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Trafford Council Burial Records

Records for Hale (Altrincham) and Stretford Cemeteries are now online


This week at Deceased Online we began adding burial records for Trafford Council in Greater Manchester. Trafford is the second council in Greater Manchester to add records to our website – the first being Bolton. You can read more about Bolton cemeteries here
 
Over the next few weeks, Deceased Online will feature records for nearly 300,000 burials and cremations from Trafford’s seven boroughs: Altrincham, Bowdon, Bucklow, Hale, Sale, Stretford and Urmston. Outside Manchester, Trafford is probably best known as the home of two of England’s most historic sporting venues: Manchester United’s home ground of Old Trafford, and Lancashire Cricket Club’s Old Trafford cricket ground. I grew up in Lancashire and watched my first game of county cricket at Old Trafford, when West Indian legend Clive Lloyd wowed the crowd by hitting a six into the members’ car park.

Emirates Old Trafford - home of Lancashire County Cricket Club

The Trafford area was largely agricultural for centuries, but saw major industrial growth from the late nineteenth century. With its industries having made a major contribution to the war effort of both world wars, it is appropriate that Trafford now houses the Imperial War Museum North. 
 
The Trafford burial records provide essential details for researchers, including scans of burial registers, grave details and cemetery maps indicating section locations of the graves. All records for Hale Cemetery and Stretford Cemetery, two of Trafford’s five cemeteries, are now available to search on the database

Stretford Cemetery (R Greenhalgh [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)
Stretford Cemetery is situated to the west of central Manchester, at Lime Road M32. All of its 34,108 burials from February 1885 to November 1999 can be explored online. At the time the cemetery opened, Manchester’s urban population flocked to Stretford to enjoy the unpolluted air of the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens. In the heart of the Gardens stood an iron and glass building, similar to London’s Crystal Palace. Manchester’s building had been designed for city’s the Arts Treasures Exhibition of 1857. This was the largest exhibition ever held in Britain, with the glass house holding 16,000 exhibits. Charles Dickens wrote of the event:

The care for the common people is admirable . . . but they want 
more amusement, and particularly something in motion, though it 
were only a twisting fountain. The thing is too still after 
their lives of machinery; the art flows
 over their heads in consequence. (Visitors comments in 1857, 2013)
 
Sadly the gardens were demolished in the 1980s, leaving only the Grade II listed entrance gates.

Nine years after the cemetery opened, the emergence of the Manchester Ship Canal led to the development of the Trafford Park area as a vast industrial estate. Stretford’s population expanded from 21,751 in 1891 to 30,436 in 1901, and many of the area’s industrial workers of this period can be found in the burial records.

Famous Stretford residents include aviation pioneer John Alcock (1892-1919), legendary Manchester painter L. S. Lowry (1887-1976), children’s author Dodie Smith (1896-1990), best known for 101 Dalmations, and musicians Morrissey (of The Smiths), Ian Curtis (of Joy Division) and Jay Kay (of Jamiroquai). The leading suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) was born in neighbouring Moss Side, but lived in Streford in her earlier years. Pankhurst died in London, aged 69, and was buried in Brompton Cemetery. Her burial record will be appearing on the database with the rest of that cemetery’s collection in the next few months.

Hale Cemetery, also known as Altrincham after the area where it is situated, opened in December 1894. The database holds the details of all 24,056 burials which were recorded in the cemetery from December 1894 to October 1999. At the time the cemetery opened Hale was growing at a rapid rate. Until the arrival of the Cheshire Midland Railway (later the Cheshire Lines Committee) in 1862, Hale had been a small rural village. The railway enabled the area to develop as a suburban home for Manchester’s increasing merchant class. By 1891, the population had reached 3,114 and would grow to 4,562 by 1901. 

The Hale and Altrincham area is still one of the most exclusive parts of Greater Manchester. Amongst its residents over the years have been watercolour artist Helen Allingham (1848-1926), dramatist Ronald Gow (1897-1993), children’s author Alison Uttley (1884-1976), and musicians Ian Brown (b. 1963) and John Squire (b. 1962) who formed the cult band, the Stone Roses, after meeting at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. 

Sources:
http://www.manchestergalleries.org/whats-on/art-treasures-in-detail/visitors-comments-then-and-now/

Look out for further records from the Trafford collection, which will be uploaded to the database over the next few weeks. These include the burials and cremation details of Dunham Lawn Cemetery, Sale Cemetery, Urmston Cemetery and Altrincham Crematorium. We'll keep you updated here, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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