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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Kershaw’

I found this reference about Mary Williamson (nee Kershaw) in information rearding the Lychgate at St Pauls Chuch on Huddersfield Road in Stalybridge. Mary grew up on Cocker Hill and the Lychgate into St Pauls was a gift from Mary and her husband Tomas to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversiary. The Lychgate was constructed in 1904. This story provides a nice contrast to my earlier post about Joel and Margaret Broadbent also of Cocker Hill.

Thomas Williamson came to Stalybridge from Rochdale in 1850 when he was about 22 and set up as a watchmaker and jeweller in the town where he met Mary Kershaw. She was the daughter of a tallow chandler in Cocker Hill, and they were soon married. Mary had a lifelong connection with St Paul’s – it was said that she was present as a child at the laying of the foundation stone of the church as well as at similar ceremonies at New St George’s and St John’s, Dukinfield.

For the rest of their lives she and her husband were highly involved with St Paul’s where Thomas was twice a church warden and a substantial benefactor, and Mary was “a devoted and loving friend” of the church and its people.

Thomas moved from the jewellery trade to establish a brass founding firm, initially near the present Post Office and then on Cocker Hill and finally in Tame Valley at the Atlas Works which became successful and flourished. He was also a director of Albion Mills Co. Ltd. when it was incorporated in 1883.

Thomas and Mary lived at Brookfield Villa in the lower part of Mottram Road. They planted and made themselves responsible for the upkeep of the roadside trees in Mottram Road in addition to many other good works for the town which Thomas had adopted. He was a councilor in 1866-9 and again in 1879-85 and was a Justice of the Peace from 1880 onwards. He retired at 62 and devoted the rest of his life to philanthropic, public and religious work quietly and unostetatiously. His chief religious interest was St Paul’s where he was “devotedly engrossed, and with money, advice and labour did all he could to forward the good work of the Church”.

It seems that Thomas and Mary loved and were devoted to God, Stalybridge, St Paul’s and each other, but remained childless. When Mary died on Christmas Day 1909, aged 79, Thomas declared that he would die at Christmas to – he passed away two years later on December 13 aged 81.

There is no doubt that they, more than many of their contemporaries, made their mark on Stalybridge

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