We were delighted to host Dennis Nadin, the historian and creator of Burnage Heritage, in the library this afternoon. Addressing the history group on Burnage during the First World War- the subject of his current research and forthcoming booklet, and a time featuring several key figures and events in Burnage’s history- he effortlessly guided us through this complex period.
Mention was made of the various ‘Burnages’ at the time; the professional classes inhabiting their villas, the farmers- Burnage was still largely an agrarian area- and the labouring and domestic workers. The period also saw the growth of housing in Burnage, with the Garden Village and the development of the former Burnage Hall estate. He discussed the transformative effect of the LNWR railway, drawing Manchester closer and allowing an easy commute to the centre of town. Tribute was also paid to Hans Renold as an enlightened and progressive industrialist, whose Burnage works were of significant importance to the war effort.
We were told of the hospitals which were established in the area, the rationing imposed on goods, and the attention given to the war (or otherwise!) in the logs of the local schools. Added to these themes were an array of individual stories, reflecting his determination to tell the histories of those too often ignored.
It was a real pleasure to have Dennis speak to us, and we hope that his enthusiasm will encourage others to share and preserve their own stories of the local area.