The lure of hidden treasure is one that, universally, seems impossible to resist. Whether in fiction or in fact, whether Pirate Gold, King Solomon’s Mines or the Golden City of Eldorado, –we seem unable to resist the tantalizing tingle of rediscovery.
Not all treasures, however, are of the material world - the researching of our history is but an intellectual cloak to this most basic motivation – and to this the Mobberley Village Society has not just succumbed, it has written it into it’s constitution.
It’s members are required to seek out any and all facts, and artefacts, relating to the long history of Mobberley and, required to re-instate all treasures found within the public domain.
To this end the M.V.S. (in its former incarnation as the Mobberley Preservation Society), produced in 1981, “Mobberley Reflections”, a pictorial record gleaned from old postcards and photographs. Latterly members have been seeking to enhance this record and have been able to create a scanned digital database of over 400 images, which, it is planned, should form the basis of further publications. However the “best laid schemes….”, as Mr. Burns noted, and the MVS is no more immune than any other to that propensity. Their “rooting” for hidden treasure turned up a long lost history of Mobberley and the pictorial publication has been “put on ice”.
The chain of discovery would, in fiction, be dismissed as “implausible”.
It started with a member at a loose end in Altrincham: he called into the library to enquire if they had “anything on Mobberley”.
The short answer was “No!” but, as he turned to leave, he heard the remark
“What about that old book?”
The “old book” was sent for.
It was called “Some Mobberley Records” and was written by Stephen Murray.
A note stated that it had been presented in, 1948, by Mr. Murray’s widow, to the Altrincham Library, and that it was one of only two copies produced.
The second copy had been placed in the safekeeping of the then Rector of Mobberley – in 1909!*
The news was hurried back to Mobberley and the Rector contacted – tragedy, the book couldn’t be found. Former Rectors were contacted, even widows of former Rectors. Vague recollections were stirred but no-one knew its whereabouts; it should still be in the church.
A further search was instigated and this time the treasure was found: it was nestling on a hidden shelf in the safe……….The rest, as they say, will be history.
Permission was given to prepare a print quality copy – no easy task given the format of the original. The MVS was not prepared to give up at that stage and, after a number of false starts, the copy was finally produced.
You now own and, hopefully, will enjoy this unique record of historical Mobberley.
A work of scholarship motivated by a man’s passion to explore his own ancestry.
A work of love created by Stephen Murray by his own research, with his own photographs and set down by his own hand (pen and type).
We now dedicate this edition to the memory of Stephen Murray and to all Mobberley Folk, past, present and yet to be.
P.S. If you are ever in Altrincham# Library, ask to see Stephem Murray’s personal copy and try to spot the differences.
The Mobberley Village Society is indebted to the Reverend Melvin Gray, lately Rector of St. Wilfrid’s Parish Church, Mobberley, for permission to produce these copies, and to Christine Pemberton, for her painstaking work in copying the original.