Donald Stewart

An ordinary chap

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Donald Stewart was an ordinary chap, just one of the hundreds of ordinary folk who lived and worked in Bollington over the past couple of centuries. Why do I pick him out for a page? Well, simply because I knew him, I liked him very much and he told me an interesting, if hair-raising, anecdote from his life.

Long service presentation watchHe was born in 1902, one of nine children, all brought up in Rock House at the top of Beeston Mount. He worked, from the age of 14, and for most of his life, with The Bollington Printing Co. Ltd. based at Oak Bank mill (where Hamson Drive is today). After 50 years with the company he was presented with a watch (left).

At one point he was a sales representative selling studs - collar studs and cuff links - to the trade. That was in the days when men, including the so called working classes, wore shirts with removable collars. The studs were mounted on cards for retail display in barber's and hardware shops.

I got to know him in the late 1970s as a fine old gentleman. We frequently met in the Crown Inn and shared a few pints.

Donald married Stella Ogden. In the 1960s they took the Dog & Partridge Inn. He was known for his good humour and long hours - this was a pub that was often open right through the night! And the police station was next door, in fact the Bridewell [jail] was in the back yard of the pub! See below for D&P stories! Donald died in 1987 while living at Shrigley Court.

The anecdote that will remain with me always concerned the building of the 'new' chimney at Oak Bank mill printing works. This chimney was built in 1912 and was around 200 feet high. During its construction it was clothed in scaffolding and ladders. One weekend, when the site was deserted, the 10 year old Donald, together with one of his sisters, climbed to the very top of the scaffolding to play! The very thought sends shivers down the spine.

Donald's granddaughter continues to live in Bollington today (2017). Donald's father was Joseph Stewart and from 1900 he and his family lived at Rock Cottage in Beeston Mount. Indeed, members of the family lived there until 2000, 100 years in total! Donald was the youngest of eleven children, two dying in infancy.

Stories from the ether ...

Gill Coe .... We used to go to the Dog and Partridge when Donald was landlord. He was a star. Used to leave the pub on Friday just as it was coming light.
Linda Bester (Donald Stewart's granddaughter) Thanks Gill, I would love to hear more about all that, apparently people came from miles around to see the banter between him and my grandmother Stella. Please tell me more .......
Gill Coe One night there was a post horn on the wall which someone decided to play. A phone call from the police station [next door!] came at around 3am saying please be quiet as the police sargeant was in bed and thought there was a band coming up Adlington Road. Donald one night took out his false teeth which one of the dogs ate. They were very happy days and Donald and Stella were the best. His pet saying was "keep those balls swinging" which were two glass balls above the bar which he used to bang together.
Linda Bester Haha, he was such a comedian. The dog that ate his teeth was most likely Bessie the black lab. Thanks for that Gill.


My thanks go to those who researched and discovered the history that is presented in these pages, in particular Linda Bester, Donald & Stella's grand-daughter, who has provided most of the information on this page. Please read the full acknowledgement of their remarkable achievement.

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