Family Ties

One of the collections held by the Borough Archive is a Miscellaneous Local Photographs Collection (MLP). This is where we catalogue photographs that are important to the history of the borough but do not have links to any of the other collections that we hold. One series within this collection, MLP/80,  is a set of photographs showing eleven aerial views of Greenmount and one of the kite that was used to take them. The photographs date from 1910 and were taken by a local man, Samuel Horrocks.

This week it was our absolute pleasure to welcome two of Samuel’s great grandchildren to the Centre for Cultural Collections to view the photographs. During their visit they gave us some more details regarding Samuel, his family and his kite.

Linda and Phillip

Linda and Phillip

Linda and Philip had been contacting family members to find out as much information as they could before their visit and came armed with some fantastic facts and anecdotes.

Samuel Horrocks’ Kite

Linda told me that Samuel’s kite was made from spruce and  gold-coloured silk and saw its first flight in 1910. It was about seven to eight feet high and four to five feet wide and Linda thinks she can remember it hanging in her great grandma’s garage when she was growing up. To the eyes of a little girl it must have seemed huge! The kite was attached to three miles of piano wire wound around a drum-shaped winch which had to be earthed due to the build-up of static electricity. Samuel sat on a folding chair, with the winch between his legs, to fly the kite. The photographs were taken using a Box Brownie camera and as you can see it managed to capture some fantastic images.

A selection of the aerial images of Greenmount

A selection of the aerial images of Greenmount

In the 1970s family members, George and Peter Howarth, made attempts to recreate the kite but unfortunately they were unsuccessful.

Linda also recounted a story about how Samuel had devised a harness that would allow his young daughter to ride the kite! Luckily for his descendants, Samuel’s wife looked out of the kitchen window just in time to put a stop to his ambitions!

Further information about Samuel Horrocks, or Sammy Kitie as he was known locally, can be found in C. B. Taylors ‘History of Greenmount’. Several copies of this publication are held by Bury Libraries and can be located using the online catalogue.

History of Greenmount

History of Greenmount

If any other original photographs or documents relating to Samuel and his kite are discovered – we are hoping they will also be donated to the Borough Archive, enabling us to create a specific Samuel Horrocks collection. All of our records are stored and preserved in line with standards set by The National Archives. This allows documents which detail important moments from the borough’s history to be preserved for future generations.

Thank you so much to Linda and Phillip and we look forward to working with you in the future.





This entry was posted in Local History and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Family Ties

  1. Andrew Haworth says:

    I’m a great grandson of Samuel and can remember the kite in the rafters of the garage. For years I thought it was an old wind break, until my Dad told me the story. I really need to make the effort to come and see the collection at some point. Its nice to know the collection is in good hands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s