Above: This illustration, which appears on the cover of Gerald Hancock’s wonderful booklet on the valley, would have been painted around 1900.
My thanks to Michael Baines for allowing me to scan some of his wonderful postcards of the Goyt Valley. They include an image I’ve long tried to trace – an illustration of a young girl crossing the stepping stones in Goyt’s Bridge which appears on the cover of Gerald Hancock’s ‘Goyt Valley Romance’ (above).

The stepping stones look fairly precarious when the Goyt was in full flow. But I think the painter has used some artistic license to make them appear even worse than they actually were. I’m sure the scale of the girl has been reduced to make her appear a lot smaller in relation to the stones. The hand-painted photo (inset) shows the same scene.

Many of Michael’s extensive collection are already featured elsewhere on the website (see Corrie’s collection), so I’ve only included those that don’t appear on other pages.

Above: This late 19th century map shows the lane leading down from Errwood Hall to Goyt’s Bridge (click to enlarge). I’ve circled where I think the photo was taken, with the path leading up the slope to the right.

At this time the lane ran alongside Shooter’s Clough, all the way to the gates beside Errwood Cottage. But it was diverted during the construction of Errwood Reservoir, and now exits above the slope leading down to Errwood Hall car park.

When the water level is low, it’s possible to spot the lane as it runs under the modern bridge, just before the car park.

One view I hadn’t seen before shows the lane leading down from Errwood Hall towards Goyt’s Bridge, with the rhododendrons in full bloom, and another path rising up the slope to the right (above: click to enlarge)

I think this rising path may be the one described in an 1880 report of a visit to Errwood Hall: “a footpath on the right high above the carriage-way. It is a lovers’ walk; a deep-green wooded way made for Phillida and Corydon“.

I haven’t been able to discover any signs of the path, but I think it’s close to where Shooter’s Clough flows under the track leading to the ruins of the hall (see map above left).

If anyone can help identify the exact spot, please leave a comment below or send me a message.

There’s also a rare photo of the suspension bridge which once spanned the southern end of Fernilee Reservoir (above; click to enlarge). Mary Grimshawe had insisted on its construction as part of the agreement with Stockport Corporation, to ensure locals were still able to walk from one side of the valley to the other after Fernilee Reservoir had been flooded.

It was dismantled some time in the ’60s, after the road between the twin reservoirs had been completed. Click here for more information on the suspension bridge.

Above: Two of the Cat & Fiddle postcards look remarkably similar, apart from a pair of drinkers sat on a bench (click to enlarge). They must have been taken very quickly, one after the other.

It’s easy to picture the scene as the two locals carried the bench from the side of the pub and took their rest, whilst the driver and his horse remained as still as possible.

But I do wonder why the printers bothered to publish both cards. Perhaps some buyers felt the men were spoiling the scene. But to my eyes, they add significant interest.

Topic tags (click for similar posts): Postcards