Above: It seems a few years since the Cat & Fiddle was last cut off in a severe snow storm – which sometimes lasted for days.
This postcard from Corrie’s collection, showing snow piled up against the front porch, probably dates back to around 1910.
The “Cat and Fiddle” and the “Puss in Boots”
Sir, The valuable information supplied by Miss Wilmot, of Stafford-street, respecting the origin of that elevated hostelry “The Cat and Fiddle” on Axe Edge, has, I believe, never been published previously, and doubtless a note will be taken of it by many who, like the writer, have a penchant for preserving old and out-of-the-way information of this character.
As to the relevance to travellers lost on the moors, an instance is recalled as having occurred as recently as 1880, when Samuel Hargreaves, a packman of Macclesfield, lost his way in a snowstorm in the neighbourhood of “The Cat”, and very nearly perished.
He left Macclesfield on Sunday at about four o’clock in the afternoon, and when found at six o’clock on Monday evening – 26 hours later – he was snow-blind, inarticulate, and frozen.
He had been walking in a circle, and his sufferings must have been terrible. It is satisfactory to add that on being removed to some miners’ cottages about a mile and a half from this lonely inn restoratives were applied with effected a few days nursing made him alright again.
With regard to the building of the house, my authority says, and this in the main agrees with the version kindly supplied by Miss Wilmot: “The Cat and Fiddle” was erected about the year 1800 by John Ryle, the father of the late John Charles Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool.
Mr John Ryle was a baker at Macclesfield, and the owner of the Errwood property, which now belongs to the Grimshaw family. Errwood Hall will be familiar to Peakland pedestrians who have been through Goyt’s Clough. Another feline public-house sign is “The Puss in Boots” at Windley.