A little earlier this year The writer took a rail trip from my place in Yorkshire to pay a visit to my mom and dad 80 miles away. My local station was one of those minor unmanned rural stations; my destination station was just as tiny but on the outskirts of a major industrial town. As I had dwelled in that place for around twenty years prior to my marriage I knew my actual destination and consequently I was able get a through ticket from the conductor on the train. “A single to Thatto Heath please” I said on his arrival. A look of confused bewilderment came over his face “well I’ve never been asked for that one until now” he said, however I assured him that there was indeed such a town. That resulted in me pondering about this place near the place I was born and that I had hardly ever previously questioned the origins of this unusual name. The subsequent time I called I had quite a few hours to pass hence went along to the local history library to ascertain what I might find.

Firstly that name, Thatto comes from Thatwall, Thetwall or Thotwall (12th century) that in turn derives from two Old English terms “pêote” (meaning fountain, water pipe or conduit) and “wella” (a spring or stream). The Heath element would have been put in later. A water source was marked on a map from 1849, the route of which may be seen going towards neighbouring Ravenhead, part of it forming a boundary line.

After this I was intrigued and started out to take a look at the industry of the district. In 1690 a Cheshire chap leased the area intending to drain and mine it; by 1718 the mine turned out to be a productive concern. Mining activities slowed down in the following few years, nonetheless ended up being restarted around the 1760s when John Mackay, a Scottish industrialist, came to the area and by 1770, started off sinking pit. Mackay additionally identified a market for the coal in the nearby Ravenhead Glassworks, where, in 1773 the technique of plate glass production would be brought from France. Furnaces in France burned timber; in Thatto Heath by utilizing the nearby coal, manufacturing costs were kept far lower.

In addition to coal was the aforementioned manufacture of glass; which furthermore emerged in the early Eighteenth century. Thatto Heath used to be concerned with the production of glass bottles, the production facility being plainly noticebale on the 1849 map. The company was bought and sold a number of times, being purchased, on one occasion to John Mackay, however there is no sign of how it was used after 1857.

During the 1770s a short canal was dug between the pits of Thatto Heath and the Plate Glass Works at Ravenhead. Its most probable builder was John Mackay; it would then have been utilised to transport his coal in between the two sites. Again it is plainly noticebale on the 1849 map. By 1894 the only indicators of the ancient canal are remnants, as by now the railways had taken over transportation.

I completely enjoyed my small delve in to the history guides and made a decision to dig even more for the background of my exact birth place practically half a mile distant - Nutgrove. This transpired to be “a grove where nut trees grow”, probably I could have worked that one out by myself!

To uncover many hundreds of interesting things to do at the weekend that could be bought as a gift or for your self visit My Outdoor Store. Hope you delight in them as much as Bruno Blackstone did taking a look at his native area!

Author's Bio: 

Bruno Blackstone is a freelance writer interested in all things to do with the outdoors and helping others get the most from the outdoors. Starting with a psychology degree his early career was as a social worker and family therapist working with families to help them achieve more positive and stable relationships. In his more recent career he has coached many senior executives in both small and large organisations in areas such as strategy, human resources, organisational design and performance improvement. He now continues his work in the business world but he is also co-owner of http://www.myoutdoorstore.co.uk a price comparison site for outdoor enthusiasts.