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Major Contributors

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By Colin Barnsley

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First Published 25/10/2021
Last Updated 1/3/2022


Many current and former residents and in Heald Green have given their time, odd photos, and memories to make
Heald Green Heritage  special; they are noted on our Acknowledgements page.
Those creating website content (typically articles) are listed on the
Meet the Team page.

However, some organisations and individuals have contributed the bulk of our archives. In almost every case if copyright permits,
they have chosen to make their items available to you to copy (for personal use, not re-sale) if you wish; in perpetuity. 

This page provides more detail on the most significant contributors to our heritage library.



URC     St. James    Ratepayers    Heinekey    Rushton    St. Catherines    Gill    Hopkinson    Top

Heald Green United Reformed Church 1867 - present


Fig. 1a United Reformed Church
© United Reformed Church
Click Image to View


Rev’d James R. Bailey of Eccles helped establish the first chapel here in 1867, under the pastoral supervision of Cheadle Congregational church.

Alison Haigh, the current local leader of United Reformed Church, has kindly provided me an archive of many key documents from both St. Columba's and United Reformed churches.  At the time of publication, they are still in my pending pile to be scanned ; their archive will be considerably extended when this is published.  For now, a short history can be found on their website here.


Fig. 1b Stained Glass in United Reformed Church
© Colin Barnsley
Click Image to View


The most significant contribution as yet reproduced from the URC archive is Kathleen and J.T. Williams' book, Long Lane Cheadle Remembered.  Because of Cheadle Royal the Long Lane area (Wilmslow Road, from the top of Schools Hill down to the Waggon and Horses) was a thriving and larger community separate to Heald Green (before the arrival of the train station and a subsequent merger).

Fig. 1c Long Lane Cheadle Remembered
© United Reformed Church
Click Image to View Book


St. James

URC     St. James    Ratepayers    Heinekey    Rushton    St. Catherines    Gill    Hopkinson    Top

St. James Church, Gatley 1881 - present

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Fig. 2a St. James Church, Gatley
© St. James Church
Click Image to View


St. James Church was built to the designs of highly regarded Manchester architects James Medland and Henry Taylor between 1880 and 1881. A brief history of the church can be found here.

The most comprehensive archive of local history that we have was assembled by Teretta Mitchell, with the help of her husband Frank.  In the 1960s, Teretta became the archivist at St. James Church and over the years thoroughly researched many local places of interest and sourced well over 1,000 items.  The photographs and narrative  were assembled by Frank in to a series of exhibition boards which were displayed in the early 1970s to raise money for the church. In the mid 1970s, Teretta produced beautiful tithe maps of local areas such as Heald Green, Cheadle, Gatley, Cheadle Hulme and Bramhall.  

Today the archive continues to grow.  It has been carefully digitised and added to - the current archivist is Martin Davey, who has kindly shared the portion of the digital archive relevant to Heald Green and at its borders, for inclusion in the Heald Green Heritage library.


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Fig. 2b Teretta & Frank Mitchell, 1970
© St. James Church
Click Image to View or here to view the presentation board from which this picture is taken


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Fig. 2c Teretta & Frank by some of their
presentation boards, 1970

© St. James Church
Click Image to View or here to view the presentation board from which this picture is taken


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Fig. 2d Teretta & Frank Mitchell's beautiful
Tithe Map of Heald Green in 1841.  

© St. James Church
Click Image to View


URC     St. James    Ratepayers    Heinekey    Rushton    St. Catherines    Gill    Hopkinson    Top

Heald Green Ratepayers' Association 1927 - present

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Fig. 3a Ratepayers' Association Logo  
© Ratepayers' Association
Click Image to View


In December 1927, the Ratepayers' Association was founded to "watch over the interests of the area" and to select councillors for the new ward of Heald Green. In 1929 the Association gained its first councillors. A tradition that has continued, unbroken, ever since.  A little more on their history can be found here on their website, or on this leaflet produced for their 80th anniversary.

Many Ratepayers' members have contributed to an extensive photo archive over the years, but particularly in the 1950s and 1960s many were taken by Neville Fields and Geoffrey Frost.  During this period of Heald Green's rapid expansion, they captured the changes taking place at that time; from a chiefly rural hamlet of fields and farms to extensive housing estates, schools and amenities.  Continuing today, their unique position of awareness of when building or demolition works are to commence, enables them to record those moments of change.

Since October 1962, the Ratepayers' Association have produced and delivered regular Contact magazines 3 or 4 times a year to all households in Heald Green.  They provide a fascinating chronology of the development of our civic amenities, the incredible number of societies run and events held in our community, and from advertisements inside, forgotten memories of shops both long gone and still with us on our high street.  At the time of publication, I am working my way through scanning those from the 1980s, but intend to capture them all.


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Fig. 3b First Contact Magazine 1962  
© Ratepayers' Association
Click Image to Read or here for the full library of Contact Magazines


Fig. 3c Building East Ave 1956 
© Ratepayers' Association
Click Image to View


Joan Heinekey

Joan Valerie Heinekey, 1932 – 2013  

URC     St. James    Ratepayers    Heinekey    Rushton    St. Catherines    Gill    Hopkinson    Top

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Fig. 4a Joan Heinekey 2013
© Keith Kinsey
Click Image to View

Joan Heinekey was born in Coventry and grew up in a small village called  Wolverton in the Warwickshire countryside, not far from Stratford-Upon Avon. Joan always loved history and gained a degree in History and English  from Keele University. She moved to Heald Green in the early 1960s and  worked as a librarian in Heald Green Library for 30 years until she retired in  1997.  

In addition to being a local librarian, Joan made a great contribution to the  Heald Green community during her 50 years living there. She was a  governor of Prospect Vale Primary School, where her three children and  two of her grandchildren attended. Joan was an active member of the local  Ratepayers’ Association and Townswomen’s Guild. She was responsible for  the costumes for many Heald Green Theatre Club productions. In her later  years, Joan volunteered at the Beechwood Charity shop in Heald Green,  sold poppies for the Royal British Legion and gave her time as a volunteer  for St Ann’s Hospice.  

Joan wrote the book, “Heald Green in Wartime” (c1996) as she would  regularly get school children coming into the library looking for information  about it for school projects. Painstakingly researched, it was a real labour of  love for Joan and also involved her talking to local people who had lived in  Heald Green during the War, to help bring to life what it was like to live in  the village at this time.  

In 2021, the Heinekey family kindly granted Heald Green Heritage Group  permission to reproduce the book in an online museum. The Group are  extremely appreciative of the family’s help in enabling preservation of this  and more from Joan’s extensive historical records, for the benefit of Heald  Green’s existing and future residents. The family told us that Joan would be  honoured and proud to know that all her hard work continues to be  appreciated and that the book will be available to future generations of  curious schoolchildren.


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Fig. 4b Heald Green in Wartime 1996
© Joan Heinekey
Click Image to Read

Anne Rushton

URC     St. James    Ratepayers    Heinekey    Rushton    St. Catherines    Gill    Hopkinson    Top

Anne Rushton 1932 - present

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Fig. 5a Anne Rushton in 1948 and 2020 
© Anne Rushton / Keith Kinsey
Click Image to View


Fig. 5b Heald Green in the 1930s and 1940s  
© Anne Rushton / Keith Kinsey
Click Image to Read

Anne Sylvia Rushton (nee Caselton) was born in Heald Green in October 1932. She attended Etchells Primary School and gained a scholarship to Withington Girls' High School. At sixteen she went to Stepping Hill Hospital and trained to be a nurse.  A mother to three sons named Keith, Stuart and Ian.  Divorced in 1969, Anned moved to Hitchin, a market town in Hertfordshire, and remarried. Widowed in 2003 she still lives there with two of her three sons nearby.  Her eldest son lives in Heald Green.

Anne contributed to St. Catherine's Linkline Memories, reminiscences of former Heald Green parishioners about their lives both before and during their times in Heald Green.  In 2009, Keith Kinsey her eldest son helped Anne record her memories in a book now stored in our library, Heald Green in the 1930s and 1940s.  


St. Catherines

URC     St. James    Ratepayers    Heinekey    Rushton    St. Catherines    Gill    Hopkinson    Top

St. Catherine's Church 1933 - present

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Fig. 6a St. Catherine's Church 2021
© Colin Barnsley
Click Image to View


The first St. Catherines' Church (now the church hall) was built on Outwood Road in 1933; the current in 1956.  More detail on the history of the church can be found on our museum page.

Les Clough, church archivist, compiles St. Catherine's Linkline Memories, reminiscences of former Heald Green parishioners about their lives both before and during their times in Heald Green.  He has helped scan this and many other documents and photos, which he has shared with us for our library.  The church has hosted or organised a plethora of community events and societies over the years, amongst them the Mercury Club and most notably and memorably, nearly 50 years of the Rose Queen (at time of publication about half way through scanning Rose Queen programmes!) and subsequent Heald Green Community Festival.


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Fig. 6b Linkline Memories
© St. Catherine's Church
Click Image to Read


Fig. 6c Joan Bentley, first Rose Queen 1938
© St. Catherine's Church
Click Image to Read


Graham Gill

URC     St. James    Ratepayers    Heinekey    Rushton    St. Catherines    Gill    Hopkinson    Top

Graham Gill 1943 - 2017

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Fig. 6a Graham Gill BA(Hons),
Dip H.E. 1943 - 2017.

© Joyce Gill
Click Image to View

“Graham went to Bronley Green secondary school and left to take up an apprenticeship when he was 15 years old. He was made redundant in the early 1970s and did several different jobs, finally ending up in an old peoples' retirement home as an odd job man and mini bus driver. It was there that he discovered he loved talking to the residents about their earlier lives and what it was like living in Heald Green and surrounding areas. Sadly the home eventually closed and Graham decided to better his education. He studied and finally got his B.A. and a diploma in Higher Ed.

He loved the research he did and continued researching the areas of Cheadle, Heald Green and Gatley. He picked up his old hobby of taking photos of the areas.

We got our first computer in 1981, which once computers 'took off' helped him with his research along with the local libraries and talking to people.

He was a regular visitor to the local pub (The Griffin), where again people would reminisce about how things used to be in the area.

He set up a Facebook page to tell his stories and of course he got even more feedback including copies of old photos.
On one occasion, he had been to the 'new' mosque on the edge of Heald Green where he was made very welcome and they explained their various ritual and services. He then went to the Tabernacle on the corner of Gatley road and Kingsway so he could also write about the Jewish lifestyle in the area. He met a gentleman outside and asked permission to take some photos, which was granted so he went ahead. This was about 2008ish when Britain was on high alert about terrorism. He then put his photos on the computer as usual and we sat down to eat our tea.

There was a knock on the door and two police officers asked to come in - which we allowed. They started quizzing Graham on what he had been doing at the Tabernacle. They also studied a large map I had on the wall where I had marked with red dots the places I had ridden to on my motorbike all over the UK.   It finally came out that somebody had seen Graham taking photos and had reported him to the police as a suspected terrorist - fortunately they believed us that he obviously wasn't, and the red dots on the map were not terrorist cells!”

Joyce Gill, September 2021


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Fig. 6b The Griffin Pub, 1960s
© Graham Gill Archive
Click Image to View


URC     St. James    Ratepayers    Heinekey    Rushton    St. Catherines    Gill    Hopkinson    Top

Barbara Hopkinson (Barbara Broadhurst) 1940 - 2020

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Fig. 7a Barbara Hopkinson
1940 - 2020

© Sue Mallinson
Click Image to View


Barbara Hopkinson was born in October 1940 (nee Oldland), the eldest of four children. When she passed away in Stepping Hill Hospital in January 2020, she was within 400m, as the crow flies, of Archer Street, where she started her life.

After leaving Stockport High School for Girls in 1958, Barbara trained as a Librarian at The Shirley Institute in Didsbury and, following a period as a secretary her husband’s business, she resumed her role as a Technical Librarian for V&E Friedland in Reddish. Her final position was as a Distance Learning Administrator at The University of Manchester and she remained in this role through to her retirement in 2005. 

She married in 1960 and became Barbara Broadhurst until remarrying in 1985. So for her time in Heald Green (1968-1985) she was largely known as Mrs B, involved with the Girl Guides, the Heald Green Theatre Club and Styal Tennis Club. 
She started 6th Heald Green Guides in 1969 and she remained as leader and camp advisor for many years before becoming District Commissioner for Heald Green South. She had a huge involvement in the raising of funds for, and the building of, the “new” Sylvia Roberts Guide Hall on Cross Road in Heald Green.

She started off as a fan of the Heald Green Theatre Club by supporting their plays and then for many years, Barbara was heavily involved with the props and scenery and she was frequently the prompt. She stayed involved with HGTC after her move to Bramhall despite joining in many activities at the Brookdale Social Club.  Her collection of nearly 40 years of programmes and photos is gratefully received by both HGH and HGTC.


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