This is Gertrude Mead, my great Grandmother, pictured around 1930. Her family of Brocklehurst’s is an interesting one; her Grandfather, William Brocklehurst was an itinerant Wesleyan Methodist preacher, born on the Staffordshire Moorlands. He was part of a Christian movement that started in a village called Flash, of which there are lots of interesting stories which will be related here in due course.
William’s grandfather, Thomas, came from a place known as Needles Eye, although local historians have pinned (:)) that down to a farm called Nield Bank.
It so happens that I was there on Monday, while supervising a group of girls on their DofE expedition. I walked down to the farm and had a long chat with the lady that lived there. She had done some research into the history of the place but hadn’t heard of the Brocklehurst’s, which is a shame. She did however point me to a book for sale at the local shop, (actually the only store for miles), which had copies of a local history book – Flash Back and its sequel, Flash Back Too.
These booklets contain a lot of stories of the area, and many pictures of Brocklehurst families. One of them actually ran the very same shop around a hundred years ago. So I have another source for some interesting stories of very distant cousins, who may turn out to be bare-fist fighters, illegal hawkers and tinkers or coin forgers.