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Creating an archive of Bramhall's past, present and future

  • 05 October 2023

Bramhall u3a members Clare and Val talk about the u3a group dedicated to mapping Bramhall, and the archive they created which has recently been donated to a local library.

For 13 years, the Mapping Bramhall u3a Group has researched Bramhall’s past, present and future to create a unique archive. 

The group meets around the coordinator’s kitchen table  and numbers are limited to ten.

Topics to research are chosen according to individual or group interests. Research includes old records, personal memories and on the ground exploration. 

Photos showing wildflowers growing in car parks

We have walked, searched the records, talked to people, revisited our own memories, sat and observed, had cups of tea to create this original research. 

Two black and white photos of a street 100 years apart

No stone was left unturned by the group members. This archive reflects the diverse interests of the group, with a range of fascinating and unusual topics. Manhole covers, gravestones, local heroes and villains, tree roots in Happy Valley, abandoned gateposts, which flowers grow in the car parks and the shenanigans of the old Bramhall Festival - it’s all recorded, photographed and written about in the archive.

The archive was donated to the Stockport Heritage Library for all to enjoy. But it won’t be leaving Bramhall entirely. Work is in progress to put a digitised copy on Bramhall u3a's website.

Six photos showing postcards in different places in a town

Since then, the group has continued its researches with current topics including local marl pits which are still there as ponds, building styles, front gardens and a cafe survey. 

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