Donald Stewart was an ordinary chap, just one
of the hundreds of ordinary folk who lived and worked in Bollington
over the past couple of centuries. Why do I pick him out for a
page? Well, simply because I knew him, I liked him very much and
he told me an interesting, if hair-raising, anecdote from his
He was born around 1900 and I got to know him in the late 1970s
as a fine old gentleman. We frequently met in the Crown Inn and
shared a few pints. He had various occupations during his life
including as a sales representative selling studs - collar studs
and cuff links - to the trade. That was in the days when men, including
the so called working classes, wore shirts with removable collars.
The studs were mounted on cards for retail display in barber's
and hardware shops. In the 1960s he and his wife Stella took the
Dog & Partridge Inn. I lost track of Donald in the 1980s and
believe that he died in that decade.
The anecdote that will remain with me always concerned the building
of the 'new' chimney at the Oak Bank Mill printing works. This
chimney was built about 1912 and was around 200 feet high. During
its construction it was clothed in scaffolding and ladders. One
weekend, when the site was deserted, the 12 year old Donald and
his even younger sister climbed to the very top of the scaffolding
to play! The very thought sends shivers down the spine.
Since I wrote that story above, I have discovered that Donald
was born in 1904 which means that he would have been just eight
years old when he said he climbed the chimney! Maybe the story
isn't quite how he 'remembered' it!
Donald's granddaughter continues to live in Bollington today.
Donald's father was Joseph Stewart and he and his family lived
at Rock Cottage in Beeston Mount. Donald was one (the youngest?)
of several sibblings - possibly nine in total.