By Brenda Smethurst - 22nd April 2019 6:08am
Dr. Diana Leitch
Fletcher Moss and his travels in Cheshire and Shropshire
Our speaker for the April meeting of the Audlem History Society travelled from Manchester via Widnes to be with us, as Diana is Chair of the Trustees of the excellent Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes, which we visited on one of our summer trips last year.
Fletcher Moss, a well-to-do Manchester corn merchant, who retired in 1901, was a single, rather irascible man who loved history, and who spent much of his retirement travelling round the N.W. of England by train & bicycle. His companion on these travels was James Watts from Cheadle near Manchester, who was also a wealthy businessman. He was especially interested in visiting places where he thought his ancestors may have owned land. It was James who took the wonderful photographs of the various old halls and churches, although they often refused to take photos if a certain building did not please them. They frequently made rude comments , and were often especially upset if they could not easily obtain afternoon tea during the course of a visit.. Diana told us they were rather disparaging about their visit to Audlem, but diplomatically could not remember exactly what they had said about our village!
We had a really enjoyable evening, as Diana always packs her talks with a wealth of detail. The illustrations, both James Watts' old photographs, and new photos showing the changes wrought after a century or more (many taken by Diana's husband), were fascinating. Diana is an amusing and excellent speaker, and we very much hope she will return to speak to us on another future occasion.
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