This is the portico of Stalybridge Town Hall, all that remains of the original structure. It bears two interesting plaques:
'THE FIRST GENERAL STRIKE, 1842
Originated in this area, beginning as a movement
of resistants to the imposition of wage cuts
in the mills, also known as the "Plug Riots"
it spread to involve nearly half a million
workers throughout Britain and represented
the biggest single exercise
of working class strength
in nineteenth century
'JOSEPH RAYNER STEPHENS
Trained in the Ministry, Joseph Rayner Stephens
came to Ashton in 1832. He became an important
Chartist Leader who campaigned against
the Poor Law and for factory reform.
His greatness was in his instinctive reaction
to human distress and social injustice.
In later life he lived in Stalybridge
where he established a People's
School and is buried in
St John's Church,