Ashton’s Town Team and Tameside Markets staged ‘Ashton Town Centre Heritage Day’ on the Market Ground and Market Street today, as part of the National Heritage Weekend held each September across the country.
The event is also part of this month’s Tameside Heritage Festival and saw the return of Ashton’s legendary Black Knight.
The annual Heritage Days provide the public with an opportunity to discover their local history and culture and a Blue Badge Guide was on hand to talk about the town’s history.
A vintage photo display provided a glimpse back at the past, including old photos from past pages of the Tameside Reporter, which visitors enjoyed immensely, some even recognising themselves in the pictures.
There was plenty of amusement too provided by ‘Sailors Beware’ of Hyde (the Hyde branch of the International Laurel & Hardy appreciation society ‘The Sons of the Desert’) who were there with their Laurel and Hardy look-a-likes and who provided plenty of fun and entertainment for shoppers in Ashton Market with their song and dance routines.
Local writers the Williams brothers were on hand signing copies of their back catalogue of local history books; including ‘The Knight Rides Out’ which explores and examines part of Ashton’s heritage that is ‘The Black Knight’.
Signed copies of ‘Market, To Market’ (The story of Ashton’s ancient market) were also available to buy.
The Royal British Legion, Scouts and a World War One soldier completed the line-up.
Although our main picture shows Deputy Mayor of Tameside Cllr Leigh Drennan battling with ‘Stan Laurel’ from ‘The Sons of the Desert’ as the Black Knight and Ashton councillors Joyce Bowerman and Bill Fairfoull look on, the real battle was against torrential rain.
However, that didn’t stop the Black Knight touring the Old Town, visiting businesses and entertaining youngsters – and the young at heart – along the way.
The heritage event is one of just scores of various tours, exhibitions and more taking place all around the borough planned not just for this weekend – but the entire month.
Turning back the pages of history… Reporter editor Nigel Skinner chats to the World War One soldier as they look back at Reporter pages and pictures from the past.