Date range: 1702-1975
Number of items:
The Dale Papers include the personal papers of three members of the Dale family - James Dale (fl. 1810-1824), William Dale (fl. 1874-1898) and Alan Dale (1891-1981) - and records of the family firm, Messrs William Dale & Sons, agricultural engineers of Sandle Bridge near Alderley Edge, Cheshire.
Of the personal papers, the most interest items are a journal and account book of James Dale, a servant of Lady Warburton of Arley Hall, who accompanied her on a tour of Europe in 1818.
Alan Dale was a local historian, who collected old records relating to the parish of Alderley and the surrounding district. The collection therefore contains an important minute book of the Alderley Society friendly society, 1752-1774; records of the Overseers of the Poor and Surveyors of Highways and taxation and electoral records for Marthall with Little Warford, together with papers relating to the Government Evacuation Scheme and the Ollerton and Marthall Comforts Fund during the Second World War, 1729-1945; rate books and charity records for the townships of Ollerton, 1907-1918, and Over Peover, 1865-1947; and records of the Overseers of the Poor and Parish Council of Great Warford and of the Wesleyan Day School there, 1702-1923.
William Dale & Sons was first recorded in 1737 and during its long history it operated as agricultural engineers, blacksmith, farrier, wheelwright, millwright, stonemason and carpenter; it was one of the best-known agricultural engineers in the region. The firm's business records comprise 34 day books recording in detail the firm’s sales to many individual customers, 1794–1921.
The collection contains much material of interest to local historians of Cheshire, and to social and economic historians. It is particularly relevant to studies of the Poor Laws, friendly societies and other charities, and of the workings of local government in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Associated with the Dale Papers are the records of the Knutsford District of Foresters Friendly Society and its predecessor bodies, the Ancient Order of Shepherds and Ancient Order of Foresters, 1821–1948.