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Oldhall Farm

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Introduction by Helen Morgan

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First Published 14/6/2021
Last Updated 17/1/2022


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Fig. 1 The Location of the Oldhall Farm, Tithe Map 1841
© F. & T. Mitchell / St. James Church
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Fig. 2 Oldhall Farm on OS Map 1888-1913 v 2020 Overlay
© ARCHI Information Systems Ltd.
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Back in 1841, Oldhall Farm was owned by Matthew Davies.  It bred cattle and then sold the skins to the tanyard on Finney Lane.  It was prosperous until the 1950s when, like farms around it, it began to lose money and the farm land was sold for houses.

As well as being a farm, it was formerly the headquarters of the Clarion Cycling Club.  Word had it that Sylvia Pankhurst and Robert Blatchford spoke at meetings there.

The Thatched Cottage nearby was at the junction of Drayton Drive and Outwood Road and was owned by Mrs. Bailey / Bayley.  It was damaged in a fire in 1937 and became uninhabitable   .


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Fig. 3 Thatched Cottage near Oldhall Farm, 1930
© F. Mitchell / St. James Church
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Fig. 4 The same location today on Outwood Road 2021
© Colin Barnsley
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Clarion Clubhouse - "Fellowship is Life"

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By Richard Fletcher

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First Published 18/6/2021
Last Updated 17/1/2022


At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, a number of what were called Clarion Clubhouses were set up in rural areas to provide refreshments and accommodation for walkers and cyclists. They were the initiative of The Clarion newspaper, a Socialist journal established in 1891 in Manchester by Robert Blatchford and were rather like a forerunner of the Youth Hostels. The very first clubhouse was at Bucklow Hill near Rostherne, but when the lease on that property expired in 1902, the movement took over Oldhall Farm on Outwood Road in Heald Green and opened it to the public the following year. Further clubhouses were opened in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and as far afield as Essex. 
For some reason the Heald Green property was always called the Handforth Clarion Clubhouse, even though it was quite plainly within the boundaries of Heald Green. It was situated just to the south of the current recreation ground and Village Hall and finally closed in 1930. The accommodation consisted of four dormitories containing a total of 50 beds, a dining room to seat 200 people, a sitting room, a kitchen, a library and a billiard room. Outside were tennis courts, playing fields and two orchards     .
Rather than reproduce the excellent articles on the topic elsewhere, for more photos, detail on the Clarion Club or the socialist movement behind it, click on the links embedded in the article or shown in the Bibliography and Related Links section at the bottom of the page.




Fig. 5 The Clarion Club House, Outwood Road, Heald Green
© Clarion Clubhouses
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Fig. 6 The Billiard Room, Clarion Club House
© Clarion Clubhouses
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Fig. 6 The Sports Field at the Clarion Clubhouse
Thatched Cottage on Outwood Road in the Background

© Clarion Clubhouses
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  1. Mitchell, Frank in conversation, 1979.

  2. The Country Standard blogspot

  3. The Working Class Movement Library


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