Nether Alderley

Nether Alderley page 1

This is the picture that brought us to Alderley – and started us on the long search for our family histories. My grandfather, Jim Salthouse, who was born in Liverpool, always said that he “loved to visit Alderley – the estate was lovely”.It was only when we found Jim Salthouse on the (then) newly-released 1901 census (he was born in 1897) that we discovered that his father, William Salthouse, had been born in Nether Alderley and that a relative, Annie Salthouse, kept the village shop there. We wondered if this picture of my grandfather was taken at Alderley, perhaps with Annie Salthouse?

Jim Salthouse, possibly with Annie Salthouse c1901
Jim Salthouse – is he with Annie Salthouse or another relative? The location hasn’t been matched with anywhere near Nether Alderley

I first posted this picture in 2008. Now, ten years later, 2018, I am not so sure that this picture was taken in Nether Alderley yet I still think, comparing faces on old photographs, that the lady is Annie Salthouse of Nether Alderley. Uncle Frank (Francis Walters Salthouse) took the picture and only wrote on the back ‘Jim the Boatman’. We can see from the names of witnesses on marriage certificates that the Liverpool and Nether Alderley families visited each other and it now looks like the photograph was taken in Liverpool or in Ditton (by Widnes).

Nether Alderley

A lovely village just south of Alderley Edge in Cheshire. This is the home of Nether Alderley Mill and St Mary’s Church – both are essential places to visit, not just for their own value, but because the people who work or volunteer there are so friendly, helpful and full of information. Of course, times change, you would meet different people, but the story is this: Mum and I visited the Old Mill at Nether Alderley, hoping to find where her grandfather’s sister, Annie, had lived and kept a shop in 1901 as the address on the census was quite vague.  We met Craig, then the curator, who showed us some literature prepared for visiting school groups and there was the evidence that mum’s grandfather’s sister was a shopkeeper in the village. Craig pointed out the old shop, directly opposite the mill. On subsequent visits both Craig and David and other volunteers at the Mill were very kind and helpful to us.

The water mill at Nether Alderley in the autumn

Also at the Mill was David, who kindly lent us a copy of the Sale Catalogue of the Stanley Estate which contained pictures and details relevant to our search. We made a database of the contents and returned the catalogue to him together with a printout of the database at our next visit.

Craig also pointed us to the Parish Hall and the Church, both hidden from passing traffic at the end of Church Lane. There we met Brian Hobson who adopted our quest for information and provided marriage certificates from the Parish Records, a plan of the graveyard and burial records, details from the 1821 and 1831 census (yes – Alderley has these and they contain names and addresses!) and, amazingly, he remembered seeing Annie’s shop sign in a friend’s garage and brought it to the church for us. We were invited to open days and met people who remembered the shop in later times when Annie’s sister Lucy and her husband Edward Potts were the proprietors.

The Church of St Mary, Alderley

Nether Alderley attracted the early photographers and there are quite a few postcard pictures of the village available, on one postcard picture you can just see that the shop had evolved with the times and was selling postcards as well as provisions. We were introduced to Brian, the owner of the building, and talked about how the building looks today and what remained of the old shop.

An old picture postcard of the village cottages and shop at Nether Alderley. The entrance to the shop is at the side, on Church Lane; the letter box is on the front, next to the shutter which is used as a notice board to advertise the Harvest celebrations. After Annie Salthouse died (in 1906) her sister Lucy and Lucy’s husband Ted Potts took over the shop and cottage. Some of the later postcards show Edward Pott’s name on the signboard.

Ted Potts, husband of Annie’s younger sister, Lucy. Lucy and Ted took over the running of the shop after Annie died in 1906. Ted Potts was well known as he had been the bellringer at the Church for many years and also the water bailiff for the Stanley Estate, collecting fees from the lads who fished at the mere.

Another old postcard showing the shop entrance at the beginning of Church Lane. The shop never housed a Post Office, but the presence of the letter box (or bar) on the front of the shop probably gave the Sunday-photographer that impression.

The Church of St Mary, Alderley, where Lucy Salthouse and Edward Potts were married. Many years earlier, before extensions were made to the church, Lucy’s parents John Salthouse and Lucy Walters were also married here.