It seems likely that when Arkwright and Oldknow set out to transform Marple from a rural hamlet to an industrial town, they met with a fair amount of opposition. However, the remnants of that town are the legacy that we want to preserve today in the face of the challenges posed by increased housing and transport demands.
In the last few weeks, Jo and I have agreed that we need to review the work that has been done to assess and evaluate Marple’s assets. We also need to ensure that the views of the local population are comprehensively included. This is our progress to date.
THE CIVIC SOCIETY REPORT- A VISION FOR MARPLE (2011) addresses the issue of developing and regenerating Marple’s canal system as a tourist centre. The key feature would be in the protection and development of the historical heritage. Most of the historical appeal of the north-west stems from the industrial revolution and the cotton trade, but Marple’s uniquely attractive canal basin must be worth preserving. A substantial amount of work has been done but challenges still exist. Increasing trade to the town centre would be a considerable advantage and, although ‘boaties’ tend to bring their beds with them there may be a future for our pensioner landladies in developing a ‘canal bnb’!
There is a large amount of historical data held by the local History Society and that deserves to be available to the public. There should also be scope, in this context, for building on the very popular walking and rambling tradition that exists.
The Civic society is also responsible for the Decluttering Marple study, which identified and removed substantial amounts of extraneous street furniture and signage, demonstrating that it is as easy to accumulate ‘’stuff’’ in your town as it is in your home!
Marple Memorial Park is a treasured local resource given to the town by the Carver and Barlow Familes and opened in 1922. It has an energetic friends group who do a lot of the maintenance work but who also raise funds to explore and develop ways of maximising its appeal and expanding its role. They have contributed to a national survey about what people value in their parks, the results of which will be published in the summer 2017 . This will be of great value in developing all our local green spaces.
MESS is the leading act in developing a GREENER Marple. The establishment of the community allotment, Incredible Edible is a wonderful initiative as a development in community cohesion and healthy eating. It is now joined by a the fledgling community orchard to be planted on the recreation ground in Arkwright Rd.
Marple has a very substantial social and voluntary sector. The Voluntary sector in the town supplies valuable support to its residents and works closely with our very community orientated churches.
As I have demonstrated, a lot of information has been collected. I would be grateful for help, from anyone who is interested, in identifying gaps and helping to fill them.