Gertrude Mead nee Brocklehurst b1856 Picture taken around 1930.
Gertrude Mead nee Brocklehurst b1856
Picture taken around 1930.

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.

Neild Bank - Staffordshire, home of Thomas Brocklehurst when he married in 1723.
Nield Bank – Staffordshire, home of Thomas Brocklehurst when he married in 1723.
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Flash Village – Wesleyan Chapel, built 1784, rebuilt 1821. Where William Brocklehurst became a preacher.
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