I’m incredibly proud of our local community and believe that it is vital that we protect and promote the things that are fundamental to our identity here in Tameside
Tameside council recently made the exciting announcement that from the 19th February – 13th of March, they will be running ‘Hats Off to Denton’ sculpture trail. The free trail will consist of 15 hats – 5 of which are giant, – and will be exhibited across Denton Town Centre. Each hat will be painted by a local artist and the designs will be inspired by the town or a community within the town.
This is such a fantastic idea, and a brilliant way of celebrating Tameside’s unique history. As anyone who knows me will attest, I’m a massive history buff, and a particular fan of the history of hat-making in Denton. We’ve been making hats for over 300 years, and from humble beginnings ended up becoming the epicentre of early 20th century hat-making in the United Kingdom. Denton is home to the only known surviving example of a two-story planning shop and bow garret. The structure (which I ended up randomly discovering back in 2013 and found out more about through a local historian) would have been where early hatters would have worked in the early 1800s. It’s a fascinating landmark.
This initiative is a great way of presenting our history in a fun and engaging way. I can’t wait to get out and about and explore the sculpture trail and be given the opportunity to talk to anyone who’ll listen about the history of my home!
There’s also the brilliant news that Stalybridge (which sits in the constituency of my colleague Jonathan Reynolds) has been named Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture for 2022. This means Tameside will be getting some extra attention, as well as the backing of a cultural fund to build on existing programmes.
We are defined by our history. It gives us a sense of identity and allows us to connect to long-passed generations and communities. As a politician, I’m always eager to look to the future, and try and think of ways that we can improve our society and our communities. But it’s important that whilst we continue that work, we don’t forget how we ended up here in the first place, and how our present is defined by the past.
We live in a part of Greater Manchester with a rich history, and we shouldn’t be shy to celebrate it.