Hyde is not the flashiest of Cheshire towns but it has charms all its own

PUBLISHED: 01:16 20 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:01 20 February 2013

Hyde is not the flashiest of Cheshire towns but it has charms all its own

Hyde is not the flashiest of Cheshire towns but it has charms all its own

Hyde is not the flashiest of Cheshire towns but it has charms all its own WORDS BY ELIZABETH SHORT PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON AND GERALD ENGLAND

Hyde may not regularly top the lists of must-see places in Britain, but this industrious town boasts many hidden gems.

The towns name, derives from hide, an area of land that amounts to 120 acres. Hyde came to prominence during the Industrial Revolution. As many new factories opened the population grew rapidly and cottages were built for the new inhabitants.

The town has remained true to its industrious roots and houses several large factories. Erica Ng works in one of them. Joyce Ridings is a high-end womens fashion label with clothes stocked in classy boutiques as well as a stand-alone shop. Erica is production manager in the designers factory where Joyce Riding clothes have been made for two years.

Erica said: The location of Hyde is good for commuters as it isnt far from the M60, making it quick and easy to get to Manchester. But what I really like about Hyde is how multicultural it is. There are Italians, who have produced ice cream locally and a large Bangladeshi community, with many Indian restaurants.

This cosmopolitan community is a far cry from its days of booming cotton mills and coal mines.

The rustic Peak Forest Canal runs through the town and nearby Romiley, where Hyde Bank tunnel, the second tunnel along the canal, can be found. Built in the late 18th century, the canal was once a busy mode of transport but after Hyde was added to the national rail system interest in the canal declined.

Today its a prime spot for the fishing community. With its intertwined reeds and willowy trees hanging over the edge, the canal is quite picturesque. Local blogger, Gerald England, has taken many photos of the canal and runs two sites dedicated to Hyde. One blog, Old Hyde, focuses on the history, meanwhile his Hyde Daily Photo, contains a different picture of the town every day. The site draws interest from local and ex-Hydonians.

Gerald has lived in the town for 20 years: I love Hyde but it has changed a lot, he said. Old buildings have been knocked down and replaced, but it still has character. When I can, I walk along the Peak Canal, and along the transpennine rail. Geralds blogs fully Galleryexplore the charms of the area. There are photos of everything from the local market to decaying old mills, juxtaposing the new Hyde with its heritage.

Hyde is rather an arty place too. LS Lowry, famed for his matchstalk men portrayals of northern life, lived in Mottram village for 30 years until his death in 1976.

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