Paintings of Disley, Cheshire

PUBLISHED: 12:36 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:18 20 February 2013

Malt Cottage

Malt Cottage

How do you sort the newcomers in Disley and High Lane from the old-timers? Marjorie Henderson knows how. PAINTINGS BY GORDON WILKINSON

How can you tell whether Disley residents are newcomers or go back generations? The answer lies with the word Disley itself.

If they pronounce it Diss-ley with a hiss and a slight hesitation in the middle, then they were probably born and bred in this charming old world village nestling in the foothills of the Peak District yet only a few miles from Stockport. This pronunciation has been handed down from one generation to another because it was once known as Dysteglegh - with three syllables!

At one time the village was famous for its entertainment - bull and bear baiting and cock-fighting. In fact it is believed that bears were kept at the White Horse Inn until the middle of the 19th century.

The present Dandy Cock Inn owes its name to the sport of cockfighting and the landlord believes remnants of where the sport took place still exist outside the pub.

David and Susan Unwin have been running the Dandy Cock for the past 18 months. 'This is our fist pub,' says David. I had my own business converting vans into refrigerated ones. But we really wanted to run a business ourselves. I enjoy the mixed age group we get and we have two karaoke nights each week. One of them is mainly attended by older people and they love it. We put a band on once a month. We were not going to do food but the locals asked us to start so we now serve meals at lunch time.We have darts and pool teams.'

One of the oldest businesses in Disley is The Village Bakery. 'Originally it was the old bakery and everything was produced on the premises,' says Yvonne Williamson, who has been the owner for the past five years. 'Today all our cakes and pies are baked here apart from our bread.'

Yvonne, who used to be clerk to the Parish Council at Disley felt she wanted to make a change in her lifestyle. 'I have always enjoyed catering and love baking cakes,' she says. 'So when this shop came up I decided to go for it and I've never regretted it. I've introduced a new menu and we do vegetarian food as well.

We do take-aways: everything from breakfast to hot and cold wraps and home made scones. I do all the baking with a lady to help. I start at 4.30 in the morning and pick up the staff myself if they are on an early shift. I employ local people. We also deliver food and breakfasts and lunches locally.'

Many residents take advantage of the Health and Beauty Clinic which has been run by Anne Marie Ovens in Disley for the past 22 years. 'Both men and women enjoy our treatment,' says Anne. 'From the beginning men have been coming along and over the last ten years more and more young people are taking advantage of our services. I think men are quite proud of the way they look now.' Anne was once an advertising executive but beauty was something she always wanted to do. 'So I went to college and

I have never regretted the move I made. I love it here.' She has the highest qualifications possible. 'I also import a homeopathy treatment which deals with problem skins and that is one way I have built up my reputation. I also beautify brides before their weddings and I once treated a mechanic's hands for him before he was married. He
couldn't believe the transformation to his hands and nails which had been ingrained with dirt.

One of the latest things is the foot spa which men particularly like. This gets rid of all the toxins in your body. 'It is great for stressed out people,' says Anne. 'The water starts off clear and ends up almost black!' Heading back towards Stockport from Disley along the still very busy A6 is High Lane and the village itself is mainly strung out along this road.

Yet it is still referred to as a village and with three different parks and plenty of attractive housing on either side of the main trunk road it still manages to retain its rural community atmosphere. It is hard to believe that when the Horse Shoe Inn on the A6 was first built round about 1780 you stepped out of the pub onto a rough cart track. Quite a difference from the heavy lorries and many cars passing the pub today.

Sarah and Mike Moran are celebrating their second year running the pub. 'We came from Stockport Rugby Club - the old Davenport Rugby Club where we were for six years,' says Sarah. 'We began to think - let's do this for ourselves - and we did. It was a good move to here. It is a close-knit community and we have a nice lot of people who look out for each other.We have just started service lunches during the week as well
as Sunday.'

Sarah is convinced there is a ghost in the pub. 'I think it is a man and odd things keep happening. Pegs keep going back in the barrels and kegs cracking.We have also had pump handles at the bar shoot off over the counter.' The pub has its own football team.
When High Lane Post Office left its original building 12 months ago it was taken over by Marie Crouch and her sister Eve Moran. Together they run Perfectly Pressed - a business to delight any hardworked and stressed out housewife/business woman.

They will wash, iron or send off for dry cleaning all your dirty clothes and linen. 'We set off with only a handful of customers,' says Eve. 'But now we are very busy and have many regular customers. It has all been done by word of mouth.We are agents for the dry cleaning side but the rest is all done on the premises. I personally enjoy ironing but hate pressing trousers. My sister does those but she doesn't like doing bedding so I
do that. The building itself dates back to the early 1900s.'

All the original watercolour paintings featured in this issue are available for purchase and Gordon Wilkinson is also available for commissioned work. Call Gordon on 01244 531785, visit his website at or send an e-mail to

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