Heaton Lodge – Not an Ancestral home – Part 8 – Frank & Mabel Tylecote

Courtesy of Peter Howcroft, who once used to live on Lodge Court I have some pictures of the outside of Heaton Lodge at the time of our next inhabitants.

Heaton Lodge exteriors, thanks to Peter Howcroft

At once we can see why pictures are rare of the Lodge, the large wall cut it off from the road, and it faced into the valley, turning its back on Heaton Mersey.

After the death of John Harrop it was once more offered for sale, and in the Manchester Guardian dated 3 July 1919 , this advert appeared:

For Sale, Residence called Heaton Lodge

Charming situation, Didsbury Road Heaton Mersey, near Manchester, in an elevated position overlooking Cheshire, with entrance lodge, stabling for four horses, coachhouse, conservatory. The house contains dining room, drawing room, morning room, excellent billiard room and nine bedrooms with all modern conveniences. . The grounds are well wooded and are inexpensive to maintain. The property is freehold and contains 14,510 square yards of lands or thereabouts. A portion thereof containing 9,165 square yards is subject to the payment of a yearly ground rent of £38 3s 9d (£38.18)

Immediate Possession Reasonable Price

A R Brett & Co Ltd, 4 Piccadilly Manchester

The house sold quickly as in 1920 Frank Tylecote and Charlotte Dora Boddan are advertising for servants for their family of two children. There are a number of adverts in the Manchester Guardian servants, including the rather worrying Cook wanted AT ONCE, appearing on the 13 March 1923.

Frank Edward Tylecote was born on 23 May 1879 in Cannock to Frank and Georgina Sarah Tylecote. Frank Tylecote Senior was a Bank Manager, who ended his career living comforably at Upton Bank near Macclesfield. However, Frank Edward Tylecote junior’s uncle Thomas was a surgeon and he chose to follow in his footsteps.

He studied medicine at Owens college and gained several honours winning the Turner Scholarship in medicine and Sydney Renshaw Exhibition in Physiology as well as becoming the Chesterfield Medallist in Dermatology.

He held resident appointments at MRI, Lancashire County Asylum in Winwick, Plaistow Fever Hospital London and St John’s Hospital for Skin Diseases. He returned to Manchester as resident medical officer at MRI, and was soon appointed senior honorary physician to Salford Royal Hospital.

The list of his achievements is long, and he had a successful medical and teaching career, he was known to be short with his students, even the Royal College of Physicians says he was not “inspiring ” to students.

His great medical achievement was being amongst the first medical practitioners to notice a link between smoking and lung cancer writing in the Lancet in 1927 he said:

I have no statistics with regard to tobacco, but I think that in almost every case I have seen and known of, the patient has been a regular smoker, generally of cigarettes

Not only was he pioneering here he was well placed to research and report on Stockport’s unhealthy industry of hatting, he had reported to the Lancet in 1912 in a paper called Remarks on Industrial Mercurial Poisoning in Felt Hat Makers.

However, his primary interest was politics being elected in 1931 as Liberal councillor for St John’s Ward of Manchester City Council. While councillor, he successfully campaigned for the pasteurisation of milk and in 1956 was awarded a CBE for public health matters. In 1932 he attended the funeral of E T Scott (son of CP Scott) the editor of the Guardian, as representative of the Liberals. In 1934 he became a justice of the peace for the City of Manchester.

He switched to the Conservatives 1946 and became chairman of the Manchester Public Health Committee. He was also chairman of the Manchester Art Gallery Committee, governor of the Whitworth Art Gallery and chairman of the Royal Manchester Institution. He became an alderman in 1949, and in 1963 resigned and was elected honorary alderman.


Frank Edward Tylecote , Citizen Scientist, Salford

In March 1915 he married Charlotte Dora Boddan, the daughter of a Heaton Mersey merchant, living at Hutton Dene, they had two children, Ronald Frank, born in 1916 and Doreen , born in 1919.

Tragically on holiday in Cornwall in 1930 Charlotte died aged 45, and Frank was left a widower at the age of 51.

His second marriage was to Mabel Pythian on 6 February 1932. If you think that Frank had a successful career, this fades in relation to Mabel. She was born in 1896 in Crumpsall Manchester, the daughter of John Ernest Pythian and Ada Prichard Crompton. Her father was a disciple of Ruskin and Morris and a campaigner for social justice. Mabel followed in his footsteps and left the Liberal party (as did her future husband) but in the direction of the Labour party. She also was a keen Ruskin scholar and donated her extensive collection of Ruskin books to the Elizabeth Gaskell House, where they can be seen to this day.


Mabel Pythian’s inscription on book – Copyright Elizabeth Gaskell House

Mabel attended Manchester University, studying History, in 1915 and graduated in 1919, sailing to Winsconsin to study and teach, appearing on the 1920 US census in Madison City.

She was an early campaigner for women’s rights, and in 1920 on taking up a post at Huddersfield college, she found that her role was paid much less than equivalent male posts. Mabel was not prepared to accept this, and campaigned succesfully for equal pay.

She returned to Manchester University in 1926 as an assistant lecturer and gained her PHD , the topic of her studies, being her great life’s work, adult education, which was published as The Mechanics Institutes of Lancashire and Yorkshire before 1851.

After marrying Frank, she worked in adult education , but also stood unsuccessfully as Labour party candidate for parliament five times, in Flyde, Middleton and Prestwich and finally three times in Norwich South. She narrowly lost in Middleton in 1945 by 761 votes. However, like her husband she served as a member (Labour) of Manchester City Council from 1940 – 1951, and also Stockport council between 1956 and 1963.

Her life was devoted to public service, and she worked as a governor of Manchester Polytechnic, Vice President of the Manchester and Salford Council of Social service, and Chair of the National Institute of Education as well as President of the National federation of Community Associations. In 1969 she was made deputy chair of the soon to open Manchester Museum of Science and Technology.

The Manchester Metropolitan University named the Mabel Tylecote Building after her, unfortunately they demolished the structure in 2017.

The Times noted diplomatically in her obituary, that she did not share her husband’s politics, nevertheless they were married for 33 years until his death in 1965, evidence of a gentler kinder time in politics.

Mabel was made a Dame of The British Empire in 1966, for “Political and Public Services” and she died on January 31 1987.

Mabel Tylecote 1920 and later in life (latter picture National Portrait Gallery)

We also have her archive at Manchester Central Library to thank for a rich source of pictures of Heaton Lodge itself

Heaton Lodge Copyright Mabel Tylecote Archive, Manchester Library

Like the Lingards, the first owners of Heaton Lodge, the Tylecotes were a successful family and they still play a prominent role in society.

Ronald Frank Tylecote became a professor and founded the study of archaeometallurgy, the study of the use of metals by primitive people, he died in 1990. He married firstly Angela Lias, and then Elizabeth Cornelia Johanna Berndt (nee Renetlow, but changed to avoid association with the Nazi supporting family). Both Ronald and Elizabeth were staunch communists until disillusioned by the invasion of Hungary in 1956.

Ronald’s son by his first wife, Charlotte Dora Boddan, is Andrew Boddan Tylecote, an academic who specialises in the economics of technological change, and to complete the shifting political affliations of the family his son, Dr Radomir Tylecote is Director at the European Foundation and Senior Research Analyst, International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs, and writes extensively in favour of Brexit, and for the less political of you, the appalling state of modern architecture.

After Frank’s death Heaton Lodge was put up for sale for a final time, in the next part we shall see its subsequent fate and look at some of the first inhabitants of Lodge Court.

Copyright Allan Russell 2019

Author: allanprussell

Big houses in the Heatons and others that take my interest.

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