DEAN STANLEY 1885-1976


Dean Stanley

As Mayor of Stalybridge in 1955 aged 70

Dean Stanley married Bertha Horsfall, the daughter of Henry Horsfall and Sarah Jamieson at Castle Hall Parish Church on the 19 September 1910. For most of their lives they lived at Swan Cottages, Mottram Road, Stalybridge facing Stalybridge Celtic Football Club. They had three children; John Robert born 2 July 1913, Joan (my husband's mother) born 9 September 1915 and Edith (Brian Longden's mother) born 30 November 1917.

Dean had always showed artistic tendencies and would dearly have loved to pursue a career in architecture, but the practicalities of providing for a growing family meant his persuing a trade. He had already trained as a master plumber, so with his knowledge of the construction of houses he opened his own Plumbing, Building and Sanitary Merchants on Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge. The business thrived.

In character he seemed to have had more in common with his grandfather than his father. He too followed a career in Local Politics, becoming Conservative Mayor of Stalybridge in 1955. He was a fervant Anglican and Church Warden at Old St Georges Church, and a member of Stamford Lodge Freemasons rising to Grandmaster. He was also reputedly very generous in his support of charitable causes.

In some ways the people of Dean Stanley's generation had it tougher than most. They had to live through two world wars, the thirties depression and post war rationing. No wonder that this was the rather colourless, narrow minded generation harping back to Victorian values, seeing these as a touchstone back to greatness. When in actuality the Victorian age was one of confidence, expansiveness and total optimism in continued growth and prosperity. Perhaps they thought that by adopting the more negative qualities of the Victorians of self-denial, discipline and disapproval greatness would follow, when in fact they only led to privation, guilt, inward thinking and insularity.

What happened to Dean and Bertha's children

Uncle Bob went on to marry Lily Ireson. They had one daughter, Margaret, who married Gordon Trudgeon and had three children, Keith, Sandra and Adrian.

Aunty Edith married Ernest Longden 30 October 1937. They had two children; Edward Dean who married Enid Newton in 1966 and Ernest Brian who married Yvonne Batters 7 July 1967. Brian and Yvonne have two children Steven and Christina. Steven is married to Rozina Chaudry and they have a son Eeesa Robert Rashid born 28 February 2000, named after his four times great grandfather, and Yaseen Suleman 21st December 2002. Christina married married Ian Agnew 19th December 2004. They have one daughter, Ruby.

Joan went on to marry the manager of Burgons in Stalybridge on the 26 December 1938, Charles Daniel Oliver. These are my husband's parents. She inherited the family's love of singing and apparently had a lovely singing voice. She too was in the choir at Old St Georges Church and also regularly entertained the elderly in nursing homes. Their first child Terence died in 1942 of kidney failure. My husband Michael was born at Alderley Edge on the 7 January 1943, where his father was now managing Burgons there. Later the family moved to Glossop in Derbyshire living in the rather large and rambling premises above the shop there. This is where my husband spent his childhood.

The shop had huge cellars where he often played hide and seek and listened to his cousin telling ghost stories. He had a good childhood and living in a grocer's shop meant little difficulty for the family during post war rationing. Also living in much safer times children had more freedom to roam, the Derbyshire Peaks forming an enticing backdrop for childhood adventures. His father was well respected and liked, but tragically died when my husband was eleven. He and his mother could no longer stay at the shop so they moved back to Stalybridge and went to live on Cocker Hill, money became very tight. Before my husband had had time to recover from the death of his father his mother contracted breast cancer and died when he was fifteen. After his mother died Mike went to live with his grandfather Dean Stanley, a situation, not ideal on both sides since his grandparents were both by then in their seventies.

Mike and myself married on the 5 March 1966 and we have two children, Janine born on the 4 May 1971 and Dean born on the 25 April 1973. Janine married Ian Prince on the 5th May 2001and Dean married Catherine Howard 24th April 2005.


Gay J Oliver © 2001 - all rights reserved