Bee Handling for Beginners…

Anyone who has had any contact with myself and Angela will be aware that we have a mild obsession with bees. This didn’t come out of nowhere, it was born from our need to create an object handling resource as part of our Heritage Lottery Funding targets.
Manchester Coat of Arms
The worker bee is one of the main features of Manchester’s crest. It symbolises hard work and cooperation and continues to be used to represent Manchester and its residents. You can’t walk far in Manchester City Centre without seeing the bee in architecture, on street furniture or being used by a variety of organisations and companies. This, along with the increasing number of bee hives located across the city, convinced us that our first object handling resource should be a bee hive.
Bee Object Handling Resource
We worked with Rebecca Chesney, an artist who has used bees in her work before, to create the beautiful box that houses information on the ecology of the bee, a map of bees across the city and real handling items such as an original handkerchief which was given to all school children in Manchester on the opening of Central Library in 1934.

The box made its début during the week Manchester Central Library reopened including a starring role on the actual opening day, the 22nd of March. Children and families enjoyed digging through the box to discover what was in there.
Bee Handling Object in use for Central Library reopening and Manchester Histories Festival 22/03/2013
Keep your eye out for the box at our future events and see if you can get a stick or a stamp from our Archives+ team.
Archives+ bee stamp

Hello Manchester – The Big Friday Find

As most of you will already know, tomorrow is reopening day at Manchester Central Library.  This week has been hectic, to say the least, so our Friday Find this week is a very brief affair.

At some point, I think on Wednesday but I could be wrong, the front doors of Central Library became visible to St Peters Square for the first time in 4 years.  As the Archives+ area is on the Ground Floor, this was a little startling for those of us inside as we weren’t really used to being able to see people waiting for trams at the station.

Quite a few people have shared photographs of the newly visible entrance from outside on social media.  Here’s the view from the other side.


See you tomorrow.

A Quick Peek at Archives+ – The Big Friday Find

We’re sorry that it’s been quiet on the Archives+ blog for a few weeks now.  As I’m sure you’re aware, we’re all working hard to get Central Library ready for reopening on March 22nd.  Things have come a long way since the beginning of the year, and this major landmark in our Heritage Lottery Funded project is almost here.



We’ve now got books on the shelves in the local studies area.  This area is also home to the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society help desk where you can get advice from their friendly volunteers about tracing your ancestry.

P1000732 edited

In the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre shelves are filling up with books.  They also have fantastic resources for teachers, more information about their Education Trust can be found here.


The BFI Mediatheque and North West Film Archive film pods are up and running.  We could all spend hours in here “testing” if there weren’t so many other things to finish off.

There are still lots of jobs to be done before we throw open the doors but the end is in sight.


So this is why we’ve been really quiet.  I hope we’ve shown you enough to whet your appetites but not so much as to spoil the surprise.  We look forward to seeing you all – we hope you’ve got March 22nd circled on your calendars.

Investigating Jerome Caminada, Manchester’s Sherlock Holmes

Whilst researching the adventures of Detective Jerome Caminada for my book, The Real Sherlock Holmes, I came across some unexpected treasures in the Greater Manchester County Record Office, which helped me to piece together his extraordinary life and groundbreaking detective work.

Jerome Caminada

Image courtesy of Greater Manchester Police Museum and Archives

Jerome Caminada was born in the slums of Deansgate in 1844. The son of immigrant parents, he endured a precarious childhood in the crime-infested streets of his neighbourhood and joined the Manchester City Police Force at the age of 23. Showing an early aptitude for detective work, he was soon promoted into the detective department and rose through the ranks to become one of Manchester’s finest police officers. A master of disguise and an expert in deduction, he tackled all manner of criminals, from pickpockets and thieves to ruthless con artists and even coldblooded murderers. I found information about one of his most fearsome adversaries in the Manchester Archives.

A desperate criminal

Bob Horridge was a blacksmith and a violent burglar who would stop at nothing to preserve his freedom. When Caminada encountered him for the first time as a constable, little did he know that Horridge would become his sworn enemy and their rivalry would last for two decades, ending in a deadly confrontation. In the archives I discovered the court record of the crime that brought the two rivals together. Bob Horridge 1 In 1870 Horridge stole a watch, which PC Caminada traced through a watchmaker, with whom the felon had left the watch to be fixed. When Horridge came to collect it, Caminada was waiting to arrest him. Due to his previous convictions, Horridge was sentenced to seven years’ penal servitude and, as he went down, he swore that he would kill the man responsible: Detective Caminada. Further court records from the Manchester City Sessions revealed that Bob Horridge re-launched his criminal career after his release. In 1876, he was tried for damaging the bellows of a rival blacksmith and two years later, he broke into a mill to steal a safe and £240 in cash (about £11,500 in today’s value). Both times he was acquitted due to lack of evidence. The register from Belle Vue Prison includes a graphic physical description of this notorious thief: he was 5 feet 6 3/4 inches tall, with a sallow complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. Slightly pockmarked, he had moles above his right armpit, on his back and left buttock! Bob Horridge had escaped justice twice in succession, but his luck was about to run out.

Belle Vue prison register During the next decade Horridge committed a string of offences, with increasing severity. Mostly burglaries of shops and warehouses, every time he was caught in the act, he would commit a daring escape. On one occasion he broke through the ceiling of a house and fled through the lofts of adjoining properties, and another time he dived into the River Irk after knocking down a police officer. Before long he was sentenced to another seven years in Pentonville Prison, from which he attempted to escape and was shot three times in his bid for freedom. Surviving his injuries and after his second long stretch behind bars, Horridge was ready to get even with Detective Caminada.

The final showdown

On 30 July 1887, Horridge broke into a shoe shop in Rochdale Road. A passing constable spotted him and when he tried to arrest the thief, Horridge shot him. Fortunately the bullet only grazed his neck, but when a colleague came to his assistance, he was shot in the chest. After the attempted murder of two police officers, Detective Chief Inspector Caminada was instructed to run Horridge to the ground one final time. Caminada pursued his adversary to Liverpool, where he recognised him from a distance by the way he walked. Holding a loaded revolver to Horridge’s head, the detective threatened, ‘If there’s any nonsense with you, you’ll get the contents of this’. The thief was also armed, but after a fierce struggle Caminada apprehended him. Bob Horridge spent the rest of his life in prison and as Detective Caminada recalled later in his memoirs, ‘When Horridge was sent into penal servitude for life the public had the pleasure of knowing that the career of one of the most accomplished and desperate thieves that had ever lived in Manchester was brought to an end.’

The Real Sherlock Holmes cover

The Real Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Story of Jerome Caminada, by Angela Buckley is published by Pen and Sword Books. For more details, see You can hear all about his adventures at the Manchester Histories Festival – Caminada: Manchester’s Sherlock Holmes, at 3 pm on Saturday 29 March in the Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester. There is also a tour on Jerome Caminada by Emma Fox at 1.30 pm.

Spinning Yarns – The Big Friday Find


Looking through our image collection this week, this lovely photograph caught my eye.  It’s part of Spinning the Web, a website set up to celebrate the cotton industry in Lancashire.
The photograph was taken by the Cotton Board in 1965.  She is described as a young cotton weaver, working on a Jacquard Loom producing towels.
There’s no mention of her name.  She looks like someone I might have gone to school with.  She’s holding a shuttle.  I have one on my windowsill, given to me many years ago by a woman who was a spinner, when I went on a training course held in a cotton mill in Burnley.
The warp and weft of the North West was made from cotton and women’s work.  Mills employed women from the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution.  Communities depended on their wages and developed to allow for a strong female workforce.  Everything from cooking to child care was affected.  Lancashire hotpot could be left to cook slowly in the kitchen range oven, ready for the return from work.
It’s a vanished era, captured in these 1960s images.  Not the swinging sixties, but the still spinning and weaving sixties.


A recent exhibition in Manchester Town Hall has raised questions about how we celebrate the contribution of women to the history of Manchester, Lancashire and beyond.
Called ‘Stature‘, it has been created by Warp and Weft and is on show until March 9th, coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8th.

If you can’t get to see it, make sure you read about it.  It has certainly caught the attention of the public and the media.  Placing brightly coloured crochet face masks on marble busts of men is an imaginative way of drawing attention to women’s roles in Manchester’s past achievements.  Warp and Weft as a working name for the artists references the North West’s textile industry heritage too, a heritage that was created by the women of the area.

The Wheels Go Round – The Big Friday Find

Cycling makes sense in a city on the flat. We even have a bike in the archive, not for riding round the strong rooms like Arthur Waley was once reputed to do at the British Museum, but as a form of green transport for deliveries and errands in the city centre.
Looking through our photo collection, there are images of cyclists and repair shops, reflecting the long heritage of cycling in this area.
Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, East Side, 1958This former car garage is now a thriving cycle shop.

Jim's Cycle Service, Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, 1967

Whereas this cycle repair business in Didsbury village is now something completely different!

From the early days of penny farthings:

Group of cyclists with penny farthings outside Hyde Road Gaol, 1880

To 1940s runs out into the countryside :
Cycling 1940

Here’s a ladies’ ‘sit up and beg’ style bike, with skirt guards on the back wheel.

Cycling Dress, 1910

There are photos of first bikes:
Child on Bike in Wythenshawe, 1972

And bikes that gave youngsters freedom to roam:
Wallasey Ave, Fallowfield,1973

The Clarion Cycling Club magazines give an insight into the social freedoms of this democratic form of transport.
Records of the Clarion Cycling Club 01

These publications also contain some great adverts.

Records of the Clarion Cycling Club 26

Sporting cycling has a long association with Manchester too.
Cycle racing, Harris Stadium, Fallowfield.

Time to check the brakes and tyres and get on your bike!

A Pearl fisher from Cheetham Hill – The Big Friday Find

Debbie Cameron, a volunteer with the archives, has done an amazing piece of research for this week’s story. Truth really is stranger than fiction! It’s fantastic that our Archives+ blog is reaching round the world. This is what the internet is all about.

The story started with an email from a reader now living in Australia, Stephen Crewe. He shares a surname with one of our bloggers and he was born and brought up in Manchester. Some curious photographs were attached to  the email, showing two gravestones in a remote part of Western Australia, Broome Bay, famous for pearl fishing.



From Parish Church to Pearling

 How did Edward Cockayne Chippindall (RN), born in Staffordshire and brought up by his parents in Cheetham Hill in Manchester during the Victorian era, come to be laid to rest in this far flung corner of the world?  What brought him to this wild place?

Early Life

Edward Cockayne Chippindall was born in 1853 in a small village in Staffordshire. His father – the Reverend John Chippindall was Rector of St Luke’s in Cheetham Hill for many years. His grandfather was described as “Clerk; MA – Occupation: Esquire”. Yet from this wealthy, academic, religious family came a man who became a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, a Captain in the Merchant Navy and intrepid explorer, who died at the early age of 34 in a remote bay on the other side of the world.

In 1861, Edward was living at Dale End, Warslow, Staffordshire where his father was the incumbent of the church. By the time of the 1871 census, while his family were in Cheetham Hill, he was a midshipman aboard the Eclipse in the Royal Navy but by the end of the year he had been promoted to a Sub Lieutenant. I have found a Certificate of Competency as a Master of the Merchant Navy for him in 1873, from the Port of Liverpool.

chip masters

A Life of Adventure Begins!

After this fairly “ordinary” even mundane, middle class, start in life, things swiftly become rather more exciting, if more challenging to track! There is no mention of him that I can find from the time he got his Captain status until 1880, although, piecing together other information I have found for him, I think that from 1873, he became involved with one Captain Thomas Haynes (whose occupation was rather thrillingly described as “explorer” on his daughter’s wedding certificate!) Thomas played a big part in this story as we shall see later, to the extent of being buried next to Edward in a remote cemetery in Australia, even though he died many years after Edward and in England, having raised 7 children and with a wife still alive.

According to a report in the Lancaster Gazette dated 4th September 1880, Edward was now in Fiji, where he was tried for the manslaughter of a “native” , the accusers being disaffected labourers. Indeed, according to the report, the natives were taking on ”all the vices of the settlers” and “the only improvement in their behaviour has been their cessation of cannibalism”. A far cry from Cheetham Hill indeed! I have found several articles and a heartfelt plea in the press from his loyal, (and somewhat tolerant!) father,  the highly regarded Reverend John Chippindall,  saying that the charges had been made up by the Governor of Fiji, Sir Arthur Gordon. Edward  had somehow become entangled in a dispute of some kind with him.  The Reverend gave a glowing picture of how Edward and the Captain had treated the local natives with great respect and had helped to improve their living conditions. The Magistrates in Fiji agreed with these sentiments and threw the case out. What a worry this must have been to his relatives far away in Manchester.

St Lukes Church

 St Luke’s Church, Cheetham Hill, 1866

At the time of the 1881 census taken in April of that year, Edward is back with his family in Manchester, but described as a Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, although I do not believe he had served in the Navy for some time. Maybe he had been ordered to return home after his earlier escapades. After all, he is not yet 30 years of age but has already given his family plenty to worry about! Indeed Edward is involved in yet another catastrophe later in the year. He is mentioned in connection with a shipping disaster in July of that year when the Zara,  a ship he commanded, was wrecked on the way from Table Bay in Australia to Fiji. This ship had actually once been owned by the Prince of Wales, according to newspaper reports, but was now owned by our doughty Captain Haynes. Although Edward managed to save the crew, the ship was beached but then broke up.

Adventures in Paradise

I have found a digitalised book “Pearls and Pearling Life” by Edward Streeter dated 1886 which gives an incredibly detailed account of these times. Edward and the Captain are shown to be heavily involved in the pearl fishing industry in Australia and the islands. Edward Streeter was a jeweller from  Hatton Garden, London. He funded their exploration in far off islands and colonies. He said that the pair faced many perils, including insurrection by natives and pearl fishermen , to the extent that there was a mutiny.There were several incidences of  illnesses  (their ship, the Sree Pas Sair was once described as a “charnel house” ) and at least one occasion when, on venturing to land on a small island, they were surrounded by “100s of canoes with armed savages in them”.  There is no explanation as to how they managed to escape from this somewhat dangerous encounter!

pearl fishing

The finest and most complete pearling vessel afloat is the “Sree Pas-Sair,” (“The Belle of Pas-Sair,” a district in Borneo), a brigantine of 112 tons, bought and equipped by the late Mr. E. C. Chippindall, R.N., at the expense of the author (Mr Streeter)

And so, we finally arrive at Broome Bay, where Edward  met his death and was to be buried in 1886.

Death In Paradise

From various newspaper reports and accounts, Captain Haynes and Edward worked in the pearl fishing industry in Western Australia and various islands from at least 1881, when Edward was involved in the shipwreck of the Zara. There is a lot of information online about this period and it would seem that at least initially, the men lived in conditions similar to the early settlers, living in tents and makeshift buildings, with various “temptations” for the men who lived and worked there such as brothels and drinking houses.

“Broome is an affluent, sinful and tolerant community in which the Clergy’s frequent references to Sodom and Gomorrah are regarded as appropriate tributes to civic progress rather than as warnings of future divine retribution. ”   

 H.V. Howe, Pearler

I don’t know how this lifestyle would have been greeted back in the Reverend’s parish of Cheetham Hill!

Notwithstanding the dubious pleasures of the pearling community,  Edward was making excellent progress in the industry and was very highly regarded by many, including Mr Streeter of Hatton Garden, who stated that “the finest, largest pearl ever seen” was found by Edward Chippindall while pearling on the Sree Par Sair on Christmas Day 1884. It weighed 40 grams and was “absolutely round”. Edward and the Captain continued to explore and expand the industry; one report states they owned 2 schooners and 11 luggers.

However, tragedy struck Edward whilst he was onboard the schooner Telephone.  I have found a report in a Western Australian newspaper that states that he died of “brain fever” on 22nd May 1886  while at sea and he was brought back and  interred in the aptly named Pioneer Cemetery, Broome Bay, Australia,  which is located on a small, isolated, grassed promontory overlooking Roebuck Bay and near the site of the Old Jetty. The actual cemetery area is surrounded by a number of well established trees and is very peaceful.. One can only imagine the heartbreak for the 34 year old’s family when they heard the news back in England. I have found a notice in their local paper which advises that a memorial to Edward was placed in the church where his father had preached for many years.

chip death notice

Edward, born in rural England in the 1850s, had been an incredible man. He had served in the Navy, endured shipwrecks, disease , cannabilism, a trial for manslaughter and appalling conditions in a harsh, unforgiving country thousands of miles from home. In today’s parlance,  he had been on an amazing and almost unbelievable journey. A man who took great risks, that finally cost him his life. A true Victorian explorer but one who almost no-one has ever heard of! I hope this article serves as a memorial to his fortitude.

Incidentally, the intrepid explorer, Captain Haynes, continued to work in Australia for many years, but obviously returned home to England from time to time, as he fathered 7 children! He is on a trip home in 1901 for the census and his occupation is “railway contractor and director of companies”. He died in 1929 in England, aged 76 leaving a large amount of money (£16,600) , so his various ventures had been  very successful. However, there is one more twist to the story. Even though his 7 children and his wife were still alive when he died, his remains were shipped to that isolated pioneers’  cemetery, where he was laid to rest next to  his friend and partner, Edward Cockayne Chippindall , together once more. Did the Captain’s or Edward’s family ever travel half way across the world to  visit them once more, resting under the trees and overlooking the ocean in their final resting place? We shall never know.



Thank you to Debbie Cameron for her research and account of this amazing life and to  Stephen Crewe for getting in touch with his photos of the graves.