St Mary's Church, Nether Alderley
Priests' House at Prestbury
School house at Nether Alderley
|Edward Potts was born c1865, in
Over Alderley, Cheshire. When he was 15 he was working as a Farm Servant
at Gately Green Farm, which is on Welsh Row near Sand Lane. Looking at the
1881 census records for the area it seems to have been common practice for
sons to work on other farms in the area and so the description 'farm
servant' could mean 'farm worker, living in', or Edward could have been
taken in by a relative because his own family had died.
At the other end of Sand Lane is the Wilmslow to
Congleton Road (now the A34) and the centre of the small village of Nether
Alderley. As Edward came onto the main road he would have seen Nether
Alderley Mill with the mill pond, screened by trees, behind it. Behind the
mill pond, like a moated house, were the remaining buildings of Lord
Stanley's former Alderley Hall.
Almost directly opposite the Mill was a row of cottages;
the end cottage on the corner of Main Road and Church lane was the village
shop run by Annie Salthouse and her younger sister Lucy Salthouse. In 1881
Annie was the shopkeeper, grocer and dressmaker and Lucy, who was 22, was
the assistant shopkeeper. Annie and Lucy's father, John Salthouse, had
died in 1871, their mother, Lucy Walters, died in 1875; the surviving
brothers had left the area - John Salthouse moved to Manchester where he
married Fanny from Warrington, William Salthouse moved to Liverpool where
he married Janet Braidwood.
Edward and Lucy Salthouse married in Nether Alderley in
1895. they had a son, Herbert Edward Potts, in 1898. They lived at Gately
Green Farm, Welsh Row, where Edward was a 'farmer on his own account'. As
there is no mention of any other family living in that house, Edward and
Lucy must have taken over the rent. Occasionally Annie and Lucy had
visitors from Liverpool - their brother William's son, Jim (James Thomas
Salthouse) remembers visiting Alderley as a young boy and said what a
beautiful estate it was and how he would like to go back there.
In 1906 Annie Salthouse died. It might have been at this
time that Edward and Lucy moved into the shop at Church Cottages, though
Edward may have continued to farm whilst Lucy kept the shop.
The Great War of 1914-1919 took many young men from the
village, including Herbert Potts. Herbert enlisted with the 9th Battalion
Seaforth Highlanders and went to fight in the trenches in France. By March
1918 he was a Corporal. On March 21st the Battle of St Quentain began when
the Germans began a new offensive, pounding the British troops with heavy
artillery fire and shells for over 5 hours, the British responding with
artillery fire of their own. The firing stopped overnight. The morning
brought thick fog but, when it cleared, the Germans resumed their
offensive. Herbert Potts was killed on this day, March 22nd, 1918. He was
20 years old. So far as I know, he was the only child of Edward and Lucy.
Lucy and Edward stayed at Church Cottages and kept the
village shop. Edward Potts was a bellringer at St Mary's Church at the end
of Church Lane. Lucy attended to the customers in the shop. Lucy died on
January 24th, 1934, aged 75 and was buried with her father John, mother
Lucy, brother Samuel and sister Annie at St Mary's Church.
Edward Potts married Alice Simpson. They lived at Church
Cottages and Alice kept the village shop. They appear to have had a
daughter, Mary Anne. Edward and Alice were at the same address in 1938
when he is recorded in the Estate Sale Catalogue as being responsible for
the payment of the water rates for the shop. Edward was always closely
involved with the church and was presented with a beautiful inkwell in the
shape of a bell in appreciation of his 50 years as a bellringer at St
Edward Potts died on 26th July, 1947, aged 82, and is
buried in St Mary's churchyard. His widow, Alice, died on 17 July 1963,
when she was living in Wilmslow; she and her mother, Mary Simpson, are
also buried in St Mary's.