Thomas' Hat Works later taken over by Cooke
Bros.Ltd. (presumably James & William Cooke, cousins of Joseph Baxendell's
wife Hannah, who were living next door to Joseph in 1851.
"The Earl of Wilton persuaded him (Thomas)
to introduce the cotton Trade into Denton, and as an inducement gave the
land on which Mr Baxendale built in 1862 the Alpha Mill - so called because
it was the first cotton mill in Denton. His generosity to the town, particularly
to the United Methodist Church, was great. He formed a brass band at his
works, which was known for a time as Baxendale's Band, but afterwards became
the Denton Original Band. He built 47 houses opposite his mill, which he
named Alpha Terrace."
- Some Denton Worthies in "The History of Denton and Haughton" by Thomas Middleton.
The Denton Original Band began its existence
in 1859, its promoters recieving the generous support of some of the hat
manufacturers and local gentry. The first headquarters were at Baxendale's,
at the top of Taylor Lane, but after a short time they were removed to
a room behind the Bowling Green Inn......The band has a wonderful
record, the crowning triumph coming in London in 1900 when the Denton Band
won the thousand guinea cup which was open to Great Britain and the Colonies.
There were great rejoicings in Denton when the result of the Crystal Palace
test became known. The magnificent cup was kept at Denton Town Hall and security of 1,000 pounds had to be given for its custody.After this the band ranked with the highest class bands in the country and was in great demand in all parts. During the twentieth century the band has maintained its reputation as one of the leading bands of the Manchester district.(ibid)
The mill was destroyed by fire on April 22nd 1915, afterwards was converted to a chemical works. On Thursday March 16th 1920 an explosion occurred which blew off the roof and shattered the wall, killing three men. (ibid)
Two humble men, Joseph Robinson of Glossop
and Joseph Perry of Hazel Grove, members of the United Free Methodist
Church, came to live in Denton; and they started a Sunday School in a cottage
behind Alpha Terrace, lent rent free by Mr. Thomas Baxendale. Once
a fortnight the Rev. J. Bond, of Manchester, conducted services.
In 1866 the Rev. J.G. Hartley of the Stockport circuit began work in Denton.
Through the generosity of Mr. T. Baxendale and other friends a school was
built in 1867; and the chapel was erected in the following year.(ibid)
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