The Jackson family and the wallpaper works...
The wallpaper works on Macclesfield Road (now FADs) has been operating in Holmes Chapel since 1911 when George Fenton Jackson took over the site with his colleague James Walker. Both had been employed in the wallpaper business in North Manchester and appear to have decided to establish their own business in Holmes Chapel. George’s father, also called George, was a skilled engraver so it was not surprising his son was described as a gifted and talented wallpaper designer. Where his ambition to open his own business came from is unknown.
The factory site on Macclesfield Road had originally been a horticultural builders works where iron framed greenhouses were produced. Henry Cotton, who later became the world famous golfer, lived in a house on the site when he was a child.
The site was purchased in 1911 for the sum of £2600 by George Jackson and James Walker and they set up the Holmes Chapel Wallpaper Company. James Walker seems to have moved on and the business in Holmes Chapel was run by the Jackson family for three generations.
Apart from providing employment they had a major impact on the appearance and social activities of the village. It was Alfred Jackson, George’s son, who built the houses along Victoria Avenue and London Road and provided the Victoria Club as a social venue for staff and the community. Alfred also built several other houses in Holmes Chapel and as his daughter in law Dorothy Jackson said, ‘He liked to live life to the full and was always on the lookout for a trip or a project’. Alfred was very much involved in the community: he was a JP and Chair of Congleton Borough Council in the 1930s. George Fenton was also a serial house builder: two houses on Chester Road and ‘Twemlow Edge’ overlooking the River Dane from the Twemlow side were built by him.
In the next generation Sidney Jackson, son of Alfred, was a keen sportsman. He volunteered for the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the Second World War, was wounded at Dunkirk, took part in the Arctic convoys and learnt to play tennis in Alexandria. He settled into a house in Station Road and lived there until he died in 2002. His wife Dorothy was very involved in the community as a JP and Chairman of the Parish Council on several occasions. Some of the family, although not involved in the wallpaper works, still live in the village and continue to play a part in community activities.
Holmes Chapel U3A - Local History Group