Ann and John Hearle

None of this would have happened without Ann and John Hearle. From the early days when they first noticed the crop marks; though bringing to the attention of the University of Manchester Archaeological Unit; financing the early excavations themselves; recognising its importance and setting up the Mellor Archaeological Trust to research it properly; bringing on board all the representatives of local community groups so that it threatened no-one and included everyone; applying for grants and finance to fund the work; and opening their lovely garden not only to the teams of archaeologists each year but also organising the Open days so that hundreds of people could come in and see what was had been found.

During the Mellor Heritage Project 2007-2009, they were involved in every aspect of the work: Ann ran the History group and organised the individual building surveys, including the record of houses from Moorend to Marple Bridge, gave talks to many local groups or societies, organised the Open Weekends, ran the Friends group and wrote the newsletters, made cakes and tea for meetings, showed visitors round her garden, sold books at local fairs and trawled around local shops putting up posters for events. John handled a lot of the finance and accounts, produced publications, chaired the Trust and Management Committee meetings, put together endless presentations and took on the huge task of putting together the application for the Heritage Lottery Fund application. A supreme sacrifice for very keen gardeners was to allow almost the whole of their lawn to be dug up and even some particularly special ornamental grass and flower beds. They both continue to be active in the ongoing activitities of the Trust.

All this has inevitably not gone unnoticed and The Trust has received very many awards, three of which have been particularly for Ann and John themselves. In July 2008 Ann was named the NorthWest Heritage Hero in Nationwide Community and Heritage Awards at Salford's Lowry Centre, winning �500.00 for the Project. She went on to be just beaten in the National Finals at the Tower of London. Then in January 2010 John was finally recognised for his tireless and indefatigable work behind the scenes by his inclusion in the New Years Honours list to recieve a well deserved MBE. In February 2010 they were together recognised as Ambassadors for Stockport.

With very many thanks from all of us to Ann and John Hearle