should you ever need to splice a rope, Kenyon’s give instructions here or, if you prefer, here is how they did it with rather thicker cable in Kenyon’s Epitome of Lectures on the Transmission of Power by Ropes.
This is the peaceful setting of Hunters Tower at what used to be Gorse Hall on the hill between Dukinfield and Stalybridge looking towards Hobson Moor. But on the night of 1 November 1909, Gorse Hall was a less than tranquil place.
Shortly after nine o’clock an intruder entered the hall armed with a gun, startling Mary Evans, the cook. Her cries of alarm brought the master of the house to the scene. George Harry Storrs was a powerful man who overcame and disarmed the intruder and the police were sent for. When they arrived, they found Storrs dying from multiple stab wounds.
The photo, right, shows the police searching the area around the quarry pits around Hunters Towers at the time of the murder and a far cry from the scene above.
It is a complex story worthy of Agatha Christie. Was the murderer a hit-man hired by Storrs’ brother, James? Was it the brother of the Bavarian governess who had committed suicide two years earlier having been ‘wronged’ by Storrs? Or was it an opportunist thief?
Two men were tried and acquitted of murder and a year later Storrs’ widow had Gorse Hall torn down. You can read a much fuller account on the web or see the centenary reenactment on YouTube. And someone who thinks he knows whodunnit.
Beckwith died on his way to a fire in the early hours of the morning when his engine, the Mary Dalziel, crashed through the parapet of the Wellington Bridge and fell to the street below which is where I took my photo of the memorial
He was succeeded by John Rushby, a survivor of the crash, and there is an office block, Beckwith House, which also commemorates the former fire chief.
Kimono at View Thru My Global Lens
Kennedy by the Pedalogue
K is for Keys at Through The Photographs
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple at My India
Kaleidoscope by Nanka
Kournas Lake by Ackworth Gone West