It seems all focused on Tottington and broadly the Bury/Bolton area. This of course will continue to grow. However my father can trace his history back to Harmston, thence to India, Cornwall and then via London to Tottington. Pix and info to follow. He had a large family too! Then of course is my wife's family, father from what we thought was originally Sussex, but we now know Hampshire! Last but not least my mother-in-Law, part German and part Polish.
Probably time for some sort of Genealogy table!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Greenmount Railway station

Really quite unsure of where to put this picture, but I settled for Nearly -Midnight. The station was still there when I first went to Greenmount Primary School. I can remember just being on a train on this line when I was very small. They finished running passenger trains in 1952! The goods traffic continued until 1963 - All the way through my primary years and beyond. This picture certainly shows the station in use. I seem to think the train is coming this way.  That is from Holcombe Brook to Tottington and possibly all the way into Bury. The line looks due north from here. The shadows are from the east. This seems to suggest a fairly early in the morning summery day as the leaves are on the trees. The children are not in school, perhaps its a Saturday!

Greenmount Railway Station

The bridge is still there, at least this half certainly is. The ramp that descends to the station is still there too, it does not quite look the same.

 The building at the top is the school, it has not changed at all - even inside. On my next visit back I will try and photograph from the same place. The station was knocked down quite quickly I think, but the railway lines were left for ages. For us lads it was a challenge to see how far we could walk along the track.  There are more pictures to add very shortly. There was another way off the station from where the two girls were. 


The angle of this picture is almost identical to the one above - only about 60 years on!
Even before this became an "official" path the railway line was used to get from Greenmount to Tottington. The track the other-side of the bridge was not filled in then.

The line went through the bridge and continued to Holcombe Brook. The picture below is really "the end of the line", difficult to know quite when it was taken. I suspect the middle to late 60's

Holcombe Brook terminus - sidings
I think the houses are probably the backs of Longsite road.

I do recall gettting on a train here - an electic one I think with my mother. This is Sunnywood Station. Roughly half way between tottington and Woolfold where we lived, we were probably visiting friends. Mrs Bently I guess she lived very close to the railway. The station is completely buried under modern housing now

Sunnywood Halt
I think this is looking south towards Bury from Tottington. The main road would be to the right of the railway.
There are more photos here as well as more information about the line.
So I wanted to bring it bang up to date so this is how Greenmount railway station looked at the end of March 2014
Looking down the "railway track" I was standing on the bridge that used to be here.

Looking back up the track. This is a very similar shot to the first and second Black and White ones.

A shot of my old school I would be standing on the bridge here.
Unless any more photos turn up. I will probably not be visiting here again - blog wise that is!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Jalsa Salana 2012

I had the good fortune to meet the head of the Ahmadiyya community several times, I met him in his private office and we had a deep conversation about my Great Grandfather Henry Martyn-Clark. I found him deep, sincere and extremely likeable man, very knowledgeable about my family. Great charisma and a worthy leader. Liked him a lot.  My host was anxious about the meeting, for him it was the culmination of research and he must have been desperate for it to go well - It did. I visited the Ahmadiyya community display and was extremely impressed and of course visited the mosque, not once but twice. We were very much aware that our Great Grandfather's were at loggerheads - for me I feel that our respective differences have been truly buried!

His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifa-tul Masih V and
Jol Martyn-Clark the Great Grandson of Henry Martyn-Clark

I made a promise to my host that I would speak at Jalsa Salana 2012, about my Great Grandfather - I immediately said yes - then thought what the... Great honour of course. Many thoughts coursed through my mind, most of them help!

I was in the company of very interesting and knowledgble people and an opportunity that would not come again. It was the very last day of the Olymics in London when I caught the train to Alton. Greeted at the station, and transported to Jalsa. Proceedings did not start till later in the day. There were many speeches before mine, all interesting of course. The huge tent filled and I suppose I was left to the very end. His Holiness took the central podium and the air became electric with anticipation - This is not good for the nerves. My host said just read the speech and take your time! (the best advice!) I was called. This is the speech I read:


Your Holiness, my friends,
I am the Great Grandson of Henry Martyn-Clark. He is perhaps infamous in the history of your faith, but I would like to tell you a little more about his background , his character and achievements. Then my perceptions and finally a little about myself and my father.
Henry was adopted by the Reverend Robert Clark and his wife in 1875. It is thought that he was left outside the Reverend Clark’s mission in 1875 in Peshawar. It is believed that Reverend and Mrs Clark has just lost their first born child. He was known to be an Afghan. I suggest that the name Henry Martyn was in acknowledgement and affection for Henry Martyn, the the Priest and Missionary whose life influenced Robert Clarks’s mission. May I point out that the Clarks had eleven children, I think. It is thought from my own family history that some of these were also adopted local children. I am indeed in touch with the grandson of another of Henry’s brothers.
Henry was educated at Edinburgh University and he obtained his Medical Doctors degrees in 1881. At the same time he also passed his divinity qualifications to become a missionary. This was achieved by the age of 24. At the same time he also courted a Scottish girl, Mary Emma Ireland. They married in January 1882.
In February the same year Henry and his new bride of 12 days set off to join his father in Amritsar to work as a Medical Missionary. The same journey that his Father and his new bride took about 30 years previously.
In 1882 his eldest son was born, Walter Martyn-Clark and in 1887 my Grandfather Robert Eric Noel Martyn-Clark was born, he was born on Christmas day. Both sons were born in Amritsar. They became doctors, qualified at Edinburgh University too – there does seem to be a pattern appearing here! I do not know when they qualified or even returned to India. They were caught up in the Great War as Medical men – both returned to Edinburgh on Henry's death in 1916.
Henry had returned to the UK in the years 1892 where he presented a paper on Malaria – he had mentioned the mosquito as the cause, but there was no evidence to support this, I still have the publication as well as letters from Herbert Morton Stanley's wife. Henry had also produced a Punjabi to English dictionary too. He was certainly in London in 1893 to report to a Royal Commission on the use of opium. I must presume that he returned to Amritsar at this time. His father wasn't well.
In 1897 Henry Martyn-Clark filed a complaint against Hudhoor whom he alleged had plotted to murder him. Hudhoor behaved impeccably believing rightly that the truth was above the lies perpetrated towards him.
Robert Clark died in 1900, Henry was present at his death. It is difficult to know when Henry returned to Edinburgh. He did lecture at Edinburgh University on Tropical diseases, He also had an extensive medical practice too. He died buried in the Dean Cemetery. For a man who had a large influence in India and Scotland it really is a little sad and lonely. I did not discover the grave until quite recently -
Henry had dissolved into the mists of time. However I did feel drawn to it by a higher power.
As I was hunting down my late Great Grandfather, little did I realise that my soon to be friend Asif, was also on my trail! I had known that someone had requested a photo of Henry's grave. I had a friend request from him, an email too. Well he's an excellent researcher and also very persuasive. He visited me in Lytham, interviewed me and persuaded me to visit London. I visited the exhibition, also both Mosques, but the highlight was an audience with his Holiness. Very difficult to put in words what I felt. A depth of feeling, warmth and understanding I have never felt before. Here was a good man, a great leader. Sincerity with humility. I was shaken – I still am. I returned for the peace conference. We spoke again. I had the same feelings. As I do now.
I wish to bring the history a little up to date. My father was the male influence in life. I was privileged to know him for 30 years. He spoke little of his parents, he like me had never met Henry. He was educated at boarding school and he and his sister only saw their parents during school holidays. His own father died when he was 7 and his mother when he was 9. He was adopted by his mother's sisters - in Cornwall - they had been nurses in the Punjab too. He was a restless chap, intelligent and articulate – he had started his degree in Horticulture when the Second World War broke out: He signed up immediately – he wanted to go East! And he got his wish! Captured by the Japanese incarcerated with the Ghurkas, most people content to survive, my father had learned their language. It was to become useful. Surviving the war with a gift for languages and immense frustration and a couple of false starts he became a primary school teacher. He loved the job – children loved him but there was always something missing – a deeper need. In the late 50's fuelled by political circumstances, education extended to those with disabilities and difficulties. My father saw this as his vocation. As a remedial teacher he was working in schools in Bury and Manchester. There was tremendous growth in the Asian population at this time. They were astounded and not a little suspicious to find a white man talking in their own language. He was taken to their hearts!
On his early death, the community built a memorial garden in his honour. I together with my mother and wife were guests at the opening. Sadly the school is no longer there.
I have returned to the beginning, Shocked and very pleasantly surprised by the reception I have had. Never dreamed that I would find out so much. The internet is such a fantastic place. So perhaps a few words about myself. Qualified as an engineer, worked for a large electronics company, again like my father became very restless, entered teaching and soon became concerned with those learners with disabilities and difficulties. Wanting to know more, qualified as a Dyslexia teacher from Edinburgh University. Currently working at Blackpool and the Fylde college coordinating support as a Specialist Support Tutor.
I am indebted to you all. Love for all and Hatred for none has been theme in my own family and will continue to be so.
It does indeed feel strange to put this in print - but events overtook me. I suppose that I really wanted to know more about my family and got far more than I bargained for - still coming to terms with it.  Here are pictures of the event:
During the speech

Behind us is sitting the speakers who have spoken,
This is clearer in the lower pictures

On the right, against the wall are the speakers who made speeches
throughout the afternoon. I was one of the later speakers.

It would be good to return, just to soak up the atmosphere. Much of the speech above is contained in the website.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Walter Ireland Foggo Martyn-Clark at Ardentinny

My Picture of Walter as a young boy:
That is Eric on the right
Walter Ireland Martyn-Clark was the elder son of Henry Martyn-Clark. Also a doctor he recieved his medical degrees from Edinburgh University. He was born in Amritsar. He travelled extensively. He became the incumbent doctor at the Mount at Ardentinny in Scotland. I will revise this page when I get time with dates and places.These are the pictures from Ardentinny.

Here is a picture taken of the two brothers in India. Walter is the elder and Eric is to the right.











The reverse of the photo, clearly
shows an Indian adress
Walter was born in Amritsar on the 15th of November 1882. He obtained his degree from Edinburgh Medical school 20th October 1906. Married Mary A Kendall on the 9th of March 1911 on the George the IV in Edinburgh. I know he served out in Africa during the war - He was there at his fathers death. His mother died at Ardentinny.


He died in Luton in 1943, no idea why he was there at all.

As shown on the Photos below he had a daughter Daphne Martyn-Clark - I believe she married a Terence Hicks and lived in Roehampton





They are from a small booklet I have.

Steamer at Ardentinny

Not sure of the view or the location, Perhaps its looking back at the Mount.

Daphne and my Father
Daphne was the only child of Walter and Aunt Nell.

I called this mystery woman, but
as I look at it it seems that it is probably Aunt Nell

Daphne and my father are between the two girls.
I have no idea who they may be - possibly local. There were no close family members of this age.

This throws the above comment into confusion. Daphne was older than my father.
Yet they seem like family members, Why else would they be on the photo - seem like sisters?

Walter and his wife

A family gathering.
Daphne in the middle at front - my father far left.
How old would he be 10 to 12 I guess - make the photo about 1935ish.

A copy of the probate confirming Mary as his widow.
Oddly it mentions Llandudno?
The writing is my mothers. More research needed. Walter Martyn-Clark would be my Great Uncle. Andrew seemed very fond of Daphne - but he never made any attempt to contact her in later years.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Extended the page on Henry Martyn-Clark

Couple of things to discuss

1. I have added pictures and an interpretation of Henry's farewell Scroll when he left India to return to Edinburgh. This has always been in the family and it feels extremely odd that it is now being published on the internet. (Feels that something that was private has now become public - secret).

It is however not for sale or loan. There is a possibility that it will be preserved. As a historical document it is hugely interesting. I will take better pictures of it but a larger file is available should anyone like a copy. Please email.

2. Thanks for the hits people - there seems to be an increase of interest in this history. I am rather perplexed by the Wikipedia page that has suddenly appeared - I really would like to thank Dr Muhammad Ali (Drali1954) for putting this page up. As he is a member of the Ahmadiyya community it's possible we have met. I am sure we could have an interesting time together - perhaps to meet?

3. Decided to show the photos of Henry's grave here together with my comments. Seems a little appropriate because the page on Henry is about him as a doctor, working and in fact very much alive.

I have visited 3 times. The first time I was on a works trip to the Glasgow and Edinburgh. This was OK. I knew the grave was in the Dean's cemetery but I had no clue where it was. My feet were drawn almost unerringly to the grave. It is quite a long walk to the Deans from where we were parked in the City Centre. Very oddly I got lost approaching the hill on the other side of the main bridge that led there.

The only way to the cemetery was across a locked private park, I would have had to walk round otherwise. There was no time for anything other than a quick recce if I did this.  At that moment an elderly gent appeared asked me my business in a quiet Scottish voice, I quickly explained and he led me through. I crossed the road to the main gates straight on and to the right I was standing in front of the grave. Not especially a believer in divine providence, but convinced I was helped that day! I took some pictures on the old digital I had. These are not the ones.

As I put my hand on the gravestone whispered the thanks and the other things you say at moments like this I felt a distinct tingling in my body. It seemed to say thanks for coming - can't explain it. The times I have revisited done the same thing - but the tingling's gone.


There are no clues on the stone.
I expected some more information,
it seems a little strange to have no other inscription on the stone.
It almost expects it be there.

Henry's wife (Mary Eliza (Emma) Ireland lived on for quite a while longer.
I believe she moved in with her eldest son in Ardentinny and died there ion the 29th of January 1935

Not to far from the path

Quite insignificant, How did I find it?

This view is from just of the path.
The main gates are behind me.


I will revisit, something makes me. My colleague from the Ahmadiyya Community found the grave shortly before me. But he is a better researcher than me!

Got to continue with my research. I will continue posting in any of the blogs.